THE minister of a Coulsdon church ran a cult to brainwash women in his congregation into accepting bare bottom spankings as 'God's will' to satisfy his sexual desires, a court has heard.
Howard Curtis, a married 73-year-old father of three, is said to have treated Coulsdon Christian Fellowship (CCF), of which he was the leader for decades, "more like his personal cult than a church".
He denies at least seven sex attacks on three different women said to have taken place between 1991 and 2013.
Curtis, who became a minister of the Elim Pentecostal movement in the 1980s, but broke from the church when he was pastor of the CCF in Chipstead Valley Road, further denies child cruelty charges relating to three different youngsters, and a charge of causing actual bodily harm by spanking a babysitter.
"He would conduct what he would refer to as a deliverance ministry," said Mr Fitzgerald.
"This would involve the defendant saying that he was going to cast out evil spirits from a person.
"He would tell his congregation that discipline needed to be administered and this was best done by spanking bare flesh with the bare hand.
Coulsdon church minister 'ran cult to brainwash women into bare bottom spankings as the will of God' | Croydon Advertiser