RITUAL ABUSE CASES IN PEMBROKE, WEST WALES, UK
Six men from Pembroke, West Wales were convicted of sexual abuse of children in
1994-JUN. (1) It was the largest MVMO trial in British history, and the first time since
World War II that convictions had been obtained in an organized ritual abuse case
involving multiple perpetrators.
MVMO cases usually start with a single case of abuse by one adult against one child.
Most then explode over a short interval into many dozens of charges against many adults
involving dozens of children. This case was different. It had a slow buildup. It began
with the Thorpe family breakup in 1990: Parents Peter and Sally separated.
10, went to live with grandparents. Jason, age 8, went to a foster home. Jason's social
worker, Ann Done, started long term therapy on Jason. Sessions included sex education,
memory work, dream interpretation, art therapy and play therapy. A year later, he accused
both parents of sexual abuse and revealed that group sexual orgies involving other adults
and children had occurred in nearby farms and quarries. Peter Thorpe was charged and
imprisoned. Police suspected that Peter had abused the children of his girlfriend, Anne
Mason. So, three of her children were taken into care.
The investigation then spread to the Dalbury and Waterson families who lived on the
same estate. Their children were unable to confirm Jason's allegations. Thus, Peter Thorpe
was released and the charge dropped. But Anne Mason's children remained in foster care.
In 1992-JUN, Mary Dalbury, age 14, ran away from home, and disclosed that her father
had raped her repeatedly over many years. The Dalbury parents were arrested and
subsequently pleaded guilty. John was sentenced to 7 years and his wife to 4.
In mid 1992, the police and social services had become convinced that Jason's original
hints of a widespread sex ring were true. By year end, 11 men and 2 women had been
charged; 18 children from 9 families had been taken into care. All pleaded not-guilty.
Charges against Sally Thorpe were later dropped, leaving 12 defendants. Mary Dalbury
estimated that "around 200 people were involved" [in the sex-ring].
During the trial, which started in 1994-JAN, testimony included descriptions of ritual
sex orgies in homes, sheds, an airfield, tunnels and caves. The trial took an unusual
twist when two female witnesses for the prosecution took the stand. They were expected to
confirm the testimony of the children and discuss the threats they had received from the
men to keep silent about the abuse. Instead, they revealed that the social workers had
blackmailed them into verifying the children's stories; if they did not lie on the stand,
then their children would be taken from them.
6 defendants were acquitted or cleared; one was convicted of serious sexual assault;
Peter Thorpe was found guilty of both conspiracy and gross indecency; he received a 15
year sentence. The remaining 4 were found guilty of conspiracy. Thorpe received a 15 year
sentence; the rest got 5 to 11 years.
There are some disquieting factors about these trials:
The case started to come apart after the trial. A judge of the High Court's Family
Division ordered several children returned to their homes, criticized the social workers'
techniques and stated that there was zero evidence against one of the men convicted.
Anne Mason was never charged with any crime, yet her children are still kept from her.
She is allowed to see her daughter for only two hours, every three months. Her son Walter
has tried to commit suicide.
Names have been changed to prevent identification of the children.
Bob Woffinden and Margaret Jervis, "The Independent", London, UK,
1995-OCT-8, P. 5
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