Man jailed over Hampstead 'satanic abuse' hoax
PUBLISHED: 11:08 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:20 07 September 2017
A blogger has been jailed for nine months after harassing parents of children caught up in false allegations of a ‘satanic paedophile ring’ at a Camden school.
A Southwark Crown Court jury found American Rupert Wilson Quaintance guilty on two counts of putting people in fear of violence.
The 38-year-old threatened four mothers and a father of pupils at Christ Church Primary School, in Hampstead, following a child abuse hoax which saw parents, staff and a vicar falsely accused.
The accusers alleged children had been sexually abused with further false claims that babies were drugged and sacrificed.
Although the allegations – which surfaced in 2014 – were dismissed in a High Court hearing by Mrs Justice Pauffley, parents are still the target of harassment on social media.
One parent said: “It’s encouraging to see the Crown Prosecution Service and courts are finally addressing these crimes.
“This could have happened to any parent in any school in any part of the UK but it happened to us.
“Sadly, every single one of us is only moments away from anyone who wants to harm us with just a few clicks of the keyboard.”
Belsize Park councillor Leila Roy, who has supported families since 2015, said: “This conviction is only the first step. Hopefully, everyone who has been harassing the families will be silenced now.
“For too long people have felt safe to harass others online, but this sends a clear message - no more.”
Quaintance was arrested in south east London in September 2016 after travelling from his home in Charlottsville, Virginia to carry out his campaign outside the school.
He was charged with five counts of harassment and found guilty of two. He was sentenced on August 30 to 9 months on each charge to be served concurrently. Quaintance was also banned from posting anything about the false allegations online.