May 24 2013 Latest news:
Lorraine King, News editor
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Man was jailed for 10 years after preying on woman who had sought spiritual guidance from him
A fake guru who offered women spiritual healing in order to carry out sex attacks has failed in a bid to overturn his convictions.
Michael George Lyons, 54, of Brondesbury Park, Kilburn, was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of one rape and one count of assault by penetration at his trial at Wood Green Court last June.
The court heard Lyons, who adopted the name Mohan Singh, preyed on women who came to him for spiritual guidance. He had created a tight-knit group, described as a ‘cult’, made up predominantly of female followers.
Lyons, who purported to be a naturopath skilled in osteopathy, acupuncture and nutrition, had homes in London, Salford, Los Angeles and Miami.
New women were invited to Lyons’ gatherings with offers of communal food and enlightenment. There, they would be given treatments and assaulted.
Last week, Lord Justice Toulson, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones and Judge Brian Barker QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, heard him appeal against both his convictions and the length of his jail term.
Top QC, Edward Fitzgerald, representing Lyons today, argued that his convictions were unsafe, saying that the judge had misdirected the jury on the issue of whether the victims might have consented to sexual activity.
It was also argued the judge had unfairly restricted evidence the defence had sought to put before the court regarding negative information relating to Lyons on the internet.
Defence lawyers had sought to rely on that evidence, claiming it had influenced people involved in the trial, but had been denied the right by the trial judge.
Lord Justice Toulson dismissed the application for permission to appeal against conviction, saying: “There are in our judgement no arguable grounds on which these convictions can be quashed.”