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But it’s not for the police to arrest someone just because others may disagree with what is said.’ Mr Mcalpine’s ordeal began when he and two other Christians went to the pedestrianised shopping precinct in the centre of Workington.

He took a small stepladder and a rucksack of Christian leaflets and met full-time preacher Keith Bullock from Carlisle and a friend from his evangelical church in Workington.

Mr Mcalpine was told that the two PCSOs had alleged that they heard him shouting that homosexuality was a sin, which had distressed them and members of the public.

He was eventually charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act 1986 and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public.

A few minutes later three regular uniformed policemen arrived and Mr Mcalpine said one asked him if he had made homophobic remarks.

Mr Mcalpine said he told the officers that while he was not homophobic, he did believe homosexuality was a sin and there was no law against saying so.

Mr Bullock began speaking from the stepladder outside a mobile phone shop close to a number of stores and coffee bars.

Mr Mcalpine said he and his church colleague handed out to passers-by leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a ‘ticket to heaven’.

Rob Logan, the assistant manager of the O2 mobile phone store near where Mr Mcalpine preached, said he had no complaints.Mr Mcalpine says that as the woman left, one of the two officers, PCSO Sam Adams, approached her and had a brief chat before walking towards him. According to Mr Mcalpine, Mr Adams said there had been complaints and warned him that if he made racist or homophobic remarks he could be arrested.Mr Mcalpine said: ‘I told him I was not homophobic but sometimes I did say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator, but it was not against the law to say this.Soon after midday, Mr Mcalpine took over from Mr Bullock on the stepladder and says he preached for about 20 minutes.He said he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, and that religions such as Buddhism, Islam and even Roman Catholicism were not the way of salvation, but did not speak about homosexuality.

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