By Dominic Ponsford
The Crown Prosecution Service bungled its case against The Sun for
contempt of court after getting the name of the paper’s publisher wrong.
Cambridgeshire Police brought the action after the paper inadvertently named the victim of a sexual offence.
newspaper made the error last year in a piece about a woman police
officer which revealed she had previously made a complaint of sexual
However, the prosecution under the Sexual Offences
Amendment Act fell down after the Crown Prosecution Service named News
International as The Sun’s owner.
Lawyers for The Sun were able
to argue successfully in court that The Sun and News of the World are
published by News Group Newspapers.
Legal manager Tom Crone
pointed out that News Group Newspapers is clearly named as the
publisher on the imprint on the back page of the offending issue.
He said: “Legal liability has to be with the company which is the actual publisher.
was a pretty dumb mistake for the prosecutors to make since contempt of
court has to be given the OK of the attorney general and he has
prosecuted us before as News Group.
“News International is a
holding company. In the company tree it is about four above News Group
Newspapers and right at the top you have News Corporation.”
Magistrates dismissed the case and awarded costs to The Sun.