Pro-life preacher arrested outside Bristol Uni claims police have paid his legal fees

The preacher was arrested after pushing a woman in the crowd


A pro-life preacher who was arrested outside Bristol University is claiming the police have had to pay his legal fees.

Six weeks ago (March 21st) Dia Moodley and a fellow congregation member from the Spirit of Life Reform Baptist Church in Lockleaze took their controversial views on abortion to the Bristol Uni campus.

The pro-life preacher Moodley stood on a stepladder outside of Beacon House with several placards expressing his anti-abortion views. Here he was arrested for common assault and a public order offence after allegedly pushing a woman in the crowd of hecklers who was stood on his placard, the Bristol Post reports.

Moodley has been back in the news this week after he claimed police have had to pay for his legal fee after acting “disproportionately” in trying to restrict his actions.

Paster Moodley used a megaphone to project his views, shouting: “When a woman says her body her choice – the body within her body is not her body”. His placards stated “Thou shall not murder” and “800 babies are murdered daily in the UK”.

A crowd of angry onlookers could be heard heckling the pastor, with one even breaking his sign. When prompted about cases of rape by members of the crowd he responded: “The baby should not pay for the rapist’s crime, the rapist deserves the death penalty, not the baby, why do you punish the baby for the father’s crime”.

Avon and Somerset Police imposed Community Protection Warnings on Moodley to reduce the impact of his street preaching. However after the pro-life preacher took legal action, they called their previous action ‘disproportionate’ and agreed to pay his legal fees with the final figure yet to be agreed.

One onlooker outside Beacon House told The Bristol Tab: “He’s just looking for attention and they are giving him it”.


Pro-life preacher outside Beacon House

As the preacher spoke, the crowd collectively clapped and shouted “Shut up, shut up, shut up” in an attempt to drown out his chants.

Avon and Somerset police received several calls at 2:20 pm reporting a public order offence. They arrived shortly after.

The Avon and Somerset police told The Bristol Post: “A man in his 50s was arrested on suspicion of common assault and a public order offence and later released on bail pending further enquiries. An allegation that he was pushed off a stepladder has also been recorded by police as an assault. No one has yet been charged with any offences.”

Mr Moodley told The Bristol Tab he chose to preach outside Beacon House to target students at the University. He usually preaches in Broadmead on Saturdays.

It is widely reported that a ban on abortion does not reduce the rates of abortion significantly but instead increases the level of unsafe, back-street abortions. The WHO estimates 25 million unsafe abortions occur every year with almost all abortion-related death and injury being preventable with safe medical practice.

When asked about the safety of women having abortions by The Bristol Tab, Moodley’s fellow congregation member stated: “They’re bringing it on themselves”.

Pro-life preacher outside Beacon House

It should be noted that Moodley’s views are in the minority with 90 per cent of the British public being pro-choice. The British Medical Journal has published a report stating the need to reform the UK’s current legislation on abortion for it to be fully decriminalised. This came after a woman was arrested and sentenced in 2023 for ending her 20-week pregnancy using medication.

For advice on safe abortions see BPAS, MSI choices, or NUPAS.

The Bristol Tab contacted University of Bristol for comment. 

Related articles recommended by this author:

UCU Bristol calls for regulation on staff-student relationships

Bristol University students camp in Royal Fort Gardens in solidarity with Palestine

Pro-Palestine students end occupation of Wills after Bristol Uni threatens legal action