A street preacher who hurled abuse at a woman in the city centre, swearing at her for “wearing tight jeans”, has been convicted of a racially-aggravated public order offence.
Krissoni Henderson, aged 31, was on New Street on Monday 4th July when he launched a torrent of insults at a passer-by he singled out after taking umbrage at her appearance.
Henderson, shouted “you Satan, you devil, you prostitute wearing tight jeans… take them off, you’ll go to hell” before branding her a “kafir” and threatening to blow up her house.
Police called to the scene, at around 5.30PM, after the woman, aged 38, called 999 saying she feared for her safety and was left physically shaking from the encounter.
A video later appeared on social media channels of a West Midlands Police officer trying to speak to Henderson but he too was met with aggression and verbal taunts.
The following day he was arrested from his Brook Street home in Hockley and questioned over the public order allegations.
In interview he branded the woman a liar, claiming she was the aggressor and that she’d tried to “seduce” him.
At Birmingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday (27/09), he was handed a community order of 24 months and received a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am after being convicted of using racially aggravated insulting words or behaviour.
As part of the community order Henderson will be ordered to take a rehabilitation activity to target his anger management.
Henderson was also ordered to pay his victim £200 in compensation and a further £485 in fees and court costs.
He was also found guilty of using insulting, threatening words or behaviour against the officer.
Birmingham Police Superintendent Andy Parsons praised the professionalism of the PC who dealt with the New Street fracas.
He said: “The officer showed commendable restraint in the face of extreme provocation and intimidation. The incident attracted a large crowd and there was a degree of tension… the officer tried to diffuse the situation and protected the woman who’d been targeted.
“The decision was made to arrest Henderson the following day from his home address as to have taken action at the time could have resulted in more disorder.
“People absolutely have the right in law to freedom of speech and visitors to Birmingham city centre will regularly hear people offering their opinion on a wide range of topics.
“However, people must do so lawfully and if there is any suggestion anyone is abusing that right and using words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress or cause a breach of the peace then we will investigate and take the appropriate action.”