Courage of victims helps put sex abusers Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske in jail
Three women bravely told of the sickening abuse they endured as children up to 30 years ago at the hands of Kemp, Petrauske and others.
The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sat in the witness box protected from the view of their abusers by large, grey screens.
Recounting the horror they suffered when they were aged from three to 15 years old from the 1970s onwards was painful and harrowing.
One victim gave a graphic account of how, along with other children, she was taken on occasions at night to a wooded area somewhere in West Cornwall, often next to large houses.
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Men dressed in black gowns with hoods would appear from the gloom chanting, ordering the children to take their clothes off.
She said on one terrifying occasion she was bound to a chair and blindfolded and feared she would be killed.
The woman said: "They had knives, not like kitchen knives, when I was naked. They were ornamental knives, one had a red gem in the middle."
A High Priestess then ran knives up and down her body and around her neck – she felt hot wax being poured down her stomach.
The victim said: "That is why I thought I was going to die."
Asked to explain what had been done to her, she said she felt like a "rag doll" somebody was experimenting on.
She said one of the men "would dance around and do horrible stuff."
The woman said: "You would have to do what you were told. They would squeeze your neck until you could not breathe and then let you go. It was just like a game to them."
In a videoed police interview played to the court another woman said her abuse involved numerous people. She said attacks began when she was aged six or seven years old. She was taken into a room with four men, she said with Kemp clasping a camera to record her humiliation.
The woman said: "I was abused by people I did not know, there are probably some videos of me out there for people to watch and enjoy. I knew it was wrong but I was too scared to tell."
To keep their victims quiet the perverts plied them with alcohol and paid them with sweets and money to remain silent.
Prussian-born Peter Petrauske was often referred to during the trial as "German Pete." The former restaurateur and taxi driver's defence was simple – that a combination of mistaken identity and a conspiracy had brought him before the courts. The father-of-four said he had been a pagan for 55 years and was high priest of his coven.
Items seized by the police during a raid on his home at The Beacon, Falmouth – where he had an altar in his bedroom – included colourful robes, daggers, a black leather whip, and eye mask and books on witchcraft.
They were, he insisted only ever for ceremonial purposes including weddings, initiating new members and at "Sabbath" rituals.
Regarding the victims from the 1970s onwards he said he did not know them at the time or now and they had mixed him up with someone else. He explained how his photograph appeared in the newspapers when he gave interviews six years ago about the murder of fellow pagan Peter Solheim.