THE first cult member prosecuted in the UK for abusing children was a convicted armed bank robber and part of a gang plotting to overthrow the government.
Alex Watt joined the Children of God cult, which preached sex with children, while on the run in Amsterdam.
Watt, 69, from Edinburgh was convicted of robbing a Royal Bank of Scotland branch in 1973 and was jailed for three years. He was a supporter of a radical Marxist-Leninist group which robbed to raise political funds.
Watt’s past was revealed by his defence lawyer at Paisley Sheriff Court after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his son and daughter when they were children. Lawyer Joseph Barr said: “After the robbery Mr Watt went to Amsterdam and came in to contact with the Children of God.
“As a result of this, he returned to Scotland and gave himself up, received the punishment he did, served his punishment and returned to the Children of God.”
Barr also told the court when Watt abused two of his nine children he was “following the teachings of the cult” and was “deeply remorseful”.
But despite claims he rejected the teachings of the cult, Watt said he found it “too upsetting” to name and shame fellow abusers when confronted by Sunday Post investigators.