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Former leader of Mormons will not face court in UK

The former head of the Mormon Church in America will not be required to face a court hearing in the UK, after a judge ruled that his teachings could not be construed as a breach of the Fraud Act, reports the BBC.

The legal claim was brought by a former follower of the Mormon faith, Tom Phillips, whose lawyers claim that the preachings of the head of the Mormon Church, Thomas Monson, amount to a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

The private prosecution was brought at Westminster Magistrates' Court, but the judge, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle, dismissed the action, claiming that the action was an 'abuse' of court time.

"I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others," said Judge Riddle.

The legal claim stated that during 2008 and 2013 Mr Monson had convinced two individuals to pay a sum into the Mormon Church, known as an annual tithe, on the basis of religious teachings that were untrue.

Mr Phillips' claims included the details of various teachings that he felt were untrue and in breach of the Fraud Act. These teachings include a Mormon claim that there were no deaths on earth before 6,000 years ago, that all humans on earth descended from two people who lived 6,000 years ago, and that Native Americans are descended from Israelites who left Jerusalem in 600BC.

The claim had previously been accepted by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, and had ordered Mr Monson to attend Westminster Magistrates' Court, with a threat of arrest if he failed to do so.

However, Judge Riddle ruled the previous ruling was a mistake, that the case was tenuous, and that no court in England and Wales would put the issue of whether religious teachings were 'true' to a jury.