Woman who painted house in red and white stripes loses IPSO harassment complaint against Mail Online

Mail Online has escaped censure from the press watchdog after the woman who painted her London townhouse in red-and- white stripes accused it of harassment.  

Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring complained to IPSO that the website breached Clause 4 (Harassment) of the Editors’ Code in an article headlined “Property owner battles demand to repaint her red-and-white multi-million pound Kensington townhouse which infuriated her super-rich neighbours”.

The story, published in December last year, included a photograph of the complainant, which showed her outside of court with her head under a coat.

The complainant, who has also launched a legal action against the Mail Online claiming harassment, said the taking of the photograph amounted to harassment.

She said that after the court hearing, she had wanted to avoid the press taking photographs of her and purposely waited inside the court building to avoid them.

She also said she had told the photographer she felt harassed by him and asked “whether [he had] heard of the Protection from Harassment Act?”

In its defence, Mail Online said it had factored in the complainant’s wish not to be photographed but that it did not override its right to publish the image of an individual leaving a hearing in which they were involved as a litigant.

In its ruling, IPSO ruled in favour of the Mail Online.

It said that there “was no suggestion” that the photographer had acted in a manner which was aggressive or intimidating. 

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