As day four of the trial of Johann Perera went underway, the well-known character from Leighton Buzzard took to the witness box to give his evidence.
Johann, 43, appeared at Luton Crown Court on Friday to answer charges of stalking a teenage girl and her boyfriend, apparently under the belief that the girl had promised to marry him.
A letter was read out in court which included the passage, “I will execute her, as God spoke through Moses, ‘you will execute the adulterer’.”
Johann replied that he had not sent the letter, but Alison Ginn, prosecuting, presented evidence that the letter had been sent, with a further passage, “she has to be executed so I can legally in God’s eyes marry again.”
Johann said: “That’s exactly what the law of Moses said.”
Mrs Ginn responded: “That’s not very nice though, is it Mr Perera?”
At which point, Johann said: “Yes, because I was in fear for her life. I wanted her to marry me.
“When she first announced she was with her boyfriend, I was happy for her but heartbroken but I loved brother [boyfriend’s name].”
Some of the emails were then read out, alluding to Johann’s friends who “would be prepared to kill” for him.
In response to these, Johann said: “No, no, I’m not threatening to do that, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep it from them. It’s not a threat, I’m explaining my worries.
“I gave her a card in her workplace and she asked me for a second Christmas poster and that was her way of answering my question that she does want me.”
Mrs Ginn then told him that the girl had stood him up on every occasion that he had asked to meet with her.
Johann said: “No. Not on every occasion. We bought air freshener together.”
Mrs Ginn: “You followed her into the shop while she bought air freshener for her car and then she drove off. That’s what it comes to, doesn’t it?”
He answered back: “Not without arranging another meeting.”
A question was then asked about how God deals with adultery. Johann said: “One thing than can happen is they get AIDS or syphilis.
“God’s written down in the book what he orders. Have you not read the book of Moses? All things work together according to God’s purpose.”
Transcripts were also read out of Mr Perera’s interview at Leighton Buzzard police station in February, where he described how his love for the girl had developed.
He stated: “I very much love her . I think she’s good looking but I love her.
“It’s a long story, but a year and a half previously, I was planning not to get married and I prayed to God to sort it out. When I met her a year and a half later I took it as a sign from God, and this is like you know weird, it’s almost like a brilliant day.
“Very simple things gave me the understanding she would make the perfect wife for me.”
In his police interview, Mr Perera described confusion about where the stalking claims had come about.
He said: “I don’t know what’s happened in between. I wrote a letter. Ha ha you’d like to meet up with me so we can arrange a holy marriage.
“I wait for her and wait for her and say when’s a convenient time to call her and she said to me, ‘call any time you like’. For whatever reason she didn’t turn up and she was really unpleasant to me.”
In response to a question from an officer, about whether he might have misunderstood the girl’s politness for affection, he claimed she had said yes on three occasions when asked if she would meet with him.
Johann said: “She clearly said ‘yes’ three times and she wanted a view to marry me.”
“I know she’s been involved in other relationships but those cannot count as marriage. The thing is, I’m a Christian and before God she’s promised to marry me and I consider myself to be her husband. That’s what I’m saying, these three ‘yeses’ back in 2013 before God and the way we interact together, clearly she loves me.”
“I just choose to remain faithful to my partner. It’s not acceptable, she’s not allowed to do that before God, that’s adultery before God. It’s just, clearly she loves me and she accepting all my love mails and she’s reacting as though she accepts me and then she’s with this other boy.”
The case continues.