Trainee wins right to name tearaway

By Sarah Lagan

A trainee reporter at the South Wales Echo stood up in court to
argue that restrictions should be lifted so the press could name a
teenage tearaway.

Sophie Corless, who is only a month into her job, was sent to
Cardiff Youth Court to cover the case of 15-year-old Nathan Duggan.

The
boy, who admitted hurling stones through the window of a crowded bus,
faced charges with criminal damage. It also became apparent that Duggan
had previously been in trouble with the law for destructive behaviour.

Corless
had a note that referred to the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997, which
allows the youth court to waive restrictions on identifying juveniles,
and made her application for the section 39 to be lifted.

Magistrate
Angela Allport said: “This was an anti-social offence which had the
potential to have a much more serious outcome. I am lifting reporting
restrictions in the hope that it will act as a further deterrent.”

Afterwards, even Duggan’s mother Sandra Beard agreed with the decision, saying she realised the courts had to set an example.

The
Echo’s acting editor, Sandra Loy, said: “I know how daunting standing
up in court can be, even for experienced reporters, so Sophie’s common
sense and determination really impressed us.”

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