A sexual abuse survivor who was instrumental in the conviction of a religious cult leader says she feels like she has been “set free”.
Police Scotland issued a statement on behalf of Hope Bastine following the sentencing of Derek Lincoln at the High Court in Glasgow.
Lincoln was jailed for 11-and-a-half years after admitting repeatedly raping two girls almost three decades ago.
Ms Bastine said: “Words cannot describe how I feel today after the conclusion of my 16-year fight for justice.
‘By incarcerating my abuser for 11 and a half years, Lord Matthews has set me free.’Hope Bastine
“My childhood and adolescence were cruelly stolen from me by a man who repeatedly abused me within a religious cult, which legitimised his actions.
By incarcerating my abuser for 11 and a half years, Lord Matthews has set me free.
“Finally, I can give myself permission to pursue happiness and peace.”
Lincoln, who was extradited from France, admitted abusing the two girls while he was a member of the ‘Children of God’ cult, based at various sites in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and Renfrewshire between 1989 and 1996.
The girls were aged nine and 11 when they were first targeted by Lincoln.
Judge Lord Matthews said he “stole the dreams” of his young victims.
Ms Bastine said her greatest wish is that other victims of abuse “living in silence and shame will see that justice can be done and seek freedom too”.
She said: “I could not have walked this challenging road alone. I wish to thank every friend and family member who has stood by me and the incredible Scottish police team who spent the last five years engaged in a tireless battle to bring this case to court.
“In particular, I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) staff member who conducted the harrowing forensic interviews with the sort of compassion and sensitivity which showed me that a man can be good and true and kind.”
The Children of God cult began in the United States in the late 1960s and has faced allegations of widespread sexual and physical abuse of women and children.
Lincoln’s conviction is the second prosecution of its kind in Scotland in two years.