Magistrates acquit Michael Overd

10/02/2012

Michael John Overd was today acquitted of charges of harassment by Magistrates at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court.

Overd was charged last September in relation to alleged homophobic hate crime against a gay couple in Taunton.

Commenting on the case, CPS District Crown Prosecutor Dean Lampard said: "We take allegations of this nature very seriously and when we reviewed the case in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we determined it was appropriate to charge Mr Overd with harassment. We examined the evidence and were satisfied that there was a realistic prospect of conviction and that it was in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings.  We respect the Magistrates decision today.

"Everyone has the right to live their life free from harassment and distress and we will continue to work closely with Avon and Somerset Constabulary to investigate any allegations of hate crime of any sort, be it homophobic, racist, religious or disability hate crime."