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Anne Diamond Tells The Leveson Inquiry She Was Beseiged By Press After Son's Cot Death

29/11/2011 10:08 | Updated 22 May 2015
Anne DiamondPA

Anne Diamond told the Leveson inquiry yesterday that she was photographed with a long lens at the funeral of her baby son, Sebastian.

Anne and her former husband Mike Hollingsworth lost baby Sebastian to cot death in 1991, and were, she told the inquiry, 'besieged by reporters and photographers" within an hour of his passing.

She also told the hearing how she had "needed" her priest to come and see her, and later learned that he had turned up at the house but was put off by all the press camped outside.

She said:"I rang my local church as well that morning to ask for a priest to come and he never materialised and... which was terrible for us at the time because we needed him, and I got a letter from him a couple of days later saying that he felt deeply ashamed, but when he'd got our call, he'd come around to our house and was so put off by the army of press photographers and reporters outside that he had decided to go away again. He just couldn't brave them."

Miss Diamond said The Sun published a front page photograph of her and husband holding Sebastian's coffin, despite her writing to every Fleet Street editor asking them to stay away from the funeral.

Miss Diamond later worked with the newspaper on an awareness campaign for cot death. She said her first reaction was to decline, but was told the campaign would go ahead anyway, and she would look bad if she were not behind it. She said she felt: "Emotionally blackmailed by the people who I felt had just trampled all over our dignity, all over our child's grave."

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