Of course The Guardian doesn't exactly have a massive readership and with no other UK papers picking up on the story it could have sank quickly from sight if it hadn't been for the geek grape vine commonly known as the blogsphere.
Bloggers picked up on the story, adding their own slant and their readers adding their own comments and experiences. The story spread quickly around the world triggering storys in Der Spiegel (the popular german left wing weekly magazine), The Register, The Inquirer and other online news services but mostly propogating blog to blog.
It has taken less than a week for this little story to explod around world thanks to the internet. At the time of writting, a google search for "David Mery" and "police" brings up about 900 hits (all of which appear to refer to the story)