SATANIC WORSHIP AND THE CHURCH
DERRY MAINWARING KNIGHT
HIS INTERESTING CIRCLE OF ASSOCIATES
In 1986 an interesting case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court involving a self-confessed satanist and his attempt to defraud thousands of pounds from clergy. In the case of Derry Mainwaring Knight, he had the most intriguing connections and what transpired in court was a fascinating case involving deception, blackmail, prostitution, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, Church of England, Roman Catholic Church, Freemasonry, MPs, aristocracy, showbusiness and, of course, money.
I’m not going to offer any opinion on the case but I think it is particularly interesting to look at the way the detective in charge of the investigation behaves towards witnesses. (See article: Satan Man’s a Rapist – 22 March 1986).
(Most of the articles are from The Times, unless otherwise stated).
Those mentioned during the trial included:
- Alison Baker: Wife of Rev Baker
- Rev John Baker: St Mary’s Church, Knight lodged with him
- Rt Rev Peter Ball: Bishop of Lewes, convicted paedophile
- Rev Michael Barling: Christian training centre lecturer
- George Booth: Congregational Minister, Leigh-on-Sea
- Lord Brentford: Donor
- Lady Brentford: Donor
- Clive Bygrave: Disc Jockey – cruise liners Canberra and Sea Princess, East Grinstead
- Doctor Caspar: ‘Chief of Satanists’
- Michael Corkery, QC: Prosecution
- Irene Cranham: Cleaner for Angela Murdoch
- Judge Neil Denison: Trial judge
- Ethel: Grandmother of Derry Mainwaring Knight
- Det Chief Insp Terence Fallon: Former head of Sussex Police, Papua New Guinea police
- Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman: Disc Jockey
- Rt Rev Mark Green: Retired Bishop of Aston
- David Hamilton: Disc Jockey
- Lord Hampden: Donor
- Lorraine Haynes: Prostitute, Shoeburyness, Essex
- Lord & Lady Ingleby: Refused donation
- Laurence Kayne: Managing Director, Laurence Kayne of Berkeley Square Ltd
- Dr Eric Kemp: Bishop of Chichester
- Jeffrey Klein: Video shop owner, Southend
- Derry Mainwaring Knight: Accused, Dormans Land, Surrey
- Margaret Mainwaring Knight: Mother of the accused
- Hayley Leigh: Dancer, Broadstone, Dorset
- Geoff Love: Orchestra Leader
- Randle Mainwaring: Retired bank director
- Lord March: Donor
- Rt Rev Lloyd Morrell: Bishop of Lewes
- Angela Murdoch: girlfriend of Knight
- Enoch Powell: Accused by Knight of being a Satanist
- Michael Ransby: Jeweller, Southend
- Susan Sainsbury: Donor
- Timothy Sainsbury: Conservative MP for Hove, Donor
- Donald Scutt: adviser of a religious trust, South Warnborough, Hampshire
- Det Sgt Brian Smeed: Interviewing officer
- Samantha Sprackling: Dancer
- Julie Tremain: Prostitute
- Rev Colin Urquhart: Christian training centre
- Michael Warren: Former High Sheriff of East Sussex, farmer & magistrate, Donor
- Michael West, QC: Defence
- Willie Whitelaw: Deputy Prime Minister
- Simon Willis: Disc Jockey, East Grinstead
- Donna Winwood: Pantomime Dancer, North London
Wednesday 19 February 1986: ‘SATANISM’ MAN’S LUXURY CARS
A man bought a Lotus sports car the day a “highly gullible” clergyman obtained £25,000 for him to finance an alleged crusade against satanism, Maidstone Crown Court was told yesterday.
Derry Knight, aged 46, had convinced the Rector of Newick, Sussex, that he needed the money to break his links with a satanic circle and buy its insignia to break its power.
Mr Michael Corkery, QC, for the prosecution said the Rev John Baker had approached Mr Gordon Scutt, adviser to the charitable P & P Trust.
In a letter, the rector asked: “Please pray for Derry… he needs a great deal of prayer and divine protection”.
The rector negotiated a loan from the charity on 8 November 1984. “The date is of interest”, Mr Corkery said, “for on that same day the defendant bought a Lotus motor car for £17,000”.
Mr Knight, a record producer, of Dormans Land, Surrey, has denied 19 charges of dishonestly obtaining £203,850 by deception.
Mr Corkery also alleged that Mr Knight had “conned” £37,500 from Lord Hampden, a parishioner of Mr Baker, to buy a Rolls Royce.
“The rector said the defendant needed the Rolls Royce to convince his satanist colleagues that he still had influence”.
Mr Corkery said that Mr Knight spent tens of thousands of pounds on jewellery, clothing and cars. He would pick up prostitutes and other women, shower them with gifts, and then leave them.
Mr Baker, aged 49, told the court that when he heard of Mr Knight’s problems he immediately prayed.
The case continues today.
20 FEBRUARY 1986: EVIL SPIRITS ‘TOOK MAN OVER’
The record in the alleged Satan confidence trickster case said yesterday he talked with demonic spirits in the man’s body.
The Rev John Baker said that he twice took authority over the spirits in the name of Jesus Christ.
Mr Baker, the Rector of Newick in East Sussex, told Maidstone Crown Court that Derry Mainwaring Knight first went into a trance when he and his wife went to pray with him.
“I recognised the state from having dealt with many people in similar states over the years as being due to demonic spirit infestation”.
Mr Knight awoke from the trance and later they prayed again, but Mr Knight again went into a trance.
The rector said the spirits started to speak out of Mr Knight. “It was coming out of his mouth but not in his normal voice”.
“As we were in prayer I said something like ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I bind these spirits and adjure them to tell the truth and to declare their ground in this man’s life'”.
Mr Baker said the voice then spoke back to him: “you cannot have him, he belongs to Lucifer. He was dedicated by sacrifice as a child and he is a Master of the Occult”.
The rector said Mr Knight told him he had wanted to get out of the satanic order since about 1980, but was being held in by his vows, fear and debts he owed them.
Mr Baker told the court Mr Knight had told of two debts, one to a “Chief of the Satanists” in the area. He was known as Doctor Caspar.
Mr Knight had told the rector that if he had any chance of getting out of the satanic order he had to destroy certain artefacts, including robes and gold and silver which were used for satanic worship.
But the order was not willing to let him have them for nothing, Mr Baker said.
Mr Baker said that after Mr Knight had been given £16,000 he produced a chain of office and bracelet used in satanic rites.
The rector explained that he and Mr Knight smashed up both items in the rectory garden and then took to a jeweller to be melted down.
Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of dishonestly obtaining £203,850 by deception.
The trail continues today.
Friday 21 February 1986: SATANISM SECRECY REFUSED BY JUDGE
The judge in the “Satan swindle” trial refused yesterday to hear part of the evidence in secret.
The request had been made by the Rev John Baker, who said that lives could be in danger if evidence was given in open court about devil-worshipping objects. The danger was to the accused, Derry Mainwaring Knight, himself, and others.
There were “things too dangerous to talk about”, he said.
But after hearing legal argument at Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Denison told Mr Baker, rector of Newick, East Sussex, of his decision.
The judge added: “I bear in mind what you said yesterday. If you feel there’s a matter which you can’t safely deal with in these circumstances you must tell me”.
Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, is accused of swindling the rector and wealthy Christians out of £203,850, claiming he needed money to buy and destroy regalia used by a satanic circle.
Mr Baker said that Mr Knight had told him that the satanic order wanted him to raise money for certain items by blackmail. Mr Knight said he knew a bank manager who had “taken advantage” of a woman client and could be blackmailed.
Yet Knight had earlier claimed that all the money for buying artefacts had to be “clean”, given in love by a Christian source. If it was “unclean-illegal, dishonest or criminal”, the devil would still have a hold on him when the artefacts were destroyed. He later dismissed the idea of blackmail.
Mr Baker refused to give precise details of the hierarchy of satanic sects in open court.
The case continues today.
Tuesday 25 February 1986: SATAN TRIAL MAN ‘WAS LIVING OFF WOMEN’
The country rector in the “Satan conman” trial claimed yesterday that Derry Mainwaring Knight, a record producer, had told him he had lived off the earnings of prostitutes for about a year whilst Christians were giving him thousands of pounds.
The Rev John Baker, Rector of Newick, East Sussex, told Maidstone Crown Court that Mr Knight also claimed that he had paid about £200,000 into an offshore investment company run by a fringe satanist.
But Mr Baker said he had taken a Bible oath not to reveal details of the company.
Mr Baker was continuing his evidence in the case in which Mr Knight has denied 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception.
Mr Knight has said he needed the money to buy satanic insignia, but it is alleged that he spent it instead of his girl friends and prostitutes, fast cars and high living.
Cross-examined by Mr Michael West, QC, for the defence, Mr Baker told the court that he was not surprised that after committing himself to Christ, Mr Knight underwent “backsliding” towards prostitutes and high living.
“People who have a deep involvement in the occult don’t normally get out in one, nice, neat jump – the deliverance is a process”, he said.
He denied the prosecution’s claim that he was a gullible fool.
Mr Baker added that he had been successful in the past in helping people to free themselves from the control of the Devil.
He said the destruction of satanic insignia was a powerful means of weakening the Devil’s control. One method was by using sea water.
The trial continues today.
Wednesday 26 February 1986: SATANISTS ‘MURDER INFORMERS’
Satanists kill anyone who discloses their closest secrets, and the leaders of devil worshipping sects also lead pornography and drug-pushing rings, the “Satan conman” trial was told yesterday.
The Rev John Baker, rector of Newick, East Sussex, told Maidstone Crown Court that they were “ruthless” people with “absolutely unspeakable” rituals.
Mr Baker was continuing his evidence in the case in which Derry Mainwaring Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, a record producer, has denied 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception.
Mr Knight claims he needed the money to buy satanic regalia to free him from the control of the devil, but it is alleged he spent it on prostitutes and high living.
Mr Baker was explaining why he had refused to say what were the vitally important satanic artefacts he had helped to raise money to buy, and which he called in court by the letters A, B, C.
He said: “There is not the slightest doubt that anybody who gets their way and who starts to divulge things at the top end of the organisation will be shot or disposed of in some way”.
The trial continues today.
Thursday 27 February 1986: GIRL TELLS OF £2,000 DAY OUT
A pantomime dancer, Miss Donna Winwood, yesterday told Maidstone Crown Court that Derry Mainwaring Knight, the alleged “Satan conman”, spent £2,000 on her on a day out in Southend.
Miss Winwood, 20, of north London, said Mr Knight approached her during rehearsals for a pantomime.
Mr Knight, of Dorman’s Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception.
Earlier, the Rev John Baker, who had befriended Mr Knight, finished his evidence after 19 hours in the witness box spread over six days.
Mr Knight had told Mr Baker that he needed money obtained from wealthy Christians to break his bonds with Satanism.
Mr Baker said that the Satanic organisation to which Mr Knight belonged was based at what was called Rochford Temple in Hockney Woods, Essex.
He told the court that Mr Knight claimed his family had been involved in the black arts for 33 generations covering 850 years.
Mr Baker told the court that Mr Knight had said that about 2,000 members of the Satanic organisation would be released from the control of the devil once he had destroyed the regalia.
The trial was adjourned until today.
Friday 28 February 1986: SATANIST TELLS OF BUGGED HOUSE
Derry Mainwaring Knight, the self-confessed satanist, told the committed Christians who had given him £200,000: “I don’t have horns sticking out of my head”, a court was told yesterday.
He wrote a letter to all the donors after he had been arrested and questioned by the police but released without being charged.
Mr Knight said the satanists had told him the police had bugged his house in Dormans Land, Surrey. But he told them triumphantly that he had known the police’s movements for weeks.
“Satanists live and work in nearly every trade and profession”.
He said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour in 1984 “and I meant it”. He and his mistress, Angela Murdoch, prayed and read the Bible.
The letter was read out by Mr Michael Corkery, QC, for the prosecution, at Maidstone Crown Court where Mr Knight, aged 46, denies 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception. He claims that he needed the money to buy satanic insignia to free himself from the devil.
The letter was received by Mr Gordon Scutt, of South Warnborough, Hampshire, an adviser to a religious trust that provided Mr Knight with thousands of pounds.
The trial continues today.
Saturday 1 March 1986: MP’S WIFE TELLS OF £80,000 GIFT TO SAVE MAN FROM THE DEVIL
A Conservative MP’s wife told a court yesterday that she gave nearly £30,000 to help save a self-styled satanist, Mr Derry Mainwaring Knight, from the devil.
Mrs Susan Sainsbury, aged 47, the wife of Mr Timothy Sainsbury, MP for Hove and a member of one of Britain’s wealthiest families, was clearly nervous as she sat in the witness box at Maidstone Crown Court.
Mrs Sainsbury, who was wearing a pendant crucifix, said she first heard about Mr Knight through a friend and later met the Rev John Baker at her London home.
She said: “Baker told me that Mr Knight was involved in a satanic church and wanted to commit himself to Christ. But in order to do that certain items of regalia that belonged to the church of the satanic order had to be bought and destroyed”.
“According to the rector, Mr Knight was being groomed to be the leader of this group when this regalia, which had a certain hold on him, would come into his possession and he could destroy them to break this hold”.
Mrs Sainsbury gave seven cheques totalling £79,785 to Mr Baker between July 1984 and the end of February 1985.
The final payments in February of £28,000 and £20,000 went towards the purchase of a throne, which she had been told would cost about £200,000.
Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception.
Although Mrs Sainsbury did not meet Mr Knight, she had spoken to him on the telephone telling him she prayed for his deliverance from the devil.
She believed in the power of prayer “passionately”, and said it was a powerful influence against satanism.
Mrs Sainsbury also said, in evidence which lasted 90 minutes, that the £80,000 she gave Mr Baker for Mr Knight had “no conditions attached”, and she did not expect proof of purchases.
“As long as it was being applied to buying the regalia that was all right by me. I believed all along what I was being told by Mr Baker”, she said.
She agreed with Mr Michael West, QC, for Mr Knight, that satanism “was far, far more rampant than most people think in this country”.
Tuesday 4 March 1986: BISHOP ‘SUSPICIOUS’ OF GIFTS FOR MAN TO GET SALVATION FROM DEVIL
The Bishop of Chichester said yesterday he had been told that Mr Derry Mainwaring Knight, the self-confessed Satanist, was “baptised” in blood.
He had also heard that Mr Knight was dedicated to Satanism by his grandmother before he had been born, the Rt Rev Eric Kemp told Maidstone Crown Court.
Dr Kemp was giving evidence on the 11th day of the trial of Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, who denies obtaining more than £200,000 by deception.
Dr Kemp, aged 71, said that Rev John Barker, the rector of Newick who was raising money for Mr Knight from committed Christians, had told him that more Satanic regalia had to be bought after he had already purchased a chalice, sceptre, ring and other regalia for about £70,000.
He said he first heard of Mr Baker’s fund-raising efforts for Mr Knight at the end of June 1984 and had become increasingly concerned and eventually reported the matter to the police in November 1984.
Dr Kemp said that Mr Knight would wear the Satanic regalia while he sat within a pentacle in the Satanic Temple, an underground air-raid shelter in Hockley Woods, Essex.
“There was a gold piece fitted over his toes and fastened around his ankle. There was also a gold headpiece which covered the place where he had a trepanning operation on his forehead, which had involved the insertion of two discs connected with communication with the Devil”, Dr Kemp said.
“There was also a disc, which I was not clear about at the time, and talk of an inverted cross. Mr Baker told me that when Mr Knight wore these items standing in the temple he went into a trance and the Devil spoke through him, giving commands to other leaders of the order”.
Mr Baker ahd told him later that the items were being kept by a jeweller in Eastbourne, East Sussex, then that they were with a jeweller in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
Dr Kemp said he insisted there should be verification that the items had, in fact, been bought after money had been paid over, and suggested to Mr Baker and the Rt Rev Lloyd Morrell, then the Bishop of Lewes, that they should see them or have photographs taken of them.
But Mr Baker told him that Mr Knight had refused, claiming the Satanists would become suspicious and jeopardise the operation.
Mr Knight claimed he needed money to buy the regalia and destroy it to extricate himself from Satanism. It is alleged he used the cash obtained from wealthy Christians on high living, fast cars and girls.
Dr Kemp said that he first heard of Mr Baker’s fundraising efforts at the end of June 1984 and had immediately phoned the rector to ask what was happening.
Mr Baker told him that Mr Knight was a grand archdeacon in a Satanic order in Essex, who owed £7,500 to other members of the order, but who wanted to leave to live as a Christian.
By the end of July, Dr Kemp had decided he wanted more investigations and appointed two people to look into the matter further.
Dr Kemp said he became increasingly concerned and reported the matter to the police on November 30, 1984.
He had met Mr Baker on September 25 to discuss the problem and had been introduced briefly to Mr Knight.
The next day Mr Baker told him that Mr Knight had just announced further items of regalia would have to be bought, including a gold collar, a set of gold keys and a throne, thought to be in a house in the East End of London.
On February 20 last year he met Mr Baker and was told that the throne was in a flat off Pall Mall, central London, belonging to the head of the order.
“I was told it was in a particular room in which it was surrounded by water and that Mr Knight would have to pay about £10,000 to enter the room”, Dr Kemp said.
He said he became strongly suspicious that Mr Knight was playing a confidence trick when more and more money was being demanded to buy more items of regalia.
“I said I thought it was a very strange thing that Mr Knight should regard himself as so totally dominated by the Satanic objects”, he added.
“And I thought that if he really wished to become a Christian there was a fairly simple way of penitence and committing himself to Christ and receiving absolution”.
Under cross-examination by Mr Michael West, QC, for the defence, the Bishop insisted that he did not discuss the situation with Mr Knight because he had been told that Mr Knight did not wish to meet him.
Mr Michael Warren, a farmer and former High Sheriff of East Sussex, told the court that he handed over a total of £55,000 to Mr Baker between October 1983 and February 1985.
Mr Warren said he shared the opinion of many of the donors that no prosecution should have been brought against Mr Knight.
He described Satanism as “very much a potent source of evil in this country, and every step should be taken to stamp it out and free people from it”.
The case continues today.
Thursday 6 March 1986: LECTURER DOUBTED SATANIST
Derry Mainwaring Knight, a self-confessed Satanist, claimed to a Christian training centre lecturer that a Roman Catholic cardinal was one of the top Satanists in Britain, a court heard yesterday.
The lecturer, the Rev Michael Barling, told Maidstone Crown Court that Mr Knight alleged that Britain’s devil worship organisation was based in a building in London.
The wealthy Christians who gave money appointed Mr Barling and the Rev Colin Urquhart to test if Mr Knight was genuine, the court heard.
Mr Barling was unhappy with Mr Knight’s answers to two crucial questions in an interview in January 1985 about his commitment to becoming a Christian. Mr Barling said it was impossible to remain a member of a Satanic organisation and also be a Christian.
He told the court: “Mr Knight described some aspects of Satanism in relation to its hierarchy and various church people, including a Roman Catholic cardinal, who were highly active in it and its various ceremonies”.
Mr Knight “maintained there was a building in London that was the headquarters of the organisation” and referred to a ring, chalice, sword and throne among regalia that had to be bought and destroyed to release him and thousands of others from the Devil’s control.
Mr Knight, aged 47, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining £203,850 by deception.
He has claimed he needed the money to buy Satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the Devil. But it is alleged that he spent it on high living, fast cars and women.
Mr Barling said he had personally carried out exorcism in the past and found the situation with Mr Knight the most bizarre he had met.
The trial continues today.
Thursday 13 March 1986: DJS AT SATANISTS’ PARTY
The disc jockeys David Hamilton and Alan Freeman were at a party given by the self-confessed satanist Derry Mainwaring Knight, a court was told yesterday.
Another guest at the party in September 1984 was Geoff Love, the orchestra leader, Mr Jeffrey Klein, a Southend video shop owner, told Maidstone Crown Court.
Mr Knight held the party on a boat, the Southern Belle, at Richmond, Surrey, to celebrate the birthday of his mistress, Angela Murdoch.
Mr Knight denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from committed Christians.
He says that he needed the money to buy satanic regalia to free himself from the devil, but, it is alleged, he spent it on fast cars, prostitutes and other women.
Another witness, Mr Laurence Kayne, managing director of Laurence Kayne of Berkeley Square Ltd, said to have been named as a fellow devil-worshipper by Mr Knight, denied he was a satanist.
The jury had been told earlier in the trial that Mr Knight had boasted he would buy a Rolls Royce at the company because it was run by a satanist.
Mr Kayne said he did not believe in the existence of a devil and worshipped in a synagogue every month with his wife and family.
And another witness, Mr Michael Ransby, a jeweller, from Southend, told the jury that Mr Knight spent hundreds of pounds on expensive jewellery, including a ring, bracelets and a sapphire and diamond pendant.
Hayley Leigh, aged 18, a dancer, told the court that Mr Knight had sat in his Rolls Royce and asked her to be “the first person to christen my car”.
Mr Knight bought her expensive clothes and jewellery, paid for hair styling and once pushed a £50 note down her dress Miss Leigh of Broadstone, Dorset, said.
As Miss Leigh gave evidence, Mr Knight smiled and winked at her from the dock.
She said she had first met him when helping backstage in a pantomime at East Grinstead Theatre, Sussex, in early 1985.
The trial was adjourned until today.
Friday 14 March 1986: BISHOP TELLS OF SATANIST RITUALS
A bishop yesterday told of court that satanists in Sussex acted out rituals at the Long Man of Wilmington, a figure cut into chalk hillside near Eastbourne, East Sussex.
The Bishop of Lewes, the Right Rev Peter Ball, said that at first he had thought that “people mucked around” with the devil but since the Derry Mainwaring Knight case began, he realised satanic organisations existed and that they were “a lot more real”.
“I think that was one of the reasons that I gave my support to Knight as I thought it was a rather large case of mucking around”, the bishop told the jury in the satanist trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
However, since then the bishop said that he had puzzled in his mind whether the Rev John Baker, Rector of Newick, East Sussex, who was raising money for Mr Knight, and whom the bishop completely trusted, was right.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator, from Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £20,000 by deception from committed Christians.
He claims he spent the money on buying Satanic insignia to free himself from the control of the devil, but, it is alleged, the money went on fast cars, prostitutes and girl friends.
The bishop said he had met Mr Knight to encourage him in his exit from evil. But he had expressed his amazement as the amount of money grew that he was told had to be raised to free Mr Knight from the devil’s control.
Mr Knight told the bishop about the operation he had as a young man to have discs inserted in his forehead to heighten his control by the devil.
The case continues today.
Saturday 15 March 1986: ‘MONEY NO OBJECT FOR SATANIST’
A disc jockey said self-confessed satanist Derry Mainwaring Knight offered him girls, expensive clothes and fast cars with “money no object”.
And Mr Clive Bygrave told Maidstone Crown Court that Mr Knight said he knew a house of young women in Felbridge, Surrey, “who would look after me”.
Mr Bygrave of East Grinstead, a disc jockey on the luxury liners Canberra and the Sea Princess, said Mr Knight wanted him to front “the biggest disco road shows the South had ever seen”.
“Knight said he had £5,000 in his pocket which he patted and said I could have there and then”.
“I thought it was a good offer but probably too good to be true”, Mr Bygrave said.
And another witness said he ran a prostitution racket in London while he was obtaining more than £200,000 from committed Christians.
Mr Knight also had several prostitutes in Southend, Essex, as “friends”, according to his lodger, disc jockey Simon Willis.
But Mr Willis refused to give the court details of Mr Knight’s satanic connections because of “danger to himself”.
Mr Knight is charged with obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from committed Christians. He claimed the money was to help to free him from the devil and become a Christian.
But the prosecution allege the money was spent on fast cars, prostitutes and high living.
Another witness, Mrs Irene Cranham, a cleaner at the home of Mr Knight’s mistress, Angela Murdoch, said Angela suddenly acquired a £300 sequinned jumper, dresses, coats and skirts.
Mrs Cranham said Mr Knight once gave her three £50 notes he peeled from a large wad and she saw Mr Knight driving many fast and expensive cars and once bought Angela a Porsche for her birthday.
The trial was adjourned until Monday.
Tuesday 18 March 1986: SATANISTS ‘HATCHED BANK BLACKMAIL PLOT’
Satanists hatched a blackmail plot to trap a bank manager who had sexual intercourse with a woman customer, the “Satan conman” trial was told yesterday.
They wanted Derry Mainwaring Knight to blackmail the manager who had been secretly tape-recorded by the woman, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Mr Randle Mainwaring, a retired bank director, said Mr Knight asked him if the bank manager would be dismissed if the sex claim was made public.
Mr Knight said the woman had wanted a loan, but the manager would agree only if they had sexual intercourse. He later forced his way in to her bedroom.
“The satanists were trying to persuade the defendant, either personally or through his lady friend, to use blackmail as a means of obtaining money so he could buy satanic regalia”, Mr Mainwaring said.
Mr Mainwaring said he was “incredulous” at Mr Knight’s “dastardly manoeuvre”.
Mr Mainwairing, aged 73, said he first met Mr Knight at a Bible discussion group meeting at his house in Newick, East Sussex.
Mr Knight had “an amazing knowledge of the Bible” and would contribute serious comments, but never spoke about satanism.
Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from committed Christians.
The trial continues today.
Saturday 22 March 1986: SATAN MAN A RAPIST, COURT TOLD
A detective told committed Christians who funded Derry Mainwaring Knight, a self-styled satanist, that the man they thought they were saving from the devil had a prison record, including five years for raping two prostitutes, a court was told yesterday.
Det Chief Insp Terence Fallon said at Maidstone Crown Court that he also told them that Mr Knight had had venereal disease which he gave to two of his wives.
The detective arranged the meeting with the Christians at London’s Cafe Royal a few days after Mr Knight was arrested in March 1985.
They included Lord Brentford and Mrs Susan Sainsbury, wife of Mr Timothy Sainsbury, Conservative MP for Hove, and others who had given thousands of pounds to Mr Knight.
Mr Fallon, then head of Sussex police commercial branch and now with the police in Papua New Guinea, told the court he wanted to show Mr Knight’s previous bad character. Under cross-examination by Mr Michael West, QC, for the defence, he denied he was “feeding them the dirt”.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from Christians.
Mr West suggested to Mr Fallon that he had told the donors that Mr Knight was a member of the satanic cult, the OTO (Order Templis Orienti) “which dealt with certain sexual perversions”.
Mr Fallon said he could not recall any mention of perversions.
The court was also told of a tape recording made by Mr Knight and his mother, which Mr Fallon said he played to Mrs Sainsbury, which described Mr Knight’s grandmother “holding him and pronouncing and incantation and laying a curse on him”.
The trial continues.
Tuesday 25 March 1986: ‘SATANIST ASKED ME FOR GIRLS’
A prostitute yesterday said Derry Mainwaring Knight, the self-styled satanist, asked her to provide schoolgirls to have sexual relations with him.
Lorraine Haynes told Maidstone Crown Court that she refused, but found seven prostitutes and other girls for Mr Knight.
He paid her more than £4,000, she said.
Miss Haynes of Shoeburyness, Essex, was giving evidence at the start of the sixth week of the trial.
She admitted she worked as a prostitute in Southend.
Mr Knight had made no mention of religion or anything to do with witchcraft, black magic or satanism during their relationship, she said.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from Christians claiming he needed the money to buy satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the devil.
Det Sgt Brian Smeed told the court that Mr Knight told him he had received psychiatric treatment while in the Army, when he interviewed him after his arrest.
The trial continues today.
Thursday 27 March 1986: SATANIST ‘SAW DEVIL’S EMISSARY BY HIS BED’
The self-styled satanist, Mr Derry Mainwaring Knight, met an “emissary from Satan” standing at the foot of his bed, a court was told yesterday.
The claim was contained in a tape recorded life story of Mr Knight, which was played to the jury at Maidstone Crown Court.
On the tape, narrated by his mother, Mr Knight told of how early in his life he had been lying in bed. “I saw something standing at the foot of my bed. It was not human. It had the shape of a human being, but no facial features”.
“I was told my life would be full of trouble. No good would ever come into my life and ultimately I would be utterly destroyed. I believe what I saw was an emissary from Satan. From that day on my troubles began”.
The tape introduced by Mr George Booth, a Congregationalist minister from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, also claimed that Mr Knight was cursed at birth by his grandmother.
Mr Knight said that he was shoplifting by the age of 10, although his father was a pastor.
The tape also described how Mr Knight defrauded a Christian of “thousands of marks” while on national service in Germany. He was later dishonourably discharged from the Coldstream Guards.
The case continues.
Thursday 10 April 1986: CARDINAL ‘IN SATANIST RITES’
Self-styled satanist Derry Mainwaring Knight yesterday claimed he had been ordained into the black arts by a cardinal.
He told Maidstone Crown Court that he had been a grand archdeacon in the satanist organisation for a long time and refused to swear on the Bible before giving his evidence.
“I’m a consecrated priest. I had to be consecrated in order to desecrate”, he said on first day of the defence in the 26th day of the satanist trial.
“It was done through the Roman Catholic Church but how it was done, why it was done, where and for what purpose, I’m not prepared to say at all”.
He said he had been initiated into an organisation called the “Sons of Lucifer“, but Mr Knight refused categorically to give details about his initiation and practices, only to say he had taken nine sets of vows.
He said the oath he had taken on a sceptre – one of the items of insignia he claims he bought to free himself from the control of the devil – was of “far greater importance than this court”.
But he said he had wanted to get out since he was 21.
Mr Knight said that when he was nearly nine he had seen an apparition at the foot of his bed.
“It didn’t have a face or eyes but it spoke to me, and I was aware very clearly of a voice saying that I was born for destruction and shortly after that things began to happen that had never happened before”, he said.
He said satanists were involved in prostitution, drugs, extortion, blackmail and “anything of a deviously corrupt nature”.
He claimed he earned between £4,000 and £12,000 a week from “a very specialised sphere of prostitution” in which a girl was made a bona fide virgin again. “There is no end of people who want such a female”, he said.
He also refused to say whether the black arts were associated with Freemasonry.
And he said he was only giving evidence because of the influence of the rector of Newick, Sussex, the Rev John Baker, who had raised the money from committed Christians for him; Mr Michael Warren, one of the donors, and his defence counsel.
“My own preference was to plead guilty and get it over with”, he told the court, but added that he was glad he had taken their advice to give evidence.
Mr Knight, aged 46, of Dormans Land, Surrey, an unemployed painter and decorator, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 from committed Christians by deception, claiming he needed the money to buy satanic insignia to free him from the control of the devil.
The trial continues.
Friday 11 April 1986: SATANIST QUOTES POWERS FROM BIBLE
Derry Mainwaring Knight, the self-styled satanist who had refused to take an oath on the Bible, yesterday held the same Bible in court and read from it.
Mr Knight said he wanted to prove that the Christian church had artefacts with power, influence and control over people as well as satanism.
He said he had intended to repay the committed Christians who had given him more than £200,000 had the police not arrested him. The money was banked in an offshore account and the satanic artefacts he needed to free himself from the control of the devil were stored abroad.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator from Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 from wealthy Christians by deception.
Within minutes of entering the witness box he asked for King James’s Bible. Turning to Acts, chapter 19, verse 11, he read to Maidstone Crown Court: “And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body and diseases left him and evil spirits came out of him”.
Mr Knight said this showed that the apostle Paul had used the handkerchief as an artefact invested with power to heal people of sickness and diseases.
“I’m not asking you whether you believe that or if you find it stupid”, he told the jury. “I’m stating to you that in the Bible, that you wanted me to swear upon, a power was invested in a handkerchief and in the shadow of Peter and through the dead bones of a man”.
“And if Christians find it incredible to believe, I understand you are going to find it virtually impossible that in the black arts and occult we have artefacts of metal that are able to control your subconscious mind”.
Mr Knight spoke of the rector of Newick, Sussex, the Rev John Baker, who had raised the money from committed Christians to help free him from the devil’s control.
Mr Knight said that Mr Baker continually tried to prevent him retaliating with a black mass against people posing him problems.
Mr Knight said that to buy the satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the devil he had to become the head of his particular satanic organisation.
He had a rival, “Giles”, and to beat him he had to have at least an equally opulent lifestyle. That was why he drove Rolls Royces and expensive sports cars. He explained this to Lord Hampden, who gave him £37,500 to buy a Rolls Royce.
Mr Knight disclosed that his mistress, Angela Murdoch, was the woman named in court as Miss X, who allegedly had sexual relations with a bank manager and tried to blackmail him.
The hearing was adjourned until today.
Saturday 12 April 1986: SATANIST ADMITS TO TRICKERY
Derry Mainwaring Knight, a self-styled satanist, admitted at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday that he had studied salesmanship and had used “his powers of confidence trickery”.
But he claimed that he was only in his “criminal career” in the past before he committed himself to God to free himself from satanism.
Mr Knight yesterday faced cross-examination from Mr Michael Corkery, QC, for the prosecution, on his third day in the witness box in the “satan conman” trial.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator from Dormansland, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from committed Christians. He claims he needed the money to buy satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the devil, but it is alleged he spent it on fast cars and women.
Asked by Mr Corkery if he had used his “powers of confidence trickery to get people to part with their money”, Mr Knight replied: “Certainly in my criminal career”.
Mr Knight said there had been one occasion when the Rev John Baker, rector of Newick, Sussex, who had raised £200,000 for him, had refused him money to buy an item with satanic connections.
When Mr Knight was answering questions from Mr Michael West, QC, defence counsel, Mr Baker was cautioned by the judge for shaking and nodding his head towards Mr Knight from the public gallery.
The hearing continues on Monday.
Ottawa Citizen: 14 April 1986: BIZARRE FRAUD TRIAL OF UK SATANIST NEARS END
One of the most lurid trials in Britain for years is drawing to a close but the country remains avid for its daily ration of sex, Satan and sorcery.
Self-confessed devil-worshipper Derry Mainwaring Knight stands accused of swindling wealthy and titled Christians of about $420,000 Canadian contributed to save him from a life “in the depths of hell”.
But state prosecutors charge he actually spent the money on high living, with luxury cars and call girls at his command.
Bishops and peers of the realm have testified in the bizarre case, which has gone on for the past month in the market town of Maidstone, south of London.
Knight, 46, has repeatedly denied he fleeced prominant Christians, including the wife of a millionaire parliamentarian, to finance a bogus crusade against the devil.
But he electrified the packed courtroom by admitting he ran a vice ring, specialising in turning prostitutes into “bona fide virgins”, and added in passing he had been picked to save Britain from a plague of evil.
The trial, which could end early this week, merited attention because of the big names involved and because the state took the case seriously.
Judge Neil Denison from the Central Criminal Court at London’s famous Old Bailey was sent to preside over the hearing and a top barrister, Michael Corkery, led the prosecution.
Corkery told the Maidstone court Knight used a “gullible” rector to collect money from people like the Earl of March, Viscount Hampden, Lord Brentford and Susan Sainsbury, wife of Tory MP Tim Sainsbury, whose family gives its name to a top supermarket chain.
The rural rector, Rev John Baker, became convinced Knight needed the funds to break from Satanism and return to Christianity, the court heard.
Highly expensive items of satanic regalia had to be bought in order to be destroyed as a way of releasing Knight from worship of the black arts into which he had been inducted by his sorceress grandmother, named Ethel.
Susan Sainsbury, 47, testified she gave nearly $165,200 to the cause of delivering Knight from the devil.
The Earl of March, who owns Goodwood racecourse, told the jury he paid $2,058 to the rector but began wondering if Knight was a “Satan conman”.
Viscount Hampden testified he spent $77,000 on buying Knight a white Rolls Royce and then handed over more money to install a car telephone because Knight complained his home phone was bugged by police.
The police were first summoned by the Anglican bishop of Chichester, Right Rev Eric Kemp, who told the court he feared for the rector’s mental and spiritual state.
Another bishop, Right Rev Peter Ball from nearby Lewes, testified he had met Knight and thought him to be a “most evil man”.
Listed in the court records as an unemployed painter and decorator, Knight held the jury in thrall as he described his life as a disciple of Satan.
He said his sorceress grandmother apprenticed him to devil worship but that, at the age of 20, he was ordained by a Roman Catholic cardinal into an organisation called The Sons of Lucifer.
“It was done through the Roman Catholic Church and how it was done, why it was done, where and for what purpose, I’m not prepared to say”, he told the court.
Under cross-examination Knight said between 1981-1983 he earned up to $25,200 a week running a London racket that involved surgical operations on prostitutes to turn them into certified virgins for clients of his “occult backers”.
Knight, tall, white-haired and dignified, evaded many questions by saying he had taken a vow of silence and members of the Satanist cult would wreak revenge on anyone who breached its rules.
He denies 19 charges of obtaining $418,600 by deception of the committed Christians. If convicted, Knight could face a heavy prison sentence.
Friday 18 April 1986: SATANIST ‘FOUND OUT EARLY THAT CHRISTIANS WERE EASY GAME’
The self-styled satanist Derry Mainwaring Knight, was “cunning, devious and very close to being a pathological liar”, a trial jury was told yesterday.
In his closing speech in the satanist trial, Mr Michael Corkery, QC, for the prosecution, said that Mr Knight had a fertile brain as a conman who led a vicar like a “lamb to the slaughter”.
Mr Knight worked on the principle that the bigger the lie the better. “At a very early age, Knight found out that Christians were easy game if you played the part of a Christian in trouble”, Mr Corkery said.
He said satanists compromised religious cranks, people preying on the superstitions of others, social misfits, the weak-minded, mentally sick, sexual perverts, the young and immature looking for kicks, and the evil-minded.
“The area of supernatural matters is an area full of frauds and charlatans and you may think the defendant comes into that category”, he told the Maidstone Crown Court jury.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception.
He is alleged to have said the money was to buy satanist insignia to free him from the devil’s clutches.
The trial continues today.
Saturday 19 April 1986: SATANIST ON TRIAL ‘OUGHT TO BE DEAD’
A self-styled Satanist should be dead 10 times over and not sitting in the dock if what he claimed was true, Maidstone Crown Court was told yesterday.
Derry Mainwaring Knight claimed his treachery to the Satanists had “marked him down for death”, but he was still very much alive, Mr Michael Corkery, QC, for the prosecution, said in his closing speech to the jury.
Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator, of Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from Christians.
He claims he bought Satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the Devil but it is alleged he spent the money on fast cars and women.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.
Wednesday 23 April 1986: SATAN CASE ‘CON’ IS DENIED
Mr Michael West, QC, counsel for Derry Mainwairing Knight, the self-styled Satanist, told the jury at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday that his story was “bizarre”. But he said the prosecution’s case that Mr Knight was a con-man was “moonshine”. Mr West was making his closing speech on the thirty-third day of the trial.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator, from Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from wealthy Christians.
He claims he needed the cash to buy satanic regalia to free himself from the control of the devil. But it is alleged he spent the money on fast cars and women.
Mr West accused the detective leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Terence Fallon, of corrupting witnesses before the start of the trial. Mr West said that Mr Knight had never given evidence in court and had no need to go into the witness box in this case, “to be made a fool of”.
Mr West said: “This is not a case of someone’s life savings being taken by a confidence trickster and left penniless. This is a case where the donors had the money, gave the money, could afford it, and wanted to give it – and in the majority of cases still want to give it because they think it is the right and proper thing to do”.
“What Knight was doing is not only what Satanists indulge in, but make a fortune out of”, Mr West said.
The trial was adjourned until today, when Judge Neil Dennison will sum up.
Thursday 24 April 1986: SATANISTS ARE EVIL ‘CONMAN’ JURY TOLD
The jury in the “Satan conman” case was told by the judge yesterday to approach the evidence against the background that satanists are “evil, depraved and dangerous”.
Judge Neil Denison said that Derry Mainwaring Knight, who claims he is a satanist, “has a considerable knowledge of the subject”. The judge was summing up on the thirty-fourth day of the trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent.
Mr Knight, aged 46, an unemployed painter and decorator from Dormans Land, Surrey, denies 19 charges of obtaining more than £200,000 by deception from wealthy Christians.
He claims he spent the money on buying satanic insignia to free himself from the control of the devil. But the prosecution alleged the money went on fast cars and women.
The judge told the jury that although the case centred on “satanism, the black arts and worship of the devil”, the prosecution was not alleging that Mr Knight was not a satanist.
“I suggest that you approach your assessment of the evidence against the background that satanism does exist, and there can be no doubt that those that practice it are evil, depraved and dangerous”, the judge said.
The judge said that without considerable knowledge of the subject he might never have convinced donors of his genuineness “but it does not mean that the defendant was tell the truth about what he was going to do with the money”.
The judge said the prosecution had to prove four points: that Mr Knight obtained money which belonged to somebody else; that he intended to deprive the donors permanently of it; that it was obtained by telling lies; and that Mr Knight acted dishonestly.
He told the jurors that if they took the view that Mr Knight was involved in some form of satanism, but his aim in obtaining the money was not to buy the insignia but to support his own extravagant life-style, Mr Knight would still be guilty on at least 13 of the charges.
The judge told the jury a question surrounded the judgement of the Rev John Baker, who raised the money for Mr Knight. He told them: “No one doubts his integrity, his sincerity or his Christian commitment, but what is in dispute is his judgement”.
“You have to ask yourselves whether he became so bound up in his great crusade that he was prepared to accept everything he was told by the defendant and ignored everyone who expressed a different point of view”.
The trial was adjourned until today when the judge said he would send out the jury to consider its verdict.
Friday 25 April 1986: SATAN JURY OUT
The jury in the “Satanist” trial at Maidstone Crown Court was sent to a hotel last night after retiring yesterday to consider its verdict. Derry Mainwaring Knight denies 19 deception charges.
Saturday 26 April 1968: SATANIST GIVEN SEVEN YEARS
Derry Mainwaring Knight, still protesting that he was a Satanist, was jailed for seven years at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday after being found guilty on all 19 counts of obtaining money by deception.
After the unanimous verdict, Judge Neil Denison said that the evidence had been compelling.
It had been a “clever, calculated and above all callous fraud, the seriousness of which lies not in the large sums of money involved but in what seems to me to be a cynical manipulation of Christian beliefs of so many good people”.
Knight, aged 40, formerly of Nobles Cottage, Dormansland, near East Grinstead, West Sussex, was found guilty of obtaining a total of £216,000 on 45 separate occasions from a group of wealthy Christians in East Sussex.
He had claimed he would use the money to buy his way to the top of a nationwide Satanist organisation and then destroy the order from within. In fact he spent the money on exotic cars, expensive clothes and jewellery, and high living.
“I am satisfied that somewhere he’ll have a lot of this money tucked away. I don’t know how much and I don’t know where it is”, the judge added. In the light of that, Knight was fined £50,000 and if he does not pay, he will serve an extra two years in prison.
Mr Michael West, counsel for the defence, said before sentence was passed that Knight continued to maintain that he was a Satanist. In mitigation he added that despite all the queries raised about Knight’s story, the Christian donors had continued, over a seven month period to “thrust money upon him” and that no senior churchman had attempted to stop them.
Some of the donors still believed Knight’s story and were determined to continue to help free him from Satanism, Mr West said.
In his summing-up the judge had earlier criticised the Rev John Baker, leader of the Christian group, and rector of Newick, East Sussex.
The 36 day trial is estimated to have cost £1 million.
Mr Baker’s wife, Alison, later visited Knight in the court cells with a change of clothing and cigarettes.
“He was expecting to be found guilty from about a quarter of the way through the trial, but he is disappointed with the severe sentence” she said.
Saturday 26 April 1986: WEB OF RELIGIOUS DECEIT TRAPPED ARISTOCRATS AND AN MP’S WIFE – HOW ‘SATANIST’ CONMAN PERSUADED VICAR TO NET HIM OVER £200,000
Whether Derry Mainwaring Knight was a Satanist or a conman, or both, never seemed the question at the centre of the trial which ended yesterday at Maidstone Crown Court.
The real puzzle was always the seeming nonchalance with which a group of aristocrats and wealthy country folk were prepared to hand over money totalling more than £200,000.
The first suggestion was that some Masonic intrigue was involved. The notion was prompted by an unprecedented statement by the judge before the trial began, in which he warned potential jurors that anyone connected with Freemasonry would be excused service as the case might prove embarrassing for them.
This proved to be a red herring. Masonry had links to a particular group of which it had been claimed Knight was a member but, faced with the possibility of expert testimony on the cult, he chose not to repeat the claim in court.
But the true answer proved no less intriguing.
The decisions to donate such large amounts were taken by the principle donors in an atmosphere of religious fervour in which they felt themselves to be in receipt of direct messages from God in the form of pictures, signs, voices and providential coincidences and a divine warning to distrust the senior investigating policeman as “a man with five faces”.
Into this crucible was thrown the final ingredient. In a circle which already included God, the Devil, a brace of viscounts, an earl, the wife of an MP and a former High Sheriff of East Sussex, it somehow did not seem too fanciful to be told that the head of the counter-church they were setting out to smash was Lord Whitelaw, the deputy Prime Minister.
Derry Mainwaring Knight was giving out religious leaflets door to door in the village of Newick, East Sussex, when he first met the rector, the Rev John Baker.
Within three months the ex-convict had told the rector the story of his life, beginning with his grandmother’s involvement in the black arts and ending shortly after he was “born again” when God spoke to him as he sat on the roof of Hull Prison during a demonstration. Knight had been serving a sentence for rape.
By February 1984 Knight had moved into the rectory to live in the attic. By the following month Mr Baker had raised £24,925 from local Christians to pay off what Knight claimed were debts to unspecified moneylenders.
In fact a good deal of the money was ultimately spent on his girl friend, Angela Murdoch, and on entertaining girls including Samantha Sprackling, a dancer, and Julie Tremain, a prostitute.
Within 48 hours Knight fell into a trance in which he informed the rector that he had been dedicated to Lucifer at the age of eight and that he held high office in a Satanist order based in Essex.
Within six weeks, by May 21, Mr Baker had raised a further £18,900, which he paid in cash to Knight, who said he needed to repay Satanic debts as a prelude to leaving the order.
When that source showed signs of drying up, Knight made the sudden disclosure that he was bound to Satanism by certain items of regalia which he had to purchase and then destroy. Within three months the rector had handed over £12,435 more.
In September 1984, Knight announced that further artefacts existed which enabled him to be controlled from afar through two platinum discs inserted in his forehead by a Satanist surgeon.
By October 22 Mr Baker had given Knight another £34,750 in used £50 notes.
By November, the rector had begun a fifth series of payments for a different set of regalia.
By February 14, 1985 the rector had donated £98,500 in used £50 and £20 notes. By May 10 a further £25,600 had changed hands to repay a new Satanic debt.
Mr Baker had approached wealthy local people who were mostly sympathetic to his own evangelical approach to religion. One such was Mrs Susan Sainsbury, the wife of Mr Timothy Sainsbury, Conservative MP for Hove, and a millionaire member of the supermarket family. She had been “born again” in 1975. Over a period she gave him £79,895.
Mr Michael Warren, a farmer, magistrate and former High Sheriff, another evangelical Christian, gave £36,000. Lord Hampden, a “commited Christian” paid £39,250. Mr Gordon Scutt, a company director and officer of a Christian trust, gave £25,000. Other donors included Lord and Lady Brentford and Lord March.
It was then that Dr Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, became concerned. He met Knight and asked a number of Anglican specialists in the occult and Satanism to intervene.
Most of the experts were unconvinced. Several questioned Knight’s sincerity. Even those who did not throw doubt upon Knight’s claims expressed disquiet about whether the best way to save someone from Satan involved the payment of large amounts of £50 notes for artefacts and regalia.
The reservations of the experts persuaded two other members of the aristocracy, Lord and Lady Ingleby, not to make a donation.
But with the exception of Lord March, those who had by now contributed heavily decided to carry on. Towards the end of 1984 they formed a donors’ group.
The Bishop of Chichester asked Rt Rev Mark Green, the retired Bishop of Aston, to attend one meeting early in 1985 and report back.
Bishop Green clearly found the tone unchanged, and if anything heightened, at the meeting to which two experts on exorcism had been invited.
At the next meeting the rector produced a detailed reply to the arguments of the exorcists. His wife, Alison, added a lengthy memorandum on why the operation should continue.
Bishop Green sent the documents to Dr Kemp, who contacted the police.
On March 13, Knight was arrested and questioned for two days about the payments. Soon after he was released on bail he got the rector to persuade Lord Hampden to buy a £37,000 Rolls Royce for Knight’s use to maintain his status in Satanist circles.
On May 23, shortly before a further £200,000 was to be handed over for the purchase of a Satanic throne, Knight was arrested, charged with theft and remanded.
When court officials came to list the initial hearing before the local magistrates they found that they had to send to London for a stipendiary. The chairman of the East Sussex Magistrates’ Association was Mr Michael Warren, the former High Sheriff who had himself donated £36,000.
Saturday 26 April 1986: BISHOP SPEAKS ON DANGERS
Supporters of the demonstrative Charismatic Movement within the Church of England have watched the progress of the trial with some anxiety.
The key donors who put up the bulk of the £200,000 which Knight was yesterday convicted of obtaining by deception are in the main charismatics or sympathisers with such an approach.
The manner in which the money was gathered has raised for all sections of the church questions about the negative aspects of the charism of prophecy upon which the movement has based much of its claim to authority.
Now the public debate has begun with a statement issued by the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Eric Kemp, to coincide with the end of the trial.
Dr Kemp, in whose diocese the events took place, says that the Charismatic Movement has “brought new life to many congregations but it has also led in places to individuals and groups becoming obsessed by the thought of evil and believing that the Lord speaks to them and gives injunctions how to deal with it”.
He adds: “This is extremely dangerous and needs to be carefully checked”.
The Charismatic Movement, which gathered momentum within the church during the late Sixties and Seventies, places great emphasis on what it describes as certain neglected elements of the personal work of the Holy Spirit.
In particular, these are speaking in tongues, faith-healing and the gift of “prophecy” by which was meant a direct personal communication with God of the kind which one of the donors, Mrs Susan Sainsbury, the wife of Mr Timothy Sainsbury, the Conservative MP for Hove, is on record as having experienced at a Bible meeting for parliamentary wives at the House of Commons.
That was the approach which characterized the meetings that sanctioned the 45 separate occasions on which Knight received money. “The problem is that if someone says, ‘The Lord has told me’, then it stops all argument”, Dr Kemp said.
Rejecting a suggestion that the Church needed new guidelines for occult cases, he said: “The guidelines exist. People don’t always follow them”.
A new set of guidelines is laid out in the forthcoming report on the Christian Exorcism Study Group. Making particular reference to “charismatic casualties”, it warns pastors against spiritual pride and the enthroning of evil.
The Knight case has raised doubts within the Charismatic Movement itself. The Rev Michael Barling, a charismatic for the past 17 years and the principal of Roffey Training Centre said: “A case like this does great harm”.
Monday 28 April 1986: PRAYERS SAID FOR SATANIST
The rector who was duped into persuading wealthy Christians to give more than £200,000 to the Satanist Derry Mainwaring Knight, joined 100 parishioners yesterday in a prayer for him.
Knight was jailed on Friday for seven years by Maidstone Crown Court for deception.
The congregation knelt in the Rev John Baker’s 900 year old church of St Mary at Newick, East Sussex, as Deaconess Joy Gray said:
“We pray for Derry Knight as he begins his term of imprisonment. We pray the grace of God will triumph”.
Mr Baker said after the service that he does not expect to be called before a church court.
There has been speculation that he could face dismissal but first six parisioners must lodge a formal complaint. A church warden, Mr Randle Mainwaring, said: “We are absolutely behind the rector”.
Thursday 17 July 1986: PRINTS OF EVIL
Brian Behan, brother of the late Brendan, plans to write a book about “Sussex satanist” Derry Mainwaring Knight, who was jailed in April for conning a total of £216,000 out of wealthy Christians, including Tory MP’s wife Susan Sainsbury. Behan wrote to Knight in prison, saying he felt his seven year sentence ws severe compared to some of those passed on muggers. Knight replied immediately, Behan suggested a book and they now seek a publisher. But Behan is not alone in taking an interest in the case; at least one other journalist is planning an instant book.
Wednesday 10 June 1987: SATANIST PLEA FAILS
A man, who, with a rector’s help, persuaded the wealthy villagers of Newick, East Sussex, to part with almost a quarter of a million pounds lost his Court of Appeal attempt for a reduction in his seven year sentence yesterday.
Derry Mainwaring Knight was found guilty in April last year of a fraud which involved persuading villagers to give him money to help him break free from the devil.
The Court of Appeal judges said the sentence was “not a day too long”.