February 11, 2005
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DEVOUT CHRISTIAN ATTACKED -- AND HE'S THE ONE FINED!

By KATE McCLARE


AN OLD MAN preaching his strict Bible beliefs was attacked by a mob who didn't like his ideas. But he was the one who got fined for harassment -- not the people who ganged up on him!

Lawmen in Bournemouth, England, say street-corner evangelist Harry Hammond broke a law against "causing others to feel alarmed, threatened or distressed."

Cops arrested him because he wouldn't stop his anti-homosexual preaching after the gay-rights thugs whined that it upset them.

Holy Harry was in the Bournemouth town square, reading Bible passages and brandishing a sign that urged: "Stop immorality. Stop homosexuality. Stop lesbianism."

Sources say the 69-year-old retired bank clerk gives the street-corner sermon twice a week, without any problems.

But this time, he was suddenly surrounded by a gang of gay-rights thugs who heckled him and threw mud and water at him. In the scuffle, Harry's sign cut one of the hecklers on the head.

One of the gay protesters complained to cops that he felt threatened by the elderly evangelist's anti-homosexual talk. Harry refused to leave, and was arrested for harassment

Rayla Scher, the judge in the case, fined Harry and ordered him to pay court costs.

She said Harry "was aware that his sign was abusive, threatening or insulting. His actions provoked violence and public disorder, and when he was asked to leave by police he failed to do so."

Harry says he'll appeal.

"In the Bible," he said, "homosexual acts are condemned in no uncertain terms. But I would never insult a homosexual. I would help them as much as I would help a drug addict or an alcoholic . . . My aim is to get people to recognize they are sinners and that they need to repent."

The case made headlines around England. One London newspaper called the judge "gutless" and her decision "drivel," and lectured that "the law is supposed to punish actions, not thoughts."

Published on: 07/09/2002

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