UK: Charges against preacher arrested for ‘homophobic remarks’ dropped
The case against a preacher who was arrested in Dundee for making homophobic remarks has been dropped.
Anthony Miano, 50, who lives in Los Angeles, was arrested after preaching on the streets in Dundee in January.
He initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm and repeatedly shouting and uttering homophobic remarks.
However, following intervention by the Christian Legal Centre, the charges against him were dropped.
He said: “Supervising prosecutors finally viewed the video footage off my camera and determined that the victim/witness in my case made allegations about my speech that were simply untrue.
“The prosecutors found nothing in my preaching that constituted ‘hate speech’ and came to the conclusion that they had no case against me.”
Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said: “Clearly there is a pressing need for the Association of Chief Police Officers to work with those of us representing street preachers to come up with guidelines on ‘best practice’ for police services across the country to ensure that officers on the beat do not take away the fundamental freedom of Christians to do open air evangelism on the streets of the United Kingdom.”
Australian preacher Josh Williamson, who was also arrested in Dundee and also managed to get the case against him dropped, says he is considering suing the police.
He said: “There is still the issue of getting back my equipment, including the footage it contains. I am also seeking legal advice as to redress in Scotland’s civil courts against the Scottish Police.”
However, he was eventually released without charge.