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Topic: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: RichardPrice
Posted 2006-12-22 11:17:52 and read 1330 times.

48 year old Stephen Wright is appearing in court today charged with the murder of 5 Ipswich prostitutes. Tom Stephens, the first man arrested, has been released on police bail pending further enquiries but has not yet been charged with anything.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/6202343.stm

So, how many people condemned Tom Stephens immediately when he was arrested?

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: Thom@s
Posted 2006-12-22 11:26:20 and read 1324 times.

Quoting RichardPrice (Thread starter):
Tom Stephens

Must be thrilled to have his name published all over the press if he turns out innocent...

I thought the identety of suspects were meant to be confidential?

Thom@s

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: ThomasCook757
Posted 2006-12-22 11:29:20 and read 1321 times.

Quoting Thom@s (Reply 1):
Must be thrilled to have his name published all over the press if he turns out innocent...

I thought the identety of suspects were meant to be confidential?

They are.

If this man does turn out innocent i do feel sorry for him. He has had his name splashed all over the press. People will still link him to the 5 murders.

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: RichardPrice
Posted 2006-12-22 11:35:17 and read 1317 times.

Quoting Thom@s (Reply 1):

I thought the identety of suspects were meant to be confidential?



Quoting ThomasCook757 (Reply 2):

They are.

No, they arent. Theres no law against the British press releasing the name of suspects in cases unless they are under the age of 18 or naming the suspect could easily reveal the identity of another suspect or victim under the age of 18.

There is a limit on what can be released, but its not strict:

Quote:

Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 it is criminal contempt of court to publish anything which creates a real risk that the course of justice in proceedings may be seriously impaired. It only applies where proceedings are active, and the Attorney-General has issued guidance as to when he believes this to be the case, and there is also statutory guidance. The clause prevents the newspapers and media from publishing material that is too extreme or sensationalist about a criminal case until the trial is over and the jury has given its verdict.

Section 2 of the Act limits the common law presumption that conduct may be treated as contempt regardless of intention: now only cases where there is a substantial risk of serious prejudice to a trial are affected.

Releasing the name of the suspect, while it might destroy him publically, does not affect the nature of the case against him as his name would be public knowledge within the court anyway.

In any case, these names were not released by the Police, they were uncovered by journalists (thats what the term 'known locally as' means).

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: Planesarecool
Posted 2006-12-22 12:15:52 and read 1307 times.

Quoting ThomasCook757 (Reply 2):
If this man does turn out innocent i do feel sorry for him. He has had his name splashed all over the press. People will still link him to the 5 murders.

Well it was him who spoke to BBC journalists and the Sunday Mirror in the first place. Had he not, it would have probably remained private, as the police never named him.

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: 777236ER
Posted 2006-12-22 12:43:25 and read 1298 times.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):

Releasing the name of the suspect, while it might destroy him publically, does not affect the nature of the case against him as his name would be public knowledge within the court anyway.

In this case the press went far beyond releasing his name; they made ridiculous links with other crimes, released his address and the jobs he'd undertaken in his life and went out to destroy his character.

Lord Goldsmith, despite his failings when it comes to standing up to BAE, agrees:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6200501.stm

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: Kaddyuk
Posted 2006-12-22 14:27:51 and read 1279 times.

People should remain anonymous when accused of crimes untill proven guilty.

Innocent people can have their lives destroyed by allegations and false stories created by the press.

Topic: RE: Ipswich Man Charged With Murders
Username: Banco
Posted 2006-12-22 17:21:12 and read 1261 times.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):
Releasing the name of the suspect, while it might destroy him publically, does not affect the nature of the case against him as his name would be public knowledge within the court anyway.

Where this differs is in the amount of discussion and information in the media following his arrest. Identifying the name of someone arrested is one thing (where the UK differs is that potential suspects yet to be arrested are not usually disclosed), trawling through his private life and explicitly linking him to crimes is disgraceful conduct by the media.

Lord Goldsmith was in a difficult position, since he couldn't warn of prejudicing a trial when he hadn't (and hasn't) even been charged. How can you prejudice a trial that might not happen? But even if the courts throw out any attempt by the defence in either case to state that a fair trial has been prejudiced, I wouldn't be in the least surprised to see a contempt of court action brought by the Attorney General over this. I believe one paper had a headline today reading "Strangler Arrested" (referring to the image previously published), which must surely be beyond the pale. Note:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):
anything which creates a real risk that the course of justice in proceedings may be seriously impaired.

states "real risk", not that justice is actually impaired. There could well be a case to answer here. Judges tend not to look too favourably on the media behaving this way.


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