Mum ‘who tortured kids’ to invent Hampstead Satanic abuse fantasy loses appeal

Ella Draper saw her appeal thrown out by the High Court

Ella Draper saw her appeal thrown out by the High Court - Credit: Archant

A fugitive mother accused by a High Court judge of torturing her own children and forcing them to invent allegations of a Satanic child abuse ring operating in Hampstead, has failed to have the ruling overturned.

Ella Draper and boyfriend Abraham Christie were said to have subjected two children, now in care, to “relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse”.

The “torture”, as it was described in a High Court judgement in March, led to “baseless” allegations by the children about a Satanic paedophilic ring operating at Christ Church Primary School in Hampstead, led by their own father, the actor Ricky Dearman.

Justice Pauffley described the claims as a “fantasy”, saying some of the children’s claims had similarities to C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

She said the affair was part of a wider battle over custody between the mother and the father.

On Tuesday, Ms Draper’s legal representatives sought to have the damning judgement thrown out.

Her lawyer, Aseem Taj, claimed Ms Draper was “prevented from attending the hearing in March” and had only fled the country because “she panicked” and was “terrified of the stories she had heard from her children”. Mr Taj said a bungled attempt by police officers to arrest her in February, which saw Ms Draper escape out the window of a home and run along the roofline, had left her fearful of her life.

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Her lawyer also argued the police investigation into the children’s claims was “inadequate” and evidence heard by Justice Pauffley, in the absense of Ms Draper, was “not properly examined”.

With Ms Draper still not present at court, Lord Justice Ryder described all the grounds for appeal as “flawed”. He added: “The mother was deliberately absent from the hearing.”

The appeal was not granted.