PC Jason Durnall of West Midlands Police has made a decision, that is so unreasonable and irrational that he and West Midlands Police force has been put on notice of a Judicial Review (JR) and issued a Letter Before Action (LBA).
Jason Durnall made a decision not to investigate a crime where a person sent, by email, communication that is grossly offensive. The email repeatedly called an innocent man a paedophile, leading to suicidal thoughts.
Durnall, is ironically the ‘chair‘ for the police federation West Midlands Police Health, Safety & Welfare Committee and can be contacted on a mobile 07792 774241 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org both in the public domain.
Not only is the reported offence a serious criminal offence, but Jason Durnall has been provided with two examples of the same offence where the suspects have been imprisoned for calling someone a paedophile.
The first conviction was brought by the same police force (West Midlands);
A Birmingham man has been jailed for a vicious campaign which saw him fire-off hate mail to a school and fellow residents falsely claiming his neighbour was a paedophile.
The second was an offence against the same victim that PC Jason Durnall now thinks he can change the law to suit his own agenda.
A former pimp has been jailed after calling a man a paedophile in a Facebook group. Gary Enticknap was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim for at least ten years.
PC Jason Durnall categorically stated that calling an innocent man a paedophile is NOT a criminal offence, he also said that the offence is NOT in the public interest to charge. The offence was not even worthy of an investigation.
PC Durnall goes on to cite ‘case law’, saying (in relation to the grossly offensive comments)
the content is not grossly offensive, indecent, obscene – this is set at a high threshold and in many cases a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest to pursue.
I am mindful of Redmond-Bate v DPP (Div Court 23 July 1999), Sedley LJ emphasised that under the Public Order Act 1986, mere fact that words were irritating, contentious, eccentric, heretical, unwelcome and provocative was not enough to justify the invocation of Criminal Law unless they tended to provoke violence.
I am also mindful of the more recent Scottow -v- CPS before the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Bean and the Hon. Mr Justice Warby. Where in summing up it was stated:
“It is clear, in my judgment, that these provisions were not intended by Parliament to criminalise forms of expression, the content of which is no worse than annoying or inconvenient in nature, or such as to cause anxiety for which there is no need. First, the crime is only committed by conduct that is “for the purpose” of causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety….but I do not consider that the mischief aimed at by Parliament when it passed s 127 of the 2003 Act was as broad as causing offence online.”
Please file this report pending further evidence coming to light which could progress this case’.
I would say from the above, PC Jason Durnall has little knowledge of the law, nor has he little concern for the welfare of a victim of crime as PC Jason Durnall is suggesting that calling an innocent man a paedophile is no more than “irritating, contentious, eccentric, heretical, unwelcome ”
Furthermore, PC Jason Durnall is also suggesting that calling an innocent man a paedophile is also a “form of expression,” and that it is “no worse than annoying or inconvenient in nature“
PC Durnall is clearly incompetent as a police officer and has no place chairing a committee where victim welfare is the subject.
I am sure PC Durnall would, (if suicide prevails), ensure the victims family are notified that the death of their loved one should be seen as no more than inconvenient or annoying.
PC Jason Durnall can be contacted by his police email email@example.com, please feel free to contact him with your views on his irrational decision as a public servant.
Further irony is that PC Jason Durnall works in the same office as the infamous Police Staff Lisa Jeavons who faced a misconduct hearing for malicious comments against the same victim. She received a final written warning. Jeavons made it clear how the same victim was disliked by her department in which PC Jason Durnall works.
If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below. Jason Durnall and his colleagues at the West Midlands Police Health, Safety & Welfare Committee have been invited to comment.
The Judicial Review response of West Midlands police will be published in full as it is a matter of public interest.