A SENIOR judge was branded “rather ridiculous” by a Tory MP after quashing the conviction of a man for swearing at police.
Britain’s top police chief Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling that using expletives at officers is not punishable.
He won the backing of Tory MP for Shipley Philip Davies who attacked the ruling by Mr Justice Bean in the House of Commons.
Mr Davies said: “The excellent new Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has said that people should be properly punished for swearing at police officers whereas the rather ridiculous Mr Justice Bean has recently quashed the conviction for somebody who swore at a police officer, saying that was the kind of thing they should expect.
“Given the widespread concern there is about the lack of respect in society, surely people shouldn’t be able to swear at police officers without punishment.”
Responding to questions on future Commons business, Leader of the House Sir George Young, said: “Having been on the police parliamentary scheme, I do understand the frustration that policemen experience when they are subject to abuse.
“My recollection is that it is not an offence, as such, to swear at a policeman but if after you have been warned you carry on you are liable to be arrested.”
He told Mr Davies he would get an “authoritative” response from Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
Mr Justice Bean overturned a public order conviction at the High Court of a suspect who repeatedly said “f***” at police.
Denzel Cassius Harvey, 20, from Hackney, was fined £50 at Thames Youth Court in March last year after justices convicted him of a public order offence in repeatedly swearing at two police officers in Bradstock Road, Hackney, when he was searched for cannabis.