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Street preacher to appeal public order conviction

Sun 01 Nov 2015
By Antony Bushfield

A Christian street preacher found guilty of a public order offence while preaching on the streets of Taunton is to appeal his conviction.

Michael Overd from Creech St Michael, in Taunton, was said to have made offensive remarks about homosexuality through a loudspeaker last summer.

A judge at Bristol Crown Court ordered him to pay £250 compensation to a man who was offended by his words as well as fining him £200 for the offence and ordering him to cover the court costs totalling over £900.

The judge Shamim Qureshi said Mr Overd knew the power of his words to hurt.

He has now confirmed he will appeal the decision, supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

The case will be heard on 11 December.

At the time of the initial hearing Mr Overd said the judgement was flawed and told the judge, Mr Quereshi, he would have to answer to God.

Mr Overd was acquitted on two separate similar charges, one which was to do with "racially-aggravated" harassment aimed at Muslims.

Speaking to Premier Mr Overd claimed he was mirroring Jesus' style of teaching. He said: "Liars, thieves, drunkards, fornicators; Jesus offended people as well. That's why they crucified him because he was a very offensive man."

The street preacher then defended the right to target gay people and Muslims, stating: "They're sinners and Hell bound because they deny the truth of the Bible.

"Because of that, they break the commands of God with hearts that don't love God. They are not born again and will face judgement."

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