Schoolboy stabbing suspect named by The Sun in case with echoes of Ann Maguire murder

Many people have compared the stabbing of a teacher in front of his class in Bradford with the murder of Ann Maguire just over a year ago. The circumstances were similar, and the schools were not far apart.
 
There has been a similarity in media coverage, too. Again, The Sun broke ranks with other UK media by naming the 14-year-old boy arrested in connection with the stabbing of Vincent Uzomah, 50 at Dixon Kings Academy.
 
They also broadcast images of his arrest on its website, without pixelating his face.
 
We've been here before. When Will Cornick was arrested for the murder of Ann Maguire, The Sun was the only UK media organisation to name him. Others refrained, some citing 'legal reasons'.
 
The Sun's decision to name Cornick caused an uproar on social media and on media message boards. They were even taken to task by The Guardian's readers editor, no less.
 
The Sun has again exploited a gap in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act – in my view, quite rightly. Successive governments have decided not to implement section 44 of the act, and this stance allows the media to name under-18 suspects until youth court proceedings start.
 
I blogged about this apparent loophole last year, and I also remonstrated with the media who decided not to name Cornick for claiming their actions were taken for 'legal reasons'.
 
So here we are again. Another stabbing, another teenager and another situation where the majority of the media have opted to omit a crucial fact that, legally, they are entitled to publish (note: the boy has now been charged so cannot be named).
 
The Judicial College's new guide 'Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts' makes the position clear: 'S.44 has not been brought into force and it appears that there are no current plans for doing so.'
 
Time will tell whether The Sun's latest venture into this controversial area changes the situation.
 

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