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Another Christian street preacher wins damages

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Following the damages awarded to Christian street preacher Anthony Rollins on 8 December, another Christian street preacher, Dale Mcalpine, has been awarded £7,000 in damages after being arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

Cumbria’s Chief Constable Craig Mackey said that a senior officer will meet the preacher in person and apologise to him to “seek to restore his trust and confidence in the Constabulary”.

The case started on 20 April 2010 when Dale Mcalpine, 42, of Workington in Cumbria, was arrested for a “racially aggravated” offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and was charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting” words “to cause harassment, alarm or distress” after he told Sam Adams, a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO), that he believed that homosexual practices go against the word of God.

Mr Mcalpine’s comments about homosexuality were not made in his public preaching but in response to a question put to him by a passerby. Despite this, the officer, who identified himself as an “LBGT Liaison Officer”, warned him he could still be arrested for making homophobic remarks. Mr Mcalpine denied he was homophobic but said that as a Christian he did believe that homosexuality was a sin. Three uniformed officers then arrested him.

Mr Mcalpine was held for seven hours in a cell, reading the Bible and singing hymns, before being charged by a Senior Crown Prosecutor. The charges have now been dropped.

Speaking about the outcome of his case, Mr Mcalpine said:

“I am pleased that this has been settled without going to court. I forgive the police for how they treated me and I hope that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“Despite my experience I still respect the police. I will pray for them because they have a difficult and sometimes dangerous job.”

Last week Anthony Rollins was awarded £4,250 in damages following a Court’s decision that it was wrong for police to have arrested and handcuffed him after he preached against homosexuality.

He was also charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act but the charges were dropped before the case came to trial. He subsequently decided to sue West Midlands Police after a complaint he made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about his treatment was rejected. His claims of wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery and the infringement of his human rights were upheld by the Court.

In September 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew its case against Paul Shaw, another Christian preacher charged under public order legislation in relation to “offence” caused to homosexuals. He was charged by Essex Police with a “hate crime” after an election leaflet was distributed in Colchester that called for a review of whether homosexual acts should remain legal.

Mr Shaw's arrest took place after two homosexual residents of south-east Colchester complained to police after having found the leaflet on their doorstep.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said “We are pleased that the freedom to preach the gospel has been upheld in a climate where freedoms are increasingly under pressure, especially from the homosexual lobby. It is vital that freedom of speech and freedom of conscience is retained in this country and robustly defended.”


Daily Mail
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