Gang Who Kidnapped Child at Knifepoint In Satanic Panic Is Jailed

Six people have been jailed for abducting a child at knifepoint while falsely claiming their victim was being subjected to satanic ritual abuse.

The gang were sentenced to between four and 17 years in prison after snatching the child in Anglesey, an island off the northwest coast of Wales, on November 4, 2020.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard how Anke Hill, 51, and Wilfred Wong, 53, abducted the child from their foster carer as they arrived home from school.

Wong held a knife to the foster carer's throat while Hill pulled the child out of the car seat and took them to another vehicle. Wong then slashed the tires of the carer's car to prevent her from pursuing them.

The pair met up with Janet and Edward Stevenson, who had hired a car to take the child away from Wales. Prosecutors said they believed the gang were planning to take the child abroad.

Two others, Jane Going-Hill and Kristine Petley, acted as police lookouts on bridges in order to help the rest of the gang escape.

The child was eventually rescued after the car was stopped by police on a highway in Northamptonshire, central England.

The court heard how Hill had claimed the child had been a victim of satanic abuse in the past, before being fostered. A police investigation found no evidence to support this, reported the BBC.

Hill had recruited the gang for the kidnapping plot after coming into contact with Wong, who was known as a campaigner against satanic abuse.

Upon sentencing, the judge told Wong that he still had "a clear underlying belief in these accusations" of satanic abuse.

Judge Nicola Jones added that the kidnapping had caused "significant, long-lasting and potentially permanent psychological harm to the child," the BBC reported.

Wong was sentenced to 17 years in jail after being convicted of conspiracy to kidnap and having an article with a blade or point.

Hill was handed a prison term of 14 years and five months after admitting conspiracy to kidnap.

Going-Hill and Petley also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and were sentenced to four years and eight months and four years respectively.

Janet Stevenson was handed a 15-year jail sentence after being convicted of conspiracy to kidnap. Her husband Edward was handed an eight-year sentence for the same offense.

In a statement to Newsweek, a North Wales Police spokesperson said: "This was a complex and carefully orchestrated conspiracy, perpetrated with chilling ruthlessness.

"This was a harrowing ordeal for both the child and foster carer. The impact of this incident cannot be understated, and we would like to acknowledge their strength and courage throughout this investigation.

"Through the dedication of detectives and meticulous investigation, we presented a strong case which resulted in these convictions."

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service, the agency that brings forward criminal charges in England and Wales, added: "The group had made a remarkable amount of planning to carry out this crime, including sourcing a passport with a view to take the child abroad.

"The facts of the case are chilling, and it must have been a terrifying experience for the child and carer.

"Through detailed analysis of the material provided by the police, the CPS built a strong case which resulted in these convictions."

satanic child abuse
A police officer in Swansea, Wales, seen on December 7, 2019. Six people who abducted a child in Wales last November have been jailed. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images