If you’ve been following the Hoaxtead saga for any amount of time, you’ll know that Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie’s ‘Association of McKenzie Friends’ is at the heart of the story.
After Ella Gareeva Draper had fired her legal team for the umpteenth time, Belinda became her McKenzie friend, and began offering her unique advice on the case. And it was Sabine, acting on Ella’s instructions, who initially released the videos of the children reciting the horrific details of alleged ‘cult abuse’.
Their Association of McKenzie Friends was able to claim some semblance of legitimacy via the patronage of two (at that time) sitting members of Parliament: John Hemming and Austin Mitchell.
Hemming resigned this august position on January 22, 2015, just around the time of Sabine’s initial leak of the videos.
According to him, he “personally advised Sabine McNeill in writing to withdraw from the (Hampstead) case”, but this does not answer the question of why he’d allowed himself to become entangled in this organisation in the first place. Nor has he ever publicly condemned them, or apologised for his own involvement.
In fact, as family lawyer Sarah Phillimore has pointed out, he refuses to admit he might have been wrong to support Belinda and Sabine:
Sarah has assembled a blog on the topic, which we’d highly recommend to anyone interested in the Association of McKenzie Friends and their dodgy practices: Why do I worry about John Hemming?
In fact, we’d suggest that anyone who’d like a more balanced and sane approach to the issues raised by Sabine, Belinda, and their ilk have a look at Sarah’s blog.