Yesterday we reported on the surprise arrest of Paul Rogers, aka Eddieisok, who was accused of contempt of court due to having uploaded videos containing the name of a witness in Sabine McNeill’s trial, in contravention of a reporting restriction.
Readers may also be aware of a number of threats against the judge in Sabine’s trial, as well as against EC, made by John Paterson during a Facebook livestream with his friend Andy Devine yesterday evening.
Today both those issues came to a head, which made for a rather chaotic day at Southwark Crown Court.
After being informed that Sabine’s trial would be starting at noon rather than 10:30 a.m. as originally scheduled, we learned that Rogers’ hearing would be taking place…but we weren’t able to ascertain exactly where. Because of the reporting restriction, his name had been blanked on the daily case list in the lobby, but eventually we worked out that the hearing would be held in Court 5.
At 11:15 we were allowed into the court, where a new-to-us judge whose name we never learned asked Rogers whether he had come to a decision about whether to accept a solicitor.
Rogers stated that he would like one, and since it was apparently imperative that the case be concluded today, the judge adjourned the hearing to enable the solicitor of Rogers’ choice to be brought in. If they were unable to get this solicitor, she said, another arrangement would have to be made.
Back to Sabine
Following Rogers’ hearing, we went back upstairs to Court 11, where a number of people had gathered already. One of those was indeed John Paterson, but he made no attempt to speak with EC, nor were any wood-chippers seen in proximity.
A court police officer did approach EC at one point to say that the video made by Paterson and Devine had come to the court’s attention, and that they were taking steps to ensure everybody’s safety.
Shortly afterward, the same officer announced to those of us waiting outside Courtroom 11 that the judge had placed a condition for entry to the public gallery: when the time came for us to go into the public gallery we would all need to present a valid photo ID and current address.
Edward W. Ellis, Equity Lawyer, made an appearance, trying to engage with the court police officer and demanding that she take a printed sheet of paper in to the judge, as it contained crucial evidence without which this case could not continue. It was difficult to understand what he was saying, exactly, but he seemed to believe that his “evidence” would somehow assist in Paul Rogers’ trial, as well.
Despite the police officer saying she had nothing to do with either case, Ellis continued to demand that she take the “evidence” to the judge.
“If you have evidence, you need to give it to the court”, the officer said. Fortuitously, at that very moment Sabine’s defense team could be seen coming down the hall, so Ellis turned his attention to them.
Despite their protests that they really didn’t have time, Ellis began to explain his involvement in Sabine and Neelu’s 2016 trial. Tana Adkin QC politely excused herself, saying she was needed in court, leaving barrister Tom Stevens to cope as best he could.
By the time Ellis got to the part about the “corruption remedy process”, Stevens said he really didn’t have time to digest this at present, but would look at it later. At this point, he was (mercifully) called into the courtroom.
Witness 1, whose testimony had been partially heard on Monday, took the witness box and resumed testifying.
Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, asked the witness whether they were aware of a blog called Hampstead Research.
“Very much so”, said the witness.
The jury saw a screenshot from the former blog, in which a member of their family, as well as their child, had been named. The post contained allegations that the witness and their family member had been involved in child abuse, and made reference to their business interests, claiming that these enabled them to participate in trafficking of babies for purposes of ritual slaughter.
Asked how this had affected them, the witness said it had been very upsetting and distressing. They said the accusations had “stepped over another boundary” and had led to them feeling very much under attack, and their privacy further invaded.
Moore drew the witness’ attention to a “petition update” posted by Sabine McNeill on 3 March 2015, featuring a “Hampstead action plan”. Here, Sabine referred to a plan that “amuses and impresses me”: the suggestion was to take red nail polish and pour it over Barbie-type dolls, which would then be posted to various businesses in Hampstead with a note urging the recipients to “attack child abuse in Hampstead”.
Moore also noted a post dated 4 November 2016 on Sabine’s Whistleblower Kids blog, which contained a link to the Hampstead Cover-Up blog belonging to Abraham Christie and Ella Draper. On the linked page, the witness’ child was named in full.
Other links were noted: one led to an article about Kendall House, a Church of England care home in Kent, which was in turn linked to a list of allegations regarding sexual abuse in the Church of England. Another led to the Dearman Does Hampstead blog, and a call for alleged abusers to submit to investigation to determine whether they had tattoos which matched those allegedly described by P and Q.
On Sabine’s Google Drive, the witness described finding references to themselves and their child. There was also a file containing extracts from Sabine’s police charge sheet, containing the particulars of her 16 November 2017 charges of stalking causing alarm and distress.
Jake Clarke had entered the courtroom during Witness 1’s testimony, and had attempted unsuccessfully to engage EC in conversation. Despite being informed that EC had no wish to speak to him, he persisted, asking whether she was addicted to drinking babies’ blood, and whether that was the attraction to the cult.
Following Witness 1’s testimony, court was adjourned for lunch. On our return to the hall, we were asked once again to provide ID to enter the court. While this was going on, Jake began insisting loudly that the guard who was taking people’s information use a fresh sheet of paper, as he didn’t want “the enemy” to know where he lived.
This precipitated a heated exchange of words with several people waiting in the hall, with Jake accusing some people of drinking babies’ blood, and those people responding angrily. The usher of the court came out to calm things, and people proceeded into the court, but Jake claimed that he was not allowed inside. We don’t know why that would have been.
On cross-examination, Adkin asked the witness about their initial impression of Abraham Christie. The witness stated that they had found him aggressive, and that they had been afraid of him.
Adkin asked whether the witness had recorded any of the death threats they had received by phone. The witness responded that they had not. They stated that these threats generally came in via withheld or unknown numbers, and that they still have a residual nervousness about any call they receive in which the number is withheld. They stated that at the time, they had told the police about the death threats they had received by phone and email. The emails are still on the witness’ computer.
Adkin asked whether specific sites had been involved in putting up videos. The witness said there had been many, including Tiny Magical Creatures, Happy Brewer, and others. Asked what search terms they used to find these videos, the witness specified “Hampstead”, “Christ Church Primary School”, and “Christ Church Hampstead”, among others.
Asked about the parent meeting at which the police had informed the parents that they were dealing with the problem, the witness said that the parents had had to struggle to get anybody to help them. They said they had contacted the school, the school governors, the police, their local MP—”We were desperate for help”.
Adkin asked whether it was correct to assume that within the parents’ group, some people took on different areas of responsibility. The witness said that on the contrary, it had been a patchwork.
“Nobody was tasked with any one role; all the parents were being vigilant”, they said. “Everybody in the school was affected”.
Asked whether they had been aware of any attempt to target Sabine, the witness said that they had known Sabine’s address, but only because it was posted freely on her websites. However, they said they were not aware of any attempt to target her.
Adkin asked why, in the witness’ statement, they had used material from the Wayback Machine, an internet archive. “Over four years, some things were taken down from the internet”, the witness said. “For example, I knew I had seen a series of posts by Belinda McKenzie, but they were no longer online, so I used the Wayback Machine to find them”.
Asked whether they had used the Wayback Machine to get to the Tap Newswire blog with the initial videos, the witness said this was correct. They explained that in lieu of using a number of screenshots in a row in their witness statement, they had elected to use an online app called Nimbus, which showed the entire post in one scroll.
Adkin asked about the use of the Wayback Machine or Nimbus on a piece of evidence from the Aangirfan blog. The witness said they had referenced this site originally in a previous statement, but that when they were making their statement for this case they had had to use to Wayback Machine to find the same evidence.
Adkin asked whether the Nimbus tool to screenshot allows one to go back to find archived internet material. The witness explained that this was not the case; rather, Nimbus is simply a way of taking a screenshot of a whole scroll, rather than having to piece together multiple screenshots of the same post.
Asked whether they received any alerts to new publications about the Hampstead hoax as they became available, the witness said they had not.
The witness said that to the best of their knowledge, the Hampstead Cover-up blog was run by Abraham Christie and Ella Draper. Adkin asked whether Jacqui Farmer was the person who had posted the blog about the witness’ family member and child. The witness responded that Jacqui Farmer had posted a series of videos, but they did not know her real identity, nor where she lived.
Saying she wanted to ask a few questions, Moore clarified with the witness that their use of Nimbus when listing evidence merely enabled them to do a screenshot in one long scroll which could be seen on the computer there and then, while the use of the Wayback Machine was, quite literally, to enable the witness to retrieve posts, literally, from “way back”.
Moore asked when the death threats began, following the initial email from the school on 5 February 2015. They started within the first couple of weeks, said the witness. Asked when the Whistleblower Kids blog first came to their attention, the witness said it had been quite early on—perhaps in the first month.
The second witness of the day took the box. Moore asked how the witness had become aware of the situation. The witness stated that they had heard a lot from the other parents, and that they had been aware of the email from the school. “However, I was not sure what it was about”.
The witness said that when they had first viewed the P and Q videos, they had felt shocked, and very sorry for the children. They said that their child had had some playdates with Ella Draper’s children, as they had all started at Christ Church Primary School at about the same time, and the witness had encouraged their child to be nice to P and Q.
They recalled sending their child to a playdate at Ella’s house, but said, “I never got involved in the playground, I never spent time there” as they considered it a space for their child. However, they said they had heard about Abe from their child, who had described him turning up shirtless in the playground.
Asked about how they had become aware of the material online, the witness said they did not know who had written it, but that it had been published by a blog called Aangirfan. In the comments section of that blog, an anonymous commenter had shared a list of names which included the witness’ name.
“It was exploding all at the same time”, the witness said, describing seeing 15 or more videos on a Google Drive. At first they thought the videos belonged to Ella, but they later realised that they belonged to Sabine.
Asked how they had felt when they realised that their child’s name as well as their own was published online in this context, the witness said they had felt sick.
They became aware of links to the P and Q videos, describing them as “oil on a fire”. They noted a link to an online publication called Veterans Today, which contained the same document that was available on a petition on Change.org. The document was titled something like “Anonymous Publish Allegations about Hampstead”, they said.
When they learned of the suggestion about “bloody Barbie dolls”, the witness said they felt disgusted, and feared that they or their child might receive one. They recalled that the suggestion had been changed after somebody commented negatively to Sabine.
The witness described their actions in the wake of the false allegations. They put a pillow and blanket on the floor of their child’s bedroom, along with their jacket, shoes, the dog’s leash, their mobile phone, and crutches, as they were then suffering from an injury. From that time on, for several months, they slept on the floor in their child’s room, fearing a possible kidnap attempt.
They did drills with their children, telling them that it was in case of fire. “I told them to continue to the neighbours, don’t look back”, the witness said.
Then they spent several days on Facebook, deleting all their children’s photos, removing all comments from their friends’ pages, and locking down their Facebook page. “I left pictures of food only”, they said. Asked why they had done this, the witness said, “I knew they would go to social media, so I decided to close mine”.
They also deleted their LinkedIn and Google accounts. Despite this, they said, on the Hampstead Research blog the witness found videos insinuating that because they had closed their social media sites, they must have something to hide.
The witness described finding Sabine’s suggestions that others investigate the parents both online and offline. “She told people to go to our addresses, to see who we were”, the witness said.
They also described Sabine’s video discussions with Neelu Berry, in which they discussed how to kidnap the children involved. The purpose of this was to “save the kids”, but they did not mention which kids, leaving it open to interpretation.
The witness also described the video with Angela Power-Disney and Sabine, in which they talked about not being able to track down P and Q, but decided to focus on the other 18 “special children”. “The conversation was broadcast so anyone could see them”, the witness said, adding that videos like this were going everywhere online, and that as a parent, they felt they had to follow these postings in order to protect their children.
Asked about Rupert Quaintance, the witness said that they did not pay much attention to him in the beginning. They initially noticed a petition from Belinda McKenzie and Sabine’s Association of McKenzie Friends, where an update stated that Quaintance was coming to the UK; this contained a link to the GoFundMe page.
The witness stumbled over their words, saying they found it hard to talk about how Rupert had said that maybe he needed to try having sex with children, to find out what all the fuss was about.
Asked how they felt when they learned that Rupert was on his way, the witness said they wanted to wait with the police to stop him. “We followed him online around Europe”, they said, “and then he said he was in the UK”.
The witness described how, on the first day of school in 2016, Rupert had posted a picture of himself standing outside Christ Church Primary School, claiming to be carrying a “biscuit”—by which he meant a knife. The witness immediately notified the police and the school, and picked their child up early from school that day.
The witness said that Sabine had set up her blogs, Facebook, and Twitter so that each would lead to the next, bringing more views to her material. They said Sabine had more than 30 blogs, and described how they, too, were linked to one another.
At this point, court adjourned for the day.
Rogers trial concluded
We learned from someone who had gone downstairs to watch the Paul Rogers trial that he was found guilty of contempt of court for having published the name of a witness in this case on his YouTube video, and that he had been given a two month suspended sentence. He has also been banned from the court for the duration of Sabine’s trial.
Following adjournment for the day, EC went off in search of coffee. Later, she learned that an altercation had taken place outside the court, which had resulted in John Paterson being punched. This was confirmed by the Twitter account @courtnewsuk:
We later received an email from Paterson:
We understand that Paterson did an interview on the Sean Maguire show this evening, and that this included his version of events, plus additional threats against EC.
We will be following up on this.
The trial continues tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.