Man arrested after churchwoman’s death
A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 71-year-old woman, Christine Ford, who was a pillar of her church, St Leonard’s, Flamstead, in Hertfordshire. Mrs Ford was found dead at her almshouse home in Flamstead, on Saturday. The Vicar of Flamstead, the Revd Tom Sander, has organised a vigil in the church for Mrs Ford, who was well-known and much loved in the community for her part in tending the church garden. Detectives were still searching the scene to ascertain how and why Mrs Ford died.
Street preacher wins wrongful arrest complaint
OLUWOLE ILESANMI, a street preacher in North London, has been paid £2500 in damages by the Metropolitan Police after they accepted that he had been wrongfully arrested while evangelising earlier this year. Officers were called to the scene when someone accused Mr Ilesanmi, 64, of being Islamophobic. After he refused to leave, the police arrested and handcuffed him, besides confiscating his Bible — all of which was caught on camera and went viral online. With the backing of the conservative legal advocacy group Christian Concern, Mr Ilesanmi threatened legal action, leading to the £2500 settlement. The pastor has now organised a 38,000-signature petition calling on the police to protect the right to preach in public.
Priest extradited on abuse charges to go on trial
THE Revd Meirion Griffiths, a retired Church of England priest who was extradited from Australia earlier this year on charges of historic sexual abuse (News, 8 February), has gone on trial at Winchester Crown Court. Mr Griffiths is accused of several indecent assaults against a girl in her teens during the 1970s, and separate assaults against another woman in her twenties in 1982. He was the Rector of St Pancras and St John, Chichester, at the time of the alleged offences. He has pleaded not guilty.