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Brenda Leyland and the inquest

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 19 Feb - 18:48

Hello interested,here is the right link: http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/sky-news-may-face-demand-inquest-reveal-source-story-about-twitter-troll




"Sky News may face demand at inquest to reveal source of story about Twitter troll
PA Media Lawyer
19 February 2015



A journalist may face a demand to disclose his source over a story about a woman who posted abusive tweets about the parents of missing Madeleine McCann - and was later found dead after being unmasked.

Sky News journalist Martin Brunt has been called to give evidence at the inquest next month into the death last October of 63-year-old mother-of-two Brenda Leyland.

Leyland, of Burton Overy, Leicestershire, was found dead in a hotel room three days after she was confronted as part of an expose by Brunt and Sky News of a vitriolic online campaign against Kate and Gerry McCann, whose three-year-old daughter, Madeleine, vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

It was reported at the time that Leyland, using the Twitter handle @sweepyface, had posted thousands of tweets about the McCanns, describing them as the "worst of humankind".

The Times reports that Leicestershire police has written to Sky News on behalf of Coroner Catherine Mason, asking a series of questions including the identity of the person who was behind the dossier of tweets.

Sky News has said that it will protect its source, and has refused to disclose it to the police, arguing that its rights are protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Brunt and Jonathan Levy, director of news gathering and operations at Sky News, are expected to be called to testify at the inquest on 20 March.

Coroners were given new powers to question witnesses in new rules issued 18 months ago, and under Schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Should she do so, Brunt and Sky News would be able to argue that they did not have to disclose the information because they were protected by section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, which says: "No court may require a person to disclose, nor is any person guilty of contempt of court for refusing to disclose, the source of information contained in a publication for which he is responsible, unless it be established to the satisfaction of the court that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime."

Media law specialist Gavin Millar QC told The Times: "I don't think coroners really understand the limits of their powers in terms of trying to force journalists to reveal their sources. It's a specialist area of law and they are not media lawyers.

"As the investigations of coroners become more forensic and more determined, and they are given extra powers to require information from witnesses, they are going to have to start confronting these issues and acquire some learning about the rights of journalists."

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Thu 19 Feb - 18:48

jeanmonroe wrote:Marky:

What do YOU think the coroner should 'ask about', at BL's inquest?

i can't answer that, because i've not seen the police report, the preliminary or final autopsy report, the deceased's physical or mental medical records or any witness statements. any questions would be subject to the disclosure of the aforementioned by which time it'll be all over.


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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Thu 19 Feb - 18:50

interested wrote:"Sky News may face demand at inquest to reveal source of story about Twitter troll" á........"Leicestershire police has written to Sky News on behalf of Coroner Catherine Mason, asking a series of questions including the identity of the person who was behind the dossier of tweets."

The above is from an article dated 19 February 2015 found in "Press Gazette Journalism Today" www.pressgazette.co.uk-sky-news-may-face-demand-at-inquest-to-reveal-source-of-story-about-Twitter-troll

(Apologize, that's the best I can do with the link; hope someone can find the article.)

still waiting for your answer although i suspect that'll be not forthcoming anytime soon.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Thu 19 Feb - 19:04

interested wrote:
weissnicht wrote:"He said that there had been a drive by the authorities to know journalistic sources, which had previously been "sacrosanct". He added: "Its (sic) almost like they think the media is a fair game, and that's a highly dangerous position."

They seem to forget that media hounded Brenda (fair game?) and now she is dead. Bloody hypocrites. UK media is a f***** joke.




Bloody hypocrites is right. áIn 2007 Martin Brunt reported Kate McCann was going to be charged with Madeleine's "accidental death". áSeven years later he hounded to death Brenda Leyland for her comments about the McCanns.

i ignored this part of your post for very obvious reasons but since you've decided not to respond to a reasonable question...in 2007 martin brunt reported information he had received, which is what reporters do. the second sentence is an opinion i doubt very much you'd be prepared to make either in front of martin brunt or in main stream media print. in the UK we have the toughest libel laws in the world, or to put it in language i hope you can understand, you can say whatever you want but only if you can prove it. in this instance, your ass is fried or rather this forum if someone decides so. most of your posts can be summed up thus...

"rebel yell"


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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 19 Feb - 19:13

"No court may require a person to disclose, nor is any person guilty of contempt of court for refusing to disclose, the source of information contained in a publication for which he is responsible, unless it be established to the satisfaction of the court that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime."

This bit is interesting:

"interest of justice": if the court considers that Brunt went beyond his right, may be they will consider that his source is his accomplice and has to be named.

"prevention of disorder or crime" :if the coroner knows that the source is, for example, very nasty trolls who sent abusive and death threats to B.L, they could want their names áto protect other potential victims.

But THE question is : does the coroner think that Brunt was within his right when he doorstepped B.L?

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Thu 19 Feb - 19:23

frencheuropean wrote:"No court may require a person to disclose, nor is any person guilty of contempt of court for refusing to disclose, the source of information contained in a publication for which he is responsible, unless it be established to the satisfaction of the court that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime."

This bit is interesting:

"interest of justice": if the court considers that Brunt went beyond his right, may be they will consider that his source is his accomplice and has to be named.

"prevention of disorder or crime" :if the coroner knows that the source is, for example, very nasty trolls who sent abusive and death threats to B.L, they could want their names áto protect other potential victims.

But THE question is : does the coroner think that Brunt was within his right when he doorstepped B.L?

hi frenchie, that which you highlighted in red pretty much covers it. of your "interesting bits" number two may be worthy of consideration but given that some on both sides of the fence are just as bad as each other may just cancell that out. as for 1 and 3, the answers are no and yes.

be well.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 19 Feb - 22:09

Marky, Marky...you aren't the coroner, so it's just your opinion isn't it? Time will tell.

Be well too.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  interested on Thu 19 Feb - 23:47

Thanks to "frencheuropean" for posting the article which I was unable to do.

I too believe the question is "Does the coroner think Brunt was within his right to approach Brenda Leyland as he did complete with camera crew?"

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Fri 20 Feb - 9:25

frencheuropean wrote:Marky, Marky...you aren't the coroner, so it's just your opinion isn't it? Time will tell.

Be well too.

but of course but made with a reasonable degree of confidence. what concerns me is why the coroner via lleicesteshire police would ask in the first place given that she would have known what the answer would be. i'll concede she may express some concerns over the practice employed by the sky news team but given that it's not illegal in the UK, that's all she can do. as you say, time will tell.

oh, nearly forgot. on the subject of point two. if she felt this was te case she could ask the police to investigate to see if the here's a case but given that they already have the file and know the identity of the individual concerned, why ask sky?

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Chris on Fri 20 Feb - 10:23

Marky wrote:
frencheuropean wrote:Marky, Marky...you aren't the coroner, so it's just your opinion isn't it? Time will tell.

Be well too.

but of course but made with a reasonable degree of confidence. what concerns me is why the coroner via lleicesteshire police would ask in the first place given that she would have known what the answer would be. i'll concede she may express some concerns over the practice employed by the sky news team but given that it's not illegal in the UK, that's all she can do. as you say, time will tell.

oh, nearly forgot. on the subject of point two. if she felt this was te case she could ask the police to investigate to see if the here's a case but given that they already have the file and know the identity of the individual concerned, why ask sky?

If the article is correct the coroner requested details of the author of the dossier not Brunty's source assuming he was in receipt of said dossier. Of course the author and the source maybe one and the same and judging from Sky's response it appears that might be the case.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Fri 20 Feb - 10:42

Chris wrote:
Marky wrote:
frencheuropean wrote:Marky, Marky...you aren't the coroner, so it's just your opinion isn't it? Time will tell.

Be well too.

but of course but made with a reasonable degree of confidence. what concerns me is why the coroner via lleicesteshire police would ask in the first place given that she would have known what the answer would be. i'll concede she may express some concerns over the practice employed by the sky news team but given that it's not illegal in the UK, that's all she can do. as you say, time will tell.

oh, nearly forgot. on the subject of point two. if she felt this was te case she could ask the police to investigate to see if the here's a case but given that they already have the file and know the identity of the individual concerned, why ask sky?

If the article is correct the coroner requested details of the author of the dossier not Brunty's source assuming he was in receipt of said dossier. Of course the author and the source maybe one and the same and judging from Sky's response it appears that might be the case.

still somewhat concerned about the coroner's motives. she could just be puffing her chest out, you know, state versus media, or maybe just trying to be seen to be crossing all the tees and dotting all the eyes given that this inquest will receive more than just casual interest or maybe grandstanding, given this inquest will receive more than just casual interest. hard to tell.

oh, sky's response cannot really be interpreted either way. you might be right. you might be wrong.


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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Lioned on Fri 20 Feb - 21:14

Police have suggested no one else involved,Coroner seems to want to be sure thats the case,thats her job.

Seemingly otherwise healthy woman found dead in hotel room = not normal.

What was she doing there ?

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Sat 21 Feb - 8:22

Lioned wrote:Police have suggested no one else involved,Coroner seems to want to be sure thats the case,thats her job.

Seemingly otherwise healthy woman found dead áin hotel room = not normal.

What was she doing there ?

could be we're all making way too much of what will probably just be a regular inquest. after all, the only reason it wasn't done and dusted first time round was down to the cause of death being inconclusive and we all know toxicology tests can take days, weeks, months.


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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Lioned on Sat 21 Feb - 10:01

If it was indeed suicide does the Coroner not have a duty to determine Her state of mind ?
So the knowledge of dossiers being thrown around and Brunt barging his way onto her doorstep are all a factor in that i would have thought.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Sat 21 Feb - 10:25

Lioned wrote:If it was indeed suicide does the Coroner not have a duty to determine Her state of mind ?
So the knowledge of dossiers being thrown around and Brunt barging his way onto her doorstep are all a factor in that i would have thought.

she does. as for factors, it's the popular answer for sure but those who think there's going to be blood at the end of this are going to be disappointed. the coroner has already stated that there's no criminal charges in the offing and at very best may frown upon the practice employed by the sky news team but no laws have been broken. however, i'm led to believe that a caller to the jeremy vine radio show who knew brenda leyland from school days, indicated she was not well back then and that someone from the medical field who is not her GP but has previous knowledge of her, will be at the inquest. maybe that tells you something. if she took her own life, i'm of the opinion that while the exposure may have been the final straw it would be very, very harsh to point the finger of blame at anyone. after all, anything could have been that final straw.


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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Sat 21 Feb - 14:07

I think it was someone who knew Brenda's sons when they were at school who made the comment that she was known then to be unwell.

I do agree that, if Brenda committed suicide - and we don't know that for sure yet - we may never know if this incident was the final straw or not.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Chris on Sat 21 Feb - 16:39

Marky wrote:
Lioned wrote:If it was indeed suicide does the Coroner not have a duty to determine Her state of mind ?
So the knowledge of dossiers being thrown around and Brunt barging his way onto her doorstep are all a factor in that i would have thought.

she does. as for factors, it's the popular answer for sure but those who think there's going to be blood at the end of this are going to be disappointed. the coroner has already stated that there's no criminal charges in the offing and at very best may frown upon the practice employed by the sky news team but no laws have been broken. however, i'm led to believe that a caller to the jeremy vine radio show who knew brenda leyland from school days, indicated she was not well back then and that someone from the medical field who is not her GP but has previous knowledge of her, will be at the inquest. maybe that tells you something. if she took her own life, ái'm of the opinion that while the exposure may have been the final straw it would be very, very harsh to point the finger of blame at anyone. after all, anything could have been that final straw.


Some might say it was very, very harsh to imply BL was a leading example of some sort of super troll attacking the McCs with invective at every opportunity and then continually roll it out at 30 minute intervals throughout the day. The vast majority of her "60 tweets a day" did no such thing and even the worst they could find to quote were relatively mild by comparison to some of the comments that get posted on Twitter.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Sat 21 Feb - 20:27

Chris wrote:
Marky wrote:
Lioned wrote:If it was indeed suicide does the Coroner not have a duty to determine Her state of mind ?
So the knowledge of dossiers being thrown around and Brunt barging his way onto her doorstep are all a factor in that i would have thought.

she does. as for factors, it's the popular answer for sure but those who think there's going to be blood at the end of this are going to be disappointed. the coroner has already stated that there's no criminal charges in the offing and at very best may frown upon the practice employed by the sky news team but no laws have been broken. however, i'm led to believe that a caller to the jeremy vine radio show who knew brenda leyland from school days, indicated she was not well back then and that someone from the medical field who is not her GP but has previous knowledge of her, will be at the inquest. maybe that tells you something. if she took her own life, ái'm of the opinion that while the exposure may have been the final straw it would be very, very harsh to point the finger of blame at anyone. after all, anything could have been that final straw.


Some might say it was very, very harsh to imply BL was a leading example of some sort of super troll attacking the McCs with invective at every opportunity and then continually roll it out at 30 minute intervals throughout the day. The vast majority of her "60 tweets a day" did no such thing and even the worst they could find to quote were relatively mild by comparison to some of the comments that get posted on Twitter. á

and you might be right. trouble is, this is not a game you should play without thought to the consequence. it brought her to the attention of the police. don't blame the media. they're just doing they're job. the sequence of events that ended in a motel room started when brenda leyland posted her first tweet. for that, she alone is responsible.



Last edited by Marky on Sun 22 Feb - 9:16; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Lioned on Sat 21 Feb - 21:19

We dont know yet for sure if Brenda Leyland commited suicide.We dont know if She was in that hotel room because of her 'anti mccann tweets'.
People are making assumptions.If she did commit suicide it may have been nothing at all to do with her activity on twitter.
Maybe she had some other problem ?

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Sat 21 Feb - 22:11

Not Born Yesterday wrote:I think it was someone who knew Brenda's sons when they were at school who made the comment that she was known then to be unwell.

I do agree that, if Brenda committed suicide - and we don't know that for sure yet - we may never know if this incident was the final straw or not.

Agreed, Lioned.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  fred on Sat 21 Feb - 22:18

Not seen this before today, but quite an interesting.

http://michaelsnasdell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-mccanns-trolls-and-media.html

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  Guest on Sun 22 Feb - 7:40

Lioned wrote:We dont know yet for sure if Brenda Leyland commited suicide.We dont know if She was in that hotel room because of her 'anti mccann tweets'.
People are making assumptions.If she did commit suicide it may have been nothing at all to do with her activity on twitter.
Maybe she had some other problem ?

maybe indeed and there does appear to be some suggestion that this could be a long term issue.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  interested on Mon 23 Feb - 17:55

Anorak's latest (22nd February, 2015) "Madeleine McCann: RIPA and the public death of Brenda Leyland" is of interest. It is available at www.anorak.co.uk (click on "News" and then "Madeleine McCann").

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  tanszi on Mon 23 Feb - 18:27

thanks for posting the link. worthy of a read, some very interesting points raised.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

Post  interested on Mon 23 Feb - 18:56

The article refers to one of Brenda's tweets in which she called the McCanns the "worst of humankind" and then comments "Other tweets might be libellous."

Evidently not that particular one though.

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Re: Brenda Leyland and the inquest

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