'GENTLE SHEPHERD' Self-styled white wizard Moses Peter on Torbay Road
TORBAY'S 'gentle shepherd' has broken his silence to tell thousands of fans that police will not move him from his favourite seafront site.
Speculation has spread in recent weeks that Moses Peter, having being spoken to by officers, would have to leave his popular Torbay Road seat, where he waves at motorists and passers-by.
The public concern came after it was reported that complaints had been raised because of drivers honking their horns in support of the self-styled white wizard.
Moses, who is being hailed by fans as a 'living tourist attraction', said he does not want to cause controversy.
However, he was adamant that he will continue his mission to spread happiness from Torquay seafront.
He added: "The matter's closed now. I'm touched by people's concern, but I don't want this recent event to detract from my message, which is the reason I'm here.
"I'm the gentle shepherd, spreading happiness. Love and religion is my message."
Herald Express readers have sent a number of letters expressing their fear that Moses might be forced to move on.
Derek Russell, of Paignton, said: "What harm does this gentleman do? He gives a lot of people a smile and probably reduces road rage.
"Where is the sense of humour and tolerance? Moses sits at the side of the road, waving and dispensing happiness to stressed-out drivers."
Moses' plight has concerned people of all ages across South Devon, and two teenagers wrote to the Herald Express to add: "We don't know the nature of the complaints, but we think it is outrageous.
"What does waving and trying to spread general happiness to passers-by do to harm the community? He has brought so much happiness to the community."
Police confirmed that they had spoken with Moses, but said they are supportive of him because he is not posing a danger to motorists or causing a public nuisance.
Local policing sergeant Dave McCaffery said: "We can confirm that we have received a very small number of calls about Moses's presence in the Livermead area and its perceived effect on motorists.
"Moses is a popular figure and it is not the role of the police to interfere with his perfectly lawful actions and intentions, and we wish him well for the future.
"However, we would ask that motorists consider the effect of continual horn sounding on the residents and businesses in the area, as I'm sure it was never Moses' intention to cause them any inconvenience.
"Drivers are ultimately responsible for the safe and considerate use of their vehicles, so please be sensible."
Tim Rew, who runs the Livermead House Hotel, next to Cockington Lane, where Moses regularly sits, stressed that he had not contacted the police.
He added: "I have no axe to grind at all. I think he is a smashing fellow. It is nice to see cheerful people in Torbay.
"I have not got a complaint to make against him. He is doing nothing wrong, and I wish him every success in creating a little happiness around the Bay.
"But this is a business and I feel very sorry for my guests who pay for their accommodation here.
"When somebody sits as he does, and you are open for business and your elderly guests are trying to sleep, it can be difficult.
"Each person who drives past breaks the law by blowing their horn. It is car by car, lorry by lorry, van by van. That drip, drip is like Chinese torture.
"It is also outside those nice properties on the front. I wouldn't blame any one of them for getting upset.
"I have had a word with him myself. He had taken on board what I said and we will wait and see."