Ex-Para Mike Overd of Taunton, Somerset hit the headlines in 2015, when the Christian street preacher was prosecuted for ‘hate crimes’ under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. Overd became a freedom-of-speech cause celebre.
Journalist Richard Carvath attended the March 2015 trial of Mike Overd at Taunton Magistrates’ Court. Richard’s court reports are linked to below.
Richard also spent a day in Taunton (24 March 2015) – the day after Overd had been wrongfully convicted of a ‘hate crime’ – to observe Mike Overd’s public preaching directly, and to investigate the background to the story. Richard produced a photo-story of that day:
Following Mike Overd’s wrongful conviction for a ‘hate crime’ (on 23 March 2015), that conviction was overturned on appeal in December 2015.
At time of writing (28 December 2016), after two trials (first in 2012; second in 2015) and one retrial (2015), Mike Overd stands found Not Guilty by the State of all five ‘hate crime’ charges previously brought against him.
Mike Overd is currently the subject of a third prosecution for alleged ‘hate crime’ – again, for publicly preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ – and is scheduled to be tried in 2017.
Mike Overd articles by Richard Carvath:
Mike Overd retrial: the wisdom of Judge David Ticehurst (25 December 2015)
Police whistleblower slams war on Mike Overd (27 July 2015)
Parachute Regiment backs Mike Overd (22 July 2015)
Silencing Michael Overd (29 March 2015)
Michael Overd update (27 March 2015)
Michael Overd trial, second day, 12 March 2015 (12 March 2015)
Michael Overd trial, first day, 11 March 2015 (12 March 2015)
Michael Overd case: sniffing out the CPS (12 December 2014)