The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

From 'The Times'

POLICE released three suspects yesterday....This might have been a big story, except that they were golliwoggs.

The dolls were seized from the window of a shop on suspicion of causing “alarm, harassment or distress” under Section 5 of the Public Order Act when West Mercia police received a complaint from a passer-by. They were returned to the custody of shopkeeper Donald Reynolds, owner of Pettifer’s hardware and general store in Bromyard, Herefordshire, after an investigation.

A police spokesman said that no further action was being taken but that Mr Reynolds had been advised not to display them “insensitively” in future.

The spokesman added: “Officers consulted appropriate partner agencies and the Crown Prosecution Service. No offences have been identified and the items will be returned. Suitable advice about the sensitivities of placing such items on display is being provided to the store owner. West Mercia Constabulary considers the matter to be closed.”

Mr Reynolds .....was asked to bring a key to the shop, where he found an officer. “He said, ‘I’ve come about the gollies. We’ve had a complaint they are causing offence’. I couldn’t believe it, ” Mr Reynolds said.

The officer then clambered into the window display, among the fire grates and bird feeders, and seized the dolls. Although it is legal to sell the dolls, Mr Reynolds was warned that putting them on display could be judged offensive.
I am only surprised that the dolls weren't given an ASBO.