February 2012 - Case Update: Anthony Rollins v The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (2010)
Aughton Ainsworth acted for the Claimant.
The Birmingham County Court found in favour of the Claimant.
The Claimant sought damages for false imprisonment and a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998.
The claimant is an evangelical Christian and on 24th June 2008 was arrested whilst street preaching and handing out gospel tracts in Birmingham city centre. The Claimant was arrested without reasonable grounds on a charge under the Public Order Act (POA) 1986. The Claimant was later charged under section 5 of the POA for use of threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
The claimant fist instructed solicitors, Aughton Ainsworth, in this matter in November 2008.
In the Birmingham County Court on 10th December 2010 it was ordered there be judgment for the claimant in the sum of £4,250.00. It was held that the arresting police officer acted in a way incompatible with the claimant’s rights under Article 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case received heavy media attention.
The result was seen as a major success for the protection of free speech in Britain threatened by POA section 5 and the upholding of ECHR Art. 9 right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Edited: 24th February 2012.