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Folkestone Bishop Jean Gilson-Levi banned from driving after failing to prove he had insurance documents

A Folkestone Bishop – who leads a “miracle crusade” – couldn’t save himself from a fine and a driving ban today.

Comedian-turned-clergyman Jean Gilson-Levi had appealed a magistrates’ decision to suspend his licence for twice driving without insurance.

But despite having five months to prepare his “sermon” to a judge and two magistrates..he failed to produce Belgian documents proving he was insured.

Gilson-Levi admitted the offence
Gilson-Levi admitted the offence

So Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl told him his appeal was dismissed – despite his claims to have emailed the documents to Canterbury Crown Court.

Gilson-Levi is a 50 year old Belgian-born missionary and founder of the Restored Covenant Churches of God, a Pentecostal apostolic organisation.

But Channel Magistrates heard how a police officer on patrol at 3.50pm in October 2013 in Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone when they spotted a Jeep Cherokee with the registration number “ACT 238”.

The officer tried to stop the vehicle, driven by Gilson-Levi, of Southernwood Rise, Folkestone, who then drove into Shorncliffe Crescent.

The magistrates were told that the officer then ordered the Jeep to stop and asked why the clergyman had driven away.

He said Gilson-Levi said he was looking for his daughter who was walking home from school but “couldn’t give the officer a straight answer as to why he had taken that route”, the court heard.

The bishop kept telling the PC he was “ a man of the cloth and a good person” and that the officer would “go to hell”.

Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl. Picture: Chris Davey
Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl. Picture: Chris Davey

But in the boot of the vehicle the officer found another number plate – one which was registered as belonging to the Jeep.

Gilson-Levi was asked for proof he had British insurance documents for the vehicle but claimed he only had a Belgian policy.

The clergyman added that the vehicle had his personal number plate and he was planning to drive it to Belgium where he was going to donate it to the church.

But when the officer told him he didn’t believe the Jeep was insured, Gilson-Levi stood in the middle of the road “stamping his feet like a toddler and shouting how he was a good person”.

At the magistrates' court hearing in August the clergyman claimed he had a copy of the insurance certificate on his phone but it wasn’t capable of being read.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

He was banned from driving for six months after being given 14 penalty points for two offences and ordered to pay £475 in fines and costs.

It was then he appealed, promising to produce the Belgian car insurance – but when he failed, the judge, sitting with two magistrates, refused to adjourn the case and dismissed the appeal.

On the Internet Gilson-Levi says he is a bishop “who was in the show business as a comedian for many years before he knew about the gospel.”

It adds: “After his conversion he went to Bible college, then became a missionary for many years. He built churches in France, Belgium, Italy, Congo, Switzerland and England.

“Bishop Gilson is well known for his mass miracles crusade around the world and for his intensive evangelism.”

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