News Headlines > Hermit who threatened lesbian couple pleads guilty to harassment

05 August 2015 | by Christopher Lamb

Hermit who threatened lesbian couple pleads guilty to harassment

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A hermit has pleaded guilty to harassing a lesbian couple after issuing them with a letter describing their sexuality as “part of the devil’s madness.”

Brother Damon Kelly, a member of the self-styled “Black Hermits,” pleaded guilty to the charges at Leicester magistrates court last week and is now awaiting sentence.

Prosecutor Nigel Chapman said one of the women was left with heart palpitations after reading the material.

The initial confrontation took place on 14 October last year when Brother Damon was handing out leaflets in Leicester against gay lifestyles. When the lesbian couple handed back the leaflet and defended their sexuality they were told by the hermit “we used to burn people like you.”

Br Damon then returned to their home and posted a letter “to the witches from the monk” and making the claim about “witches, gays, lesbians and sex-changers” being part of the devil’s madness.

His lawyer said that Br Damon never meant to single out the women and regularly distributes leaflets.

“His motive, his calling, is to target the sin and not the sinner," his lawyer, Kevin Sayce, told the court.

He has been released on bail and his case has been adjourned to assess if he is fit for unpaid work.

Earlier this year the Black Hermits were told they had to leave the presbytery they were living in in the Diocese of Northampton. The hermits – founded by Fr Stephen De Kerdrel, a former Capuchin friar, and include Sister Colette Farrell- Roberts – have moved back to Scotland, where they are registered as a charity.

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