[List of links fully updated 6/12/14]
Today a vigil was held at Rocks Lane, Barnes, at the site of the former Elm Guest House, a fundamental location for the VIP paedophile ring, where boys are believed to have been trafficked from nearby children’s homes to service the VIP guests, and which is at the centre of Operation Fernbridge. A series of videos were made of speeches from the event (which I was unfortunately unable to attend). Amongst those present were Peter McKelvie, who led the investigation in 1992 into Peter Righton, Peter Saunders, founder of NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood), and Dr Liz Davies, Reader in Social Work at London Metropolitan University and the social worker who in 1992 blew the whistle on abuse at care homes run by Islington Council.
The videos, which were taken by someone from the Occupy News Network, can be accessed here (see the range at the bottom of the page): http://bambuser.com/v/4928350
The following attempts to be a comprehensive list of serious sources on Elm Guest House. There was a flurry of stories in August 1982 in various UK national newspapers (all linked to on the first Spotlight link given below), then very little, save for a range of pieces in Capital Gay magazine (see below), then a range of stories in 1990 at the time of the death of Carol Kasir. Then the story was taken up again following Tom Watson’s question to the Prime Minister in October 2012, and there has been a renewal of attention since Simon Danczuk’s appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committe on July 1st, 2014. On the whole I would recommend first and foremost reading the articles in the mainstream media, then those on blogs and Exaro (whose accuracy some have disputed), though many of the Spotlight articles simply feature scans of newspaper articles.
Elm Guest House: The History of a Cover-up (updated) (essential reading – includes all newspaper reports from the period in August 1982 when Elm Guest House was in the news, and also some reports from 1990, following Carol Kasir’s death from an overdose, which include reports that a top Tory was named during the inquest)
How the British Establishment covered up a paedophile network
Leon, Maggie, Elm Guest House, and the CGHE
Was the Scotland Yard investigation into missing boys stopped?
In 1981 police were already investigating London ‘child pornography gang’ linked to trafficking and murder
UK connections with international paedophile network Spartacus
The Spartacus paedophile network was exposed by the Sunday People in February 1983
Keith Vaz and the Mystery of Barnes Common
CPS file on Elm Guest House suspects was destroyed in 2007
Scallywag magazine on a “Westminster paedophile ring”
From The Needle Blog:
Operation Fairbank: It’s Not Just Plebs And Slebs Who Should Be Worried (20/12/12)
Regina v Paul Rinehart AKA Michael Stuart Rowe (15/1/13)
Transcript Of The RAWRO Letter (15/1/13)
The Mysterious Death Of Andrew Keir (19/1/13)
Elm Guest House: Mind Map (22/1/13)
The Other Elm Guest House Mind Map (23/1/13)
The Elm Guest House ‘Family Tree’ (26/1/13)
‘Dave’ Speaks Out (4/2/13)
Where Is The File Mr Brittan ? (10/2/13)
Why Would They Not Show Their Support ? (12/2/13)
What Do You Know Keith Vaz ? (13/2/13)
The Ex-Tory Minister And The Press (18/2/13)
Father Tony McSweeney (26/2/13)
Grafton Lodge Children’s Home, Grafton Close, Hanworth (3/3/13)
MSM Connect Missing Children With Elm Guest House (4/3/13)
Uplands, Birmingham (8/3/13)
Rodney Road Children’s Home (12/3/13)
MWT: “100% Faith” In Police Inquiry (13/3/13)
Teddington Park Children’s Home (14/3/13)
Madlands’ Savile Article (4/4/13)
Conservative Homosexual Group (CHE) Was Always A Front For Paedophilia (5/4/13)
Spartacus Invitation To Elm Guest House (8/4/13)
Would The Real Louis Minster Please Stand Up? (1/5/13)
‘The Evil Men Behind Child Sex Empire’ (7/5/13)
From The NAYPIC Log: Elm Guest House (16/5/13)
CPS Considering ‘Elm Guest House Child Abuse’ Charges (17/5/13)
Four Oaks Children’s Home (25/3/13)
Loxley Hall, Uttoxeter Road (25/3/13)
Fernbridge: A Critical Look At The ‘Mary Moss Docs’ (29/5/13)
Ralph Morris: Castle Hill Report (30/5/13)
The Elm Guest House Money Men (6/6/13)
Elm Guest House Charge Sheet (13/6/13)
RAWRO INVESTMENTS (7/7/13)
Op Fernbridge: Over 300 Lines Of Inquiry (9/7/13)
Op Fernbridge: Haroon ‘Harry’ Kasir Arrested (9/7/13)
Looking At Today’s Elm Guest House Story (21/7/13)
Mary Moss Files (23/7/13)
Kincora, a small footnote to history (11/8/13)
Elm Guest House – “Mary Moss” files (23/8/13)
What Is ‘Evidence’ ? (23/8/13)
Elm Guest House, Mary Moss Files – Clarification (24/8/13)
“I know for a fact” (4/9/13)
Paedophile MP Cyril Smith: Questions for Jenny Tonge and Tim Razzall (14/9/13)
Spot The Cabinet Minister (25/9/13)
The ‘Fake’ Elm Guest House List (26/9/13)
Confirmation Of Independent Story (27/9/13)
Operation Fairbank: An Overview (4/10/13)
Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge Telephone Number (21/10/13)
Operation Fernbridge: Carole Kasir, A Liar ? (27/11/13)
Cat Among the Pigeons (29/11/13)
Op Fernbridge: CPS Drop Key Charges Against Stingemore And McSweeney (2/12/13)
Op Fernbridge: Harry Kasir Released From Police Bail (4/12/13)
Comments On Exaro Story (10/12/13)
Email From Colin Peters (12/2/14)
Roger Stoodley on The ‘Cooke Group’ And Elm Guest House Links (20/11/14)
Police Covered Up MP’s Involvement in Elm Guest House Child Abuse (6/12/14)
Is This The Last Word On Elm Guest House? (6/12/14)
Articles from Capital Gay, as collected on Spotlight
‘£1000 boost for ‘brothel’ charge hoteliers’, Capital Gay, July 2nd, 1982
‘The Elm Guest House’, Capital Gay, July 23rd, 1982
News of the World chase Elm defendants, Capital Gay, July 23rd, 1982
‘Attorney General to probe London brothel reports’, Capital Gay, August 13th, 1982
‘Police drop the worst Elm charges’, Capital Gay, October 1st, 1982
Elm defendants speak out, Capital Gay, November 12th, 1982
‘Elm Guest House couple sent to Old Bailey’, Capital Gay, December 3rd, 1982
‘Elm Guest House case at Old Bailey next week’, Capital Gay, April 15th, 1983
‘Police slash their Elm Guest House evidence’, Capital Gay, April 22nd, 1983
‘Elm Guest House: verdict expected’, Capital Gay, April 29th, 1983
‘Elm Guest House couple walk free’, Capital Gay, May 6th, 1983
‘Police silent over Spartacus chief’, Capital Gay, February 17th, 1984
More recent articles
Gordon Rayner, ‘Allegation of paedophile ring of MPs investigated’, Daily Telegraph, December 15th, 2012 (see bottom of this post)
David Pallister and David Hencke, ‘Police investigate Richmond council over ‘VIP paedophile ring’: Met’s Operation Fernbridge finds victims’ harrowing evidence in forgotten council files’, Exaro, January 26th, 2013
David Pallister and Nick Dorman, ‘VIP case cops raid Dirty Harry home’, Sunday People, January 27th, 2013 (see bottom of this post)
‘Top officials linked to ’80s child sex ring’, Morning Star, January 27th, 2013 (see bottom of this post)
Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury, ‘Timebomb at Elm Guest House: Pop stars, a bishop and a top politician appear on a list seized by police investigating child abuse at the London hotel in the 1980s’, Daily Mail, February 2nd, 2013
Arthur Martin, ‘They forced me to wear a fairy costume, claims Elm Guest House Victim’, Daily Mail, February 4th, 2013 (see bottom of this post)
Nick Fielding, David Pallister, Fiona O’Cleirigh and David Hencke, ‘Two managers of children’s home named in VIP paedo probe: Records at Richmond council reveal troubled history of Grafton Close children’s home’, Exaro, February 4th, 2013
Tom Morgan and Jonathan Reilly, ‘Delia’s Norwich chaplain held over VIP paedo ring’, The Sun, February 7th, 2013 (see below)
Mark Conrad and Alison Winward, ‘Richmond’s ex-head of social services ‘unaware’ of ‘paedo ring’: Louis Minster ‘never heard’ of allegations despite high-profile police raid in borough’, Exaro, February 9th, 2013
Mark Conrad and Nick Fielding, ‘Police examine sacking of Richmond’s head of social services: Louis Minster: councillors met behind closed doors in ‘political’ decision to dismiss me’, Exaro, February 11th, 2013
David Hencke, Mark Conrad, Nick Fielding and David Pallister, ‘Councillors give contrasting reasons for Louis Minster’s sacking: Liberal Democrats face scrutiny over move to fire Richmond’s head of social services’, Exaro, February 11th, 2013
Fiona O’Cleirigh and Mark Watts, ‘Met detectives told of Jimmy Savile’s link to Elm Guest House: Haroon Kasir boasted of friendship with Jimmy Savile, and ‘was odd after star’s death’, Exaro, February 16th, 2013
Fiona O’Cleirigh and David Hencke, ‘Co-manager of guest house in police probe plans to leave UK: Haroon Kasir makes hurried preparations to raise £60K and applies for visa to live in US’, Exaro, February 16th, 2013
Jessia Beckett, ‘Hunt is launched for late MP’s child sex abuse dossier’, Manchester Evening News, March 9th, 2013
Mark Conrad, Fiona O’Cleirigh and David Hencke, ”Operation Fernbridge’ arrests ex-manager of Elm Guest House: Police detain Haroon Kasir ‘on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children”, Exaro, July 10th, 2013
Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ‘Priest and ex-manager of Richmond children’s home in court: Magistrates bail John Stingemore and Tony McSweeney over charges of indecent assault’, Exaro, September 4th, 2013
David Hencke and Mark Conrad, ‘Police pursue new leads in paedophile case against ex-minister: Met’s paedophile unit probes ex-Conservative cabinet minister’s Amsterdam connection’, Exaro, October 11th, 2013
Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ”Operation Fernbridge’ releases Elm co-manager without charge: Police to take no action against Harry Kasir as they continue to probe Elm Guest House’, Exaro, December 4th, 2013
Mark Conrad, Mark Watts and David Hencke, ‘Met’s paedophile unit seizes video of ex-minister at ‘sex party’: Detectives ‘talk to’ former cabinet minister about party where men sexually abused boys’, Exaro, December 7th, 2013 [this story to be treated with caution]
Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ‘Detectives investigate use of ‘staging post’ for Elm Guest House: Witness tells how he was taken to ‘holding house’ before brothel for ‘VIP paedophiles”, Exaro, February 3rd, 2014
‘Murky link to VIP paedos’, Sunday People, March 30th, 2014 (see below)
Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright, ‘Was this woman murdered to cover up Cyril Smith’s sex ring? After a week of devastating revelations, this may be the most devastating question yet’, Daily Mail, April 19th, 2014
Paul Cahalan and Ian Gallagher, ‘I had underage sex with police officers at guest house used by ‘VIP paedophile ring’: Astonishing allegations by masseur who worked as a 16-year-old at notorious party venue ‘used by politicians, judges and pop stars”, Daily Mail, April 20th, 2014 (see below)
Peter Dominiczak, ‘Government urged to reassure public about child sex claims’, The Daily Telegraph, May 5th, 2014 (see below)
Tom McTague, ‘Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan urged to step forward and share ‘his thoughts’ on child sex abuse dossier sent to Whitehall in 1980s’, Daily Mail, July 1st, 2014
‘Brittan file action ‘appropriate”, York Post, July 1st, 2014
Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ‘Simon Danczuk asks DPP to review claim over Elm Guest House: MP accuses CPS of key error on evidence of child sex abuse from ‘Operation Fernbridge”, Exaro, July 1st, 2014
Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright, ‘Leon Brittan’s faulty memory and a ticking timebomb that could shake Westminster: Tory peer faces questions over 1980s files complied by MP Geoffrey Dickens on Westminster paedophile ring’, Daily Mail, July 2nd, 2014
Ross Kaniuk, ”Kid Porn’, Claim’, Daily Star, July 5th, 2014 (see below)
Tim Shipman, James Gillespie and David Leppard, ‘Police quiz Brittan over rape claim; Files missing in Home Office ‘cover-up”, The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014 (see below)
Tim Shipman, ‘Home Office loses 114 sex abuse files’, The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014 (see below)
David Harrison and Tim Shipman, ”THIS WILL BLOW IT APART’ ‘THIS WILL BLOW IT APART’; An MP who spent years investigating child abuse identified leading public figures in a secret dossier. Now his son wants them named and shamed’, The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014 (see below)
Simon Danczuk, ‘Call for a public inquiry into historic child abuse: Forget the expenses scandal. If MPs have harboured paedophiles, the damage to British democracy will be fatal says MP’, Mail on Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Louise Mensch, ‘Child abuse isn’t party political… covering it up is’, The Sun on Sunday, July 6th, 2014 (see below)
Tom Whitehead, ‘Decades of child abuse ‘covered up’ by Whitehall; Missing evidence, a ‘protected’ Establishment, and VIP paedophiles who felt ‘untouchable’, The Telegraph, July 7th, 2014 (see below)
Stephen Wright, Sam Marsden, Martin Robinson and Amanda Williams, ‘Leon Brittan denies allegations he raped woman at London flat after blind date in 1967 and says claims are ‘wholly unfounded”, Daily Mail, July 7th, 2014
Emine Sinmaz, ‘Child in alleged Westminster paedophile ring traced to U.S: Man now in his 40s said his abuser worked in ‘the big house’ after he was rescued more than 30 years ago’, Daily Mail, July 7th, 2014
Fiona Hamilton, ‘Rape claim is unfounded, says Brittan’, The Times, July 8th, 2014 (see below)
Stephen Wright and Daniel Bates, ‘Victim called himself Daddy’s Little Princess’, Daily Mail, July 8th, 2014 (see below)
Ed Riley, ‘Major public figures involved in YEARS of child abuse! Claims whistleblower’, Daily Star, July 9th, 2014 (see below)
James Gillespie, Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Marie Woolf, ‘Police ‘superlist’ of 21 child abusers; Thirteen forces are now working together in a huge investigation as hundreds more victims accuse officials of a cover-up’, The Sunday Times, July 13th, 2014
Lynn Davidson, ‘I told Mrs T police were probing top Tory’s sex parties with young boys’, The Sun, July 27th, 2014 (see below)
Emma Cowing and Graham Grant, ‘I was raped aged 4 by top aide to Thatcher: Woman claims she was abused by senior Conservative MP who visited notorious guest house with paedophile Cyril Smith’, Daily Mail, August 14th, 2014
Auslan Cramb, ‘I was victim of paedophile ring says woman ‘abused’ by Tory MP’, The Daily Telegraph, August 15th, 2014 (see below)
Jeremy Watson, ‘Minister raped me, says QC’s daughter’, The Times, August 15th, 2014 (see below)
Keir Mudie, ‘Battle to expose UK pervs in high places’, Sunday People, November 9th, 2014 (see below)
Tom Peterkin, ‘Behind the scenes bid to mount child abuse inquiry for Scotland’, Scotland on Sunday, November 9th, 2014 (mention of Fairbairn and Elm Guest House)
”Homicide’ probe into child abuse’, Press Association, November 14th, 2014 (see below)
Sean O’Neill, ‘Murdered boy’s father says police ignored informant’, The Times, November 19th, 2014 (see below)
Jamie Grierson, ‘Murdered boy’s father’s abuse fears’, Press Association, November 19th, 2014 (see below)
Tom McTague, Martin Robinson and Francesca Infante, ‘Clegg demands police probe into ‘grotesque’ claim Scotland Yard covered up murder of 8-year-old boy by VIP abuse ring’, Daily Mail, November 19th, 2014
Matthew Weaver, ‘Westminster child abuse claims: what do we know?; Police are investigating possible murders linked to Elm Guest House in south-west London after claims of a cover-up’, The Guardian, November 19th, 2014
David Brown, Georgie Keate and Sean O’Neill, ‘Paedophile gang ‘may have killed 17 more children”, The Times, November 20th, 2014 (see below)
Graham Grant, ‘POLICE PROBE ‘MAGIC CIRCLE’ CHILD SEX RING; Second victim comes forward as 10 officers investigate paedophile abuse allegations involving Scottish MP and leading legal figures Police to quiz three more in Fairbairn abuse claims’, Scottish Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014 (see below)
Scott D’Arcy, ”Cover up’ fear over boy’s murder’, Press Association, November 20th, 2014 (see below)
Tom Kelly and Rebecca Cambra, ‘Murder covered up, says father’, Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014 (see below)
‘Police ‘not in contact’ over murdered boy’, The Telegraph, November 21st, 2014 (see below)
James Gillespie, ‘Security services ‘have abuse file”, The Sunday Times, November 23rd, 2014 (see below)
Lynn Davidson and Shaun Wooller, ‘VIP paedos snatched my kid brother; VICTIM’S FAMILY SPEAK OUT ; COPS ‘GIVEN FILE”, The Sun, November 24th, 2014 (see below)
Georgie Keate, ‘Paedophile ring may have killed boy, 15’, The Times, November 26th, 2014 (see below)
Lamiat Sabin, ”Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,’ say police;
Martin Allen went missing aged 15 while on his way home in 1979′, The Independent, November 26th, 2014
Christopher Hope, ‘Sir Edward Garnier ‘tried to stop Labour MP challenging Lord Brittan over child abuse claims’; Simon Danczuk says former Conservative Solicitor General tackled him on the evening before he was due to give evidence to Home Affairs select committee’, The Telegraph, November 27th, 2014
Arj Singh, ”Establishment Figures’ at hotel’, Press Association, November 27th, 2014 (see below)
Steph Cockroft, ‘Catholic priest and former children’s home boss appear in court accused of abusing young boys in their care in the 1980s’, Daily Mail,
David Brown, ‘Former minister ‘in sauna with naked boy”, The Times, November 28th, 2014 (see below)
David Brown, ‘Paedophile ring trial opens’, The TImes, November 28th, 2014 (see below)
Emily Ashton, ‘Minister and Boy in Sauna’, The Sun, November 28th, 2014 (see below)
Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury, ‘Scotland Yard ‘hid top MP’s name’ in sex abuse inquiry: Police ‘buried young boy’s testimony in Establishment cover up’, says author of book about Cyril Smith scandal’, Daily Mail, December 5th, 2014
Mike Sullivan and Tom Morgan, ‘MP ‘was at snuff film lad’s murder’; Exclusive: VIP Paedophile Horror’, The Sun, December 6th, 2014 (see below)
Daily Telegraph, December 15th, 2012
Gordon Rayner, ‘Allegation of paedophile ring of MPs investigated’
SCOTLAND Yard detectives are looking into claims that senior MPs were part of a paedophile ring in the 1980s and avoided prosecution because of their positions.
The officers began the probe after receiving information from Tom Watson, the Labour MP, who told Parliament in October that “a senior aide of a former prime minister” was linked to a network of child abusers.
Some of the abuse is said to have taken place at a guesthouse in Barnes, south-west London, used as lodgings by members of all three main political parties.
The inquiry, code-named Operation Fairbank, is described by the Metropolitan Police as a “scoping exercise” to assess whether there is enough evidence to mount a full-scale investigation.
Officers from the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Team have spoken to several adults who claim to have been abused as children, some of whom contacted Mr Watson.
Some alleged victims have claimed that MPs were arrested as part of an earlier investigation into activities at the Elm Guest House, but that no further action was taken.
In 1982 Carole Kasir, who managed the guesthouse, was convicted of running a brothel. Before her death in 1990, she told child protection campaigners she had discovered that boys from care homes were being supplied to paedophiles staying at her establishment in the early 1980s.
Police have been told that the guesthouse was raided and arrests were made.
They are checking through their files to see if there are leads that can be followed.
One of the documents being sought by police is the register from the guesthouse, which they believe still exists.
The inquiry is separate from Operation Yewtree, set up to investigate historical allegations of child abuse involving Jimmy Savile and others.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers have spoken with the MP, Tom Watson, who has passed on some information which is now being looked into.”
Separately, the Yard also said it was “reviewing an historical allegation of child abuse in west London”.
Sunday People, January 27th, 2013
David Pallister and Nick Dorman, ‘VIP case cops raid dirty Harry home’
POLICE have raided the home of the former owner of the notorious Elm guest house.
Detectives believe Haroon “Harry” Kasir may hold vital clues to help them uncover a network of paedophiles with links to politics, showbiz and royalty.
Kasir, 69, was the main phone contact for the guest house in adverts placed in gay newspapers.
The Elm is alleged to have hosted sex parties where vulnerable youngsters were preyed on.
Officers swooped at Kasir’s new address to try to recover any evidence that may help identify high-profile abusers. Although Kasir was not arrested, officers are likely to want to talk to him again as they build their case.
Kasir and wife Carole ran the Elm from 1979 for about four years and were in charge when police raided it in 1982.
The Kasirs were fined £1,000 each and given suspended jail sentences after being found guilty of running a brothel.
They are believed to have sold the guest house to cover their court costs.
Carole died in 1990 after an overdose of insulin. Kasir still lives in the area and works as a driver for a charity.
When reporters in a probe by the Sunday People and Exaro investigative website approached him he said: “You might as well contact police.” Officers are close to making their first arrests.
GRAPHIC: ADVERT: Trawling for customers
QUIZZED: Former Elm owner Harry Kasir this week
Morning Star, January 27th, 2013
‘Top officials linked to ’80s child sex ring’
The Metropolitan Police launched a full-scale criminal investigation, Operation Fernbridge, into the historic claims 10 days ago but was tight-lipped on its details. But several former top Tories have since been named on the internet in relation to the case, including an ex-Cabinet member and other former government ministers, MPs, and officials of the right-wing Monday Club. The claims have been published widely on the web in around 60 documents reported to have been part of a dossier compiled by concerned care worker Mary Moss.
Among others implicated are at least one ex-Labour MP, ex-Liberal MP Cyril Smith, former Richmond councillors and officials, a number of top lawyers, police officers and one-time leader of the National Socialist Movement in Britain Colin Jordan. Images posted in recent days and purported to come from Ms Moss’s dossier feature typed and handwritten notes, names and addresses said to have been recorded by at least one care worker looking into allegations of systematic child sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes between 1979 and 1983. The south London guesthouse is said to have been used to abuse young boys from the age of nine who were transported from care homes in Richmond and elsewhere to the premises. Police visited the home of Ms Moss, who now goes under another name, two weeks ago as part of Operation Fairbank, which is investigating historical claims of child sex abuse. It was launched following Labour MP Tom Watson’s October demand for an inquiry into an alleged paedophile ring which he claimed reached to the top of the British Establishment. Ms Moss has since reportedly handed 19 files to the police, many of which were said to have been hidden with neighbours to protect them against seizure and destruction by third parties. The Metropolitan Police has asked anyone with information to call its hotline on (020) 7161-0500.
Daily Mail, February 4, 2013
Arthur Martin, ‘THEY FORCED ME TO WEAR A FAIRY COSTUME, CLAIMS ELM GUEST HOUSE VICTIM’
A VICTIM of an alleged establishment paedophile ring told yesterday how he was ordered to wear a fairy costume before being abused.
The orphan was 13 when he and his 12-year-old brother were sent by staff at their children’s home to the Elm Guest House for a treat’, it is claimed.
He said boys were plied with alcohol before being told to pose for pictures wearing girls’ clothing.
The men at the guest house – said to include MPs and pop stars – would then abuse the children after pretending to play hide-and-seek, the victim said.
More than a decade after leaving care, the victim’s brother, Peter, killed himself six days after his 28th birthday.
A line in his suicide note which appeared to refer to his ordeal read: I will get those b*******.’
The former guest house in Barnes, south-west London, is now the centre of a police investigation into an alleged child sex abuse ring in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Police are examining claims that children from the Grafton Close Children’s Home were taken to the guest house to have sex with men.
During a police raid on a property in central London last month detectives seized a list of names of high profile alleged visitors to the guest house.
As reported in Saturday’s Daily Mail, the list includes a number of senior MPs, two pop stars, a high-ranking policeman, a leading tycoon, an official from the Royal household and traitorous Soviet spy Anthony Blunt.
Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP, has already been named as a regular at the guest house.
Yesterday the victim, known only as Dave, said: The people responsible have blood on their hands. I shouldn’t think my brother is the only one to have taken his life because of this. I’m speaking out now because I want justice done for me and for my brother. What went on was absolutely disgusting.
When we told the staff at the care home what was happening at Elm they used to say: “They are friends, they are good people”. No one was listening to us. It’s taken 30 years for anyone to listen.’
Dave, who now has young children of his own, told how he and his younger brother were taken into care after their widowed mother killed herself following years of depression. They were sent to Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hanworth, west London, in 1978.
Dave was 13 when minibus outings to the Elm Guest House began. We were told we were going to the “good house” for a party,’ he told a newspaper.
It wouldn’t be more than a handful of us at a time. When we got there it was a huge house.’
He said the children would be escorted through reception without signing the guest book and taken to a back room where parties were held. There would be easy-listening music playing, sort of mellow stuff, and loads to drink,’ Dave said. Sometimes there would be two adults there, other times more. They laid on tables with beer and cider. We would have races to see who could drink it first.
They used to make us dress up, make us put on outfits like fairy costumes meant for girls, then play games of hide-and-seek with the adults looking for the kids.’
When the children were found’, they were forced to take part in appalling sex abuse.
Dave added: There would be flash bulbs going off when someone was taking pictures.
I can remember all the adults had posh accents. They used to say things like “He’s cute, he’s nice”. They would pick out the pretty boys, especially the ones who looked young for their age.’
Last week Dave was visited by two officers from Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating the case.
Dave’s testimony echoes that of former child protection worker Chris Fay, who says he was shown photos of children dressed up at Kings and Queens parties’ at the guest house. One photograph is said to show a former Tory Cabinet minister in a sauna with a naked 14-year-old boy.
The Sun, February 7th, 2013
Tom Morgan and Jonathan Reilly, ‘Delia’s Norwich chaplain held over VIP paedo ring’
A CATHOLIC priest signed up as Norwich City FC’s chaplain by TV cook Delia Smith was one of two men arrested yesterday over a VIP paedophile ring.
Father Tony McSweeney, 66, who officiated at boxing champ Frank Bruno’s 1990 wedding, was quizzed along with retired children’s home chief John Stingemore, 70.
The pair, held in dawn swoops by police, are suspected of helping to send vulnerable kids to be abused at Elm Guest House, an ex-guest house in Barnes, South West London, once used as lodgings by pop stars and senior politicians.
The priest presided over Bruno’s wedding to Laura, which ended in divorce 11 years later. It is not clear how long he was linked with Norwich, where Delia, who refused to comment last night, is a director and the majority shareholder.
Cops are probing allegations dating to 1977 that kids from three council children’s homes were taken to Elm Guest House to be abused.
The Operation Fernbridge probe began last month after claims of a “powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10”.
Father McSweeney, of St George’s Church in Norwich, has worked as a part-time chaplain for the Premier League side and was personally asked by Delia to hold a Mass for Catholic fans in the club restaurant after a 2004 match.
Last night a spokesman for the Diocese of East Anglia confirmed: “Tony McSweeney, a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia, is currently assisting police with their inquiries into historical allegations of the sexual abuse of children.”
Both Stingemore, of St Leonards, East Sussex, and McSweeney were last night bailed until April.
Manchester Evening News, March 9th, 2013
Jessica Beckett, ‘Hunt is launched for late MP’s child sex abuse dossier’
AN MP’s lost dossier alleging high profile child abuse is being hunted down almost 20 years after his death.
Geoffrey Dickens handed the 50-page report about suspected paedophile rings, police misconduct and abuse of boys in a care home, to the government in 1984.
The scandal is thought to have never been investigated and the file is now missing.
But an MP is calling for it to be tracked down and reopened.
Mr Dickens, who represented Littleborough and Saddleworth from 1983 until his death in 1995 aged 63, spent years collecting his evidence but was left in fear of his life after uncovering the alleged abuse.
Coun John Hudson, leader of Oldham’s Conservative party and Saddleworth South councillor, was Mr Dickens’ agent from 1990 until his death. He said: Geoffrey was very sincere in his views and he was a diligent, hard-working member of parliament who was dedicated to his job.
At the time a lot of people thought he was a bit over the top and these kind of allegations were hard for people to believe.
He wasn’t afraid to break boundaries and speak up for people but he was often laughed at.
Things have changed a lot in the past 20 years and I hope the document is found if it was taken seriously at the time, maybe it could have changed things. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The outspoken MP was convinced he had solid proof of a network of abuse and in 1985 told the Commons he had received threatening phone calls and had been put on a ‘multi-killer’s hit list’ following his campaign. As a result he was given police protection.
At the time some MPs tried to undermine his campaign.
The dossier was submitted the same year as Mr Dickens campaigned for the outlawing of the controversial Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
In 1983, Mr Dickens said there were big, big names people in positions of power, influence and responsibility and threatened to expose them in Parliament if no action was taken against PIE.
The MP handed a million-strong petition against the group to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan and called for him to investigate the allegations in his dossier. There are suggestions it contained links to the notorious Elm guest house in south-west London which is currently the focus of a police investigation.
Bromwich MP Tom Watson has now asked the government to produce a copy of the dossier which officials are still trying to track down.
Mr Dickens is believed to have made two copies of his report one which he gave to the government and the other which he kept. But that copy was ordered to be destroyed by his widow Norma who thought it was too sensitive to keep in the family home following his death.
She died last year.
Their son Barry, 49, said: I see the new investigations as re-establishing my father’s reputation as a serious, campaigning politician.
People like Jimmy Savile might have been rooted out three decades ago if the government had acted on my father’s dossier.
A Home Office spokesman said: We are aware of media reports from the 1980s about papers collected by Geoffrey Dickens.
Files from that time are no longer held centrally by the department, but work is under way to find out what relevant documents have been archived.
GRAPHIC: LOST FILE The late Geoffrey Dickens, who was Conservative MP for the old Littleborough and Saddleworth consituency
The People, March 30th, 2014
‘Murky link to VIP paedos’
OPERATION Fernbridge is an offshoot of Scotland Yard’s Operation Fairbank probe into claims of sexual abuse and grooming involving parties at Elm Guest House in the 70s and 80s.
Cops confirmed last year they were looking into claims a high-profile “paedophile ring of VIPs” abused boys from Grafton Close Children’s Home in Richmond, South West London who were taken to the nearby Elm. Members are believed to have included ex-spy Anthony Blunt and Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Other alleged visitors to the Elm include ex-diplomat Sir Peter Hayman.
Daily Mail, April 20th, 2014
Paul Cahalan and Ian Gallagher, ‘I had underage sex with police officers at guest house used by ‘VIP paedophile ring’: Astonishing allegations by masseur who worked as a 16-year-old at notorious party venue ‘used by politicians, judges and pop stars”
Lee Towsey told new investigation he had underage sex with officers
He was working as a masseuse at London’s infamous Elm Guest House
He is the first person with first-hand knowledge of events to speak publicly
In an MoS interview, he also talks of a sexual encounter with Cyril Smith
He claims police told him to ‘keep quiet about what and who you saw’
A former child actor has told detectives he was abused by undercover male police officers at a guest house at the centre of an alleged VIP paedophile ring.
Lee Towsey made the astonishing claim to Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating historic child sex abuse.
He says it happened while he worked at the Elm Guest House in South-West London in 1982. At the time, Mr Towsey was 16, then under the age of homosexual consent.
‘I was naive and struggling to come to terms with my sexuality,’ he said. ‘After we had sex the officers offered me money.’
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he also tells of a sexual encounter with Cyril Smith – and how he was warned by police to ‘keep quiet about what and who you saw’.
For years, the question of what went on at the Edwardian terrace in Rocks Lane, overlooking Barnes Common, has been the subject of speculation. It was claimed politicians, judges, pop stars, a high-ranking policeman, a member of the Royal household and an MI5 officer were among the visitors. There were allegations that some VIPs preyed on boys from a nearby children’s home.
But until today no one with any first-hand knowledge of what went on has ever spoken publicly. In bombshell testimony, Mr Towsey, who worked at Rocks Lane for five months as a masseur, claims:
Guest house owner Carole Kasir paid police protection money.
Names of high-profile guests were kept in a black book, referred to by Kasir as ‘my insurance policy’.
Kasir told him a Cabinet Minister was a regular visitor.
He only knew Cyril Smith was a politician when he recognised his Spitting Image puppet years later.
Mr Towsey has also spoken to Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose book about Smith revealed how he abused scores of boys. Last night Mr Danczuk said: ‘This is a significant part of the jigsaw in what is a complex cover-up. It really moves on the need for a more in-depth inquiry.’
Mr Towsey first visited Elm Guest House in February 1982. At the time he was pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. He later appeared in Grange Hill and Doctor Who.
‘I went out one night with a friend and we ended up going back to where he was staying in Barnes, which was on my way home,’ said Mr Towsey. ‘It was Elm Guest House. We had a couple of drinks in the bar and that’s where I first met Carole Kasir, the owner. She was kind of hippy-ish and made quite a fuss of me.’
She was less welcoming the following morning. ‘Carole’s demeanour changed. She said I had to pay for my night’s stay but I couldn’t afford it. She said: “You can work here as a masseur.” ‘
Carole told him that some of the visitors were prominent people. Mr Towsey said: ‘She kept their names in a black address book, which she referred to as her insurance policy.
‘She said one was a Cabinet Minister and there were judges and politicians. I remember Cyril Smith but I didn’t know he was a politician until I saw his puppet on Spitting Image.
‘Carole told me not to let him in the sauna, as he had got stuck in there before and they had to take the door off to get him out.’ He added: ‘Smith wanted me to strip naked and massage him. I was also forced to watch as he masturbated.’
Carole came to confide in the 16-year-old, complaining how she was under pressure to contribute to Richmond police’s ‘Christmas fund’. ‘It was protection money,’ he said.
In all, Mr Towsey slept with three people at the house. ‘They all turned out to be police,’ he said. ‘One came round in the first month. He was early 20s, good-looking, not the usual sort who went to the house.’
Mr Towsey saw the man again some months later – at Richmond police station – after he and the Kasir were arrested in a raid. Before that, Mr Towsey claims, two other undercover officers visited the house. ‘The first came in April and I had sex with him. He turned out to be one of the officers who later raided the house.
‘He came back about three weeks later and hired a room. He stayed two nights and on the second night his partner stayed too. I ended up having sex with them. Afterwards they asked how much and I told them that they were not clients and felt insulted they wanted to pay me.’
Mr Towsey continued at the house until the raid in June. He was charged with keeping a disorderly house and assisting in the management of a brothel. ‘That year was terrible,’ he said. ‘People were ringing up making death threats. I got a job in the kitchen at a bingo hall in Hounslow. My dad used to pick me up after work in his Nissan Sunny.
‘One day he didn’t turn up because its tyres had been let down. But he didn’t have time to let me know. Yet when I arrived at the usual spot, a Nissan Sunny was in the usual place and I got in the front.
‘There were three police officers inside. One of them was at the station following the raid. They told me they could pick me up at any time and told me keep my mouth shut. I never told anyone, not even my family.’
The day he was due at the Old Bailey, the charges against him were suddenly dropped. Kasir, who died in 1990, was found guilty of keeping a disorderly house but received a fine and suspended sentence.
Mr Towsey was contacted by detectives from Operation Fernbridge in 2012. ‘They said they were opening up the case again because of Savile. I have had a couple of calls since to say they are still investigating but they haven’t moved anything on. I am considering legal action against the Met. I shut the door on it once and I want to shut the door on it again and move on.’
Scotland Yard declined to comment.
MP: I may name ‘influential politician’ who visited Elm Guest House with Smith
By PAUL CAHALAN
A Labour MP says he is considering the sensational step of publicly naming an influential politician who allegedly abused boys at Elm Guest House.
Simon Danczuk, who exposed former Liberal MP Cyril Smith, said he would use Parliamentary privilege – giving him legal immunity – to unmask someone ‘much more important’. ‘I have used privilege before and I would consider using privilege to name the Parliamentarian,’ he said yesterday.
Rochdale MP Mr Danczuk published a book last week detailing how Smith, who died in 2010, abused hundreds of vulnerable boys over four decades.
Unlike Smith, the politician he is now considering naming is still sitting in Parliament.
Calling for a new in-depth inquiry into the activities at Elm House, which closed in 1982, Mr Danczuk said: ‘There is undoubtedly a cover-up.
‘This isn’t just about Smith, this is a much wider network of paedophiles, people who were abusing youngsters. We have to get to the bottom of it, not least because some of these people are still alive and should face justice.
‘Anyone who has any more information should come forward so that we can all move on from a horrible piece of recent history.’
The Daily Telegraph, May 5th, 2014
Peter Dominiczak, ‘Government urged to reassure public about child sex claims’
MINISTERS must “reassure the public” about a series of child sex investigations involving Westminster politicians, the Labour MP who exposed Cyril Smith’s behaviour said yesterday.
Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, last month published a book on Smith which reignited the scandal over the former Liberal MP, who used his power and influence to abuse hundreds of boys for more than four decades.
However, Mr Danczuk has also disclosed details of allegations about two other senior Westminster figures who have been accused of historic abuse.
Mr Danczuk said that he has now been contacted by police officers about a case involving a senior Labour politician and said that officers are taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.
He has also disclosed that during the course of his investigation into Smith, who died in 2010, he interviewed a man who was sexually abused by the MP at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, London, when he was 16. The man gave him the name of another parliamentarian who had visited the guesthouse, describing him as a “much bigger fish” and significantly “higher up the food chain”. Mr Danczuk yesterday said that with so many investigations under way, the Government needs to make a public statement about the allegations.
“We need them to reassure the public that the police are getting adequate resources to carry out these investigations,” he said.
GRAPHIC: Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, has disclosed child sex allegations involving senior Westminster politicians
Daily Star, July 5th, 2014 Saturday
Ross Kaniuk, ”KID PORN MP’ CLAIM’
A FORMER top MP was stopped coming into Britain with a haul of child porn, it is alleged.
The Conservative was found to have explicit videos of children “clearly under 12” – but he escaped without any action being taken, it is claimed Last night the Director of Public Prosecutions was urged to investigate allegations that the politician was stopped by customs while driving back to the UK via Dover.
The videos and paperwork that were taken during the 1980s incident have subsequently gone missing The Customs officer has spoken to detectives on Operation Fernbridge, an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse by people including highprofile figures at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London.
The Labour MP Tom Watson, who has led calls for a comprehensive probe into historic child abuse, said he was writing to Alison Saunders, head of the DPP, to ask her to examine evidence. He said: “It’s a remarkable revelation. If true, it shows a crime was not investigated but also it is shocking because it’s yet another example of intelligence going missing.” The senior Tory’s name is said to have been included in a dossier alleging paedophile activity in Westminster, which the Government admits has probably been destroyed.
The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014
Tim Shipman, James Gillespie and David Leppard, ‘Police quiz Brittan over rape claim; Files missing in Home Office ‘cover-up”
LORD BRITTAN, the former Tory home secretary, has been questioned by police over an allegation of rape.
Brittan, 74, was interviewed last month about an alleged assault on a woman in 1967, Scotland Yard said.
The former cabinet minister, who served as home secretary under Margaret Thatcher, was interviewed under caution by appointment at a central London location. He was not arrested. The alleged victim told police she had been raped at an address in London.
The revelation of the rape investigation comes after an admission by the Home Office that more than 100 files believed to contain information on child sex abuse have been destroyed or lost by Whitehall mandarins.
That admission followed the disclosure of the loss of a 40-page dossier by Geoffrey Dickens, the former Conservative MP, which named eight prominent public figures as paedophiles, and which was passed to Brittan in 1983.
The internal review of hundreds of thousands of files found 13 previously undisclosed “items of information about alleged child abuse” last year – including four implicating Home Office officials. But Mark Sedwill, the man appointed by David Cameron to investigate claims of a Whitehall cover-up of political paedophiles revealed that “114 potentially relevant files” were “presumed destroyed, missing or not found”.
The revelations last night led to claims of a “massive cover-up” at the heart of Whitehall. Officials had previously only admitted that irrelevant files were destroyed. In total 278,000 records from the period were destroyed.
It was announced last night that an independent legal figure, expected to be a prominent QC, is to be appointed to conduct a review of the Home Office’s handling of the case.
The lawyer will report back within four weeks. But only the executive summary of the report is likely to be published, a move that could spark further suspicions that there is something to hide. The developments came as the former policeman who first exposed Jimmy Savile’s sex offending and helped bring the case against Rolf Harris revealed he has been the target of a letter bomb and threats of violence since he began investigating sex abuse by celebrities.
Mark Williams-Thomas received a series of telephone threats of violence and was also sent obscene paedophile material showing a child under the age of five being abused. The material has been passed on to the police.
A letter bomb was sent to him while working at ITV in 2012. “It was a petrol letter bomb, an incendiary device addressed to me,” Williams-Thomas said. “Police fully investigated it and analysed the contents but to date no one has been caught.”
In a further case of intimidation, the MP who exposed Cyril Smith as a paedophile also claimed last night that a senior Conservative MP attempted to prevent him from challenging Brittan over what he knew about child sex abuse.
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, says he was warned that targeting Brittan, when he gave evidence to the home affairs committee last Tuesday, could kill the Tory peer – an apparent attempt to silence him.
Danczuk says the MP confronted him on Monday night last week. He said: “He pulled me over to one side and he said: Continued on page 2 uu Continued from page 1 ‘I had Diana Brittan on the phone over the weekend and she’s worried you’re going to target her husband at this select committee.
“He then said she made it clear Brittan is very unwell. He might not have said ‘you’ll kill him’, it might have been ‘he might die as a consequence’. But that was the gist of it – that if you name him tomorrow you could well kill him.
“He wasn’t being compassionate, in my view, he was trying to apply pressure. I was quite bugged by it. I didn’t appreciate the way he approached me.”
Brittan emerged from his home on Wednesday morning and admitted that he had passed the Geoffrey Dickens dossier to officials in 1983.
“I was given the impression on Monday night that he was at death’s door,” Danczuk added. “They were trying to pull a fast one.”
Danczuk told The Sunday Times: “The fact we now have confirmation that 114 potentially important files in connection to serious child abuse have gone missing or been deleted raises some very serious questions about the competency of Home Office officials.
“This suggests either incompetence on a wide scale or a massive cover-up.”
Danczuk added: “The public has lost confidence in these kind of official reviews, which usually result in a whitewash. The only way to get to the bottom of this is a thorough public inquiry.”
The review last year concluded that Brittan had acted appropriately.
The MP also revealed that he spoke on Monday to police investigating historic sex abuse and they told him that one victim of Elm Guest House, a gay brothel in southwest London, where it is alleged a number of public figures abused children during the 1980s, has named a prominent Conservative as his abuser.
The man gave an initial statement but is now refusing to co-operate with the police investigation.
“The police have spoken to a witness who has identified a senior Conservative as the man who abused him,” Danczuk said. “He made an initial statement but now he won’t play ball.”
The Sunday Times spoke to the witness, who now lives in the US, but he declined to comment.
Danczuk also says he has been told the police have spoken to several victims who have named a prominent Labour parliamentarian as their abuser.
“I’ve spoken to quite senior policemen investigating this figure,” he said. “They’ve got a good number of victims. There are significant allegations against him in relation to abuse that it is alleged he carried out on boys.”
Williams-Thomas, who revealed the truth about Savile in a documentary in 2012 and has since played a part in the convictions of Max Clifford and Rolf Harris, backed up Danczuk’s claims and said he knew the names of 10 other well-known people who were the subject of sex abuse allegations.
Williams-Thomas received another violent threat last week after the conviction of Harris. “The case has upset a lot of people – and I understand that. Rolf was a celebrity, and for many, he was their childhood. But don’t take it out on me, direct your anger at him.
“I will continue to dig away and that makes people uncomfortable … I am aware of some very serious pressure being applied to people to be quiet,” he said.
In a letter to Keith Vaz,the home affairs committee chairman, Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary, said the original review did not find a single dossier from Dickens but several sets of correspondence over a number of years to several home secretaries.
“The review found no record of specific allegations by Mr Dickens of child sex abuse by prominent public figures.”
‘This will blow it apart’, Focus, page 18
The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014 Sunday
Tim Shipman, ‘Home Office loses 114 sex abuse files’
MORE than 100 files believed to contain information on child sex abuse have been destroyed or lost by Whitehall mandarins, the Home Office admitted last night.
The internal review of hundreds of thousands of files found 13 previously undisclosed “items of information about alleged child abuse” last year – including four implicating Home Office officials. But Mark Sedwill, the man appointed by David Cameron to probe claims of a Whitehall cover-up of political paedophiles revealed that “114 potentially relevant files” are “presumed destroyed, missing or not found”.
The revelations last night sparked claims of a “massive cover-up” at the heart of Whitehall.
Officials have previously only admitted that irrelevant files were destroyed. In total 278,000 records from the period were destroyed.
The full extent to which information on child sexual offences has disappeared came after the Home Office admitted they had lost a 40-page dossier by Geoffrey Dickens, the former Conservative MP, which named eight prominent public figures as paedophiles, and which was passed to the home secretary Leon Brittan in 1983.
It was announced last night that an independent legal figure, expected to be a prominent QC, is to be appointed to conduct a review of the Home Office’s handling of the case.
The lawyer will report back within four weeks. But only the executive summary of their report is set to be published, a move that could spark further suspicions that there is something to hide. The developments came as the former policeman who first exposed Jimmy Savile’s sex offending and helped bring the case against Rolf Harris revealed he has been the target of a letter bomb and threats of violence since he began investigating sex abuse by celebrities.
Mark Williams-Thomas received a series of telephone threats of violence and was also sent obscene paedophile material showing a child under the age of five being abused. The material has been passed on to the police. A letter bomb was sent to him while working at ITV in 2012. “It was a petrol letter bomb, an incendiary device addressed to me,” he said. “Police fully investigated it and analysed the contents but to date no one has been caught.”
In a further case of Continued on page 2 uu Continued from page 1 Files missing in Home Office ‘cover-up’ intimidation, the MP who exposed Cyril Smith as a paedophile also claimed last night that a senior Conservative MP attempted to prevent him from challenging Lord Brittan over what he knew about child sex abuse.
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, says he was warned that targeting Brittan, when he gave evidence to the Home Affairs committee last Tuesday, could kill the Tory peer – an apparent attempt to silence him.
Danczuk says the MP confronted him on Monday night last week. He said: “He pulled me over to one side and he said: ‘I had Diana Brittan on the phone over the weekend and she’s worried you’re going to target her husband at this select committee.”
“He then said she made it clear Brittan is very unwell. He might not have said ‘you’ll kill him’, it might have been ‘he might die as a consequence’. But that was the gist of it – that if you name him tomorrow you could well kill him.
” He wasn’t being compassionate, in my view, he was trying to apply pressure. I was quite bugged by it. I didn’t appreciate the way he approached me.”
Brittan emerged from his home on Wednesday and admitted he passed the Dickens dossier to officials in 1983. “I was given the impression on Monday night that he was at death’s door,” Danczuk added. “They were trying to pull a fast one.” Danczuk told The Sunday Times: “The fact we now have confirmation that 114 potentially important files in connection to serious child abuse have gone missing or been deleted raises some very serious questions about the competency of Home Office officials.
“This suggests either incompetence on a wide scale or a massive cover-up.”
Danczuk added: “The public has lost confidence in these kind of official reviews, which usually result in a whitewash. The only way to get to the bottom of this is a thorough public inquiry.”
The review last year concluded that Brittan had acted appropriately. The MP also revealed he spoke on Monday to police probing historic sex abuse and they told him that one victim of Elm Guest House, a gay brothel in southwest London, where it is alleged a number of public figures abused children during the 1980s, has named a prominent Conservative as his abuser. The man gave an initial statement but is now refusing to co-operate with the police investigation.
“The police have spoken to a witness who has identified a senior Conservative as the man who abused him,” Danczuk said. “He made an initial statement but now he won’t play ball.” The Sunday Times spoke to the witness, who now lives in the US, but he declined to comment.
Danczuk also says he has been told the police have spoken to several victims who have named a prominent Labour parliamentarian as their abuser. “I’ve spoken to quite senior policemen investigating this figure,” he said. “They’ve got a good number of victims. There are significant allegations against him in relation to abuse that it is alleged he carried out on boys.”
Mark Williams-Thomas, who revealed the truth about Savile in a documentary in 2012 and has since played a part in the convictions of Max Clifford and Rolf Harris, backed up Danczuk’s claims and said he knows the names of 10 other well-known people who are the subject of sex abuse allegations.
Williams-Thomas received more violent threats last week after the conviction of Harris. “The case has upset a lot of people – and I understand that. Rolf was a celebrity, and for many, he was their childhood. But don’t take it out on me, direct your anger at him. I will continue to dig away and that makes people uncomfortable … I am aware of some very serious pressure being applied to people to be quiet,” he said. “There is a direct threat that I am aware of from a very senior politician basically saying, ‘leave it [the Dickens dossier] alone, it’s all been put to bed, stop making any further inquiries. Leon Brittan is a very ill man’ – well he’s not ill, he’s perfectly capable.”
In a letter to Keith Vaz,the Home Affairs committee chairman, Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary, said the original review did not find a single dossier from Dickens but several sets of correspondence over a number of years to several home secretaries containing allegations of sexual offences. As well as these specific allegations, later correspondence from Dickens focused on broader related policy issues, such as the risk of children and young people being drawn into occult activities,” Sedwill wrote.
“The review found no record of specific allegations by Mr Dickens of child sex abuse by prominent public figures.”
‘This will blow it apart’, Focus, page 18
The Sunday Times, July 6th, 2014
David Harrison and Tim Shipman, ”THIS WILL BLOW IT APART’ ‘THIS WILL BLOW IT APART’; An MP who spent years investigating child abuse identified leading public figures in a secret dossier. Now his son wants them named and shamed’
It was more than 30 years ago but Barry Dickens remembers it as though it were yesterday.
His father Geoffrey, a Tory MP, arrived home from work in November 1983 and told him: “That’s it now.
Let it all begin.
This is going to blow it all apart.” Geoffrey Dickens, the Conservative MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, had just delivered an explosive 40-page dossier to Leon Brittan, the British home secretary. The dossier was the result of years of investigation into child abuse.
It named leading figures from public life, including senior politicians, who were said to be paedophiles “operating and networking within and around” the Westminster elite. Dickens had doggedly gathered evidence, including testimony from many of the abuse victims and now it was all in the hands of the home secretary.
“My father believed that justice would take its course and that the paedophiles would be exposed and punished,” said Barry Dickens, speaking in the garden of his home on the outskirts of Swindon, Wiltshire. “He had worked on it for a long time and, the more he looked into it, the more he was shocked by what he had found because, in those days, in the 1980s, the subject was not out there like it is now.
He didn’t name the individuals but he said I would be totally and utterly amazed when it all comes out who they are.” Dickens waited for the timebomb to explode and shake Westminster to its foundations. But there was no response.
The MP died in May 1995 and the silence continued. So what happened to the dossier? The question has been revived as part of the series of investigations into paedophilia among the rich, famous and powerful since the Jimmy Savile case.
The inquiries have seen the PR man Max Clifford, the broadcaster Stuart Hall, and, last week, the entertainer Rolf Harris jailed for abusing children.
Police sources said last week that the dossier – said to include the names of Savile, Sir Cyril Smith, the late Rochdale MP, and Sir Peter Morrison, Margaret Thatcher’s former parliamentary private secretary, who has been linked to child abuse in North Wales and died in 1995 – had “disappeared”. The Home Office said that it had not been “retained”, prompting claims of a cover-up.
Last week Brittan, now Lord Brittan, claimed he had no recollection of the dossier but soon afterwards said it had been handed to the director of public prosecutions, who had passed on Dickens’s concerns to the police.
Last Friday, amid growing political pressure, David Cameron ordered Mark Sedwill, the Home Office’s top official, to carry out a review of what happened to the dossier.
The move followed new claims by Simon Danczuk, the Rochdale Labour MP who raised the allegations about the “VIP” paedophile ring. Danczuk, who exposed Smith as a paedophile, said he had received about a dozen new pieces of information and the allegations threw up the same MP’s name “time and again”. Cameron’s announcement failed to defuse mounting tension over the dossier. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said the prime minister’s review did not go far enough, and called for an “over-arching” and “comprehensive” investigation.
Danczuk described the review as “little more than a damagelimitation exercise”.
Yesterday Sedwill revealed that a Home Office investigation had found that “114 potentially relevant files” to the abuse investigation “had been presumed destroyed, missing or not found” – further fuelling claims of a cover-up.
DICKENS was a colourful, rent-a-quote MP who was often mocked for malapropisms, including a reference to the “Prevention of Television Act”. He once called a press conference to announce that he had been unfaithful to his wife.
But he fought a serious and determined battle to protect children from sexual abuse. A former amateur boxer who had sparred with the British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper, Dickens was not afraid to land a few blows on the Establishment – or to take a few below the belt. He had felt the Establishment’s wrath after naming Sir Peter Hayman, a highranking diplomat, who had held senior posts in the Ministry of Defence and Nato delegation, as a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, set up in 1974. Hayman, who had used the name “Henderson” to protect his identity, was arrested in October 1978, after hardcore child pornography addressed to him was found on a bus.
He received only a caution but Dickens used parliamentary privilege to name him in questions to Sir Michael Havers, the attorney-general.
Dickens said his use of privilege had led to a backlash from fellow MPs, including his friend Smith.
Smith, like Savile, was exposed as a serial child abuser only after his death. Smith was a visitor to Elm Guest House in southwest London which was run by Carole Kasir, a German, and is at the centre of the police investigation.
It is claimed that boys from a local care home were taken to the guest house to be abused.
The guest house closed in 1982 after a police raid during which an under-age boy was removed from the property.
Kasir died eight years later and an inquest returned a verdict of suicide, although there were claims that she was murdered because of what she knew. The Sunday Times traced one of the Elm House victims said to have been abused by a senior Tory MP to his home in America. He declined to talk about what had happened.
Barry Dickens said his father had received “many death threats” from people trying to silence him but “he didn’t care.
He was whiter than white and wouldn’t be deterred.” Dickens’s homes in London and Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, were burgled after he named Hayman.”It was done very professionally,” Barry Dickens said.
“They came home after a late vote one night, in the early hours of the morning, and they walked into the bedroom and found a hole cut into the bedroom roof.
The burglars left the London flat place upside down but nothing was taken.
In the main house they went in through the cellar.”
DIANNE CORE, who founded the Childwatch charity in the 1980s and worked closely with Dickens, believes the dossier has been destroyed.
“It was dynamite,” she said.
“But there was “a massive cover-up culture in the 1980s and the 1990s.
Child abuse was an embarrassment.
If you got close to anybody of any importance, in showbiz or government, that you suspected was an abuser you were told, ‘It’s not in the public interest.’ I was told that so many times over the years.
It was as though we were accused of fantasising.” The only other non-Establishment person who knew what was in the dossier was Dickens’s wife Norma, who worked as his secretary.
She never spoke about it, according to Barry.
Dickens had kept a copy of the dossier in their office at home but Norma got rid of it when they were moving house and had a lot of things in storage.
“Dad went into hospital at that time and eventually died,” Barry said. “Mum had to decide what she did and didn’t need.” In 2012 Tom Watson, the Labour MP, revived the claims about a paedophile ring and the Home Office commissioned a review of historical abuse claims.
It found that the Dickens dossier had not been “retained” and that the Home Office “acted appropriately, referring information … to the relevant authorities”.
It also said that four cases involved Home Office staff. Last week it emerged that the dossier was understood to have named a former Tory MP who was found with pornography videos featuring children “clearly under 12”, but no action had been taken. Victims of the child abuse scandal in the 1980s have told police that their abusers included a prominent Conservative and a Labour parliamentarian, according to Danczuk, who is leading calls for a “Hillsborough-style” inquiry into the allegations.
Danczuk also claimed that a senior Conservative MP tried to stop him from challenging Brittan last week over what he knew.
“The MP said, ‘I had Diana Brittan on the phone over the weekend and she’s worried you’re going to target her husband at this select committee.
He then said she made it clear that he is very unwell … the gist of it was that if you name him tomorrow you could well kill him.” When Brittan emerged from his home last Wednesday and admitted he had passed the Dickens dossier to officials in 1983, Danczuk was not impressed. “Brittan came bounding out of his house in Pimlico in front of the press but on Monday night I was given the impression that he was at death’s door.
One gets the impression that they were trying to pull a fast one.” The Home Office said its review had shown than Brittan “acted appropriately” but Danczuk said he found it “astonishing” that the former home secretary had changed his story about the dossier.
He believes that child abuse allegations have been covered up by all political parties and the secrecy culture continues.
“If Savile was named in this dossier then we know that the authorities could have stopped 30 years of abuse by that man,” he said.
“If the prime minister thinks it’s going to go away as an issue, he’s sadly wrong.” Back in Wiltshire, Barry Dickens wants the people named in the dossier to be exposed.
“That’s what Dad worked for and that’s what the victims deserve,” he said. “Justice has to be done after all these years.”
What happened to the ‘paedophile dossier’? 1985 Dickens tells Commons his two homes were broken into and his name appeared on a killer’s hit-list around the time he named Hayman.
1995 Dickens dies aged 63.
October 2012 Tom Watson MP raises concern over ‘ignored’ 1980s paedophile allegations January 2013 Police launch Operation Fernbridge into allegations of child abuse at Elm Guest House, southwest London, in 1980s.
2013 Home Office review finds 1984 letter from Brittan to Dickens saying concerns were passed to the police but Dickens’s dossier was “not retained”.
July 2014 Brittan says he cannot recall receiving the dossier, then says he does remember and he asked officials to investigate
1981 Geoffrey Dickens MP names Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile
1983 Dickens hands Leon Brittan, home secretary, dossier of alleged VIP paedophiles
GRAPHIC: Leon Brittan as home secretary when he was given a dossier about child sex abuse, reflected in the headlines of the time
The Sun, July 6th, 2014
Louise Mensch, ‘Child abuse isn’t party political… covering it up is’
NICK CLEGG – step away from the brink.
The hypocrite and political coward desperately tried to stop a child sex abuse inquiry last week, hiding behind “ongoing police inquiries”.
“As the files are with the police, we should leave them to get on with it,” he said.
Oh, really, Nick? Well, the public wants to know about cover-ups and Sir Cyril Smith – one of the most famous Lib Dem MPs ever, a pillar of the establishment, a knight of the realm – was at the heart of it.
A paedophile to rival Jimmy Savile in his evil, operating at the heart of Parliament.
Clegg’s motivation is obvious. He doesn’t want the world to know what the Lib Dems knew as we approach the 2015 election. What they covered up.
In contrast, it was Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens who carefully put together the dossier on paedophiles that was handed to Leon Brittan.
Brittan’s changing story on this won’t wash.
Let’s remember that, as Home Secretary, he failed to cut funding for the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). And Labour has no credibility on this because Harriet Harman worked for a group affiliated to PIE, with her Labour MP husband Jack Dromey.
NEITHER has ever apologised. Consider that again.
Harriet Harman is not a figure from the past. She’s not an ex-Cabinet minister from the Eighties. She is Ed Miliband’s No2. And she has never apologised.
That is utterly revolting.
Paedophilia is not a matter of party politics. But cover-ups ARE – and the current set of party leaders will be judged on how quickly and openly they move to investigate the Elm Guest House – where MPs joined other establishment figures to abuse children – the Dickens dossier, and institutional abuse.
I believe Nick Clegg knows very well the Lib Dems knew all about Cyril Smith – and hushed it up as a party.
Ed Miliband has no credibility while Harriet Harman is Labour’s deputy leader.
For David Cameron, the matter hangs in the balance.
Tory MP Dickens tried to open up the scandal to the light. Ex Home Secretary Leon Brittan was in charge while it was destroyed and has since changed his story.
We now hear a former Tory Cabinet minister was caught with child porn tapes.
It will be deadly to public trust if Parliament tries to protect former colleagues – now dead or in the Lords. And in the age of the internet, the truth will eventually come out.
Just ask jailed Rolf Harris, who a few years ago was at the Palace painting the Queen. Now he will end his life at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, and quite right too.
David Cameron should begin this inquiry. The weight of unanswered questions and public suspicion is too much for anything else.
Clegg and Harman have harmed their parties irreparably on this issue.
Cameron has a chance to prove himself open and just, willing to look at the brutal facts, no matter how many offenders were Tories – and he should take it.
GRAPHIC: PROBE … Cyril Smith and Nick Clegg
The Daily Telegraph, July 7th, 2014
Tom Whitehead, ‘Decades of child abuse ‘covered up’ by Whitehall; Missing evidence, a ‘protected’ Establishment, and VIP paedophiles who felt ‘untouchable”
THEY were, and some still are, household names, some of the most powerful and respected people in the country.
For the last 50 years the politicians, who operated a VIP Westminster paedophile ring from the heart of the British Establishment, felt untouchable after successfully suppressing their names from being linked with it, it is alleged.
There are now allegations of a massive cover-up across Whitehall spanning decades, pressure on the police and prosecutors not to pursue cases and the apparent disappearance of key dossiers and files detailing claims of child abuse and alleged attackers.
More than 10 current and former politicians are said to be on a list of alleged child abusers now being investigated by police and pressure is growing for a public inquiry. But the belated investigations only serve to highlight decades of apparent inaction in the corridors of power to get to the truth despite relentless campaigning by a number of MPs.
The story begins with Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP, who was exposed in 2012, two years after his death, aged 82.
Rumours of child abuse had dogged the 29-stone Rochdale politician throughout his career but no action was ever taken. As early as the Sixties, he allegedly routinely assaulted young boys, especially in children’s homes and special schools in his home town, where he was MP from 1972 to 1992.
He was also said to have been a visitor to the notorious Elm Guest House in south-west London, now the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring.
It was claimed earlier this year that police received 144 complaints against him over the years but no prosecution was brought, prompting allegations he was protected by influential friends. Smith was named as a paedophile in the House of Commons in 2012 by the current Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.
However, Smith was only one of a number of alleged high-profile child abusers within Westminster said to have been named in a 40-page dossier submitted to the Home Office by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983.
Mr Dickens told his family at the time that it named leading public figures, including senior politicians, and was going to “blow it all apart”.
It was also said to contain information on the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange which was set up in 1974 to promote and lobby for the legalisation of sexual activity between minors and adults.
But the timebomb never exploded. The home secretary at the time, Lord (Leon) Brittan, was sent the file but no record of any subsequent criminal inquiry has been found and the dossier itself has disappeared.
Lord Brittan, who was home secretary under Margaret Thatcher from 1983 to 1985, is now facing questions over his handling of the document and inconsistencies in his account of what he did with it.
He told journalists last year he had no recollection of it but last week said instead that he had been handed a “substantial bundle of papers” by Mr Dickens in November 1983 and had passed them to officials for further investigation but had no further dealings with it.
Just hours later he amended his position again when proof emerged that he had written to Mr Dickens in March 1984 to say the dossier had been assessed by prosecutors and handed to the police.
Over the weekend, Mark Sedwill, the Home Office permanent secretary, con-firmed that a review had not found “a single dossier from Mr Dickens”.
However, officials did uncover “several sets of correspondence over a number of years” from the MP to several home secretaries containing allegations of sexual offences.
Mr Sedwill also revealed that 114 offi-cial files relating to historic allegations of organised child abuse have also gone missing.
The former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit, who also served in Mrs Thatcher’s government, said there “may well” have been a political cover-up over child abuse taking place at Westminster in the Eighties.
“At that time I think most people would have thought that the Establishment, the system, was to be protected and if a few things had gone wrong here and there that it was more important to protect the system than to delve too far into it,” he said.
There are also questions over what happened to evidence surrounding a senior Tory MP who was said to have been found with child pornography videos by a customs officer in the Eighties.
The politician, a former MP believed to be another name in the Dickens dossier, was stopped in Dover after acting suspiciously. The videos, which allegedly involved children under 12 taking part in sex acts, were passed to the officer’s superiors but the MP was never arrested or charged. The tapes and paperwork have also gone missing.
The customs officer has since spoken to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, the Scotland Yard investigation into Cyril Smith and others at Elm Guest House.
Last month, police searched the Westminster office of the Labour peer Lord Janner of Braunstone in connection with historical child sex abuse allegations.
The search was part of an ongoing inquiry linked to children’s homes in Leicestershire and came after officers searched his home in Golders Green, north-west London, in December. The peer has not been arrested.
Another said to be on the police list of alleged abusers is Sir Peter Morrison, the parliamentary private secretary to Mrs Thatcher, who died in 1995. He was linked to allegations of child abuse at homes in North Wales.
The disclosures were made as it emerged over the weekend that Lord Brittan himself has been questioned by police in connection with a rape allegation.
He was understood to have been interviewed under caution last month after a woman claimed she was raped in London in 1967. The peer is believed to strongly deny the allegation.
The Times, July 8th, 2014
Fiona Hamilton, ‘Rape claim is unfounded, says Brittan’
Lord Brittan of Spennithorne yesterday described a historical rape allegation against him as “wholly without foundation”.
The former home secretary was interviewed under caution last month after a woman claimed that she was attacked at his London flat in 1967 when she was 19.
Lord Brittan, 74, said in a statement through his solicitors: “It is true that I have been questioned by the police about a serious allegation made against me. This allegation is wholly without foundation.”
The woman, 66, has accused Scotland Yard officers of trying to undermine her claim and of questioning whether she was promiscuous at the time. A spokeswoman for the Met said: “This remains a live investigation and it is not appropriate to comment.”
Lord Brittan’s statement also dismissed separate suggestions that he failed to deal adequately with documents passed to him in the 1980s by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, which allegedly named paedophiles operating at Westminster. He said such suggestions were “completely without foundation”.
The development came after Sir Peter Bottomley, a veteran Conservative MP, said that 30-year-old false claims that he [Sir Peter] was involved in child abuse were being recirculated. The MP for Worthing West denied any involvement and warned that he would sue for libel if publishers repeated the claims. He said that he was also being falsely linked to the Elm Guest House, alleged to have been the scene of paedophile activity and sex parties attended by politicians and other prominent figures in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sir Peter successfully sued The Mail on Sunday in 1989 after it printed false claims against him relating to abuse and warned other newspapers at the time not to repeat them.
He told the Today programme on Radio 4: “Now people are trying to restart it. And people have also said that I am somehow connected to the Elm Guest House – a place I’ve not been to, I’ve not been involved. I give this public warning: if any substantial publisher links me in any defamatory way, they can expect the same kind of action as The Mail on Sunday got”.
Sir Edward Garnier, the Tory MP, told the Commons that there was a “dripfeed of insinuations”. He said that the guilty parties should be convicted but the reputations of innocent people should not be ruined.
The late Conservative peer Lord McAlpine of West Green was wrongly implicated by the BBC’s Newsnight programme in 2012 over allegations that politicians sexually abused boys in the care of the Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
The report did not name Lord McAlpine but he was then wrongly identified on the internet. The BBC apologised unreservedly and settled his defamation claim. He then pursued some of those who named him on Twitter, including Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the Commons.
GRAPHIC: Lord Brittan said he was questioned by police over “a serious allegation”
Daily Mail, July 8th, 2014 Tuesday
Stephen Wright and Daniel Bates, ‘Victim called himself Daddy’s Little Princess’
A BOY linked to the alleged Westminster paedophile ring was so traumatised by his ordeal that he despairingly referred to himself as daddy’s little princess’, it emerged last night.
The tormented youngster also had a pet name for one of his suspected attackers that suggested he was a politician who later became a cabinet minister.
The disclosures were made by a care worker who comforted the youngster when he was rescued from years of alleged abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London.
The care worker was present when the boy – then eight or nine – was taken into care in 1982 and interviewed by police about his ordeal. The child said the suspected abuser worked in the big house’, which detectives believed could have meant the Houses of Parliament.
He also provided social workers with the man’s first name, which the Mail is not revealing for legal reasons.
With the help of overseas law enforcement agencies, Scotland Yard traced the alleged victim, now in his 40s, to the United States in a bid to gather further evidence about his suffering three decades ago. But according to sources in America, the alleged victim either changed his story or declined to give a statement elaborating on what he told police in the 1980s.
* A Labour minister suspected of sexually abusing children with a convicted paedophile tried to help the pervert foster two young brothers, it was claimed yesterday.
The politician, said to be close to Tony Blair, was alleged to have brought pressure on social services to allow children’s home boss Michael John Carroll to get care of two vulnerable boys aged 12 and 14. Carroll said the claim was nonsense.
Daily Star, July 9th, 2014
Ed Riley, ‘Major public figures involved in YEARS of child abuse! Claims whistleblower’
A VIP paedophile ring involved at least 20 major public figures who abused kids for decades, a whistleblower has claimed.
Top politicians, military figures and even high-ranking officials linked to the Royal Family were among the alleged members.
The Daily Star has seen a list of the suspected abusers which includes the names of six one-time MPs.
The claims were made by former child protection officer Peter McKelvie.
He said victims were treated like “lumps of meat” and taken from place to place to be molested by the “elite” group.
But he claims police probes were blocked.
Peter McKelvie, former child protection officer
It comes after Home Secretary Theresa May, left, earlier this week announced two probes into the scandal engulfing Westminster.
Mr McKelvie said: “There is strong evidence that there’s been an extremely powerful elite among the highest levels of the political classes.”
Home Office top civil servant Mark Sedwill is to be quizzed about the handling of abuse claims, including loss of files.
A dossier handed to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983 is said to have named Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, and Lib Dem MP for Rochdale, Cyril Smith, who died in 2010.
Related articles Home Secretary lauches probe into child abuse allegations X-Men child abuse claim: Director linked to ‘paedophile parties’ SAME AS TV PAEDO SAVILE: Top cop compares disgraced Max Clifford to evil child abuser
The Sun, July 27th, 2014
Lynn Davidson, ‘I told Mrs T police were probing top Tory’s sex parties with young boys’
A FORMER top policeman has told how he warned PM Margaret Thatcher that one of her senior aides was suspected of holding sex parties for underage boys.
Personal bodyguard Barry Strevens informed Maggie of damning intelligence that Peter Morrison could be a paedo – but she ignored it and promoted him to a key role regardless.
Maggie appointed Morrison, who she trusted as a loyal confidant, to be deputy party chairman in the 1980s despite police misgivings about his private life.
Besides rumours of sex parties, stories abounded of him kerb-crawling and being cautioned for having sex with a boy of 15 in a public toilet.
Old Etonian Morrison – now dead – has since also been linked to scandals at children’s homes in Wales. Last night Barry, now 70 and retired, said of Mrs Thatcher’s decision to promote him: “I wouldn’t say she was naive but I would say she would not have thought people around her would be like that.
“I am sure he would have given her assurances about the rumours as otherwise she wouldn’t have given him the job.”
In an exclusive interview with The Sun on Sunday, ex-detective chief inspector Barry said he first heard rumours about Morrison from a senior Cheshire Police officer.
He knew Mrs T was considering appointing Morrison, the MP for Chester, as deputy party chairman to replace disgraced Jeffrey Archer – who had stepped down over prostitute allegations in 1986.
So he immediately dashed to Downing Street and had an evening meeting with the PM and her private secretary Archie Hamilton, who took notes of what was said.
Barry recalled: “A senior officer in Chester had told me there were rumours going around about underage boys – one aged 15 – attending sex parties at a house there belonging to Peter Morrison.
“After we returned to No10 I asked to go and see her immediately. It was unusual for me to do that so they would have known it was something serious.
“When I went in Archie Hamilton was there. I told them exactly what had been said about Peter. Archie took notes and they thanked me for coming.
“There was no proof but the officer I spoke to was certain and said local press knew a lot more.
“This was just after the Jeffrey Archer scandal and I knew she needed to know about it because they were deciding on the appointment of the next deputy chairman. “I always told her things straight, as I saw them. She listened and thanked me.
“I assumed Archie Hamilton would have spoken to Peter Morrison following that.
“When he was appointed I assumed there had been nothing to the claims – as there was no way on earth she would have given him the job otherwise.”
Since then Morrison has been named in connection with a series of official inquiries into allegations of child abuse in North Wales children’s homes. But even at the time of his appointment there were stories of him being seen kerb-crawling for rent boys in central London and being cautioned for having sex in a public toilet in Crewe with a 15-yearold boy.
‘He was supportive and she liked him’ Senior Tory figure Lord Tebbit even admitted hearing rumours about Morrison and young boys and confronting him – and being met with a flat denial.
Morrison, a member of a wealthy family who own the Scottish island of Islay, was a close confidant of Mrs T. She spent her first holiday as PM on the whisky-producing Hebridean isle and Barry, who accompanied her on one trip, remembered Morrison as an affable chap.
He said: “He was very personable. She liked him. He was very supportive to her.
“I’m sure Peter knew I had spoken to her about him because he mentioned something to me when we were away in the US and I knew what he was referring to.”
Morrison’s father John was made Lord Margadale in recognition of his services to the Conservatives and he himself was knighted in 1988.
Maggie later made him her parliamentary private secretary and put him in charge of her disastrous re-election campaign in 1990, where she lost office.
However Morrison continued to work for her out of loyalty as an unpaid parliamentary aide. He died of a heart attack at 51 in 1995. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a full-scale investigation into historical claims of child abuse at Westminster and an alleged paedophile ring.
Asked whether Maggie had considered the possibility some of her closest aides were paedophiles, Barry said he thought she would have had no idea.
He said: “It was a different generation and she would need solid proof to convince her.
“If all the rumours turn out to be true I am sad because Peter Morrison failed Maggie.”
Speaking outside his Westminster flat, Archie Hamilton confirmed Barry Strevens’ account of coming to No10 but failed to remember there being any mention of underage boys.
He said: “I remember Barry Strevens coming in and what he actually said at the time was that there were parties at Peter Morrison’s home in Cheshire and there were only men who were there.
“I don’t remember him saying they were underage. There may have been but the point he was making to her was that there were only men involved in the party.
“She listened to what he said and that was it. It was merely a party and men were there.”
Asked about rumours at Westminster about Peter Morrison, he added: “There were always rumours if you weren’t married, whoever you were.”
email@example.com DYNASTY WITH LINKS TO TOP SIR Peter Morrison was part of a rich political dynasty loyal to the Conservatives. His father John was a close friend of Margaret Thatcher and his sister Mary is one of the Queen’s most senior ladies-in-waiting. Morrison, who studied law at Oxford, became MP for Chester in 1974. Described as a closet gay – and said by fellow Tory MP Edwina Currie to be a “noted pederast” – he reportedly took young boys to his hunting lodge in Scotland. In 2012 ex-minister Rod Richards implicated him in the North Wales homes scandals where up to 650 children were abused.
The 32yrs trying to find truth November 1983: Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens hands dossier on alleged child abusers in establishment to Home Secretary Leon Brittan. March 1984: Mr Brittan informs Mr Dickens the 40-page dossier has been assessed and given to police. October 1986: Maggie Thatcher’s bodyguard tells her of sex allegations concerning Peter Morrison. May 1995: Mr Dickens dies. His wife later destroys a copy of the dossier.
September 2010: Death of Rochdale MP Cyril Smith, who was never charged with any child abuse offences. September 2012: Jimmy Savile abuse scandal breaks. October 2012: Labour MP Tom Watson claims “clear intelligence” suggests a powerful paedo network linked to Parliament and No10. November 2012: New Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk claims Cyril Smith, right, sexually abused boys. CPS reveals it considered allegations against him. December 2012: Cops set up Operation Fairbank to look into allegations about Elm Guest House, where it is claimed establishment figures abused boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
March 2013: Lord Brittan is asked about the dossier by journalists but has “no recollection” of it.
December: London home of Labour peer Lord Janner is searched by police. He is not arrested.
June 2014: Lord Janner’s Westminster office is searched by police. Later it emerges the Home Office can find no record of Mr Dickens’ dossier.
July 2: Lord Brittan confirms receiving a dossier and asking the Home Office to “look carefully” at it.
July 7: Home Secretary Theresa May launches child abuse inquiry.
July 8: Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is made chairman of review into abuse. July 13: She quits when it is revealed her late brother Sir Michael Havers tried to stop suspected paedophiles being named in Commons.
GRAPHIC: Peter Morrison, seen left with Mrs Thatcher at a memorial in 1990
Ex-policeman Barry Strevens, seen here with Premier Maggie in 1985
MP … Morrison in 1976
Warning . . Barry, now retired
Meeting … Maggie Thatcher
The Sunday Times, July 13th, 2014
James Gillespie, Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Marie Woolf, ‘Police ‘superlist’ of 21 child abusers; Thirteen forces are now working together in a huge investigation as hundreds more victims accuse officials of a cover-up’
WHEN officers from 13 constabularies met at the headquarters of Merseyside police last month, they each brought with them a secret list bearing the names of elected officials and celebrities who were being investigated for alleged child sex abuse.
The 30 officers at the meeting compared notes to ensure there was no duplication and then drew up a “superlist” of the 21 best-known suspects – half of whose names have not yet entered the public domain.
The officers were from forces including the Metropolitan police, Greater Manchester, North Wales, Leicestershire, Lancashire and Surrey. There are now 21 separate child abuse investigations under way.
The sheer scale and number of police inquiries means that detectives face a huge task, not just in bringing the guilty to justice but also in reassuring the public that reports of child sexual abuse will be properly investigated regardless of whoever is accused.
There is growing concern that many historic allegations were hushed up because they involved powerful figures.
Over the past week, hundreds of new victims of child sexual abuse – several of whom were allegedly attacked by senior politicians – have approached MPs, complaining about a cover-up.
Some of the most serious claims made against MPs are likely to have been recorded by the parties’ whips’ offices in the House of Commons.But it emerged this weekend that the Conservative office has destroyed or shredded an archive of notes.
Former Tory whips say a policy of shredding notes recording the behaviour of MPs, including their sexual proclivities, drunkenness, extramarital affairs and financial problems, was introduced at the end of 1996 following fears the information could be made public via a court disclosure order.
The notes were regarded as the personal property of the chief whip, who on leaving office would take the notes and their carbon copies home. Former whips said chief whips usually destroyed the documents.
A long-serving former whip said: “It was tittle-tattle that was extremely useful to whips and sometimes it was just something funny but may have looked from the outside spiteful or malicious.
“Sometimes it would just be very silly. You wrote on it [the whips’ notes] and you could pull it out and there was a copy behind it. They were read out at whips’ meetings.”
While many of the comments may have been little more than rumour and innuendo, the destruction of the notes will add to fears that misconduct by MPs has been covered up.
Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, who has been contacted by dozens of alleged victims, said: “I am absolutely convinced that there has been a series of cover-ups that protected powerful and influential people.”
Mark Williams-Thomas, the former detective and broadcaster who first exposed Jimmy Savile’s offending, said he had received new information about a very senior Tory “yet to fall under scrutiny” and allegations that child sexual abuse claims against the figure were covered up by key Establishment officials in the 1980s.
The Department of Health also faces allegations that it failed to act after being passed a confidential report in the 1990s that exposed a British paedophile network. It is claimed the network included civil servants, a paediatrician and a key adviser on social services policy.
A two-page report warned how members of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which lobbied for sex with children to be legalised, and other associates were involved in a child sex network. It said the evidence comprised “letters, diaries, photographs, magazines and videos.”
The May 1993 document stated: “Amongst the men who have been identified as paedophile or likely paedophiles are a [senior churchman], current social services and education staff, and civil servants.”
Hereford and Worcester child protection officers who compiled the report said the material had been obtained during an investigation into Peter Righton, who had worked as director of education at the National Institute for Social Work and as a consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, a leading charity.
A separate document called for a team funded by the Home Office and Department of Health to investigate “the infiltration of the social work profession” and warned of the “traffic of children around the country as they are passed from the hands of one set of abusers to another”.
Child protection experts say it was disgraceful that the department did not launch an immediate investigation. Righton, who died in 2007, was arrested in 1992 during an investigation into child pornography. The five suitcases of material found at his home in Evesham, Worcestershire, pointed to a network of abusers in senior positions of authority.
The material included a list of the names of 100 children suspected to have been abused by Righton; details of a suspected child abuser in the British Council, the government’s international cultural organisation; and the activities of Morris Fraser, a child psychiatrist and child abuser.
Terry Shutt, a former police officer involved in the Righton investigation, said: “In among all the other documentation, there was a definite link to establishment figures, including senior members of the clergy. So for me there was a definite feel that this was something bigger than we were looking at locally and that it should have been investigated further.”
Liz Davies, a social worker who blew the whistle on abuse in children’s homes in Islington, north London, and who also helped to investigate Righton, said: “People who did not act when they should have done now need to be called to account.”
When Davies left Islington with a “big suitcase of papers”, she started working with Scotland Yard on child abuse connections around the country.
Details of the information passed to the department have emerged as police investigate and review hundreds of cases of historical abuse at children’s homes, schools and detentions centres.
Baroness Butler-Sloss, the retired High Court judge, was last week appointed to head an inquiry into the handling of child abuse allegations by public institutions. David Cameron said it would “make sure these things cannot happen again”.
But Butler-Sloss’s appointment has been met with some scepticism because of her establishment connections and allegations that she avoided naming a bishop in a previous inquiry report on sex abuse because “she cared about the church”.
Williams-Thomas described her appointment as “questionable”. “You are going to be challenging members of the establishment – this is what it is about,” he said.
“It is not just about MPs, it’s about children’s services directors and managers, senior police officers and church officials … Significantly she stood down from the inquest into Diana and Dodi Fayed. If she couldn’t cope with that big an inquiry, this one – if done correctly – will dwarf it. ” Another review, headed by Peter Wanless, the head of the NSPCC, will examine how police and prosecutors handled information given to them. It was ordered after it emerged that information provided to the Home Office by former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens on alleged paedophiles had disappeared.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has tripled the number of detectives working on inquiries that include Operation Fernbridge, looking at allegations that children were abused by paedophiles, including members of the political establishment, at Elm Guest House, in Barnes, southwest London.
Elm Guest House was a gay brothel run by Carole and Haroon “Harry” Kasir in the late Seventies before it was raided and closed down by police in 1982. The Kasirs were convicted at the Old Bailey in 1983 of running a disorderly house, fined and given suspended sentences.
Rumours continued to swirl around the guest house with allegations that underage male prostitutes (the homosexual age of consent was then 21) worked there; that boys from Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, were taken there before being plied with alcohol and abused, and that the guests included VIPs.
A list that purports to record the names of regular visitors includes a number of senior MPs, a high-ranking policeman, a leading tycoon, figures from the National Front and Sinn Fein, an official of the Royal Household, an MI5 officer, two pop stars and the Soviet spy Anthony Blunt. Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP for Rochdale and an alleged serial paedophile, has also been named as a regular at the guest house.
The truth, however, is difficult to http://www.establish.No one disputes that it was a brothel and advertised in gay publications, offering a discount to Spartacus Club members. This, according to some, was a reference to an organisation based in Amsterdam, which catered to those seeking underage sex.
Another inquiry, Operation Winthorpe, is looking at separate allegations, coincidentally also in the Barnes area, in which five people have been arrested.
Perhaps the biggest inquiry is being conducted by the National Crime Agency, which is looking at sexual abuse of children in several care homes in North Wales. A number of prominent people have been linked to this abuse, including Sir Peter Morrison, a Tory MP and former aide to Lady Thatcher. The agency said this weekend 46 people had been identified as potential suspects and 20 had been arrested and a further eight interviewed under caution.
In Leicestershire, detectives have searched the home of a former MP over allegations of child abuse. In Manchester, police are examining claims of abuse by Cyril Smith at Knowl View, a residential school for boys and, possibly, other care homes.
There are also several inquiries in Northern Ireland where police are reported to be reviewing evidence of the involvement of establishment figures from the military and politics at the Kincora home for boys.
The Department of Health said: “The department will co-operate fully with the inquiry and will make all known documentation available so that it can be independently and thoroughly investigated.”
Six areas where historic child abuse by MPs is being investigated conducting ‘a number’ conducting ‘a number’ Northern Ireland Detectives are conducting ‘a number’ of historical cases. They are said to be re-examining files relating to a sex abuse scandal at Kincora, a former boys home in Belfast. That is said to implicate senior political and military figures No arrests yet Manchester Police examining claims of sex abuse by Cyril Smith, left, former Liberal MP for Rochdale at Knowl View, a residential school for http://www.boys.No arrests yet Leicestershire Police have searched the home and House of Lords office of a Labour peer. He has not been questioned Total of 21 cases involving politicians and celebrities being investigated by 13 police forces East Anglia Unspecified allegations said to involve at least one former MP. Police action unclear London Detectives are probing allegations of sex abuse against children by at least two MPs at Elm Guest House in Barnes North Wales Police have arrested or interviewed 28 people linked to sex abuse claims at care homes. Members of the Tory establishment, including former Tory MP Sir Peter Morrison, right, an aide to Lady Thatcher, have been named in allegations Police are also reviewing allegations about key members of the Paedophile Information Exchange, which include former social work adviser Peter Righton, above What the public thinks Do you think it is probably true or false that some senior politicans in the 1970s and 1980s were involved in abusing children? True 76% False 4% Don’t know 20% 56% think there should be a full public inquiry Source: YouGov questioned 1,963 adults on July 10-11
SOME OF THE MOST SERIOUS CLAIMS MADE AGAINST MPS HAVE BEEN RECORDED BY PARTY WHIPS. IT EMERGED THIS WEEKEND THAT THE CONSERVATIVE OFFICE SHREDDED ITS NOTES
FIVE SUITCASES OF MATERIAL FOUND AT PETER RIGHTON’S HOME AFTER HIS ARREST POINTED TO A NETWORK OF ABUSERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY
GRAPHIC: BOB BARCLAY/TONY HARRIS
Manchester police are investigating claims of abuse by Cyril Smith, left
The Daily Telegraph, August 15th, 2014
Auslan Cramb, ‘I was victim of paedophile ring says woman ‘abused’ by Tory MP’
A WOMAN has claimed she was raped by a Tory MP who was a close ally of Margaret Thatcher and sexually abused by her father, a senior figure in the Scottish legal establishment.
Susie Henderson said she was sexually abused as a small child by her father, Robert Henderson QC, and by his friend Sir Nicholas Fairbairn.
She has waived her right to anonymity to claim she was the victim of an organised paedophile ring that also involved other legal figures.
Miss Henderson, 48, a mother of one who works in social care, first made allegations against Fairbairn, who was made solicitor general of Scotland by Mrs Thatcher, in 2000, when she was known only as Julie X. The police launched an inquiry at the time but no charges were brought after she halted the investigation when part of her statement was leaked to the press.
She said she had now decided to disclose her identity after the late Tory MP, who died in 1995, was linked to the scandal over the Elm Guest House in London, where youngsters from children’s homes were allegedly abused in the 1980s.
Last month, Fairbairn was named as one of those believed to have visited the house, which was also said to have been visited by Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP who has been exposed as a paedophile.
Miss Henderson, who lives with her partner near Inverness, said she wanted a new police inquiry. She told the Daily Mail: “I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very evil. Not just to me.”
She added that she believes her father, who died in 2012, began abusing her at the age of three and repeatedly abused her until she was eight.
Miss Henderson also claimed her father, who was highly regarded as a defence lawyer and temporary sheriff, could be sadistically cruel, drank heavily and treated her mother like a “slave”.
She claimed that the family home in Edinburgh was often full of her father’s friends, who also abused her.
She told the newspaper that when she made the claims in 2000, senior Tories described her allegations as “rubbish” and her father phoned her and warned her not to continue making the allegations.
Miss Henderson also disclosed that she developed an eating disorder as a teenager, and that following the birth of her son in her twenties she suffered postnatal depression that caused many memories of the abuse to return and later spent time in a psychiatric unit.
She said she now hoped that she would be believed, adding: “He [Fairbairn] used to pay me money for it. A pound here, a pound there. It was as if it was his way of thinking it okay.”
Graeme Pearson, Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman, said ministers could not “stand back” from the call for an inquiry.
Fairbairn’s daughter Charlotte told the newspaper that she “utterly doubted” that her father was a child abuser, adding that he was “not here to defend himself”.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Robert Henderson claimed a so-called “magic circle” of judges, sheriffs and advocates were conspiring to ensure that homosexual criminals were given softtouch treatment by the courts. The claims were dismissed in an official inquiry.
GRAPHIC: Susie Henderson waived her anonymity to accuse her late father Robert Henderson QC and the Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, right, of abusing her when she was a child
BRUCE ADAMS/DAILY MAIL /REX & NEWSLINE
The Times, August 15th, 2014
Jeremy Watson, ‘Minister raped me, says QC’s daughter’
The daughter of a prominent QC said she was raped at the age of four by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, who served as Scotland’s solicitor-general under Margaret Thatcher.
Susie Henderson has waived her right to anonymity to talk about the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of the late Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, a former MP for Kinross & Western Perthshire.
Miss Henderson, 48, the daughter of Robert Henderson, a temporary sheriff, said she was also abused by her father. Locations included the five-storey Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s New Town where her family lived.
“I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very evil,” she said. “Not just to me. There are other children out there. And these were people in power. We put them there and they are supposed to be trusted.”
Ms Henderson also alleged that she first made allegations against Sir Nicholas and her father in 2000 but an initial police investigation did not lead to charges. She is calling for the investigation to be reopened by police.
She said Sir Nicholas first abused her at one of her father’s parties at his Edinburgh home. She said: “We were in the kitchen. I was maybe four years old. I could have been younger.
“I had a skirt on and Nicholas and my dad had been drinking, and my dad told me to sit on Nicholas’s knee. I sat on his knee and he put his hand up my skirt and abused me. My dad just stood there laughing.”
In another incident, Ms Henderson, who lives near Inverness, said that Sir Nicholas raped her when she was in bed with him and “another guy” in a guest room on the top floor of her family home.
Her father, she says, abused her between the ages of three and eight.
She acknowledges that parts of her story may sound unbelievable. She asked: “Who would believe that the solicitor-general and other top lawyers would be abusing children?” She said she had chosen to come forward and be named after Fairbairn was implicated in the Westminster scandal over the Elm guest house in London, in which young people were abused by high-profile figures in the 1980s.
Fairbairn died in 1995 at the age of 61, while Henderson died in 2012 aged 75.
Lists of VIPs visiting Elm guest house are being used by Scotland Yard as evidence.
GRAPHIC: Susie Henderson said she was raped aged four by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn
Keir Mudie, ‘Battle to expose UK pervs in high places’
Sunday People, November 9th, 2014
CLAIMS that an evil web of VIP paedophiles exists in British public life – protected and hidden by rich and powerful people – go back more than 30 years.
The Sunday People has led the way in exposing paedophile scan-dals since Labour MP Tom Watson MP stunned the Commons in 2012 with claims of a paedophile net-work linked to Downing Street.
We told how a damning dossier drawn up by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens and handed to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan has disappeared. We also shone a on the Paedophile Exchange and links to government – member Geoffrey a GCHQ worker who secrets to Russia.
We told how boys care were taken be abused at a paedophile brothel at the Elm Guest House in south-west London. In the late 1970s and early 80s it was frequented by politicians like Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith, MI5 agents, a pop legend and royal art expert and spy Anthony Blunt.
Police launched a criminal investigation last year after being handed a list of around 30 names. A public inquiry into allegations of a cover-up is finally getting underway. But it is proving hard to find someone to head it who is not linked to people in power when child abuse has been alleged. Baroness Butler-Sloss quit as inquiry chairman because her brother Sir Michael Havers was an Attorney General accused of attending underage sex parties.
Her replacement Fiona Woolf also quit after it was revealed she dined with Leon Brittan.
”Homicide’ probe into child abuse’
Press Association, November 14th, 2014
Detectives examining allegations of historic sex abuse with links to government have launched a new investigation into “possible homicide”.
Scotland Yard said Operation Midland was started after officers working on Operation Fairbank, which is looking into claims of “serious non-recent sexual abuse”, were given information about alleged murders.
A spokesman said: “Our inquiries into this, over subsequent weeks, have revealed further information regarding possible homicide. Based on our current knowledge, this is the first time that this specific information has been passed to the Met.”
The BBC quoted a man who, it claimed, has told police investigating the alleged abuse that “former senior military and political figures”, as well as “law enforcement”, were involved.
According to the broadcaster, the witness, now in his 40s, claimed the group had access to 15 to 20 youngsters.
The man, who was speaking anonymously, said: “It started with my father. It started with quite severe physical abuse, quickly turning into sexual as well.
“Within a very short space of time he had handed me over, or whatever you want to call it, to the group. They controlled my life for the next nine years.
“They created fear that penetrated every part of me. That was part of my life, day in and day out. You didn’t question what they wanted, you didn’t hesitate to do what they asked you to do.
“You did what you were told without question or the punishments were very severe. They had no hesitation in doing what they wanted to do.
“Some of them were quite open about who they were. They had no fear at all of being caught, it didn’t even cross their mind. They could do anything they wanted without question and we were told that.
“I’ve never experienced pain like it and I hope I never do again.”
Scotland Yard said: “At this early stage in this inquiry, with much work still to do, it is not appropriate to issue appeals or reveal more information.
“Detectives from the child abuse investigation command are working closely with colleagues from the homicide and major crime command concerning this information, which is being looked at under the name of Operation Midland.”
Operation Fairbank was launched in response to information passed on by MP Tom Watson, who used Prime Minister’s Questions in 2012 to air claims that there was a paedophile ring with links to No 10.
Mr Watson used parliamentary privilege to allege that a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained ”clear intelligence” of a sex abuse gang.
He wrote to Scotland Yard, which has since spawned two more inquiries from Fairbank – Fernbridge, which is looking at claims linked to the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London, in the 1980s, and Cayacos.
In August, Scotland Yard said it had tripled the number of officers investigating the allegations of sex abuse in the wake of the claims of a Westminster cover-up.
The anonymous witness quoted by the BBC urged people to come forward with information. He said: “Anyone who knew anything, it’s important they come forward too. They need to find the strength that we as survivors have done.
“If they have any suspicions, if they have any concerns, if they know they were part of it, they need to come forward and share what they know.
“People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. There are so many people who must have had suspicions. We weren’t smuggled in under a blanket through the back door. It was done openly and people must’ve questioned that. They need to come forward.”
Scotland Yard added: “At this early stage in this inquiry, with much work still to do, it is not appropriate to issue appeals or reveal more information.
“Detectives from the Child Abuse Investigation Command are working closely with colleagues from the Homicide and Major Crime Command concerning this information, which is being looked at under the name of Operation Midland.”
Operation Fairbank was launched in response to information passed on by MP Tom Watson, who used Prime Minister’s Questions in 2012 to air claims that there was a paedophile ring with links to Number 10.
Mr Watson used parliamentary privilege to allege that a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained ”clear intelligence” of a sex abuse gang.
He wrote to Scotland Yard, which has since spawned two more inquiries from Fairbank – Fernbridge, which is looking at claims linked to the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London, in the 1980s, and Cayacos.
In August Scotland Yard said it had tripled the number of officers investigating the allegations of sex abuse in the wake of the claims of a Westminster cover-up.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the number of officers looking in to decades-old allegations has been beefed up to “well over 20”.
Speaking to the police and crime committee at London’s City Hall, he said of the sex abuse claims: “We’ve tripled the number of people in there this week. Well over 20 people will be dedicated to that and we will make an assessment of the cases.
“It takes a little while because sometimes victims will have moved on to other parts of the country, sometimes abroad, and that poses its own challenges. Not all the people are prepared to tell us all the details or to go on to the criminal justice process.”
The BBC quoted a man who, it claimed, has told police investigating the alleged abuse that “former senior military and political figures”, as well as “law enforcement”, were involved.
According to the broadcaster, the witness, now in his 40s, claimed the group had access to 15 to 20 youngsters.
The man, who was speaking anonymously, said: “It started with my father. It started with quite severe physical abuse, quickly turning into sexual as well.
“Within a very short space of time he had handed me over, or whatever you want to call it, to the group.
“They controlled my life for the next nine years.
“They created fear that penetrated every part of me.
“That was part of my life day in and day out.
“You didn’t question what they wanted, you didn’t hesitate to do what they asked you to do.
“You did what you were told without question or the punishments were very severe.
“They had no hesitation in doing what they wanted to do.
“Some of them were quite open about who they were. They had no fear at all of being caught, it didn’t even cross their mind.
“They could do anything they wanted without question and we were told that.
“I’ve never experienced pain like it and I hope I never do again. Some of it was deliberate because they set rules that were impossible to follow. You couldn’t help but break the rules on occasion and you were punished for that, which some of them enjoyed.
“It is something that stays with you forever. It has destroyed my ability to trust. It’s pretty much wrecked any relationships that I’ve had. Intimacy for me is pretty much a no-go area. It’s been hard, and various things will come along at various parts of your life or the year to trip you up or trigger you because the memories never go.
“Anyone who knew anything, it’s important they come forward too. They need to find the strength that we as survivors have done.
“If they have any suspicions, if they have any concerns, if they know they were part of it, they need to come forward and share what they know.
“People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. There are so many people who must have had suspicions. We weren’t smuggled in under a blanket through the back door; it was done openly and people must’ve questioned that. They need to come forward.”
Sean O’Neill, ‘Murdered boy’s father says police ignored informant’,
The Times, November 19th, 2014
The father of a child murder victim claimed last night that his son could have died at the hands of an establishment paedophile ring and that Scotland Yard dismissed information about the crime.
Vishambar Mehrotra, a retired magistrate whose son Vishal, eight, was abducted and murdered in 1981, said he was contacted by someone at the time who told him the boy may have been killed by a group linked to a notorious guesthouse used by paedophiles.
Mr Mehrotra says he took a recording of the phone call from the informant to police but that they did not act on the details it contained – including allegations that “judges and politicians” were involved in an abuse ring.
The caller alleged that Mr Mehrotra’s son may have died after being taken to Elm Guest House in southwest London, which is now the subject of a police investigation into allegations of child sex abuse in the past.
Reports have linked MPs – including the late Cyril Smith – military personnel and other establishment figures to the guesthouse. The property was also the subject of police investigations in the 1980s that focused on a gang of paedophiles led by the notorious sex offender Sidney Cooke.
Scotland Yard said last night that the murder of Vishal “could form part of our inquiries” but that it was “not giving a running commentary” on the investigation.
Last week, Scotland Yard said that it had set up Operation Midland to investigate “suggestions of homicide” in information it had received from a survivor of abuse who says that he was sexually assaulted by men in flats at Dolphin Square in central London. The man, who gave the name Nick, said that he saw a boy being strangled by an MP during one session when boys were coerced into sex.
Vishal disappeared on the night of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981. He was walking with his sister and their nanny back to his home in Putney, southwest London, less than a mile from Elm Guest House, when he was abducted. His skull and several rib bones were discovered in 1982 by pigeon shooters in remote marshland at Durford Abbey Farm, at Rogate in Sussex.
In 2000, Sussex police opened a cold case investigation into the murder and detectives said that the theory of abduction by a paedophile ring – as in the cases of two other children from London, Daniel Handley and Jason Swift – was one line of inquiry.
The guesthouse was raided by police in 1982 and The Times reported then that there were suspected links to a paedophile ring and the abduction of another boy, Martin Allen, 15, who went missing in west London in 1979.
Mr Mehrotra, 69, told The Daily Telegraph that he received an anonymous call from a man in the months following his son’s disappearance. A man he guessed to be in his 20s told him that Vishal may have been abducted by “highly placed” paedophiles operating from the Elm Guest House. “He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys,” he said.
Mr Mehrotra, a solicitor who was a JP at Wimbledon magistrates’ court until retiring in 2006, said that he recorded the 15-minute conversation and took the tape to police.
“But instead of investigating it, they just pooh-poohed it and I never heard anything about the tape again. The whole thing went cold. At that time I trusted the police. But when nothing happened, I became confused and concerned. Now it is clear to me that there has been a huge cover-up. There is no doubt in my mind.”
At the inquest into Vishal’s death, the West Sussex coroner Mark Calvert Lee recorded an open verdict but said that “foul play” was likely.
Despite Scotland Yard running a series of investigations into so-called VIP abuse, Mr Mehrotra said that no one had been in contact with him. “It seems to me that it all adds up, so I can’t understand why the police have again failed to get in contact with me,” he said.
Until the Jimmy Savile affair, police around the country had a policy of high-level secrecy on files about sexual offences involving prominent people.
Jamie Grierson, ‘Murdered boy’s father’s abuse fears’,
Press Association, November 19th, 2014
The father of an eight-year-old boy murdered 33 years ago has reportedly claimed his son may have been killed by a Westminster paedophile ring.
Vishambar Mehrotra, a retired magistrate, recorded a male prostitute saying in a telephone call that his son Vishal may have been abducted and taken to theElm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, in 1981, The Daily Telegraph said.
Mr Mehrotra took the recording to the Metropolitan Police at the time but told the newspaper they refused to investigate an allegation implicating “judges and politicians”.
The new inquiry was triggered when an alleged victim came forward claiming to have witnessed three boys being killed, including one allegedly strangled by a Tory MP during a sex game.
The skull and several rib bones of eight-year-old Vishal were discovered in 1982 by pigeon shooters in remote marshland at Durford Abbey Farm, at Rogate, close to the Hampshire-West Sussex border.
Vishal, from Putney, south-west London, vanished while shopping with his nanny and sister on July 29 1981 – the same day Lady Diana and Prince Charles were married.
Mr Mehrotra, now 69 and living in West Molesey, in south-west London, claims he received an anonymous call from a male prostitute in the months following, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“He said there were very highly placed people there. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.”
Mr Mehrotra, a solicitor who was a JP at Wimbledon magistrates’ court until retiring in 2006, claims the man said he had already informed police about activities at the guesthouse, but had received no response.
He added: “I recorded the whole 15-minute conversation and took it to police. But instead of investigating it, they just pooh-poohed it and I never heard anything about the tape again. The whole thing went cold.”
At the inquest into Vishal’s death, the West Sussex coroner Mark Calvert Lee recorded an open verdict but said “foul play” was likely.
Police said 20,000 people had been interviewed, half of them in nearby Putney, and 6,000 properties checked.
Mr Mehrotra, now 69 and living in West Molesey near Hampton Court, said he had “hardly been contacted” by police in the intervening years.
He said he had not been spoken to in recent months despite the alleged witness reporting the murder of three boys at the time Vishal vanished.
Mr Mehrotra said: “This guesthouse was right next to where Vishal disappeared. There were predatory people there who were taking young boys and abusing them.
“It seems to me that it all adds up, so I can’t understand why the police have again failed to get in contact with me. I think the revelations of Savile and others in recent months have opened up a Pandora’s box. Hopefully everything will all come out soon.”
In May 1983, Carole and Harry Kasir, the owners of the Elm Guest House were fined £1,000 each and given suspended nine-month sentences at the Old Bailey for “running a disorderly house”. They were found not guilty of living off immoral earnings and having obscene films.
Five years later Carole told child protection officers that children from the council-run Grafton Close Children’s Home had been supplied to the brothel.
The Liberal MP Cyril Smith, now dead, has been widely alleged to have abused children from Grafton Close at The Elm.
Scotland Yard last week said Operation Midland was launched into possible homicide links to Operation Fairbank, which is looking into claims of ”serious non-recent sexual abuse”.
Operation Fairbank was launched in response to information passed on by MP Tom Watson, who used Prime Minister’s Questions in 2012 to air claims that there was a paedophile ring with links to No 10.
Mr Watson used parliamentary privilege to allege that a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained ”clear intelligence” of a sex abuse gang.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said the force would not “provide a running commentary” on an ongoing investigation.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told LBC radio it was time for “a kind of reckoning with our past”.
Referring to the latest claims, the Liberal Democrat leader said: “You cannot think of a more serious and grotesque allegation than that. Clearly it needs to be looked into.”
David Brown, Georgie Keate and Sean O’Neill, ‘Paedophile gang ‘may have killed 17 more children”,
The Times, November 20th, 2014
The detective who led the investigation into Britain’s most notorious child abusers said its files could provide evidence for Scotland Yard’s investigation of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring.
Roger Stoodley said he would be delighted if the Metropolitan police were to reopen Operation Orchid, the inquiry into the Sidney Cooke gang, which abducted, abused and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.
The murders of three children – Jason Swift, 14, Barry Lewis, six, and Mark Tildesley, seven – were solved but detectives believed that as many as 17 other abductions and murders were connected.
Mr Stoodley said he had looked for possible links between the Cooke group and the Elm Guest House, in southwest London, which is at the centre of allegations about an establishment paedophile conspiracy, but was unable to find any.
The former detective chief superintendent said: “The Orchid files – if they still exist – could hold the key to renewed concerns over the handling of police investigations into two child abductions.”
He said Leonard Smith, one of Cooke’s accomplices, had been a young prostitute in the West End who could have come into contact with prominent figures but he had refused to discuss his past.
The families of eight-year-old Vishal Mehrotra, who was abducted and murdered in 1981, and Martin Allen, 15, who disappeared in 1979, have asked the Met whether their cases are linked to new investigations into paedophile groups said to have included judges, politicians and military personnel.
Vishambar Mehrotra, 69, said that he was “pooh-poohed” by police in the 1980s when he handed them a tape recording of a call from an anonymous informant who said his son’s death could be linked to sex abuse sessions at Elm Guest House. Vishal’s partial remains were found in a shallow grave in Sussex in 1982.
Jeffrey Allen, whose brother Martin has never been found, said Mr Mehrotra’s claims should “blow the case open”. He added: “The police never made it secret from us that Martin’s disappearance was linked to a paedophile ring.” Amid a swirl of allegations, a survivor of abuse told the website Exaro last week that he had told police about three murders, including the strangling of a boy by a Conservative MP.
Mr Stoodley said the disappearances of Vishal and Martin “matched the modus operandi” of Cooke and his associates.
“We had the premise that there were 20 [victims] and we established there were three, so I have no doubt there were others we missed,” he said. “We had allegations that an Asian boy was killed but we did not have enough evidence to identify him.
“We were trawling through missing persons registers to see if kids were missing. That proved to be a very difficult challenge because half the forces did not record them properly.”
Cooke’s gang lured boys away when they were walking on their own, or groomed them for abuse.
Mr Stoodley said Cooke – who is serving two life sentences for sex offences – and his gang were “horrible individuals who would certainly not have fitted in with VIPs unless they had a like-minded persuasion, but we never found any link”.
Operation Orchid was wound up shortly after Mr Stoodley retired in 1992. The former officer said there had been a report “a foot deep” and a room full of supporting documents.
He said: “The information should have been kept because it contained future potential leads.”
Mr Stoodley said he hoped Scotland Yard would now reopen the investigation and that he would be happy to help: “There are still potentially 17 unsolved murders.”
The Met said it was not answering questions about the inquiries.
Hissing Sid’s gang of abusers Profile Sidney Cooke, a fairground worker who was known as Hissing Sid, led the Dirty Dozen, a gang of paedophiles who hired rent boys or abducted young boys before drugging and raping them. Cooke, now 87, was convicted with Leslie Bailey, Robert Oliver and Steven Barrell in 1989 of the manslaughter of Jason Swift, 14, who died after being drugged and raped at a flat in Hackney, east London, in 1985. His body was found in a copse in Essex.
Bailey, nicknamed Catweazle, was convicted in 1992 of the manslaughter of Mark Tildesley, seven, who was raped in Cooke’s caravan while visiting a fairground near Wokingham, Berkshire, in 1984.
Bailey was also convicted of the murder of Barry Lewis, six, who was abducted in June 1991 before being sexually abused by up to eight men. His body was found in a shallow grave near Waltham Abbey, Essex.
Cooke received two life sentences in 1999 for a series of sexual assaults on two young brothers in the 1970s. Four charges of rape, a further three of indecent assault and one of buggery were left on the court file.
Cooke is still in Jail.
Bailey was murdered in his prison cell in 1993. Oliver was reported in July to be living in a bail hostel in Guildford, Surrey, sparking local protests. The whereabouts of Barrell are unknown.
Graham Grant, ‘POLICE PROBE ‘MAGIC CIRCLE’ CHILD SEX RING; Second victim comes forward as 10 officers investigate paedophile abuse allegations involving Scottish MP and leading legal figures Police to quiz three more in Fairbairn abuse claims’
Scottish Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014
POLICE are investigating claims of a paedophile ring that included a former senior ally of Margaret Thatcher, after a second victim came forward with fresh allegations.
As the Scottish Daily Mail revealed earlier this year, Susie Henderson claims she was raped by the late Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, an ex-Solicitor General, when she was just four.
Miss Henderson is the daughter of Fairbairn’s friend Robert Henderson, QC, who she says also systematically abused her when she was a child.
As a result of our disclosures, a major Police Scotland investigation comprising a team of ten detectives has been set up, and the Mail has learned a second victim has come forward following Miss Henderson’s revelations.
It is also understood that detectives are considering serious allegations made against three living prominent lawyers as part of the inquiry.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Henderson was a pivotal figure in a major legal scandal when he claimed a so-called ‘magic One circle’ of judges, sheriffs and advocates were conspiring to ensure that homosexual criminals were given soft-touch treatment by the courts.
The latest disclosures come as the UK Government prepares to launch a public inquiry into historic child sexual abuse, heaping pressure on the Scottish Government to follow suit.
A source close to the probe said yesterday: ‘We’re talking about events mainly spanning a period from 44 to about 35 years ago.
‘There is not going to be any forensic evidence, and any other evidence that supports the allegations is going to be difficult to attribute to any individual.
‘That doesn’t mean that what is discovered might not form an important part of an inquiry and influence legislation in the future. The information will not be gathered only to be discarded.’ It is understood that Miss Henderson has identified at least three prominent Establishment figures who are still alive as being among her abusers. Detectives are gathering as much information as possible so the allegations can be put to them.
Following our revelations in August, Miss Henderson spoke to detectives and made a detailed statement about her childhood abuse.
The Mail has learned that a second victim made contact with the team a few weeks ago and has made a statement, understood to relate principally to Henderson. These allegations are also now under close scrutiny.
Last night Miss Henderson, who waived her anonymity to speak exclusively to the Mail, said that she would not be commenting upon any developments at this stage.
Police Scotland has not to date invited other victims to come forward, nor set up a dedicated contact point for anyone with relevant information. Anyone wishing to contact detectives is advised to call Police Scotland’s non-emergency 101 number.
The experience of police forces in England which dealt with the paedophilia allegations made against Jimmy Savile has influenced Police Scotland’s procedure.
A well-placed source confirmed that the Savile experience had highlighted the fact that even when a suspect was dead, it had been shown to be important to be receptive to the stories of other victims, should they emerge, and to investigate thoroughly any living accomplices.
It remains to be seen if any prosecutions will be launched in Scotland in relation to the Fairbairn and Henderson claims, but investigators are realistic about the difficulties they face.
Miss Henderson, 49, told the Mail she had been four when she was first raped by her father and by Fairbairn, and that her father had allowed Fairbairn to abuse his daughter and had been present at times when he sexually assaulted her.
She also recalled that her father, a former Tory parliamentary candidate as well as Scotland’s most flamboyant QC in the 1980s, had taken her to the homes of other friends and Establishment figures and had allowed them to sexually abuse her.
Fairbairn died in 1995 at the age of 61, while Henderson, who was never charged, died aged 75 in 2012.
Miss Henderson first made her allegations against Fairbairn and her father under the alias of Julie X in 2000 but after an abortive police investigation no charges were brought. The initial probe was halted after evidence was mislaid.
Fairbairn was Solicitor General for Scotland and MP for Kinross and Western Perthshire. He was praised by Mrs Thatcher for his ‘loyal support’ and became a close ally.
The allegations come after an official inquiry was ordered into claims of historic child sex abuse by a Westminster paedophile ring.
Miss Henderson’s allegations are likely to fuel calls for a similar inquiry by the Scottish Government, which has not been ruled out by ministers.
Last night Police Scotland confirmed that a ‘live investigation is ongoing’ but said ‘it would be inappropriate to comment further.’ A spokesman said: ‘Anyone with information on child sexual abuse is asked to contact Police Scotland through 101.’
WAS MY SON A PAEDOPHILE VICTIM?
A SCHOOLBOY murdered 33 years ago may have been abducted by a VIP paedophile ring which was covered up by police, his father claimed yesterday.
Retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra accused Scotland Yard of failing to investigate after a male prostitute told him his son Vishal, 8, had been taken to the notorious Elm Guest House which has been linked to child abuse.
Vishal vanished on his way home to Putney, South-West London, after a trip to watch the royal wedding celebrations in 1981. It was almost a year before his remains were found in a West Sussex woodland. Four months later, police raided Elm Guest House in Barnes. Mr Mehrotra, 69, told the Daily Telegraph how soon afterwards he was contacted by a young male prostitute.
‘I recorded the whole 15-minute conversation and took it to police. But they just pooh-poohed it.’
Scott D’Arcy, ”Cover up’ fear over boy’s murder’
Press Association, November 20th, 2014
A father’s claims his young son may have been murdered at the hands of a Westminster paedophile ring could be correct and possibly even “covered up” by police, according to a detective who worked on the original case.
Jackie Malton told the Daily Telegraph the case of eight-year-old Vishal Mehrotra’s death 33 years ago was never solved even though officers were “highly passionate” about it, while she had a feeling of “misuse of power” during her time at Scotland Yard.
Earlier, Vishal’s father Vishambar Mehrotra, a retired magistrate, told the paper he recorded a male prostitute saying in a telephone call that Vishal may have been abducted and taken to the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, in 1981, but police took it no further.
The guest house is at the centre of a new Scotland Yard inquiry announced last week and triggered when an alleged victim came forward claiming to have witnessed three boys being killed, including one allegedly strangled by a Tory MP during a sex game.
Miss Malton, a former detective chief inspector and the inspiration for the Prime Suspect TV drama series, said: “There is clear evidence that something was happening at that guest house. If nothing has been done about it in retrospect, then Mr Mehrotra is right. Either the police disbelieved it, or they covered it up one way or another.
“I do remember that the officers were highly passionate about the Mehrotra case, but for some reason we never managed to get anywhere.”
While she said she had no evidence officers in the case were leant on, she said the influence of politicians was felt in the force during that period.
“There was also a strong sense of the power of Parliament and of politicians. It was very much a case of ‘Do as you are told’,” she said.
The skull and several rib bones of Vishal were discovered in 1982 by pigeon shooters in remote marshland at Durford Abbey Farm, at Rogate, close to the Hampshire-West Sussex border.
Vishal, from Putney, south-west London, vanished while shopping with his nanny and sister on July 29 1981 – the same day Lady Diana Spencer and the Prince of Wales were married.
Meanwhile, former detective chief superintendent Roger Stoodley called on the Metropolitan Police to examine links between the 1980s paedophile ring led by Sidney Cooke, jailed following Operation Orchid, and Elm Guest House.
He told the Times: “The Orchid files – if they still exist – could hold the key to renewed concerns over the handling of police investigations into two child abductions.
Mr Stoodley said detectives worked on the assumption there were more victims, adding: “There are potentially 17 unsolved murders.”
Scotland Yard said last week Operation Midland was launched into possible murder links to Operation Fairbank, which is looking into claims of ”serious non-recent sexual abuse”.
Operation Fairbank was launched in response to information passed on by MP Tom Watson, who used Prime Minister’s Questions in 2012 to air claims that there was a paedophile ring with links to No 10.
A spokesman for the force said it was not providing a running commentary on the inquiries.
Tom Kelly and Rebecca Cambra, ‘Murder covered up, says father’
Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014
A SCHOOLBOY murdered 33 years ago may have been abducted by a VIP paedophile ring which was covered up by police, his father claimed yesterday.
Retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra accused Scotland Yard of failing to investigate after a male prostitute told him his eight-year-old son Vishal had been taken to the notorious Elm Guest House which has been linked to child abuse.
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told LBC Radio: You can’t think of a more serious and grotesque allegation than that, and it clearly needs to be looked into.
We are in the early stages of a reckoning with our past, of things happening on a scale and of a gravity which just a few months ago would have seemed unimaginable and almost too horrific to contemplate.’
Vishal vanished on his way home to Putney, South-West London after a trip to watch the royal wedding celebrations in 1981. He was walking ahead of his family when he disappeared less than a mile from his home, close to Elm Guest House.
It was almost a year before his remains were found in a West Sussex woodland. His legs, pelvis and lower spine were missing – along with much of his clothing, including his Superman underpants. West Sussex coroner Mark Calvert Lee recorded an open verdict but said foul play’ was likely.
Four months after Vishal’s body was found, police raided Elm Guest House in Barnes and questioned dozens of men including high-profile individuals. Mr Mehrotra, 69, told the Daily Telegraph how soon afterwards he was contacted by a young male prostitute.
Mr Mehrotra said: He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House. He said there were very highly placed people there. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.
I recorded the whole 15-minute conversation and took it to police. But instead of investigating it, they just pooh-poohed it and I never heard anything about the tape again. The whole thing went cold.’
He added: At that time I trusted the police. But when nothing happened, I became confused and concerned. Now it is clear to me that there has been a huge cover-up. There is no doubt in my mind.’
The extraordinary allegations come just days after Scotland Yard announced it was setting up a new inquiry, Operation Midland, to investigate possible homicide’ linked to a child abuse network said to involve senior politicians, spy chiefs, military and legal figures.
An alleged abuse victim has told police he saw a Conservative MP strangle a 12-year-old boy to death at an abuse party’ in 1980. The witness, known only as Nick, says a Conservative cabinet minister watched two men kill a second boy in a depraved sexual assault a year later. He also claims to have seen a young boy being run over in broad daylight in a street in South-West London in 1979. Now in his forties, Nick has provided detectives with e-fits of the boys involved, but none of them are said to fit Vishal.
Yesterday Labour MP John Mann, who claims he tipped police off to child abuse by politicians in 1988, said: It is another extraordinary development and it tallies with other allegations. This boy died in terrible circumstances and his family deserve a full police inquiry.’
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the force would not provide a running commentary’ on an ongoing investigation.
‘Police ‘not in contact’ over murdered boy’
The Telegraph, November 21st, 2014
Scotland Yard is investigating claims by the father of a boy murdered in the 1980s that he may have been killed by a Westminster paedophile ring.
He claims he took the tape to police but that they refused to investigate claims implicating “judges and politicians”.
Mr Mehrotra welcomed the new investigation but said he had still not been contacted. “If there has been a cover-up, I need to know,” he said.
More than 34,000 police jobs could be lost after the next election as a result of spending cuts, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers warned last night.
James Gillespie, ‘Security services ‘have abuse file”
The Sunday Times, November 23rd, 2014
THE intelligence services will have kept a copy of the lost Dickens dossier naming senior political figures allegedly involved in the sexual abuse of children, according to a former Tory minister.
The claim, by Rod Richards, who was MP for Clwyd North West and was a minister in the Welsh Office between 1994 and 1996, comes after the Wanless inquiry failed to find any trace of the document at the Home Office.
The late Geoffrey Dickens, MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, handed his dossier to Leon Brittan, then home secretary, in 1983. It alleged a paedophile ring at the highest levels of the political establishment.
When the Home Office was asked for a copy of the document in 2013 it could not be found. Another 114 documents that may have contained information about sex abuse allegations had been lost or destroyed.
Richards, who once worked in the intelligence services, said: “I have a good knowledge of the filing systems used. In the case of Geoffrey Dickens there would be more than just the interest from the Home Office in the dossier, there would be interest from the police, but clearly there would also be an interest from the security service.”
“I can tell you now there were at least two copies of everything,” Richards said. “So don’t tell me that identical copies have been lost. The security service will have copies of all the letters, all the files, any notes from meetings regarding the Geoffrey Dickens folder.
“It would be kept in the security service registry. You can’t just walk in and pick something up like a book in a public library, everything has to be signed out and everything has to be signed back in so if they were missing there would be the name of who last had them.”
However, the Home Office said yesterday that the Wanless inquiry had asked the security services for any relevant files but, as Wanless recorded, they “did not hold any that were relevant to the review”.
Meanwhile, two journalists have claimed that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish information that might damage national security – when they attempted to investigate allegations of a paedophile ring in the 1980s.
Don Hale, who was editor of the Bury Messenger, said he was presented with a D-notice after a dossier of names linked to Dickens’s allegations was passed to him by the Labour MP Barbara Castle in 1984.
Hilton Tims, news editor of the Surrey Comet between 1980 and 1988, told The Observer his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter made inquiries about a police investigation into the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London, at the centre of allegations about a Westminster paedophile ring.
It is not possible to check the claims because the Dnotice archives for that period “are not complete”.
A spokesman for the defence advisory notice system said: “If Don Hale was ‘served’ with anything purporting to be a ‘Dnotice’, it was quite obviously a fabrication.”
Lynn Davidson and Shaun Wooller, ‘VIP paedos snatched my kid brother; VICTIM’S FAMILY SPEAK OUT ; COPS ‘GIVEN FILE”
The Sun, November 24th, 2014
THE family of a teen who vanished 35 years ago say they believe he was snatched by a VIP paedophile ring.
Their claim came as the Home Secretary yesterday warned that allegations of child abuse and murder by top politicians are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
Theresa May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the Government had to “get to the truth” of what happened in the Seventies and Eighties.
Martin Allen was 15 when he disappeared in 1979.
He lived next to millionaires and diplomats as his dad was Australian High Commission head chauffeur in London.
Now his brother Kevin has revealed that a private detective last year gave him a file which detailed “figures in public authority” involved in covering up Martin’s case.
When police raided the hostel in 1982 it was reported that the move was linked to Martin’s disappearance.
Kevin, 53, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, said: “Something was going on we weren’t told about and there were powerful forces involved. My dad knew it and I knew.
“I won’t ever forget an officer telling me that if we dug too deep someone would get hurt. We need answers.”
The case is back in the spotlight after revelations that police linked Martin’s case to the 1981 murder of eight-yearold Vishal Mehrotra.
The disappearances have similarities and Vishal’s dad thinks his son was killed by a Westminster paedophile ring and the case covered up.
Georgie Keate, ‘Paedophile ring may have killed boy, 15’
The Times, November 26th, 2014
Police investigating an alleged paedophile ring at Westminster have told the family of a missing boy that he may be one of the three children claimed to have been murdered by establishment figures.
Martin Allen, the son of the Australian high commissioner’s chauffeur, went missing in 1979, aged 15. His brother, Kevin, 51, has said he was called by Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tudway of the Metropolitan police on Friday, who said she was investigating whether Martin’s disappearance was linked to an alleged VIP ring.
Operation Midland, the investigation into the deaths, was set up this month. Officers said that intelligence from Operation Fairbank, which is looking into whether high-profile figures were involved in organised child sex abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, suggested that murders had taken place.
A man known as Nick, who said he was abused by MPs and establishment figures, had alleged that he saw three boys being murdered by the paedophile network. He said one was deliberately run over, a second was strangled by a Conservative MP and the third was killed in front of a government minister.
The case of Martin Allen’s disappearance was closed in the 1980s, but reopened in 2009 and shut again last year. Mr Allen and his brother, Jeffrey, 61, have described how police said in 2009 the files had been destroyed in a flood.
“We had to give evidence over again to the police,” Mr Allen said. “But then later, when the case was still open, the two detectives on it told us that a retired police officer had withdrawn the files and gone to Spain.
“They said they had tried to get a warrant to question the officer but couldn’t get it from the Spanish authorities. You don’t know what to believe.” Jeffrey Allen said the detective who led the case in 1979 had told his family that there were “high-up people involved” and that they should “not take it further because someone will get hurt”.
The Met said it could not comment.
Last week Vishambar Mehrotra, an ex-magistrate and father of Vishal, eight, who was murdered in 1981, said he was called by a male prostitute who said that his son had been taken to Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London, said to be a haunt of the alleged ring, to be abused by “highly placed” paedophiles.
Mr Mehrotra said he had given police a tape of the conversation but they refused to investigate.
Arj Singh, ”Establishment Figures’ at hotel’
Press Association, November 27th, 2014
A former cabinet minister was photographed with a naked boy in the sauna of a guesthouse at the centre of historic child sex abuse allegations, an MP has said.
Tory Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) claimed that a child protection campaigner had been told by one of the owners of the Elm Guest House, Carol Kasir, that she had photographs of “establishment figures” at the hotel where boys in care had been “brought in for sex”.
One of the pictures allegedly showed a former cabinet minister in the hotel sauna with a naked boy, Mr Goldsmith said.
But the evidence, along with logbooks, names, times, dates and photographs of Mrs Kasir’s customers simply disappeared after a 1982 police raid on the guesthouse.
Mr Goldsmith said evidence from 12 boys alleging abuse had also “evaporated” and Mrs Kasir and her husband Haroon were eventually given suspended sentences for “running a disorderly house”.
Mrs Kasir then died a few years later in “very odd circumstances”, he said.
In a backbench debate on the progress of the Government’s inquiry into historic child sex abuse, Mr Goldsmith told the Commons: “When Mrs Kasir died a few years after the house was raided in very odd circumstances, a child protection campaigner from the National Association of Young People in Care called for a criminal investigation into events at Elm Guest House.
“He said that he’d been told by Mrs Kasir that boys had been brought in from the local children’s home, in Richmond also, Grafton Place, had been brought in for sex.
“And that she had all kinds of photographs of establishment figures at her hotel.
“One of them allegedly showed a former cabinet minister in the sauna with a naked boy.
“She had logbooks, names, times, dates, pictures of her customers and so on.
“All that evidence simply disappeared after the raid. It no longer exists.
“That surely is astonishing.”
David Brown, ‘Former minister ‘in sauna with naked boy”
The Times, November 28th, 2014
A former cabinet minister was photographed with a naked boy in the sauna of a guest house at the centre of historical child sex abuse allegations, a Tory MP claimed yesterday.
Zac Goldsmith said that the owner of the Elm Guest House in his constituency allegedly claimed to have had photographs of “establishment figures” at the hotel where boys in care had been “brought in for sex”.
The MP for Richmond Park said that evidence seized from the guest house along with logbooks, names, times, dates and photographs of guests simply disappeared after a police raid on the hotel in 1982.
In a Commons debate on the progress of the government’s inquiry into historical allegations of child sexual abuse, Mr Goldsmith said that evidence from 12 boys alleging abuse had also “evaporated” and the hotel’s owners, Carole Kasir and her husband, Haroon, were eventually given suspended sentences for “running a disorderly house”.
Mrs Kasir died a few years later in “very odd circumstances” after giving details of the involvement of politicians, including the late Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith, and celebrities to a campaigner for child protection.
Simon Danczuk, a Labour MP, also claimed that Sir Edward Garnier, one of David Cameron’s former top legal advisers, tried to stop him “challenging” Lord Brittan of Spennithorne over child abuse allegations in the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Danczuk said that Sir Edward, a former solicitor-general, tackled him on the evening before he was due to give evidence to the home affairs select committee in the summer.
Mr Danczuk told MPs: “The night before my appearance at the committee I had an encounter with the right honourable learned Member for Harborough [Sir Edward Garnier]. He told me that challenging Lord Brittan on child abuse would not be a wise move and that I might even be responsible for his death as he was unwell.
“People who might know about child abuse allegations should answer questions whatever their position. We should not shy away from that.”
It is understood that Sir Edward, who has known Lord Brittan for 40 years, was intervening after a request by Lady Brittan, who was worried about the strain on her husband’s health.
David Brown, ‘Paedophile ring trial opens’
The TImes, November 28th, 2014
A priest and a retired children’s home manager yesterday denied sexually abusing and taking indecent photographs of boys as young as ten in the first prosecution into an alleged establishment paedophile network. John Stingemore is accused of abusing six boys. Father Tony McSweeney allegedly indecently assaulted two of the youngsters and a third alleged victim, and made child abuse images judged to be in the worst category.
The men were arrested by Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, set up to investigate allegations of child abuse by senior politicians and other prominent figures at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London. Both men are charged with offences allegedly committed between January 1979 and July 1981. Mr Stingemore, 72, was a former manager of the Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London. Father McSweeney, 67, of Pease Pottage, West Sussex, was a trainee Roman Catholic priest.
Mr Stingemore, who sat in a wheelchair outside the dock at Southwark crown court, bowed his head each time he denied indecently assaulting five boys. He also denied buggering and conspiring to bugger one of the boys along with an unknown man.
Father McSweeney, who officiated at the boxer Frank Bruno’s wedding in 1990, is accused of indecently assaulting three boys and taking indecent photographs of two of them.
Emily Ashton, ‘Minister and Boy in Sauna’
The Sun, November 28th, 2014
A FORMER Cabinet minister was snapped with a naked boy in the sauna of a notorious hostel, an MP claimed yesterday. Tory Zac Goldsmith said the owner of the Elm Guest House had pictures of “Establishment figures” with children in care.
A probe into historic abuse is centred on the property in Barnes, South West London.
In a major Commons debate, Mr Goldsmith said he had spoken to a child protection campaigner who had been “told that boys had been brought in from the local children’s home for sex”. The MP added: “One of them (photos) allegedly showed a former Cabinet minister in the sauna with a naked boy.”
But Mr Goldsmith said the guest house had since been “raided in very odd circumstances”. He added: “All that evidence simply disappeared. It no longer exists.”
Meanwhile, Labour MP Simon Danczuk claimed Tory MP Sir Edward Garnier warned him against probing former home secretary Leon Brittan over the scandal – because it could lead to his death “as he was unwell”.
Mike Sullivan and Tom Morgan, ‘MP ‘was at snuff film lad’s murder’; Exclusive: VIP Paedophile Horror’
The Sun, December 6th, 2014
DETECTIVES probing the Westminster paedophile ring are investigating bombshell evidence that an MP was involved in the murder of a child in a snuff movie.
A young boy sold for sex is said to have died in a torture session filmed at Amsterdam’s notorious Blue Boy vice club.
Allegations that the unnamed MP was present can be revealed today as The Sun exposes the sinister web at the heart of the scandal.
The claims mean police are now investigating FOUR child murders linked to the alleged abuse ring.
Informants said the MP was present at the murder after going to Holland for sex with boys supplied by paedo fixer Warwick Spinks.
Boys were allegedly taken to the guest house, in Barnes, South-West London, and the upmarket Dolphin Square flats near Westminster, to have sex with MPs including Cyril Smith, and VIP figures.
They included a police chief, an MI5 man, two pop stars and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt.
Yesterday it emerged that police who investigated Spinks in the 1990s were told a boy had died at the Amsterdam club while the MP was present.
A source said: “Officers were told Spinks knew the MP and arranged a tour to Amsterdam. While there he went to the Blue Boy bar, where Spinks was running a brothel.
“The MP was said to have been present when a boy died during an orgy which was being filmed. The information was not confirmed and the MP’s identity never surfaced.
“However, clear evidence that boys were tortured was discovered.”
Spinks was jailed in 1995 for sex offences, including abducting a boy of 14 and taking him to Amsterdam to be abused in a brothel.
Evidence from the Spinks investigation is now being analysed by the Met’s three-pronged probe into networks of VIP paedophiles. Police never found the snuff films, and have been hampered by the loss of files amid claims of an establishment cover-up. The team are already probing three other alleged child murders, one by a Tory MP.
The families of two boys believed to have been murdered by Sidney Cooke’s paedophile gang are also urging police to investigate possible links to the VIP ring.
firstname.lastname@example.org SET up as a secret ‘scoping’ exercise to find out if claims made in Parliament were true.
In 2012, it was claimed files on paedo Peter Righton “clear intelligence a widespread paedophile ring” in the 1970s and 1980s involving politicians.
Former teacher Charles Napier last month admitted sexually abusing 21 underage boys. Napier is the half-brother of Tory MP John Whittingdale. Meanwhile, Operation Fernbridge was set up last year into abuse at Elm Guest House.
LAD of eight murdered in 1981 on Charles and Diana’s wedding day. His father believes Westminster paedo ring killed him and that there was police cover-up.
A CHILDREN’S home run by Richmond borough council.
OBESE MP for Rochdale and serial abuser of boys was at Elm House parties. He died in 2010 aged 77.
EX-Soviet spy and keeper of Queen’s pictures. Named on list cops seized as an Elm House party-goer.
FORMER deputy chairman of Tory party alleged to have held sex parties with boys. Died in 1995.
FORMER teacher and one of first paedophiles snared by probe. In jail for abusing 21 boys under 16.
PAEDO social worker and founding member of Paedophile Information Exchange. Died in 2007.
DIPLOMAT who led double life as a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange Died in 1992 aged 77.
ONE of UK’s most notorious paedophiles, serving two life terms for gang rape and killing of Jason Swift, 14.
PAEDO fixer who targeted vulnerable children on the “meat rack” at London’s Piccadilly Circus.
AN UPMARKET apartment block in Pimlico where up to 70 MPs lived.
Now at the centre of claims of child abuse. One man claims he was raped while his head was held underwater.
A DOSSIER detailing claims of sex abuse by paedo politicians has gone missing. Given to Home Secretary Leon Brittan, right, in 1983, it allegedly exposed a vile network in Westminster.
SET up last month to investigate the alleged murders of three boys over 30 years ago following intelligence received from Operation Fairbank.
A victim known as Nick has described seeing a small boy being murdered in the presence of a former Tory Cabinet minister and another strangled by a Conservative MP.
A third murder was said to have taken place when a boy was deliberately run over in the street.
BOY of 15 went missing in 1979. No trace of him has ever been found. Cops are now looking for links with three alleged murders, including that of Vishal Mehrotra.
TODAY The Sun reveals the sinister web in the VIP paedophile scandal engulfing Westminster.
It began with a claims of a “powerful paedophile ring” operating from Parliament and an ‘establishment cover-up”. PM David Cameron was asked about allegations of an historic network of culprits linked to Westminster and No10.
A police investigation – Operation Fairbank – has spawned three operations. They are investigating murder allegations involving three boys. Suspects, many unnamed, include senior MPs, a top cop, a Soviet spy, an MI5 man and two pop stars.
The Government’s own official inquiry was announced in but has been blasted by the alleged victims of abuse.
A GAY establishment in South West London. After claims of child abuse there in the 1980s a ‘super guestlist’ of names was seized by cops.
Haroon and Carole Kasir, below left, ran it and she died in 1990. Despite hearing she had been threatened, a coroner recorded a verdict of suicide by insulin overdose.
Operation Fernbridge is probing claims of abuse there in the ’80s.
Two quotes from this are especially relevant:
‘Later, by extraordinary coincidence, they [André Gide and Oscar Wilde] met in Algeria, where Gide had finally, but secretly, surrendered to his desire for very young men. Wilde and Bosie, like Halliwell and Orton 70 years later, were up to their necks in sexual tourism, and Wilde, again in Mephistophelean mode, sensing the string in the younger man, casually asked Gide whether he wanted the young musician to whom they were listening.’
‘Robert Ross, Alfred Douglas and Wilde passing round schoolboys between them on dirty weekends, Bosie and Gide having sex with 12- and 13-year old Arab boys, and all of them having compulsive and constant recourse to rent boys, match the worst excesses of the Paedophile Information Exchange.’
Nonetheless, Callow says that ‘it is in the treatment of their wives that both Wilde and Gide are simply indefensible’, as they lied to them and gave away presents. Clearly this to Callow must therefore be a worse crime than the rape of 12-year old boys.
Here is another review of the same book. I note in particular the following passage:
Indeed, much of the material in Andre and Oscar challenges Wilde’s reputation among liberals as a gay icon. If Wilde and Douglas are seen as gay liberators, do their supporters also approve of the activities of child-sex tourists? Or an age of consent for homosexuality so low that it might as well not exist at all? Or the sort of flirtation with the sons of one’s married lovers Douglas was keen to indulge in? If the answers are no, such liberals need radically to examine their casual support for everything Wilde stood for. If it is yes, then why are they not challenging current laws against paedophiles?
The links between Wilde and Douglas (and many others) and the ‘Uranian’ movement (who have been described as a predecessor of the Paedophile Information Exchange), are something about which I intend to write in more detail at a later date. Johann Hari wrote a very good piece in 2009 following apologia for paedophilia by Alan Bennett, Gore Vidal, Stephen Fry and others (Hari, ‘Alan Bennett and the question of innocence’, The Independent, November 27th, 2009).
I hate the hysterical way in which any sorts of sexual offences against children (or adult sexual assaults of whatever degree) are used in order to completely dehumanise the perpetrators, leading to shrieks calling for permanent incarceration and sometimes torture and beyond, from some sections of the press and more than a few politicians (Labour as well as Conservative). I do not hate Savile, or Rolf Harris, or Max Clifford, or others – or Michael Brewer – I do actually pity them; what I hate is a system of values and range of institutions which legitimised what they did because of their power, charisma, artistry, or whatever. For now, I believe that only when people are prepared to view Wilde, Douglas, Gide, Joe Orton (whose diaries are a catalogue of anal rape of young Arab boys, which Alan Bennett conveniently omitted in his screenplay for Prick Up Your Ears), and various others, in a similar light to Savile or Harris, will some progress have been made. Those who idolise these former figures and make light of their activities might as well be consigning their own sons to be raped by them.
IN Algiers in 1895, Oscar Wilde procured for Andre Gide a flute- playing Arab boy, primarily in order to amuse himself and his favourite, Lord Alfred Douglas. As Gide climbed into a carriage with the boy, fidgeting and procrastinating, Wilde looked on, triumphant. Gide, in fact, had already experienced his initiation with another Arab lad in the sand dunes of Sousse, Tunisia; but that was a fleeting, fumbling, private affair. The boy had initially marched off in despair at Gide’s seeming inability actually to do anything when push, as it were, came to shove. When Gide met Wilde, he was still pondering the implications.
Before then, the two writers had met only in the Parisian literary circles in which they were both establishing themselves during the 1880s. After Algiers, however, the Irishman became a permanent, looming intellectual presence in the French writer’s mind. Wilde appeared, faintly disguised, as a number of secondary characters in Gide’s early novels; the protagonists are drawn out through their reactions to the Wildean figures. Gide, meanwhile, began to chart his own real- life maturation against his various moral responses to Wilde’s decadent- aesthetic pronouncements.
Jonathan Fryer’s Andre and Oscar reveals previously unexplored similarities between the two. They both had powerful, slightly dotty mothers whose influence on them was decisive. They both came from established families, which hindered, at least in the beginning, the extent to which they could practise their unconventional philosophies. They both chose to marry, despite being homosexual, and both genuinely loved their respective wives, albeit with gay abandon. They both preferred young boys to grown men, when they had the choice – Wilde went in for the tough blond things who strutted their stuff around Piccadilly Circus, Gide for the lithe, charming Arab kids who, then as now, formed little groups around foreigners.
Fryer’s book is fashionably focused on this last area. Perhaps it is fashionable distaste for such matters that compelled him to write that Gide’s “paedophilia” seems “not to have taken on any physical dimension”. This is like saying that Casanova never really acted on his heterosexuality. And it is a little embarrassing to see Gide defended from what he himself considered to be the aspect of his character he should, above all else, be honest about. Fryer also states, somewhat paradoxically, that “nowadays” it would be cautious Gide, and not outrageous Wilde, who would find himself standing in the dock. That is incorrect, too, since Wilde lost his virginity to Robbie Ross when the latter was a year below the current age of consent, and the boys Wilde wined and dined were frequently younger than that – as when he became involved with a 16-year-old who had been smuggled into London from Bruges to be installed in the Albermarle Hotel. According to Oscar Browning, the pederastic Victorian public-school master, “on Saturday, the boy slept with Douglas; on Sunday he slept with Oscar. On Monday he slept with a woman at Douglas’s expense.”
Fryer also writes, as though it was not particularly controversial, of Douglas taking a boy-lover named Ali in Algeria, whom he cruelly whipped after the boy was said to have been sleeping with women. Gide informed his own mother, of all people, that even when that relationship ended, the child was not still in his teens. Ali has been written about before. But Fryer further claims, this time controversially, that Douglas told Gide he was looking forward to seducing Wilde’s nine-year-old son, Cyril, as soon as he got the opportunity. It is not suggested that Wilde raised any objection to this sort of talk; nor does Fryer himself raise any objections. Unlike most of Wilde’s friends, Douglas didn’t have to pretend to be decadent, and most readers will sigh with relief that the relationship between Wilde and Douglas ended, however terrible the circumstances, before little Cyril could face the potential consequences of the latter’s advances.
Indeed, much of the material in Andre and Oscar challenges Wilde’s reputation among liberals as a gay icon. If Wilde and Douglas are seen as gay liberators, do their supporters also approve of the activities of child-sex tourists? Or an age of consent for homosexuality so low that it might as well not exist at all? Or the sort of flirtation with the sons of one’s married lovers Douglas was keen to indulge in? If the answers are no, such liberals need radically to examine their casual support for everything Wilde stood for. If it is yes, then why are they not challenging current laws against paedophiles? Fryer does not grapple with these points.
The more conventional aspects of Gide and Wilde have, of course, already been documented in numerous biographies. Fryer tries to overcome this difficulty by focusing on the mutual fascination that existed between them, and on their mutual friends, in an attempt to offer new perspectives. When Wilde was in prison, Gide bombarded Douglas with letters demanding information, and eventually they met up in Italy. When Wilde later settled in Berneval, Gide made a point of travelling there unannounced to see his old friend.
The book also contains an absorbing and original subtext, considering the experiences of both writers’ wives . And it successfully and intriguingly recreates the vast network of homosexuals in countries like Italy and Algeria, where pederasty was known to flourish – what others have called the seduction of the Orient and the Mediterranean; what these days is referred to, rather less eloquently, as international sex tourism.
Below are a series of articles following the murder of convicted paedophile William Malcolm, who was associated with Lesley Bailey and Sydney Cooke, in February 2000 (also a few pieces on subsequent vigilante killings). I draw people’s attention in particular to the piece from the Sunday Mirror, March 5th, 2000, where it is said that Malcolm ‘was about to expose a major child sex ring – including several influential figures – police believe’; a police source said “It looks like Malcolm was on the verge of exposing something big – it is thought some well-known people were involved,” and police were interviewing known paedophiles. Malcolm’s killers were never found, and I have not seen this aspect mentioned in any other articles. Also worth noting is the proclaimed intention by Martyn Jones, MP for Clwyd South from 1987 to 2010, to name suspects involved in the North Wales child abuse scandal, for which Jones claimed the Waterhouse report was a whitewash. This may or may not, however, be linked to Malcolm’s killing.
In light of the horrific acts and celebrations thereof given underneath, I wish to point out that I would never ever condone vigilante behaviour, no matter the circumstances, and believe all those cited below glorifying in Malcolm’s murder are no better than abusers themselves. I was also appalled by the gloating response by some to an article in various papers this weekend about a Florida father who beat to a pulp an 18-year old he found molesting his 12-year old son, and would not face charges for so doing. This is all too reminiscent of those calling into talk radio soon after 9/11 keen to tell how they would be the first to kill an Arab who had hijacked their plane. The solution to violence and abuse is not more violence and abuse.
A report in the Mirror from February 2013 claimed that the VIP ring, involving Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith, a former Tory cabinet minister and some judges was linked to Cooke, who provided them with children to abuse (Justin Penrose, ‘The net closes: Ex-Tory chief faces child sex arrest over claims girl was raped and boys were abused’, Daily Mirror, February 16th, 2013), whilst an article from earlier this year from Exaro also looks at how Cooke’s activities have become linked to this investigation (Mark Conrad, ‘Met’s ‘VIP paedophiles’ probe turns into murder investigation: Police on Operations ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’ examine sadistic killing of young boy’, Exaro News, January 11th, 2014). A 1989 report in the Express on the investigation into Cooke, Bailey and others makes clear that detectives had heard allegations that a former Cabinet Minister and other MPs were involved in child sex activities (John Twomey, ‘Jason sex ring face quiz over child murders’, Daily Express, May 13th, 1989; reproduced at the bottom of this post – with many thanks to Murun at Spotlight for first finding this article).
If these investigations are not red herrings, then there is every chance that Malcolm, as an accomplice of Cooke and Bailey, would have known about a VIP paedophile ring involving MPs. It remains paramount that new efforts are made to bring those who murdered Malcolm to justice (it is not clear how seriously this investigation was taken earlier, and certainly at least some police seem to have sympathised with the killers’ actions) – his killers might be able to shine some new light on what he knew about others involved in this sordid business. And the possibility that this was not simply a revenge vigilante attack, but a killing designed to silence Malcolm, should not be ruled out.
A wide range of important posts and videos on Operation Orchid, the investigation into Cooke’s gang, can be found on Spotlight. See also this article on the Needle blog on Operation Orchid and the convictions of Bailey and Cooke.
I would like to thank Martin Walkerdine for bringing to my attention the Sunday Mirror article which spoke of Malcolm’s apparent intention to name members of a major ring.
New articles are appearing on a daily basis with further claims to do with MPs allegedly involved in the VIP paedophile ring, of which I will post a summary at some point soon. But I would like to draw people’s attention to a piece in the Yorkshire Post today, saying that convicted paedophile Michael McAuliffe claims to be able to provide further information relating to child abuse in Westminster in the 1970s which has been covered up (‘Bradford paedophile ‘has information on Westminster child abuse’’, Yorkshire Post, July 21st, 2014). If McAuliffe’s claims are true, this may constitute a major step forward.
The Times, February 19th, 2000
Oliver Wright, ‘Paedophile shot dead on doorstep’
A CONVICTED child molester who had links to one of Britain’s most notorious paedophile gangs has been shot dead by two men outside his flat, it emerged last night.
William Malcolm, 47, who had two convictions for indecently assaulting children, was killed by a single bullet in the head when he answered the door of his second-floor flat in Manor Park, East London. He was taken to the nearby Royal London Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
He had been the subject of repeated threats and last night police were investigating whether his death was the work of vigilantes. However, they had not ruled out other motives.
Malcolm, an associate of the notorious paedophiles Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey and Sydney Cooke, was jailed in 1981 for a series of attacks on his six-year-old stepdaughter and nine-year-old stepson. Despite knowledge of the attacks social services allowed the paedophile to rejoin the children when he was released from prison two years later. The attacks continued and he was jailed again in 1984 after being convicted of having unlawful intercourse with the same stepdaughter. The police attempted to prosecute him in 1994 on 13 child abuse charges but he was released when an Old Bailey judge ruled that his previous conviction meant he could not get a fair trial. This was despite a psychiatric report which described Malcolm as a sexual psychopath and said that he had paedophile tendencies of a “strongly sadistic nature” .
After his release police continued to monitor Malcolm’s movements and he was questioned by detectives investigating the killings of Jason Swift, Mark Tilsley and Barry Lewis.
Last night neighbours expressed little sympathy. One said: “Nobody will feel sorry, except maybe his relatives. I was shocked when I heard someone had been shot on their doorstep like that but when I heard it was him I was relieved.”
Police are seeking two white men in connection with the attack on Thursday night.
The Sun, February 19, 2000
Mike Sullivan and Andrea Busfield, ‘Gun Law’
DEAD: BEAST WHO SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN FREE
Neighbours cheer as vigilantes kill a child sex monster on doorstep
JUBILANT families last night praised a vigilante hit squad for gunning down an evil paedophile on his doorstep.
As cops launched a hunt for the three men who blasted pervert William Malcolm, one mum said: “Now my child will be able to walk the streets and play in safety. We’re all relieved he is dead.”
Malcolm, 47 – a former pal of child-sex monster Sidney Cooke and his gang – was killed with a bullet in the head when he answered the door of his second-floor council flat overlooking a park.
A child protection cop said: “The timing of the shooting in the same week the inquiry report into the North Wales children’s homes was published may have been more than coincidence. The revulsion over the North Wales scandal could well have triggered it off.”
Residents at the flats where Malcolm lived in Manor Park, East London, heard a shot and rushed out to find him spreadeagled on the floor.
One woman said: “His body was lying in the hallway. He had been shot in the head and there was blood pouring from him. He was still breathing but in a terrible state.”
An ambulance was called but the beast was dead on arrival at hospital.
Malcolm was jailed TWICE in the 1980s for a series of horrific attacks on a girl of six and one of her brothers. The fiend, who lived with the children’s mum, was first convicted of unlawful sex with the girl in 1981.
He got just two years. Amazingly social workers let him go back to live with the family when he was released. The terrible abuse resumed. In 1984 he was caged for four more years.
Later the girl revealed Malcolm – dubbed the Nightmare Man – had first begun molesting her at the age of THREE. He was hauled back into court six years ago on 13 counts of abusing the girl, her two older sisters and two brothers.
But an Old Bailey judge sparked outrage by ruling Malcolm could not get a fair trial because his previous convictions would have to be revealed to the jury. The monster walked free – despite experts branding him a “sadistic paedophile.”
Malcolm was a pal of notorious child-sex fiend Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey.
While he was living with the five children, Malcolm would invite Bailey and other perverts to join in the abuse – as the kids lay tied to beds.
One of the boys later said: “He used to say he was not doing anything wrong and that if we told anyone he would take our mum away from us.” Malcolm also intimidated his victims by boasting he had been present at the killing of runaway rent boy Jason Swift. His friendship with Bailey linked him to the paedophile ring led by monsters Sidney Cooke and Lenny Smith.
The gang tortured and murdered at least nine young boys, including Jason, 14, Mark Tildesley, seven, and Barry Lewis, six.
Detectives hauled security guard Malcolm in to grill him about the killings.
Residents in Manor Park were furious when he moved there – setting up home with new lover Donna Robinson and her three young children. She was away from the flat when he was murdered on Thursday. Neighbour Lorraine Webber, 27, said: “There will be no tears for him. It could not have happened to a nicer person.”
Cuddling her daughter Chanynn May, aged two, the mum said: “He should never have been allowed to live here in the first place amongst children.”
Another neighbour Frank Lee, 77, added: “Killing Malcolm was the only cure for him. This area is full of vulnerable kids who play in the park opposite and in the streets. They will feel safer now.” A drinker at the nearby Blakesley Arms raised his glass and said: “We will be dancing holes in our shoes tonight to celebrate this news.
“This is the best thing that could have happened to a bastard like that.”
Former Detective Chief Supt Roger Stoodley, who led the operation Orchid Investigation which nailed Cook and Smith’s gang, said Malcolm should have been left to rot in jail.
The ex-cop insisted: “This would never have happened if Malcolm had been kept locked up in prison where he deserved to be.”
The Scotsman, February 19th, 2000
Katrina Tweedie, ‘CHILD SEX ABUSER GUNNED DOWN BY VIGILANTES’
A PAEDOPHILE with links to the gang that tortured and killed the runaway rent boy Jason Swift was murdered on his doorstep in a contract killing, it emerged last night.
Two men shot dead William Malcolm, 47, at his home in Forest Gate, east London, on Thursday night in what may be the first vigilante attack in the wake of this week’s report into the North Wales child abuse scandal.
Malcolm, who had several convictions for child abuse and was a friend of the notorious paedophile Sidney Cooke, escaped a further jail sentence after charges were dropped on a legal technicality.
A neighbour of the paedophile said: “Killing Malcolm was the only cure for him.”
Meanwhile, another major investigation into child abuse is under way with police trying to trace members of a possible nationwide paedophile ring.
Scotland Yard detectives said they wanted to interview a number of key suspects over allegations that more than 200 children were abused in care homes in London over a 20-year period.
Code-named Operation Middleton, the inquiry into children’s homes run by Lambeth Council was launched last year, when a former care worker was jailed for ten years for abusing 12 boys.
Police involved in the 14-month inquiry have so far arrested five men and two women. Eleven council employees have also been suspended because of alleged abuse or other improper behaviour.
Detectives said there were a number of other suspects, against whom allegations of child abuse had been made, whose whereabouts were unknown and attempts were being made to trace them.
The Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Hugh Orde, said: “We know who the people are we want to interview.” But he admitted: “We do not know where they all are.”
Daily Mail, February 19th, 2000
David Williams and Nick Craven, ‘CHILD SEX PERVERT IS MURDERED BY GUNMEN ‘AVENGERS”
A DANGEROUS paedophile has been shot dead in what police believe may be a revenge attack.
William Malcolm, 47, was blasted in the head at point-blank range after he answered the door at his home.
Detectives, who think at least two men were involved, are combing the victim’s sordid background to draw up a list of people who may have had a motive to kill him.
They said the shooting bore all the hallmarks of a professional ‘hit’.
Neighbours of Malcolm’s third-floor flat in Northeast London which overlooked a common where children play said they were shocked by the killing, but not surprised.
One said: ‘I won’t be sending any flowers or shedding any tears. don’t think anyone will.’ Malcolm was jailed twice in the 1980s for sexually abusing a young boy and girl who lived with him.
In 1994 he faced trial at the Old Bailey for a horrifying catalogue of crimes against children as young as three, including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault and cruelty.
But he was allowed to walk free after the judge said he could not have had a fair trial because revealing his past convictions was a key element of the prosecution case.
There were furious cries of ‘kill the pervert’ from the public gallery as Judge Kenneth Richardson delivered his ruling. The judge said it was with ‘considerable regret’ that he was forced to set Malcolm free. He described the offences as ‘unspeakable’.
Malcolm’s victims had gone to police after learning that he was still in contact with young children.
After he was freed, experts warned that he was still highly dangerous and likely to strike again.
A medical report said he had ‘aggressive and sadistic tendencies’ and still harboured paedophile fantasies.
Malcolm was also linked to one of Britain’s most notorious paedophiles, Leslie ‘Catweazle’ Bailey.
Bailey’s sadistic gang abused, tortured and butchered at least three young boys in orgies of appalling depravity. Malcolm was questioned about the killings.
Bailey was himself murdered in 1993, in top-security Whitemoor Prison, Cambridgeshire.
Four years ago it was revealed that Malcolm, a onetime Army deserter, was among 600 convicted paedophiles whose movements were not being monitored because they had served their sentences before the introduction of a compulsory register for sex offenders.
Parents expressed their alarm after it was discovered that he was working in a job opposite a cathedral school, having lied about his background when he applied for the post. Malcolm and his common law wife moved into their council flat in Forest Gate five years ago.
Neighbours said they had known of his convictions and believed his death was a revenge attack.
‘There was a lot of trouble when he first moved here, then things died down,’ said one man, who asked not to be named.
‘You can’t do what he did without creating an awful lot of enemies.’ You can’t take law into your own hands.
But another neighbour said: ‘It’s too extreme. Two wrongs don’t make a right.’ Malcolm and his wife recently tried to move to nearby Canning Town but residents there blocked the move after learning of his crimes.
Police forensic experts spent yesterday combing the scene of the shooting.
Detectives from the Area Major Investigations Team, based in West London, are looking into Malcolm’s background.
A police source said: ‘It was a classic hit a knock on the door and he was shot. A lot of people will say he had it coming to him for what he has done to children in the past, but people cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands.’ The killing comes at the end of a week in which Britain has been shocked by the sickening detail of the Welsh child care scandal.
Some 650 children were victims of paedophiles, many of whom worked in the very homes in which the vulnerable youngsters were meant to be protected.
The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that another police investigation is taking place into indications that a nationwide network of paedophiles operated for over 20 years, on a scale which dwarfed the North Wales inquiry.
At least 100 paedophiles are thought to have been involved, and as many as 11,000 youngsters may have been abused.
Birmingham Evening Mail, February 19th, 2000
‘CHILD SEX MAN GUNNED DOWN’
A CONVICTED paedophile has been gunned down on his doorstep in what is believed to be a revenge attack set up by vigilantes.
Scotland Yard was today treating the murder in east London as a possible contract killing, but declined to comment on claims that the victim was a known pervert.
Some reports said the dead man was William Malcolm, a known paedophile with previous convictions for child abuse.
He is also said to have had other serious charges against him dropped on a legal technicality.
A post-mortem examination carried out yesterday found that the victim, who was white and in his 40s, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said the attack happened on the doorstep of the man’s home in Forest View Road, Forest Gate, on Thursday night.
There are believed to be two white male suspects.
“A contract killing is one area of inquiry police will be looking into, but it is too early to speculate now,” she added.
Police say while the identity of the victim is believed to be known, no formal identification has yet taken place and next of kin have still to be contacted.
The killing comes days after shocking details of Britain’s worst child abuse scandal in north Wales were released.
Malcolm, 47, was accused of a string of horrific attacks.
He was linked to the paedophile ring which murdered nine children including Jason Swift.
Families in Forest Gate were furious when Malcolm moved in there.
On Thursday a shot rang out and residents rushed out to fund him lying on the floor.
Neighbour Frank Lee, aged 77, said: “Killing Malcolm was the only cure for him.”
Sunday Express, February 20th, 2000
Simon Young, ‘HOW I TRACKED DOWN CHILD SEX MONSTER SHOT DEAD BY VIGILANTES’
FOR the deprived children of east London there is precious little green space in which they can play. Choked by the monotony of tower blocks, traffic and grime, they yearn for the freedom that so many of us take for granted.
Those living in the district of Manor Park are among the lucky ones. Here is an oasis of parkland on the southern reaches of Wanstead Flats where they can kick a ball, play hide-and-seek in the bushes and suck fresh air into their lungs.
But until last week there was a hidden menace. From his top-floor flat overlooking the vast expanse of green, bespectacled William Malcolm took an unusual interest in the youngsters’ frolics. They reminded him of the children he had defiled, whose innocence he had so cruelly and violently taken away.
Today Malcolm lies on a mortuary slab. His legacy for being one of Britain’s most detested paedophiles is a hole in his skull, caused by an executioner’s bullet.
At 9.30pm last Thursday, an assassin knocked on his door and shot him from close range, leaving him bleeding to death in the hallway. Police suspect a professional hit, perhaps arranged by one of his many victims.
For local mothers the fact that the 46-year-old is dead is welcome news. “Now my child will be able to walk the streets and play in safety,” said one. “We’re all relieved he is dead.”
I hunted Malcolm down in 1996 at a time when the Sunday Express was campaigning for a national register of child sex abusers – a campaign we subsequently won. He had an awful history but was a classic example of an offender able to hide within an unwary community.
Malcolm, a friend of the notorious paedophiles Sidney Cooke and Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey, had been jailed twice in the Eighties for a series of horrific attacks on a girl aged six and one of her brothers – both children of the women with whom he lived. He was first convicted of unlawful sex with the girl in 1981 and was jailed for two years, yet was allowed to return to the family upon his release. The abuse resumed and in 1984 he was imprisoned for four more years.
Then, six years ago, he was brought back to court on 13 counts of abusing the girl, her two older sisters and two brothers. Amazingly, he walked free because the judge ruled he could not receive a fair trial.
Malcolm was free again to mix with unsuspecting young families and to get a job. He was working as a security guard at an office next to the Westminster Cathedral Choir School for boys when I tracked him down. He had lied to his employers about his past, but after the Sunday Express exposed him he was dismissed instantly. During the course of my inquiries I persuaded Malcolm to allow me into his flat. Approached by three flights of cold, concrete stairs – those used by his killers to escape – his home was a mess. With one bedroom and separate, dimly-lit kitchen and bathroom, it had very little in the way of home comforts. Its only redeeming feature was the view over the parkland from which Malcolm took his own selfish delight.
He was cold and emotionless. He dressed scruffily – tatty patterned shirt, tracksuit bottoms and worn trainers – and had several days’ stubble. His eyes, behind wide-framed glasses, were small and weasle-like. Yet he spoke calmly and intelligently.
To my surprise he had a new partner, Donna, who was to become his common-law wife. She, too, had children but they did not live with them.
Had he remorse for his crimes? Yes. Had his sickening urges been repressed? No. “I am not a reformed character,” he told me. “But I have done my best and kept myself clean.”
He was, however, in favour of the introduction of the paedophile register.
Like many other sex offenders, Malcolm tried to find excuses for his behaviour. It was an affliction, something he had no control over at the time, he said. With trim, blonde hair, blue eyes and a bubbly personality, Donna could not have been more different to the detestable Malcolm. Yet she was so supportive. “Why won’t people leave him alone?” she asked me. “He has paid his debt and is not a threat to anyone now.”
But the memories of those living in the East End are long. The community would not leave him alone and as far as they were concerned he could never repay his debt. Until, that is, last Thursday night.
And the locals were happy with the result. “We will be dancing holes in our shoes tonight to celebrate this news,” one said. Builder Roy Mahadoo added it was for the best that Malcolm was now gone. “I have got a little girl of three myself,” he said.
“There are children running riot in the flats around here. There is the park right opposite where he lived where children play. I am quite happy that people like him are out of this community. I can understand quite clearly why someone would want to have him out of the way.”
Sam Okai, who owns a telephone shop yards away from the road on which Malcolm lived, said he had once come in to ask for a job. “I did not know he was a child abuser,” he said. “We used to greet each other quite regularly. I do not think it is right for anyone to take anyone’s life, but he was a child abuser and he should have been kept away from children.”
He added he understood that those who “felt they were haunted by him” would feel relieved that he was no longer a neighbour.
Police, who are treating the death as a contract killing, were yesterday hunting two white male suspects.Malcolm’s demise came within days of the report into the north Wales child abuse scandal. Perhaps it was that which reawakened memories of one of his victims to such a murderous extent.
The Independent, February 20th, 2000
Cole Moreton, ‘PAEDOPHILE SCANDAL: DEADLY RESULT OF NAMING AND SHAMING; COLE MORETON WONDERS IF THE SHOOTING OF CHILD RAPIST WILLIAM MALCOLM ON HIS OWN DOORSTEP HERALDS A WAVE OF VIGILANTISM’
TIME IS running out for paedophiles. Not just because of the large- scale police inquiries into child abuse at care homes in Lambeth and Birmingham, or the search for the missing 28 suspects named in the Waterhouse report. No, the really frightening thing for sex offenders lying low this weekend must be the prospect that vigilantes will find them first.
William Malcolm answered a knock on the door at his flat in Manor Park, east London, on Thursday night, and ended up with a single bullet through the brain. “It was a classic hit,” said a policeman, using language more suited to The Godfather than a briefing by the Met.
The policemen’s words were, in fact, apt. Last year two paedophiles were gunned down in Mafia-style executions in Naples, after being released from prison pending appeals. Both were shot in the head, and the local priest said: “Everyone knew these men would be eliminated eventually. The settling of accounts is not over. People are rejoicing.”
Our cosy assumption that they do things differently in the land of the Cosa Nostra has now been challenged. Yesterday the Sun claimed that neighbours cheered when they heard that the “child-sex beast” in their midst had been shot. A drinker in the local pub had allegedly raised a glass in celebration and said: “This is the best thing that could have happened to a bastard like that.”
The Mirror was even more explicit in its endorsement of the murder. On Friday it had boasted about tracking down Albert Dyson, one of the 28 missing suspects named by Waterhouse. He had spent nearly 20 years in hiding after receiving an 18-month jail sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy at the Bryn Estyn home in Flintshire.
“CAUGHT” was the headline over a piece describing Dyson as a “pervert” and a “menace”. Yesterday the Mirror ran an almost identical front page, under another single word “AVENGED”. This time a detailed story on the death of Bill Malcolm included a quote from a local mother, whose words also appeared elsewhere: “Whoever did this deserves a medal.”
The 46-year-old dead man had first been jailed in 1981, for abuse of and unlawful intercourse with an underage girl. Six years ago he appeared at the Old Bailey on charges of rape, indecent assault, and cruelty. A psychiatric report said he was a sexual psychopath, but a legal technicality meant the judge was obliged to let him go free.
After that Malcolm was threatened repeatedly. His death was the latest and most dramatic in a series of actions taken against paedophiles by vigilantes, councils and even Church leaders.
In 1998 an angry mob of 200 parents besieged a police station in east London as Sydney Cooke was about to be released into the community. Cooke had served time for his part in the murder of a 14-year-old boy called Jason Swift during a paedophilic orgy at a flat in Hackney.
Crowds continued to gather outside police stations and hostels as Cooke, 72, was moved around the west of England for his own protection. Police had to evacuate residents and staff from one hostel when it was surrounded by 400 protesters, even though his presence there was only a false rumour.
He lived in a suite of three cells at Yeovil police station, until admitting more sex offences dating back over two decades. He is now back in prison.
His accomplice Robert Oliver is at a secure unit in Buckinghamshire, and the cost of protecting him from revenge attacks over the years has been estimated at about pounds 120,000.
In 1997 Rhondda Cynon Taff Council in Wales banned convicted paedophiles from living in any of its flats or houses. In May 1998 officials at Sheffield Cathedral told a man with convictions for indecent assault against choirboys that he was not welcome to worship there or at any church in the diocese.
A year later, a mob of villagers near Kirkudbright in Dumfries and Galloway stoned the home of George Belmonte, who had served six prison sentences for sex offences against children. Protesters had already driven him out of two other places in Scotland. Belmonte, who was banned from talking to children or going into play parks, schools or swimming pools, said he was worried what might happen if people like him were persecuted.
“The police have the power to warn selected people about my presence in their area, and that spells trouble. The information soon gets out and in time vigilante groups are formed. They are allowed to take the law into their own hands and carry out vendettas against people like me.
“A frightened man is a desperate man and this could lead to trouble. I don’t want to be alarmist but I can foresee another Dunblane.”
There was little sympathy for the plight of such men from the Home Office yesterday. Asked where paedophiles could go in safety to rebuild their lives, a spokesman said: “Wherever they want. A spent conviction is time served, a debt paid. These people are free citizens.”
For some, freedom means having your windows smashed, being driven out of your home, having to hide in a police cell, or choosing to live in fear of the night when the doorbell rings and an avenger, as the tabloids would characterise him, is standing there with a gun.
There may be no hope of rehabilitation for serial offenders, but others, including some of those whose crimes in care homes are only just coming to light, will need a safe place to rebuild their lives once their punishment has been served.
Asked where they could go, now that the William Malcolm case seemed to announce the start of open season for paedophile-hunters, the man from the Home Office stressed that police had yet officially to confirm that the death was anything to do with his previous offences. “We would not want to prejudice that investigation, so there is nothing more we could say at the moment.”
The Sun, February 21st, 2000
Mike Sullivan, ‘I’d like to buy child-sex fiend’s killers a big drink; Exclusive’
Says woman he raped when she was just 5
A WOMAN raped at the age of five by murdered paedophile William Malcolm said yesterday: “I just wish it was me who had shot him.”
The jubilant 27-year-old added: “I’d love to meet the people who did it to say thank you – and buy them the biggest drink in the world.”
She, her two older sisters and two brothers all suffered horrific abuse at the hands of the brute they dubbed The Animal.
Malcolm, 47, was killed by a bullet in the head as he answered the door to two stocky white hitmen on Thursday.
His woman victim, who is still undergoing psychiatric counselling, said: “I’ve been jumping up and down with joy.
“Hearing The Animal was dead is the happiest I’ve ever felt.”
Malcolm – twice jailed for abusing her – walked free on a legal technicality six years ago when she tried to get him locked up for a third time.
The woman, referred to in court as Susie, went to cops with her brothers and sisters to reveal further abuse after learning he had moved in with a mum and her three children. Security guard Malcolm was charged with 13 new attacks. But an Old Bailey judge let him walk free amid uproar. Malcolm was linked to the paedophile ring led by vile child-sex monster Sidney Cooke.
The gang tortured and murdered at least nine young boys including Jason Swift, 14, Mark Tildesley, seven, and Barry Lewis, six.
Susie still cannot bear to mention Malcolm’s name. She shuddered yesterday as she said: “He wrecked my life. My daughter aged four is in care because I was unable to look after her properly. I’m trying to overcome a drink problem. I blame it on him.”
Susie knows she is a suspect over the beast’s murder – as are her brothers and sisters. Detectives probing the shooting in Manor View, East London, have already contacted them to warn they will be interviewed.
But Susie insisted: “It was none of us. I wish it HAD been me who killed him.”
Her sister, now a mum of four aged 40, said: “Malcolm raped me when I was 14 and did unspeakable things to me.
“When he walked away from the Old Bailey on a technicality I shouted out, ‘I hope you drop dead you bastard.’
“I am worried my family are going to get blamed for his murder.”
Yesterday the man leading the murder hunt admitted: “I don’t know what the motive is.” Detective Chief Inspector David Shiperlee added: “We still need to delve into his background. His past history could be relevant. But it might be something completely different.”
The Scotsman, February 21st, 2000
John Woodcock, ‘MP SAYS HE MAY NAME ABUSE SUSPECTS’
A LABOUR MP threatened yesterday to use parliamentary privilege to reveal the names of at least six more suspects linked with the north Wales child abuse scandal.
Martyn Jones, the MP for Clwyd South, has claimed that last week’s Waterhouse report was a whitewash and that there are still people identified by victims who have not been properly investigated.
He has vowed to seek a full investigation of all remaining people alleged to have committed sex crimes in the Welsh care homes and is threatening to name names in the Commons if he does not secure a fresh inquiry or action from the police.
The MP’s threat came as police continued the hunt for the “contract” killers who shot dead a convicted paedophile, William Malcolm, at his east London home last Thursday.
And there was little sympathy from Roger Stoodley, the former detective chief superintendent who uncovered Britain’s biggest paedophile ring in the 1980s. He said that Malcolm “deserved” to die because he was a convicted sex offender.
A number of suspects on Mr Jones’s list are believed still to be working in positions where they might come into contact with children. Mr Jones, chairman of the Commons Welsh Select Committee, made a similar threat to “out” alleged abusers in order to pressure the John Major administration to launch the Waterhouse inquiry into the abuse scandal.
He said: “I believe that there are other people who should have been named in the report, because Waterhouse took the view that he was not going to name people who were not convicted, whereas there are people who I know were named by victims who may potentially be abusers. Until these people are investigated, we don’t know whether they are abusers or have been maliciously identified.
“I know of at least six names of people who have not been investigated, and I believe there are more.”
Several of the names known to Mr Jones are mentioned in the Jillings report into the scandal, commissioned in the early 1990s by Clwyd County Council but suppressed on advice from their insurers.
But Mr Jones said he intended to meet victims, as well as Malcolm King, the former social services chairman at Clwyd, to seek further names. He said: “At the end of the day, I will name these people if necessary, but at the moment I am trying to work out whether they have been investigated or not. Once I have a definite list, I will seek to have them investigated.
“If that doesn’t work, it is a real possibility that I will read out a list of names or parts of the Jillings report in the House, possibly within weeks, but I am not going to jump the gun.”
The Waterhouse report mentioned 200 people as having been convicted of abuse, being alleged abusers or failing to protect children.
Scotland Yard confirmed that Malcolm died after being shot once in the head at his flat in Forest View Road, Manor Park, east London. It said that the suspects are thought to be in their 30s, of stocky build and wearing dark clothing. Officers are also investigating whether Malcolm had received any death threats.
The killing, which came two days after the Waterhouse report was published, left Malcolm’s neighbours “relieved” that a paedophile living in their midst was now “out of the way”.
Malcolm walked free from the Old Bailey six years ago when a judge decided “with considerable regret” that 13 charges, including rape, indecent assault and cruelty, could not be heard because of a legal technicality.
The judge said it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial as the defence would be unable to question witnesses without their revealing his imprisonment. He was first jailed in 1981 for unlawful intercourse with an eight-year-old girl and a serious sexual offence against a boy, aged nine. He was jailed again in 1984 for four years for raping the same girl.
Leicester Mercury, February 21, 2000
Victim thanks rapist’s killers
A VICTIM of a convicted child rapist gunned down on his doorstep in a suspected contract killing today said she would like to thank the gunmen.
The 27-year-old woman, who says William Malcolm abused her, her two brothers and two sisters, said: ”I wish it was me who had shot him.
”I’d love to meet the people who did it to say thank you n and buy them the biggest drink in the world. Hearing The Animal was dead is the happiest I’ve ever felt.”
Malcolm, 44, who was twice jailed for abusing the unnamed woman, died after being shot once in the head on Thursday night at his flat in Forest View Road, Manor Park, east London.
He walked free from the Old Bailey six years ago when a judge decided ”with considerable regret” that 13 charges, including rape, indecent assault and cruelty, could not be heard because of a legal technicality.
The judge said it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial as the defence would be unable to question witnesses without their revealing his history of imprisonment.
He was first jailed in 1981 for unlawful intercourse with an eight-year-old girl and a serious sexual offence against a boy, aged nine.
He was sent to prison again in 1984 for four years for raping the same girl.
The Express, February 21st, 2000
Alex Hendry, ‘I’LL NAME CHILD ABUSERS’
AN MP is to “name and shame” child abusers who he claims were involved in the North Wales care homes scandal but never prosecuted.
Martyn Jones, Labour MP for Clwyd South, said yesterday that he will use parliamentary privilege to name the alleged offenders.
It is understood there could be at least another 50 suspected abusers and some could still be working with children.
Mr Jones said the identities of some abusers had been known since the early 1990s when Clwyd council ordered an investigation into reports of a scandal involving homes in its area.
He says the findings were kept secret by the council at the insistence of its insurers to avoid the prospect of huge compensation claims from the abuse victims.
The MP said that some of those accused of child abuse in the Clwyd findings are not mentioned in the long-awaited Waterhouse Report published last week, although victims gave evidence to the inquiry.
He said: “It appears that some of those named have not been investigated when they should have been. I know of at least six names of people who have not been investigated, and I believe there are more. The names I have, I have known since 1989.
“They are not simply malicious allegations on the back of the recent publicity.”
Mr Jones, chairman of the Commons Welsh Select Committee, made a similar threat to “out” alleged abusers in order to pressure John Major’s government into launching the Waterhouse inquiry.
The 420,000-word document on the physical and sexual abuse suffered by hundreds of youngsters in care in North Wales over a 20-year period caused shockwaves last week.
It listed 200 individuals, including those convicted of abuse, those alleged to have abused children and those it said had failed to protect the youngsters in care.
The report sparked an immediate hunt for 28 people who it said were unsuitable to work with children but whose whereabouts were not known. Mr Jones said he now intends to meet victims of abuse and will also see Malcolm King, the former social services chairman at Clwyd.
He will then draw up a list of all those care workers accused of abuse but not so far identified publicly.
Mr King, who was also instrumental in calling for the Waterhouse Report when at Clwyd, said: “It is obscene there are many more people who have not been investigated.”
Now chairman of the Police Authorities of Wales, Mr King added: “Whether it is incompetence or something more sinister the fact is child abusers are remaining unchecked and they will continue to run more children’s homes.” In a separate investigation, the police are conducting a major inquiry into allegations of child abuse at homes run by the authority in Lambeth, South London.
Birmingham and Liverpool police have also been involved in similar inquiries involving children’s care homes.
In a sinister development last week a convicted paedophile was blasted in the head by hitmen in an apparent revenge killing for his sex attacks. William Malcolm, 44, was shot dead on the doorstep of his flat in Manor Park, East London. Two men who were seen running from the scene are being hunted by police.
The Bristol Post, February 21st, 2000
‘Thank-you to hitman’
A VICTIM of a convicted child rapist shot on his doorstep in a suspected contract killing today said she would like to buy the gunmen a drink.
The 27-year-old woman, who says William Malcolm abused her, her two brothers and two sisters, said: “I just wish it was me who had shot him. I’d love to meet the people who did it to say ‘thank you’ – and buy them the biggest drink in the world.”
Malcolm, 44, who was jailed for abusing the woman, died after being shot on Thursday in Manor Park, east London.
The Bristol Post, February 21st, 2000
‘Handley brother speaks’
A CONVICTED child rapist shot dead on his doorstep was a neighbour of the teenage brother of Bristol paedophile victim Daniel Handley, it emerged today.
Edmoses Theophile, aged 18, lived for two years next to abuser William Malcolm, who was killed in a suspected contract hit, but was unaware of his criminal past.
Mr Theophile’s younger brother, Daniel, was kidnapped and murdered in 1994 by two paedophiles who buried his body in woods on the edge of Bradley Stoke.
Daniel, nine, was snatched from a street near his London home and strangled as the men drove along the M4.
Malcolm, 44, was shot in the head last Thursday by two men at his home in Manor Park, London.
Mr Theophile said: “I hope it’s the beginning of a long line of executions.
“I am a very good person in my heart and don’t normally say evil things like this, but these people don’t deserve any remorse or sympathy.”
Daniel’s killers, Brett Tyler and Timothy Morss, were jailed for life after the Old Bailey heard how they were acting out their sexual fantasies in murdering him.
Birmingham Evening Mail, February 21st, 2000
‘VICTIM’S JOY AS PERVERT SHOT DEAD ‘I’D LIKE TO BUY KILLERS A DRINK’; WILLIAM MALCOLM’
A VICTIM of a convicted child rapist gunned down on his doorstep in a suspected contract killing today said she would like to buy the gunmen “the biggest drink in the world”.
The 27-year-old woman, who says William Malcolm abused her, her two brothers and two sisters, said: “I just wish it was me who had shot him.
“I’d love to meet the people who did it to say thank you – and buy them the biggest drink in the world. Hearing ‘The Animal’ was dead is the happiest I’ve ever felt.”
Malcolm, 44, who was twice jailed for abusing the unnamed woman, died after being shot once in the head on Thursday night at his flat in Manor Park, Forest Gate, east London.
He walked free from the Old Bailey six years ago when a judge decided “with considerable regret” that 13 charges, including rape, indecent assault and cruelty, could not be heard because of a legal technicality.
The judge said it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial as the defence would be unable to question witnesses without their revealing his history of imprisonment.
He was first jailed in 1981 for unlawful intercourse with an eight-year-old girl and a serious sexual offence against a boy, aged nine. He was sent to prison again in 1984 for four years for raping the same girl.
The woman said: “He wrecked my life. My daughter, aged four, is in care because I was unable to look after her properly.
“I’m trying to overcome a drink problem. I blame it on him.”
Police are treating Malcolm’s shooting as a possible contract killing and are hunting for two white men who were seen running from the scene.
Officers are also trying to find a motive for the killing and are investigating Malcolm’s background to see whether he had received any death threats recently.
A police spokesman said the suspects are thought to be in their 30s and stocky.
Western Daily Press, February 22nd, 2000
‘Brother glad at killing of pervert’
THE brother of a boy murdered and buried in Bristol by two paedophiles was unknowingly a neighbour of the convicted child rapist shot dead last week.
For two years, Edmoses Theophile lived next to abuser William Malcolm, who was killed in a suspected contract hit.
Theatre student Theophile, aged 18, whose younger brother Daniel Handley was kidnapped and murdered by two paedophiles, said: “I hope it’s the beginning of a long line of executions.
“I am a very good person in my heart and don’t normally say evil things like this but these people don’t deserve any remorse or sympathy.”
Daniel Handley, from a deprived family in east London, was snatched by child abusers Brett Tyler and Timothy Morss in 1994. They strangled him and buried him on wasteland in Bradley Stoke, near Bristol.
Malcolm, 44, who had nothing to do with that case, was shot dead at the door of his home in Manor Park, east London.
The Sun, February 22nd, 2000
John Kay (London) and Mike Sullivan (Central France), ‘Shooting was best thing for my evil brother; Exclusive; Interview; Andy Malcolm’
‘Pervert was lower than rats in my barn’
THE brother of child-sex monster William Malcolm told The Sun last night: “I want to shake hands with his killers.”
Dad-of-four Andy Malcolm said: “He was vermin. I am glad he is dead.”
Retired roadsweeper Andy, 43, added in central France, where he now lives: “Through The Sun, our entire family want to say how glad we are that Bill is no longer on this earth.
“As far as I am concerned my brother was lower than the rats in my barn.”
Andy told how he wanted to break open champagne when one of his daughters phoned from England to say his paedophile brother had been shot dead on his doorstep.
He was also contacted by detectives hunting the two-man hit squad who struck on Thursday in Manor View, East London. Andy said:
At the end of the call the officer said: “Do you want to know anything if there are any developments?” I said: “Yes, when you catch the killers I want to come over there and shake their hands and say thank you very much.” That is the reaction of the whole family.
My mum loved him when she was alive and he was her son by some freak of nature. But as for the rest of us, it is good riddance. We are glad he is no longer on this earth.
If I’d had a bottle of champagne when my middle daughter phoned me with the news I would have opened it and celebrated. She said: “Have you heard – Bill got shot dead last night.” I said: “Great, brilliant. We really need good news – we don’t get much of it out here.”
His evil brother, 47, was linked with Britain’s most notorious paedophiles – including those who tortured and killed Jason Swift, 14, and eight other boys. He twice served jail terms for child-abuse – but walked free from court six years ago on a technicality.
Yesterday one of his victims – raped at the age of five – told how she wanted to buy the gunmen a drink.
Cops have vowed to work flat out to catch the killers.
The Sun, February 22nd, 2000
Richard Littlejohn, ‘Oh, what a circus; Opinion’
THE child molester shot dead in East London deserved to die, according to the policeman who uncovered Britain’s biggest paedophile ring.
Former Det Chief Supt Roger Stoodley said: “I have no sympathy for him. How many times do we have to convict these people before something drastic happens?”
Needless to say, the bleeding heart brigade have been quick to condemn Mr Stoodley as endorsing vigilante action.
But they are the real reason William Malcolm took a bullet in the head on Friday.
He had twice been jailed for child abuse and twice released early to offend again. The hand-wringers care more about the rights of paedophiles than they do about the rights of children.
Malcolm was clearly a sick, evil man. He should have been locked up for life, not just for society’s protection but also for his own.
If he had been in a secure prison where he belonged he could not have been shot. Vigilantes only operate when the system fails to properly punish or deter criminals.
But increasingly the law resembles a conspiracy against the respectable, hard-working, law-abiding majority.
No wonder decent coppers like Roger Stoodley get frustrated and angry.
It wasn’t just the man who pulled the trigger who killed William Malcolm, it was the whole rotten bunch of lawyers and social workers who sent him back into society.
They are as sick and perverted as he was.
Birmingham Post, February 22nd, 2000
Paul Peachey, ‘KILLING IS A BLATANT WARNING FOR PAEDOPHILES’
The brother of a boy murdered by two paedophiles was a neighbour of the convicted child rapist gunned down on his doorstep last week.
For two years, the 18-year-old lived next to abuser William Malcolm, who was killed in a suspected contract hit, but was unaware of his criminal past.
But Edmoses Theophile, whose younger brother Daniel Handley was kidnapped and murdered by two paedophiles acting out their sexual fantasies, said: “I hope it’s the beginning of a long line of executions.” Mr Malcolm, aged 44, was shot once in the head at close range as he opened the door to two men at his home in Manor Park, East London, on Thursday night.
Mr Theophile said: “There’s one less and I’m content with that fact. But there are still more out there.
“Some people can’t sit back and wait for judgment day. Some people are going to make it themselves.”
He said he wanted the shooting to be seen as a “blatant warning” for every paedophile.
Daniel Handley, from a deprived family in East London, was snatched by child abusers Brett Tyler and Timothy Morss while he was riding his bicycle in 1994. They took him to a South London flat and videotaped each other abusing the nine-year-old boy.
They then strangled him as they drove along the M4 towards Bristol before dumping his body.
The two men were told by the trial judge that “life means life” but Mr Theophile said: “If I could, I would certainly kill them.”
One of Malcolm’s victims said yesterday she would like to buy the gunmen “the biggest drink in the world”.
The 27-year-old woman, who says Malcolm abused her, her two brothers and two sisters, said: “I just wish it was me who had shot him.”
Malcolm was twice jailed for abusing the unnamed woman but walked free from the Old Bailey six years ago when a judge decided that 13 charges, including rape, indecent assault and cruelty, could not be heard because of a legal technicality.
He was first jailed in 1981 for unlawful intercourse with an eight-year- old girl and a serious sexual offence against a boy, aged nine. He was sent to prison again in 1984 for four years for raping the same girl.
Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday that Mr Theophile had been spoken to as part of routine house-to-house inquiries.
The Sun, February 23rd, 2000
‘We hated pervert but killers solved nothing; The big issue; Dear Sun; Letter’
EVIL paedophile William Malcolm was gunned down on his doorstep and police are hunting his killers. Here are your views.
NO one can justify the cold blooded murder of a human being – even an evil paedophile like William Malcolm.
But he had been allowed to escape justice through a legal technicality and the people living near him had every reason to fear for the safety of their children.
Our justice system keeps letting us down and until this changes I fear more people will feel the need to do what the courts don’t do.
NICK BARRETT, Bottisham, Cambridge
WHATEVER crimes William Malcolm may have committed, another wrong doesn’t make a right.
His murder solves nothing. Vigilantes are not welcome in today’s society. This kind of behaviour belongs in the Dark Ages.
M N BRETT, Dudley, West Midlands
I HOPE police inquiries into the death of William Malcolm will be conducted with the same ruthlessness as the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
JOHN ROZIER, Worcester
THERE are a lot of complaints about the police not doing enough to solve crimes but I don’t think there will be any if they fail to find the killers of William Malcolm.
His murder will probably mean that more children will now be safe.
Mrs P MASON, Skipton, North Yorkshire
THE people who shot William Malcolm have done what the laws of this country failed to do, make our children’s lives safer. I am sick of the way these paedophiles keep getting away with it.
They say they cannot help themselves, so why don’t the judges and the Government listen to them and us, the public, and lock these evil monsters away for the rest of their lives. Until judges are elected, like in the U.S., they will never do what the public wish.
T F BROWN, Hornchurch, Essex
IT would be typical of our legal system if Malcolm’s killer got a tougher sentence than the victim.
William Malcolm may have been shot, but aren’t we really better off without him walking our streets?
LES ALLPORT, Stourbridge, West Midlands
WHILE I certainly didn’t shed any tears for evil William Malcolm, I hope this killing won’t spark off similar vigilante attacks. We may have become increasingly frustrated with our inadequate justice system but taking the law into our hands is the first step to anarchy. It is up to Jack Straw to sort out our system so these perverts serve life, rather than a few years.
GEOFF SUMMERFIELD, Leeds
THERE can be no punishment too severe for a paedophile and I don’t doubt Malcolm’s neighbours feel their children are safer now. But that does not justify his execution by vigilantes on his doorstep or the reported jubilation of his neighbours. This is no better than mob rule or a return to the Dark Ages. We must overhaul our judicial system so the absurd circumstances of this man’s court cases and the apparently ridiculous court rulings are never repeated.
SPENCER ARNOTT, Holmer Green, Bucks
I THINK the killing of convicted child rapist William Malcolm was a great pity.
It was a pity that it wasn’t done sooner, which may have saved one of his victims suffering mental scarring which will last a lifetime.
It was a pity someone had to do something the state should have done.
G McGOURAN, Bewdley, Worcs
THE vigilante killing of William Malcolm may be wrong, but it shows how much contempt law-abiding citizens have for our legal system, which seems to favour the criminal and not the public.
Legal technicalities are always being found to prevent criminals receiving the full sentence they deserve. In this sort of case there should be a procedure to over-rule technicalities like these.
Ironically, these technicalities led to Malcolm’s death. If he had gone to prison he would be alive.
Mr R VELL, Newquay, Cornwall
IF this type of killing were to continue there could be some who will use it as a licence to take revenge on others who have only been accused but are innocent. We tread a dangerous path with mob rule.
S LOCKE, Leicester
Sunday Mirror, March 5th, 2000
Tim Luckett, ‘SEX RING LINK TO PERVERT’S KILLING’
A PAEDOPHILE was shot dead because he was about to expose a major child sex ring – including several influential figures – police believe.
Detectives hunting William Malcolm’s killers are now interviewing known paedophiles to confirm the motive.
“It looks like Malcolm was on the verge of exposing something big – it is thought some well-known people were involved,” a police source said.
Malcolm, 47, linked to notorious paedophiles Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey and Sidney Cooke, was killed two weeks ago with a bullet in the head at his flat in East London.
Originally, it was believed the killing was carried out by hitmen in a revenge attack. Two male suspects seen fleeing from the flat in Forest Row have yet to be traced.
After Malcolm’s death, a girl who had been abused by him at the age of five said: “I wish it was me who had shot him.”
New Statesman, March 13th, 2000
Richard Webster, The New Statesman Special Report – ‘Can a whistle-blower be wrong?; Richard Webster on the reasons for scepticism about the North Wales tribunal’s conclusion that hundreds of young people were abused’
When, one evening in the middle of last month, William Malcolm opened the front door of his flat to two visitors, he was shot dead with a single bullet through his brain. According to newspaper reports, his neighbours cheered when they heard the news, and a local mother said ‘whoever did this deserves a medal’. In 1981, Malcolm had been convicted for unlawful intercourse with an under-age girl. Six years ago, he had appeared at the Old Bailey on charges of rape, indecent assault and cruelty, but the trial had been halted for legal reasons.
Some newspapers endorsed and even applauded Malcolm’s extra-judicial murder. The implication is that child sexual abuse is so repugnant a crime that we may be justified in abandoning the normal processes of law. This sets a disturbing and dangerous precedent and the examples go beyond the Malcolm case. Several MPs have said that they will use parliamentary privilege to name 50 alleged child abusers in north Wales. But the Tribunal of Inquiry into Child Abuse in North Wales Children’s Homes chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, which reported last month, refrained from identifying these people precisely because there was insufficient evidence against them.
As Cleveland and the Orkneys should have taught us, it is possible for people to be wrongly accused of child sexual abuse. In the current climate, however, a mere allegation of abuse is widely treated as though it were proof of wrongdoing. And when MPs themselves trample on the very principles of justice, it places immense pressure on both judges and juries to convict even when the evidence points to a defendant’s innocence.
The North Wales tribunal, insofar as it has been criticised at all, has been accused of not apportioning enough blame, not naming enough names. Almost nobody, apart from BBC2’s Newsnight, has questioned its broad conclusions, which largely endorsed the horrifying allegations of sexual and physical abuse it was set up in July 1996 to investigate. According to the Daily Mail, the tribunal had uncovered ‘Britain’s worst-ever paedophile scandal’. The newspaper added that ’40 of the monsters are still at large’. Almost all newspapers featured the role of the whistle-blower Alison Taylor. ‘I nailed child sex perverts: Brave Alison exposed abuse scandal’ was the Sun headline. The Daily Telegraph carried a picture of Taylor under the headline ‘I had the proof but they wouldn’t listen’.
Confronted with alleged child abuse, the press abandons its critical faculties, rather as it did with the convictions of supposed IRA bombers in the 1970s. The comparison is a telling one. Just as those who campaigned then against miscarriages of justice were accused of sympathy for the IRA, those who now raise even the possibility of miscarriages of justice in child-abuse cases are suspected of condoning abuse, or denying its existence.
But no matter how heinous the alleged crime, suspects deserve the proper processes of law. And, in the case of north Wales, there must be reasonable doubt not only about the guilt of many of those accused but also about whether many of the alleged crimes took place at all.
The Sun, March 18th, 2000
Mike Sullivan, ‘Cops quiz victim of fiend on shooting’
A WOMAN raped by paedophile William Malcolm when she was five has been arrested in connection with his murder.
Cops quizzed the 27-year-old, known only as Susie, after she told The Sun she wanted to buy Malcolm’s killers “the biggest drink in the world.”
Security guard Malcolm, 47, was shot last month by two hitmen at his home in Manor Park, East London.
Susie, her two sisters and two brothers all suffered horrific abuse at the hands of the brute they dubbed The Animal. And he was twice jailed.
Last night Susie, of Hackney, said: “When the police arrested me they asked whether I had got anyone to shoot Malcolm.
“I told them I wish it had been me who killed him, but it wasn’t. I am totally innocent.”
Now free on bail, she will learn if she will be charged on Wednesday.
The Independent, April 6th, 2000
Ian Burrell, ‘JAILED SEX ATTACKERS FEAR FREEDOM AFTER VIGILANTE DEATH OF PAEDOPHILE’
A SUCCESSION of vigilante attacks against paedophiles has sent a “wave of fear” through prisons, causing terror among sex offenders awaiting release.
Prison managers say the alarm sweeping through sex offender units has resulted in some paedophiles saying they would rather remain incarcerated than risk going home.
The panic follows the killing six weeks ago of William Malcolm, a child sex attacker shot in the head on his doorstep in north-east London. Other sex offenders have been hounded from homes and hostels by groups of vigilantes.
Despite government claims that dangerous paedophiles must remain in prison, child sex offenders are being released regularly and many reoffend. There are fears that vigilantism could drive them into hiding, making police surveillance even more difficult and increasing the chances that they will strike again.
Chief probation officers said yesterday that the Government would need more secure and highly supervised units for released paedophiles – such as the one inside Nottingham prison used to house the predatory offenders Robert Oliver and Lennie Smith.
In Grendon prison near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, paedophiles being prepared for release have said they are fearful for their future. Andrew, 37, who served nearly five years for sex attacks on children, has asked to go to a hostel near London rather than return to his native Wales. “People say you are bound to be looking forward to it but time is flying by for the wrong reasons because I am shit scared of being allowed out,” he said. “I’m supposed to be looking forward to it but I’m not.”
Andrew said he was concerned at being cut off from the specialist treatment he receives at Grendon, where he is housed on a wing exclusively for sex offenders.
“In here people know what we have done and they accept it,” he said. “When I was at Dartmoor I was fearful of having jugs of hot water thrown at me. Those are the same fears I have now about getting out. What if someone is waiting for me when I get off the train or go to buy some fags in the morning?”
“Banter” among the jailed offenders focused on losing weight by running from gangs of vigilantes and spending money on paint thinners to clean abusive slogans from windows, he said.
Jenny Stead, a probation officer responsible for housing the released sex offenders, said they had become “the modern-day folk devils”.
Alan, a former schoolteacher serving 10 years for sex offences against boys and due to leave jail next year, said a recent dream that he was back home was a nightmare. “When I woke up I was relieved to find I was still in prison,” he said.
At Grendon, sex offenders undergo intensive group-based psychotherapy to uncover the deepest roots of their behaviour. Many have themselves been abused as children.
They are taught to recognise the early warning signals that they are about to carry out a new attack. Dr John Gordon, the wing therapist, admitted that, though the work at Grendon is known nationally for cutting recidivism, it is “only partially successful”.
Most paedophiles are released to hostels that should be well away from their past victims. They are staffed round-the-clock but are not secure.
Graham, 61, another former teacher, became aware of his full propensity for evil when he was told that another sex offender with whom he had shared a cell had kidnapped and murdered a boy aged 10. “The same seeds of that kind were there within me,” he said. “I don’t say they would germinate. I am not a violent man. But it was a shock within the system.”
Graham claims his cries for help were ignored after he served a 21-month sentence for abusing pupils.
He is now subject to a five-year sentence for an attack on a girl aged 13 and for molesting the girl’s mother 30 years earlier. He says his wife will stand by him when he leaves prison in two years.
The paedophiles, keen to be seen to be addressing their behaviour, say they “understand’ society’s backlash against the wickedness of their crimes. But they claim that if they are not given a chance to make a fresh start on release, their ostracism will increase their chances of carrying out more attacks.
“Unless society wants to drop all rapists and paedophiles on an island like some kind of leper colony it has got to realise that we have got to live,” Andrew said. “People have got to accept me for who I am, not who I was.”
The Express, April 6th, 2000
Paedophile death quiz TWO men have been arrested by police investigating the murder of a paedophile shot dead at his door. Child molester William Malcolm was killed in February, the day after the exposure of the North Wales child abuse scandal.
Police believed it was a vigilante-style attack. Malcolm’s neighbours in Forest Gate, East London, refused to help the murder hunt. Even his brother, Andrew, said: “I’m glad he’s dead.” The arrested men, 28 and 31, were bailed to return to a London police station on May 17.
The Independent, May 29th, 2000, Monday
Steve Boggan, ‘NO ONE MOURNS AND NO ONE TALKS. A COMMUNITY CLOSES RANKS AFTER A PAEDOPHILE IS SHOT DEAD’
INSIDE WILLIAM Malcolm’s scruffy flat, you can still see bloodstains on the floor where he was gunned down. His murderers shot him once in the head, but it took him several minutes to die.
He was a 47-year-old working man in a relationship with a woman, but in the street where he lived, no one cried for him. If anything, there were mild celebrations and a touch of satisfaction that he lived a while after being shot. Perhaps he even suffered a little.
Malcolm was murdered in February by two men who knocked on his door in Manor Park, east London. Yet, after three months of investigations, police are no nearer catching the killers. His is a murder no one wants solved, because he was a paedophile.
Since Malcolm’s death, not one person has called police to volunteer useful information, according to Detective Chief Inspector David Shipperlee, head of the central London serious crimes group.
“We haven’t had any calls with significant information,” said Det Ch Insp Shipperlee. “The inquiry is not becalmed. We are very active, but we have very little to go on.”
In Manor Park, Malcolm was a pariah. He moved into the area in 1995 after a trial against him on 13 charges of rape and indecent assault on children collapsed on a technicality. Those who saw his picture in the paper would point or call their children away from him.
He had been jailed in 1981 for sexually abusing the six-year-old daughter of a woman with whom he was living. After being released within a year, he returned to the home and began abusing the girl and her two brothers and sisters. In 1984, he was jailed again.
“He sexually abused us and he hit us – he had been in the Army and he would beat us with his Army belt,” said his six- year-old victim, now 27. “I couldn’t go to anyone because he threatened to kill my brothers and sisters if I did.
“Then one day my sister walked in and caught him with me and the police were called. But he was only in prison for a year. He came out when I was about nine and he was doing it until I was about 11, with me and my brothers and sisters.
“Eventually, when we couldn’t take it any more, we told and he was arrested again. That time, he was inside for about two and a half years. When he came out, our social worker told my mother that if she had him back in the house, I would have to go into care. She chose him, and I was in care from 11 to 18.
“Every day, he would hang around the care home, threatening me, and he would follow me to school. Eventually, the social workers had to take me to school. He was an animal and he ruined my life. I was receiving psychiatric help for years; I became an alcoholic and it was only recently that I stopped blaming myself. To me, being put into care at 11 was like going to prison. It was as if I had done something wrong.
“When I heard he had been killed, I went out and got drunk. It was the best news I’d had in years.”
The 1995 trial collapsed because Judge Kenneth Richardson ruled that Malcolm had no chance of a fair hearing, as those allegedly abused included previous victims. That meant his earlier conviction would inevitably be revealed to jurors.
At the time he made his decision, it is understood that Judge Richardson did not have access to a report written by Dr Jeremy Coid, a psychologist at Hackney Hospital. The report said: “(Malcolm) has marked paedophile tendencies of a strongly sadistic nature. For the foreseeable future, Mr Malcolm must be considered a real and immediate danger to any children to whom he might have access.”
For the past five years, Malcolm has lived in a one-bedroom, third-floor flat overlooking fields on the edge of Waltham Forest. It is understood that two children of his partner, Donna Robinson, were taken away by her family as a precaution against Malcolm. She declined to comment.
In his street, Forest View Road, news of his death was regarded as good news for people with children.
“It’s a relief,” said Robert Innes, 54. “I moved in after Malcolm, so I missed all the publicity when he arrived and I didn’t know about him. But I have three grandchildren, aged 11, nine and three, and they used to play on the fields outside his flat.
“I dread to think what could have happened. If I’d known about him, I’d have kicked his door down and warned him off,” he said.
In the local pub, the Blakesley Arms, the landlord Eddie O’Donnell said no one would help the police catch the killers, believed to have been two white men who were seen running from the scene.
“Everyone in here wants to buy them a big drink,” he said. “They’ve done a public service. This is the East End of London, where you don’t grass on someone who sorts out a child molester. It isn’t that people are being obstructive – they really don’t know anything – but if you want to call it a wall of silence, then yes. That’s what the police will find.”
Police know a lot about Malcolm until 1995, after whichthey have no reports of him offending. They know he regarded the murderer and paedophile Leslie Bailey as a friend. Bailey was jailed for abusing and murdering Jason Swift, 14, Mark Tildesley, seven, and Barry Lewis, six. He was murdered in prison in 1993.
Malcolm’s brother-in-law was married to Bailey’s sister and they had both worked at an east London taxi firm and a nearby toy factory. Malcolm admitted having Bailey round to his home as a guest. He is also thought to have associated with the notorious paedophile Sydney Cooke.
Since 1995, however, the police have drawn a blank. “We haven’t been able to track down a single person he may have associated with,” said Det Ch Insp Shipperlee. “But he had a job (as a security guard in the City of London), so someone must have at least gone for a drink with him from time to time. We need to find those people. They might not have known about his past, but they may be able to tell us something about his associates in the present.”
Early media claims of a professional killing are not taken seriously by police. It is not particularly professional to fire once, leaving your victim alive.
And, although they have interviewed all Malcolm’s victims, they have no evidence to suggest an “avenger” is at work. However, without help, evidence of any sort is in short supply.
In the final analysis, there are two points of view. One is best expressed by Malcolm’s brother, Andy, now living in France. “If you have a piece of dirt contaminating the street, you remove it. I loathed my brother and he got what he deserved. He was a nonce, he was contaminating the street and he was removed. Even if I knew who killed him, I wouldn’t tell the police. The killers are welcome in my home any time.”
And the other is voiced by Det Ch Insp Shipperlee: “I know it is difficult for people to sympathise with this man, but he was murdered. And in all conscience, whoever it is, you can’t let people get away with murder.”
The Guardian, July 24, 2000
Vikram Dodd, ‘Paedophile row: Innocents suffer when law of the lynch mob takes hold’
Fears that the News of the World’s naming of paedophiles will lead to vigilante attacks are based on a string of violent incidents across Britain.
Action by mobs has killed and maimed the innocent and, in cases where those targeted were child-sex offenders, led to lynch mob rule.
Scotland Yard is still hunting the killers of William Malcolm, 47. In February he answered a knock at the door of his east London home and was shot in the head.
Malcolm had been convicted twice for attacks on a six-year-old girl and her brother. He served two years in jail for assaulting the girl, and on release, his abuse resumed.
Neighbours reportedly celebrated the murder of Malcolm, who was linked to a paedophile ring including the notorious child-killer Sidney Cooke.
In March a 24-year-old man was abducted by vigilantes in the Midlands. They beat and tortured him for a week.
The fury unleashed by the thought of paedophiles living in communities has repeatedly led to cases of innocent people suffering.
Francis Duffy, 67, was beaten and severely injured by vigilantes after being mistaken for a paedophile, Brynley Dummett, who had been named by the Manchester Evening News, the Guardian’s sister newspaper.
In the West Midlands, a 14-year-old girl was killed when her home was firebombed in an arson attack intended for a paedophile.
Some, such as Paul Webster, could not take the pressure of false accusation. An inquest heard that the 38-year-old unemployed musician from Ply mouth drank himself to death after neighbours accused him of being a child abuser.
Webster, who had been giving children guitar lessons, was threatened with a knife and harassed constantly for three weeks. “Beware nonce lives here” was sprayed on the door of his flat.
In some cases, offenders have been repeatedly driven out of the areas in which they try to settle. In one instance the home of a sex offender was burned down, leaving the children in the family – who had been his victims – homeless as well.
Frank Revill, 55, was one person targeted by vigilantes who falsely believed he was a paedophile.
Three years ago, word spread that a child abuser was due to move into his neighbourhood in Folkestone, Kent. Mr Revill was spotted moving things into a house belonging to his daughter. “The vigilantes saw me, put two and two together and got five,” he said.
Mr Revill was verbally abused, had windows smashed and received threatening phone calls.
Yesterday Mr Revill said: “The thought of paedophiles abhors me, but at the other extreme, vigilantes should be stopped from taking the law into their own hands.”
It seems that no action by the authorities is sufficient to prevent outbreaks of mob violence. In April 1998 protesters surrounded a police station in Bristol, believing it housed Sidney Cooke. A barrage of petrol bombs and bricks were thrown, leaving 46 police officers injured as they tried to contain the crowd.
Police said a peaceful protest had been hijacked, with the rioters including children as young as eight.
The Independent, July 31st, 2000
Steve Boggan, ‘HOW REOFFENDING BY CHILD SEX ABUSERS HAS BEEN CUT BY A QUARTER’
WHAT REDUCED Jo Clarke to tears was not an encounter with a paedophile or an interview with a victim. It was a police statement in which a little boy described his ordeal at the hands of a sex attacker. “It was the vocabulary, the child using childish words to explain things he didn’t understand,” Ms Clarke said. “And that just got to me.”
She is the head of a Prison Service team that recruits psychologists to deal with paedophiles and sex offenders: she has hired 200 in the past 18 months alone. It is a job few would envy – coming into contact with society’s pariahs, the men who steal innocence, who abuse children and, in some cases, kill them.
Yesterday, as criticism mounted over the News of the World’s decision to continue “naming and shaming” paedophiles, Ms Clarke described the work of dealing with such men and why there is no shortage of professionals willing to try, often at the expense of their own health.
Recalling the day, early in her career, when she read intimate details of the boy’s ordeal, she said: “He used children’s words to describe what a man had done to him. His mother made the statement. She said she was sitting on the stairs at home with him when he started talking about it.
“It seemed so horrible to have that child’s vocabulary sullied by applying it to such a terrible purpose. He was very young. He had never heard the word ‘penis’. It just made me want to cry.”
Minutes later, however, she had to meet the paedophile.
“It was a shock,” she said. “He was an intelligent, articulate man in his forties; he recognised he had caused damage and that he had a problem, but he thought it was not solvable. That was in the early 1990s. We treated him and, to our knowledge, he hasn’t reoffended.” And that, said Ms Clarke, was why the small army of prison professionals, counsellors and psychologists dedicated themselves to treating sex offenders and paedophiles. Since the introduction of a sex offenders’ treatment programme a decade ago, reoffending had been reduced by 25 per cent, leading to 96 per cent of prison service staff who dealt with such men saying it was the most satisfying work they have ever undertaken.
“It means that for every 100 men you treat who would have reoffended, 25 now won’t because of the help we have given,” Ms Clarke said. “If you assume, conservatively, that paedophiles would have gone on to sexually abuse at least two more children, then that’s 50 children you have spared.
“That’s why we do this work, for those children.”
There are currently about 12,000 men on the Home Office’s register of convicted sex offenders. Since 1997, all sex offenders are recorded on the register. They must also lodge their name and address with local police within 14 days of being released from prison.
Each year, between 1,000 and 2,000 offenders voluntarily go on the treatment programme while in prison. Themost serious sex offenders – including child killers – usually end up at Brixton prison in south London, but regimes are in place at 25 other sites, including Albany on the Isle of Wight, Usk in Gwent, Whatton in Nottinghamshire and Channings Wood in Devon.
Offenders are assessed and given counselling by Prison Service staff, usually two or three counsellors dealing with groups of eight offenders. The group sessions typically last about two hours, during which offenders are persuaded to discuss their problems, fantasies and possible causes of their behaviour.
In extreme cases, one-on-one therapy is given and techniques such as aversive conditioning are administered, where an unpleasant experience – such as a noxious smell – is applied to an offender to make a fantasy or inappropriate arousal undesirable.
“We can’t ‘cure’ sex offenders; we don’t think in terms of cure, we think in terms of control,” Ms Clarke said. “Once you are a drinker or a smoker, you always will be even after you have given up. You have to find ways to keep you off them. That is what we try to achieve.”
Yet while the psychological problems of many offenders improves, the stress on the professionals who come into contact with them can take its toll. Problems include alcohol and drug abuse, inability to sleep and sexual problems because of “invasive” images – unwanted memories of things paedophiles have told them.
Penny Buller, spokeswoman on sex offenders for the Association of Chief Probation Officers, said: “You could say it is like feeling contaminated if you have sat for two hours with serious sex offenders, making them state what they have done without minimising it or using glib phrases. You come out feeling sullied, and switching that off is not easy. You have to find ways of making yourself feel whole again afterwards.”
For probation workers dealing with paedophiles, the pressure does not cease at the end of the working day. Because sex offenders are released on licence, with strict conditions attached, probation officers have the power to report suspicious or dubious behaviour to the Parole Board, which can have the suspect reimprisoned at any time.
Ms Buller said: “We do have more control than the public might think, but it means that probation officers working with these people can never relax. You can do your work thoroughly, look out for all the signs, but at midnight, when you’re in bed, you never know whether they could be reoffending. And if they do, the pressure increases – the officer has terrible feelings of guilt, of feeling responsible. And, of course, there is then an internal inquiry focusing on the offender and the probation officer.”
So is there a better way of controlling paedophiles? In the Sixties and Seventies in the former West Germany, hundreds of sex offenders were physically castrated; they had their testicles removed to dampen sexual desire.
But today an offender could be physically castrated one day and buy replacement hormone therapy on the black market the next, according to Dr Russell Reid, a consultant psychiatrist at the Hillingdon Hospital in west London.
Dr Reid is thought to be the only psychiatrist in the UK currently practising chemical castration, the administration of drugs to dampen libido. For the past 10 years, two of his patients have voluntarily accepted monthly injections of goserelin, trade-named Zoladex, an anti-testosterone agent normally used in the treatment of prostate cancer As a side-effect, goserelin also switches off sexual desire. One of his patients had been given the choice of taking the drug or going to prison for an extremely long term after barricading himself into a room and attempting to rape three boys.
“I am not evangelical about the treatment – there are other respected psychiatrists who are opposed to it – but it has worked for these men,” he said. “If you consider that sex offenders are mostly compulsorily driven because they are hypersexual – they may think constantly about sex and require some kind of sexual gratification 10 or more times a day – then they are driven by their penis to find a victim.
“This drug switches off that process completely. However, my patients requested it; full informed consent must be given. There must be offenders out there who would be happy to undergo this treatment, in conjunction with counselling, so they can live a normal life. But there will be others who do not want it, and you can’t force them.
“Psychotherapy simply doesn’t work for paedophiles. They have terrific powers of self justification and denial. They live in some bizarre fantasy world. Most paedophiles I have come across seem to have the same mental age as the children they abuse.”
Whichever argument wins the day, public loathing of paedophiles will continue. In February this year, William Malcolm, a notorious child abuser, was shot dead on his doorstep in Manor Park, east London. In the first four months of the inquiry, the police did not receive a single call from any member of the public offering information to help catch the killers, two men seen running away. If anything there were celebrations.
When The Independent told Malcolm’s brother, Andy, who lives in France, that no one was co-operating with the police, he was delighted. “The killers are welcome in my house any time,” he said.
UK Newsquest Regional Press – This is Local London, November 28th, 2002
‘CCTV film may hold clue to murder’
TUBE travellers from Wanstead or Woodford may hold vital clues to the murder of a Manor Park man more than two years ago.
Police are appealing for witnesses whose memories might be jogged by CCTV footage of William Malcolm walking through Manor Park tube station just hours before his death.
Mr Malcolm, 44, died on February 17, 2000, after he was shot in the head. Police were called to Forest View Road where he was found on the doorstep of his top floor flat at just before 10pm. He was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died half an hour later.
Police want a man seen walking behind Mr Malcolm to get in touch as he may hold vital information about the events leading to his murder.
Detective Inspector Ron Scott of the Serious Crime Group East said: “More than two and a half years have passed since Mr Malcolm was murdered and it may be that someone feels they can come forward in the strictest confidence now that time has passed.
“The man and anyone else who was in the area at the time may have seen something suspicious. Perhaps they saw someone following Mr Malcolm out of the station towards his home or a person acting oddly.
“We are anxious to trace anyone who might be able to help us solve this murder, including Wanstead or Woodford residents who may have been using the tube.”
Two white men were seen running from Forest View Road and are described as being in their 30s, of stocky build and wearing dark clothing.
Three people, two men and a woman, were arrested in connection with the inquiry shortly after the murder but no further action was taken against them.
Witnesses should call the Barking incident room on 8345 1594 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
UPI, October 11th, 2008
‘Pedophile strangled in Britain’
Investigators say a 73-year-old pedophile found strangled in a rural area in eastern England may have been killed by a vigilante.
Gordon Boon was sentenced in 2001 to six years in prison for molesting three young girls. Detectives would not say when he was released from prison, The Daily Mail reported.
His body was discovered Monday near a turkey farm in Great Witchingham, Norfolk. Police were unsure if the killing took place there.
Boon was last seen in a Norwich pub Friday. His son reported him missing Saturday.
In 2001, Boon pleaded guilty to assaults between 1975 and 1982. In one case, he gave a young girl liquor and got her to play strip poker.
Detectives were reportedly questioning some of his victims.
In 2000, William Malcolm, 47, a convicted pedophile who had charges dropped the last time he went to trial, was shot in his London apartment. No one was charged with the killing, which set off a string of vigilante attacks on pedophiles.
Daily Mail, October 11, 2008, 1st Edition
David Williams and Ryan Kisiel, ‘Did a gang of vigilantes murder this paedophile in an act of vengeance?’
AN elderly paedophile found strangled in woodland may have been the victim of a vigilante revenge attack, police believe.
Gordon Boon, a registered sex offender, was killed while on licence from prison.
Detectives were last night investigating whether the 73- year-old was murdered because of his past crimes against a girl of eight and two aged 13.
One possibility under investigation is that Boon had again been seen with children and was confronted by a child’s relative.
The body of the former cider factory worker was found on Monday by a member of the public walking in a wooded area used by fly-tippers in Great Witchingham, Norfolk.
It had been partially covered by old fencing panels. A postmortem examination showed Boon had been strangled.
There was blood around his nose and one of his shoes was missing. It was unclear if he died at the spot, yards from the headquarters of the Bernard Matthews turkey farms, or whether he had been killed elsewhere and the body dumped.
Police are said to have spoken to some of his victims after fears that he had been killed because of his past life of paedophilia.
Detectives would not say yesterday exactly when Boon was released from jail after serving a six-year sentence imposed at Norwich Crown Court in December 2001 for indecent assaults on the three girls.
The offences were historical, some dating back to a period between 1975 and 1982, according to court documents.
The court heard how Boon, a father of four, plied one of the older girls with alcohol and then played strip poker with her. He also took photos of her and interfered with her.
In court, he admitted two offences of indecent assault and two serious sex offences against the girl, two assaults on the second girl and one on the third.
As well as being jailed, he was placed on the sex offenders register for life and ordered to serve an extended licence of five years on his release.
Boon’s killing raises fears that a vigilante seeking to avenge specific attacks may be on the loose.
It also has echoes of the killing eight years ago of notorious paedophile William Malcolm, 47, who was shot at his flat in North London. The killers were never caught in what was always suspected of being a revenge attack.
Six years earlier he had faced trial at the Old Bailey for a horrifying catalogue of crimes against children as young as three. But he was allowed to walk free after the judge said he could not have had a fair trial because revealing his past convictions was a key element of the prosecution case.
The Malcolm murder provoked a series of vigilante attacks on paedophiles. In Norfolk, police say that Boon was last seen alive in the Tombland area of Norwich, near the Maids Head Hotel, last Friday, October 3.
It is believed that his worried son alerted police last Saturday after he failed to meet him for a drink.
Boon is believed to have split from his wife Andrea shortly before his arrest. The couple, who had lived in Attleborough, Norfolk, for 25 years, have two sons and two daughters.
Mrs Boon, 69, is understood to be living with a daughter in a Norfolk village. A former neighbour of the couple in Attleborough said it had been a ‘real shock’ to learn the quiet man who lived next door was a paedophile.
‘He seemed to spend most of the time in his house,’ the neighbour said. ‘His wife was more friendly and always had time for a chat.’ Detective Chief Inspector Steve Strong, of Norfolk Police, said: ‘The investigation into the death continues and officers are following up a number of lines of inquiry.’ email@example.com
The Independent, December 13th, 2008, First Edition
Cahal Milmo, ‘Police investigate ‘vigilante attack’ claim after murder of sex offender; Lorry driver had been convicted of unlawful sex with 15-year-old girl’
By his own admission, Andrew Cunningham led an unconventional life on the margins of society. For the past three years, his home had been a caravan parked on a grim south London industrial estate outside the repair shop where he worked as a haulier.
The 52-year-old father-of-five told friends he had taken the decision to drop out because of a “misunderstanding” which led to him being convicted eight years ago of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl.
Yesterday, detectives were investigating if Mr Cunningham’s past had caught up with him. On Wednesday morning, he was found dead in his dilapidated caravan on the Windmill Industrial Estate in Earlsfield, south-west London, with multiple stab wounds, including an apparent attempt to mutilate his genitals.
For some acquaintances of the dead man working and living in the streets around Mr Cunningham’s two-berth caravan, there was little doubt about the reason for the frenzied killing. One man drinking in the Corner Pin, a pub less than 50 metres from the murder scene, said: “Nonce. He was a nonce. Everybody around here knew it. I suppose there was some who felt he had it coming.” Police face the task of deciding whether Mr Cunningham’s conviction – and subsequent claims of paedophilia levelled against him – were the reason for his murder.
Officers distanced themselves from claims that the lorry driver, who was estranged from his family, had been set upon by a mob on Tuesday night intent on carrying out a vigilante attack. CCTV footage is understood to have shown no sign of a large group in the area around his caravan.
Mr Cunningham was placed on the sex offenders register for seven years following his release from a four-month prison sentence in 2001. His name was removed in March this year.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, the officer leading the investigation, said: “I think it is unlikely this is a vigilante attack that has been in the planning for eight years. This was a brutal attack. We are keeping an open mind. It is possible the wound to his groin area was inflicted to cause confusion about the motive for the attack.” It is understood that a dispute over a debt is also being investigated.
The haulier was found naked in a pool of blood on Wednesday morning after he failed to turn up for work. There was no sign of forced entry.
The haulier had been dogged for years by taunts. Lucy, the 15-year-old daughter of a friend of Mr Cunningham, said: “He moved out of his house after his relationship with the mother of his children broke up. He was very open about why he went to prison. He said it was a misunderstanding. He said he wanted to be left alone to get on with his life in his caravan.”
Mr Cunningham had been the subject of claims that he was being investigated for an alleged indecent assault on a two-year-old girl. Mr Scola said no such inquiry was being carried out and the lorry driver had not been investigated for any sexual offence since 2000.
Victims of mob law
* In February 2000, a convicted paedophile, William Malcolm, 44, was shot dead at his flat in east London.
* In July 2000, Iain Armstrong, an innocent man, was targeted by a mob in Manchester. It followed the News of the World “shaming” of 49 suspected sex offenders. Mr Armstrong had been wearing a neck brace, because of a spinal disorder, similar to one worn by a pictured paedophile.
* In August 2000, a paediatrician named Yvette Cloete was labelled a “paedo”. “I’m really a victim of ignorance,” said Dr Cloete, who moved house.
* In the same month, a mob targeted a man in his forties in an attack on a Portsmouth estate. He left under police protection.
* In October this year, a convicted paedophile, Gordon Boon, 73, was murdered in Norfolk.
Daily Mail, December 13th, 2008, 1st Edition
Sam Greenhill, Colin Fernandez and Tamara Cohen, ‘Was this paedophile victim of a revenge murder?’
A PAEDOPHILE was hacked to death in a frenzied assault by a suspected mob of vigilantes.
Andrew Cunningham, 52, was found naked and soaked in blood at his caravan home after suffering multiple stab wounds to his head, neck and chest.
He served four months in jail for a sex attack on a 15-year-old girl in 2000 and was on the Sex Offenders’ Register until March this year.
But Cunningham may also have been targeted over accusations he molested a young girl.
Police are investigating if the attack in Wandsworth, South London, was an act of vengeance after his body was found on Wednesday.
A neighbour claimed: ‘I saw a group of about three or four kids hanging around that night. They were about 16 or 17 and they were shouting, “Come here, come here”.
They were being very aggressive.’ Detectives said Cunningham may have known his killer or killers as there was no damage to his door, which he usually kept locked.
Cunningham, a father-of-five separated from his partner, worked as a truck driver for the Riverside Haulage company and also kept his caravan on the site.
Recently, drinkers at a pub claimed he had assaulted another girl. This allegation was never reported to police but mobs reportedly drove past his caravan chanting: ‘Die, paedo, die.’ Cunningham moved there because vigilantes had set fire to a bag of rubbish outside his former house in Wandsworth in 2003.
It came after he was arrested and released without charge over allegations he was grooming children.
A police source said detectives were focusing on recent incidents rather than his earlier conviction.
He added: ‘Damage was caused to his genitals. He was loathed by a large number of people so we have a lot of potential suspects.’ Yesterday Wazir Zadran, 23, a worker at a nearby fish factory, said: ‘I heard it was a planned attack. Everyone knew he lived there and was a paedophile.’ Joe Hart, 46, a former neighbour, claimed: ‘He used to befriend young lads and invite them round.
He’d ask the boys to bring over girls and make passes at them.’ Cunningham’s body was found by his employer, known as Rodney, who said: ‘There was blood everywhere.
The bed was soaked and his head was lying in it.’ He added: ‘He was a lovely man, he couldn’t do enough for me.’ But yesterday there was little sympathy from motorists passing the scene, with one van driver shouting: ‘He deserved it.’ However, a bunch of flowers was laid by a 15-year-old called Lucy.
She said: ‘I used to go round his caravan instead of going to school.
He never laid a finger on me. He told me to go back to school.’ The teenager, who was accompanied by her father, later made a statement to police. A tag on her flowers read: ‘To Andy, the best man alive no matter what people say. Me and the family will miss you. May you rest in peace.’ Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, leading the investigation, said: ‘This was a vicious and brutal attack.’ He added that people in the area ‘knew about his history’.
Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was murdered by a paedophile in 2000, said the attack would set back her campaign for the names and addresses of sex offenders to be made public.
Two months ago, Gordon Boon, 73, was found dead in woodland in Norfolk after serving time for sexually abusing three girls.
Eight years ago, paedophile William Malcolm, 47, of North London, was shot dead in a suspected attack by vigilantes.
Sunday Mercury, August 9th, 2009, First Edition
Jeanette Oldham, ‘SEX OFFENDER WAS’KILLED BY VIGILANTES’; Man died after being kicked and punched in his home: EXCLUSIVE’
A SEX offender who died after being beaten at his home may have been the target of vigilantes who had learned of his previous convictions.
Dennis Golding, 49, who had a string of offences for indecent exposure, was found covered in blood at his Birmingham flat in January.
He had suffered serious injuries to his body and head, consistent with having been repeatedly kicked and punched in a prolonged attack which police believe may have lasted up to two hours.
Serial flasher Golding, from Small Heath, died three weeks later.
Now it has emerged that he may have been targeted by vigilantes after rumours circulated locally that he had been spotted in the sex offenders’ wing of a Midland prison.
Police sources said it was “no secret” Golding was well-known in the community as a convicted sex offender. It is believed there had been a number of earlier incidents when his property may have been damaged.
Golding, who was unemployed, had a total of nine sex offence-related convictions stretching back five years and was on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
His first conviction was in 2004, when he was sentenced to a 24-month rehabilitation order after pleading guilty to indecent exposure. He was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.
In September 2005, Golding received a one-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting four new charges of flashing.
His name was also added to the register for a further seven years.
A month later he was convicted of a further four counts of indecent exposure and of breaching the terms of the register after failing to report a change of address to West Midlands Police. He received 12 weeks in prison.
In March 2006 Golding was sentenced to 18 months for an attempted robbery.
Then in July 2007 he was locked up for four months after again being convicted of breaching the register’s conditions by not telling police he had moved address.
Community sources revealed that middle-aged Golding was set upon in his flat in Mansel Road, Small Heath, on the evening of January 25 this year. He was found with serious head injuries and was bleeding profusely.
Golding was rushed to hospital at about 11.30pm but remained in a critical condition.
It is believed he never regained consciousness.
Two men, aged 22 and 29, and a 19-year-old woman have pleaded not guilty to murder and are due to stand trial in November.
There have been a succession of vigilante attacks against paedophiles in recent years.
William Malcolm, a child sex attacker, was shot in the head on his doorstep in north-east London in 2000. Others have been hounded from homes and hostels by groups of vigilantes.
Despite public campaigns that dangerous paedophiles must remain in prison, child sex offenders are released regularly and many reoffend.
Each attack reignites the debate over whether vigilantism could drive offenders into hiding, making police surveillance even more difficult and increasing the chances that they will strike again.
Daily Express, May 13th, 1989
On June 13th, 2014, Peter McKelvie – who was the source for Tom Watson’s October 2012 question on high-level abuse based upon evidence from the investigation into Peter Righton – wrote to his local MP Sir Tony Baldry MP (Conservative, North Oxfordshire). The letter was reproduced on Spotlight, and I reproduce it here:
Dear Sir Tony,
You will no doubt be aware of the growing clamour, now joined by a cross-party group of over 40 MPs, for an Independent Hillsborough type Inquiry in to decades of organised abuse by networks that have infiltrated both the care system and the boarding school institutions of this country.
These networks include politicians, both national and local, from all political parties as well as residential social workers,police officers, teachers, judges, civil servants to name but a few.
You will no doubt be aware of the PMQ yesterday, 11th June, by Duncan Hames, until recently PPS to the Deputy Prime Minister, in which Mr.Hames asked for the Prime Minister’s support for such an Inquiry but Mr. Cameron felt that the Home Office had the situation under control and no further measure was required.
I am the retired Child Protection Team Manager who approached MP, Tom Watson, in October 2012, as a result of which Mr. Watson also asked a PMQ, on 24th October 2012 which subsequently led to the setting up of Operation Fernbridge by the Metropolitan Police.
You may recall that the PMQ involved the allegation that an elite paedophile ring had a link with No.10.
As you will know Operation Fernbridge is ongoing and I receive regular feedback on the progress of that investigation.
I would like to ask for your support as my local MP for an Independent Inquiry and would like an appointment with you please to discuss my reasons in much more detail.
On a website called Spotlightonabuse:The Past on Trial you will see my Open Letter to David Cameron, with copies to Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband and also their responses.
I can forward you copies of all these documents at any point.
There are grounds to look closely at the behaviour of over 40 Members of the Commons and Lords, some living and some now dead, in connection with the actual abuse of very vulnerable children or with its cover up. This number is likely to grow during the course of a proper investigation.
I think the case against Cyril Smith and Peter Morrison is strong evidence of how easy it was for paedophiles to remain hidden within the corridors of power. Their cases are unfortunately the tip of the iceberg.
You are the ideal MP for me to approach not only because you are my constituent MP but because I understand that you are, according to your Wikipedia entry, “one of the last of those made a Minister by Margaret Thatcher still to be in the House of Commons”
The allegations I took to Tom Watson which resulted in the current Police investigations involve Mrs.Thatcher’s period as Prime Minister.
Many questions remain unanswered about a number of her key appointments and as her personal assistant in the 1974 General Election and, upon her becoming Leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, you joined her Private Office and so I must assume were very close to her and by definition some of the people I believe should be subject to an Independent Inquiry.
Your perspective could be extremely helpful.
The persistence of Mrs. Thatcher in pressing ahead with the Knighthood of Jimmy Savile despite opposition from her closest advisers, his alleged attendance at multiple private Chequers parties, his being granted the keys to Broadmoor in 1988, together with her appointment of Peter Morrison, a well known paedophile according to a number of fellow MPs, as her PPS raise many serious questions that need answering and only an Independent Inquiry on a Hillsborough based model will satisfy the electorate.
There are allegations against MPs of all parties under several different Governments and this is not a party political isue.
I can go in to much more detail in a face to face meeting but at this stage would ask for your support in joining the 40 plus MPs who have already pledged their support for an Independent Inquiry
Baldry sent a response to McKelvie, dated July 7th, 2014, and received today (July 9th), which is reproduced below:
Here is McKelvie’s reply sent today:
Dear Sir Tony
Thank you for your letter received today, by post on Wednesday 9th July 2014.
You state that you did not receive my letter via email.
I simply do not believe you. I have proof it was delivered.
Your reply to me is extremely rude, condescending and smacks of the arrogancy of a figure of the ruling classes that pays lip service to the electorate.
Let’s break down your reply.
1. I do not have a blog.
2. Your office would have received my email on 12th June 2014 ie 28 days ago
3. Why did the Banbury Guardian contact you to discuss an email you never received.
4. I note that you have taken the trouble to look at ” my blog ” ( I do not and never have had a blog ) on at least one occasion, but couldn’t reply to me until the 7th July, a significant date when you could sit back and think that your party had agreed entirely of it’s own volition to agree to a form of Independent Inquiry, and like the vast majority of your party’s MP’s could trot out the standard response.
5. ” You are clearly computer and email literate “. My family, friends and colleagues would find that very amusing.
I am of the generation, and a Luddite to boot, where IT skills have passed me by and am almost a one finger typist who wouldn’t know what an app was if it hit me in the face.
6. You state ” why if you didn’t get a response you didn’t subsequently get in touch to check I had received your email”.
I am actually computer literate enough to know if I send an email to the correct address and it isn’t returned undelivered with a failure message then I know it’s been received.
7. ” Indeed, given the seriousness of this issue I can’t imagine why you would think if I had received a letter or email from you that I wouldn’t want to respond straightaway “.
I assumed and I believe it to be the case with you, that you were one of the large majority of MP’s who failed to answer constituents letters re. the specific issues I raised with you, and were stalling and refusing to recognise the unprecedented surge of people power and anger until your leadership could instruct you on the party line, which in your case came remarkably on the very day that you decided to reply to me ie 7th July, when your hitherto resistant Government were forced in to a humiliating climbdown to agree to a shadow of the type of Inquiry that Survivors of child sexual abuse have been long demanding.
You enclose the Home Office Oral Statement Monday 7th July 2014 Child Abuse. I received a personal copy within an hour of it being released.
Your reply to someone who has campaigned for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse for over 30 years is as demeaning, insulting and condescending as the replies I have received for nearly 2 years from Mr. Cameron and the Home Office and shows the same level of disdain for a mere member of the public like myself as Mr. Norman Baker showed to me and a recognised child protection expert in a sham meeting with him earlier this year.
I refuse to believe that your office did not receive my email
I am attaching your letter for the attention of the people I am copying in to your reply
The conservative campaigner Mary Whitehouse (1910-2001) was well-known as a scourge of the permissive society, homophobe, anti-abortionist, high Christian moralist and would-be censor. In her capacity as founder and president of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association (NVALA), she regularly attacked the BBC in particular, and considered practically all sexualised imagery to be corrosive and evil, as well as campaigning against blasphemy. Less well-known is her own support for the work of Geoffrey Dickens MP in his anti-paedophile campaigns, and also for her friend, fellow Christian moralist Charles Oxley, a headmaster who infiltrated the Paedophile Information Exchange in order to gain information to assist prosecutions and membership lists. I will blog further about Oxley’s works at a later time.
However, in the course of looking through several of Whitehouse’s books to find out how much she knew on this, I found one passage which is grimly ironic in light of what is now known. This, from Mary Whitehouse, Quite Contrary: An Autobiography (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1993), pp. 88-89. She discusses the various programmes or broadcasters who won NVALA’s annual award. Of all things to single out, she chooses Jim’ll Fix It, which won the award in 1977. Whitehouse speaks fondly about the ‘moving’ stories told by the production team, ‘like the one about the girl Jimmy said he was going to marry and they got engaged with a huge cuddly toy just a few days before she died’ (extraordinarily sinister in light not just of knowledge of Savile’s abuse of children, but also his fascination with dead bodies). She also says ‘I don’t know anything about Jimmy’s lifestyle and, in any case, it’s no business of mine’.
Clearly Whitehouse’s anti-paedophile campaigns had no effect upon her judgement here.
[The following guest blog post was written by @MySweetLandlord on Twitter. I am immensely grateful to him for this, which reveals very clearly many questions yet to be answered in the wake of the statements this week on the Dickens dossier by Leon Brittan.]
The 2 links below summarise the timeline of events on Wednesday July 2014 regarding various statements made regarding the ‘Dickens Dossier’.
On Wednesday July 2nd 2014 at 10am – Leon Brittan issues a statement through his solicitors Mischon de Reya:
During my time as Home Secretary (1983 to 1985), Geoff Dickens MP arranged to see me at the Home Office. I invariably agreed to see any MP who requested a meeting with me. As I recall, he came to my room at the Home Office with a substantial bundle of papers. As is normal practice, my Private Secretary would have been present at the meeting. I told Mr Dickens that I would ensure that the papers were looked at carefully by the Home Office and acted on as necessary. Following the meeting, I asked my officials to look carefully at the material contained in the papers provided and report back to me if they considered that any action needed to be taken by the Home Office. In addition I asked my officials to consider a referral to another Government Department, such as the Attorney General’s Department, if that was appropriate. This was the normal procedure for handling material presented to the Home Secretary. I do not recall being contacted further about these matters by Home Office officials or by Mr Dickens or by anyone else.
This statement in itself was not remarkable, although it is somewhat unusual is issue such a statement through a firm of solicitors. But the devil is in the detail, and the context is all important. For a start, although it didn’t specifically say so, this was a statement about child sex abuse, despite sounding like a dispute over a planning application.
Furthermore, Leon Brittan had been asked about paperwork supplied by Geoff Dickens before. By Martin Hickman of the Independent:
And also by Paraic O’Brien of Channel 4 News (Paraic O’Brien, ‘Leon Brittan: I was handed ‘paedophile’ dossier’, Channel 4 News, July 2nd, 2014), this was the exchange which took place:
In the email, I said: “I’m trying to find a dossier that was given to you by Geoffrey Dickens MP regarding child abuse while you were home secretary. I’ve been in contact with the Home Office but am not holding out much hope that they will be able to find it.”
I went on to ask him whether he had any recollection of the dossier. Half an hour later, Lord Brittan replied by email. He wrote: “I’m afraid I do not recollect this and do not have any records which would be of assistance, Leon Brittan.”
Now, all of a sudden,Leon Brittan recollected quite vividly. But also quite wrongly. A Home Office statement suddenly appeared, quoting from a letter sent by Leon Brittan to Geoff Dickens dated March 20th 1984. This statement was based upon the Executive Summary of a Home Office report concerning Historical records of documents it had relating to child sex abuse dated February 2013:
You drew my attention to a number of allegations concerning paedophilia when you called here on 23 November and in subsequent letters. I am now able to tell you that, in general terms, the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions is that two of the letters you forwarded could form the basis for enquiries by the police and they are now being passed to the appropriate authorities. In other cases there either seems to be inadequate evidence to pursue prosecution, for example the lady who wrote about PIE[1. Paedophile Information Exchange] advertising but did not secure any example of the material complained of, or they have already been dealt with in some way by the courts or the police.
This flatly contradicted Leon Brittan’s assertion from his statement that he had “not been contacted further about these matters”. A second statement was promptly issued:
In the last hour I have been alerted to a Home Office independent review conducted last year into what information it received about organised child sex abuse between 1979 and 1999. A letter was sent from myself to Mr Dickens on March 20, 1984 explaining what had been done in relation to the files. The Home Office independent review is entirely consistent with the action I set out in my earlier statement. Whilst I could not recall what further action was taken 30 years ago, the information contained in this report shows that appropriate action and follow-up happened.
Although, in itself, this chain of events didn’t appear to be particularly significant, things had started to look a little muddled. So let’s return to that first statement and ponder the real significance of what Leon Brittan actually admitted did happen.
Firstly, Dickens attended the Brittan meeting with “a substantial bundle of papers”. Presumably there would be some record in the Home Office of these papers having been provided. However returning to the Executive Summary report linked above, the only information recorded at the Home Office would appear to be subsequent letters.
The evidence of the existence of such a document is compelling. Contemporary press reports yield much information. This link – Ian Pace, ‘Published Articles on Geoffrey Dickens, Leon Brittan, and the Dossier’, Desiring Progress, July 2nd, 2014 – contains all the relevant articles.
Daily Express, November 25th, 1983
Daily Mirror, January 19th, 1984
Both these press cuttings specify dossiers supplied by Dickens. But there is something else interesting about them – they are dated 2 months apart, but both refer to dossiers being handed over ‘yesterday’. Clearly there were 2 meetings between Dickens and Brittan, and therefore there were 2 dossiers, rather than 1!
Further digging yielded an article from the Daily Telegraph, November 15th, 1984:
So Leon Brittan had a total of 3 meetings with Geoff Dickens, during which at least 2 dossiers were provided. Also handed over was a petition with one million signatures (Daily Express, November 25th, 1983.
As if this wasn’t enough, as reported in the Daily Express, August 25th, 1983. Dickens produced a ‘thick file’ which he handed direct to Sir Thomas Hetherington, the Director of Public Prosecutions:
On that very same day, Leon Brittan broke his holiday to express his outrage at child sex attacks, and declare he was taking a “personal interest” – Daily Star, August 24th, 1983:
The following day, The Guardian reported:
Two Scotland Yard dossiers had been produced, one of which was sent to the Home Office.
All the evidence therefore shows that Geoff Dickens had 3 meetings with Leon Brittan and provided him with 2 dossiers and a huge petition. He also handed another dossier to the DPP naming 8 big names including a ‘personal friend of his’ and a ‘television presenter’. Scotland Yard produced 2 files of their own, 1 of which also went to Leon Brittan, the other of which went to the DPP. Leon Brittan’s first statement admitted to Dickens providing ‘a substantial bundle of papers’, which is consistent with at least 1 of these dossiers.
But whatever became of these dossiers? But the Home Office Investigation of February 2013 had failed to find any record of these dossiers, let alone the dossiers themselves. Since that investigation, Home Office Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill has clarified, in a letter to Keith Vaz MP dated July 5th 2014, that “The investigation did not find a single dossier from Mr Dickens” (see Sedwill to Vaz, July 5th, 2014, reproduced on Tom Watson’s site).
This time there was some detail of what records had been kept:
The review identified 527 relevant files which had been retained. These 527 physical files were all physically examined. In addition the same extensive analysis identified 114 potentially relevant files had been presumed destroyed, missing or not found.
What this statement doesn’t clarify is whether there is any record of what these 114 files were, and whether any of them originated from Geoff Dickens. What it does clarify is that 18% of relevant files were recorded but not physically present.
It also confirmed that Leon Brittan, who was outraged and taking a personal interest in child sex abuse, had managed to write just the 1 letter to Geoff Dickens, detailing the small amount of information he had forwarded to the DPP.
Under these circumstances we need to return to what Leon Brittan actually admitted did happen during his meeting with Geoff Dickens on November 23rd 1983.
As is normal practice, my Private Secretary would have been present at the meeting.
So there was a witness to exactly what happened. Leon Brittan had 3 private secretaries at the Home Office (see Dod’s Parliamentary Companion, 1984):
These 3 civil servants are all very much still alive and active in professional life, and Leon Brittan has put them in an awkward position. If none of them admit to being at the relevant Dickens meeting they contradict Leon Brittan. If 1 of them admits to being present but denies the production of a dossier they also contradict Leon Brittan. If 1 of them admits to being present and also admits the production of a dossier it raises serious questions for the Home Office to answer, in addition to those concerning the rest of the dossiers reported to have been logged with the Home Office at various times.
The ‘Dickens Dossier’ itself is only part of the jigsaw. The wider issue is that Geoff Dickens and Leon Brittan had a great deal of personal contact over the issue of child sex abuse in high places 1983-84, and it is impossible to believe that names weren’t mentioned. Geoff Dickens was a personal friend of Cyril Smith, who was MP for the neighbouring constituency of Rochdale. Leon Brittan himself had been to Rochdale to help Cyril Smith with fundraising (from Simon Danczuk, ‘A promiscuous mother and the childhood taunts that turned Cyril Smith into a twisted predator’, Daily Mail, April 17th, 2014);
If one of those names was Cyril Smith it would surely have caught Leon Brittan’s attention, and perhaps his child sex abuse could have been curtailed nearly 30 years before he died. If another was Jimmy Savile, the same applies.
However the ‘Dickens Dossier’ has become the focus of press and public attention, and some further explanation is required as to what became of it. Hopefully the ex Home Office civil servants named above will be more forthcoming than Sir Brian Cubbon (see ‘Former mandarin has “no recollection” of paedophile dossier’, Channel 4 News, July 3rd, 2014). He was the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office 1979-1988, but has “no recollection at all” of this dossier.
As stated above, Leon Brittan’s Parliamentary Private Secretary was Tim Smith MP. He also has no memory of the ‘Dickens Dossier’.
The final name stated above was Douglas Hurd MP, Minister of State at the Home Office 1983-84 and himself Home Secretary 1985-1989. He has yet to comment, but his memoirs (as quoted at Ian Pace, ‘Douglas Hurd on Leon Brittan at the Home Office’, Desiring Progress, July 5th, 2014)
state the following:
Leon’s style was centralising in the sense that he liked to know everything and took the main decisions himself.
At the time of writing this (evening on Monday June 30th, 2014), it is the day before an important event in the House of Commons. Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, co-author (with Matt Baker) of Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith (London: Biteback, 2014), is due (at 4:15 pm on Tuesday July 1st) to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. Whilst the ostensible subject of this meeting is to do specifically with historical child abuse in Rochdale (Cyril Smith’s old constituency, now Danczuk’s), Danczuk has also written of how Smith was connected to the sinister figure of Peter Righton and a wider paedophile ring including prominent politicians (see this article by Watson in praise of Danczuk). In particular, this ring is thought to have frequented the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes, South-West London, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and one name in particular of a very senior former cabinet minister from the Thatcher era (a name which I do not intend to share here) has been widely circulated around social media and the internet. This ex-minister has also been linked to a separate story concerning the rape of a woman known just as ‘Jane’ in 1967, but the police apparently have dropped any plans to prosecute (or even arrest or interview) the minister.
Back in April, Danczuk indicated to the Daily Mail that he might use Parliamentary Privilege to name the MP in question; in an interview given to The Independent a little over a week ago, he affirmed his intention to do so if asked, and may also name a further Labour politician involved in a separate abuse scandal (this is likely to be the former Blair-era cabinet minister alleged to have abused boys in a children’s home in Lambeth, run by paedophile Michael John Carroll, in which case experienced detective Clive Driscoll was taken off the case as he allegedly came to investigate the minister.
The Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) has eleven members; five Conservatives (Nicola Blackwood, James Clappison, Michael Ellis, Lorraine Fullbrook and Mark Reckless), one Liberal Democrat (Julian Huppert) and five Labour (Chair Keith Vaz, Ian Austin, Paul Flynn, Yasmin Qureshi and David Winnick). Vaz has a particular connection as he was Solicitor for Richmond Council, and a parliamentary candidate for Richmond & Barnes around the time when the alleged events at Elm Guest House occurred (see the account of his career with primary sources, ‘Keith Vaz and the Mystery of Barnes Common’ at Spotlight). Three members of the HASC – Huppert, Flynn and Qureshi – have declared their support for a national inquiry into organised abuse; one member of the HASC has confirmed that Danczuk will be asked about visitors to Elm Guest House (Leftly, ‘MP will name politician ‘involved in child abuse”). This will be an important occasion at the HASC which may change the whole climate of opinion concerning abuse and the urgent need for an inquiry.
Yet at the eleventh hour, the Exaro news website, who have attempted to claim control and credit for all matters relating to the call for an inquiry (with the help of a few people never described more specifically than ‘Exaro’s twitter followers’), are calling upon Danczuk not to name the minister(s) in question, as well as claiming on Twitter that they have now got some special information which changes things (which of course they are not prepared to share). I will return to this in a moment.
First I want to respond to a blog post by Eric Joyce, MP for Falkirk . In response to a lobbying campaign of MPs to support a national inquiry into organised abuse, started by seven MPs (Conservative Zac Goldsmith and Tim Loughton, Liberal Democrat John Hemming and Tessa Munt, Labour Tom Watson and Danczuk, and Green Caroline Lucas), which was indeed reported by David Hencke for Exaro (David Hencke, MPs call on Teresa May to set up inquiry into child sex abuse’), a relatively organic campaign was started around the same time (beginning with a draft letter from earlier by another campaigner on another forum) which came to be initially about encouraging all those who agree to write to their own MPs and ask them to join the original seven. Some took the decision instead to send Tweets to all MPs on Twitter, which has certainly led to positive responses from some. In most cases, it is likely that a combination of the reminders on Twitter, together with letters sent to all MPs from Tim Loughton, information about the campaign e-mailed by various of us to MPs requesting it, and private discussions between MPs (not least between Tory MPs and Loughton, and Labour MPs and Watson) has led many to support the campaign, which some have announced on Twitter; at the time of writing the number stands at 123, though there has been only minimal coverage in the mainstream media, even in the wake of the latest Savile reports (such as this article by Robert Mendick and Eileen Fairweather in the Telegraph). Mark Watts, Editor-in-Chief at Exaro, who tweets as @exaronews as well as under his personal handle, has certainly been urging people to simply keep asking MPs Yes or No. Sometimes the Twitter campaign has got rather hysterical, with tweets which appear to scream at both politicians and journalists, sometimes accusing them of being supporters of child rape if they don’t reply, or don’t support this precise campaign. This mode of argument allows for no discussion, no reasonable and intelligent debate about the exact nature, remit and purpose of an inquiry, nothing more than screaming emotional blackmail, and serves no good purpose other than to try and bully politicians into agreeing. It is certainly not something with which I want to be associated, and shows Twitter at its worst. But this is what appears to have provoked Eric Joyce’s blog post.
Joyce’s primary objections to the demands of the original seven campaigners can be summarised as follows:
(a) they would undermine the Crown Prosecution Service’s consideration of an important police report presently before it (he does not make clear exactly which report this refers to).
(b) the campaign does not mention Savile of the issues implied by this case, and would thus miss these.
(c) it is focused entirely on historical rumours about ‘senior politicians’.
(d) it would exclude adult victims of Savile.
Then he also lays out wider objections to the actions of other campaigners (i.e. beyond the original seven MPs):
(i) they routinely use abusive bullying tactics, which are hardly persuasive.
(ii) it all has a ‘really sickening “get the pedos/cops/politicians” feel about it’ and ‘looks like a campaign designed to catch public attention for its own sake rather than a genuine effort to get at important truths’.
(iii) names of politicians have routinely been published online, which could wreck the lives of innocent people and destroy the case put by the police to the CPS.
(iv) the whole campaign is really a self-aggrandising exercise by Exaro, who have recently found that they cannot pay their one way, and have become a ‘schlock merchant’ who only really have one story, cynically waiting until the names of alleged ‘politician paedophiles’ were all over the internet before asking campaigners not to post or tweet them.
(v) there is some confusion between calls for other types of wide inquiry and this specific one, differences between which are papered over by Exaro.
I cannot deny that (i) is true of some campaigners, though this is definitely not a style I want anything to do with – nor with campaigners associated with the BNP, those who are homophobes, man-haters, paranoid conspiracy theorists, unconcerned about the difference between truth and fiction, and so on. One reason for becoming involved in abuse campaigning (over and above knowing a good deal of survivors sometimes very close to me, and becoming convinced that this was an issue bigger than simply individual perpetrators, in classical music and elsewhere), was the hope that it might be possible to avoid and go beyond tabloid-style hysteria over this inevitably highly emotive subject. As far as I am concerned, though, those who support vigilante action, capital punishment or other forms of cruel and unusual punishment, are no better than abusers themselves. However, the medium of Twitter, allowing only for 140 characters per tweet, can hardly do justice to this nuanced and complex subject, nor do I imagine (whatever some might think) that many MPs’ minds were changed purely by receiving a tweet from someone using a pseudonym; rather used this prompt to announce something they had already decided. I disdain (ii) for the same reasons, but realise that only by identifying prominent names is it likely that the whole campaign will gain wider attention with a public otherwise seeing celebrity names such as Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Max Clifford and others. As things stand the campaign can resemble a cult, with various people frequenting small sub-sections of social media and Exaro, but unfortunately sometimes not realising how invisible this is to much of the wider public. Social media are certainly not the place to name names (coming to (iii)), but in light of the fact of many claims of failure of police to interview prominent figures, intelligence services sitting in on interviews, witnesses being threatened, important evidence going missing (including dossiers going to the Home Office), I do believe some more decisive action is needed now (more to follow on this in a moment).
I will come back to (iv) but will address (a)-(d) first. Objection (a) is unclearly specified and so cannot be responded to properly. There is no reason why the inquiry could not also look at Savile, certainly (there is plenty of reason to think there may be connections between his activities and those in other abuse scandals, not least his connections to senior politicians). And just because of the areas specified as requested to be included in the original letter from the seven MPs to Teresa May (which I have also posted below Joyce’s blog), such an inquiry could certainly be extended further. Re (c), The demands go well beyond historical cases involving politicians, dealing with a range of children’s homes, businessmen trafficking between countries, churches, public schools, and much more, so this criticism is wholly unfounded. The issue of adult victims is a serious one (also a big issue in the classical music world, abuse of all types in which is a particular area on which I have campaigned extensively), but I cannot believe an inquiry could not be adapted around this as well. I doubt many supporters have an absolutely clear idea of exactly the form the inquiry would take; rather it is the principle that this type of inquiry should happen which is being supported.
Returning to (iv); I do not really want to write too much about Exaro, as I certainly think some of their journalists – most notably David Hencke – do excellent work (see also Hencke’s blog), and do not share anything like as negative a view as does Joyce. I do have problems with the way in which Mark Watts, however, has attempted in a territorial fashion to claim complete control of the campaign as purely an Exaro initiative sustained through ‘Exaro’s twitter followers’, showing zero interest in a wider campaign involving e-mailing and constituents contacting their MPs (less ‘rapid-fire’ than anonymous tweets), whilst jealously guarding information for himself and trying to shore up a fledgling organisation, and tweeting with a rather boorish swagger which has unfortunate associations. Most posts or tweets by Watts try to steer the serious issues of organised abuse and urgent need for investigation into being self-promotion for Exaro, in a territorial manner which has perhaps dissuaded other media from taking an interest (most other journalists and broadcasters I have contacted have felt the story is not yet big enough to cover). When I first started being involved in abuse campaigning last year I was warned (not least by some senior journalists who I consulted) about two things in particular: (a) how some journalists will try and get you to do their work for them for free; and (b) how many people greatly exaggerate the importance of social media. Of both of these I am definitely convinced, but have known excellent journalists (including Hencke) with whom to work on stories and share information under fair conditions of confidence.
Sadly, with these lessons in mind, I do have reason for scepticism about Exaro on several fronts, which I would not bring up were it not for their eleventh-hour intervention. The Twitter campaign seems a typical example of their getting others to do their work for them (posing as campaigners rather than journalists) for free. Through the course of the last 18 months Exaro have promised major new developments, arrests, and built up to each new report in an extremely dramatic way. There have certainly been some important reports, for sure, not least those on ‘Jane’ (though this story does have its doubters) and also Mark Conrad’s earlier reports on links between Operations Fairbank and Fernbridge and the killings of Sydney Cooke, though much less coverage (or links to coverage by others) of issues involving Peter Righton and numerous networks involved in children’s homes, not to mention churches, schools and elsewhere, stories which are generally less spectacular. The sort of investigative journalism which grapples with the complexities of these other fields is done more successfully by a variety of other journalists at The Times (Andrew Norfolk’s work on Caldicott, Colet Court, St Paul’s and many other public schools, and Sean O’Neill on Robert Waddington and Manchester Cathedral), The Independent (Paul Gallagher on abuse in music schools and colleges), The Guardian (Helen Pidd’s important set of articles on Chetham’s and the RNCM), and sometimes at the Mail (Martin Beckford on PIE and their Labour links, and many earlier articles published here and in the Standard and Telegraph by Eileen Fairweather), Express (the latest work by Tim Tate and Ted Jeory on PIE and the Home Office), Mirror (Tom Pettifor on abuse in Lambeth and the Labour connection) and People (Keir Mudie and Nick Dorman on Operation Fernbridge and associated investigations, sometimes working together with Exaro). Exaro have certainly provided an important service, as one of various news organisations.
But now I fear that territorial attitudes could play a part in sabotaging an important opportunity. Watts has published a piece today aimed at dissuading Danczuk from naming, in which in a rather grandiose fashion he reports how ‘We have strongly advised him against naming the ex-minister tomorrow, and we are grateful that he has listened to us closely and is considering our points carefully’ and the same time as (almost comically) disparaging ‘Journalists on national newspapers, desperate for a splash story’, who allegedly have been arguing otherwise. Watts argues that ‘David Cameron is under intense pressure to agree to an overarching inquiry into child sex abuse in the UK’ which he doesn’t want. How big this pressure is is debatable; Cameron could brush off a question from Duncan Hames at Prime Minister’s Questions quite easily (see the bottom of here for the exchange), and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt did not seem particularly flustered at the debate in the Commons last week. The majority of MPs supporting an inquiry have been Labour – 73 at the current count, compared to 23 Conservatives. Many Conservatives have been copying and pasting stock replies which say nothing. Furthermore, most of the Labour MPs have been backbenchers without so many high profile figures; despite the support of Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham (who did not necessarily commit his party to support in the Commons, though, as I argued last week – this is a response to point (v) which I identify in Joyce’s blog), there has been only occasional support from other front bench figures. A proper inquiry would need to look at such matters as abuse which went on at children’s homes controlled by Islington Council when senior Labour figure Margaret Hodge was leader, of the role of the Paedophile Information Exchange, about whom I have written amply elsewhere, which embroils current Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and frontbench spokesman Jack Dromey; as argued earlier, Ed Miliband needs to take a lead on this, but it should not be so surprising that he has not yet done so. There are rumblings about Labour figures also visiting Elm Guest House, and of course the deeply serious issue of a senior Labour figure as a suspect for abuse in Lambeth, not to mention continuing investigations into Lord Janner, whose office at the House of Lords was raided earlier this year. Certainly any such inquiry would not be likely to be easy for Labour, nor for the Liberal Democrats, with the debacle of Cyril Smith still haunting them, and further rumbling about some other senior figures.
But at present mainstream media attention is very sporadic, and certainly in my experience (amongst generally educated people well-informed on news) very little of this has yet registered with a wider public. Cameron has in the last week had to deal with the conviction (and possible further retrial) of his former press secretary Andy Coulson, the charging of his former advisor on online pornography Patrick Rock for manufacturing images of child abuse, and now his failure to avoid Jean-Claude Juncker from being voted to be the next EU Commissioner. It is hard to see how a demand primarily from a group of Labour backbenchers would be obsessing him at such a time (though the campaign should definitely continue and hopefully grow). Watts claims that Danczuk’s naming of the ex-minister (he doesn’t mention the Labour minister) would serve as a ‘diversion from the inquiry call’, as front pages would be dominated by the ex-minister’s name. I think this is nonsense; such dissemination of the allegation that an extremely senior minister could themselves have been part of a ring-fenced VIP ring would cause outrage and anger, and the pressure for a proper inquiry would be irresistible. This very evening, Watts has also been tweeting that some new information has come to light which changes everything, but characteristically they will not even hint at what this is. Major developments have been promised before by the organisation, but these have rarely materialised. It is now looking more like a petty playground fight over who has the biggest amount of secret information.
Ultimately, as mentioned before, simple lists of MPs’ names are not that newsworthy, as various major journalists have had to point out to me. Only a major catalyst such as the revelation of a major name would be likely to get more attention. What this would also change is that the story would be taken up by all the major media, to such an extent that Exaro’s contributions would cease to be so central; I do wonder if this is what Watts is trying so hard to avoid. In the end, though, wider exposure for the many stories of abuse (which would follow upon the outrage caused by revelations that this extends to the very highest levels, and other figures were protected for this reason) is more important than the prestige of one website.
If Danczuk is certain that the ex-minister (and the ex Labour minister) are guilty, and the only reasons why they have not been brought to justice is through cover-ups, destruction of evidence, intimidation of witnesses, or simply stalling for convenience’s sake, then I hope very much he will name names tomorrow. If there is doubt about this, then it would only be wise not to do so – using Parliamentary Privilege in a way which would smear an innocent person would be reprehensible. I have faith in Danczuk to do the right thing, and hope the momentum which has been achieved will not be sacrificed for the short-term interests of any media organisation. If all of this is being covered in details in newspapers and on broadcast news programmes being read/watched by many of the country’s population (in some cases with stories written for these papers by Hencke, Conrad and others), it would be all for the better, even if many of the earlier campaigners (including myself) are quickly forgotten.