Judge overturns order that banned ‘monk’ from handing out leaflets comparing gays to paedophiles
A judge has quashed an order that banned a ‘monk’ from delivering leaflets comparing gay people to paedophiles.
PinkNews has regularly reported on the activates of ‘sinister monk’ Brother Damon Jonah Kelly, a religious activist and self-styled monk who delivers hateful leaflets across the country.
Leaflets distributed by Kelly seen by PinkNews claim that AIDS is “God’s punishment” for gay people, that homosexuality is linked to paedophilia, that transgender people should be exorcised, and that homosexuals are “like vampires”.
Last year, Kelly pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge of harassment without violence in Leicester Magistrates Court.
A Criminal Behaviour Order was also imposed – which specifically bans Kelly from “distributing unsolicited material about religious, sexual or reproductive topics to any residential, commercial or academic address in England and Wales”, and also bars him from “calling at any residential premises in England and Wales, whether by doorbell, knocking or any other means, for the purpose of distributing such material, without prior permission of the occupier”.
However, a judge lifted the order on Thursday after Kelly appealed it, according to the Leicester Mercury.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC lifted the ban, explaining: “It was almost a hammer to crack a nut.
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“No-one in this country has a right to be protected from offensive material or from material that causes anger.
“This defendant, as any individual in this jurisdiction, has a right to believe in the views in the leaflet and the right to express the views, so long as it doesn’t stray beyond the law.
“If he causes harassment, alarm or distress in the future, it would be a criminal offence and he would be punished.”
Kelly indicated that he intends to resume distributing the leaflets, now the order has been lifted.
A copy of one leaflet is below: