Scots court rules that feeble-mindedness is not a crime

Scots court rules that feeble-mindedness is not a crime

Gordon Larmour, 42, above, suffers from ABCD – Advanced Brain Cell Deficiency – a condition that compels him to take to the streets and annoy the hell out of folks with Bible babble.

This behaviour, according to the Telegraph, led to his arrest in his home town of Irvine, Ayrshire, for allegedly preaching against homosexuality.

The street preacher was frogmarched to a police van, accused of threatening or abusive behaviour – “aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation” – and spent a night in custody.

But six months after he was was charged by police for telling the fable of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old gay man who asked him about God’s views on homosexuality, Larmour was cleared of any wrongdoing by a sheriff.

Larmour referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children.

Larmour said:

I can’t see why I was arrested in the first place – it was a massive overreaction and a waste of everyone’s time. The police didn’t listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy’s side straight away and read me my rights.

I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the Gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn’t speaking my opinions – I was quoting from the Bible.

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

It is a great relief that the judge ruled in favour of Gordon, because the case simply did not stand up to scrutiny.

Mr Larmour lost his marbles a few years back, became a born-again Christian and has been evangelising for seven years.

At around 7.30pm on July 17 last year he was handing out leaflets on Irvine’s High Street when a group of young men passed him.

He told them:

Don’t forget Jesus loves you and He died for your sins.

One asked Larmour:

What does your God say about homosexuals?

The two argued and Mr Larmour claimed he was chased by the young man. However, he was the one arrested when the police arrived.

He said:

I think the police should have handled it differently and listened to what I had to say. They should have calmed the boy down and left it at that.

In court the boy’s friend told the truth – that I hadn’t assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Sheriff Alistair Watson ruled there was no case to answer and acquitted Mr Larmour of threatening or abusive behaviour, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

The sheriff also found him not guilty of a second charge of assault aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake

38 responses to “Scots court rules that feeble-mindedness is not a crime”

  1. Paul says:

    Hold on that is the wrong quote from gawds legal rep on the planet – williams.
    There it’s fixed now:-
    “It is a great relief that people’s common sense rules in favour of stupidity , because nothing whatsoever in the babble stands up to scrutiny.”

  2. AgentCormac says:

    He’s right, preaching from the bible is not a crime. But it is an acutely irritating, self-indulgent intrusion into the lives of people who don’t give a flying one about superstitious claptrap and should have the right be protected from having it inflicted on them in the street.

  3. remigius says:

    AgentCormac. We should count ourselves lucky. In the Victorian era people had to pay good money to visit a lunatic asylum to marvel at the deluded and deranged. Nowadays they put on a free show in the comfort of your own High Street.

  4. L.Long says:

    They can let people this do as they like….as long as i have permission to kick them in the balls! Very serious! As how do you get past one of these ahole (especially at an abortion clinic) without kicking them in the balls!?!?! With more ball kicking the more they will leave people alone, since the law does nothing about hate speech!

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    If I ever cheer the arrest or assault of a person for their speech, remind me I did so when I am arrested or assisted for my speech. I submitted this piece not in praise of preaching, but as a lessening of free thought. I advocate freedom of speech as the rule, not as the right of a few. Even god-botherers on the street corner.

  6. Angela_K says:

    Arresting this loony was a bit of an over-reaction because he did not actually abuse anybody with hate speech,even though the bible says some rather nasty things about many subjects. The Police should have just moved him on. I’ve had a bit of fun with these idiot street preachers by quoting bits of the bible back at them – that really winds them up. There was a bloke in Taunton that my partner and I made a fool of because he didn’t even know bits of his bible, the small crowd around him applauded us.

  7. John says:

    There are two aspects to this situation that are worrying.
    Firstly, it is a fact that the young homosexual man encouraged and provoked a reaction from Larmour – not the other way round. The reaction on the part of the police was also far too heavy-handed in bringing an unnecessary and eventually unsuccessful prosecution against Larmour at public expense.
    The second thing that is worrying is seeing the involvement of the even more feeble-minded Andrea Williams of the self-styled Christian Legal Centre.
    This incident will no doubt be cited by her and other crackpots as another example of the faux so-called victimisation of Christians!
    You couldn’t make it up!
    It is just a pity that none of the secular bodies in Scotland did not help Larmour with his legal defence.
    Finally, if feeble-mindedness was against the law, half the present government would be behind bars.
    Now there is food for thought……….

  8. Matt says:

    Mr Larmour has very, err um, impressive ears, but I fear not much between them. And why are his eyes looking in different directions?

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    If a street orator is not inciting a crime or being particularly and directly insulting I would just let him (usually him) get on with it. It’s freedom of speech and healthy for democracy. If I ask a question and do not like the answer, it’s my fault and I have learned something; even if only not to provoke street orators.
    “A massive overreaction,” seems an apt description.
    And I see nothing at all wrong with the ears.

  10. barriejohn says:

    [A] condition that compels him to take to the streets and annoy the hell out of folks with Bible babble.

    I didn’t realize that the Christians with whom I associated had a certifiable medical condition. “Learning all the time”, as Benny Hill said!

  11. Broga says:

    So God put Adam and Eve on earth to start the human species. Anybody know who Cain and Abel found as breeding partners? Eve was the only other female.

  12. StephenJP says:

    Agree with Trevor Blake. This bloke is as entitled as anyone to speak as he believes. We should welcome that, and ask for the same for ourselves. The odious Christian Legal Centre would support his rights while trying to deny ours. We should not give them any excuse to do so.

  13. remigius says:

    Broga. According to the Bible Abel didn’t have kids cos he was murdered. Cain went east to the Land of Nod where he met his wife and started a family.

    Seems pretty straightforward really, if you just ignore the monumental contradictions with earlier chapters.

  14. John says:

    Another response I received from a religionist (who did not remember the story about Cain finding a wife in the Land of Nod) was that the bible did not mention that Cain and Abel had sisters so he presumed that we were all descended from Abel before he was slain and from Cain through both of them engaging in sexual intercourse with their own sisters.
    When I asked him if he was really saying that all of humankind was descended from individuals who had engaged in incest, he just looked embarrassed and could say nothing more.
    When I next recounted the story of Cain finding a wife in the Land of Nod, he looked relieved – until I asked him who had created her parents – as it was not his god?
    It is always amusing to find religionists who have little real understanding of the stories they have swallowed.

  15. 1859 says:

    I support Mr. L’s right to freedom of speech even though I disagree with his simplistic view of creation. I guess it is when the exercise of this freedom becomes harassment that the law should kick in. But where that fine line is between spouting one’s opinions on the streets and screaming them into peoples’ faces, I’m not sure. As long as I’m free to turn around and walk away, I don’t really mind what apocalyptic nonsense the Mr. Ls of this world rave about.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Where did Cain’s wife come from:

    Once again, the explanation centres on the “fact” that everything in the Garden was rosy, though that seems a bit odd when you consider that Cain (and Abel?) must have married after “The Fall”, when everything allegedly became polluted by sin. The plain fact is that, according to these twerps, we are all engaging in incest all the time now, as we are all the descendants of one couple!

    PS When I was teaching I was a Christian but not a hard-line Creationist (I had a brain). I often had to correct schoolkids who reasoned that it was “obvious” that the whole human race must have descended from one original couple, male and female. It is until you look at the facts!

  17. Brian Jordan says:

    The lad shouldn’t have provoked the preacher,if only because the shoe could have been on the other foot. Since only words were bandied around, the police could have taken their pick which to arrest and if the lad had – shock!, horror! – challenged the authenticity of a religious book it could have been he who was arrested for “abusive” behaviour. O tempora, o mores!
    I always resist the temptation and ignore preachers: best to deprive them of the audience they crave.

  18. barriejohn says:

    People in uniforms tend to throw their weight around, though those with no real power are always the worst!

  19. Edwin Salter says:

    The heading “feeble-mindedness is not a crime” throws up an interesting point of jurisprudence and morality – the distinction between the action and the agent. (For example to drive without due care is, and should be, a crime to be suppressed by law – but if you’re doing your best to cope with a passenger’s apparent fit at the time the appropriate punishment should probably be nominal.)
    Rexamine the Fall in this light and consider God’s judgement critically as the act of a mad despot who knows that keeping people in ignorance is the key to absolute power but can’t resist planting a possible excuse for hideous retribution with its sheer pleasure. Familiar, isn’t it.

  20. remigius says:

    barriejohn. Cain and Abel shagging their sisters doesn’t necessarily imply incest. The girls could have been adopted.

    Or snake-women – something else the religious don’t seem to have considered.

  21. AgentCormac says:

    Why does every single image ever created of Adam and Eve depict them with navels? Think about it.

  22. barriejohn says:

    AC: And why did Adam have nipples? The argument that I was presented with was that as God planned to form Eve from Adam’s rib, the genetic code for nipple-formation had to be present in males! More similar bollocks here:

  23. remigius says:

    AgentCormac. I think that simply comes down to the ignorance of early artists. For instance, in crucifixion scenes Christ is nearly always portrayed as having the nails driven through the palms his hands – whereas in reality he never actually existed.

  24. remigius says:

    barriejohn. Don’t forget that Eve was woman mk II.

    According to Jewish tradition Adam’s first missus was a lass called Lilith. She wasn’t a rib-woman, but made from real dirt just like Adam.

    They had a row about sex – he only wanted missionary, she preferred cowgirl. So she flounced off like a right drama queen. Eve was merely a cheap replacement – knocked up from used parts.

  25. Paul says:

    I like the points about nipples.
    Why do male cats have 8? (I think it’s 8 – it might be 6. But male cats certainly don’t have 2).
    Is it easter yet? Seff son of Bob might have the answer, or maybe his mum.

  26. AgentCormac says:


    I’d never read that about Lilith before – full of all the usual holy death, vengeance and uncharitable violence, I see. As for navels in early art – yes, I get all that.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Paul: I assume that God must have made the first female cat from the rib of a male cat, so the DNA had to carry that information. Makes sense to me!

    PS The number of nipples varies (usually eight), but did you know that each has its own distinct smell, and the kittens know which one is theirs? Nature is wonderful, and I am more in awe of it than I ever was as a Christian!

  28. barriejohn says:

    Remigius: The Koran has a different story. I wonder which is correct?

  29. Edwin Salter says:

    Re navels v. the Omphalos hypothesis. Gosse failed to persuade the Victorians with this idea that God gave creation an apparent past so that it should be at once ‘functional ‘ Did he notice male nipples? – a definite problem along with all other evolutionary features – effects on belief also, perhaps more obvious with ABCD. But some modern creationists revive it so discounting astronomical time/distance measures.

  30. remigius says:

    “The number of nipples varies (usually eight), but did you know that each has its own distinct smell…”

    That’s an unusual hobby you have there, barriejohn. Do you belong to a club?

  31. Daz says:

    “That’s an unusual hobby you have there, barriejohn.”

    I’m especially surprised to find a gay man who apparently enjoys sniffing pussies.

    (This “joke” is copyrighted by the Mrs. Slocombe Appreciation Society.)

  32. barriejohn says:

    You mean watching David Attenborough?

    (Somehow, I don’t think that they are trying to “save the gosling”!)

  33. remigius says:

    Mrs. Slocombe Appreciation Society = I’m Eric, a coy tomcat nipple obsessor.

  34. Paul says:

    I have had a call from Seff’s mum. Through a medium. We had a chat about this topic:
    She says that’s enough about cats nipples.

  35. John says:

    What I find interesting is the fact that the Quran can say one thing but the hadith can say something different, yet Muslims are more ready to follow what is in the hadith than the Quran. Surely – it could be claimed – the Quran is THE original document and the one what should always be followed?
    It is a similar situation with regard to the Torah and Talmud.
    This again is a situation where the words of the original prophet – on behalf of their “god” – are over-written over the course of time to meet the needs of clerics who come after the foundation of the religious ideology?
    In the case of the Jews, the destruction of their Temple in Jerusalem, the defeat of their king and being marched off in captivity to Babylon for many decades must have meant that for a former belief system based around having a king, temple and temple priests, the former priests had to evolve their roles in order to maintain their religion, which they did by becoming rabbis and by introducing rabbinical Judaism and the Talmud in place of the temple and the Torah.
    I believe a similar process occurred in the case of christianity, except that the original versions of the writings of the bible were largely destroyed or suppressed. As with the other religious ideologies, the teachings of the original prophet were set aside in order for the clerics to effectively re-write the alleged teachings of the prophet so that the clerics could wield real power, alongside the secular authorities.

  36. barriejohn says:

    John: You don’t even have to replace the “original” teachings. Completely different “interpretations” of the very same Bible give you Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Christadelphians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Exclusive Brethren, and so on and so forth. People seem to have a deep-seated desire to follow a leader and do as they are told. I think it makes things easier for them – but it also gives them kudos to belong to a “club”.

  37. Brian Jordan says:

    Can you have religion without sects and schisms? Even the Pastafarians are up to it:
    SPAM‘a Linguinism
    Time Noodle
    Moominist Church of His Spaghettiness
    Flying SpaghettiOs Monster
    and more – which proves it’s an authentic religion.

  38. barriejohn says:

    Brian: Their pastors can officiate at weddings in New Zealand, and why not?

    It was recognised in New Zealand as a bona fide organisation in December, resulting in Martyn recently becoming its first marriage celebrant.

    Martyn rejected the suggestion it was a spoof church, saying it offered members the same benefits as other religions.

    “We’re a community for each other,” she told AFP. “We share values and we want to be part of something, it’s human nature.”

    They will only gain real acceptance, though, when they have a Supreme Representative of His Noodliness on Earth – or preferably TWO. That would make it a REAL religion.