An ‘evil’ stalker jailed for falsely accusing primary school parents of cooking babies and eating them was invited to give testimony to the national child sex abuse inquiry, The Telegraph has been told.
Sabine McNeill, 74, destroyed the lives of four families after leading a campaign against them over false and bizarre claims they were at the centre of a satanic, cannibalism cult.
She claimed devil worship, child rape and murder was taking place at the primary school in Hampstead in north London as pat of cult of at least 100 members. The satanic cult also met at the local swimming baths and at a branch of McDonald’s restaurant, McNeill claimed.
The families she targeted were forced to change their names and carry tracking devices for fear of reprisals from McNeill and her followers.
It has now emerged that McNeill boasted of being invited to give testimony to the controversial Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
At the time, she had already been arrested on multiple occasions for breaching restraining orders over the harassment of the innocent families.
Police had also issued a wanted poster for her after she fled to Germany after breaching a restraining order. McNeill had also already been censured in a coruscating High Court judgment, which detailed the ‘baseless’ claims and branded the fantasist as ‘evil’.
McNeill was nonetheless able on October 18 2016 to visit the House of Commons and attend the Home Affairs Select Committee’s quizzing of Professor Alexis Jay, who had just taken over the inquiry. In parliament’s on-line film of the event, which was open to the public, McNeill can be seen sitting a few feet from the professor, in the row behind her.
Documents seen by the Telegraph suggests McNeill, 74, was invited to give testimony to the Truth Project, a part of IICSA, at a hearing in Cardiff in November 2016, and that she had prepared a lengthy document on the case.
Karen Irving, who has run an investigative website exposing lies told by McNeill and her supporters, said: “Sabine McNeill knowingly spread the worst kind of lies about the children, parents, teachers, and clergy of Hampstead.
“The filth she promoted harmed many people, disrupted lives, and forever robbed children of their right to privacy. Given her record, it’s very disturbing to think that the IICSA would consider allowing McNeill to participate in any capacity.”
IICSA has declined to confirm if an invitation was extended to McNeill or if she took up the offer. The child sex abuse inquiry, set up by Theresa May in 2014 in the wake of claims of the existence of a VIP paedophile, has been heavily criticised for its huge expense – it could end up costing £200 million – and delays in holding hearings.
Three separate chairmen were forced to resigned before its current head Professor Alexis Jay took over an inquiry dogged by controversy. IICSA’s Truth Project offers survivors of sexual exploitation the opportunity to give their testimony.
The sessions are held in private and are separate to public, evidence hearings into a series of investigations into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, the Church of England and in Westminster among others.
The existence of the Truth Project sessions have been advertised on television, with IICSA keen to attract more alleged survivors. But there is no mechanism for testing whether testimony given is genuine.
An IICSA spokesman said it was the inquiry’s policy not to reveal who had or had not attended Truth project sessions.
The spokesman said: “People who come forward to the Truth Project are anonymous, and information supplied by participants is anonymised and combined before consideration by the Chair and Panel. Accounts shared with the Truth Project do not have any legal consequences.”
The spokesman added: “The identity of Truth Project participants is protected by a Restriction Order.”
IICSA has refused to give a breakdown of the costs of funding the Truth Project. But it has spent at least £1m on the television advertising campaign and tens of millions more setting up sessions around the country.
According to IICSA, more than 3,100 “total experiences” have been shared with the Truth Project.