Innocent as charged

Following up on Andrew Brown’s scarifying tale of being stopped and searched on exiting from a London Tube station, I came on David Mery’s web site on which he keeps a wonderfully detailed account of what happened to him — and of the aftermath.

Like Andrew, David was stopped and searched for preposterous reasons (e.g. his jacket was “too warm for the season” and he was checking his mobile phone for messages); unlike Andrew, he was arrested, had his laptop and possessions confiscated and his flat was searched. With the aid of a solicitor, he gradually extracted retractions from the Met but the scary bit is that the fact that he was (wrongly) arrested cannot be expunged. This means, for example, that he is likely to have difficulties getting a visa to travel to the US (which could affect his career prospects), because you are required to disclose any arrests when applying for a visa. The more one thinks about this, the worse it gets. Bin Laden has won, hands down.