At the end of September, you may remember reading of the Vogelenzangs. They were a pair of Christian hoteliers in Aintree who had been charged with ‘religiously-aggravated threatening behaviour’ towards a guest, Ericka Tazi. Ms Tazi claimed at the time ‘they all but called [her] a terrorist’, getting nasty and ‘yobbish’, though the publicised insults from the event seemed only to be that they had called Mohammed a warlord and said that the hijab kept women in bondage.
Anyway, the case has been dropped.
The judge threw it out, suggesting (from to the Times)
that Mrs Tazi’s account could not be relied upon and that she was not quite the religious person that she presented herself as in the witness box.
I wouldn’t put that on her character reference.
The couple’s counsel, Hugh Tomlinson, QC, expressed the super-important, not-to-be-missed point in a handy, sound-bite sized sentence – perfect for being remembered and repeated by generations of lawyers to come:
“The fact that someone is upset or offended is not a reason for criminalising the speech used by the other person,”
Anyway, at the time, I expressed hope that
the case will be quickly dropped and fogotten about.
And now that it’s dropped, I suppose we should try to forget it. Apart from that handy line from Hugh Tomlinson, there isn’t much more to say.