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Sky News Accidentally Names Ched Evans Rape Victim

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CHED EVANS TWITTER SKY NEWS RAPE VICTIM
Ched Evans was found guilty of rape and sentenced to five years in jail | PA

Sky News has come under fire for revealing the name of the woman raped by Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans by accident in a live broadcast.

The news channel published the woman's name when it used an image of Twitter users discussing the case.

At least one of the users whose account was allegedly broadcast on Sky on Monday as naming the woman appears to have since deleted the account.

Sky News confirmed to the Huffington Post UK that it had revealed the name.

A spokesperson said: "In our coverage last night we very briefly revealed the victim’s name despite heavy redaction, and if watching in real-time viewers would not have noticed.

"We would, however, like to apologise to the victim and her family for any distress caused."

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Broadcasters must comply with our rules to protect the privacy of people who appear in their programmes. However, identifying victims of sexual assault is a criminal offence and as such is primarily an issue for the police.”

The North Wales police said that no arrests had so far been made over the leaking of the name via social media sites.

The blunder came on the same day the head of Sky News admitted its journalists used illegal email hacking techniques, and the media regulator Ofcom announced it would investigate the claims.

Meanwhile on Tuesday former executive chairman of BSkyB James Murdoch gave evidence at the Leveson inquiry into press standards.

Murdoch quit his post at BSkyB because he said criticism of his handling of the phone hacking scandal at News International was confusing his work at the broadcaster.

On Monday John Ryley, head of Sky News, told Lord Justice Leveson that its journalists would break the law in pursuit of a story, but said such occasions would be "very, very rare".

The broadcaster said that its actions were in the public interest and amounted to "responsible journalism".

The hacking of emails would theoretically constitute a breach of the Computer Misuse Act, which does not include a public interest defence.

However the Financial Times quoted media lawyer David Allen Green as saying the Crown Prosecution Service would still consider the public interest implications in any decision to prosecute.

Ofcom said it would investigate the "fairness and privacy issues" raised by the incident.

A spokesman said: "Ofcom is investigating the fairness and privacy issues raised by Sky News' statement that it had accessed without prior authorisation private email accounts during the course of its news investigations.

"We will make the outcome known in due course."

Police are currently investigating the many Twitter users who named the victim in the Ched Evans rape trial.

North Wales Police described the alleged comments on Twitter as "profoundly disturbing" and said they contribute to the young woman's "continued trauma".

Rape and other sexual assault victims are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Williams said: "North Wales Police are aware of reports of comments on social media sites and are collating all relevant information which is currently being reviewed."

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