Police urge media not to identify child arrested over knife killing of teacher

The Sun remains the only major media outlet to have named the schoolboy alleged to have stabbed teacher Ann Maguire in Leeds.

Despite West Yorkshire Police issuing a statement yesterday saying that his identity should not be revealed, The Sun named him in both yesterday and today’s paper.

No other newspaper or major media outlet has named the boy, although a number of details which could lead to his identity have been released.

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He has also been widely named on social media.

The Sun said in a statement today: "The Sun was within its legal right to name the suspect in the Leeds case and felt it was a matter of public interest. We remain committed to informing our readers of the whole story where we are free to do so."

Yesterday, West Yorkshire Police tweeted:

But media law expert Cleland Thom challenged the force over its guidance.

Writing for Press Gazette, he said that the boy can be named, thanks to a legal loophole, between his arrest and the first court proceedings.

Thom wrote: “The boy only receives legal anonymity under the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933 once youth court proceedings start.

“Legally, there’s a loophole. He can be safely named up to that point.”

Meanwhile, he said, the Press Complaints Commission Code states that under-16s allegedly involved in crimes should not be named except in cases of “exceptional” public interest.

He said: “In the case of the Leeds schoolboy, I would say that there is exceptional public interest. It was a notorious crime, and raises broader issues about the safety of teachers in schools.”



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