Dale Mcalpine, 42, was charged with a public order offence and hauled away by three police officers after preaching to shoppers in Workington, Cumbria last month.
But after an outcry from Christian groups, civil liberty supporters – and even gay rights activists, the charges have been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets
Mr Mcalpine said: “I’m very pleased that they have seen sense really. I forgive the police. I’m now seeking advice as to what to do next to prevent it happening again. I was quite happy to go to court, I had not broken any law.”
[T]he CPS has confirmed they would not be prosecuting Mr Mcalpine, a spokeswoman said: “Mr Mcalpine was charged after a member of the public raised concerns with a Police Community Support Officer. The decision to charge was made on the basis of all information available at the time.
“We keep cases under constant review and following a further review of all the evidence in this case we were no longer satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and we have therefore discontinued the proceedings against Mr Mcalpine.”
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said arresting someone for anti-gay views is unjustified and heavy-handed, he added: “I urge the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to issue new guidelines, making it clear that the police should not arrest people for expressing prejudiced views in a non-threatening and non-aggressive manner. Causing offence to others is not a legitimate basis for putting a person on trial.”
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.
Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.
Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.