The prosecution handed over witness statements and said they wanted to use CCTV from McDonalds as well as a Youtube video (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld3I4zVxc2A). Well, have a look and judge for yourself. What an evil dangerous protest, right?
The campaigner is still awaiting his request for legal aid and so has no representation at this time.
Section 5 of the Public Order Act basically is words or behaviour likely to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ and as we all know holding a placard and expressing your views in McDonalds is very harassing, alarming and distressing and a terrible crime!
15th Sep, 10.00 a.m. at Cambridge Magistrates Court at 43 Hauxton Road, Cambridge – Support Welcome!
" a) use threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, or
b) display any writing, sign, or other visual representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused alarm, harassment or distress thereby".
So, the key words to remember are threatening, abusive, insulting, disorderly. Any protest about something nasty could upset/distress/offend someone, but that doesn't mean the offence is made out. Merely causing alarm, harassment or distress is NOT a S5 offence, there has to be a threatening/abusive/insulting/disorderly element.