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Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

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Re: Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

Post by preciousramotswe on 23.12.09 20:52

tyra wrote:
badmanners wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:
@DCB1 wrote:Is the "hard cow" photo complaint still outstanding?
You'll have to ask Debbie Butler. I believe details of how to contact her are on her 'Twitter' site: 'IWILLNOTGOAWAY'

It is being claimed on JATYK by someone who appears to know Mike Gunnill that there never was a complaint made about him.
This ruling by the PCC covers both the Star and the 'stalker' front page headline and article by the Sunday Express, so basically the 'hard cow' matter would seem to be at an end. The PCC have rejected the complaint, and that's an end to it.

Did Mike Gunnill not bring a complaint against the Madeleine Foundation for the hacking enterprise?

Well the poster on JATYK claims that Marsden is being pursued in the USA, but I really don't know about that. Gunnill did make a complaint about Butler's behaviour, and a nice policeman was supposed to have had a little chat with her, wasn't he?
I don't think that Gunnill ever filed a complaint against the MF generally, it was Marsden and Butler that he accused of harrassment AFAIK.

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Re: Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

Post by Guest on 23.12.09 23:22

Raffle wrote:So am I right in thinking that the hundreds of thousands of hits was a huge, huge exageration? Could even be seen as a lie.

Oh, you cannot say it was a lie.

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Re: Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

Post by DCB1 on 24.12.09 14:23

THE COMPLAINT

The complaint to the Press Complaints Commission was set out as follows:

From: Tony Bennett
To: Press Complaints Commission
Wednesday 19 August 2009

Dear Sir, I act for Miss Debbie Butler in the matter of her formal complaint to you about the contents of Sunday's front-page article: "The McCanns' Stalker". This is a complaint under the Press Complaints Commission code and a copy is being sent to Scott Langham at the Press Complaints Commission for immediate action.

A summary of Miss Butler's complaints is as follows: The 'Sunday Express', like all other newspapers, has a duty under the Press Complaints Code to be fair and accurate. Against those benchmarks, here are the complaints about the Sunday Express article that Miss Butler now makes.

For the record, her address is [withheld] :

1. Describing Debbie Butler as a 'stalker' in respect of one leaflet drop in Rothley and nothing else was neither fair nor accurate. Making it a front-page leaflet with a picture clearly exposes her to risk of unfair attack. What she has done is distribute a factual leaflet. There is absolutely no course of conduct by her in relation to the McCanns that could remotely be described as 'stalking'.

2. Describing '10 Reasons' as a 'hate leaflet' (one villager was quoted as saying the leaflet was 'drumming up hate' and the 'Sunday Express' described it as 'highly inflammatory') was grossly unfair and grossly inaccurate, especially as the 'Sunday Express' did not explain the contents of the leaflet

3. The 'Sunday Express' deliberately chose the worst photograph they could take of her to portray her as 'a hard cow', which she was not. That was manifestly unfair

4. Neither Debbie Butler nor anyone else in the Madeleine Foundation sent a leaflet to Brian and Janet Kennedy. We do not know where she lives. This was therefore inaccurate.

5. It was not a 'late-night' leaflet drop. It took place between 3pm and 6pm. That was also therefore inaccurate.

6. The leaflet drop did not involve 10 people, it involved 3. That was also inaccurate.

7. Dr Gerald McCann was allowed to get away with describing the leaflet as 'despicable lies'. The 'Sunday Express' made no attempt to inform its readers that the content of the leaflet was the truth and that the McCanns had never rebutted any of the claims made in either '60 Reasons' or '10 Reasons'. This was grossly unfair and inaccurate. The leaflet was not 'lies' nor 'despicable lies'. It was the truth.

8. Debbie Butler was described in the 'Sunday Express' article as 'a single parent family with two children'. A more accurate description would have been 'a successful Kent businesswoman' - a fact which the reporter was made well aware of. The mere description of her as 'single parent' was unfair.

As remedies, Debbie Butler seeks:

1. A full retraction on the 'Sunday Express' front page of the description of her as 'The McCanns' Stalker'

2. A fulsome apology.

3, A payment of compensation which she tells me, if awarded, she would like to be paid in full to ChildLine.

Yours sincerely
Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation

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Re: Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

Post by DCB1 on 24.12.09 14:31

SECOND COMPLAINT TO THE PRESS COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

From: Tony Bennett
To: Press Complaints Commission
Thursday 20 August 2009

Dear Sir,I make an additional complaint about the ‘Sunday Express’ as a result of the undertmentioned events which took place yesterday.

A 'Sunday Express' journalist telephoned Debbie's ex-husband and under false pretences obtained his address. He was then door-stepped.

The journalist then fired a series of questions at him, like: "Do you have a comment to make on your ex-wife stalking the McCanns?" "Is she mentally stable?" "Aren't you worried about the childrens' welfare?" etc. etc.

Debbie is on cordial terms with her ex-husband who helps out with child care and odd jobs that need doing in the house etc. He has computer/I.T. expertise and helps out with that when needed. I'm told by Debbie that her ex-husband basically said he did not want to get involved in talking to the press and was not willing to give a view on what really happened to Madeleine McCann.

However, he did say a couple of things to the journalist, and I note them here for the record..

Debbie's ex-husband asked why they had printed such a bad picture of Debbie in the 'Sunday Express' and why they had apparently chosen the worst one. The answer from the journalist, verbatim, was: "The editor told me he wanted her portrayed as a hard cow".

Asked about Debbie's campaign about Madeleine and his views on it, he said: "I will say this. Her father is a policeman and if she says anything, she gives you the facts; that's the way she was brought up".

It was the 'Sunday Express' who led with a front-page headline: 'The McCanns' Stalker' and of course its sister paper 'The Star' who branded the Madeleine Foundation leafleters in Leicestershire as 'sickos'.

The 'Sunday Express' is clearly putting resources into planning a further personal attack on Debbie.

Yours sincerely
Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation

CORRESPONDENCE WITH Sxxxxxx Rxxxxxx, NEWS EDITOR, SUNDAY EXPRESS

From Tony Bennett, 19 August 2009

Dear Mr xxxxx, Thank you for having a word just now. You informed me that Martin Townsend, the News Editor was currently away on holiday and that you were now in sole charge of editing the newspaper in his absence. Please see this complaint which we tried to forward to the Sunday Express last night. I should be glad if you could inform me as soon as possible what action you propose to take in response to Debbie Butler's complaint against you. The Press Complaints Commission has already been informed.

Sincerely
Tony Bennett for Debbie Butler

From Sxxxxx Rxxxxx, News Editor, Sunday Express,
20 August 2009

Dear Mr Bennett, Thank you for your correspondence, it has been forwarded to our legal department who will deal only through the PCC.

Sxxxxxx Rxxxxx
News Editor Sunday Express
xxxxxxxxx@express.co.uk

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Re: Daily Star justified in calling Rothley leaflet distributors 'sickos' - Press Complaints Commission decision

Post by Guest on 24.12.09 18:21

?????

First complaint
From: Tony Bennett To: Press Complaints Commission
Wednesday 19 August 2009

---
Second/additional complaint
From: Tony Bennett To: Press Complaints Commission
Thursday 20 August 2009 "events which took place yesterday - hard cow face"

---
email to Sunday Express 19 August 2009 "see this complaint which we tried to forward to the Sunday Express last night"
email reply from Sunday Express 20 August 2009 "the legal department will deal with it through the PCC"


I don't get it. It looks as if the "hard cow face" complaint wasn't forwarded to the Sunday Express. Was it really sent to the PCC?
Or was it a draft? Perhaps Mr Bennett can answer that question?

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