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5 May, 2010

'prick' is not offensive, said Magistrate

It seems like tax-payer funded police can't find a good cause to take someone to court, instead, they take a 22-year-old science student to court for the usage of the word "prick".

Waverley Local Court magistrate Williams said he wasn't satisfied that a "reasonable person" would be offended by the word prick in general conversation.

Unlike beautiful Boston, Police in Australia has been known to abuse the powers against innocent tax-paying law-abiding citizens for personal matters.

It's OK to call a cop a pr**k, rules magistrate Robbie Williams (The Daily Telegraph 4 May 2010)

IT'S the five-letter word that police should from now on shrug-off.

Why?

Because a local court magistrate in Sydney ruled yesterday that the word "prick" was part of the every-day vernacular as he cleared a university student of an offensive language charge.

Waverley Local Court magistrate Robbie Williams made his comments during a hearing for science student Henry Grech, 22, who was charged following a heated argument with Senior Constable Adam Royds at Bondi Junction train station last year.

Mr Williams said he wasn't satisfied that a "reasonable person" would be offended by the word prick in general conversation.

"I consider the word prick is of a less derogatory nature than other words and it is in common usage in this country," he said.

"A police officer on a number of occurrences would hear words like this used on a much worse scale. Police officers would be used to this type of language."

Mr Williams said the spectrum of acceptable offensive vocabulary in society was a "moving feast".

"The words also take on different meaning. It is clear that there are some words which could be considered to be on the offensive list," he said.

"As to whether the word prick falls into that category must be taken in the context of which it was used."

NSW Police Association secretary Peter Remfrey said the legal system should not be making police "second-class citizens".

"We don't think it is satisfactory for the courts to sanction this sort of language against police officers," he said.

"Police shouldn't be punching bags for society, nor should they be open to this sort of abuse. One only has to contemplate the response of a magistrate if somebody called them a prick in their court. The magistrates should adopt the same approach to all people in the criminal justice system."

Senior Constable Royds stopped Mr Grech on the station's concourse area on November 5 last year after Mr Grech allegedly jumped a barrier.

The pair had an aggressive exchange of words before Mr Grech told the officer that he would "see him in court" if he continued to harass him.

Mr Grech then called Senior Constable Royds "a prick".

Mr Grech, who is student at the University of NSW, said he was surprised the matter had been taken to court.

"When I used the word I didn't think it was offensive and didn't think it would end up in court," Mr Grech said.

"I'm happy I got off."

Mr Grech's lawyer Nick Hanna used previous cases dating back to 1951 to compare other cases where magistrates and judges had dismissed offensive language charges.

He referenced decisions from court cases in NSW, Western Australia and South Australia where magistrates ruled that words including "s***" and "f***" had not been used in "an offensive manner and without sexual overtones".

Police prosecutors are unlikely to appeal against Mr Williams' decision.

related blog entries on disgraceful police:

benefits of being a police officer? (9 February, 2010)
best people for trafficking drug? Queensland Police! (3 February, 2010)
exciting follow up news against disgraceful police (3 December, 2008)
disgraceful Queensland Police (22 October, 2008)
disgraceful NSW Police decision (6 August, 2008)
disgraceful power abusing Queensland police officers (14 May, 2008)
how police distribute their resource (23 April 2008)
disgraceful trigger-happy cop (23 November 2007)
abusing police power for personal revenge, disgraceful (27 September 2007)
Victoria Police refuses to apology (23 December 2004)

Posted by Antony on 5 May 2010 12:43 PM |

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