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Christian Counsellor seeks Police Investigation and Adjournment after Witness Intimidation in 'Gay Change' Hearing

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Issued on behalf of the Christian Legal Centre

Press Release

For Immediate Release


20 January 2011

Christian Counsellor seeks Police Investigation and Adjournment after Witness Intimidation in ‘Gay Change’ Hearing

A CHRISTIAN counsellor, due to appear at a Hearing today (20 JAN) before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian, is to seek an adjournment and is calling on her professional body to bring in the Police to investigate intimidation of one of her key witnesses.
 
This morning, Lesley Pilkington was due before a panel of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (“BACP”) for giving therapy to a homosexual man (an under-cover freelance journalist) who pretended to be a Christian wishing to stop practising homosexuality.
 
The counsellor, with over 20 years of experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual journalist who went undercover to secretly record two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Mr. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by the homosexual rights organisation Stonewall.
 
Shortly before the Hearing, BACP required all Witness Statements to be passed to them with contact details, and to Mr Strudwick. Immediately after supplying the statements, an expert  witness received several menacing phone calls, threats and intimidation,  telling the witness not to attend.
 
Lesley Pilkington will call for the BACP to adjourn the case and in the interests of maintaining the professional standards and integrity of the Professional body, to call in the police to fully investigate what could lead to criminal charges.
 
Mrs Pilkington met the journalist at a Christian conference.  Mr Strudwick told the counsellor that he wanted to leave his ‘homosexual lifestyle’ and wanted help to change his behaviour.  The counsellor confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context and he agreed.
 
Shortly after the conference, and still acting undercover, the journalist contacted her and said that he thought they were on the same wavelength and asked to meet with her.
 
Throughout the two therapy sessions, the undercover journalist repeatedly told the counsellor that he wanted to leave his  homosexual lifestyle and that he wanted to change his behaviour.  However, after the sessions, he lodged a complaint to BACP alleging that she had failed to respect the fixed nature of his homosexuality.
 
Those offering counselling for men and women wanting to change their homosexual behaviour have been increasingly targeted by the homosexual lobby, many of whom do not accept that people can change their behaviour. Since writing the article, Mr Strudwick has become a campaigner against those offering such treatments and has organised protests at various Christian conventions. He has stated in interviews that no-one can change their sexual orientation and attempts to do so are extremely harmful.
 
However, in 2006, the homosexual rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote in the Guardian: ‘Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.’
 
Lesley is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre who will assist both her and the police.
 
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the CLC said: “Mrs Pilkington deserves to get a fair hearing by her professional body.  In this case the homosexual lobby has been extremely militant and sought to silence by threats and intimidation. The only professional, appropriate thing to do today is to adjourn the hearing and for the Panel to call in the police to investigate.”
 
ENDS.
 
For further information:
 
Andrea Minichiello Williams: 0771 2591164  

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