NI: Judgment in Pastor McConnell case expected in January

Joe Rice of John J Rice & Co.
Joe Rice of John J Rice & Co.

A judgment in the trial of Pastor James McConnell will be delivered on Tuesday 5 January, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

Judge Liam McNally told the court he planned to consider the evidence presented over the course of the trial and come to a decision early in the new year.

The trial began on Monday.

Judge McNally said: “We have come to the end of an interesting three days. I am going to reserve my judgment - I want to consider all the points raised in submissions.”

Pastor McConnell has been charged with offences under the Communications Act 2003 in connection with a sermon he delivered in north Belfast which was live-streamed over the Internet in May 2014.

The first charge is improper use of a public electronic communications network, and the second is causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

Pastor McConnell’s solicitor, Joe Rice of John J Rice & Co., has previously said his client has “every right to criticise Islam, as Islamic clerics have the right to entice him”.

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