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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Pastor convicted of sex attacks
Douglas Goodman
The pastor denied all 14 charges against him
A charismatic preacher who led one of Britain's biggest churches faces jail after being convicted of two indecent assaults on one of his congregation.

Douglas Goodman, 47, had been accused of preying on four women at the Victory Christian Centre, north London.

An Old Bailey jury also convicted him of perverting the course of justice and an attempted sex assault.

But it cleared him of two indecent assaults and failed to reach verdicts on a further seven and one rape charge.

The pastor, who denied 14 charges, is due to be sentenced on Friday.

He abused his position and their trust
John Coffey QC, prosecuting

The Charity Commission and Metropolitan Police fraud squad are investigating allegations that 3m went missing from the church's funds.

Judge Gerald Gordon remanded Goodman on bail but warned he should expect a prison sentence.

The alleged attacks between 1997 and 2002 related to four women aged 17 between 32.

Prosecutor John Coffey QC told the trial Goodman was the spiritual leader of the church, in Kilburn - once Britain's second biggest church.

"He acted in a predatory fashion, singling out those who were vulnerable," he told the court.

"He targeted mainly younger members of the congregation, posing as a paternal figure, rendering them susceptible to his advances.

"He abused his position and their trust."

Victory Christian Centre
The Victory Christian Centre was closed down in December 2002
One 17-year-old woman said Goodman had paid for her and a friend to attend a church trip to Florida and bought her an A-class Mercedes.

But the jury did not reach a verdict on her allegation of indecent assault.

They found him guilty of two assaults against 19-year-old "Miss B", at a cinema in Finchley Road, north London.

After the first assault, the court was told Goodman apologised and said they had to put themselves into "the path of temptation" to prove they could beat it.

But he again assaulted her in the cinema, the trial heard.

He was also found guilty of attempting to steal a kiss from a 26-year-old woman in his car, but the jury could not agree on another charge involving an incident in his office.

The pastor was cleared of two counts of indecent assault against a woman with whom he had had an affair - but the jury could not reach a verdict on a rape charge.

The women said they were told to leave the church when they complained to church elders.

Courtenay Griffiths QC, Goodman's defence barrister, compared him to former US president Bill Clinton and former prime minister John Major.

"Did they end up in the dock? No!," he told the jury.

'Made to discredit'

"He [Goodman] may be guilty of a moral failing, but this is not a court of morals. He is not on trial for infidelity or hypocrisy."

Goodman's supporters said the allegations were made up to discredit him.

The congregation includes singer Patti Boulaye and former footballer John Fashanu.

It was the second time Goodman, of Turnberry Lane, Collingtree, Northampton, had faced trial.

The jury could not reach verdicts at the first trial last July.

The Victory Christian Centre closed down in December 2002.




SEE ALSO:
Downfall of a preacher man
06 May 04  |  London


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