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Source : 20/05/1987 Northampton Post

Jesus People leader Noel Stanton has praised the magistrate who cleared two Northampton members of the sect of obstruction.

The men (aged 23 and 31), both of New Creation Farm Nether Heyford were arrested in London's Soho while handing out the church's literature, and were charged with obstruction.

But at Bow Street magistrates court last week the case was thrown out of court and the two Jesus People campaigners walked out free men.

Noel Stanton told the Post: 'It would be a sad day for Britain if police sought to stop Christians being witness to their faith'

He added: 'The magistrate recognised we are a bona fide Christian Church and we have the freedom to disseminate literature on the streets.'

'The growing number of men and women trapped in vice and other social evils need help,' he explained.

The men denied obstructing the pavement outside the Raymond Revue bar in Soho on April 8.

The court heard from two London policemen that the defendants were handing out leaflets to pedestrians and causing an obstruction.

PC Edwards said his attention was drawn to them when an employee of the Raymond Revue bar complained that the two were deterring clients.

He said he told one of the men to move on but the defendant replied: 'I'm doing good Christian work. I'm not going'.

He added that when arrested the man told him 'What about all the prostitutes and other people?'.

Magistrate Mr Ronald Bartle accepted the two Northampton men's explanation that they walked alongside people rather than block the pavement and dismissed the case, ordering their solicitor's fees to be paid from central funds.

The controversial Northants based religious group march into London today for the first time to launch their Jesus Army in the capital.

Their Golden Marquee will be erected in Battersea Park and a march through the West End is scheduled for Saturday when a letter to Margaret Thatcher will be delivered to No.10 appealing to the Government to tackle vice and moral decline.

Noel Stanton says they hope to open a community house in London's Notting hill area within three months.