Bernie Smyth wins appeal against Marie Stopes harassment conviction

Bernadette Smyth, from Suffolk Street, Ballymena. 'Brian Little. Presseye.

Bernadette Smyth, from Suffolk Street, Ballymena. 'Brian Little. Presseye.

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A high-profile anti-abortion campaigner from Ballymena has won her appeal against being convicted of harassing a former Marie Stopes clinic director.

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

But despite the guilty verdict being quashed prosecutors are still seeking a restraining order to stop her going near Ms Purvis.

Mrs Smyth, 52, continually denied having harassed Ms Purvis on two dates in January and February last year.

Following her successful appeal to Belfast County Court she said: “I’m just relieved that my family and myself can hold our heads up now that my name has been cleared.”