Chivalry and the Law

While the the sober have been taking advantage of the drunk since time immemorial, only in recent years have entire businesses been based on that model—e.g., the smutty Girls Gone Wild franchise.  Happily, it looks like these businesses would be illegal in Britain for being unchivalrous.  According to the BBC:

A man who took a photograph of an ill woman outside an Edinburgh bar has been fined £100 after being branded “unchivalrous” by a sheriff.

The woman had been drinking with friends in an Omni Centre bar when she felt unwell and went outside for air.

Sebastian Przygodzki took a photograph with his camera, which upset Rebecca Smith and her friends called police.

He was arrested and charged with breach of the peace, and pleaded guilty to the offence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Przygodzki, 28, who moved to Scotland two years ago from Krakow, told police he had spent the day taking photographs of performers at the Edinburgh festival, which was in full swing at the time.

[…]

When he came across the woman, he considered it “taking a photo of another view of Edinburgh”, said his lawyer, Andy Houston.

But Sheriff Kenneth Hogg said the matter “could be best described as exceptionally unchivalrous”.

“The lady concerned was entitled to her privacy and not to have a passing stranger take a photograph,” said the sheriff.

“I’m going to impose a fine to remind him chivalry is not dead and when somebody is in distress you leave them to it.”

3 Responses to “Chivalry and the Law”

  1. Paul October 5, 2008 at 3:01 am #

    It’s all very well criticizing a lack of chivalry in the photographer, but what can we say of the demeanour of the subject, who was “snappable” in a public place in such a state of alcoholic befuddlement?

  2. Bobby October 6, 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    Exactly, Paul. How dare a woman be drunk in public. Such a hussy deserves whatever treament she gets!

  3. raincoaster October 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm #

    In parts of the UK it’s more difficult to take a picture which does NOT feature a drunken vomiter, alas. But it must be said that, while the action was unchivalrous in the extreme, it was not an invasion of privacy. Privacy does not exist on public land, such as sidewalks, by definition.