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R(R) v DPP

[2006] EWHC 1375 (Admin), 170 J.P. 661, 171 J.P.N. 140 2006-05-01

Administrative Court decision in relation to the definition of distress in the context of section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986.  The word "distress", the Court found, does not have to be grave but it does require something amounting to real emotional disturbance or upset.  The appellant in this case was a 12 year old, 4'9" tall, boy who had made masturbatory gestures towards a police officer and called him a "wanker".  The alleged aggrieved, an experienced police constable, was over 6' tall and weighed over 17 stone.  The Court found there was no evidence to find that the officer was distressed.  Simon Murray acted for the successful appellant.