A chilling revelation emerged from a harrowing nine-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, where seven members of a child abuse ring, disguising themselves as ‘witches and wizards,’ were found guilty of subjecting primary school-aged children to a campaign of horror.
The sordid acts, including rape and attempted murder, unfolded in a notorious flat dubbed the ‘beastie house.’
A Campaign of Horror: Violent and Sexual Assaults Unveiled
The trial detailed the heinous acts perpetrated by five men and two women against two boys and two girls between 2012 and 2019.
The children endured repeated and violent sexual assaults, forced consumption of drugs and alcohol, and witnessed the pedophile gang engaging in Class A drug use.
In one particularly gruesome incident, a girl was pinned down while the perpetrators cheered and filmed the abuse, exchanging money for their perverse actions.
Courageous Revelation: Victims Break Silence to Expose Depravity
The horrifying truth came to light when the brave victims confided in a couple they had come to know.
Documenting accounts of depraved abuse, witchcraft rituals, and even the killing of dogs in the desolate city hovel, the victims’ testimony prompted a massive police investigation.
Legal Milestone: Unprecedented Number of Accused Individuals on Trial
In a legal milestone, seven men and four women faced trial simultaneously, marking the largest number of accused individuals to appear together in recent Scottish legal history.
This pivotal case triggered a thorough police inquiry into the crimes, leading to the subsequent trial.
Verdict Delivered: Majority Found Guilty on Multiple Charges
Of the 11 accused individuals, seven were found guilty of sex abuse, including rape, and four of attempted murder.
Another woman faced charges of assault. Three individuals were acquitted. The sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2024.
Denials and Claims of Innocence: Accused Maintain Untrue Physical and Sexual Abuse Allegations
Throughout the trial, all accused vehemently denied allegations of physical and sexual abuse, maintaining they were ‘upset’ and ‘shell-shocked’ by the accusations.
The jurors, however, handed down guilty verdicts on the 21 charges related to the abuse that transpired between January 2010 and October 2020.
Convictions and Remands: The Guilty Await Sentencing in Custody
Among those found guilty, Iain Owens, Elaine Lannery, Lesley Williams, Paul Brannan, Scott Forbes, Barry Watson, and John Clark were remanded in custody by Judge Lord Beckett.
Marianne Gallagher was granted bail pending sentencing.
Justice Served: Judge Addresses the Convicted
In his concluding remarks, Judge Lord Beckett stripped the convicted individuals of the presumption of innocence, emphasizing that they had all been found guilty of at least one serious charge.
The sentencing hearing will determine the fate of those involved in this deeply disturbing case.
Child Protection Outcry: NSPCC Labels Case as One of the Worst in Decades
Post-verdict, the NSPCC labeled this case as ‘one of the worst abuse cases seen in decades.’
Police Scotland commended the courage of the victims for coming forward, acknowledging the rarity and severity of the depravity witnessed in this case.
Detective Superintendent Nicola Kilbane emphasized the commitment to supporting victims of sexual crime and protecting children from harm.
Support for Recovery: Urging Victims to Speak Out
Child protection organizations, including Children 1st, underscored the imperative for the traumatized children to receive intensive support for their recovery.
Mary Glasgow, CEO of Children 1st, stressed the unimaginable trauma suffered by the children, urging a collective effort to provide the necessary support for their healing journey.