Police apology as video names Mo witnesses

A clip from Ashley Dacosta's police interview.
A clip from Ashley Dacosta's police interview.

SUSSEX Police have issued an apology after releasing a video which inadvertently reveals the names of witnesses to a racist attack on a Hooe schoolboy.

Last Monday the Force released a two-minute video clip of a 20-minute police interview with Ashley Dacosta, who was jailed at Hove Crown Court last week for his unprovoked assault on former Ninfield Primary pupil Mo Bourner in October 2011.

The clip was released to the media, but was withdrawn earlier this week after officers released the clip contained the names of several witnesses, which should have been edited out in line with Force policy.

The names were read out in court and there were no restrictions in place preventing the naming of the witnesses.

The video was not listed on the Sussex Police public Youtube page or available via search, but was accessible to those with the direct link which was released to the media.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “We try to share as much as possible with the media and public to aid understanding about how we operate, particularly for cases like this where there is lots of public interest.

“Having checked with the investigation team, there is not believed to be any risk to the individuals named, all of whom were already known to Dacosta.

“There were no court orders prohibiting their names being reported.

“Nevertheless, our policy is to remove names when providing such footage to the media, which did not happen in this case due to human error.

“As such, we are in the process of contacting those mentioned to apologise and reassure that the footage has been removed.

“We have also withdrawn the license provided to the media to use it, apologised to them for any inconvenience and thanked them for not using the clip.”

Dacosta, a soldier based at Victoria Barracks in Windsor, was jailed for six for the attack, which left 15-year-old Mo brain damaged.