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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I committed a breach of peace and my sentence was deferred.

Resolved Question:

I committed a breach of peace and my sentence was deferred. The local newspaper reported on my case, mentioning my whole name, age and even my new address. This article is behind paywall so it can not easily be accessed. But the article was copied and pasted into a public forum.
This could cause potential problems with my employer, let alone that I feel unsafe with my personal data being published like this and turning out in every search engine.
What are my rights to privacy:
1. Specifically: can I demand the forum admins to anonymise the article or to take it down?
2. Generally: what are my general rights to privacy considering newspaper reports?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Do you accept the article was true in that it reported what happened in court please?

Hi Alex, overall the article reported facts mentioned in court. And it is not the first article that mentioned my case. As the articles usually disappear behind a paywall, I am less worried about them. I am rather worried that the article was quoted verbatim in a public forum when my current colleagues, editors-in-chief, etc. can see them. (I work as a self-employed journalist.)


Usually editors-in-chief etc. google my name to find examples of my work. And when this article copied into the forum shows up, they most likely will not ask me to work with them. The judge said the deferred sentence is on the one hand a sign of approval that I already made first right steps, on the other hand it gives me a chance to "get my life together". This is difficult, however, if through this kind of forum entrances I cannot continue/go back to my work as usual.

Alex Watts : It's bad news. Court proceedings are in public and as such reporters are entitled to report what was said. But it must be accurate.
Alex Watts : reporters can give your name and street name
Alex Watts : Sadly you can't stop them reporting.
Alex Watts : The only people that can stop reporting is the court, they can make a press direction
Alex Watts : But it's a public arena and proceedings. That means you can't stop what is being reported.
Alex Watts : as long as it's factually accurate, ie reported what was said in the court there is nothing you can do.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Yes, I do understand that the journalists have the right to report. But as stated, my question pertained to a public forum, not a journalistic entity. The article was quoted in the forum, verbatim. Which rights to privacy do I have: can I ask the forum admin to anonymise the article, for instance?

Alex Watts : sadly not. There is a right to private and family life but this right is qualified
Alex Watts : In any event as long as what is said is true, there is nothing you can do to have it removed. It's accurate and factual.
Alex Watts : If it was untrue or defamed you then you may have a claim,
Alex Watts : But if it's just about what happened and accurate then you no right to hAve it removed.
Alex Watts : I am sorry

Who is supposed to contact the court regarding preventing the reporting? Should I talk to a solicitor regarding this? And which area of law would this pertain to, media law?

Alex Watts : You can request this but it won't be granted, it is usually only in children or serious cases such as rape.
Alex Watts : A criminal solicitor can deal with this.
Alex Watts : does that help?

Yes. Does the situation change once the six months-deferral is over and I have met all the expectations? Is this legally similar to "conviction spent" and allows me protect my privacy in a different way?

Alex Watts : No sadly not. It is a matter of public record what happened
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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