South West Wales

Pembrokeshire Herald editor fined £500 over youth court report

Thomas Sinclair
Image caption Mr Sinclair said it was in the public interest to name the youth

A newspaper editor has been fined £500 for naming a youth in a court case, but has said it was "a small price to pay".

Thomas Sinclair, 37, pleaded guilty to breaching the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 when he appeared at Llanelli Magistrates' Court.

He named a youth in a court report in the Pembrokeshire Herald earlier this year.

Speaking after the case, Mr Sinclair said his newspaper had to "push the boundaries on what can be reported".

Mathew Paul, defending, said the youth in question was only a matter of weeks from his 18th birthday and that the Port of Milford Haven was also guilty of breaching the act for publishing the place of the youth's work in a press release.

Image copyright Pembrokeshire Herald/Twitter

Judge Neil Thomas told Mr Sinclair the whole point of the youth court was to ensure young people could be dealt with privately, and that it was no mitigation to say that others had offended.

Speaking in a Pembrokeshire Herald article after the case, Mr Sinclair, of Milford Haven, said: "I fully respect that reporting restrictions are in place to protect the vulnerable, but this is not one of those cases.

"The decision by the CPS to bring this case to court genuinely baffled me."

He added: "We have to, as a newspaper push the boundaries on what can be reported, a free and fair press is the cornerstone of democracy.

"£500 is a small price to pay for the truth."

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