Non-Existent Hampstead Satanic Cult
The non-existent Hampstead Satanic cult. Why write about it? Every time Satanic cult abuse is brought up it is disproved. It is a well-discredited hoax, is it not? No, it isn’t. Incredible as it seems, there is still an army of people out there in the police, the social services, and other public bodies who give credence to Satanic cult abuse claims. No matter how often it is hit on the head, the zombie rises up again to try and claim another victim. The latest case to come to my attention is a truly astonishing one – astonishing both in its scope, and in the legal judgement that concluded it.
Many of the advocates of Satanic cult abuse try to take away the ‘Satanic cult’ part of it and just talk about ‘abuse’. Well I’m afraid that can’t happen. The supernaturally inspired criminal ‘events’ need to be described so that people know how ridiculous they are. Often – in fact in most cases – the sensational incidents fervently described in excited tones by accusers and their supporters are downright impossible. Let’s get started. I will quote from Mrs Justice Pauffley’s judgement for the Family Court in the Royal Courts of Justice, Re P and Q (Children: Care Proceedings: Fact Finding). I have assembled excerpts from the judgement so that it produces a cumulative narrative. The full judgement can be read and downloaded here: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/gareeva-dearman-2015.pdf. I strongly recommend it a an authorative judgement on a case of historic significance.
10. These are care proceedings brought by the London Borough of Barnet relating to two children, P and Q who are 9 and 8 years old respectively. Their parents are Ella Draper and Ricky Dearman.
11. In September 2014, lurid allegations of the most serious kind were drawn to the attention of the Metropolitan Police. In a variety of ways, it was suggested that P and Q were part of a large group of children from north London who had been sexually abused, made to abuse one another and that they had belonged to a satanic cult in which there was significant paedophile activity.
12. Specifically, it was said that babies were supplied from all over the world. They were bought, injected with drugs and then sent by TNT or DHL to London. The assertions were that babies had been abused, tortured and then sacrificed. Their throats were slit, blood was drunk and cult members would then dance wearing babies’ skulls (sometimes with blood and hair still attached) on their bodies. All the cult members wore shoes made of baby skin produced by the owner of a specified shoe repair shop.
13. Children, it was alleged, would be anally abused by adult members of the cult using plastic penises or “willies.”
14. Christchurch Primary School in Hampstead was said to be where the “main action” occurred but at least seven other local schools were named. East Finchley swimming pool was identified as one of the other meeting venues for the paedophile ring. Rituals were performed, so it was claimed, in an upstairs room at the McDonald’s restaurant where the “boss” allowed child sacrifice because he was a member of the cult. Human babies were prepared, cooked in the ovens within a secret kitchen and then eaten by cult members.
15. It was alleged that the children’s father, Ricky Dearman, was the leader of the cult and that others included the children’s headteacher, Ms Forsdyke, another teacher, Mr Hollings, the priest at the adjacent church, a large number of named parents of other children, social workers, CAFCASS officers and police officers. It was said that, in all, more than a hundred people were involved in ‘doing sex’ to the children.
The police took these claims seriously and investigated them – as, indeed, they were bound to. Forensic science is now at an extraordinary level of exactitude, but not a single shred of evidence to support these fantastic accusations was found. Do I need to even mention how remarkably difficult it would be to hide the traces of such atrocious crimes, if they had occurred? The children were interviewed and repeated the story. Later a doctor gave them a full medical examination.
In the meantime multiple videos were released on the internet to support the claims of the mother and her partner (who was not the biological father). By the time the judgement was made on the 19th of March 2015, these videos had received over 4 million views in the space of about 2 months. The story was an internet sensation. The children were to be seen describing how they were abused by a multitude of individuals, including their father, their teachers, parents of other children at school, police officers, social workers, and members of CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services). The names and telephone numbers of the so-called ‘perpetrators’ were posted online. People received threatening phone calls. In short, a successful propaganda war was waged against them. Many internet visitors believed the story that was told. It was libel on a massive scale.
The mother and her partner – who orchestrated the campaign – did not appear in court. The judge said she had no doubt their absence was deliberate.
All the ‘evidence’ gathered by the police, medical personnel, and social workers, was presented to the court. and was examined in detail.
59. The mother’s case is clearly stated within those documents filed by her. Within a document entitled, “Summaries in support of the accusations made by my children,” Ms Draper [the mother] says this – “The statements made …are not only exceptionally serious, but also so outrageous that they are effectively unbelievable. Hence my then partner Abraham Christie and I talked to them separately on holidays to ensure that their allegations were the truth.”
60. According to the mother, the “most convincing argument of their believability is the utter consistency between what they are saying separately and together, on holiday, back home, when with Jean Clement Yaohirou on 04.09.14 and in the interviews with Barnet Police on 05.09.14 and 11.09.14.” Ms Draper also contends that the medical reports “clearly confirm sexual abuse over many months.” She places emphasis on children having “repeatedly expressed (their) fears of their father killing them, their nightmares and generally post traumatic stress.”
61. In relation to the children’s “supposed retractions,” the mother suggests they are inconsistent with their previous accounts over many weeks to different people. Neither their stories nor their body language on the police video of 17.09.14 are, she says, convincing.
62. Though it did not emerge in any detail from the children’s police interviews, the mother’s claims against the father of the most serious kinds of sexual abuse extend back to the time when P and Q were babies and include grotesque assertions of repeated interference. She also claims that Mr Dearman [the father] rather than Mr Christie [the stepfather] was responsible for the assaults which led to physical signs of injury as found by Dr Hodes last September.
Turning our attention to the self-produced videos made by the mother and her partner:
69. The mobile ‘phone film clips made by the mother and Mr Christie form part of the material relied upon by Ms Draper to support the claims of exceptionally serious abuse. There are 16 short clips in all although 3 appear to be copies. It is useful to set out a reasonably full extract of the first film clip because of the way it sets the scene for the rest.
70. The children are standing at the side of a car in a public place, possibly at an airport. P and Q look tired. There is a noticeable graze on P’s chin and, seemingly, a large bruise in the centre of her forehead.
71. The conversation begins between the two children and Mr Christie. P and Q talk about deciding to stop touching each other and the children. P says they will “face their fear – and face our urge – and stop touching ourselves.” Mr Christie asks, “… what else are you going to stop?” Q replies, “And stop killing babies.” Mr Christie says, “You’re going to face your fear? Because fear is what?” P replies, “Fear is the mind killer.” [Note the quote from the famous book and film, ‘Dune’] Mr Christie then says, “And you’re going to help us catch, who are you going to help us catch?” Both children reply, “All the paedophiles.” P adds, “Papa, Mr Hollings.” Both children say, “the school.” Ms Draper interjects, “All the policemen, all the – Social Services.” Mr Christie urges the children to “speak up, speak up.” The children then repeat, “All the Social Services” and add, “All the shopkeepers – Cafcass – all the cafes, all the Pizza Express – McDonalds.”
72. Mr Christie asks, “Who’s Cafcass? … What’s Cafcass” P and Q reply, “Cafcass is, they work with – they’re for children – they work with Social Services.” Mr Christie asks, “And what did they do to you?” Both children, one after the other, respond, “They do sex … They touch each other – they touch me and Q. They have plastic willies. And they stick it in our bottom.”
73. Mr Christie then asks the children to say who has done this. The children reply, “Everybody does.” In response to his direct questions, “Who, who, who?” the children say, “Papa, Mr Hollings – the school …” The mother interjects, “Parents.” Q adds, “My dad’s family.” Mr Christie then says, “Tell me more people, tell me some more people because I’m interested.” P adds, “Parents, policemen –.”
74. Mr Christie asks, “What about the teachers at the school, who are the main ones?” The children give names and then they are asked what the head teacher does. Both reply simultaneously, “And she does sex.” Next Mr Christie asks, “And what happens in the church?” P replies, “And we do sex with the baby sacrifice and eat the baby.” Mr Christie asks what she means and she says, “So we kill the baby and eat it and drink the blood from it.” Mr Christie asks Q whether that is true. He replies, “Yes. And we dance with the skulls… Baby skulls.”
75. One of Mr Christie’s final questions is as to who kills the babies. Both children reply, “Papa.” Mr Christie then says, “And what, he gets you to help him?” Both children say, “Yes.” P adds, “So he tells us to hold our hand in a knife and then he holds his hand on our hand, so then he cuts the baby’s head off. And he tip it upside down and then we drain the blood.” Ms Draper asks, “And then what they do?” P replies, “And then we cook it and then we drink the blood and after we pick the bones, dance with the skulls…”
76. The other film clips are similar in that the interrogation of the children is undertaken in the main by Mr Christie with occasional interventions by Ms Draper. More and more information about the activities of the cult and the identities of those involved is recorded. In the second extract, the children are instructed to “Tell the camera…. Say what you said to the camera.” Ms Draper at one point says, “So what are we going to do? We’re going to protect other babies – and children, huh? And save those children who are involved or have been forced to be involved, right?”
77. The eighth clip starts with Mr Christie saying to Q, “Keep saying it to her.” It seems that he and the children are, by then, on a plane. Q then pleads with P to “Tell the truth.” He begs her saying, “P it’s really important. If you won’t tell the truth you’ll get yourself into big trouble … so please tell the truth.” The tenth clip continues similarly, Q fervently pleads with P to tell the truth. He says, “Mum and Papa Hemp are protecting you and you have to help them protect yourself … and to protect all of us because we’re in a group. If the group lies we’ll start to get wrong, things will start to happen wrong. And you might like, you might broke a glass, you might hurt yourself.” Mr Christie asks, “What about the babies?” Q replies, “And you might get your back your payment for the babies, you might get killed by someone.”
78. The 4 September audio recording made by Jean Clement Yaohirou [Christies’ brother-in-law] on his mobile ‘phone is a key component of the material relevant to this inquiry. It provides an invaluable record of the interaction between Mr Christie and the children, the various prompts and instructions given by him to the children and, later, an insight into the mother’s attitude towards the children’s relationship with their father.
79. At the very beginning, Mr Christie instructs the children, “Don’t tell Jean Clement any lies … Do you hear me?” He continues, “Otherwise we’ll have to lock you up in the jail. Have you got room to lock her up tonight Jean Clement? Have you got room, yes or no?” Mr Christie then laughs and says, “So tell him what you said. You deserve to be locked up for killing the baby. Listen did you kill any babies?”
80. One of the children replies “No.” Mr Christie asks, “Who killed the babies?” A child replies, “Papa. Papa hold our hand… We put on our hand but we – ” Mr Christie then interrupts, saying “No, he puts your hand on.” The child continues, “And then he puts his hand on ours, cuts off the baby’s head. Because he’s strong – .” Mr Christie interrupts again, “But he teaches you (inaudible).”
81. Mr Christie then explains to Jean Clement Yaohirou in the presence of the children what this is all about. He says, “… you don’t understand what I’m telling you? They are killing babies wholesale, wholesale. They are killing them, they are drinking the blood and they are eating meat, and the skulls of the babies they are tying them, four skulls here …., one here, two here, elbows here. And they are making, what about the shoes, this baby – ” One of the children says, “Yeah, skin, baby skin shoes.” Mr Christie asks “Who makes the baby skin shoes?” A man’s name is given, and in response to the question as to whether he is a shoemaker, the child answers that he is.
82. There is a period early on when Mr Christie asks the children a series of quick fire questions, “What about the doctor, is he one as well? Answer “Yes.” What about your headmistress, is she one as well? A. “Yes” Q. “How many skulls does she wear when she’s dancing?” A. “20.” Q. So how many adults are involved then? A. “So maybe like 400, 400 plus, 450, 430, something like that.” Q. “How many skulls do they wear?” A. “20.” Mr Christie then says, “So, there’s over 400 adults and they’re all wearing 20 skulls each. Can you do the maths? Over 800 (sic).”
83. A little later on in the discussion with Mr Yaohirou, Mr Christie introduces the notion that the mother’s three children are involved with “this cult”. He said the mother had come to him because she knew he could help her, “she didn’t know how and (he, Mr Christie) didn’t know how.” Mr Christie then said, “some of her friends that come to the house – they come to the house and they go to the school and they sex the children behind her back.” Mr Yaohirou asks if everything happened in the school. Mr Christie replies, “In the school, in the church and above at the swimming pool, at the local swimming pool.” One of the children adds, “In the house.” Mr Christie goes on to say, “Happens in school during school hours. You go there on a Wednesday and you will arrest them all. And you will take the children in the school because they do it to every child in the school and I guarantee you, out of the children, 100 of them will talk.”
84. P then says, “And they sell us for £50 each. So Papa sells me and Q.” Mr Christie adds, “At the parties. And 100 people do sex with them … 200 times 50 is how much? 10 grand, I’ve done the maths already…. What else do they sell?” One of the children starts to reply but is told to “Shut up” by Mr Christie who then says, “He makes movies. He makes snuff movies of the babies and he sells them in the Ukraine, in Russia, in Brazil, in Portugal, in Brussels, in England, he sells them all over the world.”
85. At times, Mr Christie sounded very agitated and aggressive, for example when he told Mr Yaohirou that they “have to give the (children’s) passports back to the solicitor who is a member of the paedophile group;” and also when he said “… But we’re not going to let him (the father) see them (the children). We can’t let him see them. They (sic) will kill them.”
86. A little later, there is discussion between Mr Christie and Mr Yaohirou about the court proceedings between the mother and father. Mr Christie explains that Mr Dearman has taken the mother to court “because he wants to see his children.” Mr Christie rhetorically asks, “But why does he want to see them? To do sex to them, to make party, to sell them to other people and to make movies…. We cannot allow it to happen anymore. He must be arrested.” Mr Christie then introduces the topic of “Papa’s secret room” asking one of the children to say what is done there. But nothing is said by either child.
87. There is evident pressure upon the children when, for example, Mr Christie asks, “Has father got keys to the house.” A. “Yeah.” Mr Christie says, “Is it a lie? Is it a lie? We do not have time for lies.”
88. Mr Christie is directive towards the children saying, “Be quiet and go outside now, come on. Hurry up. Outside. Outside. Outside. I don’t play around, just stay there. That’s it. That’s right, discipline.” And a little later, “Sit round the table properly, son. Don’t let me tell you again, you sit down properly, thank you. Thank you. Don’t let me tell you again, sit down at the table properly.” He adds a few minutes later, “and you speak when you’re spoken to. You understand? Come on. Let’s have some respect … let’s help each other and let’s make sure that no more children get killed, ay?” One of the children adds, “And make sure papa goes to jail.”
89. When Ms Draper joined the discussion she initially concentrates upon establishing that a letter and some drawings have been seen by Mr Yaohirou. She also relates a lengthy history of the court proceedings saying she had not wanted “to give (Mr Dearman) the children really.” She had wanted to “kind of limit (contact).” She related the incidents when there was alleged domestic violence; and indicated that Mr Dearman had been “fighting for this contact and (she) had been trying to limit it as much as possible.” One of the children interjects when the mother is struggling to describe the frequency of contact, saying it is “Every Saturday.”
90. Ms Draper tells Mr Yaohirou of a problem she’s had with an upstairs neighbour who didn’t like it that there was a large trampoline in the communal garden. Mr Christie adds that the neighbour complained about “just about anything.” Ms Draper then says, “Apparently the same lady, she’s part of this cult as well.” There is then a discussion between one of the children and Mr Christie in which the child is asked, “Did that old lady upstairs abuse you? She never touched you did she? A. “No but Papa is friends with her … they met each other.” Mr Christie responds, “Papa is friends with her but she does not have an appetite for children?” A. “No.” Mr Christie then says, “She just, in fact she’s just an associate of the cult and she helps them and they help her.” One of the children chip in, “She doesn’t really like children.”
91. In response to Mr Yaohirou’s question as to whether the neighbour attended the meeting, Ms Draper replied, “She was in the parties, you know, these fun set (?sex) parties.” She then asked the children, “did she … participate in, you know, killing babies and drink the blood and all this?” One of the children replied, “Yes, yes, yes, but she doesn’t, she doesn’t touch, like, she doesn’t go near the children – she does, sometimes drink the blood, she does.”
93. Mr Christie described something of the way in which the children had been questioned saying of P, “She lies, instinctively she lies.” He had believed her story, so he told Mr Yaohirou, “Because (he) had questioned her 10 times and then (he) would question him.” They had questioned the children “separately like the police do …” Ms Draper explained it had taken “four weeks to get to the – ” Mr Christie adds, “Ella and I, we will begin to discuss certain aspects of the situation – and by discussing it – we brainstorm and we come up or we work out, we work things out. What she (P) will do while we are talking, she will interrupt us – and distract us with something and send us, like attempt to send us in another complete – We say to her, ‘Be quiet … Don’t distract us anymore”
94. The mother interjects, “Or she listen to our conversation. And she will – ” Mr Christie continues “– use the information, and he does it as well.”
95. Towards the end of the recording there is a passage when the children and Mr Christie are all shouting, excitedly, “Kill, kill, kill.” Mr Christie urges the children to “Say it… Say it how they say it.” A. “Kill, kill, kill.” …. Mr Christie, “What’s the word that you say?” A. “Kill.” Mr Christie, “Say it more for me. I want to hear it…. I like the sound of it. Can you say it together, say it, let’s all say it together.” There is then repeated chanting of the word “Kill” and a little later of the phrase, “Kill the baby.” Once more Mr Christie urges the children on saying, “Let’s say it together. Let’s say it together. Kill the baby.” And they do.
105. Even in the presence of Jean Clement Yaohirou, Mr Christie’s relationship with the children, at times, was harsh and coercive. He had known their mother by then for about four months, had assumed a quasi parent role and taken it upon himself to enforce discipline.
106. Another significant feature of the audio recording relates to the intense animation generated by Mr Christie when he is urging the children to chant, over and over again, “Kill the babies … Kill, kill, kill … Let’s say it together … I like the sound of it!” The children, unsurprisingly, join in with the chanting and Mr Christie’s evident excitement.
107. It is a curious fact that prior to the launch of these proceedings, no police officer had listened to the audio recording made by Jean Clement Yaohirou or watched the film clips of the children. DI Cannon made inquiries at my request to discover that DC Rogers, the member of his team who received the film clips and the audio recording from Mr Yaohirou, had sent them to a property store in Chingford. The focus would appear to have been upon arranging almost immediate ABE interviews.
108. I say no more at this stage than that the police and social services inquiry could have taken an entirely different course if attention had been given to those recordings. At the very least, the questions asked of P and Q at interview would have been directed towards other areas of interest.
112. When P was re-interviewed by DC Martin on 11 September she described how Mr Christie [the stepfather – one of the accusers] would give her and Q “soft licks … it’s like a spoon hit … because we keep on lying … the only way that we could tell is by him hurting us.” Asked what her Mum said about that, P answered, “She thought it was a good idea. Because then after, when we had licks and we have water torture … So us so that we could tell.” According to P, her Mum thought it was “a good idea he gets loads of jugs of warm water – spills it on us, he says that he’s blessing to do that so that (they) could tell.”
On the 17th of September 2014 the children were interviewed by the police again, but this time retracted their confessions.
140. DC Martin was asked to explain why the decision was made to interview the children again on 17 September. It is Ms Draper’s case that between 11 and 17 September the police and the children’s foster carers placed pressure upon them to change their story. DC Martin said that prior to collecting P and Q from the foster home he had not met either foster parent. DC Martin was accompanied by DC Carl Savage, who had not previously met the children. Neither of them had any conversation with the foster parents relating to the allegations. If anything of note had been said by anyone prior to the ABE interviews it would have been recorded.
141. The decision to have a third interview arose because “of the sheer amount of stuff” emerging from the second, said DC Martin, and for clarification. During the drive to the interviewing suite, according to DC Savage, the children had said something along the lines of ‘they had made up the allegations and it was all to do with the Mask of Zorro.’
142. As emerges from the interviews themselves, both P and Q did indeed withdraw their claims, all of them. P said that Abraham [Christie] had told them what to say. She had told him that E, one of her female friends, had touched her – Abraham had said, “No, it’s your Dad.” P said that “it was all made up,” everything about the school, the church, the swimming pool; none of it was true. Abraham, she said, “had hurt (her) and used bad words … ‘ a stupid little cunt”. She was scared and worried. Her mother had not stopped Abraham “because she loves him so much.” P described him as “an idiot.” As for her father, P said he is “fine and good.”
143. Q’s interview was initially somewhat confused. He said, “Yeah there is still some of the babies killed … Not much (are there babies killed)…. I lied about it because he (Mr Christie) made me say it.” A little later, Q said, “None of it was real…. The plastic willies were not true.” Abraham had “slapped (his ear) as hard as he could.” Q said, “I hate Abraham” and he did not want to see him again. He described how his mother “would be really angry with (him).”
144. Dr Sturge assessed the children on 5 November 2014. P related that Mr Christie would tell her that “for lying she would go to prison for 20 years and never see her grandparents or Mum again.” P commented, “Abraham loved my Mum so much. He even blamed her for being in the gang.” He had kept on asking her, “Any other people.” He had threatened her with the spoon and poked her so hard in the chin with it that she had a big mark. When Abraham had asked her about plastic willies in her bottom, she had denied this. He had said, “How come Q told me.” The Vaseline had been, said P, Q’s idea. He knew one of her friends used it (for her lips). P said, “Thing is, Abraham came up with stuff we didn’t know and came up with ideas too.” Abraham was always saying Q was a good boy for telling him things and that she was lying and would go to jail.
145. Dr Sturge asked P what the word ‘paedophile’ means. P replied that Abraham had said her Dad is a paedophile and explained what it meant. P had only a minimal understanding of ‘the facts of life’ and sex was “inappropriate stuff like touching each other in the privates.” Dr Sturge asked P about living with her mother. She said, not at the moment – “I feel angry with her, letting Abraham do all that stuff to us.” She had one question of Dr Sturge, could she live with her foster mother until she is 14 or 15?
146. Q responded immediately to Dr Sturge’s question as to whether he knew why she was seeing him. He said, “cos Abraham said something I never did and he forced me to say it, he was really mean to us.” Abraham had accused him of touching his sister in the private parts which he “never, ever did.” And he forced them to say their Dad touches them. Abraham had also forced them to say they kill babies. Q said he had wanted Abraham to stop hitting him, “I was scared for him to hit me.” At that Q’s face creased up and he began to cry quietly. “He kept asking us questions again, and again and again.” His mother had started to believe him. Q said, “It upsetted me” and he became even more distressed.
147. Q described how Abraham had been asking them all day. He had even woken them up and hit them. The hitting was if they didn’t wake up and talk. Asked how his mother had reacted, Q said “she didn’t mind.” He was asked about living with his mother and replied that “if she still believes it, (he) wouldn’t want to live with her.” Later he described with great vehemence that he would never live with his Mum while Abraham was still in the British Isles. She would just phone him and he’d come to their house. Q also said, spontaneously, that he hates Abraham, describing him as “the worst person I’ve ever met.”
49. Q was distressed again when talking about having to stand when cold water was poured on him – “(dressed) just in our pants – he thought we was lying – when I cried and said my Mum never touched us, he said, ‘If you’re crying you’re lying.’” By then, according to Dr Sturge, Q was crying in a very distressed way.
The children’s demeanour during the 17 September interview with the police and in their discussion with Dr Sturge is a factor of relevance to the inquiry.
151. It seemed to me that on 17 September P in particular was relieved to be unburdening herself and revealing the truth. Some of the ongoing and quite complex processes in Q’s mind were manifest. At the outset, it seemed as though he was still confused but gradually he, too, became clear in saying he had been forced to make untrue claims. There was none of the frantic scramble to provide answers to questions as in the earlier interviews. Both children were a great deal calmer.
152. Q was evidently and genuinely connected on an emotional level with the content of his revelations to Dr Sturge.
So there’s absolutely no doubt – the children had been threatened by the mother’s partner to make these accusations, had been physically abused and told that horrendous fates awaited them if they did not say they had been sexually assaulted as part of the activities of a large Satanic cult. The children were frightened of him – in fact they were terrified of him. The man that was claiming they had been abused was the man that was abusing them.
From the earlier executive summary, the judge said:
6. Many of those individuals [accused of being part of the Satanic cult] are now living in fear because they have been identified on the internet as abusers of children and their contact details including telephone numbers, home and email addresses have been published. Lives have been disrupted. Several of those implicated have received malicious, intimidating ‘phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night from all over the world. For example, “Hey cock. We’re coming for you. You scum paedo.”
7. It has been necessary for the police to protect worried parents and children at the gates of the school in Hampstead at the centre of the allegations. Prospective parents have wondered whether to withdraw their children from allocated places. Existing parents have been uniformly supportive of the school and every member of the teaching staff.
9. This necessarily lengthy judgment has one essential purpose. It is to provide definitive conclusions upon a quantity of evidence at the end of a thorough-going hearing. I have surveyed the relevant history as well as all of the significant developments in a wide-ranging police and social services investigation. Everything of importance on all sides of the dispute has been considered so as to enable me to arrive at authoritative findings.
16. I am able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true. I am entirely certain that everything Ms Draper, her partner Abraham Christie and the children said about those matters was fabricated. The claims are baseless. Those who have sought to perpetuate them are evil and / or foolish.
17. All the indications are that over a period of some weeks last summer, P and Q were forced by Mr Christie and Ms Draper, working in partnership, to provide concocted accounts of horrific events. The stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is a strong word but it is the most accurate way to describe what was done to the children by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms Draper.
From the concluding summary at the end of the judgement:
153. In addition to my findings already made both within the opening paragraphs of the judgment and subsequently it is necessary to consider how and the extent to which the children have been harmed.
154. Both P and Q have suffered significantly. Their innocence was invaded. Their minds were scrambled. Their grip on reality was imperilled. They were introduced to sexual practices of which they had no real understanding at a time when they should have been shielded from such things.
155. Perhaps most significantly of all, the children were made to absorb and repeat on film and in interview grotesque claims against so many blameless people including the father whom they love.
156. I have no doubt but that the physical injuries described by the children as having been inflicted by Abraham Christie were, indeed, caused by him. I reject as baseless Ms Draper’s suggestion that instead Mr Dearman was responsible. A straightforward conclusion given that neither child had seen him for about three months at the time of Dr Hodes’ examination and subsequent police photography. Those photographs clearly show recent rather than healed injuries.
157. There is good evidence to find, as I do, that in the three months leading to their reception into care both children ingested cannabis. Scientific analysis revealed that both children had metabolites of the drug (THC) in their hair – a finding which could not be explained by ingestion of ‘hemp based products’ because none would contain sufficient levels of cannabis to produce the metabolite. It is impossible for the analysts to say whether the children had ingested the drug whether by passive smoking or oral ingestion. However, the children were clear in interview when describing the way hemp was made into soup using the juicer.
158. The amounts found in the children’s hair samples suggested their ingestion had not been, as Ms Cave of Lextox described, a “one-off” but regular over the period. It is hard to imagine how any parent could deliberately expose a child to an illegal drug. But it may have been part of Mr Christie’s and Ms Draper’s plan so as to gain the children’s compliance. I need hardly say now [how] profoundly damaging it was to administer illegal drugs to a child.
159. The posting of film clips featuring the children speaking about sexual matters has exposed P and Q to the potential for very serious embarrassment and humiliation in the years ahead maybe, even, throughout the whole of the rest of their lives. Doubtless they will grow and develop so that their visual appearances will alter. But it may be difficult to shield them from unwelcome interest and reputational damage unless radical steps to divert attention are taken.
160. If there is one key message at the end of this inquiry it is that it is not and never will be sufficient to consider just one or two evidential features in isolation. It is always necessary to take account of all the material not just a selection. Those who arrived at their own early conclusions on the basis of partial material were woefully misguided.
161. The individuals who have watched online film clips, read online articles and believed in the allegations would do well to reflect that ‘things may not be what they seem’ and that it is all too easy to be duped on the basis of partial information. There are many campaigning people, sadly, who derive satisfaction from spreading their own poisonous version of history irrespective of whether it is true or not.
162. Proper consideration should always be given to the context within which allegations are made. In this instance, years of court conflict over the issue of contact and Ms Draper’s antipathy for Mr Dearman provided fertile territory for the creation of false allegations and their reiteration by the children.
163. The history of the key protagonists may also play a part in untangling the intrigue so as to get at the truth. Mr Christie has a background of criminality for drugs offences, violence and dishonesty. More recently, he received a police caution for assaulting his adolescent son.
164. Finally, that it is never possible to predict how a court inquiry of this kind will unfold. Against the preconceptions of many including my own, when the maternal grandparents gave evidence on 4 March 2015 they made their views about the allegations plain. They consider them to be “total nonsense and fantasies.”
165. This is a summary of my salient findings –
- Neither child has been sexually abused by any of the following – Ricky Dearman, teachers at Christchurch Primary School Hampstead, the parents of students at that school, the priest at the adjacent church, teachers at any of the Hampstead or Highgate schools, members of the Metropolitan Police, social workers employed by the London Borough of Camden, officers of Cafcass or anyone else mentioned by Ms Draper or Mr Christie.
- The children’s half brother, his father and stepmother – Will and Sarah Draper – are likewise exonerated of any illicit or abusive acts involving the children.
- There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children were sexually abused.
- All of the material promulgated by Ms Draper now published on the internet is nothing other than utter nonsense.
- The children’s false stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is the most accurate way to describe what was done by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms Draper.
- Both children were assaulted by Mr Christie by being hit with a metal spoon on multiple occasions over their head and legs, by being pushed into walls, punched, pinched and kicked. Water was poured over them as they knelt semi-clothed.
- The long term emotional and psychological harm of what was done to the children is incalculable. The impact of the internet campaign is likely to have the most devastating consequences for P and Q.
The Hampstead Satanic cult case is a classic example of the Satanic panic in action. There are too many aspects to it that echo the traditional Satanic cult case to point them out. It is remarkable in numerous ways. The videos released on the internet were vital evidence and yet were unseen by the police. In and of themselves they could have totally altered the investigation by virtue of the impossiblity of their claims, however they were not considered. Medical ‘evidence’ was produced, which was shown to be insubstantial. Authoritative evidence was claimed by the mother to be found in the testimonies alone of the children. Those testimonies were then discovered to be the production of brutal abuse, accompanied by threats of punishment if the right fictions were not maintained. The claims were at the centre of a child custody battle. Lies and innuendos were spread about families, friends and professionals, about the police, the church, and the social services. No crime was deemed too extravagant. Not only was murder central to the plot, but – according to the calculations of the conspirators – hundreds or even thousands of murders were a critical aspect of the Satanic cult’s behaviour. Drugs played their part – and not only with the adults, but with the children as well. One steps back from the case and sees how extraordinary it is that the ‘evidence’ presented was taken so seriously.
The damage that was done to the chidren by the accusers was incalculable. The damage done to innocent parents, teachers and professionals who worked in the area may even be irreparable, with the internet videos being moved from one website to another. Satanic abuse accusations are not a joke. They ruin lives, wreck people’s health, destroy families, and cause untold chaos. Those that perpetrate such appalling nonsense should be made to face the consequences of their actions. They should not be allowed to engage in these activities and walk away scot free. There need to be repercussions. That’s a matter for another debate, but one is yet again left with a feeling of total incredulity that these events could still be happening in the year 2015. There is a problem here that needs to be addressed, for which adequate remedies should be proposed and implemented. I shake my head when I read through the story, but, it should be emphasised, a victory has been won for commonsense, and for that I, for one, am grateful.
There are two other excellent articles you might want to look at if you would like to see perspectives on the case. Both have been written by practising barristers: The Hampstead Cult that Wasn’t – The Satanic Panic Revisited, and The So-Called “Hampstead Satanic Cult” Should Be A Warning To The Credulous.
In addition, the British False Memory Society also has an interesting article on the case, providing an excellent short overview: http://bfms.org.uk/march-2015/hampstead-satanic-cult-hoax
Again, the full judgement can be read here: