Charges were dropped against a Salisbury man over concerns police may have acted unlawfully.

Shafiq Rafiq, 40, of no fixed address, was arrested by police on Tuesday and charged with failing to comply with a dispersal order made under section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 banning him from Cathedral Close.

But prosecutor Keith Ballinger withdrew the charge when the case came before Judge Peter Crabtree at Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

For the dispersal order to be lawful, the person to whom it applies must be acting in a disorderly manner. But according to a Sainsbury’s security guard he had not been acting up.

Rafiq, who appeared before the court via video link from Melksham police station with a grey blanket wrapped over his head and shoulders, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Judge Crabtree said: “The charge is withdrawn. The officer can release you from the police station. You can go.”