Newspaper fined for naming child

£3,000 fine for breach of s.39 order

The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald has been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay legal costs after identifying a child in breach of an order under s.39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

The newspaper, owned by Newsquest, published an article in January about a local scout who was stabbed in Plymouth. Despite having spoken to the Devon & Cornwall Police press office, the paper had not been informed that an order had been made prohibiting identification of the 15 year old victim.

Salisbury Magistrates’ Court heard that the boy and his family had suffered distress as a result of the article.

Newsquest accepted that in the circumstances it should have contacted the court office. The head of Newsquest’s legal department, Simon Westrop, called for the creation of a website to inform journalists about such orders to avoid similar incidents in future.

The court also ordered the newspaper to pay £750 compensation to the child involved.