Record drops killer and drugs gran clangers

By Hamish Mackay

The Daily Record has had to carry a prominent apology after it
published at least two photographs wrongly identifying an unnamed man
as Simon Harris, suspected of killing Scottish schoolboy Rory Blackhall.

And, in the same edition, the Glasgow-based tabloid had to publish
another prominent apology after a wrong picture was carried alongside a
court story.

The identity confusion over the Simon Harris
pictures arose when the Record obtained a batch of pictures from a
family source after Harris, 37, was found hanged at his home.

The
dead man has been named by several media outlets as the prime suspect
for the murder of the schoolboy, who was found dead in woodlands near
Livingstone on 21 August.

Last Thursday, the day after it
splashed on page one with what was claimed to be the first picture
published of Harris (showing him as a youngster), the Daily Record
carried a front-page picture and four more pictures in a two-page
inside spread which it also claimed were of Harris – a notorious loner
– at various times in his life.

However in its correction, the
Record said it wished to apologise for using wrong photographs on a
story headlined “Rory Killer”.

It said: “We were given a selection of photographs in good faith from a source in the family of Simon Harris.

“Some of the pictures of Harris and others, which we published, were of an individual not connected with the story.

“We are sorry for any distress or embarrassment caused by this error.”

It is understood that the Record could be facing a claim for substantial compensation for using the pictures.

In May, a man falsely identified as “Lotto rapist” Iorworth Hoare won £100,000 in damages plus costs from the Sunday Mirror.

The
second Daily Record correction followed a court report on a hearing
into the assets of Scottish grandmother Hannah Aiton, who is serving a
10-year sentence for drug dealing.

The Record correction read: “A story appeared under the heading ‘Drug gang gran hands over £27k’ accompanied by a photo.

“The photograph used was actually Fife councillor Joyce Smith, an anti-drugs activist. We apologise for the error.”

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