A CHURCH minister tried to force his hand between a woman's legs while her eyes were closed in prayer, a jury at Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

The witness accused Pastor John Wilson of inappropriate sexual behaviour after she turned to the Pentecostal faith because she was "overwhelmed with trouble".

She said he pressed her stomach like he was "kneading a piece of bread" before pushing his hand between her legs during a private prayer session about nine years ago.

The woman, who cannot be identified, said she and her husband began attending the Pentecostal church in Shipley, presided over by Wilson, because there was turmoil going on in their lives.

The church "accentuated a lot on demons" but Wilson was kind and caring and she felt welcome.

He prayed for her and the church paid for a holiday for the couple.

"I thought he was a bit overbearing but when you are in a desperate strait, you reach out," she told the jury.

She said she visited Wilson for help, support and ministering when she was emotionally brittle and vulnerable.

The woman said he preached that people were affected by demons inside them.

"I thought the ministry was unbalanced. It accentuated too much on that kind of thing," she said.

The woman said she was indecently assaulted when she and her husband attended a private prayer session at a room at the church.

Wilson asked to draw the curtains and sat on the floor in front of her.

She said he touched her tummy while her eyes were shut and then tried to force his hand between her legs but she pushed him away.

Cross-examined by Wilson's barrister, Jo Sidhu, the woman denied that she "freaked out" when he touched her stomach above her waist line.

"He was utterly convinced that what he was doing was God's work," Mr Sidhu said.

Wilson, 70, of Shann Avenue, Keighley, denies sexually abusing seven women to rid them of evil spirits. He pleads not guilty to 31 allegations, including two of rape, 24 of indecent assault, four of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault.

His wife Mary Wilson, 79, of the same address, pleads not guilty to two charges of indecent assault and a single allegation of conspiracy to commit indecent assault.

Laurence Peterson, 59, of Eric Street, Keighley, denies three charges of indecent assault and four allegations of conspiracy to commit indecent assault.

The trial continues.