Sunday Times cleared over Yarl's Wood suicide story

A complaint about the Sunday Times's coverage of a man's suicide while in Yarl's Wood immigration centre has been rejected by the Press Complaints Commission.

The story, printed on 24 September 2006 headlined "The ultimate sacrifice", detailed how the man, who was about to be deported, hanged himself in order to allow his son to stay in Britain. The article included an excerpt of his suicide note and a picture taken from the centre's CCTV footage of him walking towards a stairwell with a bed sheet tied around his neck.

The dead man's 14-year-old son complained via lawyers that the article broke clauses three (privacy), five (intrusion into shock or grief) and six (reporting of children).

The PCC said in its adjudication that there was a "legitimate and significant" public interest in the story and that it did not "seek to sensationalise the matter or dwell on any gratuitous detail".

The newspaper was cleared on all three counts but the commission expressed its "deepest sympathy" for the man's son and said his personal publicity was to be regretted.


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