Christian preacher gets public order conviction for homophobia overturned
A judge has overturned a conviction for a Christian street preacher for homophobia.
The preacher, Michael Overd, 50, often gives sermons in the streets of Taunton, Somerset.
In March the former soldier was found guilty of a public order conviction for giving homophobic sermons.
The conviction has now been overturned, however, by Judge David Ticehurst at Taunton Crown Court.
Following the overturning of the conviction, Overd spoke outside the court to say the Crown Prosecution Service should have provided more evidence if it wanted to convict him.
The Western Morning News reports that Overd said: “Today the Court was faced with the farcical situation of a witness telling the judge that he couldn’t even remember what I had said, but simply asserting that it was ‘homophobic’ – as though the mere assertion that something is ‘homophobic’ is enough to curtail free speech.”
“Reasonable, law-abiding people now feel that they can’t say certain things and that is dangerous. Totalitarian regimes develop when ordinary people feel that there are certain things that can’t be said.
“My motivation in all my preaching is to share God’s message of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.”
The judge also awarded costs in favour of Overd.