Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

King Arthur Gives It Some In Court

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 7.

Both the Criminal Justice Act and Wiltshire Police made an unsuccessful attempt to nail King Arthur in a Salisbury Magistrates Court in September.

Yer man with the long beard, wearing a white robe, blue cloak and iron headband, swore his legal oath upon the ‘sword of Excalibur’, revealing to the court his identity as a reincarnation of King Arthur Uther Pendragon and giving his spiritual date of birth as the year 549 AD.

King Arthur faced charges of trespassory assembly under section 70 of the Criminal Justice Act, after being found next to Stonehenge on June 20 along with 27 other people. Wiltshire Police argued that he had refused to move after being told that he was within the four-mile exclusion zone placed around Stonehenge at Solstice time. The new trespassory assembly law applies to 20 or more people gathered on land. But Arthur told the court how police had rounded up the 27 people from a 200 yard stretch of road. He also recalled that the so-called assembly included a German TV crew, three legal observers and some “drunk Italians”.

The court was told that Mr Pendragon, of Farnborough, was Official Sword-bearer of the Secular Order of Druids, the Titular Head of the Loyal Arthurian Warbands, Honoured Pendragon of the Glastonbury Order of Druids and member of the Council of British Druid Orders. Arthur explained that he was more a warrior druid than a priest.

King Arthur’s legal brief Kier Starmer, also explained to the court that as a member of three druidic orders, the King had a religious right to be at Stonehenge at that time, citing the European Convention of Human Rights to back up his right to celebrate his religion.

“If you put a four-mile exclusion zone around midnight mass at St Paul’s, there would be an outcry,” King Arthur told an assembled court of reporters after the case. Neither did he consider that it should be exclusively druids that are allowed on site on their sacred day. “That would be like letting the vicar in but not the congregation,” he said. “I believe everybody has the right to worship at Stonehenge.”

After 15 minutes deliberation the magistrates found the once and future king of Avalon not guilty.