May 14, 2004
Maxine Carr Identity Injunction Upheld
Protection necessary after death threats
Mr Justice Eady has continued an injunction banning the media from publishing information about the new identity and whereabouts of Maxine Carr after evidence was presented to the Court of “far more explicit” threat to kill her.
The Judge found it was “necessary and proportionate” to continue the order he had made the day before pending a full hearing because there was “clear evidence of danger to the life and physical well-being” of the Claimant.
Matthew Nicklin, for the publishers of the Sun, News of the World and Daily Mirror, said they deplored the death threats and had no intention of breaking the Press Complaints Commission’s code of practice, which protects privacy and outlaws harassment. They did not seek to disturb the temporary ban on information relating to Carr’s new identity and whereabouts.
But he argued that lawyers for the Claimant had failed to abide by the provisions of s.12 Human Rights Act which required that the media be given notice of the application for an injunction. The newspapers also argued that a ban on “soliciting” information about Carr went too far. The media needed to know what she was doing so that it could apply for the injunction to be lifted if necessary.
However, the Judge refused to lift the ban on soliciting information, saying that “where such grave issues are at stake” the risk to Carr’s life should be reduced even if it could not be eliminated altogether.
Godwin Busuttil appeared for The Daily Telegraph, which maintained a neutral stance.