Pair jailed over witches’ coven ‘ritualistic’ sex abuse
Ryan Hooper Friday 14 December 2012
Two men accused of being part of a paedophile ring involving murdered “witch” Peter Solheim have been given lengthy jail sentences for their part in “ritualistic, sickening” sex abuse of young girls.
Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske spent years tormenting their female victims, one said to be as young as three. Both men had denied any involvement in the abuse, claiming they were victims of a witch hunt or conspiracy.
But a jury at Truro Crown Court dismissed their protestations, convicting the pair of a string of offences dating back to the 1970s, as well as finding Kemp guilty of several more recent sexual assaults unconnected to Petrauske.
Jailing Kemp for 14 years and Petrauske for 18, Judge Graham Cottle told them: “The offences range from the extremely serious to the truly horrifying.
“You are two of the surviving members of a paedophile ring, together with others whose names have repeated frequently in this trial who were members of a ring that operated in Falmouth (Cornwall) in the 1970s and 1980s….
“It (the trial) has featured ritualistic, sickening abuse of young, young children. The scars left on (two victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons) are so obvious that it would seem extremely unlikely that either of them have any real prospect of recovery….
Petrauske was convicted of rape, aiding and abetting an attempted rape, and indecent assault. Judge Cottle sentenced him to 18 years in prison.
Kemp was guilty of 10 sexual offences including indecent assault and indecency with a child, and was handed a 14-year term.
Both men were given a discount because of their age, the judge telling Petrauske he was likely to die in prison.
Petrauske was said to be the “high priest” of a witches’ coven in St Ives, Cornwall, and ordered the girls to carry out his sick fantasies. The court heard Kemp videoed the abuse, but also took part in the assaults, along with friends Solheim and Stan Pirie – a notorious paedophile who died in jail following his conviction for sex abuse in the mid-2000s.
The duo’s victims gave harrowing evidence from behind a screen during the three-week trial. They said they were then abused by their tormentors, before being given money and sweets to buy their silence.
The abuse was only investigated further by police last year when Kemp was arrested in connection with another incident, causing rumours to spread around his home town of Falmouth and prompting the alleged victims of the historic offences to contact detectives.
Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Rick Milburn praised the bravery of the pair’s victims, adding: “It was truly horrific abuse, the worst my officers and myself have ever seen. It was truly distressing for everyone involved….
“I have no doubt Kemp and Petrauske were key players (in child sex abuse in Cornwall).”
Prosecutor Jason Beal said some of the assaults took the form of rituals with the young girls’ wrists tied.
Mr Beal said: “(One victim) was taken to a house where pagans were present, Jack Kemp was present and ‘German Pete’ (Petrauske) was also there….
When Petrauske was arrested last year, detectives discovered daggers, sheets, candles and a mask, the court heard. He immediately mentioned the names Kemp and – in a dramatic twist in the case – Solheim.
The latter was a 56-year-old parish councillor whose body was found five miles off the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, by fishermen on June 18, 2004. He had been drugged and mutilated by a machete or an axe….
But counsel for the defendants told the jury that Petrauske and Kemp played no part in the abuse….
Girl ‘was abused in churchyard’ STEPHEN WARD
Tuesday 08 June 1993
A COURT at the Old Bailey was told yesterday that a young girl was taken to a churchyard each Hallowe’en by three men, then sexually abused in front of a group of adults who wore black cloaks and balaclavas, writes Stephen Ward.
The girl, now 11, is one of seven children who were allegedly victims of sexual and physical abuse by a man aged 67, his daughter, 29, and his two sons- in-law, aged 41 and 31. The offences span 1978 to 1989. The defendants deny 28 specimen charges.
The court was told that all the defendants and all the victims are related. None can be identified to protect the children.
The rector of St Mary’s church, Northolt, west London, is to testify that over 10 years witchcraft has taken place in the church at Hallowe’en.
Girl, 10, tells of sexual abuse in ‘devil church’: Child accuses relatives in video shown to jury
Wednesday 09 June 1993
A VIDEO in which a 10-year-old girl wept as she told of being sexually abused in a church by her father and grandfather was shown to a court at the Old Bailey yesterday.
The one-and-a-half hour interview was conducted by a policewoman in the presence of the girl’s foster mother and a social worker last autumn. The girl also described a catalogue of abuse at the hands of her uncle and other adults.
The father, 41, grandfather, 61, another uncle, 31, and an aunt, 29, variously deny 28 specimen charges against seven children, including rape, buggery, indecent assault and cruelty.
The girl, now 11, described her father as ‘horrible’ and said he frequently beat her. She said he started sexually abusing her when she was three and having full sex with her when she was five.
She described being taken late at night by her father and others to a ‘devil church’ where she was stripped, tied up, had knives held in front of her face and was abused by adults in black cloaks and balaclavas….
Linda Stern QC, for the prosecution, has told the jurors they will hear from the rector of St Mary’s Church, Northolt, west London, who had noticed ‘unpleasant practices connected with witchcraft’ had taken place at Hallowe’en ‘in various parts of the church’.
Once the taped interview was over, the girl was cross-examined through a live video link running between the court and a private room in the Old Bailey. She said other children were at the church – four or five, along with 20 adults. She denied that she had made up details of the church from watching horror videos.
Mrs Stern has alleged that the defendants made the children watch obscene tapes. Several of the children described seeing ‘rude’ videos.
She said that as well as being sexually abused, the children were physically neglected and were kept silent through fear and threats.
They were cowed into submission, and ‘sexual abuse and neglect of their other needs was the only way of life they knew’.
Four people in one family are jailed for child sex
DAVID TAYLOR Wednesday 30 June 1993
FOUR MEMBERS of the same family were jailed at the Old Bailey yesterday for sexually abusing seven children over an 11-year period, writes David Taylor.
A father, aged 41, who was found guilty of 16 charges of rape, indecent assault, buggery, cruelty and indecency, was jailed for life with an order that he serve a minimum of 12 years. He was said to have ‘behaved like a monster’.