Preacher's Conviction
Over Anti-Gay Sign Upheld

By Richard Savill
The Telegraph - UK

A preacher who held up a sign in a town square calling for an end to homosexuality, lesbianism and immorality was "properly convicted" of a criminal offence, the High Court ruled yesterday.
Two senior judges dismissed arguments that the conviction of the late Harry Hammond, 69, an evangelical Christian, for displaying an "insulting" sign interfered with his freedom of religious expression and infringed his human rights.
The sign caused a furore as a group of 30 to 40 people gathered round. Mr Hammond had soil thrown at him and water poured over his head.
Lord Justice May, sitting with Mr Justice Harrison, said it had been open to magistrates in Wimborne, Dorset, to convict Mr Hammond in April 2002.
Mr Hammond's behaviour "went beyond legitimate protest".
Executors of Mr Hammond's estate brought the appeal in an attempt to clear his name. Mr Hammond had been convicted under the 1986 Public Order Act.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004.




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