- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A London man who was charged with a race crime after tweeting that he asked a Muslim woman on the street to “explain Brussels” said he plans to sue the Metropolitan Police Service.

Matthew Doyle, 46, from South Croydon, was charged last week with publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material likely to incite racial hatred. Police dropped the charge Friday night after finding they did not have the power to make the decision without consulting the attorney general or the Crown Prosecution Service, The Telegraph reported.

“I cannot understand why I was detained, my flat trashed, my passport seized and two PCs, two tablets and my phone taken,” Mr. Doyle, a partner at a south London-based talent and PR agency, said.

His now-deleted tweet, which quickly went viral and received a wave of criticism following the Brussels terror attacks, read: “I confronted a Muslim woman in Croydon yesterday. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply.”

He later explained that his tweet was intended to be a joke and that people who actually know him understand “that’s absolutely not who I am.”

“Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr. Doyle is no longer charged with the offense and will not be appearing at court,” Scotland Yard confirmed to The Telegraph. “Police may not make charging decisions on offenses under Section 19 of the Public Order Act.”

The attorney general’s office added: “The police didn’t consult us before charging him and there has been no request for the AG’s consent.”

Mr. Doyle told The Daily Mail that he plans to take legal action.

“For the Met to bow to social media rows — it is not only foolish of them but I will be making a complaint against them and damages for trashing my flat, taking all my electronic stuff from my flat and forcing me to leave London,” he said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide