December 10 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh email@example.com
Friday, September 27, 2013
A controversial pastor of a Norwich church group who made offensive comments in an email to Norwich Pride - who organise an annual gay parade in the city - will face no further action, it has emerged.
The Rev Dr Alan Clifford, of the Norwich Reformed Church, has regularly made local headlines over the years for his strong views on religion, homosexuality and many other issues.
A complaint was made to police after he emailed organisers of Norwich Pride describing the celebration as an “unashamed carnival of perverted carnality”.
Police were investigating the email but a spokesman for the Norfolk force has today confirmed that no action will be taken against Mr Clifford who contacted the paper to state he is “thankful to God that this trying time is over”.
A police spokesman said: “At the end of July 2013, Norfolk Constabulary received a complaint from Norwich Pride regarding comments made in an email to them. We take allegations of this nature seriously and thoroughly investigated the complaint, to consider if any criminal offences had been committed.
“An evidence file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision and the Constabulary have since received advice that no further action should be taken.
“We will continue to work with all communities in Norfolk to address any concerns this issue may have raised.”
The decision not to take any further action against Mr Clifford was made by the CPS.
Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Frank Ferguson said: “We looked very carefully at these comments to see if any criminal offence had been committed by Rev Alan Clifford. We considered whether there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for an offence under the Communications Act 2003 or under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
“After careful consideration, we took the view that the comments were not menacing or grossly offensive so as to cross the threshold required by the Communications Act.
“In respect of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, unwanted communications of this nature could form the basis of a prosecution, if the sending constituted a course of conduct which a person knew or ought to have known would cause harassment. Based on both the small number of emails involved and the fact that Mr Clifford stopped sending the emails when asked to do so, we are satisfied that there was insufficient evidence to establish that there had been a course of conduct in this case. As the conclusion was one of insufficient evidence, under the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the public interest was not considered.”