Independent apologises for printing photo of 12-year-old

The Independent has apologised after it printed a photograph of a 12-year-old girl without her parents’ consent in a story about swine flu.

Amy Whitehouse, from Paignton in Devon, was confirmed as one of the first British cases of the disease after returning from holiday in Mexico in April.

The girl’s school was closed for a week and her family and all the children in her year group were given anti-viral drugs.

The photo accompanying the story was considered a breach of section 6.2 of the editors’ code of practice.

The code reads: “A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consent.”

The apology, which appeared on page 18 of Saturday’s edition, read: “In our article ‘Crucial flu drug for 50m Britons’ (30 April 2009) we included a photograph of Amy Whitehouse who was suffering from the flu, without realising that consent had not been given for the photograph to be published.

“We wish to apologise to Amy and her family for the distress our error caused.”

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