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Trial set for Nottingham photographer

23 May 2006 - EPUK

A trial date has been set for a Nottingham photographer, who is accused of obstructing a police officer while doing his job. Alan Lodge – a freelance photographer and NUJ member – appeared before Nottingham Magistrates today for a pre-trial review.

Paul Dhami, of Thompsons, representing the defendant,, outlined the facts of the case to the bench. “Alan Lodge was photographing a police armed response unit on Alfred Street, Nottingham, on Saturday 18th March. He was arrested firstly for assault, then de-arrested. He was then arrested and de-arrested for breach of the peace, before finally being arrested and later charged with obstruction.”

The defence centres around new Media Guidelines, agreed between the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police – Steve Green – and the NUJ, earlier this year. During the incident, Alan Lodge’s equipment and memory card were confiscated, but the guidelines clearly state that police officers have no right to seize such equipment simply because somebody is taking photographs.

Paul Dhami told the court that he would be frequently referring to the guidelines during the trial, and that he intended to question the arresting officer about why the guidelines were ignored.

The Court set a trial date for 17th October before Nottingham Magistrates and adjourned the case. Lodge was given unconditional bail.

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