Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Malicious prosecution of Nick Griffin's bodyguard

Martin Reynolds, 46, was taken into police custody outside a fundraising event for the far-right party in St Helens at 6pm [15 March 2014].

Merseyside Police confirmed officers were called to Forrester Avenue, Thatto Heath, by a woman reporting that a man had got out of a car and made a derogatory remark towards her.

Mr Reynolds, who is from the Leeds area, was then arrested on suspicion of an aggravated public order offence.

Is insulting a lesbian a public order offence? Is calling a woman who is not a lesbian a lesbian a public order offence?

Have the police ever heard of the de minimis rule?

Clearly not.

If vulgar abuse cannot give rise to an action in defamation, then how can it become a criminal offence?

A statement that amounts to an insult or is mere vulgar abuse is not defamatory. This is because the words do not convey a defamatory meaning to those who heard them (simple abuse is unlikely to cause real damage to a reputation).

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