The BBC Asian Network’s Head of News, Arif Ansari has been cleared after revealing the identity of a Rotherham sexual abuse victim live on-air.
It was back in February 2018 that that the reporter Rickin Majithia read the full name of a victim in a live broadcast outside Sheffield crown court. Ansari was the editor of the radio show, who is believed to have sent the script out to Majithia.
Ansari was charged for breaching the Sexual Offences Act 1992. He had denied the charge. Ansari was found not guilty in the two-day trial, which concluded today at Sheffield magistrates’ court.
As cited in the Guardian, Ansari said, “I trusted his journalism. He was a good journalist. This was not a complex legal issue. This is what journalists are taught at journalism school. It just struck me as 100% accurate. Rickin was a senior journalist. He had a background, professional relationship with the victim in question. I didn’t. I had never met her. Furthermore, I knew that he knew that he could not name her, use her real name. Put all these factors together, it did not occur to me that this [script] could be wrong.”
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