Christian street preacher awarded £2,500 by police for wrongful arrest in London

6 August 2019

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Christian street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi, who had his Bible taken from him and was led away in handcuffs by police, has been awarded £2,500 compensation for wrongful arrest, it was reported on 27 July.

Oluwole Ilesanmi will be paid £2,500 compensation after he was wrongfully arrested while preaching the Gospel outside a tube station in London
Oluwole Ilesanmi will be paid £2,500 compensation after he was wrongfully arrested while preaching the Gospel outside a tube station in London. [Source: Christian Concern]

The 64-year-old was arrested as he preached the Gospel outside Southgate Tube Station, north London, on 23 February by two officers, who said they were acting “in order to prevent a breach of the peace”. However, it is not lawful for a police officer to order someone to stop preaching unless their actions incite violence.

Mr Ilesanmi, a former dentist who moved from Nigeria in 2010, has welcomed the Metropolitan Police payout, which includes compensation for his humiliating and distressing treatment.

He said, " I am glad that the police have recognised that it was not right to arrest me for preaching from the Bible … It was traumatic being arrested. But I was determined to get back to Southgate and start preaching the Gospel again.”

Mr Ilesanmi delivered a petition to the Home Office on 30 July, signed by more than 45,000 people, asking for greater protection for street preachers.

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