Monk pleads guilty to harassing lesbian witches: ‘We used to burn people like you’

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A monk who argued with a lesbian couple after posting an anti-gay leaflet through their door has pleaded guilty to harassment.

Damon Kelly, of the Black Hermits Catholic group, told the lesbians, who were also witches: “We used to burn people like you.”

The 53-year-old rowed with the couple after he posted a leaflet through their door and called their sexuality “part of the devil’s madness.”

The magistrates court at Leicester heard that one of the women experienced heart palpitations as she read the letter.

The confrontation took place on 14 October 2014, when the monk was leafleting in Clarendon Park, Leicester, and one of the women stopped the monk and attempted to hand back the leaflet.

The court heard that the monk then told her: “Keep it, urinate on it, defecate on it.”

According to Nigel Chapman, prosecuting, the monk had said he was “doing God’s work”.

During the alteraction, when one of the women defended their sexuality and pagan beliefs, the monk had turned “aggressive and fanatical”, telling them: “We used to burn people like you.”

At a later date, Kelly wrote a letter to the women, titled: “To the witches from the monk”, which said “witches, gays, lesbians and sex-changers”, were part of “the devil’s madness”.

The women had felt like they were “being targeted by the defendant.”

Defending, however, Kevin Sayce said Kelly had not taken aim at anyone in particular.

He said: “[Kelly] picks areas and delivers leaflets. It was one of the females that approached Damon Kelly and he defended his opinion as he’s had to on numerous occasions.

“Following their disclosures of their practice as witches, Damon Kelly returned – not to seek out a confrontation but to post the letter that put forward his beliefs on pursuing such desires and such acts.

“His motive, his calling, is to target the sin and not the sinner.”

The court heard that Kelly had taken vows of poverty and chastity.

The case was adjourned by District Judge Tim Daber, who wanted to assess whether Kelly would be fit for unpaid work.

The monk was released on bail, with the condition that no more leaflets must be distributed.