Murder victim was 'child rapist': Pagan child abuse trial LATEST

Murder victim was 'child rapist': Pagan child abuse trial LATEST

Peter Petrauske has denied raping one girl and three charges of assault

Peter Solheim, who was murdered in 2004

First published in News

A murdered councillor with links to Budock and the Lizard Peninsula has been accused of child rape in a sensational turn of events at a trial into alleged sex abuse at pagan ceremonies.

Peter Solheim, who was murdered in 2004, was accused of raping the girl during a harrowing video interview, made by an adult woman during the trial of 72-year-old Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp, 69.

Petrauske, who at the time of his arrest last December was living at The Beacon, Falmouth has denied raping one girl and three charges of assault.

Kemp, of Grenville Road, Falmouth, has denied aiding and abetting attempted rape and 15 charges of assault.

Giving evidence, a witness in the case has detailed the abuse and rape she allegedly suffered at the hands of men involved in a West Cornwall coven of white witches, during their trial at Truro Crown Court.

In it she spoke of Solheim, a former Budock councillor who was bludgeoned to death with an axe and his body thrown into the sea. His partner of nine years, Margaret James from Porthoustock on The Lizard, was later jailed for 20 years in 2006 for conspiracy to murder.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, repeatedly spoke of being scared and of fearing that she would be thrown onto a fire if she was “naughty” and did not do as she was told.

She said she suffered pain for weeks after she was tied to a bed and raped by an unknown man when she was nearly ten and how, years later, she recognised him when he was murdered and his picture was shown on television.

“I was taken into a big house and upstairs,” she said. “There was a weird, incensey smell and I passed rooms where there were chains coming off the backs of the beds, and whips.

“I was in a room where there was a big double bed with ropes coming off it, and a black whip with star things on the ends.

“I was scared. He pushed me on the bed and I knew I was in trouble. I did what he told me, he tied ropes around my feet, they were really tight, hurting. I was telling him 'Please don't hurt me' and he slapped me across the face. His eyes were looking evil.”

The witness went on to say her hands were tied and she was then forcefully raped several times.

“I was screaming 'please stop' and thought someone would hear me but no-one came. Afterwards a woman came and helped me shower.

“I didn't recognise the man until a few years ago when he was on the television because he had been murdered.” That man was Peter Solheim.

When she saw the picture she was “hysterical and lost the plot” but could not tell anyone.

“He made me hate men,” she declared.

Her evidence spoke of being about three when she was first abused, and five when she went to a ritual attended by a number of men and women, together with up to 12 children. Among those present were Kemp and Petrauske, the high priest.

“The chanting stuck in my head for weeks,” she said. “I didn't understand what it was all about, I just thought they were weird. I was warned that if I was naughty they would hurt me, that they had special powers.”

She was taken to a big house, she thought near Hayle, where there was an area with big stones and a fire in the middle. There were people dressed in “gown things”, with hoods. She thought they looked like Klu Klux Clan gowns with necklaces.

“I was with eight or ten other kids and we were allowed to sit and watch,” she said. “I didn't understand what was going on and was scared.”

Petrauske was at the centre of proceedings and there was alcohol, she said. She sat next to a little boy who was more scared than her, with tears running down his face.

“That was the first time I learned about witches,” the witness declared.

There were references to her being taken to a quarry, made to take off her clothes and pose for Polaroid pictures to be taken. Haltingly the witness described a number of occasions when she alleged she had been sexually abused by Kemp and Petrauske. Her involvement ended when she was about 12.

“After all I went through I now feel ashamed I did not tell anyone,” she said.

The trial of Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp has also included evidence from Pamela James, Kemp's wife until their divorce following his arrest last December.

She told the jury that she and ‘German Pete’ Petrauske had sexual intercourse a number of times between the early 1970s and 80s.

“My husband knew about it, he wanted me to,” she said. “It was a wife swapping stage we went through.”

Mrs James also told of her husband having slept with another woman in their home for a few weeks, while she slept downstairs.

She knew her husband went to witches' meetings with ‘German Pete’ but she told him she didn't want to go or know about it.

“I did go to German Pete's home and see a lot of weird ornaments and statues, and he did read my fortune on the Tarot cards but it was all rubbish,” she said.

The allegations of child abuse came to light, she said, at a birthday party at which a lot of alcohol was drunk and her husband was accused of rape.

Another witness, who gave evidence behind a screen, told the jury her experiences as a child “destroyed my life”.

She was questioned by Jo Martin, counsel for Kemp, about her not having mentioned him and Petrauske when interviewed by the police about the sexual abuse.

“Yes, because I was ashamed of what they did and what would happen,” she said.

She had been taken to the ‘Hot Rocks’ quarry numerous times on the excuse of taking the dog for a walk and had seen Kemp and Petrauske there.

“It was disgusting and makes me feel repulsive,” the witness declared. “Even now I try to avoid travelling on that road.”

During cross examination yesterday the witness agreed that she had received nearly £25,000 compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board but declared: “I gave it all away, to anyone, it was dirty money... I never wanted people to know about what had happened but I had to do what is right.”

The alleged abusers, she declared, were: “Disgusting, dirty people and they will never change.”

Referring to Peter Solheim, she said: “He destroyed me.”

When it was suggested that she was lying the woman retorted: “I have nothing to lie about, why would I put everyone through this? I am trying to do what is right about all this...”

In her videoed interview a third woman to allege she had been abused said she had felt really guilty about not having spoken about it before. It began when she was a child and until she was about nine numerous people were involved in abusing her. It ended when she was 14.

The woman spoke of being about six or seven years old when she was in a room with four men, one of them with a camera.

“I was abused by people I did not know, there are probably some videos of me out there for people to watch and enjoy. I was not a bad kid but the men in my life were bastards.”

The witness said that Kemp was present a number of times but nothing had happened to her in his house. He always had a few girls there.

After describing the ways she had been abused and hurt she declared: “I knew it was wrong but I was too scared to tell.”

The trial continues.

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