A Greek photographer who was arrested and locked in a police cell after taking pictures on the London Underground has today walked free after his case was dismissed by a court judge.
Periklis Antoniou from Athens was arrested on 16 April after a woman complained about pictures he had taken of her daughter while travelling on the Jubilee Line.
The 53-year-old, who has been taking photos for the past 25 years, said he showed the images he had taken to the girl’s mother and deleted them after she complained.
But a man, claiming to be the girl’s father, followed him to the Tube exit and complained to police.
A spokeswoman for Westminster Magistrates’ Court said that Antoniou denied breaching the Public Order Act 1986 which deals with causing ‘public harrasment, alarm or distress’.
Magistrate Howard Riddle dismissed the case, due to lack of evidence that the photographer – who had travelled from Greece to attend the court hearing – had breached the Act.
Speaking afterwards, a spokeswoman for the Greek Embassy, whose representative attended this morning’s hearing, said: ‘He [Antoniou] is going to be compensated for his tickets and money he paid to his lawyer.’
A spokesman for the British Transport Police (BTP) said that Antoniou had been arrested at Southwark Underground Station, and later charged with causing ‘public harrasment, alarm and distress’.
He was held in a cell while in police custody following the arrest.
Asked whether police confiscated the photographer’s camera, the BTP spokesman told us: ‘As is standard police procedure, items would have been removed from him prior to him being placed into a cell. They would have been securely stored and then returned to him.’
The keen amateur alerted Amateur Photographer about the upcoming case last week, but the magazine declined to publish details because it was due to be heard in court.
The photographer’s arrest came just days after transport chiefs issued a warning about taking photos on the Tube, though there has been no suggestion of a link.
And last month police swooped on a pair of Austrian tourists who were taking photos of London buses.
This is the second time in the past week that a Greek photographer has been in the news.
Last Tuesday we reported how photographer Kypros Kyprianou found himself under attack from bandits wielding machetes, as he travelled through Mozambique, Africa.