Jackass star's photo in place of dead solider's

01:14, Jul 28 2014
ERROR: The Herald's frontpage featuring the photo of Jackass star Ryan Dunn.
ERROR: The Herald's frontpage featuring the photo of Jackass star Ryan Dunn.

The New Zealand Herald has apologised for running a picture of a dead star from television's Jackass with its lead story about a New Zealand-born soldier killed in a Gaza firefight.

Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland, 21, was born in this country but moved to Israel with his parents when he was still a young boy.

A combat soldier in the Israel Defence Force's Engineer Corps, he was reportedly killed in a firefight with Hamas gunmen on Friday (local time) in the southern Gaza Strip.

In its front page report into the death this morning, the Herald ran a picture of former Jackass crew member Ryan Dunn, who died in a car crash in 2011. The picture had also been on the Herald's website but has since been replaced.

Herald editor Shayne Currie said it apologised unreservedly to Boyland's family and friends following the incorrect use of two images.

''As editor I take responsibility for the errors that should never have occurred. I have personally spoken to members of Guy's family this morning, as has the CEO of APN, Jane Hastings. The family members have been remarkably forgiving, particularly in the circumstances. I have apologised for adding to their grief and I will keep them fully updated on how this happened as obviously it is unacceptable.

''We are currently looking into what checks were made regarding the two images, with a view to ensuring procedures are reviewed to ensure that there is no repeat of this error in the future."

The picture of Dunn does appear on Boyland's Facebook page, among a selection of profile pictures.

Boyland had been only four months away from completing his mandatory army service, Haaretz reported.

At Kibbutz Ginosar his aunt Rotem Gofar said: "Our beloved Guy, there is no consolation." She recalled the "long-haired ginger boy" who was always surrounded by good friends and playing the guitar.

Boyland was twice recognised for outstanding IDF service. A biography read out at his service said: "Some four months before being released (from IDF service), in a war in Gaza, while blowing up tunnels, killed by terrorists."

The Herald reported Boyland's mother Adva was Israeli, while his father Glenn was a New Zealander.