Neighbours back terminally-ill man after he was arrested for mooning

‘You only live once!’: Neighbours back terminally-ill bucket list lecturer after six police officers kicked in his garden gate and arrested him for mooning a mobile speed camera

  • Darrell Meekcom, 55, was arrested in the garden of his home in Kidderminster
  • He mooned at a mobile speed van, which was flagged as an ‘indecent exposure’
  • Neighbours have said the arrest was ‘over the top’ and backed Mr Meekcom
  • ‘I understand what he did was wrong, but it’s his bucket list,’ one neighbour said 
  • Yesterday he was cleared of criminal wrongdoing at Redditch Magistrates Court 

Neighbours have backed a terminally-ill bucket list lecturer after six police officers kicked in his garden gate and arrested him for mooning a mobile speed camera.

Darrell Meekcom, 55, was arrested in the garden of his home in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, by several officers after dropping his trousers at a mobile speed camera van in November last year. 

Following the incident, three police cars pulled up outside the home of Mr Meekcom – who also has Parkinson’s Disease and heart and kidney problems – and demanded to be let in. 

When the disabled father-of-two refused, officers allegedly raided his home and kicked down the garden gate before wrestling Mr Meekcom to the ground outside to put him in cuffs.

One of Mr Meekcom’s neighbours, Reginald, said there was no need for the ‘over the top’ way he was arrested. 

‘I understand what he did was wrong, but it’s his bucket list,’ he said.

Darrell Meekcom, 55, (pictured with his wife Sarah) was arrested in the garden of his home in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, by several officers after dropping his trousers at a mobile speed camera van in November last year

‘He wants to do these things before he goes, with the illness that he’s got, I suppose he just wants to do something a bit different.

The police should’ve just talked to him, there was no need for that to happen.

‘You’re not in your right mind when you’re ill. I’ve got autistic children, when they say words they don’t mean it.

‘They should have come and said “what you did was wrong” not treat him like that.

‘I thought it was something more serious than what it actually was. It’s a waste of police time and resources. They could be using the officers for serious crime.

‘It looked like a drug raid because there were so many cars there.

‘My little lad could probably push him over. There’s no need. He’s dying, leave him be.’

Mr Meekcom was cleared of a public order offence at Redditch Magistrates Court yesterday, and blasted West Mercia Police for ‘changing the charge three times’ and said ‘when you’re unwell, you don’t want this’.

The court heard that several police officers arrested the lecturer in the garden of his home in Kidderminster, Worcestershire

In footage filmed by his wife, Mr Meekcom, who used to lecture medical students at Birmingham City University, could be heard telling the officers, ‘Have you never wanted to moonie a speed camera? Well I did.’

He was subsequently arrested and hauled to the station, before being released under investigation.

Another of Mr Meekcom’s neighbours, Emma, called the entire thing ‘ridiculous’. 

‘I’m not being funny but most teenagers walk around flashing their bums when they don’t pull their trousers up properly. It’s not that bad,’ she said.

‘I thought the whole thing was ridiculous, especially the way they blocked the road off and arrested him.

‘The police were at the windows for ages, they were waving at him and everything. He was recording them with his phone. For me, the police were in the wrong.’

Another neighbour, who wished to remain unnamed, said the arrest was a ‘harsh reaction’ from the police.

‘There were two vans and four or five cop cars, and they had dogs as well,’ they said.

‘I’ve read some of the comments of people saying it’s stupid, but if you’re dying, you only live once.

‘Me and the neighbours laughed. We were a bit shocked at first but we were more stunned at the police because of how they brought him out, they were rough with him. Once they saw us all here with phones, they were a lot nicer.’

The neighbour added that Mr Meekcom has a sign on his front window to say that he is deaf, and will not hear the door being knocked. 

‘He stated that when he came out that “I couldn’t hear you”.’

One neighbour, who wished to remain unnamed, was less positive about the situation. 

She said: ‘I just think it’s odd, people do a lot of things for attention these days.

‘If that’s what he wanted to, that’s up to him, but that’s not something that I would personally want on my bucket list. Jumping out of a plane yeah, but I can’t see how that gives you a thrill.’   

After being cleared of the offence yesterday, the father-of-two said he felt ‘extremely pleased’.

‘The truth like oil comes to the surface,’ he said. ‘You don’t go to those extremes. The magistrates summed it up perfectly.

‘It was taking a mallet to smash an acorn. It was just a bunch of young kids, there was no leadership there.

‘They said only the one bodycam was able to be used as evidence. I was saying that wasn’t fair.

Terminally-ill university lecturer Darrell Meekcom allegedly dropped his trousers in the direction of a mobile police van in November last year

‘My solicitor twice contacted West Mercia Police three times to get further footage.

‘It has been unbelievable really since last November. The police interview at the station, they were really rude.

‘They changed the charges three times. When you’re unwell, you don’t want this.

‘I maybe shouldn’t have done it anyway, but when you’re dying you think of things differently.’

West Mercia Police confirmed they had received a complaint, which would subsequently be referred to their professional standards department for a review. 

Chair of the bench Justice Charles Townsend said yesterday: ‘After a lengthy hearing and a lengthy discussion, we conclude as follows.

‘We note that at no point during the hour long plus incident did you cooperate with or inform the police of any health issues until you were taken to ground.

‘We feel the police acted quite lawfully on Friday November 5 by arresting you.

‘However, given the serious health conditions you are faced with, clenching your hands in the way that you did was justified, given the potential consequences of your hands being placed behind your back.

‘Therefore we find you not guilty of resisting arrest and that your defence of self-protection has been accepted.

‘You’re free to leave.’

Darrell Meekcom, 55, who has multiple system atrophy (MSA) was cleared by Redditch Magistrates’ Court

Police bodycam footage played to Redditch magistrates yesterday showed Mr Meekcom telling West Mercia Police officer PC Gareth Jones: ‘I mooned a speed camera. I’m terminally ill. I’ve got Parkinson’s mate.’ 

Sarah Hurd, prosecuting, told the court today that police had attended the lecturer’s home ‘for matters the court did not need to know about’.

She said Mr Meekcom was uncooperative when officers arrived at the address, directing abuse towards them before resisting arrest.

Opening the case, Ms Hurd added that it had only been a ‘short piece of obstruction’, but the defendant’s actions were ‘unjustified’. 

The court heard that, as he continually refused to cooperate, Meekcom was ‘taken to the ground’ before informing officers that he has ‘very serious health conditions’.

Police bodycam footage played to the court showed Mr Meekcom telling West Mercia Police officer PC Gareth Jones: ‘I mooned a speed camera. I’m terminally ill. I’ve got Parkinson’s mate.’

The father-of-two, who has multiple system atrophy, was also alleged to have verbally abused the arresting officers, calling one a ‘c***’ before singing Monty Python’s ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. 

Recalling the incident, PC Jones said: ‘He immediately said you c***s, you reckless c***s. I was concerned by what he would do next.

He added: ‘From the very beginning he was doing whatever he could to stop us. We did move the handcuffs as we were listening to him about his health.

‘He was singing to me, calling me names, commenting on my hair, making it difficult.

‘All I know is the bits he were singing at me were from [Always Look On] The Bright Side Of Life.’

Officers pulled up outside Mr Meekcom’s home in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and he was later wrestled to the ground by officers during the arrest in his back garden

Meekcom, a registered nurse, previously appeared before magistrates wearing a t-shirt depicting cartoon character Bart Simpson flashing his bottom towards police.

The same image was sprayed on an underpass near his home by a graffiti artist known as the Scottish Banksy as the court case gained worldwide notoriety.

Speaking at the time, Meekcom said he was left ‘gobsmacked’ at the ‘heavy-handed’ response and accused West Mercia Police of ‘outrageous bullying’.

He also slammed the ‘trumped-up’ charges, claiming that officers were ‘looking for any little thing to get me on’.

The lecturer added: ‘It’s pathetic. What an absolute waste of public funding. This is an escalation of what they’ve done. You can’t keep changing it and altering it until you find something that fits.

‘What are they going to come up with next. They are literally looking for any little thing to get me on.

‘I pulled my trousers down and mooned at a speed camera. That’s all I did.’

Meekcom lives with his wife Sarah, 36, and their two daughters.

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