Skip to content

Archive site notice

You are viewing an archived copy of Christian Concern's website. Some features are disabled and pages may not display properly.

To view our current site, please visit

Street preacher awarded £13k for wrongful arrest

Printer-friendly version

A Christian street preacher has received £13,000 in compensation after being wrongfully arrested for explaining the Bible’s teaching on homosexual practice.


John Craven (57) was preaching in Manchester city centre in September 2011 when he was approached by two teenage boys who asked him to explain his opinion about homosexuals.

Mr Cavern responded by quoting from the Bible, adding that “whilst God hates sin, He loves the sinner”.


The boys then kissed in front of him and taunted him with suggestive sexual acts before complaining about his comments to Police Constable Alistair McKittrick.

Mr Cavern was subsequently arrested and investigated by Greater Manchester Police for allegedly using insulting words with the intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress.


He was held in custody for 19 hours, and was not offered food or water until after almost 15 hours.  He was also denied access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis

Mr Craven, whose case was supported by the Christian Institute, said: “I never intended to cause anyone harassment, alarm or distress. I preach the gospel, which means good news and the love of God for all.


“At the end of the day God loves everybody, but homosexuality is a sin and I am not going to contradict the word of God.’ He added: “The actions of the police have left me feeling nervous and anxious.

“I was in a cell on my own. I was fingerprinted, swabbed and had my photo taken. They took my shoelaces from me. They said I would not be interviewed until the next day and then they left me."

False imprisonment

Mr Craven was released after being told that no charges would be pressed against him, and has now received £13,000 for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and breach of his human rights as part of an out-of-court settlement.


Christian Institute

Daily Mail

Related stories:

Court win for 73-year-old street preacher pinned down by 6 police officers

Street preacher arrested and held in custody for mentioning sexual sin

Victory as council drops charges against street preacher