Woman admits 'outraging public decency' while driving

AN APPLEBY woman who admitted committing an act of indecency while driving on the motorway was trying to ‘cheer herself up’ after a catalogue of family problems.

Lorry driver Jonathon Kitchen spotted Miranda Chapman, 43, of Doomgate, indulging in an intimate act as she overtook him between Carlisle and Shap at around 4pm on May 13.

Penrith Magistrates' Court heard that Ms Chapman was pulled over by officers at Brunthwaite following a call from Mr Kitchen.

She was charged with dangerous driving and outraging public decency.

Judith Birbeck, defending, said Mrs Chapman had been shopping in Carlisle when she received a phone call from her daughter telling her she was pregnant.

“That might be good news to for many people but in this case it wasn’t,” said Ms Birkbeck.

“Her daughter suffers from mental health problems that are exacerbated during pregnancy so Mrs Chapman was unhappy and concerned by that call.”

Her soldier son then called to say he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Ms Birkbeck said: “Mrs Chapman already has a relative who has suffered life threatening injuries from Afghanistan so you can only imagine her distress at the thought of him being sent there.”

She then received a third phone call from her disabled father who lives in Ulverston saying that he needed her to go to his house because he had lost something.

Ms Birkbeck said the events had made her client feel ‘extremely upset’ and the offence occured ‘in a moment of madness.’ “It was a completely out of character action for her. A decision made by all the incidents piling up and she believed she was in the privacy of her own car.”

A friend was allowed to sit with Mrs Chapman, who cried throughout the hearing, and the court heard how she dropped four dress sizes since the incident due to stress.

Magistrates issued an interim disqualification from driving until October 8, when she will be sentenced following a probation report.

She also faces being issued with a sexual offences order.

Comments (59)

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8:54pm Fri 3 Sep 10

wascal says...

Reporting this and using the womans' name is an absolute disgrace that not even the lowest gutter press would resort to. I see that the reporter responsible is too ashamed to tag the story with their own name. WICKKED, CHILDISH SCUMBAG PRESS AT ITS WORST. I URGE EVERYONE READING THIS STORY TO REPORT THE GAZETTE
Reporting this and using the womans' name is an absolute disgrace that not even the lowest gutter press would resort to. I see that the reporter responsible is too ashamed to tag the story with their own name. WICKKED, CHILDISH SCUMBAG PRESS AT ITS WORST. I URGE EVERYONE READING THIS STORY TO REPORT THE GAZETTE wascal

9:31pm Fri 3 Sep 10

blackpooldonkey says...

Poor lady, she must be feeling so humiliated. I agree it should have been discreetly omitted from the usual court cases but don't see the point of reporting the Gazette. To Who? Don't think they've broken any rules.
Hope she's able to get over this and has some good support.
Poor lady, she must be feeling so humiliated. I agree it should have been discreetly omitted from the usual court cases but don't see the point of reporting the Gazette. To Who? Don't think they've broken any rules. Hope she's able to get over this and has some good support. blackpooldonkey

9:41pm Fri 3 Sep 10

worldsgonemad says...

It stinks that she can be named when she was obviously suffering some sort of mental breakdown at the time. The headline STINKS gazette!
It stinks that she can be named when she was obviously suffering some sort of mental breakdown at the time. The headline STINKS gazette! worldsgonemad

10:14pm Fri 3 Sep 10

wascal says...

complain to the press complaints commision. There is no excuse for this type of purile invasive journalism, The Gazette have messed up here and should not get away with it
complain to the press complaints commision. There is no excuse for this type of purile invasive journalism, The Gazette have messed up here and should not get away with it wascal

10:21pm Fri 3 Sep 10

wascal says...

http://www.pcc.org.u
k/complaints/makinga
complaint.html

use the above link to report this, it only takes a couple of moments
http://www.pcc.org.u k/complaints/makinga complaint.html use the above link to report this, it only takes a couple of moments wascal

10:38pm Fri 3 Sep 10

cobbler1 says...

this is not right....as a business who advertises in this newspaper i am far from happy about this line of reporting.I will be complaining.
this is not right....as a business who advertises in this newspaper i am far from happy about this line of reporting.I will be complaining. cobbler1

10:46pm Fri 3 Sep 10

Stinkbomb says...

Absolutely disgusting to report this. This woman has gone through enough without gutter press like the Gazette putting this out for all the world to read. I always thought this newspaper was rubbish, and now you have confirmed it.
Absolutely disgusting to report this. This woman has gone through enough without gutter press like the Gazette putting this out for all the world to read. I always thought this newspaper was rubbish, and now you have confirmed it. Stinkbomb

11:53pm Fri 3 Sep 10

ajameson says...

Whilst taking salacious pleasure in naming and humiliating Mrs Chapman this cowardly journalist hides behind the anonymity of the "Gazette Newsdesk".

This piece reveals all that is wrong with the British press and the quality of local journalism. If newsworthy at all the reporter could have written it up in the sympathetic style the story clearly deserves, but instead he seeks to systematically degrade Mrs Chapman. We can almost hear him chuckling at his computer as he types, before back-slapping the editor who green-lit it.

Shameful and of no journalistic quality whatsoever, an embarrassment to a pathetic publication.
Whilst taking salacious pleasure in naming and humiliating Mrs Chapman this cowardly journalist hides behind the anonymity of the "Gazette Newsdesk". This piece reveals all that is wrong with the British press and the quality of local journalism. If newsworthy at all the reporter could have written it up in the sympathetic style the story clearly deserves, but instead he seeks to systematically degrade Mrs Chapman. We can almost hear him chuckling at his computer as he types, before back-slapping the editor who green-lit it. Shameful and of no journalistic quality whatsoever, an embarrassment to a pathetic publication. ajameson

12:45am Sat 4 Sep 10

EBEAN says...

wascal, I have written to the editor, press complaints suggests this and more appropriate. That story needs taking down *now*.
wascal, I have written to the editor, press complaints suggests this and more appropriate. That story needs taking down *now*. EBEAN

12:49am Sat 4 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

one conundrum, if this report was about a male would you all have the same view that it shouldn't be reported?
one conundrum, if this report was about a male would you all have the same view that it shouldn't be reported? Lakeuk

12:50am Sat 4 Sep 10

EBEAN says...

You can guess what has happened now can't you? Anyway it will do the Gazette no favours.
You can guess what has happened now can't you? Anyway it will do the Gazette no favours. EBEAN

1:50am Sat 4 Sep 10

mickadoon says...

Gutter Press indeed, poor lady. The lorry driver is a bit of a plonker too; I'm a driver and I've seen the lot, (but sadly not the naked M5 lady driver!) I've had a naked couple driving alongside me, a bloke in a lady's mini dress pleasuring himself, four pretty girls on the back seat of a coach raising their rugby shirts, a girl in the back of a coach mooning at me, (A nicer sight than the builder, he had a big yellow zit on his posterior!) And of course the transvestite who struts his stuff down Rugeley way! But ring the Police? Give over!
Gutter Press indeed, poor lady. The lorry driver is a bit of a plonker too; I'm a driver and I've seen the lot, (but sadly not the naked M5 lady driver!) I've had a naked couple driving alongside me, a bloke in a lady's mini dress pleasuring himself, four pretty girls on the back seat of a coach raising their rugby shirts, a girl in the back of a coach mooning at me, (A nicer sight than the builder, he had a big yellow zit on his posterior!) And of course the transvestite who struts his stuff down Rugeley way! But ring the Police? Give over! mickadoon

10:42am Sat 4 Sep 10

wascal says...

Lakesuk, you cannot begin to defend or rationalise this cowardly journalism. There is no 'what if' or 'how about' that will help the distress this woman is no doubt going through.
Lakesuk, you cannot begin to defend or rationalise this cowardly journalism. There is no 'what if' or 'how about' that will help the distress this woman is no doubt going through. wascal

1:56pm Sat 4 Sep 10

Will Simpson says...

The editorial decision to publish this story makes me seriously question whether the WG really understands its readership? Admittedly, the woman made an a serious error of judgement and potentially put herself and others at risk but all the story achieves is exposing the lady (sorry!) to long term ridicule.
The editorial decision to publish this story makes me seriously question whether the WG really understands its readership? Admittedly, the woman made an a serious error of judgement and potentially put herself and others at risk but all the story achieves is exposing the lady (sorry!) to long term ridicule. Will Simpson

2:49pm Sat 4 Sep 10

McCubberDoodle says...

Having a friend in the area I was flabbergasted. Mcflibbertyjibs and non sequiturs aside, I wondered about her bone structure. Perhaps they disguised her name. Do we know if any of this is true? Were any of you there? Is there really a there? Was there a there at the time? Come on people, get on with the business of Reality with a capital R. This nannygoating is all just keeping us stuck in the dream. carma karma carma karma chameleon.
Having a friend in the area I was flabbergasted. Mcflibbertyjibs and non sequiturs aside, I wondered about her bone structure. Perhaps they disguised her name. Do we know if any of this is true? Were any of you there? Is there really a there? Was there a there at the time? Come on people, get on with the business of Reality with a capital R. This nannygoating is all just keeping us stuck in the dream. carma karma carma karma chameleon. McCubberDoodle

5:28pm Sat 4 Sep 10

KendalMintKake says...

To be fair - ALL the other online media outlets/news sites are reporting it also. Thats not excusing it though, its not really fair to the poor lady, as the report said, she cried all the way through court!
and the other news sites reporting it have the guts to put the email of the reporter reporting (or is that too much like naming-and-shaming on a different level?)

i have a sneaking suspiciousness if this had been a man instead, the general feeling would be how outrageous and discusting that man is and that he probably should be named and shamed!

i would be reaching for the phone if there were some chavs speeding/driving dangerously.. but i dont think calling the police is what would go through my head in this case!!!
To be fair - ALL the other online media outlets/news sites are reporting it also. Thats not excusing it though, its not really fair to the poor lady, as the report said, she cried all the way through court! and the other news sites reporting it have the guts to put the email of the reporter reporting (or is that too much like naming-and-shaming on a different level?) i have a sneaking suspiciousness if this had been a man instead, the general feeling would be how outrageous and discusting that man is and that he probably should be named and shamed! i would be reaching for the phone if there were some chavs speeding/driving dangerously.. but i dont think calling the police is what would go through my head in this case!!! KendalMintKake

6:33pm Sat 4 Sep 10

westmerrieman says...

shocking behaviour! and thats just the lorry driver! lets get back to burning office chairs for our global fun.
shocking behaviour! and thats just the lorry driver! lets get back to burning office chairs for our global fun. westmerrieman

6:56pm Sat 4 Sep 10

TwoHat says...

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the salacious reporting, the quality of the piece is just shoddy. The headline says the offence was outraging public decency (there has to be something wrong with a society that needs a criminal law for that IMHO, but thats by the by) yet the body of the article says it was dangerous driving. Come on, Gazette, make your mind up - which (if either) are we to believe?
I also hope the lorry driver was prosecuted for using his mobile phone whilst driving, as a professional driver he should know better.
Whatever the rights or wrongs of the salacious reporting, the quality of the piece is just shoddy. The headline says the offence was outraging public decency (there has to be something wrong with a society that needs a criminal law for that IMHO, but thats by the by) yet the body of the article says it was dangerous driving. Come on, Gazette, make your mind up - which (if either) are we to believe? I also hope the lorry driver was prosecuted for using his mobile phone whilst driving, as a professional driver he should know better. TwoHat

7:49pm Sat 4 Sep 10

wascal says...

I think we can presume it was penned by a junevile, giggling little wannabee hack who gets his kicks from humilating vunerable people. I hope his/her parents are very proud!
I think we can presume it was penned by a junevile, giggling little wannabee hack who gets his kicks from humilating vunerable people. I hope his/her parents are very proud! wascal

11:57am Sun 5 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

I suspect this is a syndicated story hence no reporter name attached. All its doing is reporting the facts as presented in court. There have been similar court cases in the past reported, no one bats an eye lid.

If the gazette was to quietly omit the reporting of story, should the court do the same? quietly let her off - reading the sentencing options being considered the court is taking this seriously and fairly.
I suspect this is a syndicated story hence no reporter name attached. All its doing is reporting the facts as presented in court. There have been similar court cases in the past reported, no one bats an eye lid. If the gazette was to quietly omit the reporting of story, should the court do the same? quietly let her off - reading the sentencing options being considered the court is taking this seriously and fairly. Lakeuk

1:20pm Sun 5 Sep 10

wascal says...

The media cannot report everything single thing that happens, otherwise newspapers and websites would be endless, therefore it is up to the editor to be selective about what he or she prints. They must ask themselves 'is it in the public interest' and 'will anybody be hurt as a result of publishing this story'.
The Gazette is a local paper, not the News of the World. The editor has chosen to humilate this woman and claiming that other papers have printed it is pathetic (But m'lud, I looted because everyone else was doing it!)
Those who defend this type of gutter press journalism usually have a vested interest and a clear lack of regard for other people.
The media cannot report everything single thing that happens, otherwise newspapers and websites would be endless, therefore it is up to the editor to be selective about what he or she prints. They must ask themselves 'is it in the public interest' and 'will anybody be hurt as a result of publishing this story'. The Gazette is a local paper, not the News of the World. The editor has chosen to humilate this woman and claiming that other papers have printed it is pathetic (But m'lud, I looted because everyone else was doing it!) Those who defend this type of gutter press journalism usually have a vested interest and a clear lack of regard for other people. wascal

6:26pm Sun 5 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

Every story has the potential to hurt/embarrass from the drink driving offence to the road accident resulting in a death, if some test was used then nothing would get printed.

This lady won't be embarrass with what printed in the paper, her embarrassment came from being in court in a public place, soon that will fissle out and long term the most she'll experience is gentle ribbing from her mates.

We won't remember her name, recognise her in the street and it'll be left to history
Every story has the potential to hurt/embarrass from the drink driving offence to the road accident resulting in a death, if some test was used then nothing would get printed. This lady won't be embarrass with what printed in the paper, her embarrassment came from being in court in a public place, soon that will fissle out and long term the most she'll experience is gentle ribbing from her mates. We won't remember her name, recognise her in the street and it'll be left to history Lakeuk

7:05pm Sun 5 Sep 10

wascal says...

Some of us care about the feelings of others and clearly some of us don't give a dam. We all make choices in life, I can live with mine, can you?
Some of us care about the feelings of others and clearly some of us don't give a dam. We all make choices in life, I can live with mine, can you? wascal

7:30pm Sun 5 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

If everyone was true to the feelings of others then people would of been questioning the worthiness of many stories carried in the local press over time. Comes down to when you read a story you feel for the individual it's about, the lessons to be learnt, but it doesn't change what has already been aired in public

Will you question other stories to their news worthiness?
If everyone was true to the feelings of others then people would of been questioning the worthiness of many stories carried in the local press over time. Comes down to when you read a story you feel for the individual it's about, the lessons to be learnt, but it doesn't change what has already been aired in public Will you question other stories to their news worthiness? Lakeuk

8:09pm Sun 5 Sep 10

wascal says...

You can try to justify your lack of human decency all you want. Sleep well.
You can try to justify your lack of human decency all you want. Sleep well. wascal

10:20pm Sun 5 Sep 10

mickadoon says...

Grumbling on this, isn't it?

Mister Editor, would you have published the full name and address if this case had involved a member of your own immediate or extended family?

In a small place like Appleby the lady will be known to almost everyone.

I don't care for the lie-telling newspapers, haven't bought one for as long as I can remember other than the good old 'reliable' W.G.

As of today I'm reconsidering whether even this paper is suitable reading matter.
Grumbling on this, isn't it? Mister Editor, would you have published the full name and address if this case had involved a member of your own immediate or extended family? In a small place like Appleby the lady will be known to almost everyone. I don't care for the lie-telling newspapers, haven't bought one for as long as I can remember other than the good old 'reliable' W.G. As of today I'm reconsidering whether even this paper is suitable reading matter. mickadoon

10:55pm Sun 5 Sep 10

zaney5 says...

Lakeuk wrote:
Every story has the potential to hurt/embarrass from the drink driving offence to the road accident resulting in a death, if some test was used then nothing would get printed.

This lady won't be embarrass with what printed in the paper, her embarrassment came from being in court in a public place, soon that will fissle out and long term the most she'll experience is gentle ribbing from her mates.

We won't remember her name, recognise her in the street and it'll be left to history
So nice of you to put yourself in her shoes, I'll bet she wishes all she gets is gentle ribbing from her mates. Truth is if it wasn't for this being reported in the paper, the majority of people WOULDN'T have got to hear about it.
Maybe in time, after it's all blown over, no-one will remember her. But she will have to live with the knowledge that many many people did know.
Regardless of whether what she did was deemed wrong, to report something so intimate as this in such a way is totally wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Lakeuk[/bold] wrote: Every story has the potential to hurt/embarrass from the drink driving offence to the road accident resulting in a death, if some test was used then nothing would get printed. This lady won't be embarrass with what printed in the paper, her embarrassment came from being in court in a public place, soon that will fissle out and long term the most she'll experience is gentle ribbing from her mates. We won't remember her name, recognise her in the street and it'll be left to history[/p][/quote]So nice of you to put yourself in her shoes, I'll bet she wishes all she gets is gentle ribbing from her mates. Truth is if it wasn't for this being reported in the paper, the majority of people WOULDN'T have got to hear about it. Maybe in time, after it's all blown over, no-one will remember her. But she will have to live with the knowledge that many many people did know. Regardless of whether what she did was deemed wrong, to report something so intimate as this in such a way is totally wrong. zaney5

11:26pm Sun 5 Sep 10

mickadoon says...

The best bit is that the charge was dangerous driving.

Only on the short strokes, Shirley?

Dangerous driving can mean using a phone or eating a banana, so why is it deemed okay that we have to glance skywards every few hundred metres on the M42 "Managed Motorway", blinding ourselves with the sunlight for half a minute, to check what speed the matrix signs say we should be doing?

I aim to follow this one up!
The best bit is that the charge was dangerous driving. Only on the short strokes, Shirley? Dangerous driving can mean using a phone or eating a banana, so why is it deemed okay that we have to glance skywards every few hundred metres on the M42 "Managed Motorway", blinding ourselves with the sunlight for half a minute, to check what speed the matrix signs say we should be doing? I aim to follow this one up! mickadoon

10:00am Mon 6 Sep 10

churchy66 says...

It is good to see that the Gazette is taking a feather out of the News of the World cap and deciding to go down the avenue of embarressment and gutter press, yes what she did was out of order and she was not in control of her vehicle, but I am surprised at the gazette which is a family style newspaper to have actually been so graphic in their reporting (a first I must admit) I have just had to explain to a 9 year old what it all meant - thanks for that!
It is good to see that the Gazette is taking a feather out of the News of the World cap and deciding to go down the avenue of embarressment and gutter press, yes what she did was out of order and she was not in control of her vehicle, but I am surprised at the gazette which is a family style newspaper to have actually been so graphic in their reporting (a first I must admit) I have just had to explain to a 9 year old what it all meant - thanks for that! churchy66

12:38pm Mon 6 Sep 10

Cumbria1 says...

As a journalist of more than 30 years, I feel I should speak on this matter.
What readers should understand is that reporters do not get a say on what they report on.
If you have a problem with the story, remember the reporter is just doing their job, for which they are paid a pitiful amount.
To describe the reporter as a 'cowardly journalist' who 'hides behind the anonymity of the "Gazette Newsdesk"' (ajameson and wascal), is really unfair.
I know that as a general rule, court and inquest reports in local newspapers (and online) do not feature bylines.
Whoever this reporter may be, they are clearly not to blame for the story because they are merely acting as the 'eyes and ears' for the community, which is the basic idea of a journalist.
That is how newspapers work, so don't shoot the messenger, as it were.
Similarly, to say this is 'invasive' reporting is incorrect.
Anyone could have walked into the court room that day and heard the story, then posted it on Facebook or similar.
Like I say the reporter was merely doing their job.
In actual fact, if you read this story again, it is clearly a very balanced report and is actually very sympathetic to the woman driver report - there is a great deal of mitigation included, and many reporters would not have done that, so this one should be given credit for that.
This court case was treated in the same way as any other court case of similar gravitas would have been.
Regular Gazette readers will remember the story of the lorry driver who was watching Battlestar Galactica on his laptop while driving.
It was reported in a similar way - as a dangerous driving case.
As a journalist of more than 30 years, I feel I should speak on this matter. What readers should understand is that reporters do not get a say on what they report on. If you have a problem with the story, remember the reporter is just doing their job, for which they are paid a pitiful amount. To describe the reporter as a 'cowardly journalist' who 'hides behind the anonymity of the "Gazette Newsdesk"' (ajameson and wascal), is really unfair. I know that as a general rule, court and inquest reports in local newspapers (and online) do not feature bylines. Whoever this reporter may be, they are clearly not to blame for the story because they are merely acting as the 'eyes and ears' for the community, which is the basic idea of a journalist. That is how newspapers work, so don't shoot the messenger, as it were. Similarly, to say this is 'invasive' reporting is incorrect. Anyone could have walked into the court room that day and heard the story, then posted it on Facebook or similar. Like I say the reporter was merely doing their job. In actual fact, if you read this story again, it is clearly a very balanced report and is actually very sympathetic to the woman driver report - there is a great deal of mitigation included, and many reporters would not have done that, so this one should be given credit for that. This court case was treated in the same way as any other court case of similar gravitas would have been. Regular Gazette readers will remember the story of the lorry driver who was watching Battlestar Galactica on his laptop while driving. It was reported in a similar way - as a dangerous driving case. Cumbria1

12:53pm Mon 6 Sep 10

wascal says...

Only following orders! All the others were doing it! Pathetic.
Only following orders! All the others were doing it! Pathetic. wascal

2:25pm Mon 6 Sep 10

churchy66 says...

I think the issue here is the wording used, we all realise that you have to do your job, and job which is becoming more and more difficult with restrictions etc, but what has upset folk is the word is masturbating, as I said earlier I have to explain to a child who reads this website regularly what the term means - something I don't expect with regards to the Westmorland Gazette. It is one of the few news websites I thought I could trust? Obviously not.
I think the issue here is the wording used, we all realise that you have to do your job, and job which is becoming more and more difficult with restrictions etc, but what has upset folk is the word is masturbating, as I said earlier I have to explain to a child who reads this website regularly what the term means - something I don't expect with regards to the Westmorland Gazette. It is one of the few news websites I thought I could trust? Obviously not. churchy66

9:36pm Mon 6 Sep 10

Buckeye Bob says...

The guards in Auschwitz were "Merely doing a low-paid job"
The guards in Auschwitz were "Merely doing a low-paid job" Buckeye Bob

11:54pm Mon 6 Sep 10

Faithless says...

I agree with most of the other posters. There was no need for this to be published. In situations like this we have to use common sense to protect the dignity of those who may not be in the correct frame of mind. Please remove this article.
I agree with most of the other posters. There was no need for this to be published. In situations like this we have to use common sense to protect the dignity of those who may not be in the correct frame of mind. Please remove this article. Faithless

11:32am Tue 7 Sep 10

IW says...

And another thing, if it had been a man caught masturbating while driving along the motorway,would all the above whinging do-gooders be so concerned about his embarassment & mental state ?
Anyway, don't you think the 'i've had a lot of family problems & needed cheering up' is something of a contrived piece of mitigation? 'Sorry I just felt ****' would be more believable !
Surely a catalogue of bad news wouldn't prompt anyone to react with 'I'll just have a **** to cheer myself up' ?
And another thing, if it had been a man caught masturbating while driving along the motorway,would all the above whinging do-gooders be so concerned about his embarassment & mental state ? Anyway, don't you think the 'i've had a lot of family problems & needed cheering up' is something of a contrived piece of mitigation? 'Sorry I just felt ****' would be more believable ! Surely a catalogue of bad news wouldn't prompt anyone to react with 'I'll just have a **** to cheer myself up' ? IW

11:44am Tue 7 Sep 10

jonzo says...

@ IW, Glossop... Absolutely fantastic, you've managed to cheer me up without the need for any sexual impropriety.
@ IW, Glossop... Absolutely fantastic, you've managed to cheer me up without the need for any sexual impropriety. jonzo

11:45am Tue 7 Sep 10

madgran6 says...

This poor woman. She is obviously going through some kind of breakdown and is named and shamed in the press. It's bang out of order that her name was allowed to be released by the courts. People who have committed far more heinous crimes receive anonimity, why did it not happen in this case?? I hope the journalist in question and the WG editor are proud of themselves for humiliating a woman who is already under stress, have they actually achieved anything by this type of reporting?
This poor woman. She is obviously going through some kind of breakdown and is named and shamed in the press. It's bang out of order that her name was allowed to be released by the courts. People who have committed far more heinous crimes receive anonimity, why did it not happen in this case?? I hope the journalist in question and the WG editor are proud of themselves for humiliating a woman who is already under stress, have they actually achieved anything by this type of reporting? madgran6

4:41pm Tue 7 Sep 10

DuncanMcKay says...

I think Cumbria1's point was that you cannot blame the reporter for attending a court hearing - which ANYONE could have attended - and reporting the FACTS, as they were set out by the prosecution and defence, in a balanced and fair manner.
Many of these message board entries read like personal attacks on the reporter, which is so unfair.
Reporters are actually human beings and have feelings too!
I do understand people have sympathy with this woman, who was obviously having a difficult period of her life, but it is important to point out that the main reason readers feel this sympathy is because the reporter has written the article in a sympathetic manner.
If the reporter had not included so much of the mitigation in their piece, many of you would have a different opinion, because there would be no reason for any of you to feel sympathy.
Therefore, this reporter has actually been some considerable distance away from 'taking salacious pleasure in naming and humiliating Mrs Chapman', or being a 'cowardly journalist', or 'wicked' 'or childish' - they have actually been very mature, balanced and fair.
If you don't believe me, have a look at reports elsewhere. Very different.
And if this had been a 'salacious' piece, there would have been little, if any, mitigation included.
This is a court case like any other court case. Cumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service - NOT The Westmorland Gazette or its reporters - decided a crime had been committed, no matter what the content.
If you have a problem, surely that should be with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for taking the matter further.
And before any pseudo-witty/cutting ripostes are posted, I would like to point out that all I am doing is trying to explain how local newspapers operate, because it isn't as clear cut as people on the outside may think.
It's really unfair to judge The Westmorland Gazette as 'gutter press'.
Come on people - this is a paper which reports on silage competitions and controversial zip wires on fells!
I also wanted to point out it is unfair to gang up on a newspaper reporter who is playing an important part in democracy and doing an important job - one which is, amazing as it may seem, quite unlike that of an Auschwitz guard.
Where would society be without newspaper reporters, local, national or international?
I think Cumbria1's point was that you cannot blame the reporter for attending a court hearing - which ANYONE could have attended - and reporting the FACTS, as they were set out by the prosecution and defence, in a balanced and fair manner. Many of these message board entries read like personal attacks on the reporter, which is so unfair. Reporters are actually human beings and have feelings too! I do understand people have sympathy with this woman, who was obviously having a difficult period of her life, but it is important to point out that the main reason readers feel this sympathy is because the reporter has written the article in a sympathetic manner. If the reporter had not included so much of the mitigation in their piece, many of you would have a different opinion, because there would be no reason for any of you to feel sympathy. Therefore, this reporter has actually been some considerable distance away from 'taking salacious pleasure in naming and humiliating Mrs Chapman', or being a 'cowardly journalist', or 'wicked' 'or childish' - they have actually been very mature, balanced and fair. If you don't believe me, have a look at reports elsewhere. Very different. And if this had been a 'salacious' piece, there would have been little, if any, mitigation included. This is a court case like any other court case. Cumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service - NOT The Westmorland Gazette or its reporters - decided a crime had been committed, no matter what the content. If you have a problem, surely that should be with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for taking the matter further. And before any pseudo-witty/cutting ripostes are posted, I would like to point out that all I am doing is trying to explain how local newspapers operate, because it isn't as clear cut as people on the outside may think. It's really unfair to judge The Westmorland Gazette as 'gutter press'. Come on people - this is a paper which reports on silage competitions and controversial zip wires on fells! I also wanted to point out it is unfair to gang up on a newspaper reporter who is playing an important part in democracy and doing an important job - one which is, amazing as it may seem, quite unlike that of an Auschwitz guard. Where would society be without newspaper reporters, local, national or international? DuncanMcKay

7:22pm Tue 7 Sep 10

westmerrieman says...

reporters have feelings too?? why is it the vast majority of people with feelings seem to feel that the naming of the poor lass was totally unnecessary and out of order,I wonder what the reporters with feelings think naming her is achieving?
cowardly journalist,wicked and childish are all ways I would describe this article.
reporters have feelings too?? why is it the vast majority of people with feelings seem to feel that the naming of the poor lass was totally unnecessary and out of order,I wonder what the reporters with feelings think naming her is achieving? cowardly journalist,wicked and childish are all ways I would describe this article. westmerrieman

7:27pm Tue 7 Sep 10

westmerrieman says...

I should also point out that the article has been re-written.
I should also point out that the article has been re-written. westmerrieman

9:38pm Tue 7 Sep 10

wascal says...

So those defending it, why has it been re-written? If there was nothing wrong why change it? It's about Human Decency, If you think it was ok the first time round- WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR MOTHER, SISTER OR WIFE?
So those defending it, why has it been re-written? If there was nothing wrong why change it? It's about Human Decency, If you think it was ok the first time round- WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR MOTHER, SISTER OR WIFE? wascal

9:46pm Tue 7 Sep 10

Buckeye Bob says...

I haven't seen the article yet so assume it'll be in this week's issue? I'll glance through the paper before buying it, and if it's printed will throw said paper on the floor, wipe my feet on it and walk out.
I haven't seen the article yet so assume it'll be in this week's issue? I'll glance through the paper before buying it, and if it's printed will throw said paper on the floor, wipe my feet on it and walk out. Buckeye Bob

10:56pm Tue 7 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

All they've done is change a few words in response to churchy66, the crux of the story is the same plus to make clear the seriousness of the case they've also added that a sexual offences order is being considered as part of the sentencing.

Cumbria1 and DuncanMcKay make some good points on the reporting of the story.
All they've done is change a few words in response to churchy66, the crux of the story is the same plus to make clear the seriousness of the case they've also added that a sexual offences order is being considered as part of the sentencing. Cumbria1 and DuncanMcKay make some good points on the reporting of the story. Lakeuk

11:11pm Tue 7 Sep 10

cobbler1 says...

So it has been altered and certain words have been removed and replaced....well done Gazette.Why don't you just remove it from the site?....it won't be in print on Thursday and it should not be online either....do me a favour....REMOVE IT.
So it has been altered and certain words have been removed and replaced....well done Gazette.Why don't you just remove it from the site?....it won't be in print on Thursday and it should not be online either....do me a favour....REMOVE IT. cobbler1

2:01am Wed 8 Sep 10

ajameson says...

Having read Duncan McKay's response I looked back at the text and noted what others have also spotted; the article has changed substantially since our initial comments were listed. Clearly the criticism was considered warranted.

However, my opinion of the Gazette is brought even lower. If you're going to keep the critical comments below the article, it must be made clear that the piece has now been heavily edited! The timestamp remains at 1600 on Friday and there is no note to suggest otherwise. This isn't some standard tidying of spellings, it's a full-scale rewrite!

Whilst we don't expect an apology from the paper, it would demonstrate some decency to put a sentence below in italics or whatever saying "this article originally appeared in a different form and has since been changed" or something equally face-saving yet which makes sense of all the comments!!!
Having read Duncan McKay's response I looked back at the text and noted what others have also spotted; the article has changed substantially since our initial comments were listed. Clearly the criticism was considered warranted. However, my opinion of the Gazette is brought even lower. If you're going to keep the critical comments below the article, it must be made clear that the piece has now been heavily edited! The timestamp remains at 1600 on Friday and there is no note to suggest otherwise. This isn't some standard tidying of spellings, it's a full-scale rewrite! Whilst we don't expect an apology from the paper, it would demonstrate some decency to put a sentence below in italics or whatever saying "this article originally appeared in a different form and has since been changed" or something equally face-saving yet which makes sense of all the comments!!! ajameson

11:22am Wed 8 Sep 10

churchy66 says...

It is good to note that the gazette has changed the article, however the damage has already been done as far as I am concerned, and that of friends and family who did buy the paper each week. We will all be saving our money
It is good to note that the gazette has changed the article, however the damage has already been done as far as I am concerned, and that of friends and family who did buy the paper each week. We will all be saving our money churchy66

1:00pm Wed 8 Sep 10

lifecycle says...

Those of you who missed the original text, it is quoted here:
http://davidicke.com
/forum/showthread.ph
p?t=133294

However, many here seem to have been taken in by the story told to the court by Ms Chapman's solicitor!
Most women who need cheering up reach for a chocolate bar or go shopping.
This woman elected to commit an indecent act - IN PUBLIC where she could be overlooked.
So why are people bleating on about her details being revealed?

If this was kept quiet then the likes of Paris Hilton, George Michael etc. would feel badly treated over their misdemeanours.
The Gazette report has appeared the whole world over - even in Dallas, so I don't expect they will be bothered by a few of you making a token gesture in not buying the paper for a few weeks!

Only our prima donna footballers are able to get injunctions barring the press from revealing their dalliances it seems!
Those of you who missed the original text, it is quoted here: http://davidicke.com /forum/showthread.ph p?t=133294 However, many here seem to have been taken in by the story told to the court by Ms Chapman's solicitor! Most women who need cheering up reach for a chocolate bar or go shopping. This woman elected to commit an indecent act - IN PUBLIC where she could be overlooked. So why are people bleating on about her details being revealed? If this was kept quiet then the likes of Paris Hilton, George Michael etc. would feel badly treated over their misdemeanours. The Gazette report has appeared the whole world over - even in Dallas, so I don't expect they will be bothered by a few of you making a token gesture in not buying the paper for a few weeks! Only our prima donna footballers are able to get injunctions barring the press from revealing their dalliances it seems! lifecycle

8:26pm Wed 8 Sep 10

lass fromt the north says...

first of all let me say i have been following this story as i know this woman and she would like thank wascal for the comments that they have put on regarding this article. what this woman is going through at the moment can only be described as worse than living hell. would anyone of you liked to have been in this womans shoes when her and family were chassed down the street by photographers? do any of you know that she has received obseen mail through out this week. her family have suffered due to the paper naming and shaming as this article when was first written has gone all over the world. i hope that the wagon driver haqs as many problems in life someday as this poor woman as her life has been ruined.
first of all let me say i have been following this story as i know this woman and she would like thank wascal for the comments that they have put on regarding this article. what this woman is going through at the moment can only be described as worse than living hell. would anyone of you liked to have been in this womans shoes when her and family were chassed down the street by photographers? do any of you know that she has received obseen mail through out this week. her family have suffered due to the paper naming and shaming as this article when was first written has gone all over the world. i hope that the wagon driver haqs as many problems in life someday as this poor woman as her life has been ruined. lass fromt the north

9:16pm Wed 8 Sep 10

gadgetgadget says...

Whilst having every sympathy for the woman reported in this article and the treatment she has allegedly received since the court case - she needs professional help IMO if the article is correct not condemnation or a criminal record. However, we must accept the fact that she did commit the act and admitted doing so in court.
The reporting of the case however could potentially have been stopped by an application by her solicitor for privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8) or the court could have imposed reporting restrictions without formal application if it felt that the woman's privacy was more important than the media's "right to freedom of expression" (under Article 10 of the ECHR) - have a look on the BBC website about Editorial Guidelines and Privacy for more info.
However, it is unclear whether either step was taken in this case and unless they were then the press had freedom to report the case, whether any of us think it's right that they did or not and of course if what was reported was inaccurate then that leaves the press open to potential libel action (which BTW some posters here might want to reflect on before posting personal insults to each other).
If an application was not made to stop the reporting by her solicitor then IMO her solicitor has let her down especially considering the mitigation of how she has been affected.
I would hope that an old adage that "today's news is tomorrow's chip wrappings" applies to this case however it could be a very long time before she is able to feel that way and again IMO she needs professional help to overcome some of the adverse reaction to the case that appears to have taken place and probably will do for some time to come. I genuinely hope that she receives that help and she is able to get her life back on track.
One piece of advice to "lass fromt the north" posting obscene and offensive mail to an individual without their consent through the Royal Mail is an offence too (I believe) and if is repetitive from a particular source and causing additional harrassment then she may be wise to ask the police to intervene (as painful as that might be) but it may be the only way to stop it.
Whilst having every sympathy for the woman reported in this article and the treatment she has allegedly received since the court case - she needs professional help IMO if the article is correct not condemnation or a criminal record. However, we must accept the fact that she did commit the act and admitted doing so in court. The reporting of the case however could potentially have been stopped by an application by her solicitor for privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8) or the court could have imposed reporting restrictions without formal application if it felt that the woman's privacy was more important than the media's "right to freedom of expression" (under Article 10 of the ECHR) - have a look on the BBC website about Editorial Guidelines and Privacy for more info. However, it is unclear whether either step was taken in this case and unless they were then the press had freedom to report the case, whether any of us think it's right that they did or not and of course if what was reported was inaccurate then that leaves the press open to potential libel action (which BTW some posters here might want to reflect on before posting personal insults to each other). If an application was not made to stop the reporting by her solicitor then IMO her solicitor has let her down especially considering the mitigation of how she has been affected. I would hope that an old adage that "today's news is tomorrow's chip wrappings" applies to this case however it could be a very long time before she is able to feel that way and again IMO she needs professional help to overcome some of the adverse reaction to the case that appears to have taken place and probably will do for some time to come. I genuinely hope that she receives that help and she is able to get her life back on track. One piece of advice to "lass fromt the north" posting obscene and offensive mail to an individual without their consent through the Royal Mail is an offence too (I believe) and if is repetitive from a particular source and causing additional harrassment then she may be wise to ask the police to intervene (as painful as that might be) but it may be the only way to stop it. gadgetgadget

9:39pm Wed 8 Sep 10

Buckeye Bob says...

Coo, it's still grinding on, but I think that latest from gadgetgadget is the most informed and informative so far. I don't suppose it was Gezzy reporters chasing the lady down the street, I reckon our ear-bashing has forced them to take refuge under the newsdesk! The way they've allowed us to vent our spleens is commendable too.
Coo, it's still grinding on, but I think that latest from gadgetgadget is the most informed and informative so far. I don't suppose it was Gezzy reporters chasing the lady down the street, I reckon our ear-bashing has forced them to take refuge under the newsdesk! The way they've allowed us to vent our spleens is commendable too. Buckeye Bob

10:29pm Wed 8 Sep 10

wascal says...

The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace,
Wascal.
The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace, Wascal. wascal

10:41pm Wed 8 Sep 10

gadgetgadget says...

wascal wrote:
The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace,
Wascal.
Wascal - whilst understanding your sentiment on this and agreeing she needs to get some personal peace : this report might be the only place where some of us want to or can post support/advice for the person/family regardless of the content of the report, I'm not sure asking people supporting her not to post is the right way forward. The Gazette are only responsible for this report and it's subsequent comments and not the numerous others around the web - some that I've seen are MUCH worse than this one so removing this one particular report is only the tip of the iceberg I'm afraid. I would agree however that we should stop debating the rights and wrongs of the press in this and it would be best if posters didn't engage in blasting each other with insult but we should also remember that if the Gazette remove this report she and her family/friends will lose the messages of support posted here too !
[quote][p][bold]wascal[/bold] wrote: The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace, Wascal.[/p][/quote]Wascal - whilst understanding your sentiment on this and agreeing she needs to get some personal peace : this report might be the only place where some of us want to or can post support/advice for the person/family regardless of the content of the report, I'm not sure asking people supporting her not to post is the right way forward. The Gazette are only responsible for this report and it's subsequent comments and not the numerous others around the web - some that I've seen are MUCH worse than this one so removing this one particular report is only the tip of the iceberg I'm afraid. I would agree however that we should stop debating the rights and wrongs of the press in this and it would be best if posters didn't engage in blasting each other with insult but we should also remember that if the Gazette remove this report she and her family/friends will lose the messages of support posted here too ! gadgetgadget

12:19am Thu 9 Sep 10

Buckeye Bob says...

It's easy to suss out who the hacks are on this forum, they're the ones who can't shut up once they've started to spout and go on to pen a novel!

But by 'eck, hasn't the article been changed, the M word has vanished for starters!?
Lots of burning ears in the Gezzy thanks to the voice of Joe Public, bring it on folks, power to the people!

Neigh Neigh, Mister Ed.
It's easy to suss out who the hacks are on this forum, they're the ones who can't shut up once they've started to spout and go on to pen a novel! But by 'eck, hasn't the article been changed, the M word has vanished for starters!? Lots of burning ears in the Gezzy thanks to the voice of Joe Public, bring it on folks, power to the people! Neigh Neigh, Mister Ed. Buckeye Bob

4:21pm Thu 9 Sep 10

Andrew1 says...

There appears to be a lot of people getting their knickers in a twist, excuse the pun, over this story. It appears to me that the Gazette are just reporting the facts on what could have been a very dangerous incident if it had gone horribly wrong. If any of you had lost a loved one because of this ladies antics you might not be so defensive of her. I think it is time those of you offended brought yourself into the real world and toughened up a bit. If you dont like the story move on and do not make any more namby pamby comments and speculating on why this story has changed its content slightly, funnily enough im sure it was designed to offend like some of you little softies are suggesting, just a man/lady journalist doing their jobs
There appears to be a lot of people getting their knickers in a twist, excuse the pun, over this story. It appears to me that the Gazette are just reporting the facts on what could have been a very dangerous incident if it had gone horribly wrong. If any of you had lost a loved one because of this ladies antics you might not be so defensive of her. I think it is time those of you offended brought yourself into the real world and toughened up a bit. If you dont like the story move on and do not make any more namby pamby comments and speculating on why this story has changed its content slightly, funnily enough im sure it was designed to offend like some of you little softies are suggesting, just a man/lady journalist doing their jobs Andrew1

4:23pm Thu 9 Sep 10

Andrew1 says...

Should have said "was not designed to offend"
Should have said "was not designed to offend" Andrew1

4:57pm Thu 9 Sep 10

lifecycle says...

wascal wrote:
The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace,
Wascal.
Wascal, I think my first comment shows why it would be pointless for the Gazette to remove it now - it has been repeated all over the world anyway.
I also showed that many people have embarrassing moments in their lives reported to an equally wide readership with no recourse to have the details hushed up.
Indeed in many cases the media involved embellish the story and only occasionally are they forced to retract and apologise.
The best way to save face would have been for the incident not to have occured.
So many people who will at times have found themselves under great pressure without resorting to such public behaviour, will be wondering why Ms Chapman felt the need to take that course of action!

Personally, I find your criticism and call for the Gazette to remove the article hypocritical given the manner in which you first responded to my comment, which it appears has now been deleted!
You will not have advanced your crusade any with such a crude response!
[quote][p][bold]wascal[/bold] wrote: The Gazette should take full responsibility for this and no amount of philosophical debate about the rights of the free press or the finer details of solicitors duties will change that. We have now heard from a friend of the lady and so can see what damage has been done (not by the incident or court case but the subsequent reporting in the press). If the web editor has any shred of decency he/she will remove this article now, can I also suggest that all those who support the family stop posting new comments. Lets put an end to this now and leave her in peace, Wascal.[/p][/quote]Wascal, I think my first comment shows why it would be pointless for the Gazette to remove it now - it has been repeated all over the world anyway. I also showed that many people have embarrassing moments in their lives reported to an equally wide readership with no recourse to have the details hushed up. Indeed in many cases the media involved embellish the story and only occasionally are they forced to retract and apologise. The best way to save face would have been for the incident not to have occured. So many people who will at times have found themselves under great pressure without resorting to such public behaviour, will be wondering why Ms Chapman felt the need to take that course of action! Personally, I find your criticism and call for the Gazette to remove the article hypocritical given the manner in which you first responded to my comment, which it appears has now been deleted! You will not have advanced your crusade any with such a crude response! lifecycle

11:20pm Thu 9 Sep 10

Lakeuk says...

Well the story got bumped from the paper edition to make way for the page 3 nudes
Well the story got bumped from the paper edition to make way for the page 3 nudes Lakeuk

8:14am Fri 10 Sep 10

meatloaf says...

Will every one have the same sympathy for a member of their own family should she cause an accident and hit them?
The message is very plain and simple - focus on driving whilst in control of a vehicle.
Will every one have the same sympathy for a member of their own family should she cause an accident and hit them? The message is very plain and simple - focus on driving whilst in control of a vehicle. meatloaf

4:53pm Mon 13 Sep 10

soapy stevens says...

women pleasuring themselves at high speed shows a disregard for other road users in slow vehicles who cant keep up
women pleasuring themselves at high speed shows a disregard for other road users in slow vehicles who cant keep up soapy stevens

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