26.4.04

Snapper in court for prison pics

David McGee, the News of the World reporter who managed to get himself a job as a prison warder at Woodhill high security prison in Buckinghamshire where he took undercover photographs of Soham murderer Ian Huntley, is up in front of Milton Keynes magistrates today.

McGee's exposee caused outrage after he showed how easy it was to get a job in a prison and look after high risk prisoners such as Huntley.

He was subsequently charged on two counts under section 41 of the 1952 Prison Act.

It will be interesting to see if the charges - which McGee denies - are upheld and the case proceeds. There is a public interest and accompanying line of argument in defence for such undercover journalism. In this case it exposed just how easy it was to get a job in the prison and how slack security checks were.

In a similar case last year, Mirror reporter Ryan Parry got a job as a footman in the royal household. His exposee ended with legal action for breach of confidence and the recent announcement about tightening up of security checks on royal staff.

Both won awards at this year's British Press Awards

More HERE and HERE

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