A CHRISTIAN preacher was ejected from a court room after haranguing magistrates at the end of a case.

Former paratrooper Mike Overd launched into a barrage of criticism at the justices after they found another man not guilty of assaulting him by beating.

The case centred around claims by Mr Overd, 54, of Creech St Michael, that he had been attacked in the street while preaching in the centre of Bridgwater.

But the bench was not convinced of his version of events and dismissed the case at the end of a day-long trial at Taunton Magistrates' Court.

Mr Overd, who reacted to the verdict by shouting a torrent of abuse at the magistrates, told the County Gazette: "I told them it was a disgraceful judgement. Disgusting.

"They'll answer to God for the perversion of justice.

"I was told to be quiet. I wouldn't initially. I continued to rebuke them. I was then escorted from the court.

"If they'd accused me of contempt of court, I would have pleaded guilty because I have absolute contempt for those magistrates."

Mr Overd, who has himself been prosecuted a number of times for alleged public order offences without being convicted, was supported by four witnesses as he told the court he had fallen to his knees after being hit in an incident last June.

After the court failed to agree with his evidence, he told the County Gazette: "People who know me would laugh at the thought I would make things up and lie."

The accused, Richard Buckley, 52, of Abbey Close, Taunton, admitted in court that he had shouted at Mr Overd as he preached in the street, but he denied hitting him or even touching him.

"He was play acting to make a scene and play the victim," said Mr Buckley.

"Mr Overd lied to the court and the magistrates saw through their made up stories.

"This nasty man needs to be stopped by the council and police. He is ruining innocent people's lives. He abuses people in the street and is harming local high street businesses."