Tormented pastor whose funeral was attended by thousands took his life after stalker posted videos

A gipsy preacher killed himself after being driven into 'great alarm and stress' over videos posted online by a stalker, a court heard.

Tormented pastor whose funeral was attended by thousands took his life after stalker posted videos

Tormentor Jamie Jones uploaded YouTube clips with accusations over pastor Davey Jones' private life, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

He also made unfounded allegations of corruption at minister Davey Jones' Light and Life Christian Church in Willenhall.

Jamie Jones

Jamie Jones, aged 41, who is no relation to the victim, pleaded guilty to stalking yesterday.

He spoke only to confirm his name and plea during the short hearing.

Davey Jones was hugely respected within the travelling community and was the pastor at the church in Upper Lichfield Street. He died aged 60 in July last year.

Around 5,000 mourners descended on Essington to attend his funeral.

The stalking took place between May and July and Jamie Jones' actions caused alarm and stress and had a 'substantial adverse effect' on the minister's daily activities, the court was told.

Footage of a reading of the pastor's 'final message' has appeared online, in which he tells of the pain the allegations caused in the weeks leading to his death, saying: "I cannot pay or prove in any other way than with my life."

Pastor David 'Davey' Jones, who died aged 60

He also urged his followers not to seek retribution against those who were taunting him.

The heartbreaking final message was read out at a Light and Life gathering days after his death last July.

In it, Mr Jones, who was 60, says a final goodbye to members of his family. He thanked his daughters and son-in-laws for their support and said: "I ask you, pray for these people. Do not fight or argue or fend or prove in any way, shape or form, get on with your lives."

"I will see you again with the Lord."

He also sent a message to his wife: "To my wife Nora, I love you.

"I know you and me, since you was 17 and I was 18, you have been a good wife to me, all of my life working for the lord and helping support and find myself with the lord's work.

"Be strong now for our children and my children. The Lord has always helped you in times of need, he will now. I love you."

He addressed the accusations which had been made against him, denying the claims. The pastor wrote about his impending death and said it was not something he was going to do because he was guilty but to 'stop these men' from 'pulling down the mission'.

But the key theme behind his final message was for his followers to not seek to defend his reputation or take revenge once he was gone. The message said: "I don't want anyone to fight, fend or prove my case, innocence in any way, legally or personally.

The Facebook update urging forgiveness after the Pastor's death

"To my sister-in-laws, brothers, nephews, do not fend or prove any more. I have begged you through the last months not to do this and as my last wish I ask you, don't do anything at all. God, who I will stand before, knows all. Many things will be said now about me but don't listen. God loves all. I don't want revenge."

And of the allegations, he said: "There is no corruption in it, no cover up, no hiding my or anyone else's sin. I have never asked or wanted any brother or person to cover anything for me."

Mr Jones told the Express & Star: "I never posted the videos to cause any harm. If I had thought Davey or someone would have killed themselves of course I would not have done it.

Ms Catherine O'Reilly, defending, insisted her client never considered the pastor would take his own life.

She said: "Sadly Davey Jones took his own life. He accepts he caused great alarm and stress but he did not anticipate that would be the cause of his actions."

Mr Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, added: "We know he intended to cause distress. That may well been the consequence but I can't say he intended he would kill himself."

Ms O'Reilly said Jamie Jones, of Wolverhampton Road, Penkridge, had displayed 'deep distress' over his actions and that she was unable to say if he had been suffering with depression or another mental illness as he had not been assessed by experts.

Accusations were also made about The Light and Life Christian Church although no other details were given about corruption allegations.

A psychiatric report will now be prepared ahead of sentencing which is due to take place on April 27.

Jamie Jones has been released on bail until that date.

Recorder Robert Spencer-Bernard told him: "This is a serious matter – one that is surrounded by tragic consequences."

Davey Jones was the founder member and president of religious group Light and Life Missions UK.

The group is dedicated to supporting the lives of travellers and runs more than a dozen churches across the UK. He is believed to be from Darlington originally before moving to the West Midlands later in his life.

He had been the pastor of Trinity Methodist Church for more than 30 years. Throughout his life he helped thousands of people across the world through his love of Christianity.

He denied any wrongdoing in his final message and said ending his life was the only way to escape from the allegations.

Essington was brought to a standstill last summer as mourners arrived to pay their respects to Davey Jones.

During the hour-long funeral many of his close friends paid tribute including ones who travelled from as far as the Netherlands. A marquee was put up on Hobnock Road and speeches were given on a stage.

Mourners were seen embracing each other and were visibly upset by the pastor's death. Pictures of the preacher were also held up as he was remembered at the service.

They then took part in a procession to Streetly Crematorium via Bursnips Road and Broad Lane, causing gridlock in the village.

Roads had to be closed off as the mourners took to the streets and surrounding roads were swamped by parked cars.

The funeral of Pastor Davey Jones, who was well known amongst the travelling community

Around 1,500 people were originally expected to attend the funeral but more than three times that number eventually turned up.

Allegations made by Jamie Jones, of Wolverhampton Road, Penkridge, concerned an orphanage in Romania linked to the church. He made a complaint which was referred to the Charity Commission. But the commission said they had not opened an investigation.

On the Light and Life Missions Facebook page, the church said allegations made about the church, its leaders, and the orphanage were 'rumours and unfounded allegations'.

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