This time Peaches Geldof tweeted the names of the two women who allowed their babies to become victims of Ian Watkins in the Sexual Abuse case being heard in Court.
Contempt of Court is a serious offence.. In April two men were convicted of Contempt of Court
ITV News reports:
Sir John Thomas sitting at the High Court ruled two men were in breach of the injunction stopping the identification of James Bulger’s killers, John Venables and Robert Thompson, and therefore in contempt of court.
Reflecting on the “gravity” of their offence he said they would be given nine months imprisonment but because of mitigating circumstances it would be suspended.
Neil Harkins and Dean Liddle, were accused of breaching the injunction by posting information on Twitter and Facebook.
Only yesterday, it was reported by BBC News that James Baines has been given a suspended sentence because he tweeted a picture of a person who is supposed to have been Jon Venables.
As much as I agreed with the Leveson Inquiry and the Report… and how there should be a proper code of conduct with regards to how journalists operate.. I don’t think the Leveson Inquiry went far enough.
I know that many journalists have been up in arms about the Leveson Inquiry and its recommendations and how Hacked Off have campaigned for tighter controls… you can tell this in many of their reports.. But I have to say there should be tighter controls and journalists should be held accountable.. but so should people who use social media.
Journalists study Media Law… they have to know the Contempt of Court Act like the back of their hands.. they have to know what they can report and when they can report it. They have to know when strict press restrictions are in place and what those restrictions entail.
People sitting in the dock of the Public Gallery DO NOT know the law inside out.. unlike the journalists and sometimes these people during court recesses.. decide to go and hit twitter and report what they have heard… unbeknown as to whether or not what they are reporting is in breach of the contempt of court act.
And Peaches Geldof is one of those people as she happily tweeted the following (courtesy of Sky News)
Twitter is not used for discussing tea, cakes and crumpet recipes.. It is not used to tell your mates how well your Sweet Peas are blooming this year and how your Granny made your favourite Gingerbread man. It is used by normal people who think they are journalists. It is used by people who don’t give a damn about the law and worst still people who DON’T understand Media Law.
Leveson in all fairness should have covered Social Media and recommendations should have been put in place… to protect people from being named.
Press restrictions are there for a reason.. new identities given are done so for a reason.. and one of those reasons is lynch-mob mentality. The tragic case of Bijan Ebrahimi just shows how lynch mobs work in real life.. this poor man was murdered in a very sadistic way just because he took photos of children who were damaging his plants. His crime was to run indoors after taking the photos.
Three days before his death, the Police arrived at Mr Ebrahimi’s home and arrested him for breach of the peace.. one eyewitness stated:
“An eyewitness told PC Winter, ‘Everyone seemed to be out of control. It was like they were a posse or a vigilante group or a witch hunt’.”
And three days later he was dead… all because of vigilante action. This is what vigilantes do .. this is what witch-hunts are all about… and on a certain tag on twitter there is nothing but a witch-hunt going on against a family of a missing child.. with marches being planned, threats to go carol singing outside their home, where they will change the lyrics to accuse this family of killing their child and all this done on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Did Leveson go far enough?.. most certainly NOT.