Jailed Missionary 'Had a Child by Gambian Man'; MILITARY MAN: David Fulton Liked to Swagger around Pulling Rank in His Gambian Army Uniform SAILING INTO TROUBLED WATERS: David Fulton Bought This [Pounds Sterling]10,000 Cruiser and Went on Voyages to Preach Christianity. Left: Fiona in an African-Style Dress FAMILY SECRET: Fiona Holds Elizabeth, Her Daughter from an Affair, as She Poses with David and Children Luke and Iona

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 11, 2009 | Go to article overview

Jailed Missionary 'Had a Child by Gambian Man'; MILITARY MAN: David Fulton Liked to Swagger around Pulling Rank in His Gambian Army Uniform SAILING INTO TROUBLED WATERS: David Fulton Bought This [Pounds Sterling]10,000 Cruiser and Went on Voyages to Preach Christianity. Left: Fiona in an African-Style Dress FAMILY SECRET: Fiona Holds Elizabeth, Her Daughter from an Affair, as She Poses with David and Children Luke and Iona


Byline: Barbara Jones

Daughter they said was adopted 'was by her Gambian lover'

High Commissioner told him to stop strutting around in uniform

Claims of heroic helicopter mission were nonsense

[pounds sterling]10,000 river cruiser took him on trips to convert Muslims

EXTRAORDINARY new revelations are set to further tarnish the reputations of two British lay preachers sentenced to hard labour for sedition in The Gambia, West Africa.

David and Fiona Fulton pleaded guilty to undermining the country and its president Yahya Jammeh by sending 69 emails to British Christians accusing the Muslim population of extremism and calling The Gambia 'a hellhole'. They were each fined [pounds sterling]6,250 in addition to their one-year sentence.

But while evangelists worldwide last week sent messages of sympathy and began raising funds to pay their fine, The Mail on Sunday can reveal the full extent of the couple's bizarre life as missionaries and how they scandalised the Christian community in The Gambia.

A two-year-old girl the couple brought to their court hearing with them was described as their adopted daughter Elizabeth. But their lawyer, family members and friends say she is actually the product of an affair Fiona had with a Gambian soldier. Her adultery alienated fellow Christians while the couple were working as evangelists, holding prayer meetings, leading Bible studies funded from Britain, and converting local people.

Elizabeth was born at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on February 11, 2006. Fiona, 46, is named as the baby's mother on the birth certificate and David, described as a military chaplain, is named as the father.

They had travelled to England during the pregnancy and returned to The Gambia once Elizabeth was born, expecting to be accepted back into expat society there. But Fiona's 80-year-old father Peter McMinn said at his home in Teignmouth, Devon, yesterday that the marriage had been 'under some strain' due to her pregnancy.

He added: 'David is not Elizabeth's father. But he loves that child.' Mr McMinn has been paying regular sums of [pounds sterling]1,000 into David's bank account 'to help with expenses in The Gambia'.

But in The Gambia's capital Banjul last week it was clear that, in the Fultons' social and professional circles, Fiona's pregnancy had precipitated a crisis matched only by the couple's arrest in November on charges of sedition.

On Christmas Eve the couple heard themselves described in court by Principal Magistrate Edrissa Mbai as being 'without doubt the enemies whose real motive must be to destroy the peace, love and harmony that has existed between Muslims and Christians in The Gambia for generations.' They pleaded guilty to sedition involving sending the emails, which claimed that The Gambia was 'sinking into a morass of Islam'.

In one message David said: 'I believe it's quite clear there is a growing extremist element in the army and indeed the country, I suggest we arm the

Muslims with sticks and the Christians with machine-guns and let them fight.' He also wrote: 'What is going on here is real bad, real bad. Never before have Fiona and I felt such a presence of evil and we are shocked to find opposition in the Christian community.

'It seems I am no longer allowed to tell a Muslim in the armed forces that they are going to hell and that the Christian faith through Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and heaven.' The couple are now serving a year's hard labour at the maximumsecurity Mile Two prison, set in mangrove swamps.

Elizabeth was taken from her mother's arms in court and flown home to Fiona's family in England a few days later with identity papers hastily organised by the British High Commission.

The truth is that David, 60, reinvented himself on arrival in The Gambia in 1999.

Born in the small Scottish town of Kilmarnock, he spent his early adulthood variously as a golf course greenkeeper, a manager at a local garage and a milk services supervisor. …

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Jailed Missionary 'Had a Child by Gambian Man'; MILITARY MAN: David Fulton Liked to Swagger around Pulling Rank in His Gambian Army Uniform SAILING INTO TROUBLED WATERS: David Fulton Bought This [Pounds Sterling]10,000 Cruiser and Went on Voyages to Preach Christianity. Left: Fiona in an African-Style Dress FAMILY SECRET: Fiona Holds Elizabeth, Her Daughter from an Affair, as She Poses with David and Children Luke and Iona
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