'Odd quirks' of cult revealed

Llanelli Star, UK/March 7, 2012

Residents living in a Kidwelly house once occupied by a member of a controversial sex cult have described the "odd quirks" they left behind.

On Friday, March 11, last year, Elaine Batley, Jacqueline Marling and Shelly Millar — all from Clos yr Onnen — were jailed following a police investigation into a paedophile ring.

Now, as Sunday marks one year since their sentencing, residents have revisited the controversy which took place on their doorstep.

Jonathan Griffiths and Carys Evans have moved into one of the houses which was previously occupied by a member of the cult.

"It was a bit weird for us when we first moved in," Mr Griffiths said. "There were odd quirks about the house, you could tell there had been locks at the top of doors and things.

"It was definitely weird moving in knowing what had happened here, but it would have been worse not knowing and slowly finding out.

"Everyone in the area seems friendly enough and it's now just a nice, quiet area to live in. The area seems to just want to move on."

During their investigation, detectives uncovered evidence of a bizarre, quasi-religious cult which involved the commission of sex acts, the wearing of robes, and the reading of passages from a text called The Book Of The Law.

Batley was jailed indefinitely after a judge described him as dangerous and condemned his role as "ruler of a sick little kingdom".

His mistress, Jacqueline Marling, was jailed for 12 years, while his wife, Elaine Batley, got eight years and co-defendant Shelly Millar five years.

Another Clos yr Onnen resident, who asked not to be named, said: "Those people put a real stigma on the neighbourhood and Kidwelly as a whole. It is a lot happier here knowing that they are gone and we have not had any bother since.

"Things have moved on for the better. There are no more issues around here, there was for a long time after it all happened.

"People here have accepted what has gone on and are getting on with it."

Another resident, John Wheatland, added: "Things have changed for the better since the scandal. Decent people have moved in and the entire atmosphere has improved.

"It's a lot nicer now, it's a place where children can be safe and people are moving on."

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