Courts identify the victim of assault, aged 16, online

Douglas Courthouse

Douglas Courthouse

  • by Adrian Darbyshire

A series of judgments published on the courts website have been removed - after Isle of Man Newspapers pointed out that they named a 16-year-old girl who was assaulted in a Douglas hotel room.

The court service said the judgments had been published in error and would be replaced with new version with the details of the complainant removed.

United Arab Emirates national Mayur Shridhar Sawardekar was found guilty following a trial of one charge of assault in connection with an incident that took place at the Regency Hotel in Douglas on August 16 last year.

He was sentenced on May 30 this year to 64 days custody and handed a five-year exclusion order.

Three judgments relating to pre-trial hearings were published on the courts.im website on Monday.

At one of these hearings, Deemster Alistair Montgomerie ruled there was no case to answer in connection with an offence of indecent assault with which initially Sawardekar had additionally been charged and to which he had entered a not guilty plea.

A spokesman said: ‘His Honour Deemster Montgomerie has asked that I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

‘The judgments you refer to were put on in error and have now been removed from the website.

‘Sanitised versions will be placed online shortly.

‘I can advise that there are measures in place, however it appears that on this occasion the judgments were provided for publication with content which should have been sanitised.’

Having judgments published online have played an important role in promoting open justice.

But this is not the first time that court rulings have been published in error.

In another case last year, a judgment was posted that could have prejudiced a pending trial.

Isle of Man Newspapers informed the Deemster that it was ‘sheer luck’ that we did not report that appeal judgment.

Our reporter had contacted the Attorney General’s Chambers to clarify the position about spent convictions and was informed the defendant was due to stand trial on another matter.

Deemster Montgomerie said the director of prosecutions ‘could and should’ have brought the matter of the pending trial to the Court of Appeal’s attention so that publication of the handed down judgment could have been postponed.




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