A Christian street preacher who was arrested in February for alleged Hate Speech and Islamophobic statements by police has been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest.
The former dentist was preaching outside Southgate Tube station in North London in February when he was approached by two officers, he had his Bible forcefully taken from him as he was handcuffed and taken away
Oluwole Ilesanmi, 64, has welcomed the payout by the Metropolitan Police as a victory for freedom of speech after he had been wrongly accused of Islamophobia.
A passer-by had earlier called police and accused Mr Ilesanmi of hate speech.
He however admits to having described Islam as an ‘aberration’ but insists he was simply expressing his point of view as a Christian rather than denigrating Muslims.
The incident was captured on camera by Ambrosine Shitrit, who was passing when she saw Mr Ilesanmi debating with a Muslim man who she said was becoming aggressive, and the video has been viewed 10 million times.
Scotland Yard has now agreed to pay Mr Ilesanmi £2,500 for wrongful arrest and his humiliating and distressing treatment.
Mr Ilesanmi told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I believe God loves everyone, including Muslims, but I have the right to say I that I don’t agree with Islam – we are living in a Christian country, after all.
The payout for Mr Ilesanmi, who moved to the UK from Nigeria in 2010 as a Protestant missionary, includes compensation for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, aggravated damages for exceptional harm and humiliating and distressing treatment, and recognition for the potential psychological trauma experienced during the arrest.
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