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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Fine threat over T-shirt slogan
David Pratt
Mr Pratt said the slogan was intended to be humorous
A man spotted wearing a T-shirt bearing an "offensive" slogan in a city centre has been warned he risks an 80 fine if he is caught again.

Forklift driver David Pratt was told by street wardens in Peterborough he could cause offence or incite violence.

The slogan on the garment read: "Don't piss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies."

Peterborough City Council said using insulting or offensive language was an offence, even if it appeared in print.

Mr Pratt, 46, an American living in Peterborough, was approached by the wardens as he waited for a bus with his wife Elly.

"It is insane. I have worn it in the city centre hundreds of times", said Mr Pratt, whose wife bought him the T-shirt in Venice Beach, California.

"Most people who see it just chuckle. Some people have even stopped me to tell me they like my T-shirt.

It's a bummer because I like the shirt but I am trying to get citizenship but if I get a fine I can kiss citizenship goodbye
David Pratt

"We have put this incident online on several blogs and 90% of people who have commented said they found it hilarious or that I should have the right to wear it wherever I like."

Asked whether he would wear the T-shirt again, Mr Pratt replied: "I am wearing it now. If I get a written apology I will wear it in the city centre again."

He continued: "It's a bummer because I like the shirt, but I am trying to get citizenship but if I get a fine I can kiss citizenship goodbye."

He added: "I really don't see how the wording on my T-shirt could incite violence - it's humour, that's all it is."

In a statement, Peterborough City Council said: "The incident is the subject of an official complaint to the council and is currently under investigation.

"However, using offensive, abusive, or insulting language is an offence under the Public Order Act, which also applies to such language appearing in print.

"In what was an amicable conversation, the street warden advised the gentleman concerned that his T-shirt could cause offence and if he was to wear it again he could run the risk of being issued an 80 on-the-spot fine from the police."

David Pratt his 'offensive' T-shirt

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