Sunday, 3 February 2013

Simon Sheppard arrested and now in Northallerton Prison for his leaflet which caused offence to two librarians

Statement by Kevin Watmough on 27 January 2013:

"Simon Sheppard was arrested on 25 January 2013 for 'poor conduct' which constitutes a breach of his licence conditions.  He handed copies of his latest article entitled 'Spree Killers to two workers in a public library who claimed to find his comment about the public attitude to mixed-race couples 'offensive'.  However, the article had already been seen by police and probation workers who made no objection.  He is currently waiting in a police cell for transport to Hull Prison, but is delayed by an extreme snowfall."

A further statement on 1 February 2013:

"Things are still getting worse for Simon Sheppard. He has been told that he will not be eligible of release after 28 days inside for his breach of the licence due to the ‘gravity of the offence’, so he will definitely stay in prison until 16th April when the licence expires. Also he is bailed to appear back at York police station on 7th March to see if he will be prosecuted under section 19, 1986 Public Order Act (the northern part of CPS HQ is also at York). They have now started saying that his article on ‘Spree Killers’ glorifies violence - which is nonsense."

Public Order Act 1986

S 19.-(1) A person who publishes or distributes written material Publishing or which is threatening, abusive or insulting is guilty of an offence distributing if- written
(a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or material.
(b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is
likely to be stirred up thereby.

Simon Sheppard has to intend to stir up racial hatred to be guilty of the offence, for one thing.

Who were the complainants?

Both of them were the same race as Simon Sheppard, I have been told.

Simon Sheppard, Political Prisoner, feeding a horse in York - September 2011

This section was intended to give the police a certain amount of discretion to move people along by arresting a few of them during demonstrations that looked as if they were about to turn nasty.

It was not intended to be abused by anyone claiming to have been offended in order to maliciously deprive him of his liberty.

It is clear from the facts given above that there was no danger at all of Simon Sheppard posing a threat to public order in the sense of waving a placard intended to be offensive to a group (eg "Behead all who insult Islam") also present in a public place who might be provoked into violence and disorder, no danger at all.

The CPS could issue guidelines stating that this law can only be used by a police officer in a situation where public order was in danger of being disrupted, eg at a demonstration.

But it chooses not to.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is a Labour supporter Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer, the Labour-supporting Director of Public Prosecutions
Someone should certainly be questioning his motives.

The contact details of Simon Sheppard, Political Prisoner, can be found at

Hull Prison where Simon Sheppard, Political Prisoner, is currently being held  for distributing a leaflet found to be offensive by two librarians in PC Britain.  He would probably be allowed to say this sort of thing in China.

Simon Sheppard A8042AA
A Wing
HM Prison Northallerton
15A East Road

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