With the help of the Legal Defence Fund, Anthony – an autistic Christian street preacher who was handcuffed and arrested for speaking out against homosexuality and many other sins – was awarded £4,250 in damages following a court case against West Midlands Police.
Birmingham County Court ruled that PC Adrian Bill committed assault and battery against Mr Anthony Rollins when he handcuffed him unnecessarily.
The court also ruled that Mr Rollins was wrongfully arrested, unlawfully detained and his human rights to free speech and religious liberty were infringed. The court ordered the police to pay Mr Rollins’ legal costs.
On 24 June 2008 Mr Rollins was preaching in Birmingham city centre. He expressed his Christian belief that homosexual conduct is morally wrong.
A member of the public objected to Mr Rollins’ message and shouted “homophobic bigot” before calling the police. Two officers arrived on the scene and PC Adrian Bill arrested Mr Rollins without further inquiry.
Mr Rollins was detained at a police station for over three hours. He was never interviewed for his version of events. He was charged with a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The charges were later dropped before trial.
Mr Rollins made a complaint about the police action to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, but they failed to uphold the complaint. In a civil action supported by The Christian Institute, Mr Rollins sued West Midlands Police for wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery, and infringement of his human rights. He won on all counts.