Mike Overd, a street preacher, has been released again by the police after he was accused of anti-social behaviour.

This time, he failed in January to leave Bridgwater town centre in Somerset after police told him to move on after he was preaching publicly.

However, Taunton Magistrates Court threw out the latest case over a ‘technicality’ as police said they failed to complete the proper paperwork.

Mr Overd has been summoned to court four times over public order offences in total.

He was found not guilty of the first, two guilty findings were overturned at appeal level and the fourth case was dropped.

He was also fined £300 in March 2017 and was acquitted in Bristol Crown court in June 2017 after appealing a conviction in the lower courts.

After his latest release, he said: ‘I’ll take whatever – God gives the victory. But it’s bad that I’m still being harassed for the same reason. 

“I was just preaching when a handful of troublemakers started becoming aggressive – one man threatened to rip my face off.

“One of the complainants reported me to police just for looking at them.

“I refused to accept a Section 35 order (requesting him to leave the area) so I was arrested.”

A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset police said: “Mr Overd has made an official complaint to the police. That is ongoing and is currently being investigated, so we are unable to comment at this stage.” 

A petition has previously been active in Taunton, calling for him to be banned from preaching after he allegedly said a gay person would go to hell.

In 2012, it was claimed that he told a gay couple they would “burn in hell”.

In 2017, he was accused of Islamaphobia.

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Date published: 09/04/2019
Written by: Cara Bentley
Article source: www.premier.org.uk

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