Charges dropped against wheelchair-bound man who prayed outside abortion clinic

A wheelchair-bound man who was arrested and prosecuted for peacefully praying outside a London abortion clinic has seen the charges against dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The arrest and case raise the question of whether praying in a public space now constitutes ‘harassment’ and whether ‘buffer zones’ around abortion clinics breach freedom of expression, religion and thought.

Christian Hacking, 29 and wheelchair-bound after breaking his back in a climbing accident, was arrested by police in August 2019 for failing to comply with a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing.

Police were initially called after a member of staff reported two men praying on the grass outside.

Police warned Christian and his friend that merely being on the green outside of the clinic was a breach of the PSPO.