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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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You may be aware that the Watford Observer publishes court

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You may be aware that the Watford Observer publishes court reports weekly for Watford and St Albans courts. To save considerable embarrassment is it possible for a guilty plea to be heard at another magistrates court which would not be published in the local paper and do I have the right to insist on this. I obviously can ask but would it be viewed sympathetically It seems the policy of the Watford Observer to publish these reports so I don't think they would decline to publish

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

On what basis please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If you mean what is the charge it is indecent images (child) on my computer and possibly sending such images to others but I'm not sure about the latter

No, sorry, I meant what was the basis of your application.

The short answer is bad news. I'm afraid you have no realistic basis for this application.

You cannot move cases to avoid the attentions of the press. There is an application that can be made to transfer cases out of a local area but that can only be made where a person is contesting the matter and there is good credible evidence that a local jury cannot deal with the matter without prejudice. I have only ever succeeded at that once and that case involved a person who had rather stupidly been on local radio shows talking about his offences.

Similarly there is an application that you can make to restrict the press but you have to show that your life is literally in danger. A good example would be that the tabloid press are inciting a mob to attend at your house and take revenge. That is very rare and its not what you are raising here. You would just prefer that this embarrassing situation was not reported which is understandable but not the basis of an application.

I'm afraid that the freedom of the press is a really hallowed part of our constitution and courts very rarely interfere with it.

I'm very sorry but thats your position I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your prompt answer. I was really clutching at straws but you can imagine my predicament really just caused by curiosity. Good service

Yes, I understand.

The truth is that there is a difference between a free press which sheds light upon Government corruption and the type of sensationalised tabloid interest in offences that we have.

Unfortunately though, suppressing the tabloids leads to suppression of positives of a free press as well.

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