'Evil' head of Aleister Crowley-inspired Satanic paedophile cult who preyed on young children for more than a decade could be freed in New Year parole hearing

Daily Mail, UK/November 15, 2023

By Andy Gardner

The 'evil' head of a paedophile cult who preyed on young children for more than a decade could be freed in a parole hearing earmarked for the new year.

Sexual predator Colin Batley, then 48, was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum 11-year tariff in 2011 after being found guilty of 35 offences, including multiple rapes.

The type of sentence means that Batley has to be recommended for release by the Parole Board. At his trial, the judge warned his offences in the quiet town of Kidwelly, south west Wales, were so serious that the monster could die in jail.

Now aged 59, MailOnline has discovered that Batley has recently been referred to the Parole Board for a new hearing. It is likely to be listed early in the new year. This will be his third appeal.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: 'We can confirm the parole review of Colin Batley has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes.

'Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

'A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

'Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing.

'Evidence from witnesses such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements may be given at the hearing.

'It is standard for the prisoner and witnesses to be questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.'

If successful, Batley could be released on licence early in 2024. MailOnline has discovered that the other jailed members of his evil sex cult have already been quietly freed after serving just a few years of their sentences.

At Swansea Crown Court in March 2011, Jacqueline Marling, then 42, described as Batley's 'right-hand woman', was jailed for 12 years, while Batley's wife Elaine, 47, was jailed for eight years.

Shelly Millar, 35, described during the trial as Batley's 'sex slave', was jailed for five years.

Vincent Barden, 70, of Kempston, Bedfordshire, who was not a cult member, was jailed for three years after admitting two counts of sexual assault on an underage girl.

MailOnline can reveal that Marling, now 53, was released in 2017 after serving just six years. Elaine Batley, now 58, was freed in 2014 after less than four years or half her sentence.

Millar, now aged 46, was also released in 2014 after three years in jail, whilst Barden, now 81, was freed in 2012, just over a year into his three year sentence. It is not known if he is still alive.

The case caused shockwaves across the UK when the sordid details emerged with Batley - a former security guard at Tesco - being revealed as a monster practising in plain sight.

At a five-week trial, the court was told Batley ran a 'Satanic' sex cult from his home in the small town of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire.

The court heard that Batley moved from London to Kidwelly in the 1990s, where the cult operated from a series of homes in a cul-de-sac. The sex abuse was said to have already been taking place.

He set up what was described in court as a 'black magic sex cult', of which he was the self-appointed 'high priest'.

The jury heard Batley psychologically terrorised and coerced vulnerable children into performing sexual acts, by using death threats and brainwashing.

He conducted occult ceremonies and indicated cult membership with an ancient 'Egyptian eye' tattoo of Horus, a hawk-headed god on their arms.

Batley forced a number of his victims into prostitution and claimed 25% of their earnings.

In one instance, the trial heard, Batley tried to force a pregnant schoolgirl to give birth. The girl, who had been raped by a cult member, was told that all children conceived within the cult belonged to it.

New cult members, often deeply troubled children, were forced to go through an elaborate initiation ceremony. At its heart would be sex with an adult, with anyone unwilling to take part warned they risked being killed by a cult assassin.

A victim explained after the verdict: 'Colin knew how to manipulate you, to make you believe anything he said.'

Judge Thomas detailed how Batley darkened Kidwelly when he moved to the seaside town.

He said: 'What happened thereafter has besmirched the unsuspecting town of Kidwelly.'

He added: 'You formed a community within a community, you were described as evil. That, in my view, is an entirely accurate statement of your character.

'It is likely that you have dedicated your life since you were 12 years old to satisfying your sexual urges by whatever means at your disposal.'

The judge also attacked the works of occultist Aleister Crowley, which inspired the Kidwelly cult.

Batley and the others were said to have used Crowley's The Book Of The Law – which praises prostitution and free sex – as a guide for their own action.

Judge Thomas told Batley he had used the occult to manipulate and control his victims.

Batley was found guilty of offences including 11 rapes, three indecent assaults, causing prostitution for personal gain, causing a child to have sex and inciting a child to have sex.

Passing sentence, the judge made it clear that Batley would be eligible to seek parole only once it was determined he no longer represented a danger to the public.

A major part of that process is to admit his guilt, something he vehemently denied throughout the trial, the court heard.

His wife was found guilty of three counts of indecency with a child and one of sexual activity with a child.

Marling was found guilty of one count of aiding and abetting rape, one of causing prostitution for gain and one of inciting a child to engage in sex.

She was also found guilty of three separate counts of indecency with a child. Millar was found guilty of indecency with a child and inciting a child to engage in sex.

PC Lynsey David, of Dyfed-Powys Police, read out a statement agreed by all the victims after the verdict: 'It has been a nightmare journey for each and every one of us and we hope that this can be the start of a new beginning.

'We have experienced the worst that life can throw at us and all we want to do now is move forward with our lives.

'The victims urged anyone who may have suffered similar abuse in their own lives to come forward and report it to police.'

Head of the Crown Prosecution Service's complex case unit for Wales, Tom Atherton, said: 'The prosecution was able to show that Colin Batley was at the centre of this activity and it is right that his sentence reflects this.

'However, all of those sentenced today are guilty of horrific crimes and therefore it is also right that they have received lengthy sentences.'

He added that the physical, emotional and psychological impact of the crimes on the victims should not be forgotten.

Who Is Aleister Crowley?

  • Born in 1875 into a wealthy British family
  • While studying at Cambridge, became interested in obscure religious rituals
  • Joined the Golden Dawn - an exclusive organization with secret rituals - in 1898 - was barred two years later
  • Claimed he and his first wife, Rose Edith Kelly, had a spiritual experience in which a messenger named Aiwass described a new phase of human history
  • Edited and published these teachings in The Book Of Law (1909)
  • This is the central sacred text of Thelema, the religion founded by Aleister Crowley
  • Religion's rituals often involved drugs and sexual activity
  • The 'do as thou wilt' doesn't excuse illegal activity or harming others
  • Stories about Crowley's behaviour led the English tabloid press to dub him 'the wickedest man in the world.'
  • In the 1960s-1970s, rock musicians name dropped or referenced Crowley's ideas, from David Bowie to Led Zeppelin
  • Crowley's former home, Boleskine House, which overlooks Loch Ness, was gutted by a fire in 2015.
  • The house was badly damaged in the blaze before another fire ripped through the site in July 2019.
  • Musician Jimmy Page bought Boleskine House in the 1970s because of the Crowley connection, before later selling it in 1992.
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