CHRISTIAN PREACHER CHARGED FOR OFFENDING GAYS
Issued: 6th September 2010
Colchester Magistrates are to hear the case of a Christian man accused of a public order offence in two weeks' time.
Paul Shaw was charged by Essex Police with a 'hate crime' after an election address was distributed in Colchester calling - in very moderate language - for a review of whether sodomy and other homosexual acts should remain legal.
Two homosexual men complained to the police after the leaflet dropped through their door in south-east
, leading to a completely over-the-top police search of Paul Shaw's flat and confiscation of his diaries in June.
Mr Shaw was put in the cells, interrogated in what he describes as a 'hostile and provoking' interview, and then charged on 12th June with causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
'MAKE HOMOSEXUAL ACTS UNLAWFUL'
The 'offending' words were in an election address, distributed after Paul Shaw had stood for election as an independent at a time when he thought a new election was imminent. In a leaflet previously approved by the Returning Officer and the Royal Mail, he said:
I believe for example that homosexual and lesbian acts are immoral and that the law should reflect that; by making them unlawful as they once were; and so acting as a deterrent to such behaviour.
The concept of homophobia is nonsense and a play on words; it is not and has never been a phobia! A phobia is an un-natural fear; whereas a rejection of perverse behaviour; is a righteous godly fear; that fears to do wrong because it knows that there are consequences and punishment otherwise! This is the most pronounced example of a nation that has lost its way ..
However, during a preliminary hearing on Thursday 26th August, the Crown Prosecutor applied for an adjournment. This was in order, he said, to consider the implications for freedom of speech raised by the case. The Magistrate, District Judge David Cooper, readily agreed and the case was adjourned to Thursday 23rd September at 9.15am. Paul Shaw was up before the very same magistrate only a few months ago for preaching on the same subject, and Essex Police charged him then as well, leading to the CPS withdrawing the case.
PRAY the same thing happens this time. PRAY that justice is done and this attack on our historic freedom to preach the Gospel is defeated. PRAISE GOD for so much support for Paul. PLEASE continue to hold up our brother in prayer at this challenging time.
CHRISTIAN VOICE SUPPORT
Christian Voice is actively supporting Paul Shaw. We publicised his case as soon as he contacted us the day before his court appearance and immediately went down to
to support him. It is just four years since Christian Voice National Director Stephen Green was arrested for a similar purported offence during the Cardiff Mardi Gras homosexual event in September 2006. He was put in the cells for four hours and charged under the Public Order Act 1986 Section 5. And in that case the same thing happened. At the committal hearing the CPS threw up their hands in horror and then withdrew the case.
Stephen Green promptly took South Wales Police to court for wrongly arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution and won. South Wales Police settled out of court in a humiliation for arresting officer Inspector Alexander Chadd, head of the Force's 'Minorities Support Unit'.
Christians are invited to come and support Paul Shaw at Colchester Magistrates Court, CO1 1FP on Thursday 23rd September 2010. The case is listed for 9.15am, but be prepared for it to be heard, as the August hearing was, in the afternoon.
In all, seven brethren came along to the August hearing at a moments notice to support Paul Shaw and the Gospel, so let us pray for an even bigger witness this time.