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'Witness account similarities prove guru is rapist'

PUBLISHED: 16:14 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:15 07 September 2010

Sanchez Manning STRIKING similarities between the accusations of rape and sexual assault against a Belsize Park health guru show they are true, a prosecution lawyer has told a jury. There was a clear systematic pattern between the five counts of rape and

Sanchez Manning

STRIKING similarities between the accusations of rape and sexual assault against a Belsize Park health guru show they are true, a prosecution lawyer has told a jury.

There was a clear systematic pattern between the five counts of rape and three charges of sexual assault faced by Michael Lyons (also known as Mohan Singh), from Belsize Park, QC Philip Katz told Wood Green Crown Court.

"The fact that there is such a striking similarity to those incidents shows that the offences not only happened but that they were sexual," he said.

"When they met him, the victims felt reassured by the presence of other women. Some of them have been playing a quite sinister role in bringing their friends in as part of the process of what was going on. Many of the victims felt abandoned by their friends, set up and put in this position."

The women were lured with delicious communal meals, special drinks and then asked to watch "challenging" videos, including one about sexual abuse, he said.

Lyons then singled out the women for special attention, using the excuse of treating their backs as a reason to touch them and lull them into a false sense of security, the court heard.

Mr Katz added: "Another feature is all this mumbo jumbo. One incident which might be funny, if it wasn't so sick, is that, when one victim was being raped, he was talking about his organic penis."

Celebrity-obsessed witnesses - one who claimed he knew half of Hollywood - had told the court that Mr Lyons had worked miracles, changed people's lives and was a great teacher and healer, Mr Katz said in his summing up.

"It is just a shame he is a rapist," Mr Katz added. "That is what this case is about.

"They say he is a man of integrity but these are surprising answers to give when you are facing such serious allegations."

Lyons was branded as a charlatan, by the prosecution, who described how he falsely claimed to be an osteopath and to have obtained a degree in Maidstone.

Lyons was first arrested in 2002 and taken to Holborn police station, where he told the duty officer that he was a physiotherapist and had been born in India, said Mr Katz.

But when he was arrested for a second time in 2007 at Heathrow airport, he said he was an interpreter born in Jamaica, the court heard.

When arrested on a third occasion, he gave his professions as interpreter and salesman, the jury was told.

Lyons had come to believe his own myth of being a miracle worker, Mr Katz suggested.

In this belief, the defendant came to think he was entitled to carrying out the sexual assault he is accused of, he added.

"He took the opportunity to do what he did because he thinks he is entitled. If these people think he is some form of spiritual being, then what does he think of himself," said Mr Katz.

The trial is expected to finish by the end of this week.

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