A BLOGGER has had a legal challenge against her ‘daft arrest' denied by the High Court.
Jacqui Thompson was arrested after she refused to stop filming a council meeting in June 2011 on her mobile phone. After being asked to stop a number of times, and refusing, she was arrested for breach of the peace.
The event soon became known on twitter with the hashtag #daftarrest. Thompson - a blogger remember - wrote a couple of critical posts about the council and its behaviour, and well, Carmarthenshire chief executive Mark James countersued and was awarded £25,000 in damages with regard to three of her blog posts.
She said on Twitter that she is "devastated" by the news, while Pirate Party spokesperson Loz Kaye said that it was "bad news" for anyone that thinks we should be able to record and hold government to account.
just to say I am still here and I am devastated. I will make a brief statement a bit later on. #daftarrest— Jacqui Thompson (@caebrwyn) March 15, 2013
"This judgement is very bad news for anyone who believes in holding government to account. It sends out the message that anyone thinking about criticising or even taking an interest should think again. We can not have a society where people are afraid to put up a blog post in case it costs them thousands of pounds," Kaye said.
"The Pirate Party will continue to push for the right to film any council meeting, and the right to robust freedom of speech. In this time of local government cuts, it's more vital than ever that we know what is being done with our money. One thing it certainly should not be spent on is suing council tax payers. What was a daft arrest, is now a dafter judgement." µ