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Bible pest Michael Jones gets £3,000 payout from police

Bible pest Michael Jones gets £3,000 payout from police

The annoying evangelist who upset people in the East Yorkshire town of Beverley with his persistent street preaching was awarded the cash by Humberside Police after charges of religious harassment against him were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

According to this report, Jones, 66, was due to face trial for religious harassment over claims he preached against abortion and homosexuality.

Jones, who works in Beverley three days a week, was arrested in December 2015 following the allegations. He said he had to spend the day in a cell in Bridlington police station after being arrested at his home.

The charges were eventually dropped and, following an out-of-court settlement, Humberside Police have had to pay the annoying preacher £3,000.

Said Jones:

A week ago they rang me and said they were providing me with £3,000 in compensation. But they are still holding my DNA, fingerprints and photograph and I don’t think that’s right.

It’s not about the money, really. I don’t care that much about the money although it is very handy and I will be giving some of it away to various charities.

I’m pleased. I have had no trouble with the police before or since and I’m still out there.

Last year, Beverley residents and Toll Gavel shops started a petition to get him banned from the area and said it was “outrageous” charges against him had been dropped.

Now, residents and shop owners in the vicinity where Jones regularly preaches, say they will continue to fight to have him banned from the area, following the petition they set up last summer.

The petition, which has been signed by a number of shops, including Heron Frozen Foods, New Look and Cooplands Bakery, has been handed to both the police and East Riding Council.

Jones said it was a shock that he had been detained by police in the first place.

It was the first time I have been arrested, ever. It’s not a nice experience to be put into cells and be locked up. It was not very nice at all.

Humberside Police said it was a civil matter so could not comment.

Hat tip: Vanity Unfair

20 responses to “Bible pest Michael Jones gets £3,000 payout from police”

  1. Club Secretary says:

    I doubt that I would agree with what he is saying but I would defend his right to say it.

  2. Daz says:

    I would defend his right to say anything in an appropriate venue. I would suggest that the appropriate venue, however, is not the public street, where people he is accusing of being murderers, perverts, whatever (his chosen schticks are abortion and homosexuality), should have the right to go about their business without being harassed in such a manner.

  3. Alan Crowe says:

    Nice touch of irony the rainbow scarf, oh but the religious don’t get irony do they?

  4. Steve says:

    I would argue that he does the right to speak publicly, and should be allowed to continue.
    And that the correct way to deal him him is a counter speaker. What local business can do to push him is hire a few street performers…

  5. Stephen Mynett says:

    Street preachers have a right to free speech but where they exercise that free speech should be controlled. I once used a street cafe that began to lose customers because of a ranting religionist. If I go out to enjoy coffee, food whatever with friends I wish to do so in a pleasant environment but that can soon become impossible with someone shouting abuse, which is what a lot of these preachers do.

    They can moan about free speech all they like but once they start effecting the legal business and enjoyment of people should be moved on. Cafe visitors have a right to a peaceful environment and this should be a consideration when any preacher, politician etc is in action. The law needs to be properly defined.

  6. L.Long says:

    Isn’t there some law about being a public nuisance? as he was in the middle of a business place? He should be in a park area. But I would defend his right to speak but he has no right to interfere with others either, get a restraining order on this dimwit!!!

  7. Daz says:

    “And that the correct way to deal him him is a counter speaker.”

    So, a gay man, for instance, who wishes to spend his half-hour lunch break eating his sandwiches in the open air, should either have to spend it debating an ignoramus regarding his right to be considered equal in the eyes of the law and of society, or have to spend that half-hour listening to someone else debating the same question of his worthiness to be considered human?

    If the preacher were preaching on “the curse of Ham” and denigrating black people in such a way, I suspect the oft-reached-for Voltaire quote would suddenly be extremely conspicuous by its absence. And rightly so. What I disagree with is people who see the expression of other forms of equally harmful bigotry than racism as somehow worthy of protection.

  8. The Badger says:

    @Alan Crowe NOT a rainbow scarf, just a multicoloured one. It’s important to look at things properly and in detail but I might let you off as it was a nice joke. Perhaps an anonymous benefactor can send him a REAL rainbow scarf and see if they can get a picture of him in it, or a youtube video complete with gay hate comments. Now that would be priceless and really prove his intelligence !
    In my youth (many decades ago) I used to see quite a few “soap box” preachers in and around Birmingham but they are pretty rare these days. Actually I think they add interest and “colour” to a city environment and I would rather have 3 or 4 of them than one obnoxious charity chugger. Probably a good idea to licence them though under a “Permission to Street Preach” procedure with limits on areas of operation, loudness in decibels and height of box.

  9. StephenJP says:

    It’s not quite clear exactly what he was saying or doing; from the local shopkeepers’ petition it seems he was upsetting them and their customers by “preaching from the bible” about homosexuality etc. I am in two minds about this: I would absolutely defend his right to express his views, however annoying (provided he accepts the right of others to express their own opposing views); but I would also defend the right of shopkeepers and customers to go about their business without being harangued by him or indeed his opponents. It seems to me that the police have cut him far too much slack, and that if he starts up again the local petitioners would have an even stronger case to get him to shut up.

  10. barriejohn says:

    I agree that there’s a time and a place for everything, including the exercise of free speech. Street entertainers and musicians can add to the atmosphere in a town centre, but I have been in shops and banks where the staff have been driven almost to distraction by the constant noise. There’s such a thing as consideration, but you wouldn’t expect blinkered religiots to appreciate that. I also wouldn’t expect them to appreciate that there are far more effective ways of evangelizing that don’t make them look like lunatics, but I can, sadly, tell you from my own experience that those who are keen on this sort of weird behaviour love to meet opposition, and boast about “the offence of the Gospel” because they see all objections as the work of the devil and a sign that “the Holy Spirit is convicting the ungodly”. They’re nuts.

  11. Newspaniard says:

    If he were a (bloody) muslim, he would have received ten times that amount and the offer to build a mosque at public expense. 🙂

  12. Neil says:

    Shouldn’t he be rejoicing he was kept in a cell? His lord and saviour tells him to regard himself as ‘blessed’ when ‘wrongly’ imprisoned (Luke 6.27-28 & 21.13). In any case, since when is ranting about gay people ‘the gospel’? (And it’s not as if we haven’t heard it all a hundred times before.)

  13. Oh Really! says:

    If he hired a small venue, say an upstairs room in a pub, or a room in a chapel, and then advertised that he was going to speak there at a certain time you can guarantee his audience would be tiny and limited to those in need of a free cup of tea on a bitterly cold winter day. The audience maybe even non existent. I suggest he locks himself in a public toilet cubicle in which to regurgitate all his bile.

    I wonder how long it would take for a baying crowd of shrieking frenzied fundamentalists to muster and assault someone publically denouncing islam and the pastime of some of its adherents to the trafficking and rape of underage kuffar girls, FGM, honour killings, and indiscriminate murder.Or how long it would take the police to arrest someone for the public denouncement of roman catholic priests raping children.How long? Not long. A matter of an hour in my estimation. And the police would not be handing out any dosh either.

  14. Oh Really! says:

    And he has that disturbing smug self assurance of an unhinged man tap dancing on the edge of being sectioned, comfortable in his gargantuan conceit and blissful in the knowledge that he alone knows the mind of god. This is what a humble servant of god looks like. You can spot them a mile off.

  15. H3r3tic says:

    Playing Devil’s advocate; if I were to stand outside a Catholic Church in a public space and read aloud the disturbing evidence of the ways in which paedophile Catholic priests were shielded from the law by the Catholic hierarchy would the same arguments along the lines of “there’s a time and place in which free speech should be deployed” still apply? If not then this dickwad should be allowed to continue spouting his bullshit, should he not?

  16. Daz says:

    @H3r3tic

    “if I were to stand outside a Catholic Church in a public space and read aloud the disturbing evidence of the ways in which paedophile Catholic priests were shielded from the law by the Catholic hierarchy would the same arguments along the lines of “there’s a time and place in which free speech should be deployed” still apply?”

    I don’t know. Are you planning to make your argument part of an ongoing and demonstrably harmful campaign to deny catholics the right to marriage, to bodily autonomy, to any other kind of equal rights? Are you going to advocate that catholics take part in some kind of harmful conversion “therapy”?

  17. Stephen Mynett says:

    The point is not so much what is being said, it could be a useless actor shouting out Hamlet or a tone deaf busker, there are places, such as street cafes as mentioned before, where people should have the right to enjoy their drink, meal, conversation etc without being disturbed. In that situation anyone disturbing the peace should be moved on and if they fail to comply prosecuted.

  18. Daz says:

    Kinda related; John Scalzi on the punching of nazis, this part seems relevant to the conversation in this thread.

    “Now: Should there be consequences for the person who is battering the Nazi? Sure; they should be prosecuted for battery, assuming they are caught, and if convicted, they should do their time. On the flip side: Is it possible my intellectual and philosophical position re: the First Amendment right of Nazis to be in the public discourse is grounded in the fact that as a well-off straight white dude, I’m near last on the list of people that (specific obsessed and envious loser stalkers aside) the Nazis or other bigots are likely going to have a problem with? Again, sure. It’s easy for me to be sanguine about bigots and racists when I’m not directly in their line of fire. I don’t feel the same level of threat — and I don’t factually have the same level of threat — from them that other people do. It’s easy to say “even the hateful have a place in the discourse” when the hate isn’t focused on you, or is likely ever to be in a very serious way, and that is a thing I don’t think people like me appreciate on a gut level. We are free riders, in a very real sense, regarding the intellectual question of how the principle of free speech interacts with a philosophy founded on the idea that you are less than human, and deserve less than full human rights.”

    The strong emphasis (bold text) is mine. It goes part way towards explaining my position on this.

  19. Brian Jordan says:

    Love ’em or hate ’em, preachers and buskers should be required to move on every 5-15 minutes or so. Maybe buskers are?

  20. Cali Ron says:

    In some cities in the US buskers are required to register and get a permit, which limits where and when they can perform. The same could be applied to Jones and other street preachers. They are really just performers themselves, for the amusement or annoyance of spectators. The system works quite well by giving the performers decent locations to perform, but where they are not a nuisance to local businesses. Or the business owners could hire a heckler. Maybe still annoying to the customers, but I would find it hilarious.