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Miscarriage of justice: Patrick Sookhdeo, Jezebel and the Satan Gang

Miscarriage of justice: Patrick Sookhdeo, Jezebel and the Satan Gang

By Richard Carvath
December 23, 2016

From the outset, I must assert my firm belief -- arrived at, I sincerely trust, via proper consideration of the facts, the evidence, and by the application of sound logic and just principles -- that Dr Patrick Sookhdeo ought to have been found Not Guilty of all three charges of which he was wrongfully convicted earlier this year.

Dr Sookhdeo is currently on Metropolitan Police bail regarding a new allegation; it is partly in view of this recent development that I have decided, for the time being, neither to confirm nor deny my presence at Swindon Crown Court when the Sookhdeo trial took place, back in February.

This is by no means a definitive or comprehensive statement of my stance on the Sookhdeo case; this is merely a brief blog to make a few points I'd like to make at the present time.

I do not intend to repeat material which is already in the public domain, but readers really ought to study this article by David Virtue, http://tinyurl.com/jnvt4fc together with this article http://tinyurl.com/jhaclj3 in which Andrew Carey refutes the abysmal, excremental 'journalism' of Christian Today writer Mark Woods.

As to my headline, and henceforth in this blog, Sookhdeo is himself whilst his accuser, who cannot be named, we shall refer to as 'Jezebel', and Jezebel's co-conspirators against Sookhdeo -- for Sookhdeo was set up by a small group of women within Barnabas -- we shall know collectively as the 'Satan Gang'.

Sookhdeo, a highly-respected international Christian leader and academic, was essentially accused and wrongfully convicted of being the dirty old man who groped poor innocent Jezebel. Sookhdeo has always maintained his innocence. The only 'evidence' for this indecent groping was the word of false witness and 'victim' Jezebel. You can get a basic grasp of the excrement thrown at Sookhdeo in the trial from this article in the Western Daily Press.

Any advocate, any experienced lawyer practising criminal law will tell you just how easy it is to make up 'He said this...' fairytales and how hard it is to defend against such accusations, in a system which will convict on the false testimony of one false witness, if the person/people making the judgement prefer the false story of the complainant [or simply the complainant personally] over the adamant denial of the defendant.

(I will say nothing here of my views on Sookhdeo being convicted of the indecency charge by a 10-2 majority verdict, except to say that I believe majority verdicts are often an affront to true justice, and nothing of the fact that, in a man/woman indecency trial with a male defendant, ten members of the jury were women.)

Let's be clear about the kind and calibre of person who was set up and wrongfully convicted in this case. A mature Christian gentleman, a well known and widely respected Christian leader, the founder of a charitable ministry of considerable significance.

Imagine if I made up a story about being alone with Andrea Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern -- that she'd come on to me and offered me a dirty weekend, that she'd felt me up -- and I went to the police and it ended up with her being wrongfully convicted, on nothing more than my say so.

Imagine if I made up a story about being alone with Colin Hart of the Christian Institute -- that he'd come on to me and offered me a dirty weekend, that he'd felt me up -- and I went to the police and it resulted in him being convicted, on nothing more than my say so.

Such scenarios are outrageous but this is essentially what has happened to Dr Patrick Sookhdeo.

I'd like to get to the heart of the matter in this sad story and find the moral of the tale.

I think the key lesson here is that Christian charities need to be far more careful to employ only genuinely Christian staff.

There's no doubt that Patrick Sookhdeo is a committed Christian and that he founded Barnabas as a Christian charity for Christian purposes, but how many of the current Barnabas staff are really genuine Christians?

Are Jezebel or any of the Satan Gang genuine followers of Jesus? Furthermore, are Jezebel or any of the Satan Gang really serious about charitable ministry on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world?

Would a genuine Christian make up the most wicked false allegations against a venerable elder Brother in Christ? And would genuine Christians conspire together to set up a Brother in Christ with ridiculous complaints of witness intimidation?

And the witness intimidation convictions are every bit as ridiculous as the indecency conviction.

Prosecution witness Kathryn Parsons (nee Wakeling) was specifically told not to attend the Barnabas staff meeting at which the intimidation supposedly took place, prosecution witness Kayleigh Ghiot was meant to be working from home, and what possible good motive could Jezebel's friend Hollie-Anne Gale have had for secretly recording the meeting for the police?

Witness intimidation, by the mere act of a public address to a crowded public meeting, neither knowing nor expecting any prosecution witnesses to be present! What a travesty.

From cases that I've covered as a journalist, as well as from my own first-hand experience of genuine intimidation, I have to say it's gravely offensive to make a case against Sookhdeo for the intimidation of witnesses.

It's laughable. No threats of violence. No deliberate, direct approach to any of the witnesses. No awareness even of the witnesses' presence in the crowd. An entirely innocent public address by Sookhdeo at his place of work. Again, as somebody who has been on the receiving end of genuine criminal intimidation, even including serious death threats, in the course of my work as an investigative journalist, I find the suggestion that Sookhdeo intimidated either Parsons (nee Wakeling) or Ghiot profoundly insulting and ridiculous.

Is this sort of conduct the behaviour Jesus would expect from a group of women committed to following and serving him in the Barnabas ministry?

In David Virtue's article http://tinyurl.com/jnvt4fc he goes so far as to ask of Kathryn Parsons (nee Wakeling): "Did she tell the truth under oath?" That's a polite way of saying 'I believe she lied to the court' (and you can read Virtue's article for context and his reasoning).

Worryingly, perhaps, for evangelical Christians and their charitable ministries, Kathryn Parsons (nee Wakeling) -- fingered as a perjurer by Virtue, and who claimed to be intimidated after attending the meeting against her boss' instructions -- rubs shoulders with several 'big names' of the British Christian charitable scene.

In addition to having Kayleigh Ghiot and Hollie-Anne Gale as friends on Facebook (as to Jezebel, I am silenced by the law), Kathryn Parsons (nee Wakeling) is Facebook friends with the likes of Jonathan Oloyede and Andrea Minichiello Williams.

In fact, Parsons (nee Wakeling) is currently Facebook friends with not only Andrea Minichiello Williams but also Libby Powell and Rachel Wagstaff of Christian Concern/the Christian Legal Centre. Parsons (nee Wakeling) is a former CCFON (Christian Concern) staff member. I approached Christian Concern for comment on Kathryn Parsons (nee Wakeling) and Patrick Sookhdeo; at time of writing this blog no response has been received.

It's vital that Christian ministries employ Christians with integrity.

The fact that Sookhdeo saw the need for a dress code to deal with immodest dressing by some Barnabas staff members is symptomatic of the non-Christian attitudes and behaviour then being manifested by some of the Barnabas staff.

Consider, for example, Kayleigh Ghiot (since we can't consider Jezebel).

Ghiot's Twitter (where, incidentally, she follows and is followed by Mark Woods, mentioned previously) suggests a woman passionate about photography, travelling and green issues. [See also Ghiot's LinkedIn.] It does not suggest somebody with a burning passion either for following Jesus or helping persecuted Christians -- and neither does Ghiot's Facebook.

Kayleigh Ghiot's current Facebook profile photo provides a good example of the sort of dress and attitude which so concerned Sookhdeo, given the specific nature and focus of the Barnabas ministry.

In a 'look at me' photo, Ghiot's arms are uncovered and she wears a figure-hugging dress, her buttocks clearly presented to the beholder.

This does not offend against contemporary Western ideas of female modesty, but in terms of the Christian and Muslim considerations of the Barnabas ministry, there are legitimate grounds for concern.

Patrick Sookhdeo was certainly concerned about the dress lengths and immodest attitudes of Jezebel, Ghiot and other Barnabas staff members, and his concern was quite proper and legitimate.

I think the moral of the tale is make sure your staff are faithful Christians committed to your cause if you want to minimise mayhem and hell in your Christian ministry. Otherwise, you'd better watch out for Satan on the prowl.


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