News: challenged S39 order
It was The News, Portsmouth, which enabled readers to learn the name of the teenage girl whose 124 previous convictions earned her the tag "child from hell" from police.
Reporting restrictions on naming 16-year-old Maxine Jeans were lifted when she was the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning her from the Cosham High Street area of the city.
News court reporter Zoe Catchpole had put in a note to district judge Lorraine Morgan asking her to lift a Section 39 Order, imposed at an earlier hearing, which prevented Jeans from being identified.
But it was clear, Catchpole told Press Gazette, that her request would not be complied with unless Jeans was placed under an ASBO.
When the order was granted, the police also applied for the restriction on naming the girl to be rescinded.
The judge agreed, saying it was in the interest of the public for the identification order to be lifted and that it would help the police do their job.
The police had characterised Jeans as "the most violent offender" in Portsmouth. Her career in crime, which began at 11, included 38 convictions for assault on the police, shoplifting, arson, criminal damage, theft, racial harassment and witness intimidation. The police said they had been unable to control her and Catchpole said that, even after the latest punishment was imposed, she had to be escorted from the court.
The News sought advice from the Newspaper Society before making its challenge and quoted from the NS and Society of Editors’ booklet Reporting Restrictions in Magistrates’ Courts.
By Jean Morgan