Tuesday, 18 August 2009

"It wasn't me, it was the other three!"

Claims back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin smuggled his memoirs out of jail using a rule allowing correspondence with lawyers are to be investigated.

What's this got to do with the Sun? Well, the Sun serialised them.

Christopher Hutchings, a media lawyer told the BBC there was currently no law that prevented criminals selling their stories.

"However, the Press Complaints Commission, which governs the newspaper and magazine industry, does have in its code of practice provision preventing such a situation," he said.

Very true. Item 16, part i) of the PCC code states...
Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.

The Sun received the memoirs through Darwins' lawyer. Only Darwins' lawyer wasn't a lawyer but a fraudster and they both then abused the rule allowing confidential correspondence between lawyer and client.

This arrangement is used to lovely effect by the Sun to deflect the attention of breaking the PPC code of conduct back on to the Ministry of Justice...
However, the Sun claims, the Prison Service failed to carry out basic checks which would have revealed that Darwin's new "lawyer" was really a conman who was freed on licence earlier this year.

I've seen an attitude like that before. Now where was it...?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

News Corp newspapers breaking the law? Who woulda thought it? Question is, why do they get away with it? Sad thing is, we all know the answer to that one.