A woman banned for drink-driving told me to take down the story - her words to me were 'we've all done it - I bet you have'.

A 'well-known' Peterborough person sentenced for his role in a car accident told me we couldn't publish the story under GDPR, and it would damage his reputation.

And so on. Welcome to the world of court reporting and publishing.

I've wanted to write this piece for a while, and after three people rang me up in the space of four days demanding we take their stories from our site - one dating back months - I thought I'd give a little insight into court reporting..

We get our court stories from experienced freelancers and Cambs police. The latter is important because the police want us to show that they are catching people, and those people are being sentenced - although whether those sentences are tough enough is a debate for another day.

On the assumption that not many of our readers have been inside a court, the simple fact is that anyone could go and sit in court for a day. You, me, anyone (putting Covid/social distancing aside).

They're often a lot less exciting than one would think, with a huge amount of admin taking up the day. But those sessions are necessary - the police and judiciary love media attendance.

Courts have been covered for centuries, but while stories would once appear in one edition of a newspaper, now they can stay online as a digital reminder.

And the bottom line is this: unless they're inaccurate or there is a particular legal issue such as contempt of court, we very rarely take court stories down, or remove information from them. In that regard, we are no different to any other news site.

The other scenario where we would take a story down is under the rehabilitation of offenders act, where a crime becomes 'spent' after a certain period - you can find out more about that here.

There is a reason we include ages and street names alongside ages, btw - if we just put John Smith from Peterborough, take a guess how many people from the city that could be? We want to make sure we're referring to the 'correct' John Smith.

By including stories, I have been accused of racism several times, and damaging the perpetrator's mental health on several others. Each time the plea is for removal of the story.

We try and be consistent with this, so that we don't have to make too many judgment calls. If we take one story down, where do we draw the line?

And yes we sometimes get criticism from readers who don't believe a story warrants press scrutiny - in particular reports detailing cannabis possession and minor speeding offences. It's particularly difficult when a probation officer gets in touch to ask if a piece can be removed, because someone trying to get a job is struggling when the prospective employer finds their name on the internet.

Covid, and isolation, has clearly made some people do things out of the ordinary, which has to be taken into account.

But when someone calls us to say we've 'invaded their privacy' or that they punched someone twice, not three times, if it was said in court we won't be acting upon their demands for change.

It takes me to Tuesday, when we received several comments demanding we 'name and shame' a woman who had disgracefully neglected her two-year-old son.

We were not present in court - the piece came from Cambs Police, minus her details.

And that means the identity of this lad was protected, now and for the future. He will not look back on the internet in years to come and see his mother's name, and by association his own identity, and that's how it should be, no matter how galling it is. Court orders are there for a reason.

Some of the other comments - stating that we won't put up her name, but will write huge stories on someone who has 'just' stolen a car or sold some drugs - then start to become even more inaccurate.

And in any event these people are still doing harm, even if it may not be viewed in the same regard.

I'll hold my hands up and say I've made mistakes, and perhaps included information that in retrospect should not have been disclosed.

But the court pieces as a whole will continue on our pages, and those of news sites across the world - because they are a public service as much as a story.

If you have any observations let us know at info@peterboroughmatters.co.uk