The police want to talk to Lionheart about his blog “like we would with any other crime”.
Telling words, those.
Lionheart is supposed to turn himself in to the police tomorrow, but has decided not to return. This is the latest report on his situation, from the nespaper Luton on Sunday:
Web logger seeks asylum in States
A controversial ‘web logger’ from Dunstable is seeking asylum in America because he faces arrest in the UK for stirring up racial hatred.
Paul Ray, who regularly writes an online diary as ‘Lionheart’, was due to attend Bedford’s Greyfriars Police Station on February 18 as part of Bedfordshire Police’s investigation into his blog.
However, he has decided to apply for political asylum in America because he risks charges which carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years.
His blog includes his opinions on the heroin trade, Islamic fundamentalism and police corruption.
Mr Ray, 31, speaking to told Luton on Sunday on the phone from South Carolina, said : “I was going to meet Bedfordshire Police on Monday. But I don’t want to come back to England and get arrested.
“I had death threats in Dunstable and I wrote everything down.
“I did it because if anything happened to me then I wouldn’t just be another statistic.
“I have just written my thoughts down while I have been on the run.
“I am applying for political asylum on the grounds of political persecution and human rights issues.
“All I’ve done is written words on a blog. That doesn’t befit a prison sentence.”
Mr Ray, who used to have a flat in Great Northern Road and a computer shop on Albion Street, claims he has received death threats.
He admits his reactions to this in his blog may be considered ‘over the top’ but maintains he has a right to write his beliefs.
– – – – – – – – –
He has been in South Carolina dodging arrest after receiving an email from Bedfordshire Police’s DC Ian Holden on January 3.
The email said: ‘The offence that I need to arrest you for is ‘Stir up Racial Hatred by displaying written material’ contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.
“You will be arrested on SUSPICION of the offence. You would only be charged following a full investigation based on all the relevant facts and CPS consent.”
Mr Ray added that he will return to Britain unless Bedfordshire Police confirm they are going to cease their investigation.
A spokeswoman for Bedfordshire Police said: “We contacted him to say that when he returns to this country we would like to see him.
“We have got a complaint about his blog. That is the whole point of this exercise.
“We have spoken to him like we would with any other crime.”
Hat tip: Gaia.