Wrongly Arrested BBC Host Awarded Damages

The host of the British Broadcasting Corporation program One Man and His Dog has received a $4,000 payout and an apology from the Gloucestershire Police after he was wrongly arrested for making a joke that referred to blacks and lesbians.

Robin Page was taken into custody on suspicion of inciting racial hatred several months after a 2002 speech at a pro-hunting rally in which he said, “If you are a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.”

He was held in jail for 40 minutes until he agreed to be interviewed without a lawyer present, then was released without charge.

Page said the police accused him of committing a hate crime and that documents he later obtained using the Freedom of Information Act show his name is on a homophobic-incidents register.

“I believe I have scored a significant victory over the ludicrous and sinister, politically correct ‘hate crime’ culture that is currently doing so much to prevent free speech in this country,” Page said in a Jan. 15 statement.

“How can you be included on a homophobic-incident record for using the word ‘lesbian’ once in a speech? It is just incredible. Political correctness is the new McCarthyism.”

One Man and His Dog went off the air in 1999 after a 23-year run.

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