Nearly a dozen people are on trial in Scotland for allegedly sexually abusing children and even reportedly involving the kids in “witchcraft.”
Seven men and four women are facing a combined 32 charges after allegedly forcing kids to participate in séances, including using a Ouija board to “call on spirits and demons,” and reportedly recording themselves sexually abusing the kids, according to Sky News. At least three girls and one boy were allegedly victimized by the group between 2010 and 2020.
The suspects were identified as: Iain Owens, 45; Elaine Lannery, 39; Lesley Williams, 41; Paul Brannan, 41; Marianne Gallagher, 38; Scott Forbes, 50; Barry Watson, 47; Mark Carr, 50; Richard Gachagan, 45; Leona Laing, 51; and John Clark, 47. They have all denied the charges against them.
The alleged child victims in the case were reportedly forced into witchcraft classes, where they would point wands and cast spells that made them believe they “metamorphosed into animals,” according to Sky News.
“I didn’t like it when all the witches pointed their wands at me,” one girl said of the rituals, according to the BBC.
One child was allegedly forced into a microwave, a freezer and a cupboard in a murder attempt, the BBC reported, and was allegedly told to “act like a dog” and eat pet food. The suspects are accused of chasing the child while wearing a devil mask.
Five of the 11 on trial were hit with attempted murder charges for allegedly trapping the kid in a cupboard.
All of the suspects were charged with abusing and killing a handful of dogs, and reportedly forced two children to join them in stabbing the dogs.
Prosecutors said that the children had also been raped at different times and the suspects would allegedly “clap, cheer and verbally encourage” the crime, and sometimes even recorded the attacks, according to Sky News.
The group was also hit with drug charges, including possessing diamorphine and cocaine, and allegedly ordering the kids to transport drugs.
The trial is ongoing at Glasgow’s High Court.
Trials in Scotland involving alleged witches go back centuries, with an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people executed and tortured over witchcraft claims in the late 16th to 17th centuries, according to National Museums Scotland.
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