'Jail inevitable' for London pastor who smacked congregant's bare bottom

25 March 2016 - 11:53 By Times LIVE

A 73-year-old south-London paster has been found guilty of sexual assault, after he spanked three members of his congregation in an attempt to drive out evil spirits.

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According to The Telegraph, Howard Curtis claimed his 'deliverance counselling' sessions had to be done 'flesh to flesh' in order to caste out the wicked spirits.

"She wondered if it could help with her depression. I thought it could. It depends if you see depression as an illness or an evil spirit. If you smack somebody it could free an evil spirit."

According to the report, he also smacked a woman between her legs to "cure her frigid spirit", and performed a sex act on her with his finger, the court heard.

Curtis, who ran the Coulsdon Christian Fellowship in Coulsdon, south London, has thus been convicted of sexual assault.

Judge Peter Gower QC, of the Croydon Crown Court, said: "An immediate custodial sentence is inevitable in this case. I'm granting bail as a matter of mercy so he can put his affairs in order."