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Silent prayer “thoughtcrime” case to be heard tomorrow, Poole

  • WHAT: Army veteran & father to face court proceedings for charges related to praying silently near abortion facility
  • WHERE: Poole Magistrates Court 
  • WHEN: 10am GMT 

BOURNEMOUTH/POOLE, UK (8th August 2023) – Adam Smith-Connor, army veteran and father, is due in court tomorrow (9th August) after having been charged for praying silently near an abortion facility on Orphir Road, Bournemouth.

Smith-Connor, who was praying silently for those facing difficult decisions relating to abortion, as well as praying regarding the child that he lost to an abortion that he now regrets paying for, is expected to enter a plea of “not guilty”. His legal defense is supported by ADF UK.

Smith-Connor has been charged with allegedly breaking a local censorship zone or “buffer zone” regulation, imposed via a Public Spaces Protection Order. The regulation forbids “expressions of approval or disapproval” of abortion on several streets in the vicinity of the abortion facility. He was issued a fine, despite being there for only a few minutes and praying silently in his mind, with his back turned away from the building so that his presence could not be misconstrued as seeking to erode the privacy of women visiting the facility.

Smith-Connor’s legal team contend that freedom of thought is protected absolutely through the Human Rights Act and therefore the Council has no power to introduce a prohibition on silent prayer.


To request an interview with Adam Smith- Connor and Jeremiah Igunnubole (legal counsel for ADF UK, supporting Smith-Connor’s defense) contact Lois McLatchie: lmclatchie [at]

Supporters of freedom of thought are invited to join ADF UK in backing Adam’s legal defense, as well as the defense of others facing penalties for praying silently or expressing their faith in the public square:

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