Yorkshire Post editor: Sun's naming of child murder suspect shows difference between nationals and regionals

The editor of the Yorkshire Post has said his paper's decision not to name a 15-year-old boy suspected of killing teacher Ann Maguire in Leeds underlines the 'exemplary' behaviour of the regional media which he contrasted with that of The Sun.

The Sun named the child after his arrest but has now removed all reference to him after police announced he had been charged as he was due to appear in court.

Yorkshire Post editor Jeremy Clifford told Hold The Front Page: "He's innocent in the eyes of law until he’s found guilty. He’s under 16 so as soon as he goes into the legal process his identity will be protected.”

He added: “This absolutely underlines the differences between the practices of the national media and the local media which were exemplary in their behaviour and which should therefore not be subject to any modifications to press freedom.”

Media law expert Cleland Thom wrote for Press Gazette that The Sun was right to name the boy. He explained that under the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933, a youth only receives legal anonymity once they have appaered in court.

While the Press Complaints Commission Code discourages naming under-16s involved with crime, he said, it does allow it in cases of “exceptional” public interest.

He wrote: “In this case… I would say that there is exceptional public interest. It was a notorious crime, and raises broader issues about the safety of teachers in schools.”

On The Sun's decision to name the boy yesterday, a spokesman told Press Gazette: "The Sun was within its legal right to name the suspect in the Leeds case and felt it was a matter of public interest. We remain committed to informing our readers of the whole story where we are free to do so."

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