Court overturns man’s conviction for wearing a bra in his own home

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A court has overturned a man’s conviction for wearing a bra in his own home, citing European human rights laws.

41-year-old David Wothersoppon of Rutherglen in Scotland had originally been changed with ‘breach of the peace’ for wearing a bra in his flat, after complaints from members of the public looking through his window.

Two of his neighbours had called the police after their children allegedly saw Mr Wothersoppon, who was dressed in trousers with a bare torso and a bra.

Mr Wothersoppon was initially given an 18-month community payback order, but the ruling was quashed this week by a criminal appeals court in Edinburgh.

His legal team had argued that wearing a bra within his own home could not be considered “genuinely alarming and disturbing” or constitute breach of the peace.

File photo of a bra
File photo (Creative Commons/havucnmycaml)

Three judges at the Appeal Court of the High Court of Justiciary considered the case, and held that his conduct was “weird” but not criminal.

They cited a failure to meet “requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights” as one of the issues with the initial ruling.

Lord Justice General Lord Carloway, Lord Drummond Young and Lord Turnbull wrote: “The appellant’s conduct may have been exhibitionist, provocative and even perverse. None of these descriptions render it criminal.

“Although the wearing of clothing more suited to a different gender has been held to constitute a breach of the peace in certain circumstances, the court is unable to hold that a man wearing a bra in his own home amounts to conduct which is either genuinely alarming to any reasonable person, although it may be to some, or that it threatens serious disturbance to the community.

“It may, as the witnesses said, cause concern or be regarded as weird or strange, and be classified, as the sheriff described it, as provocative, exhibitionist or even perverse, but that is some distance from conduct meeting the [breach of the peace]criteria.

“The appeal is therefore allowed.”