Discredited Hampstead Satanic sex abuse ‘protestors’ told to stay away from vicar and worshippers
- Credit: Archant
Two campaigners accused of spreading discredited claims of a Satanic paedophile ring have been told they must stay away from a vicar and his parishioners.
Neelu Berry, 57, accused Reverend Paul Conrad of being in league with the devil after storming into a service at Christ Church in Hampstead, it was said.
Despite being found not guilty of plotting to intimidate witnesses at a judge’s direction, Berry and co-defendant Sabine McNeill, 71, were hit with restraining orders preventing them from harassing Rev Conrad and his congregation.
Berry was charged with intimidating witnesses after a trial collapsed in October, when two witnesses failed to attend.
Prosecutors claimed the self-styled “campaigner” deliberately schemed to scare them off with blogger Sabine McNeill, 71.
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The alleged plot involved witness statements – which contained the parishioners’ names and addresses – being scanned and uploaded onto McNeill’s blog about “child-snatching and satanic crimes”.
The pair denied one count of conspiracy to intimidate witnesses, rejecting accusations that there was an agreement to upload the documents or to scare the complainants.
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McNeill accepted that the files were sent to her but claimed: “While I believe I published the article in question I don’t remember any details at all.
“I’m surprised it took the witnesses 10 months to let me know of any intimidation caused.”
Prosecutor Steven Attridge said Rev Conrad was “shocked” to see his statement appear on her site, which includes articles such as “Lucifer [Satan and the Devil] is the Secret God” and links to antisemitic blogs.
Mr Attridge said: “He felt that the statement was being used to blacken his character.
“He found it very intimidating knowing that they were for anyone to see, especially as they were alongside allegations of child abuse on the same site.”
Church warden Paul Goss and his wife Valerie said the publication of their statements made them fear for the safety of their family.
“She felt that people might take the law into their own hands, such is the heat of what has occurred outside Christ Church,” said Mr Attridge.
Parishioner Sophie Dix said she felt she was being “driven away from her home” and withdrew her statement saying: “I don’t wish it to go any further because I’m so concerned about my own safety.”
But Berry and McNeill did not accept that any intimidation had been caused.
Judge Daniel Worsley directed the jury to find them not guilty after a five-day trial at Blackfriars Crown Court, but they were both issued with restraining orders barring them from harassing Rev Conrad and his clergy.
In March 2015 Mrs Justice Anna Pauffley told the High Court the claims were ‘utter nonsense’ in a damning judgement which found that “evil” mother Ella Draper had “tortured” her two young children into making the allegations against the “blameless” parishioners.
Berry, of Peel Drive, Clayhall, Ilford, and McNeill, of Goldhurst Terrace, West Hampstead, have both been issued with restraining orders which bar them from harassing Rev Paul Conrad, Paul Goss, Valerie Goss, or Sophie Dix and her children.
The orders, which will remain in place indefinitely, also bar them from harassing any other member of clergy at Christ Church or any members of staff or pupils at Christ Church Primary School.