Peter Barron discusses 'contempt' concerns with CPS

Editor of the Northern Echo Peter Barron has held talks with officials from the Crown Prosecution Service over his concerns about interpretation of the laws governing contempt of court.

Barron used his editor’s blog last night to detail how his meeting had arisen from a judge’s warning about potential contempt in Teesside Crown Court after his paper named a paedophile who had been locked up for six years.

‘My view is that we did nothing wrong and that Section 39 orders – meant to protect children victims, not defendants – are being made inappropriately.
‘I wanted to see the CPS to make that specific point but to also air my concerns about a lack of clarity on contempt generally.
‘With the nationals seemingly allowed to drive a coach and horses through the law in relation to prejudicing trials, editors need to know where they stand.”

The meeting followed Barron earlier highlighting how he thought local newspapers were being placed under significantly more pressure than national titles when it came to contempt.

Barron raised his concerns around the coverage being given to the early stages of the Jo Yeates murder case when her landlord Chris Jeffries who was arrested and then released without charge.

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