In Wales, United Kingdom, five defendants standing trial charged with sex offences against children were members of a “quasi religious cult“, a jury was told.
Swansea Crown Court heard it was alleged that the “bizarre” group were closely entwined, and had moved to neighbouring properties in Clos yr Onnen in Kidwelly from London.
In addition, a sixth defendant, Vincent Barden, 70, who denies one count of rape, lives in Bedfordshire.
Prosecutor Peter Murphy QC, said the group was allegedly led by “principle defendant” Colin Batley, 48, and the cult “was used as an excuse to justify” their behaviour.
The co-accused are his wife Elaine Batley, 47, Jacqueline Marling, 42, Sandra Iveson, 45, and Shelly Millar, 35.
Mr Murphy said it was the prosecution’s case that the abuse was against five complainants, all of whom cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The prosecutor said that Colin Batley had corrupted others and had been described as a “control freak” and a manipulator.
“Some form of quasi religious cult developed involving all of these defendants,” said Mr Murphy.
“The Crown say that was used as a vehicle to justify and excuse sexual activity between themselves and sexual assaults to children.”
Batley even persuaded three women to get identical tattoos to show their membership of the cult in the seaside village of Kidwelly, near Carmarthen, the jury at Swansea Crown Court heard.
Peter Murphy, prosecuting, said Batley held regular meetings of the ‘quasi-religious cult’ where he preached from a text called The Book of the Law and warned of dire consequences if the women did not do as told.
He said: ‘He (Batley) is the principal. The four families became closely intertwined, that is common ground. It became much more than that, a cult.
Wales Online says Batley would preach from a text, The Book of the Law, written in Cairo by English occultist and magician Aleister Crowley and warned about the consequences of failing to do what they were told.
Mr Murphy said the Book of the Law contained “worrying trends and themes”.
He said one part read: “Let all chaste women be despised.”
He added another part of the text read: “Sex with anyone is not just permissible but to be encouraged. Prostitution is to be admired.”
When questioned by Dyfed-Powys Police last year, Batley, a dog breeder, said the allegations against him were “a load of rubbish”.
He said he had tried reading The Book of the Law but “gave up” and added he was a Mormon and his religion was the Bible.