A High Court judge has dismissed allegations of a powerful “satanic cult” raping children and eating babies in London as “baseless”.
The lurid claims were spread by conspiracy theorists and have been viewed on various websites by at least four million people worldwide, Mrs Justice Pauffley said today.
Two children, siblings aged eight and nine, were filmed detailing the alleged horrors in a series of videos put on YouTube.
The judge said they were forced to “provide concocted accounts of horrific events” by their mother and her partner.
It was falsely claimed that the youngsters were part of a large group of children from north London being abused in a “satanic cult” led by their own father.
Mrs Justice Pauffley told the court that there were allegations of “significant paedophile activity” by a school head, a teacher, priest, social workers and police sexually abusing the children and making them abuse each other.
It was alleged that the “main action” occurred at a school, she added, and at least seven other schools were named as well as a swimming pool.
The videos claimed that “rituals” were performed at a McDonald's restaurant where “the boss” allowed child sacrifice because he was a member of the cult, said the judge.
It was said that babies were beheaded for blood sacrifices or prepared and cooked in ovens in a “secret kitchen” before being eaten by cult members.
The children were filmed saying they were made to dance with the dead babies’ skulls and that more than 100 people were “doing sex” to them.
“I am able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true,” said Mrs Justice Pauffley in her ruling. “The claims are baseless.”
She said the countless people spreading them on the internet were “evil and/or foolish” to perpetuate the “poisonous” lies.
The children’s photographs and videos had been republished thousands of times with “flagrant disregard” for their welfare, the judge added.
Mrs Justice Pauffley analysed the case at a hearing lasting nearly two weeks, heard evidence from 16 witnesses and read thousands of pages of written material.
“The forensic inquiry has been full and thorough,” she added.
“There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children were sexually abused…the children’s false stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse.”
The allegations had been drawn to the attention of police in September and care proceedings have started in the London Borough of Barnet in relation to the boy and girl, whose parents were separated.
Additional reporting by PA