Jury out in trial of alleged child abuse ring

Eleven people on trial at the High Court in Glasgow deny all charges against them.

Jury out in trial of alleged child abuse ring in Glasgow PA Media

A jury has been sent out to consider its verdict in the trial of an alleged child abuse ring.

Allegations involving four children are against 11 accused and include rape and sexual abuse committed in a Glasgow drugs den.

An eight-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow has heard allegations spanning several years of repeated gang rape, forced sexual activity, and physical abuse.

Four of the accused – Iain Owens, 45, Elaine Lannery, 39, Lesley Williams, 41, and Paul Brannan, 41 – are alleged to have attempted to murder a girl, who was allegedly put in a microwave, forced to eat dog food, and hung by her clothes from a nail, as well as being chased by people wearing a devil mask, on occasions between December 2015 and June 2019.

It is also alleged the accused stabbed dogs to death and forced two children to stab them in 2018.

Owens, Lannery, Williams, Brannan, Marianne Gallagher, 38, Scott Forbes, 50, Barry Watson, 47, Mark Carr, 49, Richard Gachagan, 45, Leona Laing, 50, and John Clark, 46, deny all charges against them.

It is alleged the offences happened between 2010 and 2020 at various locations in Glasgow, with the first offence involving a child alleged to have happened in 2012.

One of the children said in evidence: “Two witches holded my legs down, it felt uncomfortable, all the witches and wizards were watching.”

The Crown said it would have been “off the scale devious” to concoct the allegations.

An allegation that the accused used an Ouija board to “call on spirits and demons” causing the child victims to “believe that they could see, hear and communicate with spirits and demons” and making them take part in “witchcraft” was dropped.

Sending jurors out to begin their deliberations on Thursday, judge Lord Beckett told them to consider the “intensity of denials” from the accused and “how clear and emphatic they are”, along with “the confidence they expressed that they would have nothing to fear from DNA analysis”.

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