An elderly Christian street preacher who was arrested by UK police for ‘disturbing the peace’ with his “Islamophobic” Christian message has been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest.
Oluwole Ilesanmi was preaching outside Southgate tube station in London in February when two Metropolitan Police officers ordered him to stop preaching. When the 64-year-old refused, the officers arrested the elderly preacher, ripping his Bible from his hands, then cuffing his wrists behind his back.
Mr Ilesanmi was accused of “Islamophobia” after he called Islam an ‘aberration’. The arresting officers told the elderly preacher, “Nobody wants to listen to that.” When Mr Ilesanmi asked an officer not to take away his Bible, the officer said, “You should have thought about that before being racist.”
This afternoon an African Christian preacher was arrested in London for preaching about Jesus Christ. This is very sad to see. What happened to freedom of speech? pic.twitter.com/BId74SOgun
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) February 23, 2019
Following the arrest, Christian Concern revealed the officers drove Mr Ilesanmi to an unfamiliar location and left him there without any money or means of getting home.
Met Police initially claimed to have walked Mr Ilesanmi approximately 200 metres from the point of arrest, de-arrested and shown to a nearby bus stop, however, they now admit this was false and that Mr Ilesanmi was taken more than four miles from the point of arrest.
Eventually, a member of the public ended up paying for Mr Ilesanmi’s transportation, which he used to travel back to Southgate tube station to continue preaching the good news.
Scotland Yard has admitted Mr Ilesanmi was wrongfully arrested and agreed to pay £2,500 to the elderly preacher.