Reporting Restrictions: Sexual Offences

AuthorVanessa Bettinson,Alisdair A. Gillespie
Date01 June 2006
Publication Date01 June 2006
SubjectCourt of Appeal
were no doubt the subject of cross-examination and which the jury
would have been able to take into account in reaching its verdict.
Unfortunately, the reported facts do not make clear whether or not
the identity of the third person had been established. It is submitted, on
the basis that the circumstances of the present case should not have been
characterised as a dispute as to presence, that if the identities of the co-
accused and the third person were known, there would be no forensic
purpose served by conducting an identif‌ication procedure. If the identity
of the third person had not been ascertained then a procedure might
have been relevant. For a more detailed discussion of the issues see
A. Roberts, Questions of Who Was There? and Who Did What?: The
Application of Code D When a Suspect Disputes Participation But Not
Presence [2003] Crim LR 70916.
Andrew Roberts
Reporting Restrictions: Sexual Offences
R vTeeside Crown Court, ex p. Gazette Media Co. Ltd [2005]
EWCA Crim 1983
Both S and L pleaded guilty to several offences contrary to s. 1 of the
Protection of Children Act 1978 including making or distributing in-
decent photographs of children, and both were convicted of conspiracy
to rape on 18 February 2005. The trial judge had imposed an order
under s. 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 restricting the
publicity that could be given to this case. The s. 39 order referred only to
the offences under s. 1 of the 1978 Act as the conspiracy to rape was
subject to automatic restrictions under s. 1(2) of the Sexual Offences
(Amendment) Act 1992. The s. 39 order was made in the following
No reporting of any proceedings in respect of R v S and L. No identif‌ication of the
defendant S by name or otherwise the nature of the case against him the
identif‌ication of the alleged victim her age place of abode or any circum-
stances that may lead to her identif‌ication in connection with these pro-
ceedings. (emphasis supplied)
The applicants, all media representatives, asked the judge to amend this
order but he refused and they accordingly petitioned the Court of
Appeal under s. 159 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 for the order to be
quashed. The applicants argued that the prohibition against naming S in
order to protect the interests of the child victim and that the wording
adopted by the trial judge in the s. 39 order went beyond the boundaries
of s. 39 of Children and Young Persons Act 1933. These boundaries had
been expressed by Glidewell LJ in Ex p. Godwin [1992] QB 190 at 196H:
[i]n our view section 39 as a matter of law does not empower a court to
order in terms that the names of defendants be not published.
The Journal of Criminal Law

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