Trainee's challenge sees teen rapists named - Press Gazette

Trainee's challenge sees teen rapists named

A trainee reporter with the Croydon Guardian persuaded a judge to lift a Section 39 order which had banned the press from identifying two rapists.

Graham Moody, who has been working at the paper for less than a year, impressed Judge Stephen Waller with a letter he wrote to the court asking for the identification ban to be lifted.

Kersley McDermott, 18, of Goulden House, Bullen Street, Battersea, and Curtis Clinton, 17, of Upton Road, Thornton Heath, were found guilty on two counts of raping a disabled woman in an alleyway.

But the press was banned from identifying them when a section 39 order was imposed at the beginning of a trial at Croydon Crown Court earlier this month.

A third teenager, Ashley Mitchell, 19, also of Upton Road, had previously been named in court.

Judge Waller lifted the ban on identifying Clinton and McDermott after a letter was sent to him by the Croydon Guardian – he also conceded that the ban on identifying McDermott had been an error as he was over the age of 18.

Judge Waller said: “There is now a legitimate public interest as a deterrent effect.

“Mr Clinton has had the benefit of anonymity during the trial but he has now been convicted and the situation has changed.”

The judge added that he had, received a “persuasive” letter from Mr Moody.

The trio were remanded in custody for reports to be prepared. They are due to be sentenced on October 5.

Croydon Guardian assistant editor Danny Brierley said: “Graham put forward a persuasive argument in what was only his first attempt at covering a Crown Court trial. It just goes to show that it is always worth challenging courts.”