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Hampstead Satanic Ritual Abuse Hoaxer Sabine McNeill Convicted

From Court News UK:

A pensioner described as an ‘online troll of the worst kind’ is facing jail for accusing innocent parents of satanic abuse. Sabine McNeill, 74, led a campaign to uncover claims of devil worship and child abuse at a primary school in Hampstead, northwest London. McNeill harassed four mothers, who cannot be named, by claiming they were members of a cult who cooked babies and ate them.

The rest of the article is paywalled, although what appears to be a derivative account can be seen at Metro. The latter includes the claim that “Her claims were so realistic that a police investigation was launched into the blameless parents”, which is not quite accurate: the origin of the affair was that two children at the school had been coached by their mother and step-father to make allegations of Satanic sex abuse, and their precociously sexually explicit accounts would have been of greater concern to the police.

In 2015, there was a protest outside a church next to the school, consisting of a weird coalition of evangelical Christians, “alternative media” conspiracy theorists and “Freeman of the Land” types (a couple of arrests followed). The conspiracy milieu in which the allegations have been promoted has been chronicled extensively by the blog Hoaxtead Research, including an exhaustive account of McNeill’s 18-day trial (concluding summary here), which also highlighted some antics by her supporters during it.

Of course, prosecutions and convictions are unlikely to change the minds of those who have invested in the conspiracy theory – indeed, the outcome can easily be assimilated into a grand and non-falsifiable theory of an all-powerful cover up. Just recently, two American Hampstead enthusiasts attended a child abuse conference in Dundee, during which one of them plastered stickers around the town promoting the Satanic Ritual Abuse claims; and the story of “Hampstead Satanists” is now embedded within alt-right and populist circles, alongside the claim that the convicted arsonist Melanie Shaw has been convicted as a cover-up of “VIP child sex abuse” in care homes.

This was demonstrated last month, in a speech made outside the Royal Courts of Justice by Tracy Blackwell, a leader of the Tommy Robinson-linked “Justice for Our Boys” campaign. As shown in a video, Blackwell told her supporters (at 14.15):

Free Melanie Shaw, as we all know, another political prisoner. Free Sabine McNeill, another prisoner.

It was Blackwell and her fellow campaigners, led by one James Goddard, who blocked bridges in central London on Friday as a pro-Brexit stunt.

Also visible in the same video is Paul Rogers, who documents and promotes various right-leaning protests in London under the name “Eddie Isok”. Rogers – whose Twitter avatar shows him posing with Anne-Marie Waters of For Britain – also attended the McNeill trial, and he made videos in which he named witnesses despite reporting restrictions and promised that he intended to film “certain people” outside Southwark Crown Court, “and then certain people in the know, I will tell them who these people are, right, and they will deal with it”. This sort of thing did not go down well with the judge, and he was held overnight for contempt of court before being given a suspended sentence. According to Hoaxtead, he also tried to video in the court precincts, and he blames the Hoaxstead author for reporting him over this. Rogers believes it is significant that Hampstead is close to Finchley, here making a link with “Finchley Road” international fraud allegations popular among the same activist crowd. (1)

Meanwhile, another activist who showed up to report proceedings claimed that he was assaulted by an agent of the “Zionist conspiracy”, and a few days after that the judge ordered security posted outside the courtroom and required attendees to provide ID, telephone numbers and addresses.

Footnote

1. Rogers does not believe just anything, though, and a few months ago he publicised Brian Harvey’s complaints against Bill Maloney.