On September 17 of 2011, John Craven — a 57-year-old Christian preacher — was arrested by a mounted policeman in Manchester, England for “harassment and distress” when during a public soapbox sermon he told two gay teenagers that homosexuality is a sin and that God “hates sin, he loves the sinner.”
According to Mr. Craven, “he was kept in cells for almost 15 hours where he was denied food, water and access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis.”
He was recently awarded a £13,000 ($21,650) out-of-court settlement over allegations of “wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and breach of human rights” by Manchester police.
“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.
“It appears that the actions of the police were calculated to give me and other street preachers the impression that we could not preach the gospel in public without breaking the law and if we did we would be arrested.”
Alan Greene of the Greater Manchester Police said, “We can acknowledge that we did make mistakes and kept the claimant in custody for too long.”
The settlement comes “after a three-year battle that cost him more than £50,000 in legal expenses.”