Trainee journalist overturns Asbo reporting restriction

A trainee reporter took her legal knowledge straight from the classroom to the courtroom, when she successfully overturned a reporting restriction on a 16-year-old boy served with an Asbo.

Claire Armstrong, 24, who graduated from the Leeds Trinity and All Saints College journalism course in September and now works for the Batley News, last Monday stood up in Dewsbury Magistrates' Court and opposed an order made under section 39 of the Children and Young Persons' Act.

Armstrong said: "I was sent to cover ongoing Asbo proceedings for three people accused of terrorising a local estate. We had reported on them, and other members of the gang, for quite a few weeks without any reporting restrictions being imposed."

Armstrong made her case, arguing that the boy's name had appeared in her paper previously and that the public would need to hear about the Asbo so they could spot any breaches. After deliberating the magistrates announced they would not make the order.

Armstrong told Press Gazette she was "over the moon" with the victory and that a media law role-playing exercise, run by lecturer Dave Crossland, helped her prepare for the challenge.

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