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Jury goes out in 'witches' coven' sex abuse trial

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

Jury goes out in 'witches' coven' sex abuse trial

Jury members in a sex abuse trial involving witches and pagan rituals have retired to consider their verdict.

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske are accused of a litany of offences against young girls, dating back several decades and including the use of gowns, daggers and candle wax.

The pair, aged 69 and 72 respectively, deny any involvement in the abuse, which has seen murdered "black witch" and former parish councillor Peter Solheim, 56, also linked to the sexual offending.

Solheim's body was found five miles off the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, by fishermen on June 18, 2004.

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Petrauske, known as "German Pete" in the Cornish town of Falmouth around which much of the offending is said to have taken place, told Truro Crown Court he was the victim of a case of mistaken identity.

Kemp, who was said to have been friends with notorious Cornish child abuser Stan Pirie before his conviction and death in the last decade, said his accusers had lied and conspired against him.

Both deny the charges, including indecent assault and, in Petrauske's case, rape.

Judge Graham Cottle told the jury of nine men and three women to put any pre-conceptions about paganism and witches to one side when retiring to consider the verdict.

The case was adjourned until today.

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