- WARNING – CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND DISTRESSING CONTENT
- A total of 11 people have been accused of being members of a paedophile ring
- The group is alleged to have abused children in Glasgow over course of 10 years
- It is claimed members of the group raped and abused three young children
- Glasgow High Court heard the children were forced to take part in witchcraft too
A satanic child abuse ring tortured children by putting them in an oven, forcing them to kill animals and gang raping them, a court has heard.
Seven men and four women are accused of abusing three young children over the course of 10 years in Glasgow which saw them attempt to ‘call on spirits and demons’.
Two girls – one of whom was allegedly shut in a microwave, fridge, oven and freezer in an attempted to kill her – and one boy were forced to kill animals as well as being sexually abused by the group, it is claimed.
Members of the group have been charged with 43 offences with among the most serious being attempted murder and rape of young children.
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, all deny the offences.
Four other people alleged to have been involved in the ring – Maureen Goudie, Steven McHendrie, Robert Brown, James McLean and Douglas Gachagan – have since died, according to court papers.
The High Court in Glasgow was told on Friday that the offences took place between January 2010 and March 2020 at a number of addresses in the city.
The group are alleged to have run a wheelchair over the legs of one of the girls, as well as putting a plastic bag over her head.
It’s claimed she was made to eat cat food, as well as take drugs and alcohol, with the other girl also made to eat pet food.
The second girl was allegedly chased by an adult wearing a devil mask and hung by her jumper from a nail on the wall.
This culminated with her being pushed into and trapped inside a microwave, an oven, a fridge freezer and various cupboards, the court heard.
It is claimed one of the girls was threatened with being sent to Turkey with a male stranger, while the boy was put in a bath which they said was filled with blood.
The boy and older girl are alleged to have been made to take part in ‘seances (and) use a Ouija board…to call on spirits and demons’.
The children were also involved in ‘witchcraft’ leading them to believe that they themselves had ‘metamorphosed into animals’.
The 11 are further said to have worn cloaks and devil horns as well making the young boy stab a budgie to death.
The group are also accused of killing a number of dogs including getting the children to attack the animals.
It is claimed that all three children were raped and sexually assaulted by members of the ring, with some cheering and clapping while recording the offences.
Prosecutors allege that some members of the group paid for ‘sexual services’ from three of the children.
The court heard that when the older girl called the police she was threatened by members of the group and had her call disconnected.
It is also said attempts were made to ‘pressurise’ two of the youngsters around the time of police interviews.
Judge Lord Beckett estimated the full trial could take up to seven weeks, with several of the defence lawyers agreeing this was ‘realistic’.
The judge told the court: ‘There are so many people in the case there could be an unusual level of disruption.’
Advocate depute Kath Harper estimated the Crown case alone would last up to three weeks.
At Friday’s hearing – where none of the accused were present – several defence lawyers raised concerns over a video posted on social media in relation to the trial hours before the case was called.
Gary Allan KC described the content as ‘accusatory’ and having ‘derogatory terms’ directed towards the accused, and said it was ‘potentially prejudicial’.
Brian McConnachie KC told the court: ‘We need to speak to this person and tell them to stop what they are doing… There will be some future video uploaded.’
Lord Beckett responded to the lawyers’ concerns, saying: ‘The Crown has the resources to tackle this and I would encourage the Crown to do so.’
The case was continued to the full trial hearing in September.