Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

David Dinsmore, former Sun editor guilty of breaching Sexual Offences Act

We are extremely pleased to see that David Dinsmore, former editor of the Sun has been found guilty of breaching the Sexual Offences Act for publishing a picture of the victim of Adam Johnson that made her identifiable to people on her Facebook despite her face being pixelated. Since the inception of this campaign, we have seen far too many journalists and media platforms flouting the law by live-tweeting trials with information that identifies the victim (we're looking at you here Sky) and publishing photos taken without permission from social media (the Daily Mail being as culpable as the Sun here).

The Sexual Offences Act is very clear that victims of sexualised violence are guaranteed anonymity for life. Using images from the victim's social media or tweeting personal information needs to be tackled far more robustly. We would like to see more prosecutions and stronger consequences for media. £1000 compensation is nothing to a man as wealthy as Dinsmore.

This is the official statement from the Durham Constabulary:

​THE former Editor of the Sun newspaper has been convicted of breaching the Sexual Offences Act after the paper printed a photograph of Adam Johnson’s teenage victim.

Durham Constabulary launched a prosecution against former Sun Editor David Dinsmore after the newspaper published a photograph of the girl following the former Sunderland and England player’s arrest last year.

Today, Monday, March 7, Dinsmore was found guilty of breaching the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 following a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London.

Under the act, victims are granted life-long anonymity.

The press are prohibited from publishing the name, address, place of work or education or any image of the victim, or any other details that might lead to their identification.

Det Insp Aelfwynn Sampson, of Durham Constabulary, said: “We are delighted with today’s result.

“What Dinsmore did in the Sun was legally and morally wrong.

“As a victim of a sexual offence, the identity of this child should have been protected. Instead her picture, although pixelated, was plastered across a national tabloid.

“She was not fair game, she was a child who was groomed by a person in power for his own sexual gratification.

“I hope today’s result serves as reminder that anyone who identifies someone who may or may not be a victim of a sexual offence is committing a criminal act and we will take robust action.”

Dinsmore was ordered to pay £1,300 costs and £1,000 compensation.

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