Man arrested for picture of burning poppy out on bail


8:30 am - November 13th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Kent Police have released a 19-year-old man on police bail after questioning him for posting a picture of a burning poppy.

The incident came to light on Sunday night when Kent police were alerted that the teenager had posted the picture to a popular Facebook group and taunted its readers.

By the time the police paid him a visit on Sunday evening, he had already taken the post down on the advice of a friend.

Both the Daily Mail and the Sun published the name and picture of the 19-year-old in question yesterday.

A local parish councillor told The Sun:

It’s absolutely disgusting and disgraceful what this lad did. He should be severely punished.

I’ve got five sons either serving or have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I know what they’d like to do to this idiot.

Liberal Conspiracy contacted local authorities yesterday but they refused to offer any other information than the post on their website.

The Daily Mail reported his father saying that the teenager had posted the message while drunk.

He also worried about retaliatory attacks:

He has been stupid but it’s totally out of order to arrest him over one complaint. I would have preferred if they had come, taken him to the police station and told him off.

We’ve been told he cannot stay at ours and should go to relatives or friends in case people are out there wanting to carry out reprisal attacks. That’s the advice of the police. We’ve had loads of phone calls from people who are angry and outraged.

By yesterday evening Kent Police updated their post to say that further investigations were pending.

It is not clear whether the man will go to court or the charges will be dropped.

Earlier this year, 20-year-old Azhar Ahmed was spared jail but fined £300 in court and ordered to do 240 hours of community service over a two-year period for posting an offensive message on Facebook.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


This is increasingly absurd. Doesn’t anyone have a sense of proportion?

Calling somebody else an “idiot” as the local counsellor has done is the only real crime that I can detect here so far.

Man imprisoned for heckling Prime Minister. Man imprisoned for writing slogan on Tshirt. Man arrested for burning poppy. Welcome to Cameron’s jack boot Britain.

Meanwhile Cameron defends backbencher who calls police officer a fucking pleb. And Boris and David Mellor smear victim of child abuse. Laws are only for the little people in tory land.

4. Bud Lightweek

With the words he added to his picture, this was clearly a provocation, and he is an idiot – drunk or not.

However – the free speech of the rest of us MUST be protected.

It’s the famous slippery slope, down from here, to arrest for criticising Cameron, IDSS, Atos, and the whole farce of a Coalition.

Do we want to live in China-maque?

5. Chaise Guevara

@ Sally

“Man imprisoned for heckling Prime Minister. Man imprisoned for writing slogan on Tshirt. Man arrested for burning poppy. Welcome to Cameron’s jack boot Britain.”

That first one was on Blair’s watch, wasn’t it?

Chaise: “That first one was on Blair’s watch, wasn’t it?”

I think this event at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton in 2005 is what you have in mind:

The Labour Party has apologised after an 82-year-old member was thrown out of its annual conference for heckling.

Walter Wolfgang, from London, was ejected from the hall after shouting “nonsense” as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw defended Iraq policy.

Police later used powers under the Terrorism Act to prevent Mr Wolfgang’s re-entry, but he was not arrested.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4291388.stm

7. Chaise Guevara

Cheers Bob, that’s the one.

No, its not on Blairs watch. Although, that was a man evicted from labour conference under Blairs terrorism act. He did not go to prison.

A man heckled Cameron in Scotland at some tory jamboree, and was sentenced to prison. I think 2 weeks ago.

9. Chaise Guevara

Sally, all I can find is someone who was sentenced to community service after heckling Cameron – but it was for breaking through a security cordon, not for heckling in itself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-20181601

10. Jerhovas Witless

I think the guy deserves jail. I bet he doesn’t know how to roll a joint either. Call himself a teenager! Disgusting!

11. Jerhovas Witless

I wonder if you post a picture of a picture (as Sunny as done) the feds wont turn up at your door. Maybe they might send a photocopy around to arrest you!

What a ridiculous case. I pray that a sensible magistrate will dismiss the case – with a stiff lecture to the police for their collective stupidity.

DW

@12

With the introduction of PCC’s we can expect to see plenty of bandwagon jumping on issues like this in the future. Locking up someone for being an obnoxious idiot is a good vote winner even if he hasn’t actually broken the law.

What a bunch of total archoles the Kent Kops are, to be sure. Or should that be Keystone Cops?

And, as usual, the Mail and the Sun add their quasi-fascist nonsense.

By the way, there are almost 800 names on the memorial of the former pupils of my school who died in the two World Wars. I have immense respect for every one of them.

But I have not a jot or iota of respect for the stupid Kentish Kunt plods who decided to pursue this ineffably ridiculous case. God will surely damn every one of them to Hell.

@9. Chaise Guevara: “Sally, all I can find is someone who was sentenced to community service after heckling Cameron – but it was for breaking through a security cordon, not for heckling in itself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-20181601

It was a second offence (following similar political activity) so the sentence was normal. The sentence means that he’ll get a temp job in a charity shop, he’ll love doing it and the shop will ask him to stick around. He would be unwise to participate in political stunts for a couple of years.

A lesson in how to deal effectively with heckling at the hustings:

The great 18th-century politician, journalist and all-round hell-raiser John Wilkes was once heckled by a man who cried: “Vote for you? I’d sooner vote for the Devil.” A master of comedy timing, Wilkes promptly replied: “And what if your friend is not standing?”
http://news.uk.msn.com/politics/general-election-2010/photos/photos.aspx?ucsort=0&cp-documentid=150365265&page=11


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Sunny Hundal

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  2. Mona Eltahawy

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  3. Lauren G

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  4. Peter ...Pleb

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  5. Cai Wingfield

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  6. Eldred J Coke

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  7. Asange

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  8. Tim Rose

    Man arrested for picture of burning poppy now out on bail http://t.co/aT2A6A0q This is seriously disturbing… #PoliceState

  9. Lucy James

    He's clearly a numpty but arresting someone for burning a poppy? http://t.co/WpuskN6A @liberalconspiracy

  10. Katy Layton-Jones

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  11. Sarah Brown

    Yet another twitter arrest http://t.co/A43bKdRq via @sunny_hundal

  12. Winyan Staz Wakien

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  13. Adam

    MadnessRT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/lpygitQm

  14. Gaza Boat Convoy

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  15. bill bold

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  16. Jason Brickley

    Man arrested for picture of burning poppy now out on bail http://t.co/eYJt559D

  17. 2covet

    Utterly wonky RT @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing pic of a burning poppy now out on bail.But may go to court http://t.co/iUh8CmsZ

  18. Gods & Monsters

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  19. Gods & Monsters

    Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/CT4tbbFF

  20. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Man arrested for picture of burning poppy now out on bail http://t.co/5LCcvKdD

  21. Stephan

    Wait, you can get arrested for burning a poppy? "On suspicion of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act." http://t.co/VlfdUlNA

  22. Stephen Hoffman

    Man arrested for burning poppy pic http://t.co/akKxRTxB Another case against twitter liberty. Hate what he did, but should have the right.

  23. Angry Striving Pleb

    @sunny_hundal: Man arrested for publishing a picture of a burning poppy now out on bail. But may go to court http://t.co/aCTf4n8s >> Absurd

  24. (:???????ºO

    How is that illegal? More specifically, how is that illegal but not publishing this: http://t.co/cShhNrmD

  25. Reflections about Monday's BBC programme | Behind Hamburg's Walls

    […] same Today programme I learnt that an unnamed 19 year old had been arrested for posting a photo of him burning a poppy on Facebook, accompanied by a drunken & stupid message he had written: “How about that you […]

  26. Jon Rubin

    Man arrested for picture of burning poppy now out on bail http://t.co/SYeKVJ4L separation of morality and legality central to liberalism





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