Social services prevent paper naming criminal

Keighley: ‘justice not being done’

The South Wales Argus has been banned from naming a man who downloaded more than 100 indecent images of children on to his computer.

It is the latest instance of a council social services department persuading a court to ban the identification of a criminal if it believes a child could be at risk.

Argus editor Gerry Keighley believes there is a risk that anyone convicted of a serious crime could gain anonymity if they have young children.

In this latest case no banning order was made at the man’s trial. But at a subsequent High Court Family Division hearing, regarding the welfare of a child unconnected with the case, an order was made protecting the man’s identity.

The judge said naming the man, or even saying which town he was from, could be detrimental to the child.

Keighley said: “This practice is now becoming almost commonplace.

“We can see no proper reason for these orders, but the result is that justice is not being seen to be done.

“A man who has admitted having disgusting images of children on his computer is now benefiting from anonymity.”

In April, Keighley hit out at council social services departments after his paper was subject to injunctions on three occasions giving anonymity to adult defendants in order to protect their children.

By Dominic Ponsford

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