Paul Grange arrested for offensive T-Shirt

Paul Grange arrested for offensive T-Shirt

Photo from the BBC

We have looked previously at people who have been nicked for wearing an offensive t-shirt, and on 31st May 2016 there is another example.

Paul Grange, a 50 year old man from Worcester turned up to a pub in his local area with a t-shirt with the slogan “HILLSBOROUGH – Gods way of helping RENTOKILL” (the BBC were slightly coy in blocking out the words on his t-shirt and not reporting what they actually were).

Perhaps unsurprisingly he was kicked out. It seems some photos were taken and, this being 2016, twitter did its thing.

As a result of the publicity, Mr Grange was arrested. He was been charged with an offence under s5 Public Order Act 1986 – displaying ‘any writing‘ which is ‘threatening or abusive within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress‘.

Some of the news reports have included the words ‘insulting’, but that word was removed from the Public Order Act by s57 Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Mr Grange has been bailed to attend the Magistrates’ Court at a date in July to be confirmed. Although magistrates are less susceptible to media than juries potentially are, we will hold fire on this until it has been to Court.

Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


  1. Could you point me towards other examples (from your blog or elsewhere) of people being nicked for wearing clothing bearing slogans, please?

    Is there a realistic possibility of conviction here?

  2. The whole point of freedom of speech is that people should be free to say even insulting things. If this pathetic lowlife gets convicted I give up on British justice.

  3. I doubt if any of the police involved in the Hillsborough cover up have been arrested under this law for spreading deliberate and offensive misinformation about the victims of the tragedy.