Police facing court over ‘Muslim no-go’ incident

Lawyers are preparing papers to sue West Midlands Police after officers told two Christians not to share their faith in a Muslim area of Birmingham.

The legal action is being financed by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund. Unless the force issues a public apology, papers will be filed in September.

Watch icon A report of the incident

The incident happened to Mr Arthur Cunningham and Mr Joseph Abraham as they were handing out Christian tracts on the corner of Ellesmere Road and Alum Rock Road in the city on 19 February this year.

PCSO Naguthney (30825) told the Christians they were committing a hate crime and that he was going to take them to the police station.

Two other officers, PCSO Ali and PC Loi, also attended the incident. PC Loi advised Mr Cunningham and Mr Abraham that it might be wiser if they did not come back to Alum Rock Road.

PCSO Naguthney said, “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beat up, well you have been warned.”

Despite repeated complaints from Mr Cunningam and Mr Abrahams, the Christian pair are not satisfied with how West Midlands Police has dealt with the matter.

It is understood that PCSO Naguthney has been given verbal advice for his pocket notebook and will receive training in understanding hate crime and communicating with the public.

West Midlands Police have referred the matter to Independent Police Complaints Commission who are looking into the incident.

Mr Cunningham and Mr Abraham do not feel this response properly reflects the seriousness of the officers’ actions.

Lawyers acting for the two Christians say the men are entitled to bring a Human Rights Act claim against West Midlands Police for breach of their European convention rights under articles 9 (freedom of religion) and 10 (freedom of speech).

Mr Cunningham and Mr Abraham are seeking a full and unreserved written apology, recognition that their convention rights were infringed by the conduct of the police officers, damages and reasonable legal costs.

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