Editor: ban on naming 15-year-old rapist is 'misguided'

A newspaper editor has branded a judge "misinformed or misguided" for refusing to lift a court order protecting the identity of a 15-year-old convicted rapist.

Royal Leamington Spa Times editor Darren Parkin (pictured) now wants Judge Marten Coates to explain the ruling.

The Times wanted to name the 15- year-old convicted of raping an 11-yearold girl in a Sainsbury's toilet, claiming it was in the public interest. But it now says an appeal into the judge's decision will be unlikely because of prohibitive legal costs and out of sensitivity to the families involved.

The 1933 Children and Young Persons Act states that a judge can rule to protect the identity of any young person directly involved in a case, if they think it will be in their best interests. In this case, the judge applied the ruling to protect a young relation of the defendant, something that lawyers for the paper's parent company, Trinity Mirror, are concerned about.

Parkin said: "I really want to pursue things and my ultimate goal is to get the rapist named, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure that no other young lives are harmed. It is my job to question the judge."

Trinity Mirror's group legal manager Charles Collier-Wright said: "Part of the reason that regional newspapers find it difficult to challenge orders made by judges is the cost of taking those matters to appeal and the fact that even if successful, newspapers are never awarded their costs."

Social workers at Warwickshire County Council were counselling the boy for sexually inappropriate behaviour 12 months prior to the rape. A council spokesman said: "If the order was lifted, it wouldn't just be [the convicted rapist] who would suffer, it would be everyone associated with him, which would mean a lot of innocent people getting publicly castigated."

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