Nottingham Branch News Release

23 May 2006

Defend the Nottingham One (again)!

A trial date has been set for a Nottingham photographer, who is accused of obstructing a police officer while doing his job.

Alan Lodge - a freelance photographer and NUJ member - appeared before Nottingham Magistrates today for a pre-trial review.

Alan Lodge (in hat) with supporting members and Freelance Organiser John Toner (right): © Pete Jenkins

Alan Lodge (in hat) with supporting members and Freelance Organiser John Toner (right) at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 23 May. His trial date on a charge of obstructing police – who he was photographing – was set for 17 October.

Paul Dhami, of Thompson's Solicitors, outlined the facts of the case to the bench. "Mister Lodge was taking photographs of a police armed response unit on Alfred Street, Nottingham, on Saturday 18th March. He was arrested firstly for assault, then de-arrested. He was then arrested and de-arrested for breach of the peace, before finally being arrested and later charged with obstruction."

The defence centres around new Media Guidelines, agreed between the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police - Steve Green - and the NUJ, earlier this year. During the incident, Mister Lodge's equipment and memory card were confiscated. Yet the guidelines clearly state that police officers have no right to seize such equipment simply because somebody is taking photographs.

Mr Dhami told the court that he would be frequently referring to the guidelines during the trial, and that he intended to question the arresting officer about why the guideline were ignored.

The Court set a trial date for Tuesday 17 October before Nottingham Magistrates and adjourned the case. Mr Lodge was given unconditional bail.

Last modified: 23 May 2006 - © 2006 contributors
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