A man has denied stirring up hatred against gays by disseminating leaflets for the group Christian Voice.

Raj Bhachoo was arrested in January outside a Tesco in Gravesend, Kent where he was allegedly handing out anti-gay leaflets relating to Tesco’s sponsorship of a family area at Pride London.

Appearing at Dartford Magistrates Court today, he denied one charge of displaying threatening material to stir up hatred based on sexual orientation, Kent Online reports.

A trial is expected to begin later this year.

Earlier this year, three Muslim men were convicted of using threatening material to stir up hatred based on sexual orientation in Derby after handing out leaflets which appeared to suggest gays should be given the death penalty.

Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed were found guilty in January. Ali was jailed for two years. Ahmed and Javed have both been given 15-month sentences.

They were the first convictions under the new laws.

Mr Bhachoo is accused of distributing the Christian Voice leaflets to stir up hatred in Gravesend on 21 January.

Stephen Green, the group’s national director, was interviewed by the BBC over his views on Elton John becoming a father despite having approved of the death penalty for gays and lesbians in Uganda.

Mr Green’s former wife told the Mail on Sunday last year that he had beaten her and her children, “brainwashed” them and forced them to live in a dilapidated caravan in remote Wales to protect them from the “evil” of urban life.

Mr Bhachoo, of Leicester, was released on bail today on the condition that he does not come within 100 metres of a Tesco shop, warehouse or car park.