Volume turned down on Somerset Preacher

A street preacher who regularly preaches in Taunton town centre will have to turn his volume down. Following a hearing at Bristol High Court yesterday an injunction was upheld against Michael Overd. The injunction, to lats until July next year bans Overd, 56 from using amplified sound.

Under the terms of the injunction Mr Overd, from Creech St Michael is prohibited from:

  • Using any amplification device (including megaphone or microphone) when preaching in public or playing copies of pre-recorded preaching in public spaces in Somerset and Bristol.
  • Using the term ‘murderer’ orally towards any person within 80 yards of a named abortion clinic in Taunton.

An initial injunction was agreed in July this year after a large number of complaints were received against Mr Overd. These suggested that both by his words and actions he was harassing members of the public. Since that injunction the number of complaints against Mr Overd had fallen away dramatically.

As a result the Taunton Neighbourhood Team agreed with Mr Overd’s legal team that no further restrictions needed to be made. If Mr Overd should breach the terms of the injunction he could be fined or face prison.

Somerset Commander Superintendent Mike Prior noted there was a difficult balance to strike here “We’ve looked to address the concerns raised about Mr Overd’s preaching while at the same time taking into account his right to freedom of speech.”

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