Sky News has been slammed by the family of one of the MH17 victims after reporter Colin Brazier was apparently filmed rifling through the belongings of the dead.
Brazier was seen picking up a set of keys and a toothbrush from an open suitcase at the scene of the crash in Ukraine.
During the segment, which was broadcast on Sunday, Brazier is heard saying: “We shouldn’t really be doing this, I suppose.”
Leeds University student Richard Mayne was one of the 298 people who perished on board the Malaysia Airlines flight when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday.
Speaking from the family home in Leicestershire, his brother Thomas told the Daily Mail: “I think it’s totally out of order. It’s not on.
Leeds University student Richard Mayne died in the crash
“It’s sick and the worst example of news journalism which is sensationalising an appalling human tragedy.
“On behalf of our family, I totally denounce the practice of Sky reporters looking through the victims’ possessions.
“I really hope Richard’s stuff isn’t part of that but it’s really not on. For all the families involved, they really should not be doing it.”
Sky News apologised for the gaffe on Sunday, with a spokesman saying: “Today whilst presenting from the site of the MH17 air crash, Colin Brazier reflected on the human tragedy of the event and showed audiences the content of one of the victims’ bags.
MH17 victim Richard Mayne (pictured right) with his brothers Thomas (left) and William (centre)
“Colin immediately recognised that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin and Sky News apologise profusely for any offence caused.”
On Monday Prime Minister David Cameron also appeared to reference the incident, though he did not name Brazier.
Speaking at the Commons, when Cameron was asked if the media should take care whilst reporting on the tragedy, he replied: “People are leafing through personal belongings in a way that is extremely inappropriate.”
While Cameron insisted it was “mostly separatists” doing this, there “had been occasions where mistakes have been made by members of the press.”
He added: “This is effectively a murder scene.”
Brazier’s actions have so far sparked 110 complaints with TV watchdog Ofcom.
Brazier, a British journalist, is described by Sky News as one of its "most widely travelled" reporters who has previously been honoured for his reporting in Afghanistan.
Sky nominated him for "presenter of the year" in the 2014 Royal Television Society Awards.