The Sunday Herald

'We were accused of raping little girls, having orgies, killing cats and chickens and drinking their blood ... it was all lies but they wouldn't believe us'

EXCLUSIVE: The full story of the families whose lives were shattered when they were falsely accused of abusing children on a remote Scottish island; For the past nine months Vicky Allan has been talking to the families accused and finally cleared of being involved in the ritual abuse of children on Lewis. This is their story

John and Susan Sellwood were staying at a caravan park in the northeast of Scotland when the phone call came through. Susan came back from the toilet to find John pacing outside the awning. He started to cry. She assumed the worst: that finally the indictment had come through and that soon her husband would be appearing at Glasgow High Court, along with the seven other accused. Soon the whole story would be hung out in a court room and fed to the media: a tale of animal-sacrifice, robed ritual, mass orgies and the sexual abuse of children, set on the Isle of Lewis. "The case has been dropped," he told her.

The Sellwoods were still in a mildly celebratory mood when they picked me up on Monday. Their "camper van" was a cobbled-together affair, constructed from bits that John finds at the tip where he works. Susan listed the accusations she and her husband had been bombarded with in police interviews. "We're supposed to have all raped the girls and then the men did. Then we were having sex orgies. We had sex orgies with each other's partners - wife-swapping, whatever you want to call it - at each other's houses. We're supposed to have killed cats, chickens, rams and lambs, then drunk the blood.

"We were accused of drug taking and making snuff movies. I didn't even know what a snuff movie was. The satanic cult was supposed to have threatened the mother to keep quiet. John was accused of trying to get her to change her evidence after a complaint. This was supposed to have been on CCTV. Porno photos are supposed to have been taken by us using a webcam. …

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