South Wales Evening Post in court over 'sex attack' headline mistake

South Wales Evening Post editor Spencer Feeney was last week summonsed to Crown Court after the paper carried a headline incorrectly accusing a man who was to stand trial for assaulting a woman of being suspected of sexually attacking her.

The headline on the page 11 story read ‘Sex attack suspect trial begins’and the story continued ‘Evidence was due to begin today in the trial of a Swansea man accused of two assaults on a woman”, before naming the defendant.

The following day, Feeney published a short clarification on page 7 saying: ‘A report in the Evening Post on Wednesday, May 23, of a court case in which Matthew Paul O’Sullivan was the defendant was incorrectly headlined.

‘We are pleased to have the opportunity to make it clear that Mr O’Sullivan was charged with causing actual bodily harm.”

Feeney was summonsed to Swansea Crown Court by Judge Roger Dutton on the Friday after publication.

The judge held up the paper in court and said the headline bore no relationship to the evidence that was due to be heard.

All present should disregard the headline, he added. Feeney was unavailable for comment.

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