Anonymity order challenged

Newspapers appeal against order protecting child pornographer's identity

Trinity Mirror and Newsquest are appealing against an order under s.11 of the Contempt of Court Act which prohibits publication of the identity of a man who pleaded guilty to 20 charges of making and possessing indecent pictures of children.

The 45-year-old man applied for the order on the basis that his two daughters would be harassed or bullied at school if his identity were revealed. The Croydon Guardian, Trinity Mirror and the Press Association protested but Judge McKinnon in the Croydon Crown Court decided that the man could not be identified in order to protect his children. The newspapers are now taking the case to the Court of Appeal.

Sir Igor Judge last week made the unusual order that the appeal should be heard by a five judge panel instead of the usual three. The Court is likely to have to consider whether the Crown Court Judge had the power to make the order that he did, the likelihood of harm to the children and the balancing of their Article 8 rights with the Article 10 rights of the media.