UK: Christian ‘anti-gay’ preacher accepts £13k compensation for wrongful arrest

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A Christian street preacher who told teenagers that God ‘hates’ homosexuality because it is a sin has accepted £13,000 in compensation for wrongful arrest.

John Craven says he was preaching in Manchester city centre in September 2011 when two ‘homosexual’ teenagers approached him.

According to The Christian Institute, the 57-year-old preacher told them that God ‘hates’ homosexuality because it is a sin, to which they allegedly took offence.

After they complained, he was arrested by Greater Manchester Police Constable Alistair McKittrick 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 preacher was detained by police for over 19 hours, and eventually launched legal action against the force, claiming he was allegedly denied access to food, water and his arthritis medication.

Today, days before the case was due to court, an out-of-court settlement was reached, with the police accepting wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, and breach of his human rights.

In addition to awarding Craven £13,000 in compensation, Greater Manchester Police will pay both parties’ legal fees, which amount to over £50,000.

Craven said: “I never intended to cause anyone harassment, alarm or distress. In fact, quite the opposite. I preach the gospel which means good news and the love of God for all.

“The actions of the police have left me feeling nervous and anxious. I found the whole episode extremely distressing.”