‘Pri**’ less offensive than other words: Australian court

May 4th, 2010 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Robbie Williams Sydney, May 4 (IANS) The word pri** is “less derogatory” in nature than other words, ruled an Australian court while dismissing an offensive language charge against a university student.
Robbie Williams, Waverley Local Court magistrate, made the comment during a hearing for Henry Grech, 22, who was charged following an argument with Senior Constable Adam Royds at Sydney’s Bondi Junction train station.

Williams said he wasn’t satisfied that a “reasonable person” would take offence by the word pri**, Herald Sun reported Tuesday.

“I consider the word pri** is of a less derogatory nature than other words and it is in common usage in this country.

“A police officer on a number of occurrences would hear words like this used on a much worse scale. Police officers would be used to this type of language,” he was quoted as saying.

He observed that the wide array of acceptable offensive vocabulary in society was a “moving feast”.

“The words also take on different meaning. It is clear that there are some words which could be considered to be on the offensive list. As to whether the word pri** falls into that category must be taken in the context of which it was used.”

Royds had stopped Grech Nov 5 last year after Grech allegedly jumped a barrier. Grech had then called Royds “a pri**”.

Grech, who is studying at the University of NSW, said: “When I used the word I didn’t think it was offensive and didn’t think it would end up in court.”

“I’m happy I got off.”

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