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Home » Newsquest’s Charles Thomson Wins Two Regional Press Awards

Newsquest’s Charles Thomson Wins Two Regional Press Awards

Newsquest’s London investigations reporter Charles Thomson won two national prizes at the Regional Press Awards.

He was named Weekly Reporter of the Year for the third consecutive time and also won Crime and Investigative Reporter of the Year on April 16.

“The impact of Charles Thomson’s dogged reporting can be seen in a variety of different, and equally dramatic, ways,” said the judges.

“A willingness to spend considerable time corroborating details and hunting out vital clues is what marks Thomson out as an exceptional reporter.”

They added that he was “both a tenacious investigative reporter and an excellent all-rounder”.

These are the winning stories:

Jason Moore

Charles has spent over two years reinvestigating Jason Moore’s 2013 conviction for the murder of Robert Darby, after a single eyewitness picked him out of a line-up seven years after the crime.

Charles found that witness, who blurted out that he was drunk when he witnessed the stabbing and might have identified the wrong suspect.

The story resulted in follow-ups by the Mail, the Mirror, the Guardian, Private Eye, the BBC and ITV, and is now being used to challenge the conviction.

Islington abuse scandal

Charles produced a series of stories on the widespread historic abuse of children in Islington children’s homes, including an interview with a serving police officer who revealed he’d been abused by left-wing activist Roger Moody.

Charles revealed that Moody – a proud paedophile who actively campaigned to abolish the age of consent – had secured a succession of public sector jobs with children.

After around ten stories, dozens of fresh complainants contacted the Islington Survivors Network.

Hackney mould

Charles interviewed a couple who had both developed chronic lung conditions, attributed by doctors to their mouldy Hackney Council flat in Beck House.

After that story, a neighbour came forward, then more spoke out, forcing the council to commit to extensive repairs.

Plashet School

After being tipped off that some staff at Plashet School, East Ham, had walked out of their jobs, Charles used the Freedom of Information Act to find out why.

The school refused to comply, so he took his case to the Information Commissioner and won, revealing the school had been bombarded with abusive, homophobic emails falsely accusing teachers of “grooming” children.

The campaign, based on religious objections to the mention of LGBT issues in the school, was so severe that police were involved.