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Street preacher's conviction quashed

Fri 08 Dec 2017
By Alex Williams

A Christian street preacher has successfully appealed against a conviction for using "threatening and discriminatory language" in Lincoln.

The city's Crown Court overturned a ruling handed down by Lincoln Magistrates Court to 33-year-old Daniel Courney (pictured above, wearing a pink shirt and orange tie) in September.

The American responded: "I came to the United Kingdom with its rich Christian history, to bring back the message of Jesus Christ.

"The message is a simple one: repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not follow false religions."

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Mr Courney had been evangelising on Lincoln High Street for eight years before he was arrested under the Public Order Act over his preaching on 16th June 2017.

Mr Courney's lawyers said their client was reported to police by a Muslim woman who claimed she had been branded a member of Islamic State and told to "go back to your country" - claims Mr Courney always denied.

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He was charged with using "threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress".

Mr Courney: "I have been held in police custody and accused of being a hate preacher.

"At all times, I simply wanted to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Christian Legal Centre, which has been supporting Mr Courney, said the case highlights the need for police to "understand how the law protects free speech".

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