Family Court: no truth to ‘satanic cult’ claims

News|March 20th 2015

A Family Court judge has ruled that there is no truth to a mother’s claims that her children were part of a satanic cult.

In P and Q (Children: Care Proceedings: Fact Finding), the mother and her partner had accused the father of her two youngest children of abusing them. The accusations were extensive and very disturbing. They included a claim that the father, among other adults such as teachers at the children’s school, had been part of a satanic cult which abused and murdered children.

The two children were the subject of care proceedings launched by the London Borough of Barnet. They had both claimed to be victims of the alleged cult. When interviewed by police they gave explicit details about what had happened to them.

However, at a fact finding hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mrs Justice Pauffley  was “able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true” after an exhaustive look at the available evidence.

The judge ruled that the children had been forced “to provide concocted accounts of horrific events” by their mother and her partner, and that the stories they told police were “the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse”.

Details of the allegations, including the names of the children and the parents, had been uploaded to the internet. As a result, several of those implicated received threatening phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night. Mrs Justice Pauffley noted that many of them are “now living in fear because they have been identified on the internet as abusers of children”.

The judge concluded that the “long term emotional and psychological harm of what was done to the children is incalculable”, but that the internet campaign which stemmed from the case would likely “have the most devastating consequences” for them.

To read the full judgment, click here (includes graphic content).

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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