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