News: Chris Packham cleared of assault charge in time for Bristol event

Jess Connett, April 20, 2017

Organisers of Bristol’s March for Science received a scare when star guest, TV presenter Chris Packham, was arrested in Malta just days before being due to appear at the Millennium Square event.

The naturalist was involved in an incident on the Maltese island of Gozo, while filming a series about the illegal trapping of migratory birds in the area.

Following an altercation with two men by the side of the road, Packham and producer Ruth Peacey were arrested and subsequently charged with “using force against any person, with an intent to insult, annoy or hurt them”.

However, both were cleared of the charges and freed to fly to Bristol for the March for Science event, held on Earth Day (April 22). The aim of the event is to make more people aware of the benefit science brings to all our lives.

In a statement, after hearing that the charges against him would be dropped, Packham said: “I grew up thinking that an evidenced-based society was the norm yet […] we see hard-working scientists of great integrity having their work ignored for entirely fallacious and political reasons.

“Scientists are not being listened to – which is why I am such a firm believer in the March for Science movement and will be speaking and marching at the Bristol event.

“Bristol has a great legacy of exploration and boasts a rich contemporary assemblage of institutions whose pursuit is knowledge. It is therefore apt that we should seek to highlight the ugly and dangerous trend to reject scientific truths here and, through this action, affect positive change.”

 

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