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Sun apology over shooting victim

Campaigners welcomed news that The Sun newspaper has agreed to apologise to the family of murdered Darren Deslandes over an inaccurate article.

The red-top tabloid implied that Deslandes had been part of a “wild west shootout” between rival gangs on New Years Day, when the victim was a respected and law-abiding citizen.

The article – branded “disrespectful and offensive” by the Deslandes family – provoked a storm of protest as hundreds of people bombarded the Sun with complaints.

Viv Ahmun, who set up a Facebook group in memory of the 34-year-old housing officer, said the Sun’s decision should act as an encouragement to hold the mainstream media to account when they perpetuate racial stereotypes.

He said: ‘For the Sun to give an inference towards the gang stereotype was completely unacceptable. But we organised the Facebook group and got people to complain, and we made the sun aware that this is something we are no longer willing to tolerate.

‘The paper were clearly unnerved by it. A few days later the Sun’s editor had called me up offering an apology worded by us.

‘It really marks the beginning of a process to create an environment whereby the mainstream press think twice before indulging in lazy journalism that perpetuates the negative image of our community.

‘We have to make sure this is a signal to other papers. We all have to support initiatives to hold the mainstream press to account.’

The Deslandes family are believed to be satisfied with the apology in the Sun. Other media outlets reported the murder more responsibly.

The victim’s younger brother, Junior, who was also shot remains in a serious condition in hospital.

* Saturday Hassan, 30, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

By Lester Holloway

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2 Responses

  1. Facebook works, well done Viv Ahmun for your stirling effort. I am sure the Deslandes Family were comforted by your efforts. Well done to all who responded. RIP Darren..Best wishes to Junior for a speedy recovery.

  2. Brilliant work!

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