Talking Through Her Hat



An anti-abortion protester has been convicted of harassing a Marie Stopes clinic director at her Belfast city centre offices.

Bernadette Smyth, who leads the anti-abortion group Precious Life, was warned she could face a jail sentence for her campaign against Dawn Purvis.

The judge said: “This case was run, no-holds barred, in a vicious and malicious fashion.”

He said an investigating police officer had been deliberately slandered.

Ms Purvis had been the victim of an unwarranted attack, the judge said.

Mrs Smyth was also told she will be ordered to pay compensation and would be restrained from the area around the clinic.

The 51-year-old had denied harassing Ms Purvis – a former Progressive Unionist Party assembly member – on two dates earlier this year.

With sentencing put back until next month, Mrs Smyth was told her potential punishment could be community service or prison.

The judge said anti-abortion campaigners stationed outside the clinic had been forcing any women of child-bearing age to identify their reasons for entering.

Because of that conduct, he said the range of possible sentencing may go from community service to imprisonment.

Mrs Smyth was told she will certainly have some form of restraining order imposed on her.

Although she left court without making comment, her solicitor described the verdict as “a disappointment for Christians worldwide“.

Anti-abortion protester Bernadette Smyth guilty of harassing Dawn Purvis (BBC News NI)

Previously: Bernie Smyth on Broadsheet

69 thoughts on “Talking Through Her Hat

  1. scottser

    “a disappointment for Christians worldwide” maybe, but a much-needed display of common sense for the rest of us.

      1. Dublin Hussy

        Will you relax there. There is no need to take a steaming dump on the belief system of 2.18 billion people just because there are some bad apples in the cart.

        Are all Muslims terrorists, are all jews misers, are all Irish people drunks, are all Irish men whinging mammys boys? NO. Some are but that is no excuse to deride the lot.

        Whatever your beliefs / non-beliefs / bloodsmeared moon howling habits are, I respect them and have no desire to rubbish them. No matter how immature and derisive you are about my faith.

          1. Dublin Hussy

            If you use the proper words in the proper way, there might be ever such a slight chance that the other children around you will have a notion what you are on about.
            Best of luck, little lad.

        1. Ms Piggy

          I’m always mystified by this use of the term ‘respect’. I respect your right to hold whatever religious beliefs you want, but I don’t respect the beliefs themselves. I think they’re ridiculous, and not deserving of respect. You in turn don’t have to respect my view, but you do have to respect my right to express it. Do you see the difference there?

          1. smoothlikemurphys

            “but you do have to respect my right to express it.”

            They actually don’t. Nobody says that respect has to be reciprocal – it’s your choice to give it.

          2. Sidewinder

            I think that “respecting rights” is not generally understood to mean to hold that right in esteem or reverence but simply to not attempt to take that right away. Which is something they do have to do.

  2. Drogg

    You know those days when things are not going a hundred percent then something really awesome happens and turns it around this is that moment.

  3. Dublin Hussy

    As a Christian I am bloody delighted at this. So the woman obvs has a fool for a solicitor. Disgusting behavior. A spell in prison might just give her and her fellow facist co-horts the thinking time they so badly need.

    Let’s hope she gets asked ‘Why are you in prison’ over and over.

  4. Soundings

    Never mind, if she is sent to prison, I’m sure Asher’s will bake her a cake with nail file in it.

    1. Odis

      I think she’s kinda hawt. In a sort of, wierd, Abba impersonator, type way. Or is it just me?
      He could save my unborn child any day of the week. Know what I mean?

  5. Marion Murphy

    Pro-life activist is accused of harrassment for providing truthful information about abortion yet former PUP member Dawn Purvis who is linked with the terrorist group UVF walks free. We are becoming more like the former USSR everyday.

    1. KirkenBrenner

      It happens every year. It’s called winter and it’s not permanent, so don’t worry your wee head.
      Summer will be around soon enough.
      Or as you might refer to it; “getting more like the Bahamas everyday”.

    2. Casey

      She would want to try a little less anti-choice activism and a little more kindness towards her fellow human beings who are, you know, actually born.

      Or are ‘the born’ not of huge interest to people like her once they cant be kicked around like a political hot potato??

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