Paper wins right to name youth

The Somerset County Gazette successfully challenged lawyers to name a 17year-old criminal who had terrorised residents with a baseball bat.

David Black appeared at Taunton Deane Youth Court and was given a two-year anti-social behaviour order, banning him from parts of the Somerset town.

He was described by the prosecution as “probably the single biggest cause of anti-social behaviour in the Taunton area”.

The defence solicitor did not challenge the ASBO but requested a Section 39 order protecting the boy’s identity.

Reporter Dave Shuttleworth addressed the bench and successfully argued that his paper should have the right to name-and-shame the offender.

Editor Ken Bird said: “Having been gagged twice by the youth court in the recent past, it is very satisfying to be able to name and shame David Black.

“This teenager is notorious in Taunton, where residents have been living in fear of him and his gang of thugs for too long. Now his reign of terror is over.

“My reporters are more used to reporting speeches made in court than delivering them, but Dave Shuttleworth did us proud with an impassioned plea for press freedom and public interest.

“We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and police on this case and that co-operation has paid off with a cracking story.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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