FIREBRAND preacher Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of making “grossly offensive” remarks about Islam.
The 78-year-old, from Shore Road in Newtownabbey, had denied two charges relating to a sermon he gave at his Whitewell Tabernacle Church in north Belfast in May 2014 which was also streamed online.
District Judge Liam McNally said today that while he considered the remarks offensive, he did not consider them “grossly” offensive under the law.
Around 50 supporters of the pastor who were in Belfast Magistrates’ Court this morning and applauded when the verdict was given.
Speaking outside court, Mr McConnell said his only regret was the response from the Muslim community that he was “out to hurt them”.
He said: “There was no way I was out to hurt them. I wouldn’t hurt a hair on their head.
“But their theology and their beliefs, I am totally against it.”
Mr McConnell had denied two charges – improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.