Preacher's convictions stay despite appeal

Toby Mann

A Brisbane street preacher convicted and fined $3000 for setting up banners and using a megaphone in Queen Street Mall without permission has lost an appeal.

Ryan Nicholas Hemelaar was in September found guilty of eight offences for demonstrations in late 2015 and early 2016 held without council consent, and initially appealed the convictions, the fine and $1500 in costs he was ordered to pay by the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

But on Tuesday the appeal against the convictions was dismissed by Judge William Everson at the Brisbane District Court, with Hemelaar having earlier withdrawn his challenge to the fine.

Hemelaar had wanted "to make known to as many people as possible, both verbally and in writing, the message of the Bible," according to court documents.

"This may include, but is not limited to public addresses, literature distribution, free Bibles and resources tables, a sketchboard and easel, and signs and banners," the documents state.

The appeal centred on whether the council had the ability to regulate activities in the mall, with Judge Everson agreeing with the original magistrate that they did.

Hemelaar had argued he was engaging in an authorised public assembly but the court found he needed permission from the council.