‘Vicious’ Catholic activist faces jail

‘Vicious’ Catholic activist faces jail

Bernadette Smyth, winner of a 2013 ‘Catholic of the Year’ award, could be jailed after she was convicted today of viciously harassing a Marie Stopes clinic director at her Belfast city centre offices.

The zealot, who leads the anti-abortion group Precious Life,  was found guilty of of conducting a “no-holds barred” campaign against Dawn Purvis, of the Marie Stopes clinic in “a vicious and malicious fashion”.

Outside court, Smyth’s solicitor described the verdict as:

A disappointment for Christians worldwide.

He also confirmed plans to mount an appeal against the conviction.

Smyth was warned by Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes that she could face a jail sentence for harassing Purvis. He added that Smyth had also deliberately slandered the investigating officer in the case.

Smyth was also told she will be ordered to pay compensation and would be restrained from the area around the clinic.

The 51-year-old had denied harassing Purvis, a former Progressive Unionist Party assembly member, on two dates earlier this year.

The Marie Stopes clinic is the first private clinic to offer early medical abortions to women in Northern Ireland under its strict legal controls. Anti-abortion campaigners have gathered at the centre since it opened in October 2012.


Purvis, above, said she had been frightened for her safety following two incidents. On January 9, she said that when she asked protesters to stop harassing her, Mrs Smyth replied in an exaggerated Ballymena/American drawl:

You ain’t seen harassment yet, darling.

In an incident a month later, Purvis said that after leaving her son and a female friend at the front door of the clinic on Great Victoria Street, one of the protesters followed the girl up the street.

She said that when she shouted “leave them alone”,  Smyth began to cackle and laugh in an exaggerated way. Smyth rejected prosecution claims that she had “cackled like a witch”, saying that her laughter was fuelled by nerves and anxiety.

With sentencing put back until next month, Smyth was told her potential punishment could be community service or prison.

The judge said anti-abortion campaigners stationed outside the clinic had been forcing any women of child-bearing age to identify their reasons for entering.

He described Smyth as someone who has worked tirelessly to shut down the Marie Stopes Clinic.

What we have here is a lady who is implacably opposed to what is going on inside that building and the work of Dawn Purvis.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not feel it’s appropriate for anyone to be stopped outside this clinic in any form, shape or fashion and questioned either to their identity, why they are going in there and being forced to involve themselves in conversation at times when they are almost certainly going to be stressed and very possibly distressed.

One of many Facebook messages of support for Smyth

One of many Facebook messages of support for Smyth

Turning to how the defence case was run, he said:

Throughout this case there’s been a concerted attack on anyone seen as getting in the way of Mrs Smyth.

And he pointed to a “completely and utterly unjustified” suggestion that senior police officers had expressed serious concerns about the professionalism of an investigating constable.

She was slandering during the course of this case deliberately and maliciously.

In a statement, Purvis said she felt “relieved and heartened” following the verdict.

I fully respect people’s right to peaceful protest, but it is totally unacceptable to intimidate women accessing a legal health service or the staff that provide their care. I have both witnessed and been subjected to a culture of daily harassment, and seen these protesters’ tactics become increasingly aggressive.

Last year a Catholic publication –  Our Sunday Visitor Magazine (OSV)  – included Smyth in their list of “Catholics of the Year 2013” for her “outstanding leadership in the church”.

She has also been awarded the 2013 Honours Award by the Knights of St. Columbanus, for her “significant contribution to society.”

Precious Life defiantly declared on their Facebook page today:

No matter what the outcome of today’s case, Bernadette will continue to defend the unborn!!

Hat Tip: Agent Cormac

22 responses to “‘Vicious’ Catholic activist faces jail”

  1. Cali Ron says:

    Really letting that xtian love shine isn’t she. Tirelessly working to deny women their rights while spreading lies and hated towards the investigators. Catholic of the year!! Her hypocrisy knows no bounds. I think Ireland could use a lot less of that “catholic love” and a little more reality. Although, after the wuppin’ their soccer (er, football) team gave to the US yesterday I’m a little disgruntled towards them (just kidding, the US played like shit).

    Side not- Sign I saw in an Irish pub, “Drinking is my religion, care to join me in prayer”. That’s the only praying I do anymore.

  2. Angela_K says:

    A vile and dangerous bimbo with a brain addled by catholic fascism that she can’t keep to herself. She is an insult to and enemy of Women who want control over their bodies. I wonder what she would do if it were her that had to have an abortion or die?

  3. AgentCormac says:

    This is what the RCC is all about. Not love. Not hope. Not caring for the poor. But an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. Oh, hang on – I can feel a sketch coming on!

  4. R Pilotte says:

    I think the catholic of the year award neatly defines both this nasty busy body harridan and the ghastly religion to which she is enslaved. Had she been born in an islamic state she would be one of those strapping a suicide belt to herself. Ratizinger, Donohue, Smythe…..a roll call of hateful bigotted excremental shitehawks.Maybe one day she may need the treatment she denies others…bit ironic is she ever has an ectopic pregnancy. Mind you judging by her wrinkled chicken neck she may well be past child bearing age. Ad hominem I know but it is amusing to point out the defects of this horrorbitch.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Shouldn’t that be Knights of St. Columb-anus? After all, they would seem to be talking out of their arses.

  6. barriejohn says:

    “The Unborn”; aren’t they something to do with zombies?

    Bernadette Smyth = Threat my best end

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” – Psalm 137:9

    “Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.” – Hosea 9:14

    “Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” – Hosea 9:16

    God LOVES killing the unborn.

  8. Paul Cook says:

    This is no surprise. This is not ‘new’.
    This is the teachings of the Catholic Church, it’s what it demands of followers and has been so for thousands of years.

    Why would this woman be any different when the worst offender is the best catholic ever – the pope himself. The so called teachings promote ridiculous false and misleading ideas based upon nothing more than a set of Stone Age myths falsified by medicine and science, but are worded as though they have been carefully considered and thought through – by immature, infant minded men who have no concept of family, humanity, love, or the real world we live in, and it allows and expects people like this foul mouthed troll to froth at the mouth at every perceived wrong ‘allegedly committed’ against the all wonderous sky fairy.

    For such a loving based faith it is so telling many in their ranks have no humanity but only extreme hatred.

  9. Newspaniard says:

    Let’s face it, this has nothing to do with religion, this bimbo’s only in it for the publicity. Life’s passing her by, poor bitch. The rest of us just get on with it but she obviously wants to get her name in the papers before she fades into obscurity, together with her looks. Ho hum.

  10. Stephen Turner says:

    Precious Life = I feel pious RC
    Our Sunday Visitor = O, Sunday trio virus

    I don’t see why anyone would need to tell lies about her or slander her name.
    Her own efforts speak for themselves!

    Whenever I hear of this kind of person, I’m always curious as to what life is like in her family. It sometimes happens that you get a sort of Mrs. Jellyby (character in Bleak House who campaigned tirelessly for the hungry children of Africa but paid no attention to her own).

  11. Broga says:

    BBC gave the opinions of this harridan plenty of air time on radio this morning. Also a contrary view that women seeking abortions did not do so casually. They were distressed and being harassed by this creature added to the distress.

    Her view was she knew best and she was saving children’s lives. You have to hear this creature to realise how pitiless,, narrow and loathsome are her views. Quite spoiled my morning cup of coffee.

  12. Broga says:

    OT but very funny. Clarence House (only royal tax funded mansions and palaces can speak) says Prince Charles has “opinions ahead of his time.” That must include his enthusiasm for homeopathy. Charlie, encouraged by his entourage of sycophants no doubt, says he will continue to “speak his mind” when Brenda drops off the perch.

    This is the Defender of All Faiths (but bollocks to the mass of the population with none). He is such a dope I wonder if he is a covert Republican. He can’t really be as daft as he seems to be. Can he?

  13. Stephen Mynett says:

    Broga, anything sired by Philip and dragged up in royal circles could easily be dafter than we think.

    I guess Clarence House has not really mastered the language yet (quite forgiveable for a bundle of bricks) and really meant to say, “was talking out of his ass.”

  14. L.Long says:

    She is a pious hypocrite and a liar.
    She is a liar cuz well 100% of religion is a lie, and there aint no such thing as an unborn child. And at the end of ~8mo the POSSIBILITY of a child.
    It would be interesting to know how wonderful a mother she would be hearing the news that her twins that she will give birth too are both mentally and physically handicapped, or would she be at the secret high priced abortion clinic. I know what she CLAIMS she would do but reality is so different.

  15. Broga says:

    @L.Long: The preaching they foist on others and how they behave themselves is so often very different. As we know from reading this site. I suppose she would be in favour of babies of girls resulting in being raped by priests.

    She should be sentenced to a spell in the slammer for the safety of her victims. There is a characteristic cruelty and lack of compassion in the activities of so many of these religious bigots.

  16. John says:

    Perhaps Smyth and her supporters will respond positively to a request for – say – £1,000,000 to be given to each woman entering the clinic so that they will be able to provide for any unplanned child until the age of 18 years?
    The other alternative would be for this woman to become the mother of all the unplanned children being born in Northern Ireland – though I am not all that sure she would be an ideal role model – and for the Church of Rome to meet all the costs involved until the age of 18 years?
    They should also both additionally agree to meeting any post-18 years higher education costs too, up to post-doctoral level, if required.
    That is one way they can demonstrate their bona fides, isn’t it?

  17. Tony A says:

    Anti-abortionists, like this harridan, give the game away when they simultaneously are in favour of the death penalty as most of them are. So their pro-life stance is rather selective. I suspect that they don’t care a damn about the unborn. What they do care about is is making women pay for the consequences of their libidinous, sinful behaviour. They want them to suffer and not get away lightly.

  18. dennis says:

    John, perfect “put their money were their mouth is”. Did you hear that Pope and all you other sky believers. Your fairy calls you!!!! only YOU (fairy believer) can prevent abortions. send MONEY today and we will educate them at church schools. UP’S then the child gets indoctrinated into faire land. What to do!! What to do!!! I was sending my money to Wendy Davis here in TEXAS but we lost. What to do !! What to do!!!

  19. AgentCormac says:


    There is a characteristic cruelty and lack of compassion in the activities of so many of these religious bigots.

    I agree – but these bastards try to dress up what they do as compassion. They try to dress it up as love and caring. When in reality the role of vile creatures like Smyth and the late, repugnant Mother Teresa is to propagate fear, intimidation and archaic subjugation. The sadness is that so many people can’t see beyond the façade. They can’t (or refuse to) see the people pulling the strings behind these puppets .

  20. Robster says:

    I recon I know what’s going on here, those catholics put “special” things in the tasty jesus flesh and blood stuff served up at church Sunday mornings. Things designed to close the mind, turn off the ability to reason, disable rational and sensible thought, these things must be customised Vatican drugs developed by special catholic doctors with stethoscopes, Rolex watches and no idea. Look what these special “things” did to the silly but dangerous woman in the story. The most amazing thing is that she’s quite happy for her abject stupidity to be publicised for all to see and in time to come will be recognised for being one of the dumbest things to emerge from 2014.

  21. andym says:

    Having read the article linked below (surprisingly in the Telegraph), I wonder how much it is to do with abortion, or how much they are just a bunch of sad, self-important misanthropes who just enjoy bullying people. Religion gives them the chance to feel righteous about their behaviour. If they were really concerned about abortion , they would reflect on how ineffective their campaign is.

    Had to laugh at the quote saying their numbers contained, “pagans ,atheists and agnostics.” Yeah, right.

  22. Ala the Carter says:

    Has anyone noticed how the Religious, the Gentle Meek and Mild continue to threaten, accuse, kill and or wish death and ill on any thinker, disbeliever or sane individual. The sooner that ALL religious education is taken out of ALL places of learning the better. Politicians run scared not only because of their own beliefs but due to their fear of losing voters. To ALL of you belivers, please try to stand on your own two feet and face the world straight on. If at anytime you need help for any reason, turn to another, appropriate, Human Being who does not wear a ‘strange’ costume, there are plenty of us out there who care about others. I promise You that You won’t be asked to pray, surrender your ‘soul’ or drop money into a plate. Likewise, if any other Human Being needs help, think about helping them as a Human rather that because a God thinks it may be good idea. I say ‘may’ because so often gods tell us to smite others. Be happy and please enjoy the company of others ????