Public pays for attack on its right to know

It’s an annoying fact of life for the regional press that convicted
criminals and their lawyers will often go to great lengths to prevent
their names being published.

Which is one reason why its
journalists have had to become so well versed in the art of making sure
that their efforts fail more often than not.

But one criminal in
Norfolk is going further than anybody before him to keep the shame of
his crime hidden from public view. And it’s a case which will make many
editors sit up and take notice.

Magistrates overturned a Section
49 order which had prevented The Eastern Daily Press from naming a
17-year-old. He had just been convicted of a dangerous driving offence
in which he had caused the death of an unborn child by driving his car
like a “lethal weapon” the wrong way down a dual carriageway.

But the youth’s lawyer, while accepting his client’s guilt, has challenged the overturning of the anonymity order.

Not only that, he’s the first to obtain legal aid to fund his fight.

means public money will be spent on an attempt to prevent the public
learning something it has every right to know: the identity of the
person who committed such an appallingly dangerous act.

For the sake of open justice, let us hope he does not succeed.

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