Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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Pastor James McConnell to hear verdict for 'insulting Islam'

Tue 05 Jan 2016
By Antony Bushfield

A Protestant evangelical preacher accused of making "grossly offensive" remarks about Islam will learn his fate later.T

Pastor James McConnell, 78, has been on trial following a sermon in which he branded Islam "heathen", "satanic" and a "doctrine spawned in hell".

District Judge Liam McNally will deliver his verdict on Tuesday morning following a three day trial in December.

At the time he said he wanted to "consider all the points raised in submissions."

The pensioner, who leads the Whitewell Tabernacle Church in Belfast, is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act and faces two charges - improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

Both relate to comments made from the pulpit of his Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle church on May 18 2014.

Mr McConnell denies the charges.

Speaking after the trial which ended in December he said: "It has been fair. The prosecution has been fair, everybody has been fair.

"I can't wait now to January 5. I want to see the outcome. I want to win."

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