A born again Christian preacher accused of making grossly offensive remarks about Muslims has been cleared by a court in Northern Ireland.

Pastor James McConnell, 78, from Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, walked free from Belfast Magistrates' Court where he had faced a prosecution under the 2003 Communications Act.

Delivering his reserved judgment, District Judge Liam McNally said: "The courts need to be very careful not to criminalise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive. It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances.

Read the complete original version of this item...