“Grossly offensive” or merely “offensive”? DPP v McConnell: a note

Earlier this week we posted a brief note on Pastor James McConnell’s acquittal on charges under the Communications Act 2003 in respect of a sermon broadcast on the Internet: what follows is based on the judgment.


The facts

Mr McConnell, a Pastor at Whitewell Metropolitan Church, preached a sermon in which he said, inter alia:

“Today we see powerful evidence that more and more Moslems [sic] are putting the Koran’s hatred of Christians and Jews alike into practice. Now people say there are good Moslems in Britain that may be so but I don’t trust them, Enoch Powell was right and he lost his career because of it, Enoch Powell was a prophet and he told us that blood would flow in the streets and it has happened.

Fifteen years ago Britain was concerned of IRA cells, right throughout the nation they done a deal with the IRA because they were frightened of being bombed, today a new evil has arisen, there are cells of Moslems right throughout Britain, can I hear an Amen

Right throughout Britain and this nation is going to enter a great tribulation and a great trial. To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months you would think that Islam was a little more than a variation of Christianity and Judaism: not so. Islam’s ideas about God about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.” Continue reading