A MAN is set to stand trial accused of breaching a public order by ‘silently praying’ outside an abortion clinic.

Adam Smith-Connor was charged by BCP Council for failing to comply with a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside the BPAS abortion clinic in Bournemouth.

It is alleged that Smith-Connor, 50, stood within the ‘buffer zone’ outside the clinic in Ophir Road and prayed in November 2022.

The buffer zone has been in place outside the clinic since October last year and is enforced by BCP Council through a PSPO which criminalises “protesting with respect to issues related to abortion services”.

This includes prayer or counselling.

Anyone who breaches the zone by harassing, obstructing, or interfering with those attending the clinic faces a fine or prosecution.

Smith-Connor, of Kingfisher Way in Southampton, appeared in the dock at Poole Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, August 9.

He pleaded not guilty to failing to comply with the PSPO, and a trial date was scheduled for Thursday, November 16 at the same court.

At the time, a spokesperson for BCP Council said: “Mr Smith-Connor has been charged with breaching a term of the Public Spaces Protection Order.

“The allegations are that on 24th November 2022, Mr Smith-Connor failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement of the PSPO in that he failed to leave the required area when asked by an authorised officer.

“Due to the ongoing legal proceedings, the council is unable to make a further statement in relation to this matter.”

The trail date of November 16 did not go ahead and has been rescheduled for two days at Poole Magistrates' Court on January 18, 2024.

Smith-Connor, who is being supported by the Christian legal advocacy group ADF UK, has been granted bail.