Saturday, 17 June 2017

Man gaoled for sharing photo of dead fire victim on Facebook


A man who lives yards from the Grenfell building has been gaoled for three months for posting on Facebook a picture of a dead body that he saw in a body bag outside his flat.

The obscenity laws were originally enacted to stop Napoleonic soldiers displaying their wounds to passers by while begging for money. Obscenity should be a crime but this seems an outrageous verdict. It seems an emotional judgment and shows how little those who rule England care about freedom of speech.

Judge Tanweer Ikram said: 

"The whole country, if not the whole world, has been shocked by what has taken place in the last few days in relation to the fire at Grenfell Tower.

"The horror is not to be underestimated.

"The dignity of the dead must always be respected.

"What you have done by uploading those photos shows absolutely no respect to this poor victim. To show his face as he lies there is beyond words.

"That view is shared in the horror and disgust that is shown by those people that have uploaded messages on your profile.

"It is an aggravating feature that when people said to you 'This is really sick, just call the police' and 'call the cops rather than post photos', you didn't.

"You didn't remove the photos.

"These offences are so serious that a community order or financial penalty would not mark the seriousness of the offence."

In the USA posting the pictures would have been legal because of the First Amendment which guarantees free speech.

How different the reaction was to the pictures of the corpse of that little Syrian boy, though that picture was not in any way obscene. About that picture there are still questions which I have seen answered.


  1. David in Moscow17 June 2017 at 19:29

    Yes I agree, shocking.

    Over the top, knee-jerk reaction.

    Especially when violent crimes against living persons go unpunished on a daily basis:

    1. It is emotion and the judge and police should not have swayed by it.