Thanks to our Hampstead contact for sending us this photo of an article from this week’s Ham & High, hot off the press!
Mother in satanic abuse case ‘fled because she was scared’
Judge throws out appeal as fugitive pensioner is arrested in High Court
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 judgment in March, led to “tasteless” allegations by the children about a Satanic paedophile 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 judgment 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 attest her in February had left her fearful of her life.
Her lawyer also argued the police investigation into the children’s claims was “inadequate” and evidence heard by Justice Pauffley, in the absence of Ms Draper, was “not properly examined”.
With Ms Draper still not present at court, Lord Justice Ryder described the grounds for appeal as “flawed”, saying: “The mother was deliberately absent from the hearing.” The appeal was not granted.
The hearing saw bizarre scenes in court as another fugitive wanted for questioning by police for issues relating to the case was spotted in the public gallery.
After police were made aware of the 70-year-old’s presence, officers joined the High Court tipstaff to arrest the pensioner as she left court. She was arrested in chaotic scenes that saw her forcibly dragged out of the Royal Courts of Justice building.
By Paul Wright