By David Graves
A FURNITURE restorer who transformed his workshop into a satanic temple at night threatened to kill a so-called "white witch" when she tried to leave his black magic coven, a court was told yesterday.
John Kilminster, 50, who described himself as a sorcerer, gave Susan Whitehead drinks laced with drug methadone to make her more "compliant" when they had sex, Northampton Crown Court was told.
But when Mrs Whitehead tried to leave the coven two months after joining, Kilminster said that he would kill her and claimed to have murdered a former member who had "offended", said Tim Spencer, prosecuting.
He alleged that Kilminster told one of his followers to perform a "ceremony of destruction" using a voodoo-like doll of Mrs Whitehead, stuck pins in a photograph of her and threatened to send nude photographs of her to her husband unless she returned to the coven.
At night the outwardly respectable furniture restorer transformed his business to a satanic temple
Mr Spencer said: "He said he was going to perform some ritual which would destroy her. He also told Mrs Whitehead that he had killed a person who had offended against a coven.
"There is no evidence that he had done that, but Mrs Whitehead and anyone else hearing it were not to know that."
Mr Spencer told the court that Mrs Whitehead, of Northampton, was a believer in witchcraft and had described herself as a "white witch complete with a broomstick at her home".
She joined the coven in October last year after becoming interested in alternative medicine and faith healing. Mr Spencer said that during her initiation Kilminster lay in a coffin as six chanting followers, naked under black cloaks, stood around him.
The court heard that at night the outwardly respectable furniture restorer transformed his business at Irchester, Northants, to a satanic temple, with a black altar decorated with an inverted cross.
Kilminster, of Northampton, denies threatening to kill Mrs Whitehead, and possessing and supplying methadone. The case continues.