Scots Sunday Mail censured by PCC

The Scottish Sunday Mail has been criticised by the Press Complaints Commission over a complaint brought by a man accused of stalking a schoolgirl.

James Rae, from Ayr, complained under clause one of the Editors’ Code (accuracy) over an article which reported that a schoolgirl was “terrorised by a man who was cleared of a sex attack against her when she was 13”.

It also said she had obtained a court order to stop him stalking her. It stated that the complainant had been banned from “going near” the girl at the centre of the story after carrying out a “sustained series of sick stunts in a two-year vendetta” against the girl’s family.

Ayr said the article was misleading because the court order referred to applied only to the girl’s mother.

The newspaper stood by the accuracy of the report and said that the complainant had been approached for his comments three days before the piece appeared, but had declined to speak to the reporter.

The PCC said it “had some sympathy” with the Mail’s view, but agreed with Ayr that it was “materially inaccurate” to state that the girl won a court order.

The commission noted that no attempt was made to correct the inaccuracy.

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