UK court says Christian preacher has no case to answer

Monday, August 23, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A UK court has dismissed the case against a female Christian street preacher who was charged with causing “harassment, alarm and distress” while preaching a message from the Bible outside a London subway station last year, Christian Concern (CC) reports. The Highbury Corner Magistrates Court ruled last month that preacher Hazel Lewis had “no case to answer.”

Ms. Lewis was arrested outside Finsbury Park subway station on 12 February 2020, after members of the public complained to police about the message she was preaching from the Bible, CC reports. It was alleged that Ms. Lewis had made a child cry and had been threatening when she said in response to a provocation by a member of the public: ‘you are an advocate of Satan and I rebuke you in Jesus’ name.’

Police placed Ms. Lewis in handcuffs and took her to the local police station, where she was kept in custody until her release on bail in the middle of the night, CC said.

Charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, Ms. Lewis faced a full trial at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 28 July 2021, CC reports. However, the court dismissed the case. In her ruling, District Judge Julia Newton said: “The defendant is alleged to have said, ‘you are an advocate of Satan and I rebuke you in Jesus’ name’. I don’t find those words threatening. These words were certainly disagreed with. I do not find that they were abusive either.”

“In addition, there is no evidence as to why the children were crying,” the judge continued. “Whilst there was a lot of noise, there were a lot of things that could have led the children to cry. I find that there is no case to answer.”