February 2018

Member of “religious sex cult” avoids prison

A member of a “religious sex cult” who lived in Dumbarton has been spared jail for what was described as “a horrible catalogue” of sexual and physical abuse of children.

Alexander Watt, who went on to work the Duke of Edinburgh youth awards scheme, was a member of a group called The Children of God or The Family.

The sect supported “free love” and the “very strict discipline of children”.

Father-of-ten Watt, who used to live in Alclutha Avenue, abused two children in the central belt in Scotland in the 1980s while “very much into a hippy religious sect”.

Procurator fiscal depute David McDonald told Paisley Sheriff Court: “This was a ‘sex cult’. The organisation believed in ‘free love’ and in the early years there appears to have been no structures on sex, regardless of age or relationship.

“The rules of the organisation changed around 1986 when sexual contact between adults and children became an ‘excommunicable offence’. The organisation also advocated very strict discipline of children.”

Watt sexually abused his first victim when she was aged between four and eight and battered her, leaving her with bruises. She told police the other main policy the cult had was, “spare the rod, spoil the child”.

Watt, 68, sexually and physically abused a boy between 1984 and 1989, when the boy was aged between six and 11.

The boy said he was “sometimes left with bruises and there were always raised, red marks” after he’d been struck, and would sometimes be hit until he “screamed” in pain.

He was sexually assaulted by Watt twice in a bathroom – and forced to touch Watt’s private parts.

The boy reported the abuse to police in Aberdeen in March 2005 but nothing was done until a girl reported the abuse in November 2015.

When interviewed by police Watt said he’d been a member of a hippy religious sect in the 60s and 70s which imparted early years sex education, and “had a lot of open attitudes to body parts and awareness of what they were, which could be seen as wrong by British society”.

He said he was “very, very sorry that the whole situation didn’t work out well, and some of the children were quite upset and unhappy” and said the sex abuse was part of the cult’s teachings.

Watt pleaded guilty to four charges – sexually abusing the girl, assaulting the girl, sexually assaulting the boy, and assaulting the boy. A fifth charge, which related to another boy, was dropped.

November 2017

Maybole Children of God cult beast caged for child sex attacks

A member of a religious sex cult who abused children has been warned he faces jail.

Alexander Watt, 68, belonged to the controversial Children of God organisation when he carried out sexual offences against two youngsters in the 80s.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard that father-of-10 Watt attacked a girl aged between four and eight and a boy aged between seven and nine.

Watt, of Maybole, pled guilty to four charges of assault and lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour against the children.

Fiscal depute David McDonald told the court: “The accused was a member of the organisation The Children of God, aka The Family.

The cult taught that “God is love, love is sex and God’s love shall not be restricted by age or relationship.”

Sheriff James Spy said: “These are serious charges. I am going to continue bail and you should not take it as an indication there will not be a custodial disposal.”

Watt was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register and will be sentenced on December 21.

Watt sexually abuse his first victim, who can’t be named for legal reasons, when she was aged between four and eight.

She told police she remembered lying naked on a bed in a house when she was four or five and that Watt kissed her neck, shoulders, down her back and her bottom – leaving her confused and in floods of tears.

The second sexual incident with Watt happened when she was seven or eight and he cornered her in a bedroom, exposing his penis and forcing her to touch it.

She was also physically assaulted by Watt, leaving her with bruises and needing cream to be applied to heal the wounds and told police that, “the other main policy the cult had was, ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’.”

Mr McDonald, prosecuting, explained: “She took this took mean that they encouraged corporal punishment.”

Watt went on to sexually and physically assault a boy between 1984 and 1989, when the boy was aged between six and 11, hitting him with items of clothing and accessories he used as weapons.

The boy, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said he was “sometimes left with bruises and there were always raised, red marks” after he’d been struck, and would sometimes be hit until he “screamed” in pain.

He told police of two times he was sexually assaulted, with both incidents taking place in a bathroom.

The first saw Watt tickling the boy’s privates when he was aged between seven and nine, leaving the boy feeling “a bit weird.”

The second saw him tickle the boy’s body and genitals again – with the boy tickling him back on his body after being directed there by Watt and Watt telling him: “it was nothing to be embarrassed about.”

The boy first reported the abuse to police in Aberdeen in March 2005 – but nothing was done until the girl went to Police Scotland in November 2015 to also report the abuse.

Watt was the detained and interviewed by police about it.

Mr McDonald explained: “He said he was very much into a hippy religious sect in the ’60s and ’70s which was very much into imparting early years sex education meant for people’s knowledge and welfare.

“It was perhaps more European freedom about sexual things.

“He was very, very sorry that the whole situation didn’t work out well and some of the children were quite upset and unhappy.

“They had a lot of open attitudes to body parts and awareness of what they were, which could be seen as wrong by British society.”

And, when asked if he partook in sexual abuse of children, he said: “I think it was part of the schedule [of teachings].”