It’s never ending, isn’t it? Always enemies of it, everywhere:
Miss Lewis was arrested outside Finsbury Park Tube station in north London in February 2020 after it was claimed she said that non-believers and gay people should be stabbed.
She was arrested under the Public Order Act for making homophobic and racist comments. On her arrival at custody, she handed over her mobile phone which had been recording.
In a statement to her trial at Highbury Magistrates Court last month, officer Stuart Day said that the video showed that one of the men who had accused her “very much sounds like he is trying to goad her into commenting on his sexuality. She does not however take the bait”.
The statement continued: “At no point do you hear her make homophobic or racial remarks against anyone… She at no point during the recording is calling for the stabbing or murder of any group based on their lack of religious beliefs.”
Incitement to – immediate – violence should indeed be a crime. But other than that and libel/slander speech needs to be free.
He notes that she repeatedly refers to people as sinners but adds: “I was satisfied that she does not use any homophobic or racial language during this time.”
Rather than having the case dropped, Miss Lewis was charged with a different public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
It was alleged that she had made a child cry and had been threatening when she told one man: “You are an advocate of Satan and I rebuke you in Jesus’ name”.
But District Judge Julia Newton ruled that there was no case to answer as although the words were disagreed with, they were not threatening or abusive. She said that there was no evidence she had caused the children to cry.
Homophobia, racism, making children cry, none of these things should even be part of the issue. Which is rather where the problem is – after that appalling police performance – isn’t it?