Girl claims she was raped at age 11 by Carmarthenshire religious cult

This is Bristol, UK/February 11, 2011

A prosecution witness has claimed she was raped at the age of 11 by a Carmarthenshire man who was allegedly the leader of a bizarre, quasi-religious sex cult.

The woman, who is now in her 20s, broke down in tears yesterday as she described being forced to have intercourse with Colin Batley.

Jurors heard that, according to Batley, having sex with him was a "test" - and if she did not pass she would "go to The Abyss".

The woman was giving evidence at the trial of five people from neighbouring properties in Clos yr Onnen, Kidwelly, who are accused of committing sex offences against children.

According to the prosecution, Batley - who is now aged 48 - was the "evil and manipulative" leader of a "bizarre and closely entwined" group. A sixth defendant, not said to be part of the cult, is from Befordshire.

Speaking to Swansea Crown Court over a television link, the witness alleged that she was raped at the age of 11 by Batley.

The sex attack happened after Batley confronted her on a summer's day and pulled down her shorts, she said.

The woman wept when, questioned by prosecutor Peter Murphy QC, she recalled crying because of the terror and physical pain of her ordeal.

"But that did not stop him," she said of Batley, who allegedly went on to force her to have sex with him on a number of other occasions.

"I did not want him to do what he was doing, but I did not have a choice," said the witness.

"Because what Colin said was what happened. What Colin said went."

The witness told the court that Batley made her feel that "everything was to do with religion".

Questioned by Mr Murphy, she said Batley sometimes said he was a Mormon. But on other occasions he spoke of being part of "The Church" - an organisation in which he "set all the rules".

"The Church" had religious texts - such as The Book Of The Law and The Equinox - and members were supplied with laminated copies.

The court heard how members of the group would meet on Sunday evenings to hear passages from these texts being read aloud. During these meetings, Batley would tell members about The Realm and The Palace.

"He would say The Realm was Heaven and The Palace was where he was from," said the witness, who admitted becoming a prostitute at the age of 18.

"He said all the tests I had done would get me to The Palace and I'd be looked after by the gods.

"But if I failed the test, I'd go down to The Abyss, which was Hell. At the time, I believed what he was saying and that's why I did what he said."

There are not guilty pleas to an indictment comprising 46 charges - and the case involves five alleged victims, who cannot be named in press reports for legal reasons

Batley, who faces multiple charges of rape, buggery and possessing child pornography, is also accused of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and indecent assault.

His female co-accused are his wife Elaine Batley, 47, Jacqueline Marling, 42, Sandra Iveson, 45, and Shelly Millar, 35. Elaine Batley and Millar face charges of gross indecency and sexual activity with a child, while Iveson also faces a charge of gross indecency.

Marling is accused, with Colin Batley, of "causing prostitution", while Marling is further accused of sexual activity with a child, gross indecency and aiding and abetting a rape alleged to have been committed by him.

The case continues.

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