A street preacher arrested for reportedly spewing hateful verses on homosexuality has been awarded £13,000 for wrongful imprisonment, after police detained him for 19 hours.
John Craven, a Christian street preacher, settled the claim with Great Manchester police, who he alleged had denied him food, water and access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis.
The Christian Institute, which funded the legal claim against the police said Craven had been directly asked what he thought of homosexuals by two gay teenagers, but had declined to give a view, and had instead “quoted from the Bible”, telling them that God hated the sin, He loves the sinner.
The two teens had then kissed in front of him.
The preacher was arrested under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which criminalises the use of insulting words with the intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress.
The police and their pals in the BBC try to spin the story as being mainly about how the police treated him in the cells. The conduct of our diversity-trained defenders of human rights towards a rheumatic old geezer with a public commitment to turning the other cheek was certainly worthy of notice. But it was also what they wanted you to notice. The police do not really mind being publicly repentant about neglecting to give a non-violent prisoner food, water or his medication for fifteen hours. No problem. Give the rozzers concerned a slap on the wrist, announce “mistakes were made” and “lessons will be learned”, and make yourselves another cup of tea.
The unacceptable behaviour on the part of the police that the force as an institution would prefer to mumble about when asked if it has learned its lesson is this:
“It appears that the actions of the police were calculated to give me and other street preachers the impression that we could not preach the gospel in public without breaking the law and if we did we would be arrested.”