Deaf man fined for calling police officer ‘pig’ in sign language
Police were called to a McDonalds branch in Kendal, northwest England, following claims of a man “causing difficulties,” South Cumbria Magistrates Court heard.
Linley Hassan, 25, of Cumbria, started to get “confrontational” with police, after repeatedly refusing to leave the fast food restaurant.
Prosecutor, Peter Kelly said: “He was making a sign that the officer, who understood sign language, knew to mean ‘pig’."
His defense, John Batty, said “Hassan had a volatile existence of late,” adding the offender had been going to “great lengths” to reduce his alcohol consumption.
— Jon da Silva (@CreamOnTop) March 25, 2015
The charge has split opinion on social media, with some users calling the case “increasingly ridiculous.”
— peace (@hag_tz) March 26, 2015
One user tweeted: “Where is freedom of speech?” adopting the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, used in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Another user said: “Excellent. Equality before the law.”
Deaf man prosecuted after he called police officer a 'pig' in sign language http://t.co/XQ4DbntTNw Excellent. Equality before the law.
— Lord Cornelius (@LordCornelius) March 25, 2015
“What are the odds that the police officer would know what this means?” one user asked.
— Andrew Peplowski (@AndrewPeplowski) March 25, 2015
“Insult a policeman in sign language and you’ll be fined too,” another warned.
Hassan, who pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly, was fined and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £30 toward court fees.