One of the most prominent anti-abortion activists in Ireland has been fined and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for harassing the Marie Stopes clinic director in Belfast.
Bernadette Smyth must also pay £2,000 compensation to her victim, the former Northern Ireland assembly member Dawn Purvis.
Smyth is not allowed to go within 20 yards of the clinic on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street and had a five-year exclusion order imposed on her for “pestering” Purvis.
The judge, Chris Holmes, said: “The behaviour of stopping people, questioning them about why they were going into the premises, was a direct harassment of Dawn Purvis.”
Just before the hearing 200 supporters of Smyth held a prayer service for her. She later said through her solicitor that the sentencing would be “a disappointment for Christians worldwide”.