Reporter wins right to name teenager

By Sarah Lagan

A trainee reporter on the Accrington Observer stood up in court and
successfully challenged a reporting restriction so he could name a
teenage tearaway in the paper.

Simon Tucker, 23, was reporting on the case of a 16-year-old who had
been made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order in May 2003
when he was described as a \”one-boy crimewave\”.

At the time the
bench agreed the boy should be named, which the paper did. But, after
he broke the order by seeing friends he should not have been
associating with, he came before the Youth Court where reporting
restrictions would normally apply.

Thacker, who has been a
reporter on the paper for six months, argued the youth had already been
named after the original offence and referred to a similar case where
justices agreed the defendant should be named.

The defence
solicitor contested the application because of the effect identifying
the boy would have on his family. After retiring, the magistrates said
they had balanced everyone\’s interests and agreed to lift the
restrictions.

Editor Mervyn Kay said: \”It was clearly in the
public interest to name this youth as having broken his anti-social
behaviour order and Simon did very well in arguing the case.\”

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