Anti-gay Christian preacher wins £4,000 compensation for arrest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Christian street preacher who raged against the “effeminate” and said gays would go to hell has won £4,000 in damages for being arrested.

Anthony Rollins, of Birmingham, was arrested in July 2008 when a passerby took offence to his remarks about homosexuality and called 999.

The 45-year-old preacher, a regular on the city’s streets, was handcuffed and held in a police cell for almost four hours.

He had been quoting passages from the Bible which condemn the “unrighteous”, including adulterers, the effeminate, and “abusers of themselves with mankind”.

Mr Rollins announced that effeminate meant gay and that “the abominable shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”.

West Midlands police were ordered to pay him damages at Birmingham county court yesterday, the Daily Mail reports.

Judge Lance Ashworth QC said that the man who called police to complain about Mr Rollins, John Edwards, had “relished the attention and greatly embellished his evidence”.

According to the newspaper, Mr Rollins said he challenged the arrest for “freedom of speech”, rather than the money.

He added: “I wonder if they would have arrested the Bishop of Birmingham if he had been preaching on the street? Would they have handcuffed him and dragged him off as if he was a common criminal?”

In July, 62-year-old Paul Shaw, of Colchester, was arrested after distributing leaflets which said gays and lesbians should be “locked up”.

He denied using threatening words or behaviour and escaped charges after refusing to be bound over to keep the peace, which is a criminal conviction.