Dec 3, 2018

The satanic sex cult in a quiet Welsh village which shocked and horrified a nation

A depraved sex cult used their quiet seaside homes for the most unspeakable acts towards children over decades. This is the full story of what happened
Caitlin O'Sullivan
WalesOnline
November 25, 2018

Clos yr Onnen, with its well-kept homes and neatly manicured gardens, is like thousands of unassuming suburban streets throughout Wales.

Just a stone’s throw from the medieval castle in the charming seaside town of Kidwelly, the quiet and overlooked cul-de-sac is outwardly unremarkable.

Children’s bikes and scooters lean against lamposts as cars trundle back and forth on school runs, journeys to work, and trips to the shops.

This Carmarthenshire estate is, on the face of it, certainly not the most likely setting for a satanic paedophile ring.

Yet it was here that former Tesco security guard Colin Batley established his depraved cult which saw children and young adults intimidated into having sex in the most horrific circumstances.

As ordinary, law-abiding families went about their daily lives in the dozens of homes in Clos yr Onnen Batley and three of his neighbours established an occult-inspired sex ring which stole the childhoods of its victims.

The full, shocking scale of the abuse perpetrated by the cult came finally came to light when they were jailed for a total of 36 years in 2011 – with “quasi-religious” sect leader Batley warned he may never be freed.

But the roots of what happened in Kidwelly began some two decades before when Londoner Batley moved to Carmarthenshire.

Having relocated in the 1990s he established a homemade cult of which he was the self-styled high priest.

After Batley and his wife Elaine, who were married 28 years before they split ahead of their trial, had moved to Wales they were followed by Jacqueline Marling and Shelly Millar, who each moved into the same street and were part of the cult.

Inspired by the works of arch-satanist Aleister Crowley, who died in 1947, female members of the sect referred to Batley as “My Lord”.

Women in the cult, which they called “The Church”, filled their homes with ancient Egyptian idolatry and wore Eye of Horus protection symbol tattoos on their arms celebrating Crowley’s worship of the Egyptian hawk god Horus.

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 as part of their swinging lifestyle.

Scruffy and jobless Batley, who had several missing teeth, would read from the occult bible, The Book of The Law, written more than a century ago by Crowley as well as his other works Equinox of the Gods and The Book of Magick.

He would also order cult members to have sex together and ensure that other members were present to film it.

The recorded material, though, is all believed to have been destroyed before Batley’s arrest.

He was apparently tipped off by friends in London about the impending raid on his home two days before it happened.

Batley, who was 48 when he stood trial over five weeks at Swansea Crown Court in the early part of 2011, was said to have used the cult as a form of brainwashing to justify abuse to his victims.

One schoolboy, by that time an adult, told the trial Batley had repeatedly abused him as a child.

A schoolgirl, also by then 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 have sex with him.

She was also taken to satanic sex parties where she would be passed round to have sex with strangers.

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.

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”.

During the trial prosecutor Peter Murphy QC 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.
Cult leader's son died 'during sex act'

Colin and Elaine Batley's home was also the scene of the death of their son Damian during a sex act gone wrong.

On February 1, 2008, the former Asda cashier filmed himself on his mobile phone as he accidentally hanged himself.

A family member found Mr Batley naked and hanged, an inquest heard.

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.

Following the convictions of the cult members one neighbour in Clos yr Onnen recalled of Colin Batley: “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.”

Batley – who smirked as the horrific allegations against him were laid bare in court – 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 and enjoying threesomes with co-defendant and “second in command” Jackie Marling, with whom he had a long-standing affair without the knowledge of his wife.

The cult was smashed by police in the summer of 2010 when two courageous victims, a man and a woman, went to them with their stories of abuse at the hands of Batley and the other defendants.

Five complainants, whose identity is protected by law, came to the subsequent trial to describe how they were taken or lured to the homes at Clos yr Onnen and subjected to sex attacks.

Several broke down and sobbed as they recalled what they had been through.

They also said others, who had not come forward, were also made to perform unspeakable acts.

Batley also forced victims into prostitution, with prosecutor Mr Murphy saying the “controlling” and manipulative sect principal took a 25% cut of any cash other members earned.

Millar, then 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.

The trial heard how Batley purchased a £21,000 luxury caravan in February 2010 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 said he also bred Siamese cats.

And he claimed some of his money came from “gambling on the dogs and horses”.

During the trial it emerged that following their arrests the preceding summer the Batleys had separated.

While giving evidence 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 Marling had been involved in “threesomes” and had had a 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, Elaine Batley 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”.

As the defendants were led down the steps to court cells after being remanded in custody following the guilty verdicts against them Elaine Batley could be heard screaming “I ******* hate you” at her husband. Crying and sobbing was audible from the cell steps.

Barely containing his contempt for the defendants as he jailed them for total of 47 charges, Judge Paul Thomas QC told them: “You besmirched the unsuspecting community of Kidwelly by setting up a community within a community which involved rape, child sex abuse and prostitution.”

The trial was so harrowing that jurors were offered counselling.
The defendants and their sentences

The self-styled 'high priest' of the cult grew up in Shoreditch, London, and once worked for Tesco as a night security guard.

He also ran a fruit and vegetable stall. He spent 28 years married to wife and co-defendant Elaine.

Batley claimed his late lorry driver father sexually abused him as a child.

Asked in court about his fascination for Egypt the 48-year-old just said: “Egypt? I don’t mind Egypt.”

He was convicted of 35 offences including 11 rapes and numerous child sex crimes.

Sentencing him to an indeterminate prison term on public protection grounds and ordering him to serve at least 11 years before being eligible for parole, Judge Paul Thomas QC told him: “When this case was opened to the jury you Colin Batley were described as evil.

“That in my view is an accurate statement of your character. You set yourself up as the ruler of a sick little kingdom surrounded by three women who danced as your willing attendants regarding you as their master.

“It’s clear you dedicated your life since the age of 12 or 13 to satisfying your sexual urges by any means at your disposal.

“You left your victims psychologically scarred and treated them as sexual playthings.”

She grew up in East London and 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 she claimed she did not understand.

When asked if she had ever been to Egypt during her trial the then 47-year-old 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”.

She admitted to an affair with Jackie Marling and “a fumble” with Shelly Millar and told the court she was interested in Aleister Crowley and read his work.

According to one of the victims in the case Batley’s wife was treated “like a slave” but the judge said she became a willing participant in her husband’s “wickedness”.

The jury heard how a young boy was tricked into having sex with her

She was jailed for eight years after being convicted of indecency with children.

She grew up in Poplar, East London, and was 42 at the time she stood trial.

Marling initially denied to police officers that she was a prostitute but her car was spotted making regular trips to brothels in the centre of Swansea and Bristol.

She sported an Eye of Horus tattoo on her arm and 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.

She had affairs with Colin Batley and Elaine Batley.

Described as ringleader Colin Batley's "second in command", she was jailed for 12 years for aiding and abetting rape and child sex offences.

Jailing Marling, the judge told her: “After Colin Batley you are the most culpable in this horrific scenario. Your relationship with him brought together two kindred evil spirits.

“You were clearly besotted with him and The Book Of The Law and I view you effectively as his second in command in all this.

“You may or may not take this as a compliment but you have fully lived up to the ideals of your mentor Aleister Crowley.”

He added: “Throughout the trial you have not displayed a flicker of emotion. The tears in your eyes now I take to be tears of self-pity.”

The 35-year-old sobbed as she was found guilty of two counts of indecency with children, one of which involved having sex with a 12-year-old boy.

Having grown up in Kent, Millar 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.

She was jailed for five years.

In the aftermath of the court case neighbours in Clos yr Onnen described Batley as an “evil bully”.

His rundown home had a torn and ragged England flag pinned outside while two rottweiler dogs – named Sekhet after the Egyptian lion goddess and Toots, short for Tutankhamun – could often be heard leaping at the door.

People nearby 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.

“Colin Batley is the most disgusting and vile man you could meet,” one neighbour said at the time.

One woman said: “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.”

Seven years later street resident John Wheatland still remembers being able to hear one of the victims crying at night.

He didn’t know why and says he had “no idea whatsoever” of the awful reality of what was going on.

“She would cry every night, sobbing,” he said.

“I didn’t know why and I never raised suspicions but I should have known something wasn’t right.”

Mr Wheatland also described an extraordinary incident as he worked in the garden of his home and saw a teenage girl “done up to look like a film star” nearby.

He estimated her to be aged 14 or 15.

“She looked at me and said: ‘Do you want sex then?’ I was shocked. I don’t know what I said but I went inside.

“I’d never heard anything like that before.”

The woman who had dressed her, her said, “used to dress up in very short skirts and high heels and walk to Batley’s house”.

Recalling the day the cult members were arrested in the summer of 2010 he said he had been leaving his house at around 8.30am when he saw police cars in the street.

“When I came back they were gone,” he said. “I had no idea what it was about.

“This is a quiet neighbourhood. When all those Londoners came down it was very strange.

“Batley was very arrogant. Apart from that there was nothing suspicious about him. We didn’t speak.”

Speaking in 2014 one of the victims of the cult – who published a book under the pseudonym Annabelle detailing what she had been through over 11 harrowing years of abuse – described how her own mother, Jackie Marling, abused her under Batley’s orders.

“Nothing can hurt me as much as my mum and that man,” she said.

“My mother was an evil woman and I’ll never forgive her.”

By then a mother herself and living happily in another part of the UK, she told how she was just seven years old when first forced to watch her mother perform a sex act on Batley.

At the age of 11 she was raped by him in her own home and three years later she was made to take part in group sex with her mother.

“I went to the sentencing in court because I wanted to see her one last time,” she said. “I wanted her to reach out to me, to say it was all his fault and she was under his spell.

“But she didn’t. She just made a face and asked what I was doing there.

“She went to prison unrepentant and I suppose that made me realise it wasn’t just him. She was evil too. As a mother myself I can hardly believe how she treated me. It was unnatural and cruel.

“But there is no point getting depressed about it, you have to live for the future. But I never want to see her again. Nothing can hurt me as much as they did but that is what makes me stronger.”

She described how the children abused by the cult were cut off from their peers and forced to take part in long church services and obey Batley’s every whim.

“We weren’t even allowed to look in his eyes,” said Annabelle.

“He ruled our little community with an iron will and we were made to do what he ordered for fear of angering the Gods.”

In Batley’s ‘Church’, children were led to believe they were proving themselves to the Gods by passing tests, which usually involved sex with either him or other cult members.

Annabelle recalled the first time he raped her when she was just 11 years old.

“The worst thing about it was the fact that he made me think I was doing it out of choice,” she said.

“It was awful. The most painful and shocking thing that had ever happened – but it was my path, that’s what he told me, and if I didn’t do it I would go to the Abyss, which was our version of hell.

“Colin knew how to manipulate you, to make you believe anything he said.”

But Annabelle’s most horrific experience was when her own mother assaulted her at the age of 14.

“Afterwards, Colin asked me if I enjoyed it and I knew what I had to say – I had to say yes. But inside I felt like dying.”

The tests did not end there – at 14 she was forced into a relationship with another cult member five years her senior and by then she was having regular group sex with Batley and her mother.

“I was a schoolgirl by day and a sex slave at night,” she said. “It got so bad that at one point I tried to take my own life.”

Aged 18, three months after having Batley’s child, she was forced into prostitution.

It was the love of her daughter that saved her and gave her a reason to live – she bravely escaped in the dead of night when her baby was one year old.

By the time of her escape she had slept with over 1,800 men – the proceeds of which had all gone towards ‘the Church’.

After the case another victim descrived how Batley forced her to put on a satanic symbol and raped her as a teenager.

The woman described how he ruled the cult by fear.

“[Colin] was the boss. He barked orders at everybody including me.

“People just did what they were told. He had Rottweilers that were scared of him but vicious to everyone else.

“At 15 I had to have sex with Colin. He said it was an initiation into the occult.

“He said he did not want to do it but it had to be done. He said if I did not follow orders I would be killed. People ‘higher up’ in the cult would do it, he said.”

Reflecting on his jail term she added: “A hundred years would not be enough for Colin Batley.

“But at least now myself and the other victims can start to rebuild our lives outside of the shadow of that contemptible man.”

She was originally from London but was brought to Wales by Batley where she was abused and “passed round” to other cult members who had sex with her.

She said: “He said the occult was strong in Wales.”

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/satanic-sex-cult-quiet-welsh-15445204

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