Street Preachers guilty of religiously aggravated public disorder


The case of two evangelical Christian preachers accused of religiously aggravated public disorder concluded at Bristol Magistrates Court, yesterday Tuesday 28th February.

Michael Overd (52) and American Michael Stockwell (50) from Selden, New York were both charged with the offence under Crime and Disorder Act 1988 after an incident that took place on July 6, last year in Broadmead, Bristol.

Both men were actively engaged in street preaching, using a microphone to amplify their voices and to deliver their message to passers-by. A third man, Major Adrian Clark, from St Werburghs was found not guilty of the offence.

Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell were both found guilty and fined £300 each and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30. Both men will also have to jointly pay court costs of £3372. An application for a Criminal Behaviour Order against Mr Overd will be heard in May.

CPS South West District Crown Prosecutor Chris Holland said "Shoppers and traders on that day had a right not to be at risk from the fear of disorder breaking out as a result of what was being said. The court has ruled that these men used their platform to comment on other religions using offensive language."

Both men have now appealed their convictions.