Gang tried to kidnap Anglesey child over satanic abuse fear

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Northamptonshire Police stopping the kidnappers on the M1Image source, Northamptonshire Police
Image caption,
Northamptonshire Police boxed in the getaway car on the M1

A gang of people kidnapped a child after one of them believed the infant had been the victim of satanic abuse.

Three people have been found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap the child on Anglesey in November 2020 while three others admitted the charge.

Anke Hill, 51, snatched the child from the street outside their home while Wilfred Wong, 56, threatened the child's foster mother with a knife.

The pair, and four others, will be sentenced in September.

Hill, Jane Going-Hill, 60, of Pump Street, Holyhead, and Kristine Ellis-Petley, 58, of Ffordd Tudur, Holyhead, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap.

Wong, of Pied Bull Court, Galen Place, Camden, Janet Stevenson, 67, and her husband Edward Stevenson, 69, both of Parnell Close, Maidenbower, Crawley, all denied the charge, but were found guilty by a jury.

A month-long trial was held at Caernarfon Crown Court in July, but a court order prevented any reporting of the case until now.

Karren Sawford, 48, was found not guilty and an eighth defendant, Robert Frith, was found dead in his prison cell last year.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Jane Going-Hill and Kristine Ellis-Petley acted as lookouts on the bridges from Anglesey to spot any police activity during the kidnap

The jury heard how Hill conspired with Wong and Janet Stevenson to kidnap the child from foster care, with the help of the other three.

Hill believed the child had been the victim of satanic abuse in the past, before being fostered, though police investigated and found there was not enough evidence to support this allegation.

The court heard the group was recruited after Hill contacted Wong, who is a campaigner against satanic ritual abuse.

Train station 'rendezvous'

Hill found Wong online, and phone records produced in court showed the pair spent many hours in conversation.

Wong put Hill in contact with Janet Stevenson, a counsellor who specialises in working with victims of satanic abuse.

Hill worked with Wong and the others to organise an elaborate plan, involving code names and a clandestine rendezvous at Bangor railway station, where one gang member arrived by train and followed another through the city at a distance.

Image caption,
The kidnap was thwarted by police on the M1 in Northamptonshire

At one stage, the conspirators also considered modifying a horsebox with a secret compartment to smuggle the child away.

On 4 November, Hill snatched the child as they returned from school while Wong threatened the foster mother with a knife, before using the same knife to slash a tyre on her car.

Child 'terrified'

The foster mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, tried to hang onto the child to stop them being dragged away.

She told the court: "The child was terrified. They kept calling my name and asking me to help. I tried to hold on as much as I could.

"But then someone came round the back of me and held a knife to me and told me to let go."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The kidnappers were caught more than 200 miles from Anglesey, on the M1 in Northamptonshire

The child was then taken in a car with false number plates to a country lane outside Bangor, while a second car hired by Janet and Edward Stevenson, was waiting to take Hill, Wong and the child towards south-east England.

Going-Hill and Kristine Ellis-Petley acted as lookouts on the bridges from Anglesey to mainland Wales to spot any police activity.

Police were alerted as soon as the child was taken, and quickly managed to piece together the associations between different members of the group.

The hire car was eventually stopped by officers on the M1 in Northamptonshire later that evening.

Wong denied any involvement, saying he was in north Wales for a short walking holiday and had arranged to get a lift back with the Stevensons.

He told the court: "I'd have been more of a liability than a help with any abduction plan. I would have been too old and too slow for that sort of thing."

But the jury didn't believe his story and convicted him and the Stevensons after eight hours of deliberation.

Janet Stevenson's barrister has indicated she would appeal against the verdict.