2.4.04

PCC slams Closer over picture payment

The celebrity magazine ran a story about Louise Woodward who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the US after shaking a baby while working as a nanny. Captioned as "I want to be a lawyer to help people" the article was looking at how Ms Woodward has been turning her life around since her conviction. Rather than take a photograph from a news archive they paid her boyfriend for a recent piccy.

This of course contravenes the PCC code on payments for stories or pictures to confessed criminals or their associates. The PCC ruled that this was indeed a breach even though it was the boyfirend who got the cash. PCC ruling here

This ruling is an interesting contrast to a previous complaint against the Daily Mail which in 1998 had apparently paid Ms Woodward's parents a whopping 40,000 pounds towards their legal fund and for their story. In that case the PCC didn't uphold the complaint as there had been "a clear public interest in questioning the murder conviction".

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