Victory for Hereford Times in SAS name ban

The Hereford Times has won a court challenge to name a high ranking SAS soldier facing assault charges.

An order banning the identification of Dale John Loveridge, who faces trial next week on two charges of assault, which had been imposed at an earlier hearing was challenged by the Hereford Times as unlawful and overturned at Hereford Magistrates Court yesterday.

At the hearing Loveridge’s solicitors made a written submission saying the order should stand because Loveridge was “a high ranking member of the SAS”, that the disclosure of his details may “jeopardise his personal safety and his career’and that publication of such details could compromise the administration of justice with Loveridge “not able to play an active role in proceedings” if his over-riding concern was one of personal security.

At the earlier hearing Loveridge’s defence raised the issue of his being “embarrassed” by the publication of identification and case details as a reason to sustain the ban.

Hereford Times argued that magistrates did not have the authority to make Loveridge the subject of such an order, which, on the evidence presented, went against established principles of open justice.

District Judge Grego, in overturning the order, referred to existing case law cited by the Hereford Times to rule that “substantial risk” to proceedings had not been demonstrated.

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