Last week we were discussing the case of Vicky Haigh, which in many ways was like a small-scale template for Hoaxtead (minus all the cult ritual abuse nonsense).
Essentially, a child was coached and led to make false allegations of sexual abuse against her innocent father. These allegations were spread via the internet, to such an extent that the court felt it necessary to break its normal rules of confidentiality in such cases, in order to clear the father’s name.
But the Vicky Haigh case had another important link to the Hampstead satanic ritual abuse hoax: Sabine McNeill.
As we mentioned last time, Vicky Haigh was assisted by an ‘investigator’, Elizabeth Watson, who was sentenced to 9 months in prison for contempt of court related to the case. Elizabeth was sentenced on 22 August, 2011.
However, it seems prison life did not agree with her, and she immediately applied to be let out. Basically, she said she was really really really sorry, she’d been very naughty, and she wouldn’t do it again.
On 1 September, 2011, Sir Nicholas Wall issued his judgement on Elizabeth’s application to purge the contempt: he suspended her sentence, saying, “I would be entitled, if I wished, to keep her in prison until such time as the blog to which I have been referred and which is the one outstanding matter has been investigated and those responsible for it have been given the opportunity to remove the e-mail. I have considered that option very carefully. I have decided, however, in the end not to do it. I am satisfied that Ms. Watson has had a very unpleasant experience in prison. I am willing to accept her undertaking – which has the force of a court order – to use her best endeavours to remove the offending e-mail from the blog and I am satisfied that to keep her imprisoned would serve no real purpose as far as she is concerned”.
In paragraphs 9 through 12 of his judgement, Sir Nicholas noted the following:
Another aspect which makes Ms. Watson’s contempt particularly grave is that she breached the order not only by communicating through e-mails with a large number of third parties, but also gave material to an internet provider, one Sabine McNeill who runs a website called Inquiring Minds. Ms. McNeill (who at one point acted as Ms. Watson’s McKenzie Friend in these proceedings) lives, I am told, in Germany although she has a flat in London. The mischief of the publication, as Ms. Watson now appreciates, is that the publication of allegations which I and two other judges held to be without foundation not only puts the identity of the child into the public domain and renders it accessible to anybody who cares to look for it or to read it; but equally, Ms Watson has put herself in the hands and the power of the internet provider. The omens do not altogether look good.
Yesterday Ms. McNeill wrote to Ms. Watson’s solicitors in these terms:
Why on earth does the Guardian who has NOT acted in the child’s interest request me to remove the page about [the earlier fraud?]
Re Inquiring Minds I wrote to Malcolm & Co. and cc him for your convenience.” – [That is another matter on the website] – I am happy to cooperate but I am not happy destroying all the evidence that Liz [Ms Watson] has found and was just not sufficiently able to present effectively. The same evidence will help to get Vicky [that is the mother] her daughter back after all and the Guardian CERTAINLY has no right/authority/jurisdiction to tell me anything.
Sorry, but you will have to fight for the fact that Liz has undug more than ‘they’ would have liked her to.
With best wishes, Sabine.”
I forbear to comment; the e-mail speaks for itself.
Ms. Watson, fortunately, however, has had the good sense, at long last, to take legal advice and has been ably represented before me by counsel, Mr. Littlewood. She should be extremely grateful to her counsel and to the solicitors whom she has chosen.
So essentially, Sabine did almost exactly the same thing she has done in the Hoaxtead case.
While acting as Elizabeth Watson’s McKenzie Friend, she took material given to her by a client involved in an extremely questionable case revolving around child sex abuse, and smeared it around the internet. The result was that the false allegations not only publicly identified the child involved, but exacerbated the serious legal problems her ‘client’ had already created for herself.
Ring any bells?
This appears to be Sabine’s modus operandi: whether through deliberate malice or sheer deranged jack-booted incompetence, she has an unerring ability to ‘help’ her clients become ever more deeply embroiled in legal issues, whilst loudly and tearfully proclaiming her own innocence and good intentions.
We wonder whether, in her meeting tomorrow with the MEPs, anyone will think to mention any of this? We can but hope.
(We should note here that then-MP John Hemming also embroiled himself in Vicky Haigh’s case. Rather than go into detail here, we’d recommend you to this article on Head of Legal.)