Man fined for taking photograph


Standard Member
What a crock - since when is so called 'unchivalrous' behaviour against the law?

Not sure if Scots law is different, but I thought the principle was if both the subject and the photographer are in a public place, then there is no 'right to privacy' unless you have a special injunction like JK Rowling...

Anyone else think that by unwell, they mean the lass had had too much booze and was hugging porcelain?


Novice Member
Unbelievable indeed! and the start of a slippery slope which wil see anyone not being able to take pics outside of their own home, without signing a waiver/ disclaimer or god knows what.

Presume her 'feeling ill and going out for air' translates as she was drunk and going outside as she thought she was gonna hurl?

Unchivalrous my backside, more like she didn't want the pic to appear anywhere where someone she knew would see her in such a state? presuming she was bladdered that is?:rotfl:


Well-known Member
One thing I don't understand is this.

He was arrested and charged with breach of the peace, and pleaded guilty to the offence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Why did he plead guilty to breach of the peace?


Distinguished Member
This is Political Correctness to the Nth degree - a load of bl**dy nonsense - it's time us sensible people started to take a stance against this sort of thing.




Well-known Member
What an astonishing story. Unchivalrous? :eek:
My initial thoughts were that there must be more to this than the BBC story reports, but having Googled 'Edinburgh Photo Unchivalrous' ... I couldn't see anything that seemed to justify this sort of outcome.
Frankly I'd question the validity of 'chivalry' in these PC times - even the Sheriff appears somewhat confused:
"It is worse if it is a lady, but male or female makes no difference,". (source: The Scotsman) - so that's crystal clear then :rolleyes:

Can't help but wonder whether the guy concerned rolled over a bit too readily:
"It's been a matter of severe regret for him. He's extremely anxious and very contrite about the affair."

I sincerely hope those of you 'North of the Border' are all ready to toss your camera bags in a puddle should a passing lady feel the need to keep her shoes dry.:D


Distinguished Member
I think he pleaded guilty because he was Polish and was not up on our laws


Well-known Member

I wonder what would have happened if roles were reversed ie: she took a pic of him no doubt he would have been laughed out of court!



Active Member
Its rediculous, the Thing is right, he may have taken a photo of some drunken mare outside a bar. So what about when we see ''police, camera, action'' or those other cops programs on uk tv showing live footage of people vomiting, fighting, pulling, Something's not right there at all. They used the guy as an example which to scare other photographers like us. If this happened to me, i'd tell them where to go:smashin:


Distinguished Member
Unless there is more to the story, it is a total nonsense
It has occurred ( with little doubt) because the Chap probably didn't feel up to mounting a robust defence. Had he pleaded "not guilty" the law would have found it hard to make the charge stick

The argument would not be that he took the photo but that the action of taking it caused a fracas which lead to the peace being " breached"

If it had been a press photographer there would have been no case at all
A girl outside a pub on a public road is not in a private place and the issue of chivalry is a silly excuse byt the sheriff to pursue the stupidity of the action
Surely he did not stick the lens up her skirt.. that would be asking for trouble:eek:!
If she had a drink too many and in on a Public street.. does " chivalry protect her more than it would a "lady " photographing a man in a similar state?
God help us from jobsworths..:suicide:


Standard Member
I'm in two minds about this story.

If it was me and I was feeling unwell. I wouldn't want some guy taking a picture of me at my worse. Where is the common sense in saying "come on mate, please delete that picture.'

But I'm sure the police could have handled the dispute much better. I don't think it should of gone to court, with the guy getting fined and in the news over it. He sound genuine.



Active Member
A sad sign of the times, I'm afraid. Whilst he was getting fined for taking an "illegal" photo, someone else was getting away with driving 71 m.p.h on a motorway somewhere!


Distinguished Member
I'm in two minds about this story.

If it was me and I was feeling unwell. I wouldn't want some guy taking a picture of me at my worse. Where is the common sense in saying "come on mate, please delete that picture.'

But I'm sure the police could have handled the dispute much better. I don't think it should of gone to court, with the guy getting fined and in the news over it. He sound genuine.

Good point. It may have been that those who breached the peace were not willing to ask him to delete the image but to make a stink and then actually breach the peace
How about the reference to chivalry though? If a man was feeling p**sed outside a Pub and a lady took the picture .. How does a lack of chivalry apply?
There are several Tv documentaries about inner city life after hrs. highlighting our drinking culture
. Do the cameramen in those instances ( and indeed the police as linked in pixelpixels post ) operate under different Laws?


Distinguished Member
I think the BBC's reporting here is part of my problem with this story. The issue of chivalry was raised by the judge in his summing up, but the crime was breach of the peace. Maybe it was the comments made after the taking of the picture that caused the BOTP rather than the actual taking of it.

The phrase about mountains and mole hills comes to mind and as somebody who likes to candid photos now and then, I will not change what I do.


Active Member
I'm assuming he had a D/SLR

"told police he had spent the day taking photographs of performers at the Edinburgh festival"

I wounder if he had used a camera phone it would have gone to court?


Active Member
I agree with Tina. There are two issues here; whether or not he was legally entitled to take the picture, and we can be rightly indignant if our rights as photographers are being trodden on, and whether he was right to take a picture of someone at their worst for his own amusement. Whatever our legal rights to take pictures on the street we should, IMO, respect the people we include in our pictures. It is rather sanctimonious to say that she was fair game just because she was drunk.

Just in case you think I am being sanctimonious I should point out that I came to my point of view (many years ago) after having worked for a freelance news agency taking pictures of people who didn't want their picture taken. After four months I decided I was wrong to take such pictures and resigned. If photographers want respect than they should respect the people they photograph.

Rant over I'll go and get my flak jacket on :rolleyes:.


Active Member
"Man fined for taking photograph" - No he wasn't, what a load of b******s.

See THIS BBC story for an insight into the SCOTTISH version of a breach of the peace...

You just try and get a prisoner accepted in an English custody centre for the same just won't happen unless you can say you feared violence may be caused to a person or damage be caused to property if the "offender" had not been detained.

This is an ancient common law power that pre-dates Parliament. The police can exercise it if they reasonably believe that you are using or about to use violence against persons or, in their presence, against their property.

The police can also arrest you for breach of the peace, if they reasonably believe that by your actions you are provoking or will provoke the use of violence by others.

Where no violence has previously occurred then the police must suspect that violence is about to take place or imminent before making an arrest.

Sounds to me like the girl and her friends had started having a go at the fella and the police felt that if he remained on the scene a fight may ensure...still doesn't explain why everyone wasn't just given a pill and told to do one.


Ahhh the bi-monthly "cant take a photo in public" thread. :rolleyes:

I dont think we can pass judgement on this story unless we have seen the photo in question.
The man admitted it was unchivalrous, he was a stranger to her, the female felt unwell and was outside the act was described as ill judged, alot of vagueness about it all without actually describing the photo.

Somehow me thinks that the photo wasnt as innocent as you or me taking a photo of a typical Edinburgh femlae stood outside a bar getting some air. Stood with her back to the wall straing into space, smiling .... i think not.

P.S, i was going to rant and rave and agree with the above ..... but i have done FAR too many times, its not worth it, so thought i woudl try a different approach. Why do people STILL take the media at face value and jump on the bandwagon and slate things which have clearly been fogged over. (OK a bit of a rant now)

Just call me Al

Active Member
It is rather sanctimonious to say that she was fair game just because she was drunk.

I disagree. I can only imagine she was one of the many crettins that ruin Friday & Saturday night for 'ordinary' people (whatever the day it happened). The ones who urunate & are sick anywhere they fancy. Who come home drunk at 3.4.5 in the morning shouting at the top of there voices, waking me & many others up, the ones who think bending off someones wing mirror is fun, etc, etc. Try taking their photo's for evidence. You'll see a breach of peace as they would threaten you for sure. I would not expect to be arrested for that, I would expect them to be arrested, fat chance of that happening. No, presuming this story is correct, it shows just about everything that is wrong with our society today.


Distinguished Member
I dont think anyone has suggested the girl was fair game, because she was drunk. At any rate she was said to be feeling "unwell"
I raised the case on girl with camera and man being the subject.. do you suppose the story would have turned out different?
There is no mention of her protest or the method by which it was done. or his reaction.That may well have breached the peace

And also although something may be legal does not mean common-sense should not prevail. Photographing a hoodie with a knife is not illegal, but it is fool hardy.With a gun downright foolish!
However, the girl in question, or hoodie with a knife could be part of a scene and not the main subject

What is clear is that we dont have the full story and that the reporting ( as ever) is probably less than accurate and just emotive but it does still do nothing to minimise demonising public photography
Last edited:

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
From reading about this on other sites I think that the title of the thread is incorrect. He was fined for breach of the peace, not for taking a photo. The taking of the photo was legal it was the actions that followed between him, the subject of the photo and her friends that caused the breach of the peace.

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