Feeds

Swearing fine quashed as teens have heard it all before

Fair f*cking shout, your honour

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Shouting obscenities in public should no longer be considered offensive as teenagers and coppers have heard it all before.

The judgment, which may or may not be decried as a fucking outrage by the police and other legal authorities, came from the court of appeal last week.

Denzel Harvey, 20, was appealing against a £50 fine for swearing at officers who were searching him for cannabis in 2009, the Daily Mail reports.

The High Court heard that Harvey swore at the truncheon fondlers throughout the search, conducted in a Hackney street, telling them: "Fuck this man, I ain't been smoking nothing."

When the fruitless frisking was concluded, the clearly put out Harvey added: "Told you wouldn't find fuck all." When asked whether he had a middle name, he replied: "No, I've already fucking told you."

The coppers then nicked him for a public order offence, and magistrates found him guilty after hearing that Harvey had launched his tirade as a group of teenagers stood nearby.

Under the Public Order Act, swearing becomes a offence where it is likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress".

Justice Bean overturned the conviction last week, declaring it was "quite impossible to infer that the group of young people who were in the vicinity were likely to have experienced alarm or distress at hearing these rather commonplace swearwords used".

Too fucking right. Bean clearly knows Hackney, and the resilience of its youth, somewhat better than the magistrates did. The judge added that the coppers were unlikely to have been alarmed by the outburst as they'd have heard the words all too frequently.

The Telegraph reports that the Met earlier this year advised officers not to bring charges when they are sworn at as it would be difficult to convince the courts they had been alarmed or distressed by foul language. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.