Cardiff Magistrates Court
Cardiff Magistrates Court

A man branded police officers ‘lying scumbags’ in illegal court photo

David Matthews took the snap inside Cardiff Magistrates Court then published it on social media

A MAN took an illegal picture of two policemen inside Cardiff Magistrates Court – then published the image on social media with the caption “lying scumbags”.

David Matthews was waiting for his case to be heard when he grabbed the snap, the court was told.

The 49-year-old claimed he had “no idea” taking photographs in court was illegal. But it is a criminal offence.

On the day the offence was committed, Matthews, who lives on Ruskin Close, Llanrumney, Cardiff, was due to appear in court for a different offence which was later dropped.

Prosecutor Miquelle Groves said that in the waiting area of the court that day, Matthews took out his phone and took photographs of the two officers, PC Dugmore and PC Powell of South Wales Police, who were due to give evidence against him.

The court was told how Matthews then uploaded the photographs to social media, with the caption “lying scumbags”.

Matthews, who defended himself in court, said he had “no idea” what he did was illegal, adding he has become a “reformed man” since the incident took place.

Chairman of the magistrates bench, Mr Nigel Buckland, made it clear to Matthews that taking pictures in court is a “serious offence”. He handed out the maximum penalty of a £30 fine as Matthews pleaded guilty to taking a photograph in court.

Mr Buckland went on to tell Matthews he was “very fortunate” to get off so lightly, and that he should be “more careful” in the future.

Matthews was ordered to pay £127 in total, which included a £12 surcharge and £85 in legal fees.