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Health guru is victim of 'witch hunt'

PUBLISHED: 15:17 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 September 2010

Susanna Wilkey A BELSIZE Park health guru accused of raping and assaulting a string of women is the object of a witch hunt , a court has heard. Michael Lyons, also known as Mohan Singh, faces five charges of rape and three of sexual assault at Wood Green

Susanna Wilkey

A BELSIZE Park health guru accused of raping and assaulting a string of women is the object of "a witch hunt", a court has heard.

Michael Lyons, also known as Mohan Singh, faces five charges of rape and three of sexual assault at Wood Green Crown Court.

Clare Davis, a friend since 1989, told the jury she believed the 51-year-old was the victim of a witch hunt designed to bring him down.

She said: "I cannot help feeling that this is a setup. I do not believe these allegations to be right and proper and I do not believe it should be before this court. It feels like a witch hunt. And it has been a lot to deal with all these years."

He had a brilliant natural ability to help people and had dedicated his life to serving others, she said.

"He has never set himself up to be a guru," she said. "He is a friend of many gurus but he is not one himself.

"He leads a very simple lifestyle and dedicates his time to serving people. He respects and honours women, which is something we all appreciate and that is why he has a lot of women friends.

"I was gobsmacked when I heard about the allegations because it was ridiculous. Rape is terrible. Rape is rape and I would not stand by anyone who I thought was molesting or harming anyone."

Ms Davis, from Kentish Town, had been present at a party in 2005 in Belsize Park when one of the victims alleges she has been sexually assaulted, the court heard.

"There was nothing wrong or suspicious when he gave her treatment," she said, although she admitted she had left the party before the victim.

Ms Davis thought that Mr Lyons and his group of friends, including herself, were the target of an American man who believed his daughter was taken in by a cult.

She received a bundle of documents in 2006 detailing personal information about her and her friends, including all the places she had ever worked.

"When I received the documents it was horrific - it was very intimidating and sinister," she said.

"Then there was rubbish after rubbish after rubbish being posted on the internet about Mohan. I thought someone was trying to set us up.

"It was not normal. I have never in my life experienced anything this disturbing. People were slandering me and my friends on the internet and I was hurt and disgusted by it. They said I was mentally unstable and a cult leader."

She accused some of the victims of being neurotic, highly strung and crazy and said Mr Lyons thought "sex is a very natural part of life and has a very open and balanced view".

Prosecuting, Philip Katz QC said to the witness: "You and your cronies would say and do anything to try to get Michael Lyons off the hook. Were you doing his dirty work for him? I am suggesting you are lying on his behalf."

She declared this "absolute rubbish" and, when probed whether she was helping to pay his legal expenses, said she did not see the relevance of the question.

"I have known Mo for many years and I have never seen him act without integrity," she said. "He is a humble, kind person. I am happy when my friends are in his company. Nothing has ever happened to make me have any reservations or doubt."

The trial continues.


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