Page last updated at 20:53 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 21:53 UK

Terror search complaint is upheld

John Catt
Mr Catt said he was now waiting for an apology from Sussex Police

An elderly man who was questioned under the Terrorism Act while wearing an anti-Tony Blair t-shirt has had his complaint against Sussex Police upheld.

John Catt, 83, of Withdean, was demonstrating outside the Labour Party Conference in Brighton in 2005 when he was stopped and searched under the act.

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found the force acted unlawfully.

Sussex Police said it would act on the IPCC's guidance.

The IPCC letter stated: "It is my view, on the evidence available that the stop and search was not conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Terrorism Act and as such was unlawful."

The officer believed in good faith that the stop and search was authorised by law
Sussex Police

Mr Catt said he was now waiting for an apology from Sussex Police.

He added: "If one was less resolved you could probably throw in the towel and forget about it. But then I had to think about all the other people including children who are being stopped.

"And I thought we've got to make a stand here and I'm certainly not going to let these people down as far as I'm concerned."

Mr Catt, of Withdean, was wearing a t-shirt containing the slogan "Bush, Blair, Sharon to be tried for war crimes, torture and human rights abuse, the leaders of rogue states", when he was stopped.

Following the ruling, Sussex Police issued a statement which said: "We have received the findings of the IPCC and they will be acted upon.

"In particular, this guidance will be taken into account in the briefing of officers for next year's Labour Party Conference in Brighton."

It added: "However the IPCC did not find that the officer failed to act 'with honesty and integrity or with fairness and impartiality' and said Mr Catt was stopped 'for a minimal period of time and that no items were taken from him'.

"The officer 'believed in good faith that the stop and search was authorised by law'."


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