A MAN who was banned from Abingdon after stalking a 15-year-old girl was yesterday cleared of breaching an order that banned the publication of her name yesterday.
Roland Der of Old Dairy Close, Swindon, denied breaching a Section 39 order after it was alleged he published his teenage victim’s name on the Oxford Mail Facebook feed with the news article about the court case on August 13.
Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard that the name was visible for 20 minutes and Der was cleared after the short trial yesterday afternoon.
William Chipperfield, prosecuting, said: “He cut and pasted that story from the Oxford Mail website and used the Oxford Mail Facebook stream which is a forum for the readers of the Oxford Mail to post comments. The story itself, because it concerned a young person, did not name that person.
“However, the cut and paste story on the Oxford Mail Facebook stream had the victim’s name added on the end. The Crown says that was a breach of an order of this court made under Section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.”
The order prevents the publication of information that would lead to the identification of the young person including their name, address or school.
But Ronan McCann, defending, said: “What the terms of the order state are that no newspaper report will carry the details of the relevant individual.
“It has been interpreted to confirm that social media is not covered by the wording of the statute.”
Bench chairman Linda Goffey said: “This is a very difficult situation that is going to come up in relation to social media.
“We feel in this case that Section 39 was not contravened. It was not a newspaper report.”
Der, formally of Swinburne Road, Abingdon, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years at Oxford Crown Court in November for stalking a 15-year-old girl for four months.
The 21-year-old was also banned from Abingdon for two years.