Kate Peyton inquest hears from BBC
An inquest into the death of Kate Peyton heard yesterday that the BBC did not believe there was a direct threat to journalists in Somalia, despite the country appearing in its highest risk category.
Paul Greaves, the BBC's head of safety told the coroner at Ipswich Crown Court that the country was designated 'an exceptionally high risk where battlefield conditions often prevalied'.
Ms Peyton was shot in the back as she and fellow journalist Peter Greste were leaving a hotel in Mogadishu in February, 2005.
Ms Peyton, 39, who grew up in Beyton and went to Culford School, was advised to keep a flak jacket in her hotel room for reporting on factional fighting, but not to wear it at other times to avoid drawing undue attention to herself, said Mr Greaves.
John Glendenning, the BBCs former deputy head of operational risk management, told the inquest Mr Greaves, who was then the head of the departnent, had been concered at the time that the situation was 'at the upper end of the limit of acceptable risk' but added that it was felt that the main threat was a risk of being caught in crossfire between the factional groups rather than a direct threat of attack on Westerners.
In a statement read to the court, Chris Green, project director for the BBC Trust's Somalian Journalism Training Project, said he cancelled a planned trip to the country for two of his staff in the aftermath of the shooting.
Earlier, a statement from Mohammed Olad Hassan, a journalist working for the BBC World Service who had been with Ms Peyton, said that bodyguards assigned to the team had not been alerted that the group was leaving the hotel. It was while waiting to get into the vehicle which had been parked on the road because the hotel compound was full, that Ms Peyton was shot
Earlier during the hearing, which began on Monday, Ms Peyton's family had expressed concern that she had felt under pressure to accept the BBC assignment in Somalia.
Her sister Rebecca Peyton said that Kate, who specialised in covering African affairs, had felt under pressure to show more commitment to her job. A two-year contract had been due to expire and she was anxious about her work situation.
"It was very clear to me there was enormous pressure. In news journalism you can earn a lot of points by going to dangerous places. It is simply how it functions. She was utterly clear in her mind that she had to do it - that she had no choice," she said.
BBC lawyer Anthony Hudson told the hearing that a thorough risk-assessment was carried out by the BBC before she left for her assignment.
The inquest continues.
- New mayor drives through Tesco’s doors
- Leading role given to ‘trailblazing’ schools
- Old friends form new group with man who toured in hit band
- World’s first professor of networking to speak at West Suffolk College business breakfast
- Future of HMV in Bury St Edmunds is secured after business is sold by administrators
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Bury St Edmunds
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west