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Ritual abuse suspected in death of infant

Stop my daughter having babies
Marnie O'Neill
The Sunday Telegraph
August 30, 2009

SHE'S had six, possibly seven children, all to different fathers. Four were sent to live with their grandmother and at least one, police believe, has been murdered.

 

Kate Elizabeth Hutchinson, 36, gave birth to her latest child in a Lismore psychiatric ward 10 days  ago. The baby boy has since been removed from her care.

Now, her estranged mother is begging authorities to stop her getting pregnant again.

"Somebody, please, somebody has to do something to stop her from having any more babies,'' Helen Hutchinson said last week.

"It's as much for her sake as it is for the children's. I love my daughter very much, but she is a danger-ous person.''

Mrs Hutchinson, 65, has cared for her daughter's children since Kate had her eldest, Matthew, at just 16. They have myriad emotional and physical disabilities that Mrs Hutchinson blames on her daughter's alleged drug and alcohol abuse throughout her pregnancies.
Matthew, 20, and his brother Peter, 18, are autistic. Daniel was born with muscular dystrophy and died four years ago at the age of 10. Their five-year-old sister, Evy, has an emotional-detachment disorder.


"Anyone who says  marijuana is harmless only has to look at Kate and her children,'' Mrs Hutchinson  said.

"Kate herself suffers from drug-induced delusions and psychosis. She has many, many mental health issues.''

It was during one of these psychotic episodes that Leonie Astra Hutchinson disappeared, police believe.

The last independent sighting of the toddler was in Scone in December, 2001, when she was 18 months old.

Incredibly, police had no idea she was missing until January, 2004 when they were investigating another "unrelated matter''.

This was because  authorities were under the impression that Leonie was in the safe custody of Mrs Hutchinson.

She remembers: ``They rang me up one day and said, `You've got Leonie, haven't you?' and I said, `No, I haven't' and they said, `Oh ...'.''

Hunter Valley detective Inspector Tim Seymour has been searching for the little girl ever since.

"Kate has told us several versions of the same story, which is that she gave Leonie to a wealthy family,'' he said.

"Tragically, we have found absolutely no evidence that suggests  this is true, and no evidence  the girl is still alive.

"What we need now is for Kate to tell us where her body is, but she is unwilling to do that.''

According to Mrs Hutchinson, Kate developed an obsession with the occult, which prompted her to join a group involved in satanic worship.

As unbelievable as it sounds, one of the police lines of inquiry is the possibility that Leonie was killed as part of some dark, satanic ritual.

"There is a subculture of devil worshipping in this country,'' Insp Seymour said.

"We can't discount that it has something to do with what happened to Leonie.''

The Sunday Telegraph tracked down Kate after she was discharged from the Richmond Clinic, a psychiatric unit attached to Lismore Base Hospital, last week.

She had been wandering the Northern Rivers area since her release in a highly distressed state, refusing to meet in person but agreeing to talk over the telephone.

"I didn't kill Leonie,'' she said. ``All I want is my little girl back safe, and me safe. There are people out there.

Groups. There is such evil. You have no idea of the evil.''

There may be a further disturbing twist to this story.

Mrs Hutchinson told The Sunday Telegraph something  she has never revealed before because she can't digest it  mentally:  there could be a second missing child.

"It was near the end of 2006 and I was (seeking) custody of Evy,'' Mrs Hutchinson  said.

"Kate came (along) and I could see  she was heavily pregnant, seven or eight months. It was such a shock, such a shock. But she was pregnant. My friend was with me and she saw it too.

"She  disappeared for several months and, I suppose, had the baby. I don't know what happened to it. I can't go there. Leonie, yes, I believe she is no longer with us, but another baby?

"No, if she had it, it must be safe somewhere. I can't think otherwise. I just can't go there - it's too much.''
When told of this  previously unknown pregnancy, Insp Seymour expressed shock: "It's unthinkable. We'll have to chase it up with Lismore Police.''
 

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