Judge threatens to arrest woman involved in Hampstead Satanic abuse ‘fantasy’ case
- Credit: Archant
A woman accused of perverting the course of justice in a case concerning false allegations a satanic paedophile ring was operating in Hampstead has been warned she faces arrest should she fail to attend her next hearing.
Neelu Berry, 56, is alleged to have published online witness statements relating to a High Court hearing into claims a child abuse ring was operating out of Christ Church Primary School.
The claims, made by two children last year and which were seen by millions of people over the internet, led to a witch hunt in which innocent families in Hampstead saw their names and addresses published online. Many received death threats and abuse from those believing the allegations.
In March, a High Court judge found the claims to be “nothing other than utter nonsense”, and said they formed part of a custody dispute between the children’s mother, Ella Draper, and innocent father, Ricky Dearman.
Ms Draper and her partner, Abraham Christie, were said by Justice Pauffley to have tortured the children into making the false claims.
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Berry, of Peel Drive, Ilford, has been a supporter of the mother’s claims and the charge against her follows her involvement in the campaign. She was due to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on Wednesday but failed to attend.
Her defence, Ms Adele Harrison, showed the court a medical certificate to excuse her from appearing.
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This was despite Berry claiming she had not attended a previous hearing the day before because she was confused about the date.
On Wednesday, judge Henry Blacksell QC said: “I do not accept the medical certificate for the purposes of non-attendance at the crown court. Ms Berry must attend on December 2. A warrant will be issued if she does not.”