Herald Express wins right to name mother in twin boys cruelty case

The Torquay Herald Express has successfully challenged an order banning the paper from naming a mother involved in a child abuse case.

The paper argued that the restriction made under Section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act in the case at Exeter Crown Court "drastically curtailed its freedom to report serious crimes" committed by mother Hayley Poole and her violent babysitter Andrew Hunter.

Hunter was said to have assaulted Poole's twins and inflicted "horrendous, life-threatening injuries" on one of them.

After Hunter admitted grievous bodily harm and the boys' mother admitted cruelty to a person under 16 and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, Judge David Tyzack imposed a ban on any details likely to identify the victims, including the mother's name.

Media outlets were also banned from identifying Poole's brother, who was not involved in the case.

The Herald Express instructed a media lawyer, Cathryn Smith of Foot Anstey, to fight the order.

Following her representations, the judge agreed there was no power under Section 39 to impose a ban on identifying an adult, defendant or child who was not involved in the proceedings.

He also agreed that the order had not struck the right balance between the newspaper's freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the individuals' right to privacy under Article Eight.

The judge agreed to amend his order so it would only prevent the Herald Express from publishing the twins' names, address and school.

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