CTV Atlantic fined for breaking Youth Criminal Justice Act publication ban

CTV News in Halifax has been handed a $4,000 fine for showing the faces of two young offenders during a broadcast last August.

Station broadcast faces of teens involved in a home invasion that paralyzed a 17-year-old girl

CTV Atlantic was found guilty of a charge of breaching the Youth Criminal Justice Act. (Google Maps)

CTV News in Halifax was handed a $4,000 fine Monday for showing the faces of two alleged young offenders during a broadcast last August.

In an agreed statement of facts read during a sentencing hearing in provincial court, Crown attorney Terry Nickerson said the broadcaster violated a publication ban on the identities of the two teens involved in a youth court case in Halifax.

The video aired on Aug. 24 — the day three 17-year-old boys pleaded guilty to charges related to a home invasion that left a teenager partially paralyzed by a gunshot.

Nickerson said the faces of the two youths were clearly shown without attempts to block their identities during the 6 p.m. news broadcast.

Video aired only once

However, Nickerson said there was no intention by CTV to intentionally breach the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

"CTV also, on its own initiative as soon as they had identified the error, immediately purged the visual and stopped any repeat broadcast of the identifying visuals," Nickerson told the court.

Judge Michael Sherar said he concurred with the Crown and defence and called the fine a "fit and proper sentence" given there wasn't a distinct intention by CTV to break the law.

Outside court Nickerson said the fine was appropriate given the circumstances.

"Quite frankly there was no aggravating circumstances other than the offence itself. I've had some detailed discussions with their counsel as to changes of policy so it doesn't happen gain."

CTV pleaded guilty to violating the act during a court appearance last month.