TUESDAY, JUNE 28: Bermuda Broadcasting Company was fined $6,000 in Magistrates’ Court today after it named two people charged with sex assault.

The first matter occurred on November 9 when a reporter named a man who had been charged with a sex offence.

The second matter was on March 30 when a reporter named a man who was acquitted of a sexual offence. She also named the complainant.

Bermuda Broadcasting pleaded guilty to both charges.

Section 329C of the criminal code forbids a defendant to be named before conviction for a sexual offence, unless a court orders otherwise.

The same section also forbids a defendant to be named after acquittal for a sexual offence unless a court orders otherwise.

A complainant of a sexual offence must never be named unless a court orders otherwise.

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “The news media in Bermuda in particular Bermuda Broadcasting because they are who are charged, are powerful and important institutions in this country and I say in this country, I mean Bermuda and I put it that way because Bermuda is a small community and of course with power and authority that news media brings comes with it great responsibility.”

He continued: “People, corporations through people do make mistakes but in terms of this responsibility, it’s for them what reasons I mention and the impact that this type of behaviour can result in.

“They must be very, very careful in the carrying out of their duties.”

Mr Warner gave the company two $3,000 fines. The maximum fine for the offence is $5,000.

Mark Pettingill represented Bermuda Broadcasting.