Daily Record cleared of four code of practice breaches

The Daily Record been cleared of wrongdoing by the PCC after it published two articles headlined "Ripper's sex-swap love gets job at Carstairs" and "The wife of ripper sex swap pal stands by her man".

A male complainant believed the articles published in September breached four clauses of the Editors' Code of Practice; clause 3 (privacy), clause 4 (harassment), clause 10 (clandestine devises and subterfuge) and clause 12 (discrimination).

The Record reported that the complainant was suspended from his job at a mental hospital after it emerged he'd formally had a relationship with Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.

The complainant believed it was unnecessary to highlight his gender change and to do so was discriminatory, that he was harassed by two Record reporters, and that pictures published in the paper of him and his partner constituted subterfuge and intruded into his privacy.

The complainant accused the Record of breaching his privacy by using a hidden camera to take pictures of him and his girlfriend but because they were in a public place the commission decided use of a hidden camera would not feature in the complaint and did not breach clause 10. The commission understood why the complainant may have had reservations about their photos being published but believed that doing so it did not breach the privacy code.

Details of the complainant's relationship had been reported in detail in 1984 and under the circumstances, the commission decided, it would have been impossible to establish a link between the complainant and his former identity as a woman without mentioning his sex change and did not breach clause 12 (discrimination).

The commission cleared the two reporters of harassment concluding that the complainant had not made it clear he did not want them returning to his property after an initial visit.


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