PCC raps Chat for paying convicted criminal

The Press Complaints Commission has criticised Chat magazine for paying a convicted criminal.

The
IPC women's weekly ran an article headlined "Why I slept with my own
son", which told the story of a woman, Sylvia Payne who was convicted
of unlawful sex with a member of her own family.

The Commission
– which was initially contacted by Laura Moffatt MP with concerns over
the article – was informed by the magazine that it had paid a fee to an
agency, which had in turn paid Payne and her son.

The
Commission said it was concerned that payment had, therefore, been made
for material which described and sought to justify a criminal act. It
considered that this was a clear and unacceptable breach of Clause 16
(Payments to criminals) of the Code for which there was no conceivable
public interest justification.

The magazine argued that the information was in the public domain
through coverage elsewhere, but accepted that payment should not have
been made. It added that it would be apologising to the two readers who
had written expressing concern about the article and that steps would
be taken to ensure that the error would not be repeated in future.The
adjudication will be published in a forthcoming edition of Chat.

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