A BBC journalist who revealed the identity of a rape victim was covering his first trial and had never set foot inside a crown court before the day of his live broadcast, a court heard.
BBC Asian Network reporter Rickin Majithia revealed the real name of the complainant in a rape trial during a live report of a case involving the Rotherham grooming scandal in February 2018.
His line manager, BBC Asian Network’s head of news Arif Ansari, has now gone on trial accused of breaching the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 which entitles all complainants of sexual offences to lifelong anonymity.
Prosecutor Neil Usher told the Sheffield Magistrates’ Court how Mr Majithia made the mistake as he wrongly believed the name he used was a pseudonym.
Giving evidence, Mr Majithia said he had not covered a trial before and had not even sat in a crown court case.
The reporter told the court he found out about the mistake 10 minutes after the name was read out when a social worker called him.
He drafted a letter of apology to the victim, but Mr Majithia told the court he was blocked from sending it by his superiors.
Although he had been at the BBC for nine years, he had only been a reporter for 12 months. Mr Majithia said the mistake would be something he will regret for the “rest of his life”.