A press photographer is to sue Northumbria Police Force for false arrest after being cleared of obstructing an officer reports Press Gazette .
Freelancer Marc McMahon says he lost £10,000 worth of camera equipment when police arrested him for taking pictures of a road accident.
McMahon, along with his 16-year-old daughter attended an incident on the Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge in 2006 where a man was threatening to jump . Despite showing his press card, Northumbria PCs James Mennie and Thomas Fowler told McMahon he could not take photographs.
McMahon said: “I told the officer we were well within our rights to take photos as there was no police cordon, it was a public place and there were other people standing about taking photographs.”
Despite this he was arrested for breaching the peace but the charge was later changed to obstruction.
His daughter Carly says her mobile phone was knocked out of her hand by PC Mennie when she tried to take a picture of her father being arrested.
McMahon was handcuffed and taken to a police cell – being forced to leave behind his equipment which was later stolen from the scene.
At the hearing Newcastle Magistrates found McMahon not guilty of obstructing a police officer and said he had acted “professionally”.
Afterward he said: “I’m feeling very relieved about the verdict. The last year has been immensely stressful for my family and we’re glad the magistrates came to the right decision. My daughter and I were carrying out our jobs within the law and the last thing you expect is to be arrested and put in a police cell.