Taken from http://www.24dash.com/content/news/viewNews.php?navID=7&newsID=5468 ASBO slapped on Oxford Street preacherBack to Communities Publisher: Jon Land Published: 05/05/2006 - 16:32:31 PM Printable version Send to a friend ASBO for street preacher Philip Howard A street evangelist has been banned from using a megaphone to preach in London's busiest shopping area by an Anti-Social Behaviour Order. Philip Howard, 52, a familiar face in central London for his catchprase "Be a winner not a sinner", was ordered by a court not use "any amplification device" in Oxford Street and the surrounding area after a string of complaints. Westminster City Council said that it had been forced to bring the action at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court after attempts to strike a deal with Howard, whose address was given as a hotel in Paddington, to curtail his activities failed. The order forces the preacher to rely on his God-given amplification to get his message across. The court was told that Howard had used the megaphone to verbally harass individual members of the public at Oxford Circus and on a traffic island on Regent Street as well as preaching at shoppers near Selfridges. He is said to have told one passer-by "you're a sinner", adding "Buddhist with Buddhist hair" and "King of sinners". Another passer-by was told to "Be a winner not a sinner", the order states. The Asbo, made on Thursday, lasts for three years and applies in an area bounded by Marble Arch, Regent Street and Portman Square. John Barradell, the council's Director of Community Protection, said that efforts had been made to protect Howard's freedom of speech. "We have been dealing with complaints about Mr Howard for just over two years now and we have tried every means possible to avoid going to court," he said. "We have written to him numerous times asking if he would have some consideration for those around him and if he would perhaps not approach members of the public in an offensive manner. "I think we have made an effort to strike a balance between his desire to express his views and the right of the people in the area not to feel harassed. "Initially, Mr Howard gave us an assurance that he would not use his megaphone on Oxford Street and that he would limit his activity to three days a week. "However, he failed to keep his word and, indeed, from May last year complaints increased. "I would stress that at all times we have respected Mr Howard's beliefs and his right to preach. "But workers and residents in that area have a right to go about their daily lives without being disturbed by the relentless and intrusive noise coming from his megaphone." Copyright Press Association 2006.