A monk has been banned from delivering religious leaflets in Britain for the next five years following complaints of homophobia.
Brother Damon Kelly of the Black Hermits, a tiny Catholic group based in Northampton, pleaded guilty in June to harassing a couple of lesbian pagans after telling them: “We used to burn people like you.”
He has been distributing leaflets in a variety of locations around the country since 2012 condemning a variety of topics including homosexuality, divorce and IVF. However, he has now been barred from distributing any more material after his run in with the couple.
Leicester Magistrates Court heard how one of the women confronted Brother Damon while he was posting a leaflet through their door and tried to hand it back.
Brother Damon became “aggressive and fanatical”, the court heard, and told the woman: “Keep it, urinate on it, defecate on it.”
He returned to the house two weeks later with a letter addressed “to the witches from the monk,” which said that “witches, gays, lesbians and sex-changers” are all “the devil’s madness.”
He was then arrested and charged with harassment.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Many people who read his leaflets were upset and offended by them, and reported his activities to the police. The leaflets were described by witnesses as ‘vile’, ‘offensive’ and ‘upsetting’.”
The Northampton Chronicle reports that as well as the ban, he was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to do 170 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.
“The unpaid work was increased from 140 hours because his offending was homophobically aggravated and, therefore, treated as a hate crime,” the spokesman added.
The Catholic Herald says that Brother Damon has previously been arrested 10 times for his activities. Last year, gay interest site Pink News received a letter from Brother Damon calling them the “Antichrist and the Devil’s Disciples”, and thanking their readers for naming him “the moronic monk”. He also referred to two transsexual females as “Mr”.
The site disabled comments on the article for “legal reasons”.
The Black Hermits consist of just two monks and a nun who lived in various locations since they were formed by Fr Stephen de Kendrel in 1999. They are facing expulsion from their presbytery after the Bishop of Northampton said they had brought the diocese into disrepute.