Chris Jefferies: Criminal suspects should not be named - Press Gazette

Chris Jefferies: Criminal suspects should not be named

The retired teacher wrongly arrested over the killing of landscape architect Joanna Yeates raised concerns yesterday about details of crime suspects being released, as police confirmed the name of a man held in the April Jones abduction inquiry.

Chris Jefferies, who was awarded "substantial" libel damages from eight newspapers last year after a series of allegations were made against him over the Bristol murder, suggested personal details should be "kept private" if a suspect has not been charged.

Coverage about his case also led to two newspapers – The Sun and Daily Mirror – being fined for contempt of court.

The Daily Mirror was fined £50,000 and The Sun £18,000 after the Divisional Court – Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Owen – found that articles in the Daily Mirror on December 31 2010, and January 1 2011, and in The Sun on January 1, 2011, were contempt and breached the strict liability rule.

Jefferies raised his concerns  when he was asked about the decision by several national newspapers to publish Mark Bridger's photograph on their front pages, saying it was "absolutely" what had happened in his case.

Dyfed Powys Police confirmed Bridger's identity yesterday and released their own picture to end speculation, but stressed that he was only one of several lines of inquiry.

Jefferies made his comment after a meeting with Labour leader Ed Miliband as part of the Hacked Off campaign for press reform.

He said: "It should be standard practice that until somebody has been charged with an offence they have their personal details kept private."

Five-year-old April was abducted from the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth at around 7pm on Monday.