Satanic sex cult face years in jail after being found guilty of catalogue of sexual offences
Colin BatleyColin Batley
An “evil” paedophile and three women are facing years in jail today for establishing a satanic sex cult to abuse children and young adults in a quiet Welsh town.
Former Tesco security guard Colin Batley, 48, presided over the depraved “quasi-religious” sect which indulged in occult Egyptology-inspired rites from his home in Kidwelly.
A jury at Swansea Crown Court found him guilty of carrying out a series of perverted sexual acts on children and adults, including 11 rapes.
Batley was the self-styled high priest of the group, which operated from a series of homes in a quiet cul-de-sac in the seaside Carmarthenshire town.
He and three female cult members, who wore Eye of Horus tattoos on their arms to signify membership, insisted throughout the five-week trial that no cult had ever existed.
But the trial jury dismissed that version of events yesterday when they found him guilty of more than two dozen acts of sexual perversion linked to his activities in the cult.
In total he was found guilty of 35 separate offences including causing prostitution and indecency with children.
He was warned by the trial judge that he faced a “vast” prison sentence.
His wife, Elaine Batley, 47, who even had Tutankhamun’s head tattooed on her back, was found guilty of five counts of indecency with children, while co-defendant Shelly Millar, 35, was convicted of two.
Jackie Marling, 42, Colin Batley’s lover, was convicted of five offences, including aiding and abetting rape, causing prostitution and indecency with children.
The five-week trial involving the four, who lived at separate addresses in Clos yr Onnen, Kidwelly, was so harrowing, trial judge Paul Thomas QC offered the jury counselling if they needed it.
The jury took four-and-a-half days to come to their verdicts and were commended by the judge for their role in what he called an “upsetting” case.
As the defendants were led down the steps to cells after being remanded in custody following the verdicts, Elaine Batley could be heard screaming “I ******* hate you” at her husband. The court then heard crying and sobbing coming from the cell steps.
Colin Batley, described by prosecutor Peter Murphy QC as “evil and manipulative”, could be seen smiling and at one point laughing as the jury returned guilty verdicts to the string of serous offences he was convicted of doing.
Judge Thomas, who will carry out sentencing tomorrow, Fri warned them: “All those convicted of offences today are facing substantial prison sentences.”
Sandra Iveson, 45, who lived at Clos yr Onnen, was exonerated of any wrongdoing after being acquitted of indecency with children.
A fifth defendant, Vince Barden, 70, of London, not said to have been part of the cult, was acquitted of a single charge of rape. But Barden had already admitted two counts of sexual assault on an under-age girl.
Both he, Batley and the other cult members will all be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow. on Friday.
The jury yesterday delivered guilty verdicts for almost every offence that the group faced.
In Batley’s case it included 11 separate rapes, three indecent assaults, causing prostitution for personal gain, causing a child to have sex and inciting a child to have sex.
The jury also found him guilty of six counts of a serious sexual offence and four counts of possessing indecent images of a child.
Judge Thomas warned the group they all faced “lengthy jail terms”.
During the trial, Batley was accused of using the cult as an excuse for sexual depravity.
The jury heard he moved to Kidwelly from London and was followed successively by Marling and Millar and their partners, neither of whom figured in the trial.
Cult members would dress in hooded robes during occult rituals which usually took place before group sex.
A number of houses in the same cul-de-sac were used for the regular cult sex sessions.
Batley would read from the occult bible, The Book of The Law, written more than a century ago by arch-Satanist Aleister Crowley.
He would also order cult members to have sex together and ensure that other members were present to film it. The recorded material mentioned during the trial is believed to have been destroyed before his arrest.
Batley was apparently tipped off by friends in London about the impending raid on his home two days before his arrest.
But the evidence against him and other cult members proved overwhelming during the trial.
Batley was said to have used the cult as a form of brainwashing to justify abuse to his victims.
One schoolboy, now an adult, told the trial Batley had repeatedly abused him as a child.
A schoolgirl, also now an adult, said she was forced into joining the cult through fear for her life.
Batley told her a cult assassin would kill her if she did not take part in an elaborate initiation ceremony.
It started with a 10-minute lecture on the occult by him, but concluded with sex.
The schoolgirl said she was later ordered to Batley’s home on regular occasions when she would have to give him sex.
She was also taken to satanic sex parties where she would be passed round to have sex with strangers.
Giving evidence against Batley via videolink during the trial, one victim claimed all he had to do was “click his fingers” to make a woman strip.
And she claimed that soon after she met Batley, when she was just 11, he told her to have sex with him or she would “go to the abyss”.
“I did not want him to do what he was doing, but I did not have a choice because what Colin said was what happened. What Colin said went.”
Batley was also accused of stepping in to try to prevent a young woman from aborting a baby he believed he may have fathered, so it could be “a child of the occult”.
Mr Murphy told the jury: “The offences were committed against a background of persistent psychological coercion and fear using the vehicle of the occult. The victims were brainwashed, frightened, they felt they had no choice.”
The perverted events described in court took place over several decades in both Kidwelly and addresses in London.
Colin Batley repeatedly denied the accusations against him as he spoke out in his own defence.
He denied he ran a cult or was in any way a leader. He did admit having an “open” sexual relationship with his wife, enjoying threesomes with co- defendant Jackie Marling.
The cult was smashed by Dyfed-Powys Police last summer when two victims, a man and a woman, went to them with their stories of abuse at the hands of Batley and the other defendants.
Court told of an altar, incense burning and sect members disrobing for sex: next page
The cult members: page three
Court told of an altar, incense burning and sect members disrobing for sex
The evidence heard in the case of this bizarre “black magic” sex cult in the tranquil setting of Carmarthenshire’s seaside town of Kidwelly seemed like something from a horror novel.
The jury at Swansea Crown Court was told of ceremonies with women dressed in robes, all tattooed with the ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus protection symbol.
And the quasi-religious sect in which members had “swinging” lifestyles was said to have been influenced by the arch satanist and practitioner of black magic, the late Aleister Crowley.
Sections from his controversial works The Book of The Law, Equinox of the Gods and The Book of Magick were said to have been read out at shadowy sect ceremonies in members’ homes in the cul-de-sac of Clos yr Onnen.
At one, an altar was set out with a goblet of red wine, an incense burner and salted bread and sect members later disrobed, or in their words “became skyclad” and had sex.
Sadly, said Peter Murphy QC, prosecuting, children and vulnerable young adults would become prey to the lust of “evil and manipulative” Colin Batley, 48, whom he named as the sect’s “principal”.
Five complainants, whose identity is protected by law, came to the trial to describe how they were taken or lured to the homes at Clos yr Onnen and subjected to sex attacks, even on some occasions being forced to have sex while being filmed.
They were so terrified of Colin Batley they gave evidence via CCTV, some of the female complainants breaking down and sobbing as they recalled what happened.
They said others, who have not come forward, were also made to perform unspeakable acts.
Prosecutor Peter Murphy QC said that as the “controlling” leader of the cult, Batley took a 25% cut of any cash other members earned.
One co-defendant, Shelly Millar, 35, was said to have got through 3,000 clients in a two-year period while acting as a prostitute in massage parlours in Swansea and Bristol.
He highlighted Batley’s purchase of a £21,000 luxury caravan in February last year using a £3,210 cash deposit, despite having no obvious income.
Batley, who dismissed his role as a feared high priest of his own religion as “a load of rubbish”, claimed he made £10,000 a year breeding pedigree Rottweilers for sale and also bred Siamese cats.
And he claimed some of his money came from “gambling on the dogs and horses”.
Despite the horrendous crimes involved, the bizarre nature of the sect led to some lighter moments as barristers reflected on their clients’ dismissal of the sex cult allegations.
Barrister James Jenkins told the jury: “Just because they had an interest in Egypt it does not mean they went to Asda in chariots.”
And Kevin Riordan, for Colin Batley, said: “It is not my business to be disrespectful to a client.
“But judging by his overall intellectual abilities, his looks, his demeanour, is this a modern-day Rasputin?”
During the trial it emerged that following the defendants’ arrest last summer, a split took place between Colin and Elaine Batley.
While giving evidence during the trial, she accused her husband of laughing at her from the dock as she stood in the witness box.
She said: “I feel embarrassed to be married to him”.
And she added: “I’ve changed, you won’t get the better of me now.”
She told the court that while she and Jackie Marling had been involved in “threesomes” and she and Marling had a lesbian fling together, she only found out later that her husband and Marling had been having a long-term affair.
The discovery was made when Marling sent him a birthday card with the words “To my husband” on it.
Of her marriage, she said on one occasion he sent a photo of her to the Readers’ Wives section of a pornographic magazine and this led to them meeting “other couples for group activities”.
The cult members
Colin Batley: leader of the cult
Grew up in Shoreditch, London.
Once worked for Tesco as a night security guard and ran a fruit and vegetable stall. Married Elaine 28 years ago. Claimed his late lorry driver father sexually abused him as a child.
Had a long-standing affair with Jackie Marling and occasionally had “threesomes” involving his wife and Marling.
Said to be able to “click his fingers” to make a woman strip.
Asked in court about his fascination for Egypt the 48-year-old just said: “Egypt? I don’t mind Egypt.”
Grew up in East London.
Had tattoos including the Eye of Horus on her arm, a pentagram above Egyptian script on her leg, Tutankhamun on her back plus another Egyptian script on her back which the 47-year-old claimed she did not understand.
When asked if she had ever been to Egypt she said she would like to have gone but had not visited “because of the heat”.
She also told the court she liked the ancient Egyptians because “they were good to their slaves”.
Admitted to an affair with Jackie Marling and “a fumble” with Shelly Millar.
Told the court she was interested in Aleister Crowley and read his work.
Grew up in Kent. Had an Eye of Horus tattoo on her arm and admitted to having around 3,000 clients as a prostitute during a two-year period working in Swansea and Bristol. Sobbed as the 35-year-old was found guilty of two counts of indecency with children.
Grew up in Poplar, East London.
Initially denied to police officers that she was a prostitute.
But the 42-year-old’s car was spotted making regular trips to brothels in the centre of Swansea and Bristol.
Sported an Eye of Horus tattoo on her arm, had a figurine of a cat goddess in her home plus a drawing of the Mask of Tutankhamun and one of the hawk-headed Egyptian god Horus.
Had affairs with Colin Batley and Elaine Batley.
‘It’s hard to believe something so sordid and awful was going on within our small community’
A handful of housing association homes in an overlooked cul-de-sac in sleepy Kidwelly is an unlikely location for a satanic paedophile ring.
The centre of a black magic inspired sex cult, it was home to a group of sexual deviants who preyed on children.
But the quiet Carmarthenshire estate could not have had a more contrasting set of residents or homes.
Clos yr Onnen – within a stone’s throw of the pretty seaside town’s medieval castle – was thrown into the media spotlight last month when five of its residents were exposed as part of a “quasi-religious cult”.
They appeared in court and were yesterday convicted on a total of 47 charges, including rape, indecent assault, forcing a girl to work as a prostitute and inciting a child to have sex.
But the unassuming suburban setting isand adjoining Rhodfa’r Gwendraeth are also home to a retired bishop and a retired police officer.
While the owners of dozens of well-kept homes and manicured gardens went about their lives, just a few doors away in run-down properties, children and young adults were being intimidated into having sex.
The home of cult ringleader Colin Batley, who was des- cribed as an “evil bully” by neighbours, stands in stark contrast to many of the family homes surrounding it.
With a torn and ragged England flag pinned outside, and two Rottweiler dogs named Seckhet after the Egyptian lion goddess and Toots, short for Tutenkhamun, leaping at the door, many neighbours said they steered clear of Batley and his neglected property.
The house was where Batley’s own son died during a bizarre sex act three years ago. On February 1, 2008, Damian Batley accidentally hanged himself.
An inquest heard that the former Asda cashier filmed himself on his mobile phone as he hanged himself.
Constable Ian Ayres, from Carmarthen CID, said a family member found Mr Batley naked and hanged from his bedroom door. The police were called and when they arrived at the scene they found video footage on his mobile phone.
Deputy coroner Pauline Mainwaring recorded a verdict of accidental death from hanging.
She added: “There is no evidence to suggest suicide.”
She confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances and no-one else was involved.
George and Cecilia Dawson, who live between homes of the cult members, described them as “evil and twisted”, who used their so-called religion as an excuse for sick behaviour.
“Colin Batley is the most disgusting and vile man you could meet,” Mr Dawson told the Western Mail.
The retired communications rigger said alarm bells started ringing some years before when an allegation of rape was made.
“We were, of course, concerned, but were not sure if the people involved were making it up,” he said.
Mrs Dawson said the retired couple had been targeted by the group whenever the housing association or police were called to their properties.
She said: “Our daughter is a police officer and they did not like it when she came to visit us. I think it made them nervous.
“Batley and one of his friends used to have a van calling regularly, with a consignment of contraband tobacco and, we think, pornography. They used to head off to France on fortnightly trips and sometimes were gone for as long as six weeks. It makes you wonder if part of their cult activity was going on there too.”
Mr Dawson described how Batley, who also had a cat called Rameses, used to walk around the estate with his two dogs, as if to intimidate people.
“He walked them like they were status symbols, but it was like he was trying to look intimidating,” he said.
“The day of his son’s funeral he was sitting outside his house laughing and joking like he didn’t have a care in the world. It was the sort of behaviour that no normal person could comprehend.”
Mrs Dawson said Elaine Batley and another woman had been seen touching each other in a sexual manner in the local supermarket.
She said: “There were all kinds of things happening and not of all of it was behind closed doors. That sort of thing is just like twisted exhibitionism.”
The couple said a fireworks party the group organised had gone on into the early hours of the morning one year.
“Sandra had been around to warn us that they would be having a party and that it would be quite noisy,” said Mrs Dawson.
“The fireworks went on for hours and hours and must have cost an absolute fortune. We couldn’t understand how any of them could afford it.”
Retired firefighter Eddie Clements, who lives just a few houses away from Batley, at nearby Rhodfa’r Gwendraeth, said the community had been shocked by news of the cult.
He said: “This is such a lovely area and the kind of place where you can leave your property outside and your car unlocked.
“It is hard to believe something so sordid and awful was going on within our small community.
“I didn’t know the people involved but you know people’s faces and it is just so strange and hard to take in.”
News of what had been going on under their noses for so long was greeted by many Kidwelly residents with disbelief, shock and unease.
Even yesterday, few in the deeply conservative community were willing to do much more than express shock at revelations from the trial.
One man, from Priory Street, spoke of the anger at the way a group of “outsiders” from London had stained the town’s character.
“Nobody understands how so many of them could come down and all end up living in one place in the town,” he said. “They must have planned it somehow. I don’t think Kidwelly is to blame for what has gone on. They kept a very low profile.”
He said he preferred not to give his name because he felt the cult would still be operating in the area.
But Geraint Thomas, Kidwelly Town Council clerk, predicted that the community would “rise above this awful incident”.
He said: “The first we knew about this matter was when it was publicised in the newspapers. It is fair to say that on reading about it we were shocked and dismayed.
“This unfortunate matter has put Kidwelly on the map for the wrong reasons as we are continuously endeavouring to promote the town of Kidwelly and its environment in a positive way. We view this matter as a one-off. Kidwelly is a safe and respectable place to live and visit for all ages.”