Press Release

Christian evangelist cleared of all charges

22 January 2017         Issued by: Christian Legal Centre

A Scottish evangelist has been cleared of all charges after he was arrested on the streets of Irvine.

Gordon Larmour was charged with behaving in a “threatening or abusive manner aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation” and “assault”, after he answered questions from some young men in the street about the Christian view on homosexual practice.

Mr Larmour was found ‘not guilty’ after the Sheriff found the evidence against him unconvincing. The trial took place on 9 January at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Mr Larmour was represented by Christian Legal Centre allied lawyer Alastair Ross.

Speaking about God

Mr Larmour often visits Irvine to offer Christian leaflets to people. He offered a leaflet to a group of young men who were passing through the town. He explained to one of the men how meeting God had turned his life around.

Another of the men, who said he was a homosexual, asked Mr Larmour for God’s opinion of those who engage in homosexual practices. Mr Larmour told him what the Bible teaches.

Mr Larmour’s answers angered the man and he tried to hit Mr Larmour. The young men than began to chase Mr Larmour and shouted abusive comments at him.

Police officers were called to the scene and the young men told them that Mr Larmour had made ‘homophobic’ remarks. Mr Larmour was arrested and taken to a police station and held overnight.

Mr Larmour was charged with behaving in a “threatening and abusive manner aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation” and “assault”.

‘No case to answer’

At the trial on 9 January 2017, two of the young men who spoke with Mr Larmour appeared as witnesses, along with a police officer.

The Sheriff made the decision for the case to be heard in private, concerned for the sensitivities of one of the young men.

The young men’s accounts of the events did not agree. The police officer was unable to say for sure whether Mr Larmour had said anything more than “the act [of homosexuality] was wrong”.

Mr Larmour’s solicitor made a submission of ‘no case to answer’.

The Sheriff found that Mr Larmour was ‘not guilty’ only an hour after the trial began.

‘A wonderful result’

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, commented:

“This is a wonderful result for Gordon and for Christian evangelists in the UK. Freedom of speech is being consistently undermined in the UK, but here is a win for common sense.

“It is a great surprise that this case was heard in private, and there was no need for this. It is a great relief that the judge ruled in favour of Gordon, because the case simply did not stand up to scrutiny.

“Christians need not be intimidated, and should take advantage of the freedom we have to share the good news about Jesus, who is the only hope for our nation.”

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