Britain’s biggest-selling tabloid has named and pictured the teenager accused of stabbing his teacher.
Vincent Uzomah, 50, was stabbed at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford on Thursday morning as he began a science lesson near the start of the school day.
Dramatic footage emerged apparently showing a teenager being arrested for the attack. While The Mirror published the footage without naming and blurred his face, The Sun decided to name him and show the footage, unedited.
The press are usually reluctant to name children arrested and laws prevent their identification in reports of court proceedings they take part in. The Sun’s move was called “dodgy” by a rival journalist, The Guardian’s Helen Pidd.
V dodgy: the Sun names & pictures boy, 14, suspected of stabbing teacher - they did the same with Ann Maguire killer post-arrest, pre-charge— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) June 11, 2015
A legal loophole means that while you can't name a child suspect post-charge you can, post-arrest. Doesn't mean you should.— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) June 11, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
But journalist and media commentator David Banks defended The Sun, saying the law did not prevent naming, while the paper could also argue identifying the young suspect was in the public interest.
@helenpidd not against the law until he appears in youth court. As for ethics, they would argue in public interest to ID— David Banks (@DBanksy) June 11, 2015
Last year, The Sun was also the only paper to name Will Cornick, the then-16-year-old who stood accused of fatally stabbing his teacher Ann Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Leeds, less than 20 miles away from Dixon Kings.
He was only named by the rest of the press after the restrictions on doing so were lifted after he was convicted of murder and sentenced.
Mr Banks added that Ipso, the new press regulator, could take a different view on the “public interest” of naming the child.
@helenpidd IPSO might view it differently to PCC last year, if there is a complaint of course— David Banks (@DBanksy) June 11, 2015
Mr Uzomah was taken to hospital and was in a stable, non-life threatening condition. A 14-year-old boy was charged on Friday evening with his attempted murder.
Another pupil at the school, 15, said the stabbing happened just after the teacher confiscated someone's phone, according to The Mirror.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson said children in the classroom had "potentially witnessed something horrendous".
He said: "There were a number of pupils who witnessed this incident, which took place in a classroom, and they are currently liaising with our specially trained officers who are obviously supporting them at this difficult time.
"This is believed to be an isolated incident and the police are continuing inquiries to establish the facts.
"I would like to reassure residents and staff that all necessary resources are being deployed to investigate this ongoing and clearly serious incident."
Mr Atkinson added: "We're speaking with the pupils there to see what they actually saw.
"We've got a welfare issue to make sure we manage as well since they potentially witnessed something horrendous."
Nick Weller, the executive principal of the Dixons Academy group, which runs the school, said: "It happened right at the beginning of the school day and there were some students who witnessed it. A few students witnessed it - in a classroom.
"Those students have been interviewed by the police. Obviously, it's a very shocking thing for them to see. The general atmosphere in the school is very calm, quite orderly, we're trying to keep to normal routines as much as possible."