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Serial anti-abortion protester promised court not to `pester or assault' Marie Stopes volunteer

Moira Brennan

A SERIAL anti-abortion protester has promised a court she will not "harass, pester, annoy, molest or assault" a volunteer at a family planning clinic.

Moira Brennan, a member of Precious Life, gave the undertaking at Laganside Courts in Belfast on Monday "in lieu of an injunction", after Marie Stopes volunteer Saoirse Johnston sought a harassment order against her.

The court had granted an interim harassment order to Ms Johnston in March after a series of confrontations with Ms Brennan at the family planning facility in Belfast city centre in December 2016 and January 2017.

Ms Brennan, of Lisheegan Road in Ballymoney, Co Antrim also agreed "not to communicate or attempt to communicate with (Ms Johnston) in any way (and) not to incite any third party to do".

The 48-year-old was convicted in 2015 of assaulting an employee of the Family Planning Association as she left the clinic.

After approaching her victim in May 2014 and attempted to put graphic anti-abortion leaflets into her handbag, she hit the woman with a clipboard.

Ms Johnston said was forced to apply for the order after suffering repeated harassment at the hands of Ms Brennan and others while helping out at the clinic.

She volunteers as a "client safety escort", walking any clients who are upset by protesters who maintain a vigil outside.

Volunteers wear `bodycams' to document any abuse from demonstrators. CCTV cameras also monitor the site.

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