Another dirty old man has been found guilty of enticing teenage girls into having sex with him using occult trappings and stories that he had magical powers.
William Lambert, aged 74, was found guilty of rape, two charge of indecent sexual assault and two charges of coercing girls into sex, at Croydon Crown Court on Friday.
The attacks happened back in the 1980s. Lambert, who worked as a church gravedigger, claimed the assaults were some sort of occult initiation.
You can read news stories, including all the sordid details, here:
It always upsets me when I read stories like this. Although they are rare, this is the second court case of this kind I have read about in the news this year.
I am really glad that these sex pests and abusers of teenage girls have been caught, found guilty and are likely to spend a long time in jail. However, I am also concerned that these people are giving occult practices a bad name.
Most occult practitioners are law-abiding, decent people who, like me, are utterly disgusted by the things Lambert has done. However, the newspapers and online news sites love sensationalist stories about black magic, perverse sex and wrongdoings. I can't blame journalists for seeking out juicy stories - after all I've worked as a journalist myself in the past and I realise those kinds of news items attract readers.
Nevertheless, I am concerned that this gives the wrong impression about what magic and the occult are all about. Most magical groups do good, not bad. They perform things like healing spells and are interested in personal development. Wiccan covens also have a strict adults-only policy too, so no teenagers or children would be invited to join or offered initiation.
I do hope Lambert's case doesn't provoke any sort of backlash against genuine, law-abiding witches and occult practitioners in the Croydon area.