Pro-life campaigner cleared of harassment

A leading pro-life campaigner in the North has been successful in her appeal against being convicted of harassing a former Marie Stopes clinic director.

The case against Bernadette Smyth, founder and director of Precious Life, was thrown out after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence that she pursued a campaign against Dawn Purvis.

On Monday Judge Gordon Kerr quashed the conviction made in November last year against Ms Smyth, ruling that her laughter outside the Marie Stopes centre in Belfast was not criminal behaviour and that there was insufficient evidence of harassment.

Reacting to the ruling Ms Smyth thanked God for her “vindication and for helping my family and me through this horrible ordeal. Our prayers have been answered.”

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute welcomed the successful appeal saying she was “delighted that justice has been served” and that Ms Smyth “can hold her head high as the court has vindicated her good name and the important work she does to protect mothers and babies”.