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To think that suspected criminals should not be named until they have at least been charged with a crime?

(29 Posts)
wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 13:47:37

They've just named the nursery worker being questioned over distribution of child porn images. She has not, as yet, been charged with an offence - she is still being questioned.

Similarly I remember when several prostitutes were murdered in ipswich, a man being questioned was named, and his address was published in the national media. He was later released without charge and someone else was later found guilty of the murders.

Now don't get me wrong, once someone is charged/convicted of a crime they should be named. But beforehand this is just wrong, surely? what happens if you name a suspect and they turn out to be innocent? mud still sticks.

mumblechum Wed 10-Jun-09 13:50:03

I was horrified to see not only her name but her photo on Times Online this morning.

Totally inappropriate imo until she's been charged.

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 13:51:10

There are pictures of her too.

I did think it was a bit hmm naming her without charge but then again they did say images were traced back to her computer and they were of children at the nursery she worked in so it does kind of all fit together.

Would like to hear what she has to say for herself though!

But yes do kind of agree it does seem a bit unfair because she could be innocent (although evidence in mind I doubt it).

Meglet Wed 10-Jun-09 13:52:01

yanbu. i have no idea why the law allows this, they do it all the time. Naming the person when convicted is better, innocent until proven guilty etc..

wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 14:04:44

Md but although it seems likely that she has committed this crime it's not been proven has it? After all we as the public don't know whether she is the only person living in that house? And if the evidence was that strong she would have been charged by now surely? They must be reaching a point where they have to either charge or release her or request extra time..

And if she is then released without charge what will be the outcome for her? vijilanti attacks on her house?

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 14:10:34

No I'm not suggesting she is guilty, I'm just sayoing from the evidence I have heard I would come to the conclusion she is but obviously it's not my place as I don't know all the facts.

Must be awful for all the parents knowing there was soeone amongst them doing this possibly to their children.

No matter what the outcome I doubt that lady will ever work in a nursery again!

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 14:23:21

If she's ever charged, there will be strict limits on what the media can report. Until she's charged, it's much less tight.

The law has to balance the principle of open justice with the need to avoid prejudicing any future trial.

Print versions of newspapers tend to be more careful (although not always) while online the idea is you can always update/edit the story as things develop.

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 14:28:40

I don't understand the law with regards to media reporting at all! hmm

I mean I get why the likes of Baby P's mum was'nt named because obviously it could have led to an unfair trial and te collapse of the case (although ti did take me a while and a lot of arguing to figure that out blush) but surely no one should be allowed to be named then before a trial because if you think about it if on the off chance this woman or the man who is being questioned about Madeleine (only 2 examples I could think of sorry) was to eb charged then surely they can't have a fair trial either.

Am I making sense here? Probably not.

I guess what I am saying is if one rule has to be applied for one case then it should be applied to everyone epecially those who are only being investigated and not charged for now.

TheCrackFox Wed 10-Jun-09 14:32:23

I was very surprised to see her name and picture in the Mail online. She is innocent until proven otherwise.

wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 14:34:50

she's been charged

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jun-09 14:35:56

I've often thought this. Usually when it turns out a false rape claim has been made. The "victim" is granted anonymity at the start yet not the person they have accused.

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 14:41:41

More here

Poor children and poor parents!

Hope they manage to find everyone involved criminally and victims. Bloody animals!

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 14:44:05

And now she has been charged, you can generally only report the key facts: name, location, age, what the charge(s) is or are and details of next court appearance. (I've probably missed a few, am not a crime reporter and been ages since I had to look at that area of media law.)

GrimmaTheNome Wed 10-Jun-09 14:47:09

Until the charge has been made, the press should stick with the tried and tested phrase 'a woman is helping police with their enquiries'. No names, no photos till then.

However... it does occur to me it could be a little bit more complicated in a case like this. Its hard to say that the nursery shouldn't be named, as parents at least have a right to know. And if that happens, then if the actual suspect isn't named then all the totally innocent co-workers could be under a cloud.

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 14:47:49

Is that not all they could report anyway Edam?

wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 14:50:15

so how come the fact someone else, a man, was also arrested has not been so prominent in the news? All the headlines have surrounded the female nursery worker, and it's the first time I've seen mention of anyone else having been arrested too.

mamadiva Wed 10-Jun-09 14:55:56

I did hear last night that she was arrested after another man had been charged IIRC.

I am assuming that he gave her up to the police or something.

Maybe they could'nt say anything because she was only arrested on Monday night at midnight so could'nt let her get wind of the case.

Don't know just speculating in my own wee world.

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 14:56:56

wannabe, because the story started with the closure of the nursery - so the story was X nursery has been closed... don't know at what point journalists were given details of the man.

Mama, no, reporting restrictions only really kick in when someone is charged. But print journalists used to have to be very careful when reporting that someone was being questioned because obviously they might well have been charged in between you filing your story and the paper coming out.

Existence of websites has changed all that. The Times can update their website to show only what is permitted now she has been charged (although actually anyone clued up can find 'old' news stories).

But the existence of the web also makes it harder to stick to the old reporting restrictions - if the information is out there on the web, it makes it harder to argue that journalists should not report it.

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 14:59:36

(Journalists will generally only be reporting what the police have told them btw. The name is being used because it was already out there - in some crime reports you'll read that 'a man, 37, has been charged' as the police haven't named them.)

wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 15:05:51

md I imagine he may have given her up, or possibly the police have been able to trace images on his computer back to her's iyswim.

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 15:07:45

Actually, backtracking slightly, I don't think the police did officially give out her name - journalists may have heard it from parents or from a police officer rather than the force's press officer.

ginormoboobs Wed 10-Jun-09 15:08:04 rticle.html

Sorry if this has already been posted. It gives details of exactly what she has been charged with. Sickening stuff

mayorquimby Wed 10-Jun-09 15:11:01

agreed although i don't think they should be named unless convicted because unfortunately mud sticks.

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 15:11:35

Police info is a bit confused but seems the woman has been charged with two counts of sexual assault by penetration, two counts of sexual assault by touching, and one count each of making, possessing and distributing indecent images. shock

The man involved has been charged with possessing possessing and distributing indecent images.

The charges relate to images recovered from a computer, mobile phones and other items of software.

Seems the police tracked her from the images. She's due at the magistrates tomorrow, the man was due before different magistrates (he's in Littleborough yesterday, no word on what happened to him yet.

wannaBe Wed 10-Jun-09 15:13:52

so the one count each of making, distributing and possessing images, could they relate to several images? or could there be more charges to come.

I thought that when people were charged in connection with images, each image was a separate charge.

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