THE PAGAN, THE WITCH AND 5000 PORN PICS; Writer freed as he blames images on revenge plot.
A WRITER who lived in a pagan community founded by a witch was cleared yesterday of hoarding child porn pictures.
Bernard King, 60, denied downloading the vile images and storing them on his computer.
He blamed the witch, Dutch-born Freya Aswynn, for storing the photos.
And the charges were dropped after a witness claimed Aswynn had asked King to download child porn as part of a plot to get revenge on one of her enemies.
King was arrested after 5518 pornographic pictures, some showing adults having sex with children, were found on a computer he had given to a fellow pagan's teenage daughter.
But another member of the pagan community, Tracy Wadman, 38, told the court that Aswynn had also used the computer.
Ms Wadman said Aswynn wanted to use child porn images to get revenge on a man she believed had crossed her by illegally copying pagan "chanting" CDs she had made and selling them online.
The witness added: "She was asking Bernard to download child porn from the internet to send to the man and then she could contact the police."
Ms Wadman lived in the commune at Bank head Farm, Strat haven, Lanarkshire, with her daughter Cerise, 15.
Questioned by Maureen McGovern, prosecuting, she described the unusual behaviour of Aswynn, real name Elizabeth Hooyschuur.
Ms Wadman said: "She slept during the day most of the time and would be up all night on the computer.
"She would sitinher chair rocking backwards and forwards and throw her arms in the air."
The witness told Hamilton Sheriff Court how Aswynn claimed to have the power to curse her enemies.
Ms Wadman said: "She said she would throw a magical spear at them which would cause them ill-health."
King was arrested after Aswynn asked him to leave the community in a row over a fake gun.
Ms Wadman said: "Two friends of Bernard were talking about modifying a replica gun. Freya asked me to ask Bernard to leave.
"I only saw him once after that."
Fantasy author King denied downloading child porn at Bankhead Farm between December 2002 and May2003.
The court heard that Aswynn has since sold the property and is now believed to be living in Spain.
King said outside court: "I can't tell you how much stress this has caused me but I knew all along I hadn't done anything wrong.
"I suppose the lesson to be learned from this is that it's very important to choose your friends very carefully."
BAD SPELL: King rowed with Aswynn