Preacher harassed trans woman by calling her 'man in woman's clothing'

Preacher harassed trans woman by calling her 'man in woman's clothing'

Christian street preacher, 41, who harassed a transgender woman calling her a ‘man in woman’s clothing’ is given a community order and fined £715

  • David McConnell, 41, was preaching in front of a small crowd in Leeds city centre
  • He made comments about ‘adulterers, drunkards and homosexuals’ in June 2021 
  • Preacher was politely approached by victim on pedestrianised shopping street
  • He then told victim that homosexuality was an ‘abomination in the eyes of God’

A Christian preacher who harassed a transgender woman by repeatedly calling her a ‘man in woman’s clothing’ has been sentenced to a community order and fined.

David McConnell, 41, was preaching with a microphone in front of a small crowd in Leeds city centre when he made comments about ‘adulterers, drunkards and homosexuals’ in June last year.

Speaking in Briggate, a pedestrianised shopping street, McConnell said they would ‘not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven’.

He was politely approached by the victim, who asked in general terms if God accepted the LGBT community.

But McConnell replied that God hated sin, that homosexuality was an ‘abomination in the eyes of God’ and that lesbianism was ‘unnatural’.

The preacher also repeatedly referred to the victim as a ‘man in woman’s clothing’ and ‘this gentleman’.

The victim found the incident distressing as she had been outed in front of a crowd of strangers.

McConnell, of Flockton, Wakefield, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a £715 fine.

David McConnell, 41, harassed a transgender woman by repeatedly calling her a ‘man in woman’s clothing’

McConnell, of Flockton, Wakefield, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work

Elizabeth Wright, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said McConnell’s comments had ‘crossed the line’.

She added: ‘People have the right to hold opinions and express their views. 

‘But when words cross the line between a legitimate expression of religious views, and become distressing and threatening, the CPS will prosecute offenders if our legal test is met.

‘In this case, by repeatedly referring to the female victim as “this gentleman” and “a man in woman’s clothing”, using a microphone in a public place, McConnell’s comments crossed the line between a legitimate expression of his religious views, to become a distressing and threatening personal attack.’

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