Judge had 'no jurisdiction' to keep child porn offender's identity secret

The Times today publishes the details of how a court order banning the identification of a man found guilty of downloading child pornography was overturned.

The order, which was overturned in the Court of Appeal by a panel of four judges on 1 February, was made in April last year by Justice McKinnon at Croydon Crown Court during the trial of Raymond Cortis, 45, from Upper Norwood.

The Court of Appeal ruled that “no jurisdiction” to make such an order relating to his children as they were not concerned in the case.

The restriction, made under section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, banned identification of Coris because it may have caused embarressment to his school-age children.

The Court of Appeal judges ruled that judges could ban publishing of evidence by the press in “very limited and exceptional circumstances”. The judges noted that article 6 of the Human Rights Act secured this right.

They said: “It was impossible to overemphasise the importance to be attached to the ability of the media to report criminal trials.”

The appeal case was fought by Times Newspapers, Trinity Mirror, Newsquest and others.

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