19 Jul PCC Complaint. The Daily Mail, 19th July 2011
"Girl killed by her psychotic mother hours after health workers said she was safe at home", the Daily Mail, 19-07-11
I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article which is still available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016137/Sonia-Bellfield-kills-daughter-Jasmine-2-hours-health-workers-say-safe.html
I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the Leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), a UK political party, of P.O.Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 9BN. For the purposes of correspondence, please use my personal address as below.
1. This article breaches the Editors' Code Of Practice clause 1.i) in that it publishes inaccurate, misleading and distorted information.
2. It also breaches clause 1.iii) in that it fails to distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
3. The article is presented as a news story, not an opinion piece. It should therefore be concerned only with facts – unless comment or conjecture is clearly distinguished.
4. In the sixth paragraph, the article states "Bellfield, 31, had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, attributed to cannabis, which she began using in childhood".
This is inaccurate, misleading and distorted information which is presented as fact when it is clearly conjecture. It is a grossly irresponsible, sensationalist and misleading statement when there is a clear consensus amongst scientists that there is no proven causal link between cannabis use and schizophrenia.
I would be grateful if you would deal with this complaint at your earliest convenience. I shall be happy to provide any further information required or to give oral evidence in support.