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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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When I was 16 years old i was assaulted by an ex-boyfriend

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When I was 16 years old i was assaulted by an ex-boyfriend and this case was taken to Northamptonshire County Court. During the court case the defense brought up the fact that I had a pregnancy termination sometime prior to this assault. This was brought up as mitigation for the assault. He was found quilty and sentenced to three months in prision. The local paper reported this, if I remember correctly, on an early page of the paper. The assault i received from him wasn't an isolated event and I had no support from any friends or family at this time. I am now so it has been quite a long time, however this newspaper article did have a profound detrimental effect on my life. Would I have any legal claim from this local newspaper after such a long time?
My name isXXXXX and I'm happy to help with your question today.

It is right to say that you can make a claim against a newspaper for libel if they have printed something which is inaccurate.

However, the time limit to make a claim is 12 months. If the newspaper report was more than 12 months ago you will not be able to make a claim now.

Also you have establish that the report was wrong. If they were simply reporting something said in court then you would not have a claim so long as the article fairly reported what was discussed.

I hope this helps you to understand the position a little better.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is everything said in Crown Court in the public domain,however vulnerable the victim is? Would this have been different if I had been 15 years old?


Many thanks

No, not all hearings are in public. If the Court is dealing with a 15 or 16 year old person, Judge can make a reporting condition which limits publicity about the case. Generally the identity of the parties is kept anonymous if a reporting condition is made.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just one last thing, if there was a reporting condition and my full details were published, would I have any recourse?

Breach of the reporting condition is contempt of court - so the court could take action. Its impossible to say whether you would have a claim but failing to comply with the court order is a criminal offence.
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