Mormon missionary beats up potential convert

Ananova, June 2, 2000

A Mormon missionary knocked on one door hoping to save a soul - but ended up bashing the householder. The man of the church called on 29-year-old bricklayer Peter Munro hoping to convert him to the way of the righteous.

Instead the churchman smote his enemy with his fists - putting Mr Munro out like a light with five stitches and a severely bruised ego. An embarrassed Mr Munro told the New Zealand Herald that he can normally "handle" himself.

"But I had no idea this was coming," he said, before admitting the incident had not gone down well with his friends. "Everyone was cracking up and it is a blow to the ego being beaten up by a God-botherer."

The missionary and a colleague had called on Mr Munro's house in rural Levin, New Zealand, the District Court heard. Mr Munro told them he was not interested. They left and 20 minutes later Mr Munro drove into town for a haircut.

But after he came home the missionaires were back, accusing him of trying to run them over as they were riding their bikes. "I said: 'Sorry, you've got the wrong man here'," Mr Munro told the court. "Next minute he's got me by the throat." When he came round the missionaries were gone and he was bleeding from the head.

He is adamant he did not try to run the pair over - telling the court he didn't even see them in town.

The churchman pleaded guilty to assault - but was discharged without conviction - with the ruling he must not be identified. The court was packed with his supporters from the Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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