The other day we received this email from a relatively new reader:
Hi, I’m writing as someone who has no knowledge about this at all (apart from a vague recollection of reports in the papers). I’m looking at your site now because someone suggested I should and writing this because I’ve seen that you are open to suggestions for adding to your FAQ’s. What I think might be useful (and certainly would be useful for me) is a brief outline of what happened. I’ve done a Google search to try to find that—the idea being that I could then come back to this site and the detail here would make more sense—but the top search results appear (at first sight) to be untrustworthy (putting it politely).
Our first response was, “Of course we can do that! Don’t know why we didn’t think of it before!”
Our second was, “Omigod, where do we begin?” followed by a long and uncontrollable bout of hysterical laughter.
The Hampstead SRA hoax has more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing, and trying to pin it all down and make sense of it in one (relatively succinct) FAQ will be a mammoth job, and probably take several posts.
But it’s a job we shouldn’t shirk, because as our new reader pointed out, much of what we talk about here makes no sense without that basic context. Since part of our self-appointed mandate is to help clarify and debunk the hoax, we’re going to give it a try, with the caveat that we will probably miss bits and pieces, and have to go back and fit them in.
We invite our long-suffering readers to point out the parts we miss or get wrong; and with that, let’s begin at the beginning.
1. How it all began
Perhaps the best synopsis of the beginnings of the hoax can be gleaned from Mrs Justice Pauffley’s fact-finding judgement, which she issued on 19 March 2015. In paragraphs 11 through 19 of that judgement, she lays out the bare bones of what happened. She refers to the children, an 8-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl, as ‘Q’ and ‘P’ respectively; we have also chosen to anonymise the names of the teachers who were falsely accused.
In September 2014, lurid allegations of the most serious kind were drawn to the attention of the Metropolitan Police. In a variety of ways, it was suggested that P and Q were part of a large group of children from north London who had been sexually abused, made to abuse one another and that they had belonged to a satanic cult in which there was significant paedophile activity.
Specifically, it was said that babies were supplied from all over the world. They were bought, injected with drugs and then sent by TNT or DHL to London. The assertions were that babies had been abused, tortured and then sacrificed. Their throats were slit, blood was drunk and cult members would then dance wearing babies’ skulls (sometimes with blood and hair still attached) on their bodies. All the cult members wore shoes made of baby skin produced by the owner of a specified shoe repair shop.
Children, it was alleged, would be anally abused by adult members of the cult using plastic penises or “willies.”
Christchurch Primary School in Hampstead was said to be where the “main action” occurred but at least seven other local schools were named. East Finchley swimming pool was identified as one of the other meeting venues for the paedophile ring. Rituals were performed, so it was claimed, in an upstairs room at the McDonald’s restaurant where the “boss” allowed child sacrifice because he was a member of the cult. Human babies were prepared, cooked in the ovens within a secret kitchen and then eaten by cult members.
It was alleged that the children’s father, Ricky Dearman, was the leader of the cult and that others included the children’s headteacher, Ms F., another teacher, Mr H., the priest at the adjacent church, a large number of named parents of other children, social workers, CAFCASS officers and police officers. It was said that, in all, more than a hundred people were involved in ‘doing sex’ to the children.
I am able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true. I am entirely certain that everything Ms Draper, her partner Abraham Christie and the children said about those matters was fabricated. The claims are baseless. Those who have sought to perpetuate them are evil and / or foolish.
All the indications are that over a period of some weeks last summer , P and Q were forced by Mr Christie and Ms Draper, working in partnership, to provide concocted accounts of horrific events. The stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is a strong word but it is the most accurate way to describe what was done to the children by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms Draper.
The children were made to take part in filmed mobile ‘phone recordings in which they relayed a series of fabricated satanic practices. Subsequently, at the instigation of Abraham Christie and Ella Draper, the children repeated their false stories to Jean-Clement Yaohirou, Mr Christie’s brother in law, in a late night discussion. It lasted for about three hours; Mr Christie and Ms Draper did most of the talking.
P and Q were ABE (Achieving Best Evidence) interviewed on 5, 11 and 17 September 2014. On the first two occasions, they supplied information about events they claimed had occurred, similar in their overall content to the mobile ‘phone video clips and audio recording. On 17 September, in ABE interview, both children withdrew their allegations. Each stated they had been made to say things by Abraham Christie, the mother’s partner, which were not true; and they gave very full details of the way in which he had secured their compliance.
2. Who are Abe and Ella?
By way of background: Ella Gareeva Draper was born in Russia. She was married to Will Draper, and has an older son by him. This young man has lived with his father since 2010. In 2003 Ella met Ricky Dearman (RD), the father of P and Q; by 2006 they were living apart. From that time, RD’s access to his children had never proceeded smoothly; he had to keep returning to court to gain access, which Ella consistently thwarted.
According to Mrs Justice Pauffley, “Between May 2010 and October 2013, therapeutic sessions occurred intermittently at the Tavistock Clinic. There was a period, notably between November 2011 and November 2012, when the children did not have contact with their father. There was intermittent concern about P’s relationship with her mother and also that both children were presenting as and complaining of being hungry at school”.
In May 2014, RD had contact with the children for the first time since October 2013. During that month, Ella met Abraham Christie. Our understanding is that they met at a “raw foods” event; both are very interested in a raw food diet, and in the use of raw cannabis as a “super-food” in particular.
Abraham Christie is a small-time criminal who has approximately 36 convictions to his name, primarily for assault, forgery, fraud, and the like. He and Ella met in May 2014, and within a few weeks he had begun staying overnight at her house. He had several clashes with parents and staff at the children’s school:
Abe’s relationship with the school was rocky, to say the least. On one occasion, he flew into a rage when he discovered that P and Q had been eating “off-limits” food (they were known in the school for constantly being hungry, and for taking food from other children and from garbage bins on occasion). Abe accused the school of “poisoning” the children, which unsurprisingly did not endear him to the staff there.
My source told me, “The children were already very much on the radar as being at risk. They openly discussed their fear of Abe. They also were constantly hungry and took other people’s food. All their classmates knew they hated Abe.” Apparently the school notified social services that the children were hungry and fearful of their mother’s boyfriend. “That’s why the headmistress and deputy were targeted so personally after they reported him.”
3. How were the allegations developed?
Again, we turn to Mrs Justice Pauffley’s summary. For context, Jean-Clement Yaohirou is Abe’s sister’s husband, and is a ‘Special Constable’ with the London Metropolitan Police.
In August 2014, at a time when he was holiday in France, Jean-Clement Yaohirou received ‘phone calls and messages from Mr Christie in which he said he had information regarding the abuse of children. In evidence, Mr Yaohirou said that Abraham “had not been coming forward with specific information” but was “trying to give (him) justification.” Abraham Christie had said that a church, a school in Hampstead and a police station in Haringey were involved. Mr Yaohirou had asked whether Mr Christie “had evidence”. He said, “Yes;” and “that was it for July”.
In early August, the mother, Mr Christie and the children went abroad. They travelled to Gibraltar and then Morocco. They returned on 4 September.
It seems entirely probable that the majority of the short film clips of the children ‘speaking to camera’ were made at the airport whilst awaiting their flight back to England. There are others which appear to have been made whilst Q was either getting ready for bed or had awoken from sleep.
When Mr Yaohirou came back to England on 3 September, he had told Mr Christie over the ‘phone that “anyone can make an allegation” but he would need “sufficient evidence for the police to take the case forward.” Mr Christie had replied, “I will bring you evidence.”
On 4 September 2014 in the late evening, Mr Yaohirou returned to his home after work to find Mr Christie, P and Q present. They were subsequently joined by Ms Draper.
With great presence of mind, Mr Yaohirou recorded the conversations between himself, Mr Christie, the children and the mother on his mobile ‘phone.
Because, according to Mr Christie, Haringey police officers were implicated, Mr Yaohirou decided to report the matter to Scotland Yard. Subsequently, he was in touch by email with Detective Inspector Cannon, the senior investigating officer with responsibility for overseeing the police inquiry. By then Mr Yaohirou was, as he said in evidence, “greatly concerned for the children’s welfare.”
Mr Yaohirou described how he had suggested to DI Cannon that the children should be placed in a safe environment until the case had been sorted out. Mr Yaohirou said he had been unsettled by what he’d heard and believed the children needed some medical or psychological assistance.
4. What were the allegations?
The videos recorded by Abe and Ella en route home from Morocco, as well as the audio recorded by Jean-Clement Yaohirou, delineate the allegations the children made. Again, from the fact-finding judgement:
The mobile ‘phone film clips made by the mother and Mr Christie form part of the material relied upon by Ms Draper to support the claims of exceptionally serious abuse. There are 16 short clips in all although 3 appear to be copies. It is useful to set out a reasonably full extract of the first film clip because of the way it sets the scene for the rest.
The children are standing at the side of a car in a public place, possibly at an airport. P and Q look tired. There is a noticeable graze on P’s chin and, seemingly, a large bruise in the centre of her forehead.
The conversation begins between the two children and Mr Christie. P and Q talk about deciding to stop touching each other and the children. P says they will “face their fear – and face our urge – and stop touching ourselves.” Mr Christie asks, “… what else are you going to stop?” Q replies, “And stop killing babies.” Mr Christie says, “You’re going to face your fear? Because fear is what?” P replies, “Fear is the mind killer.” Mr Christie then says, “And you’re going to help us catch, who are you going to help us catch?” Both children reply, “All the paedophiles.” P adds, “Papa, Mr H..” Both children say, “the school.” Ms Draper interjects, “All the policemen, all the – Social Services.” Mr Christie urges the children to “speak up, speak up.” The children then repeat, “All the Social Services” and add, “All the shopkeepers – Cafcass – all the cafes, all the Pizza Express – McDonalds.”
Mr Christie asks, “Who’s Cafcass? … What’s Cafcass” P and Q reply, “Cafcass is, they work with – they’re for children – they work with Social Services.” Mr Christie asks, “And what did they do to you?” Both children, one after the other, respond, “They do sex … They touch each other – they touch me and Q. They have plastic willies. And they stick it in our bottom.”
Mr Christie then asks the children to say who has done this. The children reply, “Everybody does.” In response to his direct questions, “Who, who, who?” the children say, “Papa, Mr H. – the school …” The mother interjects, “Parents.” Q adds, “My dad’s family.” Mr Christie then says, “Tell me more people, tell me some more people because I’m interested.” P adds, “Parents, policemen –.”
Mr Christie asks, “What about the teachers at the school, who are the main ones?” The children give names and then they are asked what the head teacher does. Both reply simultaneously, “And she does sex.” Next Mr Christie asks, “And what happens in the church?” P replies, “And we do sex with the baby sacrifice and eat the baby.” Mr Christie asks what she means and she says, “So we kill the baby and eat it and drink the blood from it.” Mr Christie asks Q whether that is true. He replies, “Yes. And we dance with the skulls… Baby skulls.”
One of Mr Christie’s final questions is as to who kills the babies. Both children reply, “Papa.” Mr Christie then says, “And what, he gets you to help him?” Both children say, “Yes.” P adds, “So he tells us to hold our hand in a knife and then he holds his hand on our hand, so then he cuts the baby’s head off. And he tip it upside down and then we drain the blood.” Ms Draper asks, “And then what they do?” P replies, “And then we cook it and then we drink the blood and after we pick the bones, dance with the skulls…”
The other film clips are similar in that the interrogation of the children is undertaken in the main by Mr Christie with occasional interventions by Ms Draper. More and more information about the activities of the cult and the identities of those involved is recorded. In the second extract, the children are instructed to “Tell the camera…. Say what you said to the camera.” Ms Draper at one point says, “So what are we going to do? We’re going to protect other babies – and children, huh? And save those children who are involved or have been forced to be involved, right?”
The eighth clip starts with Mr Christie saying to Q, “Keep saying it to her.” It seems that he and the children are, by then, on a plane. Q then pleads with P to “Tell the truth.” He begs her saying, “P it’s really important. If you won’t tell the truth you’ll get yourself into big trouble … so please tell the truth.” The tenth clip continues similarly, Q fervently pleads with P to tell the truth. He says, “Mum and Papa Hemp are protecting you and you have to help them protect yourself … and to protect all of us because we’re in a group. If the group lies we’ll start to get wrong, things will start to happen wrong. And you might like, you might broke a glass, you might hurt yourself.” Mr Christie asks, “What about the babies?” Q replies, “And you might get your back your payment for the babies, you might get killed by someone.”
The 4 September recorded discussion between Abraham Christie and the children
The 4 September audio recording made by Jean Clement Yaohirou on his mobile ‘phone is a key component of the material relevant to this inquiry. It provides an invaluable record of the interaction between Mr Christie and the children, the various prompts and instructions given by him to the children and, later, an insight into the mother’s attitude towards the children’s relationship with their father.
At the very beginning, Mr Christie instructs the children, “Don’t tell Jean Clement any lies … Do you hear me?” He continues, “Otherwise we’ll have to lock you up in the jail. Have you got room to lock her up tonight Jean Clement? Have you got room, yes or no?” Mr Christie then laughs and says, “So tell him what you said. You deserve to be locked up for killing the baby. Listen did you kill any babies?”
One of the children replies “No.” Mr Christie asks, “Who killed the babies?” A child replies, “Papa. Papa hold our hand… We put on our hand but we – ” Mr Christie then interrupts, saying “No, he puts your hand on.” The child continues, “And then he puts his hand on ours, cuts off the baby’s head. Because he’s strong – .” Mr Christie interrupts again, “But he teaches you (inaudible).”
Mr Christie then explains to Jean Clement Yaohirou in the presence of the children what this is all about. He says, “… you don’t understand what I’m telling you? They are killing babies wholesale, wholesale. They are killing them, they are drinking the blood and they are eating meat, and the skulls of the babies they are tying them, four skulls here …., one here, two here, elbows here. And they are making, what about the shoes, this baby – ” One of the children says, “Yeah, skin, baby skin shoes.” Mr Christie asks “Who makes the baby skin shoes?” A man’s name is given, and in response to the question as to whether he is a shoemaker, the child answers that he is.
There is a period early on when Mr Christie asks the children a series of quick fire questions, “What about the doctor, is he one as well? Answer “Yes.” What about your headmistress, is she one as well? A. “Yes” Q. “How many skulls does she wear when she’s dancing?” A. “20.” Q. So how many adults are involved then? A. “So maybe like 400, 400 plus, 450, 430, something like that.” Q. “How many skulls do they wear?” A. “20.” Mr Christie then says, “So, there’s over 400 adults and they’re all wearing 20 skulls each. Can you do the maths? Over 800 (sic).”
A little later on in the discussion with Mr Yaohirou, Mr Christie introduces the notion that the mother’s three children are involved with “this cult”. He said the mother had come to him because she knew he could help her, “she didn’t know how and (he, Mr Christie) didn’t know how.” Mr Christie then said, “some of her friends that come to the house – they come to the house and they go to the school and they sex the children behind her back.” Mr Yaohirou asks if everything happened in the school. Mr Christie replies, “In the school, in the church and above at the swimming pool, at the local swimming pool.” One of the children adds, “In the house.” Mr Christie goes on to say, “Happens in school during school hours. You go there on a Wednesday and you will arrest them all. And you will take the children in the school because they do it to every child in the school and I guarantee you, out of the children, 100 of them will talk.”
P then says, “And they sell us for £50 each. So Papa sells me and Q.” Mr Christie adds, “At the parties. And 100 people do sex with them … 200 times 50 is how much? 10 grand, I’ve done the maths already…. What else do they sell?” One of the children starts to reply but is told to “Shut up” by Mr Christie who then says, “He makes movies. He makes snuff movies of the babies and he sells them in the Ukraine, in Russia, in Brazil, in Portugal, in Brussels, in England, he sells them all over the world.”
At times, Mr Christie sounded very agitated and aggressive, for example when he told Mr Yaohirou that they “have to give the (children’s) passports back to the solicitor who is a member of the paedophile group;” and also when he said “… But we’re not going to let him (the father) see them (the children). We can’t let him see them. They (sic) will kill them.”
A little later, there is discussion between Mr Christie and Mr Yaohirou about the court proceedings between the mother and father. Mr Christie explains that Mr Dearman has taken the mother to court “because he wants to see his children.” Mr Christie rhetorically asks, “But why does he want to see them? To do sex to them, to make party, to sell them to other people and to make movies…. We cannot allow it to happen anymore. He must be arrested.” Mr Christie then introduces the topic of “Papa’s secret room” asking one of the children to say what is done there. But nothing is said by either child.
There is evident pressure upon the children when, for example, Mr Christie asks, “Has father got keys to the house.” A. “Yeah.” Mr Christie says, “Is it a lie? Is it a lie? We do not have time for lies.”
Mr Christie is directive towards the children saying, “Be quiet and go outside now, come on. Hurry up. Outside. Outside. Outside. I don’t play around, just stay there. That’s it. That’s right, discipline.” And a little later, “Sit round the table properly, son. Don’t let me tell you again, you sit down properly, thank you. Thank you. Don’t let me tell you again, sit down at the table properly.” He adds a few minutes later, “and you speak when you’re spoken to. You understand? Come on. Let’s have some respect … let’s help each other and let’s make sure that no more children get killed, ay?” One of the children adds, “And make sure papa goes to jail.”
5. What happened during the police investigation?
For an in-depth discussion of what happened during the police investigation, check out the FAQ here. The police description of the full investigation into the allegations originally made by P and Q is described in detail in the report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). (Ella had laid several complaints against the police, which led to an IPCC investigation; the results were sent to Ella in March or April 2016, and she and Abe published them on their blog. As they did not like the conclusions reached by the IPCC, they have now apparently launched a challenge to this report.)
The investigating officers were led and overseen by Detective Inspector (DI) Cannon. DI Cannon is the head of the Barnet and Enfield Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT). Clearly such an allegation is taken very seriously and it was for this reason an officer of this rank oversaw the investigation.
Officers were immediately dispatched to your [Ella’s] home address. First accounts were taken from both your children who were aged 8 and 9. That same day evidential accounts were obtained using the Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) process. It is through this process that your childrens’ accounts can be entered into evidence at any subsequent court proceedings.
Video accounts from the children made by Special Constable Yaohirou were also seized. This would be corroborative material to support your children’s ABE interviews.
Given the nature of the case it was raised to senior officers.
On Monday 8th September your children were driven around in an attempt to identify addresses where your children alleged the abuse had taken place. Although both children had previously indicated that they could identify the addresses where the alleged abuse had occurred and the address of their father, they were unable to identify any connected venues.
One address was pointed out to police but it did not contain the features described by the children. It was examined externally by officers. The children indicated that they had been taken on a “drive around” of the area the previous day (7th Sept 2014) by Mr Christie. The officers conducting the enquiry stated that the children were unsure of where they were going and seemed to be pointing out addresses at random.
Whilst I am sure you and Mr Christie may have believed that you were being helpful, the actions significantly undermined the integrity of the process to identify any potential suspect addresses.
I have reproduced a relevant section of DS Fernandez’s statement under caution response.
“The allegation of abuse was first recorded on 5 September 2014 on CRIS 2419891/14. Mr DEARMAN was identified as a Suspect following the first ABE of the children and research was conducted to locate him.
“Several addresses in London were identified as being linked to Mr DEARMAN and police attended these addresses with a negative result.
DC Martin in addition to this attempted to narrow the search by Use of Google maps again this was unsuccessful.
“Both Victims claimed that they had been to Mr DEARMAN’s address several times and could identify the premises which due to the late hour and the age of the Victims was not carried out that night.
“Before CAIT officers could arrange for the drive round to be conducted Mr ABRAHAM conducted his own drive round with the children using a taxi this was reported by a concerned member of the public. Both Ella DRAPER and Mr CHRISTIE did not inform police of this until they were challenged with the information”.
You will note the entry above makes reference to information which was received from concerned members of the public who called police. The members of the public describe seeing a female child and Mr Christie (on one occasion confirmed by CCTV). It was described that Mr Christie was saying that he had just been released from prison and was discussing decapitation. The girl appeared distressed.
Having viewed the CCTV, I am satisfied that it was Mr Christie taking your children around the area to identify potential addresses of relevance.
It is relevant to mention that members of the public describe a black male with a young girl approximately 6 to 8 years old. The male has been heard to say “You know she’s a baby killer. Then talking to the girl he has said “What do you do after you kill babies?” to which the girl replied “I eat them.” The male has then said “What do you do after you eat them?” to which the girl replied “I drink their blood”. The male has then said “What does your dad do to you?” to which she replied “sex”.
All of the officers on our Command are experienced child protection officers who have completed the Specialist Child Abuse Investigations Development Program and are registered practitioners on the National Professional Child Abuse Investigators’ register.
I believe that Mr Christie’s actions were extremely counterproductive from an investigative point of view as it could taint the integrity of any potential evidence that was to be forthcoming from your children. Officers are trained how to speak to and illicit (sic) information from children who may have been victims of abuse and the approach by Mr Christie was unhelpful to the investigation.
In the following days CAIT officers liaised with Children’s Social Care (CSC), education and health partners at formal strategy meetings regarding the children’s welfare. A strategy meeting was held on the 9th September. CAIT officers attended.
The children were further ABE interviewed on 11th September 2014. The male child described an incident when his father had taken him and his sister to a public swimming pool. The boy alleged that he had been taken to a disabled toilet where they were joined by twenty parents, a number of teachers and other children. Whilst in the toilet some of the adults touched his penis. He described a church where abuse took place. He stated that babies’ skulls were kept at the venue. His sister, in her interview, also described the church and spoke of a fridge where the bodies of dead babies were kept. She described a cupboard where babies’ skulls were kept.
The children also described being physically assaulted by Ms Draper’s partner, Mr Abraham Christie, the physical abuse taking place during a recent holiday in Morocco.
It is important to detail the entry above as it does require managing within the investigation and is another facet to consider from a safeguarding point of view.
You provided police with a Significant Witness statement. Following meeting you, the investigating officers expressed concerns for your mental health.
The children were placed in Police Protection (PP) on 11th September 2015. This followed the allegations of physical abuse by Mr Christie linked to serious concerns over your mental health and specifically your ability to protect your children. The primary role of our Command is the safeguarding of children and the actions of the officers were not taken lightly.
An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) was obtained soon after. Had the court formed a different view this would not have been granted. The children were placed into foster care outside London. The officers who took the children into PP described them as becoming relaxed and happy. They stated that they showed a change in attitude when told they were being taken into care. The officers believed that this was as a result of fear and dislike of Mr Christie.
I accept that this is the officers’ perception but as previously described the officers involved in this investigation are experienced qualified Child Abuse Investigators. The children retracted their allegations of ritualistic abuse in due course.
The children were medically examined on two occasions. Some scarring was found on the anus area of both children. The initial findings by the examining doctor, Dr Hoades (sic) were that the injuries were consistent with allegations of sexual abuse. The first Child Protection (CP) medical took place on the 12th Sept 2014. A verbal report was provided to police. The doctor described the injury but she did not report that the injury was consistent with sexual assault. She did, however, provide potential medical reasons for the injuries. Dr Hoades’ report was not received by police until the 8th January 2015.
The medical report also identified that the assault by Mr Christie resulted in your child having a perforated eardrum. I have placed this in the outcome report because this I believe would account for why the children appeared relieved when taken into police protection.
Due to the number of enquiries that were required officers were diverted from other child abuse investigations and it was necessary to cancel officers’ weekends to ensure essential enquiries progressed.
Action was taken in relation to crime scenes or potential crime scenes. Of note was the church which is beside your children’s school.
Below I have provided details from an email you sent regarding the potential offences that took place in the church.
“Ritual satanic child sexual abuse and sacrifice cult, serial murder.
Main action is happening in Christchurch with at least another 10, possibly more schools involved.
The baby sexual abuse and sacrifices are going on Tuesday, Wednesday (big sex day), Thursday.
There are 2 secret rooms in the church where they perform the rituals.
They first sexually abuse babies and the children, doing sex to boys bottoms and girls front private and bottoms. Adults get children to do oral sex.
Babies are supplied regularly for the rituals: abused, tortured with rat traps, dropped on the floor, then killed. They throat baby’s throat (sic), drain blood, drink the blood and then cook the body by either roasting or frying.
The meat is eaten by Mr Dearman, teachers, 20 special children and their parents.
Ritual involves special costumes: children wear 13 skulls (sometimes with blood and hair still on the skull), adults – 20, – on their bodies.
Everybody has 13 skulls worn around the neck (4), on breast, front private, belly, knees, elbows. Special children wear 10 skulls.
Your children alleged that babies had been sacrificed and baby skulls were kept at the venue. No evidence was found to support this. The children described a fridge where body parts were stored. A fridge was located but was in a common part of the church accessible to all who used the facility. No human remains were present. Officers reported that the description of the premises bore no resemblance to that described by the children. There were no secret chambers.
I have produced an extract from DS Fernandez statement under caution.
“A search at the church was conducted by DC MARTIN and DC FERNANDEZ and the description of secret rooms and draws were found to be wrong and impossible due to the very specific disclosure. a fridge in the church being used to keep the remains of dead babies which a nursery used but never reported, draws in the vestry which held dead babies skulls but were too shallow to hold the skull approx.2 inches deep.”
It should be noted that the church was not forewarned of police attendance and officers had full access to all of the church. In relation to the skulls being kept in a drawer there was only one set of drawers (vestment drawers). As such they were far too shallow to hold any skulls.
Obviously the church was a specific identified venue. Those at the church had no opportunity to be aware of police involvement or to remove or discard any evidence. Officers were able to search the whole of the church and it is clear that there was no evidence to support your children’s account and indeed evidence in the form of the drawers which clearly refuted what was being said.
On 15th September 2014 Mr Dearman was questioned under caution regarding the swimming pool incident. He stated that he took the children swimming on 5th July 2014. He confirmed that the family had used a larger sized cubicle. He described it as big enough for him and his two children. He denied any assault.
He denied the allegations that his children had made against him.
Mr Dearman stated that he had had limited access to his children in recent times. Access had been obtained by him via a court order. The officers did not seize Mr Drapers lap top but arrangements were made for it to be surrendered after he had copied work files.
In respect of the seizure of the laptop this will be addressed under Point 12.
On 16th September Dr Hoades conducted a second CP medical on behalf of CSC. Results were not available to the investigating team until the 8th January 2015. It should be noted that on numerous occasions officers requested a copy of the medical report but that this was not forthcoming.
A third ABE interview was carried out by officers on 17th September. The children had been in foster care for six days. En route to be interviewed and unprompted, both children stated that they had lied and made up the allegations. The children were asked not to discuss the matter further until it could be properly recorded.
In interview both children independently stated that they had lied about the allegations. They stated that Mr Christie had made them do so. They stated that they thought this was as a result of him finding them touching each other sexually whilst on the Moroccan holiday. The girl said she had ‘learned’ this behaviour from a girl in school, but Mr Christie insisted that her father had shown her.
On 22nd September the police investigation into the satanic allegations was closed for a number of reasons:
- The children had withdrawn their allegations and had stated that they had been made to lie by Mr Christie.
- Police enquiries found no corroborative evidence for the allegations.
- Venues described by the victims did not exist.
- No child interviewed by Children and Social Care, who had allegedly been involved in the abuse, made any allegations.
It should be noted that CSC did speak to children at your child’s school to establish if there were any safeguarding concerns in light of the allegations you had raised. It was felt that this was the most appropriate first course of action prior to police involvement given the age of the children. No child spoken to raised any concerns.
- Names of ‘suspects’ provided by the children were false.
Your children had provided names of police officers within the Metropolitan Police Service. Full research was conducted and it was found that no such officers existed.
With the withdrawal of the allegations there was no power to seize further property, search premises or arrest/interview others named.
The CAIT team consisted of one Detective Inspector, five Detective Sergeants and sixteen Detective Constables split into two investigation teams. The unit is responsible for day to day investigation of referrals of child abuse received from partner agencies within the Boroughs of Barnet and Enfield. Each officer carries a high workload. It is one of the busiest CAIT units in the MPS. The CAIT officers deployed on this case were still required to service the needs of their own workloads. Despite this all appropriate lines of enquiry were explored.
I am of the opinion that there came a point in this investigation when it was clearly established that the offences being alleged could not have taken place. In the face of this and the retractions from the children it would be disproportionate and wrong to continue any form of investigation. There would be no grounds to arrest any person or seize any property as there was no evidence to support that an offence had taken place.
This takes us to the end of the police investigation in September 2014. However, that’s really only the beginning of the hoax: next time, we’ll talk about how this raw material was packaged and put out on the internet by various hoax promoters.