PCC rejects Edmonds’ privacy complaint

Ex-wife's house not likely to become a target

The Press Complaints Commission has today rejected a complaint from Helen Edmonds, the ex-wife of television presenter Noel Edmonds, that the Mail on Sunday had intruded into her privacy by publishing the whereabouts of her new home.

Ms Edmonds complained to the Commission that an article published in The Mail on Sunday headlined “A far cry from Crinkley Bottom” on 24 July 2005 intruded into her privacy, and that of her children, in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Code of Practice.  She was concerned that the article might make her property vulnerable to criminal activity.

Rejecting the complaint, the PCC held that although the identification of a person’s home can amount to a breach of the Code, this is generally only the case where there is a realistic danger that obsessive fans and/or stalkers might cause a nuisance, or when there are particular and obvious security concerns. The Commission’s view of this case was that the complainant was not herself a celebrity and so was unlikely to attract obsessive fans. 

Further, while the article did contain information that could have led someone determined to do so to locate it, it did not, in the Commission’s view, contain information that would realistically lead to the house being more of a target than would otherwise be the case for a dwelling of that type (for example information as to security arrangements).