Journalist gets reporting ban overturned

By Sarah Lagan

Bolton Evening News reporter Paul Keaveny successfully challenged
reporting restrictions at a youth court involving a teenager who
attacked a policeman.

The 17-year-old teenager, who faced a string of serious charges, was
to be made subject to an anti-social behaviour order at the end of the
case.

Despite Keaveny’s request to the clerk to get the
restrictions lifted, along with calls from the police and local
council, the prosecution refused.

Keaveny then quoted the Crime
and Sentences Act 1997 (which amended the Children and Young Persons
Act 1933), that states if in a youth court there is sufficient evidence
that it was in the public interest then reporting restrictions should
be lifted.

He also pointed out that the police and council wanted publicity to deter the other members of the gang.

The
serious nature of the incidents and the fact that the youth was almost
18 added to his case. Keaveny’s argument convinced the chairman of the
bench to lift the ban.

Bolton Evening News editor Steve Hughes
said: “It is unbelievable that with all the publicity surrounding
ASBOs, and despite Home Office guidance, we still have to ask for
restrictions to be lifted in cases such as this.”

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