Legal mess

Could the BBC and Lords Woolman and Bonomy please explain why it was in “the public interest” to release photographs of the chaotic interior of Kimberley Hainey’s flat (your report, 12 January), published by the media?

As normally a supporter of freedom of information I find this whole episode disturbing.

I can’t see a “public interest” other than to stir up salivating prurience and further hatred of someone who should never have been left in charge of her child in the first place.

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How does this help to protect children better? Are we to pick on popular hate figures for these “public interest “ requests?

How might publication affect subsequent court appeals of those accused? A protocol in Scotland for the Crown Office to release such material will now be important, but it must spell out clearly and closely the grounds for “public interest” release.

Instead of raising more waves of unthinking verbal abuse against drug addicts and social workers, I suggest this case should much more productively prompt constructive discussion about how local communities and third-sector agencies can be fully involved as equals with the statutory agencies, in protecting our most vulnerable children.

Sarah Nelson

Comely Bank Road

Edinburgh