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The Sun Newspapers

The Sun fined £3,350 after breaching reporting restrictions in Andrew Partington trial

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

April 8, 2013 | 2 min read

The Sun has been fined £3,350 after breaching reporting restrictions last year in the case of Andrew Partington, who was later convicted and given a 10-year sentence for causing an explosion which killed a two-year-old boy.

Jailed: Andrew Partington, 28, was sentenced to ten years

Details of Partington's first appearance before magistrates were reported in an issue of the paper on 11 September last year, which including details of evidence in the case against him. Journalists are prevented from reporting such details in the early stages of a court case to prevent any risk of prejudice to potential jurors.

District judge Jonathan Taaffe said: "It's in circumstances such as these that it's absolutely necessary for the press to behave responsibly and comply with the law.

"This was at best shoddy journalism and at worst it's an example of sensational reporting in a bid to generate short-term headlines and, no doubt, financial gain."

Penalties imposed by the judge included costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £120 as well as the £3,350 fine. The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, pleaded guilty to charges under Section 52A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Two-year-old Jamie Heaton died in the gas explosion in Oldham in June last year. Partington sawed through gas pipes at his home before sending his ex-girlfriend a text message saying "gas pipe cut, already filled up, boom". The gas was ignited the next day when Partington lit a cigarette, causing the death of the toddler who lived next door.

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