Harry Miller was repeatedly threatened with prosecution by Humberside Police for a series of tweets he made. A judge has now found that the actions of Humberside Police violated Harry Miller’s human right to freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, Kate Scottow has been found guilty of “causing annoyance or anxiety” for her own tweets.
Campaigning organisation Fair Cop, which Harry Miller is a part of, tweeted out the results of the judgement in their case from the courtroom earlier today.
The Hate Crime Operational Guidance requires that police record all ‘non-crime incidents’ which are perceived by anyone to be motivated by hostility or prejudice. The judge found that this practice is, in itself, lawful. However, since Harry Miller’s tweets were themselves lawful, following actions by police, which included turning up to his workplace to threaten prosecution if his actions ‘escalated’, were unlawful.
Although this is a personal victory for Harry Miller, and both he and Fair Cop are likely to be relieved by the judgement, the ruling allows for the recording of ‘non-crime incidents’ to continue. The struggle over HCOG is far from over.
In a shocking counterpoint, Kate Scottow has been found guilty of failing to ‘be nice’ by another judge on the same day.
Those advocating for freedom of speech should be especially concerned at the apparent failure of consistency in judgements on display.
Posted by AB
14 February, 2020 at 1:21 pm
There's no contradiction. I was unaware of both cases until now. It seems, according to the media reports over the past year, Kate Scottow targeted an individual and her behaviour was seen as part of a campaign of harassment, whereas Harry Miller tweeted in relation to transgender people in general. Therefore, it appears that if you cause annoyance to 'anyone and sundry' that might happen to see a tweet, that does not rise to abuse and hate crime but abusive comments that target an individual and cause harassment are where the line is drawn and apparently that can be from annoyance which causes harassment (or alarm or distress included within that term).