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Brittish vampires harass vicar


Two men obsessed with vampires waged a three-month religious harassment campaign against a vicar and his family, a court heard today.

Scott Bower and Benjamin Lewis targeted the Rev Christopher Rowberry, his wife Karen and teenage children Hannah and Simon, it was alleged.

The pair, who were later joined by Lewis's 19-year-old girlfriend Natalie Gibson, made howling noises from a graveyard close to the family's vicarage near Totton, Hampshire.

Bower, of School Road, Eling, Totton, and Lewis and Gibson, both of Kinross Road, Totton, deny religiously aggravated harassment between October 1 and December 31, 2002.

They are also alleged to have made several disturbing and abusive telephone calls, set off fireworks at the vicarage and left obscene pictures, including one of a disembowelled Christ, on a church notice board.

When police raided Lewis's home, they discovered pictures of him and Bower apparently cutting themselves and drinking each other's blood.

James Newton-Price, prosecuting, told Southampton Crown Court the harassment started in October 2002 when howling and personal abuse started to occur at Mr Rowberry's home. He was vicar of St Mary the Virgin Church in Eling Hill, Totton.

Mr Newton-Price said Mr Rowberry became aware of two men, who the prosecution say are Lewis and Bower, in the area of the churchyard.

Initially there was just howling but soon fireworks were being aimed at the house, obscene pictures displayed and "spooky and sinister" messages played down the telephone.

The jury was told that sometimes the family was subjected to phone calls in the early hours. On one occasion Mr Rowberry could not take his phone off the hook because he had to be available to help a dying parishioner.


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