2 May 2006
Defend the Nottingham One!
The National Union of Journalists is backing Nottingham
photographer Alan Lodge in a court case which could have implications for
|Alan Lodge outside the court, flanked by Nottingham Branch secretary Kevin Stanley and chair Diana Peasey
Mr Lodge was arrested and charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer
after attempting to photograph armed police in the St Ann's area of the
Mr Lodge formally denied the charge when he appeared before Nottingham
Magistrates court today. Defending the case, Paul Dhami of Thompson's
Solicitors told the court how Mr Lodge saw armed officers on Alfred Street
in Nottingham on the afternoon of Saturday 19th March.
"The officers took exception to his presence, and one took it upon himself
to physically impede Alan and then arrested him," Mr Dhami told the court.
"His bag containing camera equipment and his mobile phone were taken as
evidence. Apart from the memory card inside the camera, there is no basis
for this action."
Mr Dhami also referred to a set of guidelines recently agreed between the
National Union of Journalists and Nottinghamshire's Chief Constable Steve
Green. "It would appear that the officer in question was either not aware of
these guidelines or chose to ignore them."
The prosecution asked for the case to be adjourned for five weeks for a
pre-trial review. This has been scheduled for 9.45am on 2 May at Nottingham
Magistrates Court. Mr Lodge was given unconditional bail.
Speaking outside the court, NUJ Nottingham Branch Secretary, Kevin Stanley,
said: "Cases like these raise important questions about the right for
photographers to carry out their duties in a public place. We will continue
argue vigorously that Alan has done nothing wrong and should not have been
Update 18 April 2006
- Alan's equipment was returned to him recently. He is on bail for a court date in May.
- And on 2 May the police requested more time; the pre-trial review will now take place at 10am on Tuesday 23 May at Nottingham Magistrates Court, Carrington Street.