Street preacher and gun nut beats hate speech conviction
Daniel Courney, 33, a deranged evangelist who was convicted earlier this year of using “threatening and discriminatory language” during an anti-Islamic rant in Lincoln, had his conviction overturned this week.
Courney, an American missionary who served in the US military and has been a missionary in Nepal and India for eight years, advocates for arming civilians as passionately as he does for Christianity. The picture above on his Facebook page has this caption:
Hooah. I shot expert (38 of 40) and was able to disassemble and reassemble my M16 A2 in a little over a minute when I was in the service. (If civilians didn’t have firearms, the US wouldn’t be free from tyranny today – for all the nay-sayers out there.)
Courney’s conviction in September this year followed a complaint from a Muslim woman and her family who heard him preaching on the street. She claimed the nutter singled them out, called them “ISIS” and told them to “go back to your country”. As a result, Courney was arrested. He denied the charge but was booked under Section 5 of the Public Order Act for using:
Threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
Adrian Clark, a friend of the evangelist, posted on Facebook on September 14, 2017, that Courney was:
Convicted at Lincoln Magistrate Court by a District Judge on two counts of religious and racially motivated public order offences. Conditional discharge and bound for 9 months. £320 costs. The judge was a impassioned multi-culturalist.
He seemed antagonistic to the one person publicly declaring another’s religious beliefs as being wrong. He trusted the prosecution witnesses despite their glaring inconsistencies. Despite Daniel being a man who serves his community in India and Nepal without fear or favour, (all are subject to his generosity), and courageously protected a Muslim from being beaten in Bristol, this seemed to have had no bearing on the judge’s finding. An appeal has been lodged.
I am assuming that this is the same Adrian Clark who had a run-in with the law in Bristol last year when he was arrested along with two fellow street screechers. Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell were convicted February 28 at Bristol Magistrates’ Court of a religiously-aggravated public order offence. Earlier, the court dismissed the case against Clark, ruling that there was no case to answer. In June, Overd and Stockwell won an appeal against their conviction.
During Courney’s appeal, the Christian Legal Centre’s solicitor Michael Phillips argued that English law provides Courney with the freedom to preach Christianity, and that this has been successfully upheld for many years.
The Crown Court judge agreed and overturned the conviction.
Courney lost no time after his victory to return to the streets of Lincoln to resume spouting his special brand of bullshit. But it didn’t go too well. He claimed in a Facebook post yesterday that he was attacked by two drunk females:
Had two inebriated women assault us tonight. Throw my Bible, my bag (which damaged my Macbook), break my microphone, slightly assault me, and another lady ask me a very crude question. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!
Of course, Andrea Williams, above, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, felt compelled to comment on Courney case. It demonstrated, she said, that police do not “understand” free speech laws.
We are proud to represent street preachers in our country as they share the love of Jesus Christ with people on the street. This case once again highlights the need for police operating in these situations to understand how the law protects free speech.
After his conviction was overturned, Courney said that he had come to the United Kingdom to:
Bring back the message of Jesus Christ. The message is a simple one: repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not follow false religions. Unfortunately, I’ve had to travel to and from the United Kingdom four times in the past three months. I have had other restrictions on my liberty during that time. I have been held in police custody and accused of being a hate preacher. At all times I simply wanted to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Courney thanked the Christian Legal Centre for their help, support and free legal counsel.
In reporting the Courney case, Dorothy Cummings McLean of Life Site News, said Christian street preachers in the UK are fighting an uphill battle to revive faith in a country where Christianity is on its way to extinction.
Approximately 60 percent of people in the United Kingdom declare themselves to be Christians. But, according to United Kingdom’s “Faith Survey”, the number of Christians born in Britain is falling at a staggering rate. Between 2001 and 2011 the number of Christians born in the U.K. fell by 5.3 million.
“With a continued rate of decline at this level, the number of UK-born Christians would reduce to zero by 2067,” the survey predicted.