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) 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
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
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.