Darlington's "sex master" jailed for abuse

The Northern Echo, UK/December 3, 2008

A cult leader who took his sex slaves for walks on a lead in a North-East town has been jailed for three years for forcing a lover to sleep with other men.

Lee Thompson had such a dominating influence over the woman that she did whatever he told her to - even though she did not want to, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.

The self-proclaimed pagan faith teacher and self-styled sex-master - charged under an alias, Harrington - was caught after his exploits were revealed by The Northern Echo.

His former girlfriend read about his sex cult in Darlington two years ago and contacted police about her time with the fantasist some years earlier.

During his time with the lover, Thompson told her his grandmother, from Blyth, Northumberland, was a high priestess and had passed on her powers to him.

After moving around the UK and settling in Darlington, he took up the Kaotian way of life - based on Sixties sci-fi novels, in which men dominate women and treat them as slaves.

His home in Forster Street was investigated by police in May 2006 when the cult was uncovered, but Thompson made out that no one in his master-slave relationships was harmed.

The cult came to light after complaints that he led a female slave around the town centre on a lead - and they were banned from their favourite butchers stall because of their behaviour.

The revelations led to headlines around the world, TV appearances and Thompson being signed up for a television documentary.

But the headlines also led to the former lover coming forward and telling detectives about how she was abused during their relationship.

The court heard yesterday that Thompson - heavily-tattooed and with a shaven head and ponytail - enslaved his exlover, then made her have sex with men against her will.

Dan Cordey, prosecuting, said that, on one occasion, Thompson watched as the woman slept with a Chinese man she met in a hotel in Eccles, Greater Manchester.

On another occasion, after visiting a cyber cafe in London when Thompson was hard-up, he arranged for her to meet a man in Epping Forest, where she was forced to perform a sex act on him.

Mr Cordey said the woman - who cannot be identified - was forced to sleep with several men, including a drug dealer, as Thompson convinced her it was part of the pagan religion.

He said the victim did not see money change hands, but she believed Thompson was charging the men, and he always seemed to have money to buy drugs.

Thompson, now living in Warley, West Midlands, admitted a specimen charge of procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by threats or intimidation, and one specific count.

Judge Tony Briggs was told that the first count related to his behaviour over a period of eight months, and the second concerned a particular man in the North-West.

The judge told Thompson: "What rather shouts out from the papers, is you have an extraordinary ability and appetite for dominating and manipulating others."

The officer who investigated the case, Detective Constable Scott Denham, said last night that Thompson has a piercing gaze that can scare people.

"He is a self-styled sex cult leader," he said.

"He is a very intimidating character with a very forceful personality. He has children all over the world."

The court heard that Thompson used his knowledge of the pagan religion to keep a hold over his victim, and they would often have consensual sex inside a circle of salt.

But he also forced her to have sex with others, Judge Briggs was told, sometimes after taking illegal drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis.

"The men did not think she was effectively being forced to sleep with them," Mr Cordey said.

Tom Mitchell, mitigating, asked for Thompson to be given credit for pleading guilty and not forcing his victim to go through the ordeal of giving evidence.

Mr Mitchell described Thompson's lifestyle as "alternative and not to everybody's taste", and accepted he exerted influence over the woman, but claimed it was not coercion.

Thompson moved to the West Midlands to be nearer his current girlfriend after he became too notorious in Darlington.

Mr Cordey told the court: "The matters were reported to the police on May 18, 2006, and it seems that the catalyst seems to be attention was drawn to a number of newspaper reports, particularly The Northern Echo, about the defendant running what was described as a Kaotian cult from a house in Darlington.

"That would seem to be some kind of religion based on a series of science-fiction novels from the Sixties onwards, and the defendant was describing himself to reporters as a master, who trained slaves."

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