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Thursday, January 15, 2004
Law and order under Labour #2

Lax enforcement of anti-assault laws:

A judge has upheld a burglar's claim that he was only acting in self-defence when he assaulted a policeman who was trying to arrest him.

... PC Peter Scott was called to a house where an intruder was hiding in the loft. The officer told a court that Paul Reilly resisted arrest and assaulted him as he attempted to carry out his duty, punching him and then grinding his face into roof lagging. PC Scott was left with substantial facial injuries and Reilly was arrested only when another officer managed to get him in a headlock. Reilly, 27, appeared at Reading Crown Court last week and admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but on the basis of self-defence.

Fascist enforcement of anti-speech laws:

A preacher who was assaulted by the crowd when he held up a poster calling for an end to homosexuality, lesbianism and immorality, but who was himself convicted of a public order offence, has had his conviction upheld.

... Two senior judges dismissed arguments that the conviction of the late Harry Hammond, 69, an evangelical Christian, for displaying an "insulting" sign interfered with his freedom of religious expression and infringed his human rights.The sign caused a furore as a group of 30 to 40 people gathered round. Mr Hammond had soil thrown at him and water poured over his head.

Lord Justice May, sitting with Mr Justice Harrison, said it had been open to magistrates in Wimborne, Dorset, to convict Mr Hammond in April 2002. Mr Hammond's behaviour "went beyond legitimate protest".
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