Street preacher Dale Mcalpine was held in a cell for seven hours and charged with a public order offence after telling a gay police community support officer that homosexuals were going against the will of God.
He said he would fight to have the charge - usually used to tackle rioters or football hooligans - dismissed.
Mcalpine was spouting nonsense to shoppers and handing out leaflets when he was allegedly warned he was committing an offence by PCSO Sam Adams - who introduced himself as his force's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer.
When he continued preaching, Mcalpine was arrested while debating his views with a passer-by.
I think justice will be served and this will be found to be a ridiculous charge, he said. He told how he was speaking to a woman about behaviour that he believed the Bible regarded as sinful, including blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and
homosexuality, while being watched by two PCSOs.
After she walked away, he claimed Adams approached to warn him they had received complaints and that if he made any racist or homophobic comments he would be arrested. I told him homosexuality is a sin, and he told me "I am a homosexual,
I find that offensive, and I'm also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community", he said yesterday. I told him it was still a sin.
While he talked to a passer-by the PCSO radioed for assistance and he was arrested by uniformed officers. He was taken to a police station, had his pockets emptied and his mobile phone taken along with his belt and shoes, and was kept in the
cells for seven hours where he sang hymns to keep his spirits up.
He was later charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Public Order Act 1986 and released on bail, appearing before magistrates in the town last week.
The self-proclaimed born-again Christian insists he has a right to express his views. It's not just my right I'm fighting for, it's everyone's ,' he said: We're going down the route of a police state. Some people in the homosexual
community may not like me after this. But it would be very intolerant of them to not allow me to have my say.
Yet more examples of the police abusing their incredibly wide powers under the Public Order law. This law grants draconian powers to deal with unruly situations. Somehow it is now being applied to normal peaceful life.
Interesting to see that the hidden video camera footage arrest has now been posted on YouTube and that the Crown Persecution Service have decided to drop the case.
Dale Mcalpine was arrested on 20 April after a conversation with a police community support officer in which Mcalpine said the Bible calls homosexual conduct a sin.
This week crown prosecutors decided to drop the case after reviewing the evidence.
Mcalpine was assisted by The Christian Institute. He says he is relieved that the prosecution has been dropped. He said: It was a ridiculous charge, I should never have been arrested. I'm relieved that they have seen sense. I'm a Christian
man, I forgive the police. But it is important this doesn't happen to someone else. We are now looking at the legal options that we have got, and we will take it from there.
Christian Institute spokesman Simon Calvert said the police must be held to account. He said: Cumbria police can't just walk away from this. They have arrested and charged an innocent man for no other reason than he peacefully expressed his
religious beliefs. And it has happened in other parts of the country too. So there is clearly a problem with the system and it has to be put right.
Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson, police commander for West Cumbria, said: Our officers and staff often have to make difficult decisions while balancing the law and people's rights. This is not easy especially when opinions and
interpretations differ. We would like to reassure the public that we respect, and are committed to upholding, the fundamental right to freedom of expression ...[BUT]... We are just as committed to maintaining the peace and preventing
people feeling alarmed or distressed by the actions of others in public places.
The Crown Prosecution Service has carefully assessed the evidence in the case and has decided to discontinue the prosecution of Mr Mcalpine.
The Christian preacher who told police homosexuality was a sin is planning to sue for wrongful arrest.
Dale Mcalpine was charged with a public order offence after speaking to a community support officer (PCSO) in Workington, Cumbria, in April.
The charge was later dropped by Cumbria Police, which claimed it respected freedom of expression.
Mcalpine said he would launch a civil action against the arresting officer and the chief constable.
He also intends to sue for false imprisonment and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
Mcalpine denies making any mention of homosexuality in his sermon. He said: As a Christian man, I forgive the police for their actions... HOWEVER ...I also want to protect others who may face similar problems in the future. This can't
just be brushed under the carpet, freedom of speech is too precious for that.
The Christian Institute, which acts to defend religious liberty for Christians, is supporting Mcalpine and financing his legal action.
A street preacher has been awarded more than £4,000 in damages after a judge ruled it was wrong for police to arrest and handcuff him for speaking out against homosexuality.
Anthony Rollins was preaching in Birmingham city center in June 2008 when a member of the public, John Edwards, took offense at comments he made describing homosexual conduct as morally wrong.
According to the Christian Institute, which backed Rollins' case, police arrived on the scene after receiving a call from Edwards and PC Adrian Bill proceeded to handcuff Rollins without any further inquiry.
Birmingham County Court ruled that PC Bill had committed assault and battery against Rollins by handcuffing him unnecessarily. Judge Lance Ashworth QC said in his ruling that the arrest demonstrated a lack of thoughtfulness. He ruled that
hehad made the arrest as a matter of routine without any thought being given to Rollins' Convention Rights , which pertain to free speech and religious liberty.
After his arrest, Rollins was taken by PC Bill to the station where he was held for three hours but never questioned for his account of events. He was charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act but the charges were dropped before
the case came to trial.
Rollins decided to sue West Midlands Police after a complaint he made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about his treatment was rejected.
Meek was so 19th century. Updated it reads:
The easily offended will inherit the Earth
Christian street preacher Dale Mcalpine is to receive £7,000 in damages after Cumbrian police admitted wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment and a breach of his human rights.
According to the Christian Institute, which funded Mcalpine's legal defence, Cumbrian police have accepted that they acted unlawfully.
Mcalpine was arrested in April by Cumbrian police in Workington after he mentioned that homosexuality was among the sins listed in the Bible. His comments were not made in his main public sermon but in response to a question about homosexuality
put to him by a passerby.
He was arrested by PC Craig Hynes for a racially aggravated offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and, after being detained at the station for more than seven hours, was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting
words to cause harassment, alarm or distress . The charges were later dropped.
The arrest sparked fears for freedom of speech for Christians and was also criticised by prominent gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
The Christian Institute is appealing to the Government to amend Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which makes it a criminal offense to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in a way that could alarm or distress another
person. It wants the Government to repeal the word insulting .