Mr Bullock began speaking from the stepladder outside a mobile phone shop close to a number of stores and coffee bars.
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‘If you are preaching hate and calling on people to harm others, it is right that is against the law,’ he said. If we have a free society, I should be allowed to preach the Gospel as generations have before me.’ Christian campaigners said last night they were alarmed that the police seemed to be using legislation originally introduced to deal with violent and abusive rioters and football hooligans to curb free speech.
Neil Addison, a barrister and expert on religious law, said: ‘People should be able to express their opinions freely as long as their conduct is reasonable.
When we got to the station they emptied my pockets, took my mobile and my belt and my trainers, so I was in my socks.’Mr Mcalpine was put in a cell and asked for his Bible.
‘I read it and sang hymns like Amazing Grace as loudly as I could,’ he said.
At a preliminary hearing on Friday in Workington magistrates’ court, Mr Mcalpine pleaded not guilty and he is now awaiting a trial date. Shoppers in Workington were bemused by what had happened to Mr Mcalpine.