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Hearing for 11 accused of ‘satanic’ child sex ring in Glasgow continues

One of the young girls was said to have been shut in a microwave, a fridge, an oven and a freezer in an attempt to kill her

Glasgow High Court

Katharine Hay,PA Media

A case for 11 people accused of taking part in a child sex ring involving witchcraft, attempted murder and serious sexual violence will be continued early next year.

Seven men and four women are facing a 14-page indictment listing 43 different charges on alleged crimes that happened between January 2010 and March 2020 at various addresses in Glasgow.

The accusations involve multiple young children, but mainly centre around two girls and a boy.

Some charges claim the alleged victims were forced to take part in satanic “seances” where they were told they were drinking blood and eating a heart.

It is claimed they were made to kill animals and made to use a Ouija board, or similar object, “to call on spirits and demons”.

One of the young girls was said to have been shut in a microwave, a fridge, an oven and a freezer in an attempt to kill her.

There are also claims members of the group “did clap, cheer and verbally encourage” as well as video record the children being sexually abused.

Iain Owens, 44, Elaine Lannery, 38, Lesley Williams, 41, Paul Brannan, 40, Marianne Gallagher, 38, Scott Forbes, 49, Barry Watson, 46, Mark Carr, 49, Richard Gachagan, 45, Leona Laing, 50, and John Clark, 46, deny the charges they face.

Maureen Goudie, Steven McHendrie, Robert Brown, James McLean and Douglas Gachagan are also mentioned as being involved in a number of the charges, but court papers said they are now deceased.

At a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday, Judge Lord Beckett described the case as “a unique situation”.

Questions were raised over how best to hear evidence from some witnesses in the trial, and lawyers were given until the end of the year to lodge any complaints about proceedings ahead of the trial next year.

Carr, who had failed to show at the previous hearing, appeared in the court for a brief moment, but was told by Lord Beckett his attendance was not compulsory and he left.

Owens and Lannery face a charge of abusing the three young people and another child “in a manner to cause them unnecessary suffering”.

The court heard they failed to provide adequate food and clean clothing, nor medical and dental care or basic hygiene.

The accusation features a claim they got the young boy to “courier controlled drugs” on their behalf.

The second charge is against 10 members of the group, apart from Forbes, who have been accused of assaulting one of the girls over half a decade from when she was six years old.

This included drugging her, running a wheelchair into her legs, putting a black plastic bag over her head, and forcing her to eat cat food.

It is then said Owens, Lannery, Williams, Brannan and Gallagher assaulted the young boy. They are accused of holding his head under liquid in a bath which they told him was blood.

Owens, Lannery, Williams, Brennan and Clare are then accused of attempting to murder the younger of the two girl victims.

The charge states between 2015 and 2019, they forced her to act like a dog and to eat cat and dog food and frozen food.

The group are said to have chased her “wearing a mask of the devil”, and hung her by her jumper from a nail on the wall.

The charge then claims the girl was pushed inside a microwave, an oven, a fridge, a freezer and various cupboards, including one with an electricity metre.

The group are then accused of trapping her inside these places, in an attempt to kill her.

Court documents claim all 11 members wore cloaks and devil horns and got the children involved in “witchcraft”, leading them to believe that they themselves had “metamorphosed into animals”.

They made the young boy stab a budgie to death and have been accused of killing a number of dogs including getting the children to attack the animals.

Owens then faces a number of charges that he raped the older girl on various occasions over a period of seven years between 2012 and 2019. Some of these incidents are said to include Watson, Brannan, Clark and Forbes, who are also charged with raping the girl at several points over four years.

Other charges included members of the group raping the boy and the younger girl, and making the elder child “operate a camera and create video footage” of some of the abuse.

Another involves members of the group threatening one of the young girls that they had arranged for her to go to Turkey with a male stranger.

And prosecutors state Gachagan, Laing, Carr, Forbes and Watson allegedly paid for “sexual services” for three of the children.

Owens and Lannery also face charges of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice. This includes threatening one of the girls and her call to the police being disconnected. They also allegedly got rid of items to avoid arrest.

The indictment goes on to detail further separate drugs charges against the group.

Judge Lord Beckett set an eight-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow for September next year.

A further hearing has been fixed for January.


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