Case adjourned in Christian counsellor's gay therapy case

A Christian counsellor accused of wrongdoing after trying to help a homosexual man 'convert' has had her case adjourned amid allegations of witness intimidation.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, had been due to face a professional conduct panel this morning after a complaint was made against her by a homosexual freelance journalist who pretended to be a Christian wanting therapy to help change his sexuality.

Unaware that Patrick Strudwick was working undercover, Mrs Pilkington agreed to two therapy sessions.

His article about the sessions was published in the Independent but Mrs Pilkington was called before the professional conduct panel of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy after he complained that she had failed to respect the fixed nature of his homosexuality.

The BACP has agreed to adjourn the case, however, after allegations that a key witness had been intimidated and warned not to attend the hearing.

The Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Mrs Pilkington, said in a statement: "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."

The CLC has called for a full police investigation into the claims.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive 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.”