Shane Ward charged with ‘naming sex attack victim’ on Facebook

Shane Ward charged with ‘naming sex attack victim’ on Facebook



We have commented previously on the way in which the law has caught up (or failed to catch up, depending on your point of view with technology).

Additionally, we have warned of the dangers of social media, and how easy it is to risk a charge of contempt of court.

A further warning came on 9th July 2015 when Shane Ward was charged with breaching the law relating to the anonymity of victims of sexual offences.



At this stage, we won’t be saying much, for obvious reasons. South Yorkshire Police have a Facebook page and Mr Ward is alleged to have posted a comment there in relation to an ongoing court case.

This comment allegedly named the complainant in that case. Mr Ward is due at Court on 21st July, where we imagine more details will be reported.

We have a fact sheet that explains the law in relation to this area. An example of a previous prosecution can be found in the Ched Evans case.

Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


  1. This sort of thing will continue until rape trial defendants are granted anonymity. With current false allegations running at 33% England & Wales 2014 HMIC figs, the situation now is contrary to ECtHR. Also, UK law only applies in Britain, anyone can and will be named abroad.

    • Where do you get that figure of 33% from (it sounds as if you might be confusing retracted allegations with false ones)? So far as I can make out, no one has a clue what proportion of allegations are false, despite the various figures, both high and low, that are bandied about.

      • Lincolnshire Constabulary. South Wales Police had 3% so either ten times more liars live in Lincoln or ten times more truthful accounts in Llanelli. Or it could be that the average figure of 25% is accurate.

        • You still haven’t said where you are getting these figures from, or what they actually measure (I’m guessing that it could be victim withdrawals, or police recorded “no crimes”, but neither of these are the same as false allegations). Whatever it is that you are measuring, it is unlikely that you can make meaningful comparisons between individual police authorities. There are over 40 police authorities in the UK and they are very variable in size. If you are looking at any specific offence, most authorities don’t get enough no crimes or withdrawals to allow statistically significant comparisons with other forces or with the mean.

    • What would be nice was if men stopped committing crime and also if they stopped raping. It’s the intrinsic need in men to not be held accountable or take responsibility for what they do that drives this sort of comment. Even if a defendant is not convicted it does not mean they did not do that for which they stand accused.

      • That would be very nice. And despite the fat it would do me out of a job, I would welcome it. Until we sort that out though, we need to deal with the world as we find it.

  2. I am suggesting that all defendants be accorded anonymity including those of the female persuasion.

    No doubt many defendants are guilty although acquitted but the trial process is all we have to determine guilt or innocence.

    And you don’t know and I don’t know . . . no, let’s leave this case unmentioned until after the trial.

    • I know you were making a genderless suggestion Andrew however as crime is almost the exclusive domain of those of the male persuasion the true beneficiaries of your suggestion will be men. Prison population circa 80,000 men 4,500 women and that’s only the ones getting banged up.

      Would I feel sorry for the poor bloke who is frequently accused let’s say by nearly every women he dates of rape and or sexual assault, because well…. they’re making it up? No. I’d sprint away from him as fast as my stilletto’s would allow and not look back. That’s why a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing it always people to make choices that might save their lives or keep them from harm. Actually that’s good isn’t it. More needs to be done to protect victims from perps.

  3. Lbe-Eg-Sor what you say is logical but not reasonable unless every time you come into contact in the course of ordinary life with a man you have instant access to every press report since he reached 18 – which is unlikely.
    And if his name is John Smith you’ll need his date of birth too.
    The fact is that naming unconvicted defendants (most of them not accused of sexual or violent offences) causes great injustice at the hands of the No Smoke Without Fire Brigade. The French manage perfectly well with them being called Monsieur A or even Mme B (Mlle is now out of fashion) – it does not stop the French tabloid from titillating their readers with the juicy details of such cases as they choose to report.