With all the excitement of finding myself surrounded by cross-dressers on Election Day, as the serious business of counting the votes in Cambridge collided with the theatre showing the eternally popular Rocky Horror show disgorging its audience, I didn’t have time to read the papers. At least, not the serious stuff.
Like the tale of Peter Trigger.
Now Old Holborn, even devoid of his mask and cloak, still strides round looking for all the world like a supporter of Oswald Mosley, in black shirt and jeans and a rather magnificent pair of Italian hand made jack-boots. He doesn’t go unnoticed in the crowd. Fortunately he walks fast, so I was hobbling along a reverential few feet behind him most of the day. I didn’t see anybody ‘alarmed or distressed’ by this reincarnation of the Fascist’s love God.
I also saw several ladies covered from head to foot in black-out curtain, even their faces. They didn’t seem to cause any ‘alarm or distress’. Not even to small children.
There was an errant stray Scotsman, striding along in his Kilt. He looked to be the genuine article – he was sweating in the meagre 16° temperature, so I could be fairly sure he came from north of Hadrian’s Wall. Personally I was freezing, but that is another story. Assuming he was genuine, I am reliably informed that he had-nothing-on under his skirt. That didn’t seem to have ‘alarmed or distressed’ any passers-by – nor any children.
So, we have established that the solid burghers of central Cambridge don’t come over all faint when faced with a man in a skirt with nothing underneath, or even one in a basque and fishnet tights, let alone an imitation Oswald Mosley, or bottle of Guinness.
They are not so hardy in Northampton, a mere 43 miles north west of Cambridge.
Which is where Peter Trigger lives, clutching a collection of Asbos.
Back in December 2008, Peter Trigger collected his first Asbo which bans him from wearing a skirt or displaying his bare legs (shorts?) between the hours of 8.30 to 10am and 2.45 to 4pm – outside of those hours apparently he doesn’t cause ‘alarm or distress’. He is also banned from causing ‘alarm or distress’ to anyone not a member of his household – presumably he can alarm or distress them as much as he likes. It cost him £250 to agree to these conditions.
A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council said:
“Parents and their children have been affected by the behaviour of Mr Trigger. Various agencies, including the police, have tried stepping in to explain how his behaviour is affecting others, but he has taken none of this on board and is adamant that he can dress however he likes.”
Perhaps Peter doesn’t read the papers, he seems to be under the impression that he lives in a free country.
Fast forward to Election Day two years later, and there is Mr Trigger, back in his Brittany Spears outfit, at 7.25 in the morning – a time when he is allowed to look like an extra from Hogwarts if you remember, curfew hours for dressing to please the children doesn’t start for another 45 minutes.
Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard that he breached the terms of his Asbo by allegedly upsetting his neighbours – no children were present – deliberately ‘bending over’ in front of them early in the morning on December 16 last year.
Bending over? What was he doing?
“He stood by the van with his back to it. He bent down and was appearing to be doing something with his laces. On this occasion he repeatedly bent down. This repeated action continued until Mr and Mrs Copping drove off.”
What? Just tying his shoelaces is a crime now? Perhaps he had nothing on under the skirt, was that the problem?
“It is the Crown’s case that, very early in the morning, the defendant left his home wearing a skirt. Underneath that skirt was trousers or black leggings.
Nope, better dressed than your average Jock.
Miss Tomaszewska said that, although Trigger was permitted to wear a skirt at that time of day, he had breached the second part of his Asbo by causing Mr and Mrs Copping ‘harassment, alarm and distress’. Mrs Copping told the court she thought Trigger had bare legs that day, and was wearing a pleated skirt to his mid-thigh, with socks and shoes.
Mr Trigger now has another Asbo, lasting for five years, preventing him from tying his shoelaces even whilst dressed in a manner conforming to the dress code of Northamptonshire council at 7.25 in the morning……
Anybody brave enough to try and get an Asbo out of their local council claiming that children are frightened of a woman dressed in black head to foot with her face masked and it is alarming and distressing them?