Hampstead Satanic child abuse 'fantasy' ruined lives of innocent families
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:40 20 April 2015
Devastating and false allegations that a Satanic paedophile ring has been operating out of a school and church in Hampstead have plunged innocent families into a "nightmare" as they continue to be targeted by "foolish and evil" vigilantes.
Parents’ addresses, phone numbers and even the names of their young children have been published online alongside the discredited and “baseless” child abuse claims in a disturbing series of events that has seen the material shared worldwide.
The claims, seen by more than four million people online, have left many of those named in a constant state of fear.
The families concerned have been provided with panic alarms and advised to fit fire-proof letterboxes after threats started flooding in from those believing the allegations. Police have also stood guard outside the school and church to protect parents and pupils.
It comes after videos of two young children, published online, saw them make baseless claims they were sexually abused by a satanic cult operating out of Christ Church and the adjacent primary school in Hampstead.
A list of names and contact details of innocent teachers, parents, police officers and a priest were published alongside.
Seven other nearby schools were also wrongly implicated.
But last Thursday, after a three-week court case – and police interviews in which the children retracted their allegations – a High Court judge found the claims to be “nothing other than utter nonsense”.
Mrs Justice Pauffley found the children had been “tortured” into making the claims by their own mother, Ella Draper, and partner, Abraham Christie, being punched, kicked and doused with water while semi-clothed.
Ms Draper was in the midst of a battle with the children’s father Ricky Dearman, also wrongly accused, over access arrangements.
The judge said: “Many of those individuals 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.”
Mrs Justice Pauffley added: “The claims are baseless. Those who have sought to perpetuate them are evil and / or foolish.”
Speaking to the Ham&High, parents affected say their lives have been “turned upside down” by the affair.
One said: “The last six weeks have been a living nightmare for us. I’m in a constant state of fear, worried that people from the internet believing in all this will try to kidnap my children. I haven’t been able to sleep. It’s been hell.”
Another added: “It’s totally destroyed our lives. I’ve had abusive phone calls and people saying they want to hang us on Hampstead Heath. My mother’s suffered a complete breakdown and won’t leave the house.”
A third said: “We all feel sick – especially that our children’s names have been published.”
A statement from Christ Church school has been published here.
After being asked about the judge’s findings that the two children had been tortured by their mother and her boyfriend, a police spokesman said: “Following the ruling made by the High Court and comments made by the Judge, officers from the Child Abuse Investigation Team based at Barnet are investigating whether any offences of child abuse have taken place.”
The police also have an ongoing investigation into harassment with suspects wanted for questioning.