Charges dropped against Christian street preacher
Fri, 14 May 2010
Prosecutors have dropped a criminal case against a Christian street preacher who was arrested by police for saying homosexual conduct was a “sin”.
Dale Mcalpine speaks of his relief
Dale Mcalpine, of Workington in Cumbria, was arrested on 20 April after a conversation with a police community support officer in which Mr Mcalpine said the Bible calls homosexual conduct a sin.
This week crown prosecutors decided to drop the case after reviewing the evidence.
Mr 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.”
And he wanted to express his thanks for the support he received. He said: “The Christian Institute are absolutely amazing.”
He added: “It’s important that we have them to defend our religious liberties.”
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.
“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.”