Sentencing remarks clarify Sabine’s 9-year sentence

Wednesday’s announcement that Sabine McNeill had been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for stalking and breaches of her restraining order has sent a powerful message to those who would continue to harass and stalk the people of Hampstead. Even amongst those who supported a longer prison term, few expected that Sabine would receive more than five years; and amongst Sabine’s supporters, the outcry was swift and loud.

In today’s post, we will review both the defence arguments for mitigation, and HHJ Sally Cahill QC’s sentencing remarks.

Sentencing hearing: Defence

As has so often occurred during this trial, the actual hearing did not get under way until just after 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The morning session had been spent working out the details of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which was unopposed by Sabine’s defence team.

Once the afternoon session had begun, defence barrister Tana Adkin QC put forward a number of mitigating arguments. She emphasised that the content which Sabine had spread online had not emanated from her client, but from Ella Draper, and said Sabine had neither encouraged nor exaggerated the material she was given.

Ella, she said, has continued to share this material via her blog. Her own blog’s link to Sabine’s Whistleblower Kids blog suggests that she sanctioned Sabine’s activities. Adkin took issue with the suggestion that Ella had not approved of Sabine’s behaviour, and pointed out Ella had once sent a congratulatory email to Belinda McKenzie, cc Sabine, congratulating them on their work on her behalf.

While Sabine accepts that there has been a clear breach of privacy, Adkin said, to suggest that Ella was appalled by Sabine’s behaviour as an aggravating factor would be unfair, as Ella had used Sabine as a vehicle to perpetuate her lies.

Adkin stated that it was not quite right to say that Sabine had led and promoted the campaign on her own, as others had been involved. This is a serious matter when it comes to sentencing, she said, as it would not be right that Sabine should be punished for the actions of others.

She also noted that it was incorrect to suggest that Sabine had made money from the campaign. Sabine, she said, has no money, and only made a total of £580 on PayPal, money which she used over three years to pay for her websites, with the remainder going toward food. This is in contrast to Ella, who did raise money online, and yet has no means left.

Of the £20,000 raised for Sabine’s bail bond in 2017, £15,000 has been returned to those who contributed. The remaining £5,000 are Sabine’s savings, and have been used to pay amenities bills while she has been in custody. Adkin said Sabine would be happy to pay every penny asked of her, but she has no wherewithal to pay compensation.

Adkin said that while Sabine accepts that this is a serious matter and is expecting a long sentence, she would ask HHJ Sally Cahill QC in sentencing to consider and reflect changes in the statutory maximum sentences for stalking offences, which were made after 2017. By this time, she said, Sabine had stopped or reduced her activities.

Adkin also pointed out that the victims of Sabine’s stalking had been monitoring her client’s activities without her knowledge, and that in a number of the breach of restraining order charges, the jury had found that she had not republished certain material merely by publishing other material which could have led to it.

She noted that Sabine is a person of good character, in that she had lived seven decades without getting into trouble with the law. She emphasised Sabine’s contributions to the field of data technology in her earlier years.

“Her brain operates differently to others'”, she said, adding that perhaps Sabine works best around figures and data, and less well in the areas of empathy and dealing with people. In addition, she said Sabine’s physical health could be adversely affected in prison, given her lack of mobility.

Adkin pointed out that Sabine had co-operated fully in the court case, and that while she had not pleaded guilty, she had given evidence and had admitted that she was wrong about the class lists.

Adkin said that Sabine had instructed her not to cross-question the parent witnesses on the impacts they had suffered, but asked her merely to clarify facts.

“When the light was dawning that these were innocent parents adversely affected it became clearer and clearer”, she said, noting that a combination of factors such as realising that Ella’s document had been assembled using class lists had helped Sabine understand what she had done.

“Seeing and hearing the moving way in which the parents gave their testimony helped her define how it all fitted together”, Adkin said. “She had never known or appreciated this before, and it was seeing it face to face that helped her appreciate and accept how people feel”.

Reiterating her point that Sabine has “an unusual mind” and has no medical, psychological, or legal expertise to involve herself in such serious and sensitive matters, Adkin said her client had been out of her depth and was dependent on the word of others, such as Ella Draper, who was very persuasive.

Adkin acknowledged that Sabine had said during the trial that she would “believe the children until the day she dies”. However, Adkin said that while Sabine recognises that innocent people were harmed, she believes the children were abused in some way by someone.

Since the trial Sabine has exhibited good behaviour, providing passwords to enable material to be taken off the internet, Adkin said, noting that the final remnants of the Whistleblower Kids blog has now been removed. Sabine wishes to do everything she can to remove this and other material, as she is embarrassed by it now, and does not wish to be defined by the Hampstead allegations.

However, Adkin pointed out that the matter is not finished, as others have continued to post similar material regarding the Hampstead matter.

Adkin said that Sabine apologises for any harm her actions may have caused. The false allegations, she said, “are no more all that defines Ms McNeill than the Hampstead allegations are all that define the parents”.

Adkin said that the strict CBO will govern Sabine’s actions in future, and noted that she will be aware that levels of trust in her are worn to a thread. “She will have to prove herself trustworthy in future”, she said.

Sentencing remarks

Following a break, Judge Cahill read her sentencing remarks.

We have presented these almost verbatim, but have redacted any sections which would either name or allow identification of any of the witnesses who are protected by the reporting restriction on this case.

You are now 74. 

This case has to be one of the most serious cases of stalking and breach of a restraining order that there can be. The direct consequences of your actions are that for the four families concerned in counts 1–4, you have ruined all normal family life. Their children have been unable to attend school normally, and are either home-schooled or have to carry tracking devices and alarms. The families have escape routes planned in case of attack, mothers have slept on the floors of their children’s bedrooms to protect them. They have had to move home; they have had businesses ruined as a result of being unable to have an online profile. As if that is not bad enough, for the children they will never, as things stand at the moment, be able to go online and put in their own names without seeing the vile filth that you have peddled over a period of years. 

You have had warning after warning of the consequences of your actions, and you have continued regardless. You are highly educated and intelligent. It is impossible to see how someone like you could behave in this manner, and what is your perverse motivation. 

This case started in the early part of 2014. At that time you had set yourself up as a McKenzie friend. That of itself should never have happened, as when you were asked in this court what the duties of a McKenzie friend are, you did not know. By your own admission, you also have no experience of interviewing children, and no legal or medical qualifications. 

You befriended a woman called Ella Draper, who had separated from her partner, and she, together with her boyfriend Abraham Christie, set about ensuring [the children’s father] did not see his children. Christie and Draper made up vile lies about [the children’s father], and forced the children to repeat those lies in video interviews directed and recorded by Christie. The lies included that [the father] was the head of a satanic cult operating in Hampstead. The cult allegedly imported babies for ritual slaughter, cooked and ate the babies, and sexually abused not just Draper’s children, but many of the children at a school in Hampstead. Other parents, teachers, police, and social workers were named as being members of the cult. The allegations were of murder, cannibalism, statism, and sexual abuse. They could not be more serious or vile. 

Some of the allegations, to any rational human being, were incredible. The babies were said to be bought abroad, drugged, and sent by DHL to the UK. Whilst buying a baby might seem perfectly possible, drugs that would put them in a stupor for sufficiently long for a journey from whichever country they had been bought in, would seem less so. Just how these babies were transported is not spelt out, but logical thought suggests that if it was by road or rail, the length of the journey would have been likely to have been such that a baby would not survive, and if by air the baby would be in the hold, where once again they are unlikely to survive.

For anyone thinking logically, this would have had to raise doubts about the veracity of the allegations. 

Further doubts should have been raised by the fact that the allegations concerned activity in secret rooms, which could not be located, and were certainly not where described by the children. The number of people said to have been involved varied, but was at least 80 and up to 400 adults. That would suggest the rooms used must have been large. Every adult was said to dance with at least 20 baby skulls round their necks, so it raises the possibility of thousands of babies killed. 

At the outset, all of that, no matter how incredible, had to be a possibility, but such that for any logical person the obvious thought would be that the matter needed investigation by professionals, before any conclusion was reached on the veracity of the allegations. Such investigation inevitably would look at the manner in which the children made the allegations, and the fact they had retracted them and alleged ill treatment by Christie. 

The local authority took the children into care and High Court proceedings followed. They were heard by a very experienced High Court Judge, Mrs Justice Pauffley, in February and March 2015. Her judgment was published and has formed part of the evidence in this case. Mrs Justice Pauffley, having heard extensive evidence, decided that the allegations were not true. 

You say that you decided that the allegations were true. I find that difficult to accept. Prior to the High Court hearing you published some of the evidence online, including all the videos taken of the children by Christie. It is unclear when and where you published the retractions in the police interviews, but I accept that at some point you did, with the proviso that they could be disproved. There is before me a document entitled “Mass Sexual Abuse in Satanic Ritual Abuse and Sacrifice Cult, with Serial Murdering and Blood Drinking”. That is a document which was originally a statement from Ella Draper.

You, however, edited it. You added in the headlines including the one I have just referred to, put it into some kind of order, and in it you identified the parents of the children said to be involved, by name, address, email, and phone number. You say you thought that information came from the children. I do not accept that. On the evidence it is clear it came from a class list, and I am satisfied that you must have known that and known the children could not have provided the kind of detail contained in it.

No intelligent woman could have thought that the children would be able to give those details of their classmates’ parents to their mother. In addition to naming those you alleged were responsible, you put photos online of some of the children….These were obtained by going to [a parent’s] Google drive, and the picture was of [her children] eating Christmas lunch. By doing that you identified them to all. 

With respect to the videos of the [Hampstead] children you gave them sensational names, which you then put online. They were bound to attract the attention of those with an unhealthy interest in children. 

In the document you edited and published online, you described children [in sexualized terms, and claimed that they willingly had sex with adults]. These [children] were only nine years old. You claim you were protecting the children.

In my judgement no rational human being could ever think that identifying children online in the way I have described would protect them. It could only lead to risk to them. 

That document was first seen by the parents in 2015 and is the allegation in counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 (c). 

The sensational headings alone give a clear indication of your approach. At the time you had warned Mrs Justice Pauffley that if she did not return the children to their mother you would publicise the case, and when she ordered you to return the videos to the Court you fled the country. Your audacity in seeking to bribe a High Court judge is yet another indication of your attitude.

Mrs Justice Pauffley in her findings said, 

“All the signs are that those responsible for posting material online derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from attracting interest to their spiteful work from many thousands of people. It is akin to the sensation, I imagine, of a Facebook user receiving that some posting or other has been “liked”. 

I agree with and adopt her view. 

In her judgment Pauffley J spelt out the effect this material being online was having on the parents involved:

Many of those individuals are now living in fear because they have been identified on the internet as abusers of children and their contact details including telephone numbers, home and email addresses have been published. Lives have been disrupted. Several of those implicated have received malicious intimidating phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night from all over the world. For example, ‘Hey cock we’re coming for you, you paedo scum’.

If there is one key message at the end of this inquiry it is that it is not and never will be sufficient to consider just one or two evidential features in isolation. It is always necessary to take account of all the material, not just a selection. Those who arrived at their own early conclusions on the basis of partial material were woefully misguided. The individuals who have watched online film clips, read online articles, and believed in the allegations would do well to reflect that things may not always be what they seem. 

All of the material promulgated by Ms Draper now published on the internet is nothing other than utter nonsense. 

Had, as you claim, your original motivation been to give a voice to the children and protect them, then I am satisfied that judgment, from a Judge who has vast experience of listening to children, should have been sufficient to stop you in your tracks, and to make you appreciate the evil of your path.

You said in evidence that you found the judgment shocking, and too difficult to read. I reject that. I am satisfied you knew exactly what was in it, exactly what the effect of your actions were, and simply chose to carry on for your own personal satisfaction. 

That warning, however, was not the only one. 

In January 2016 you were interviewed by the police, and you told them you had taken the site Whistleblower Kids down a few days before. During that interview the police spelt out the concerns. Your indication that you had taken the site down was, in my view, a clear indication that you know the consequences of your actions. It now seems that if you had ever taken the site down, you very quickly put it up again after that interview. 

A recurrent theme of this case is that as Google, or YouTube, or others have taken your material down, you have put it back up again on sites such as Vid.me

When you appeared in front of HHJ Worsley in July 2016, despite your acquittal on what were legal grounds, he made a restraining order. In his remarks about that he said, 

My intention is to make restraining orders…to prevent further appalling harassment as I am sure they have caused. 

A degree of irrationality on behalf of those (that is you) who are convinced obsessed despite a High Court Judge’s consideration of the evidence and conclusion that the allegations of satanism, cannibalism, and sex with children at this Church of England North London parish, despite her finding that they were simply deluded or misguided…it is my firm intention to make strong detailed restraint orders to seek to bring to an end for all time the harassment of these particular witnesses and others involved. 

On 8 August 2016, you breached the restraining order and you pleaded Guilty to that on 17 October 2016. 

HHJ Shetty said this to you:

It is going to go on for 12 months, but it is important that you listen to what I am about to say, and, indeed, listen to what I am about to say insofar as the restraining order is concerned.

The restraining order is still live. There is a possibility it could be varied in due course, I know not, but at the moment, assume that it will be in force for the rest of your life and also, with regards to the conditional discharge, what that means is as follows: If you commit any other criminal offences within the next 12 months, such as breaching this restraining order, you could immediately be re-sentenced for this particular offence that you have pleaded guilty to today.

I doubt very much that the court will be merciful in terms of giving you a non-custodial sentence next time around. That is important in terms of you reflecting on your particular actions and, if I may say, although I doubt very much that you will listen to me, it is about time that you tried to put all of this nonsense behind you and just get on with the rest of your life. But that is up to you in terms of how you go about in life and what you do”. 

On 25 October, only eight days later, by this jury’s verdict on Count 5, you breached the restraining order again. 

You were interviewed by the police for that breach of the restraining order on 4 November. They spelt out the consequences for the families you were hounding. The police read out to you the effect you were having on [one] family. 

The devastation this campaign has inflicted on my family’s life has necessitated a series of counselling sessions not only for myself and my husband, but also for our…11-year-old child [who has] been impacted greatly. On many occasions [my child] has awoken in the middle of the night in tears and it has led to periods of bed-wetting. [My child] is fearful and worries that our family will be attacked in our home. We have received death threats directly by the phone, email, and generally on social media. We’ve had to instruct our [child] not to answer the phone.

We have been unable to keep [our child] unaware of the online interest in our family, as it was necessary for [our child] to be spoken to by police and social services during the course of the initial investigation into the false allegations. This was a highly traumatic experience for both [our child] and us. The innocence of [our child’s] childhood has been completely ruined. As a parent I feel sick, devastated and heartbroken for us all. I have never met Ms McNeill yet this stranger has violated my family and ruined our lives”. 

Between 25 December and 5 January 2017, by this jury’s verdict on count 6, you breached the order again. 

Counts 8 and 10 are further breaches in April 2017 and November 2017. 

You were then bailed and your bail conditions meant you had to surrender all internet-enabled devices. You then committed Count 20 on 10 February 2018 by distributing leaflets at the general Synod. Bail was amended again but you went on to commit Count 21 and phoned up a charity alleging abuse. 

During evidence you said you had not realised the impact on the families in this case until you actually heard them give evidence in this court, and it was asserted on your behalf that you have not put anything online for a year. 

I have set out the detail I have for two reasons: firstly, I completely reject your assertion that you did not realise the impact of what you were doing. You are an intelligent woman. The impact would be obvious to anyone, but in addition you had it spelt out to you over and over again. 

Secondly, I am satisfied that there is only one reason why nothing further has been put online or distributed, and that is because you have been in custody. That is the only thing that has stopped you. 

The issue of harm

I turn now to harm. In considering harm I recognise that you are not the only person to have put material online that has caused the distress in this case. But having said that, you were the source of the material which came into your hands as McKenzie friend, and uploaded it in January 2015. If you had not uploaded it in January 2015 no one else would have had access to it, or been able to comment on it. 

For each of these families, the effects have been huge. Their businesses and working lives have been disrupted and destroyed. Some have moved home, and others barricade themselves in those homes. The effects on the children are life-changing. These children are now 14/15. They are going through the difficult years of puberty and are young teenagers with all the problems that can, in any normal family, throw up. The added burden of being labelled as nine-year-olds as “liking sex”…will be a huge extra burden that sets them apart from their peer group in the most negative way imaginable. 

I have heard evidence from the parents in this case, and read or heard their victim personal statements. They each gave their evidence with huge dignity. Clearly none wished to be part of Crown Court proceedings, and each was…here to stand up for their children. 

[Parents] described suffering physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. All agreed that this experience has irrevocably altered their lives, and stolen their children’s childhoods from them. The effects suffered have included:

  • seeing their children listed online as enjoying sex with adults; 
  • getting requests from adults to meet their children for sex;
  • having to ensure their children did not play near the school gate;
  • having to ensure their children stayed with the teacher on school trips;
  • having to home-school their children, as regular schools could not meet their safety needs;
  • having to have security cameras installed, and have panic buttons put in by police;
  • having to make their children wear a tracking device at all times;
  • having to make their children carry personal alarms in case of kidnap attempts;
  • having to rethink when they left the house;
  • having to scour their surroundings for signs of potential kidnappers;
  • getting messages saying people were planning to kidnap their children, such as “I am a van driver and can save those kids”;
  • spending all day on the internet checking for more material;
  • being unable to go out;
  • feeling their children’s childhoods have been taken away;
  • being unable to let their children walk home alone, or go anywhere without at least one parent;
  • having to train their children to turn away if anyone takes photos near them;
  • being prescribed sleeping tablets and anti-depressants;
  • being unable to eat and losing weight;
  • suffering from feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression;
  • going from feeling competent and self-confident to feeling barely able to function;
  • having to seek out counselling for themselves, their spouses, and their children;
  • feeling compelled to sleep on their children’s bedroom floor to protect them in case of kidnap attempts;
  • having to plan an escape route in case someone attempts to kidnap their children;
  • having to move to another neighbourhood as Hampstead no longer felt safe;
  • trying—and failing—at concealing the situation from their children;
  • having to change their children’s names by deed poll;
  • losing business opportunities;
  • being unable to develop businesses without using the internet.

[One person attacked by Sabine] referred to [their] deep distress at the allegations, but said, in an expression of humanity that sadly you appear not to recognise, that what haunts and grieves [them] most is the incalculable damage done to two particular children and almost certainly to numberless other children as a result of your activities. 

There is also clear evidence of the effect of your offending on the community as a whole, and considerable police resources have been taken up as a result of your ongoing activities. 

You were born in Germany and obtained a degree in computing and maths from Heidelberg University in the 1960s. You worked at CERN in Geneva for some 15 years until you married and moved to this country. You have used computers and the internet as a source of income for years. I am satisfied that you are a highly competent user of the internet. You know and understand how to use it, how to set up and link websites, how to change security settings, and how to use one website to promote another. 

In my judgement you are an arrogant, malicious, evil, and manipulative woman. Having set on your course you have used all means possible through the internet to prolong your campaign. Whilst the jury have clearly considered that you tweeting something new does not involve republication, you exploited that. You know that if you tweet on one blog and it is linked to another you raise awareness even if you do not republish. 

You face 10 separate matters in terms of sentence.

Counts 1–4 concern the same or similar conduct over a period of four years, targeting four different families. Counts 5, 6, 8, 10. 20, and 21 are breaches of the restraining order.

A question for me is whether those should be sentenced separately and consecutively, or whether I should take those into account as aggravating Counts 1–4. Miss Moore QC on behalf of the Crown submits that Counts 5, 6, 7, 10, 20, and 21 are all breaches of a Court order [from February 2015], and some are in breach of a conditional discharge or on bail and should be sentenced separately. I am satisfied that her submission is the correct approach. 

For Counts 1–4 I have considered the Intimidatory offences guideline in relation to stalking. In terms of culpability I am satisfied that your conduct was deliberate and determined and designed to cause as much fear and distress as possible to the families. It was spelt out to you, and you revelled in it.

You are a highly competent user of the internet and have over 70 blogs. You knew how to change settings to link between different sites. On 19 February 2015 you said in a message that you use some of your sites to promote your petition. That petition related to this case. 

This was action that took place over four years. 

The sentencing guidelines require me to assess culpability. 

This was conduct intended to maximise distress and fear, there was a high level of planning involved in your use of the internet, and changing of settings between your blogs and changing sites when necessary. It was persistent over four years. 

In my view the extreme nature of those combined puts this in Category A in terms of culpability. 

In terms of harm, the harm caused was very serious distress, there has been significant psychological harm, and the victims’ lives have changed to a hugely significant degree. The harm level is 1. 

The starting point is therefore five years imprisonment with a range of 3.5 to eight years. 

Aggravating features are that you used a position of trust to start this campaign; the material was grossly offensive; the impact on children has been significant; you are in breach of a conditional discharge; you have a previous conviction for breach of the restraining order; your targets on counts 5, 6, 8, 10, 20, and 21 include those in a position of serving the public, namely teachers and church staff. 

The only identifiable mitigating factor is your age, and the fact that until you were 72 you had no previous convictions. It is suggested on your behalf that you have showed contrition.

Miss Adkin QC suggests that you have realised and recognised the error of your views and the pain you have caused. I do not accept that. You have continued to assert you believe the children, which Miss Adkin suggests means you think they have been abused by someone but you do not know who. Not once have you said that you accept the allegations made against those involved in this case were untrue, as found by Mrs Justice Pauffley. Any contrition you have purported to express in my judgement has been regret for the fact that you have found yourself in prison. It is self-serving, not real. 

If you were before this court and to be sentenced in relation to only one family, then my view would be that taking into account the extreme nature of the offences and the persistent nature of it, the appropriate starting point at step 2 would be five years’ imprisonment. However, if I then adjust that to take into account the aggravating factors I have just identified, I would adjust that sentence to six years imprisonment. 

However, there are four families in this case. In my view each have suffered to an equally appalling degree. To pass a sentence of six years consecutive on each would not recognize on the one hand that many of the actions are the same, and would in any event be disproportionate and offend the principle of totality, but on the other hand not to pass consecutive sentences is not to recognise the harm to each.

I shall therefore increase the sentence that is passed in respect of each count by a period of two years, to reflect the fact that there are more than four, not one, families involved. The total sentence I shall pass therefore in respect of counts 1–4 will be the same, but in each case it reflects the criminality suffered by that family and is increased to reflect the additional harm to others. 

In respect of counts 1–4 the sentence is therefore 8 years’ imprisonment, concurrent. 

In respect of each of counts 5, 6, 8, and 10, the appropriate guideline is that for breach of a restraining order. I accept the Crown categorisation that these are category 1A offences, which have a starting point of two years in custody and a range of 1–4 years. They are persistent breaches and they caused continuing very serious distress, and are aggravated by the matters I have identified previously, and also because the latter offences were committed in breach of court orders. The starting point in each case is two years imprisonment. I shall not increase that for the aggravating factors, as I did so for Counts 1–4, but neither is there any mitigation to decrease it. 

On Counts 5, 6, 8, and 10 the sentence is two years imprisonment concurrent to each other. As they are separate and continuing offences they should be consecutive to Counts 1–4. 

Counts 20 and 21 are quite separate in the manner of their commission, and both were in breach of court orders and bail. Miss Adkin QC suggests no harm was caused. That submission is one that does not fit with the evidence. The background includes many in official positions being affected….

I am satisfied the harm in this case in respect of counts 20 and 21 particularly relate to [a person protected by a restraining order], and it was, in my judgement, serious harm and distress. In addition to the implied attack on this person’s position, there is the effect on the community they serve and which they recognise. I am satisfied that these are also Category 1A cases, and the guideline starting point is two years in custody. Those will be concurrent to each other, but again as continuing separate offences in breach of court orders and bail they should be consecutive to the previous sentences. 

Finally, I must consider again the overall totality of the sentences I have passed which is a total of 12 years. In view of your age and health that is too long, and I will therefore reduce the sentences on each of counts 5, 6, 8, 10, 20, and 21 to one year, and I will make them concurrent rather than consecutive to each other. 

Final sentences are therefore: 

Counts 1–4: eight years imprisonment concurrent

Counts 5, 6, 8, and 10: one year imprisonment concurrent to each other but consecutive to counts 1–4

Counts 20 and 21: one year imprisonment concurrent to each other but consecutive to counts 1–4

The overall sentence is therefore nine years imprisonment. 

I am invited to make a criminal behaviour order. It is not opposed. To do so I must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offender has engaged in behaviour that has caused harassment or distress, and that the order will help prevent the offender from engaging in such behaviour. I am so satisfied, and will make the order as requested. 

I am also satisfied that the test for a criminal deprivation order is satisfied and I shall make a deprivation order in respect of the items listed in paragraph 29 of the sentencing note of the prosecution. 

With respect to the issues of costs and compensation, in view of your lack of resources, I can make no order. 

The statutory surcharge applies and will be applied administratively. There will also be a collection order. 

86 thoughts on “Sentencing remarks clarify Sabine’s 9-year sentence

  1. Very moved and so sad to read the list of effects, that already went on too long. I hope those still sharing details read this post slowly and allow the reality of the harm they have and are still gleefully causing, to sink in and I hope they will desist. If not, then I hope the law catches up with them swiftly now.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Though I have cheered and been so happy to see that Sabine has been dealt a fullsome blow by Lady Justice. Each time I recall the voices expressed in court and beautifully, poignantly expressed through your writing here, Karen with a thud, I realise that they are clearly still suffering and that it will take a great deal of courage and fortitude to heal from such cruel wounds inflicted by those who claim hero status in the campaigns to increase child protection………….. the revulsion as more people via Flo Destroyer and other exposers of frauds who have come across merciless online evil doers ………. is inspiring more channels to share their findings and confirming how connected so many ghouls are, across the globe………… No one caught in their sights stands a chance against the kind of filth the hoaxers will unleash on any of us exposing them………….I am still hoping for destruction of the whole web of decievers dealing in misery for gain.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope APD and the others who have continued to support Sabine as a ‘whistle blower’ take the time to read this- slowly and fully- and sit down and have a good hard long think about what they are going to be doing in the future…

    It destroys any credibility that the Hampstead Hoax had left (imho none anyway), and should they desist from splashing it about further and delete their own material, if they do get hauled up for their actions it ‘may’ be a reason for mitigating any sentences received

    Should they continue with their attacks, and being well aware of the current trial and sentencing, then they will have no defence and imho should suffer the full weight of the law

    From what I understand some witnesses are well aware of all the current going ons and with this sentence, I would think that even if criminal actions weren’t taken against the ringleaders and most vocal hoaxers, then they would be well within their rights to take civil action against them for the disgusting lies they continue to peddle.
    Thanks again EC for all the hard work you put into this, and it was very illuminating reading the reasons given for the judgement and the severity of the sentence, showing just how badly this affected the families involved, all over a mother and her psychopathic boyfriend’s insane plot (actually I could say it probably applies to both of them)

    Liked by 4 people

        • LOL- that bloomin cat…
          I am hoping that having had one of the prime instigators taken down, should any others step up their own campaigns, that the people most affected by these clowns would be more willing to press the police for more and speedier prosecutions to try and get their lives back…
          With this precedent being set, it would be (in theory) easier for any prosecutions to succeed

          This one alone ‘should’ make the hoaxers think twice about continuing their crap, should one begin to become too prolific and longterm in their attacks (eg neelu, APD in particular have been at it for a long time, and with very prolific outputs) then it should be easier to get convictions against them too
          That’s my hope anyway
          🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll repeat something I said before, though not for sometime…….. Should funds be needed for people to pursue justice; either private prosecutions or civil actions………… I would support and promote such a crowd funder. I know many of us are uncomfortable with fundraising, but there are many good things successfully creating positive actions too……… I’m sure that via this blog a team could be formed to handle the finances and ensure they are put to effective use for the genuine victims deserving of redress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Neelu needs to brush up on how she presents her “remedy”. That reads like she wants the “hostages,political prisoners, babies and children” who are non-humans and should be lobotomized.
        She’s missed her calling. The 1930s want her back and have a position in the Eugenics Dept. of the National Socialists for her.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly, mate. Hanging/lobotomising/castrating priests, judges, Hampstead residents and anyone who looks at her funny – all perfectly acceptable. As long as you don’t swear while you’re doing it 🙄

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It helps to hear the effect this has had on all the victims involved as often it’s an aspect we are so often not aware of. I remind people that Fiona Barnett also had a similar devastating effect on one innocent grandson after she made ludicrous claims about a dead person.
    That involved increasing bullying from school mates and an eventual change of name and school. We have no idea of what the eventual results will be on that family.

    In the UK it seems too many people have too much time on their hands and who are obsessed with a desire to believe every evil under the Sun and in the USA so many cranks pick up on it and can be moved to take physical actions such as in pizzagate. They simply believe anything they read on the web and decided to take action. We witnessed it in small ways from Sabine’s supporters at court who seem completely oblivious to the idea they too are committing a serious offence by promoting this hoax.

    That judgement is so damning, all those who have aided in the promotion of this hoax and the devastating attacks on the victim’s lives and the possible lifelong ramifications should take heed.
    To ignore the seriousness of this Judgement would be very foolish. Yet they double-down with their attacks and blithely ignore that a very serious precedent has now been set by the length of Sabine’s sentence.
    They also ignore that once a (fairly recent type of) crime has been identified and the punishment set others who commit it cannot be ignored by the police.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Plus there is a growing awareness of the extent of online bullying, which all of those people are guilty of, and this case sets a precedence that others who consistently do it, even after being cautioned and having their equipment seized (looking at you here APD) and others who ‘should’ be well aware of their own court cases and the dangers of breaching their own restrictions (hello Neelu, remember that case that you and someone else- I can’t remember her name, I am sure I have seen it somewhere recently- you both got restraining orders…. dammit, who was that again, I am sure I have seen her name mentioned quite recently…. LOL)
      😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • There are moves afoot downunder by some of Fionas other victims to push for legal prosecution there are probably other readers of this blog who can ensure that evidence of Fiona and her buddies connections and behaviour online is collated so can be made available to the appropriate authorities……..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Also, do I take it the daft sod has mixed up Christine Joanna Hart with Anna Kavanagh?

      Though to be fair, it is hard to keep track of all the people Angela’s fallen out with.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Angela… the Hampstead SRCA case is 100% real”

      Dammit, how can I resist…?

      Angela Power-Disney, 05.04.18

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pikey should hook up with that creepy Ian Josephs bloke who was trolling us yesterday. They’d get on like a house on fire.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ian Josephs? That rings a bell. Is he that weirdo who lives in Monaco and helps spirit parents out of the UK so that social services can’t take their children from them, without ever bothering to assess any risks, meaning that the children often wind up being abused?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Another thing Josephs and Pike have in common is that they’re both going round telling big fat stinking lies about Sabine’s trial being “shrouded in secrecy”.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Having just finished reading the well researched The Family book about the cult General Sands keeps rabbiting on about, they put to rest the claim Assange was part of that particular cult. He wasn’t.
      The authors extensively interviewed ex-cult members and while there were shocking incidents of physical and mental abuse and drug use like LSD not one claimed sexual abuse of any kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. But on the bright side, APD has confirmed that she owns her “modest semi-detached home” which would make a defamation proceeding against her worth pursuing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With a reasonable knowledge of defamation cases (and having had a UK tabloid settle one within 2 weeks that I pursued ) I would actively encourage anyone to go for the throat.
      My case involved a mistaken identity in the 70s and a tiny article on page 4.
      APD and others have pursued a relentless campaign of harassment and defamation over 4 years. They have no defense.

      Any lawyer they engaged would recommend they settle asap. But that’s not before he/she asked for a reasonable sum up front to cover costs even before they put pen to paper. You don;t get credit when trying to defend a defamation case.
      Costs alone would wipe someone like APD out even before she got near a court.

      Like

    • If she doesn’t end up in prison she could end up living with one of her family members she has regularly defamed on the internet. That would be a sitcom in the making.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You could be onto something. I need to fire up my sitcom writing skills again. Ideas so far:

        Angela the Old-age Witch
        How I met your Mother****er
        Arrested Incitement
        Haridan’s Half Hour
        Til Deaf Us Do Part
        Two and a Half Brain Cells
        One Foot in the Mouth

        Like

  5. People who believe the whole babies killed on Wednesdays tale, should take note, something I picked up on Ella’s last letter form the IPCC that she published, the other children WERE interviewed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, inflicted, unneccessary interviews that stole their innocence…..what kind of people would enjoy doing that ? And how many display the signs of predatory pedophiles and how many have we found amongst those pushing this hoax beyond the boundaries demanded by morality, allowed still by the platforms. I’m hopeful and with some indications from various sources that moves are afoot to implement new measures……. I hope for best impact and that the right types are in reciept of the control they clearly need as they act online like rabid, rancid, toxic waste.

      Like

      • Yes, it is a terrible thing to put all those families through that, and all the children through police or social services interviews.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. “UK’s worst troll” according to the Telegraph report linked to above.

    I like that tag for Sabine. She’ll have plenty more time to contemplate it too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Sabine – UK’s Worst Troll”

      It could be the start of a line of merchandise, all profits to Primary Schools.
      Warning, this product is unsuitable for children.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cracking post EC. I’m so impressed with the detail. And great to see how the judge was thinking when determining sentence.

    I suppose now we can talk about Angela ‘dangerous’ and ‘not a nice person’* Power Disney and also Sabine ‘arrogant, malicious, evil, and manipulative woman’ McNeill.

    I can’t wait to hear what the judge has to say about B McKenzie. I doubt it’ll be nice.

    *phrases used in a previous Court case.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m a relative newcomer to all of this. I did feel uncomfortable about a 74 year old getting 9 years if I’m honest but having read above that some of the sentences are concurrent and that said 74 year old had been given ample time to amend things she had posted online it seems that the 9 years is actually on the lenient side. If she’s a good girl in prison she’ll probably have time reduced anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Nine Years – part 3 – Spin vs Truth

  10. It’s always welcome to be reminded that in spite of this case’s farcical and comedic aspects it is at its heart a story of arrogant, delusional and downright evil arseholes perpetrating a disgusting campaign of harassment against innocent children.

    When the sentence was announced I did a sharp intake of breath and thought… “Fuck a duck… That’s steep”. Hearing this vile excuse for a human being’s crimes put in their true perspective and shifts my thoughts from “That’s steep” to “Is that all?”.

    I’m not a “Lock ’em up and throw away the key” person at heart but in this case I’ll happily make an exception. If she comes out of jail other than pine-clad and horizontal it’ll be a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean about understanding the rationale behind the sentence, Martin. I felt the same—partly because at Sabine’s age, nine years is a very long time, and partly because I was concerned that the sentence could be overturned on appeal (which it may well be yet, but let’s jump off that bridge when we come to it).

      Re Sabine coming out of prison in a box, though, I have to disagree. I wish her no ill, and I think that nine years in the custody of the state should be plenty to instil in her head some sort of thoughtfulness about her actions. If not, see above note re bridges. 🙂

      Like

      • Judge Cahill gave thorough break down of the sentencing taking you through each step and clearly stated that the sentence was in fact 12 years. Where I can see grounds for appeal is that the maximum sentence was increased by Parliament after her first offence. I can see that as grounds for appeal. It might work or the appeal judges may feel sorry for her, but the guidelines are quite clear that where there are multiple acts in a course of action it is the date of the last offence which is relevant in terms of the sentence.

        Like

  11. Pingback: Conspiracy Milieu Doubles Down on Hampstead Satanic Ritual Abuse Hoax after Sabine McNeill Sentenced to Nine Years | Bartholomew's Notes

  12. It seems odd that someone would start behaving like this in their 60s/70s. Any word on what precisely she was doing before, apart from the info below (which is presumably reliable?), as indicated above?

    “She [defence barrister Tana Adkin QC] noted that Sabine is a person of good character, in that she had lived seven decades without getting into trouble with the law.”

    “You were born in Germany and obtained a degree in computing and maths from Heidelberg University in the 1960s. You worked at CERN in Geneva for some 15 years until you married and moved to this country. You have used computers and the internet as a source of income for years. I am satisfied that you are a highly competent user of the internet. You know and understand how to use it, how to set up and link websites, how to change security settings, and how to use one website to promote another.”

    Like

    • Perhaps the information available to the court about her isn’t entirely reliable.

      It looks as if her maiden name (or a name she used to go by) was Sabine Ursula Kurjo: https://companycheck.co.uk/search?term=sabine+mcneill

      Googling “Sabine Ursula Kurjo” produces this page in which she is quoted as saying “Nach dem Studium von Mathematik und Informatik in Darmstadt bekam ich meinen ersten Job im CERN in Genf”, i.e. “After studying mathematics and computer science in Darmstadt, I obtained my first job at CERN in Geneva”.

      So why does the judge’s sentencing remarks say she obtained a degree from Heidelberg (a prestigious German university)? How reliable is the rest of the information about her, e.g. that she worked at the similarly prestigious CERN?

      Like

      • Madame Crocodile bigging up her CV to impress may well have backfired. She would have been better off playing the demented,skiing failure whose life has descended into something akin to a character roaming the dank corridors of a Faustian drama who not even the devil could be arsed to make a pact with card.

        The courts appreciate honesty.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: What really happened at Belinda McKenzie’s trial? | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH

  14. I have to admit that I don’t understand the judge’s reasoning as set out in the sentencing remarks. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong and that Sabine therefore has an appeal against the sentence though. It probably just means that I’m completely out of my depth.

    I have emailed Matthew Scott a link to this page and asked if he intends to blog about this, copying that email to Tim Lawson-Cruttenden.

    Issues are the retrospective legislation aspect, the hybridisation of concurrent and consecutive sentencing, whereby some counts become aggravating factors in the sentencing of others, the possible conflation of starting point and maximum sentence, the apparent increasing of a sentence above the maximum because of aggravating factors, and the absence of any mention of putting in fear (the section 4 offence, the only one that is triable either way with a ten year maximum sentence).

    The sentencing remarks are difficult to follow without the list of charges. I think I shall need expert input before I understand how the judge came up with 9 years as the right figure.

    Like

    • Yes John, no John, three bags full John…..

      If you need the judge’s sentencing remarks analysed by a supposed legal expert of your choosing when everyone else is capable of a higher level of comprehension than you, so be it.

      Like

      • It’s a bit of an insult to describe either Matthew Scott or Tim Lawson-Cruttenden as merely “supposed legal experts”. My choosing of them was careful. The former is the publisher of the award-winning Barrister Blogger blog. The latter co-authored the following two textbooks:

        Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden and Neil Addison (1997), Blackstone’s Guide to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Blackstone Press, ISBN 978-1-85431-695-0
        Neil Addison and Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden (1997), Harassment Law & Practice

        It turns out that Tim knows Sabine.

        If you think that there are better experts I could have asked, please feel free to suggest. If you think that you are of a higher level of comprehension than me, feel free to explain the judge’s sentencing remarks yourself. I’m all ears.

        I anticipate that Sabine will appeal the sentence and will succeed in getting the sentence reduced. That’s my guess.

        Like

  15. Pingback: Belinda McKenzie: Chambers Manager? | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH

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