Ofcom has upheld in part a privacy complaint by the sister of Maxine
Carr against ITV Yorkshire’s Calendar News.
Hayley Hodgson, sister of the former girlfriend of Soham Murderer
Ian Huntley, made the complaint against Calendar News after the
programme filmed her attending her mother’s court hearing with her
family in July 2004.
The edition of Calendar News included an item reporting on the
conviction and sentencing of Hodgson and Carr’s mother Shirley Capp for
intimidating a witness during Carr's prosecution.
Hodgson was filmed entering and leaving the court with her husband and
two young children.
The basis of the complaint was that the family had been treated
unfairly and that Calendar News had “unwarrantably infringed” their
Hodgson had asked Ofcom’s Executive Fairness Group to undertake a
review of the body’s initial finding in October 2005 that the complaint
should not be upheld. She argued that it was unfair to show images of
the family when threats had been made to the safety of defendants and
other people associated with the Soham trial.
Ofcom found that the privacy of the Hodgson children was
“unwarrantably infringed” in the programme.
It said: “The programme makers did not sufficiently consider the
vulnerability of the children when they broadcast readily identifiable
images of them without parental consent."
The body described the infringement of privacy as “unwarranted” because
there was “no over-riding public interest in disclosing the identity of
ITV argued that the children wee not the focus of the shot but
were included incidentally and that the Hodgsons did not even try to
hide themselves or their children from the cameras.
The broadcaster also said that if there had an intrusion of privacy,
the inclusion of the shots of the family in the report (including the
children) was in a manner proportionate to a court report and was
warranted as forming part of a report on a matter of important public
However Ofcom did not uphold Hodgson’s complaint of unfair
In it’s report it said: “Mrs Hodgson’s inclusion in the programme and
the programme’s presentation of the footage was fair. The item had
simply explained that Mrs Hodgson was the daughter of Mrs Capp and that
she and her family were at the court to see her mother sentenced.”
The body also found that the report did not infringe the privacy of Mr
and Mrs Hodgson and that their actions were sufficiently in the public
domain to justify Calendar News’ decision to broadcast the footage
without the Hodgson’s consent.