Colin Tucker, steward to Fiona Woolf, Fettesgate and the Scottish ‘Magic Circle’ Affair, and Wider Networks – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1]

The Herald, February 21st, 1996
James Mckillop, ‘Journalist receives Fettesgate apology’

SCOTTISH journalist and broadcaster Duncan Campbell has broken new ground by winning an apology from the Broadcasting Complaints Commission over a Channel 4 documentary on the so-called Fettesgate scandal.

The Scotsman newspaper will be asked to carry the apology tomorrow over its role in publishing some of the attack on the award-winning reporter.

A break-in at Lothian Police headquarters was a legitimate ground for journalistic investigation.

In doing so Mr Campbell reported the activities of criminal Derek Donaldson and as a consequence was seriously beaten up. Donaldson went to jail for the attack.

Nevertheless, Donaldson appealed to the BCC that Mr Campbell had been unfair to him and had infringed his privacy. The BCC upheld that complaint.

Campaigning journalist Campbell wrote an article in Broadcast magazine defending his role. Incensed, the BCC’s secretary, Mr Robert Hargreaves, wrote an article in reply and some of his remarks were published in the Scotsman.

The comments made by Mr Hargreaves were at the heart of a libel action that has now been settled out of court.

In an agreed statement between the parties, it is made clear that Mr Campbell was entitled to attack criticisms of him by the BCC.

In addition, the BCC will admit that Mr Hargreaves’s article in reply wrongly suggested that Mr Campbell was connected to criminals interviewed in the programme.

The apology will go on to say: “The commission also accept that it was wrong for the article to have suggested that Mr Campbell attempted to eavesdrop on Mr Donaldson’s telephone conversations.

“The article repeated critical comments about Mr Campbell’s alleged conduct towards him and his mother going beyond what could be supported by the commission’s findings in their adjudication.”

The BCC will say in its apology that the article was not intended to be an attack on Mr Campbell’s sincerity or his integrity as a campaigning journalist and that the commission regretted a contrary impression that might have been given.

Mr Campbell said last night: “The most astonishing thing is it got to this stage. It took a court case to get BCC to admit that criminal violence was wrong.”


Scotland on Sunday
, March 19th, 2000
Peter Laing, ‘Police uncover plot to smear senior officers’

TWO of Scotland’s most senior police officers – one now a chief constable – were placed under surveillance by their own men in a determined plot to destroy their careers.

A handful of rogue detectives in the Lothian and Borders force, embittered by lack of promotion and what they viewed as attacks on CID, kept their bosses under close observation in a failed bid to find evidence of wrongdoing.

Scotland on Sunday can reveal that those targeted in the conspiracy were Andrew Brown, at the time Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders and now head of Grampian police, and Tom Wood, the force’s deputy chief.

There is also evidence that former deputy chief Graham Power was on the list.

Last October a detective made serious allegations of corruption against Wood which have been under investigation for the past five months by John Hamilton, the head of Fife police. Tomorrow, Hamilton is expected to tell a meeting of Lothian and Borders Police Board that the allegations against Wood are groundless.

But the inquiry has revealed that as well as individual officers unhappy with the management of the force, some conspired together in the hope they could undermine its entire management. Wood’s flat in Edinburgh was recently broken into and searched. Force insiders say the crime, for which no one has been caught, could be related.

Last night, politicians expressed shock that serving CID officers had spied on their own chiefs and called for a full inquiry into the scandal.

The plot to topple the leadership of Scotland’s second-biggest force had its origins in the 1992 Fettesgate Affair, which enveloped Lothian and Borders in scandal for months.

The force’s headquarters at Fettes in Edinburgh were broken into and a secret report on the alleged influence of gays on the justice system was stolen. Heads rolled within CID when it emerged detectives had struck an immunity deal with the intruder for the return of the report.

Bitterness within CID over the Fettesgate fall-out was compounded with the introduction, from the mid-90s, of a policy called ‘tenure’, where officers were rotated out of jobs. Many long-serving detectives were furious at being moved out of the elite to other sections in the police.

Andrew Brown was appointed head of CID in the wake of Fettesgate and later, as assistant chief in charge of the department, was blamed for much of the impact of tenure.

Wood, at the time an assistant chief, made enemies by blocking promotions and championing liberal policies on cannabis possession and prostitution.

Those two turned out to be the main targets for the renegade officers. A force insider said: “A handful of disgruntled officers decided enough was enough and it was time to hit back.

Our information is that Brown and Wood were followed as they went about their own business.”

The insider added: “What is truly disturbing about this is, if these officers are warped enough to spend their time stalking senior police officers rather than chasing criminals, how can they be trusted to protect the public?”

Neither Brown nor Wood was aware of being under observation. The operation only came to light after the corruption allegations were made against Wood. Officers came forward to say the CID men involved in the surveillance had told them about it.

Two weeks after the break in at Wood’s flat, allegations were made that he had halted a drugs operation against boyhood friend Kenneth Erickson, who served 13 years of a life sentence for murder.

After Hamilton’s report is presented in private to the police board tomorrow, it will go to the procurator fiscal for consideration.

Michael Matheson, the SNP’s deputy justice spokesman, said: “If there is evidence members of CID put Brown and Wood under surveillance, that is a matter for urgent investigation.”

Lyndsay McIntosh, Tory deputy spokeswoman on law and order, said last night she was shocked that renegade officers had been spying on their own bosses. “They have behaved worse than jealous old women when they should be chasing criminals,” she said. Lothian and Borders police refused to comment.


Scotland on Sunday, March 19th, 2000
Jeremy Watson, ‘Field Day for Scandal and Conspiracy’

THE events that became branded as Fettesgate took place during the summer of 1992, but had their roots in rumours which swept Edinburgh legal circles three years earlier concerning a ‘magic circle’ of gay judges who were somehow showing leniency to homosexual criminals.

The rumours were given momentum by the unexpected resignation in 1989 of a leading Scottish High Court judge.

Nothing was ever proved.

A bizarre breaking and entering at the Fettes headquarters of Lothian and Borders Police in July 1992 revived the affair and put it back on to the front pages of every newspaper in the country.

An intruder crept through an open window at night and stole documents from the CID offices. Animal Liberation Front slogans daubed on the walls were a cover for the real purpose of the raid – to obtain an internal police report that examined the ‘magic circle’ within the highest echelons of the Scottish judiciary. The report had been written by a senior detective who concluded that there was evidence to support such claims – a conclusion destined to be over-ruled by more senior officers including the then Chief Constable Sir William Sutherland.

That the report had fallen into the hands of the criminal fraternity was a major source of embarrassment to the force. Frantic efforts were made to recover it – leading to the downfall of some of Lothian’s top detectives.

The prime suspect thought to be behind the raid was Derek Donaldson, 32, a convicted fraudster and occasional police informant. Two detectives eventually promised Donaldson immunity from prosecution as long as the documents were returned. But once Sir William learned of the deal, he acted swiftly to veto it. Detective Chief Superintendent William Hiddleston retired. Detective Sergeant Peter Brown was put back into uniform. Other CID officers with a connection to the case were also forced to move departments.

But the embarrassment did not end there. The internal report and its controversial initial conclusion was later leaked to the Press, causing a major public inquiry. The Crown Office appointed a highly regarded QC, William Nimmo Smith, and a regional procurator-fiscal, James Friel, to investigate.

Before the report was officially published Nimmo Smith was duped into revealing his findings to a bogus journalist. The ‘journalist’ was none other than Derek Donaldson who immediately sold his ‘scoop’ to The Sun, indicating that the report had found no evidence of a homosexual conspiracy.

In May, Donaldson was jailed for assaulting a real journalist who had continued to investigate the events. But the reverberations are still being felt within a Lothian CID old guard who saw colleagues’ careers destroyed while management remained largely unscathed.


Scotland on Sunday
, March 19th, 2000
Peter Laing, ‘Watching the Detectives’

IN OCTOBER last year, one of Scotland’s most senior policemen returned home to discover he had been the victim of something many of his officers spend much of their time investigating: a housebreaking.

The door to Tom Wood’s flat had been kicked wide open. Inside, it looked like a bomb had gone off. Locked drawers had been wrenched open and rifled, as had a box full of documents.

Those responsible had broken into the other three flats in the stair of the building in Edinburgh’s fashionable West End after bypassing an entryphone system, although the door was regularly left open.

Objects of minor value had been taken from the other flats, but Wood, the Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, was relieved to discover nothing at all had been stolen from his.

Scenes of crime officers duly toiled out to Wood’s flat. Close examination yielded no fingerprints or forensic evidence but Wood’s home appeared to have been searched more thoroughly than the others.

Two weeks later, a trashed home was the least of Wood’s worries. A long -serving detective with Lothian and Borders Police went to his bosses and made several serious allegations of corruption against the Deputy Chief Constable.

The ‘whistle-blower’ claimed Wood had arranged for a drugs operation against Kenneth Erickson, an old childhood friend who was also a convicted murderer, to be dropped. He claimed the two had bought properties together, and Wood allowed drugs and stolen goods to be stored there.

The Chief Constable of Fife, John Hamilton, was drafted in to investigate the allegations. Tomorrow, after five months, he will hand his findings to Lothian and Borders Police Board and it seems certain Wood will be cleared of any wrongdoing. It remains to be seen whether Wood can continue his meteoric rise as one of the country’s most forward-thinking police officers, and realise his long-cherished ambition to become a Chief Constable.

But the investigation has found that as well as a number of individual officers with complaints about the force’s very senior men, there were also some who got together to actively plot their downfall.

Scotland on Sunday can reveal that a handful of old-school CID men within Lothian and Borders were desperate to undermine not only Wood, but former Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Brown, who has since become Chief Constable of Grampian Police. There is evidence that the force’s former Deputy Chief Constable, Graham Power was also a target.

This is a story of how determined – and possibly brutal – efforts to modernise policing methods set dyed-in-the-wool officers on a collision course with ambitious career policemen. And it raises disturbing questions about how a small clique of embittered police officers who are prepared to put their own bosses under surveillance – and maybe even arrange break-ins to collect ‘dirt’ – can be trusted to deal with the public.

THE story starts with another break-in. This time it was the summer of 1992 and the location was Lothian and Borders Police headquarters at Fettes in Edinburgh. Fettesgate, as it was to become known, led to the departure from the CID of several old-school officers: men who considered themselves part of an elite, and who had little time for the finer details of modern police procedure.

In the aftermath of Fettesgate little, if any, blame was attached to force chiefs.

Wood, at the time an Assistant Chief Constable, went on to win promotion to deputy. Andrew Brown took the job as head of the CID from Bill Hiddleston, who quit when it emerged an immunity deal had been struck between the Fettesgate intruder and police. Brown was later promoted to Assistant Chief Constable before getting the top job at Grampian.

Graham Power, at the time an ACC, moved up to deputy and is now number two at the Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland.

In such circumstances, bitterness was sure to follow. But for those in the CID who were upset by Fettesgate, much worse was to come.

It was called tenure, and while it seems an innocuous term, its impact on police officers from the mid-1990s onwards was nothing short of seismic. Tenure meant doing away with the old system in which it was normal for police officers to spend their entire careers in one area, such as the CID, traffic, or uniform patrols.

Instead, they were to be moved from department to department every few years.

No one in the force will speak openly about these matters – least of all Wood himself – until the official announcement of the outcome of the inquiry. But it has been, as police themselves might say, the talk of the steamie for months.

One officer said: “Tenure caused a huge amount of bitterness. You had guys with almost 30 years in CID who were told with just a week’s notice they were back in uniform. You have to understand that CID was an elite. Tenure was brought in partly to stop people working in one place too long and becoming corrupt. But tenure destroyed careers – some old CID hands couldn’t stand the shame.”

The source added: “It was a national policy but it was imposed particularly ruthlessly in this force. I believe our CID was destroyed. So much expertise was lost. It wasn’t just CID. At one stage traffic was so short on properly trained drivers they couldn’t send enough patrol cars out.

Graham Power was seen as the one really pushing it hard. Andrew Brown was in charge of CID and got a lot of flak too.”

As far back as 1994, Power publicly accused elements in his own force of trying to smear him. He suffered excruciating embarrassment that year when a newspaper revealed he had left a garage near Falkirk without paying for petrol worth GBP 13.50. Power explained that after putting petrol in his car he picked a GBP 3.99 bunch of flowers and paid for them with a GBP 20 note, but forgot to pay for the petrol.

He said at the time: “I believe that false information regarding this incident has been leaked to the press by a disloyal employee seeking to damage the reputation of myself and the force.”

Three years later, mischief-making turned sinister when disaffected CID men decided to place their own bosses under surveillance. They hoped that by watching both Wood and Brown they would uncover evidence of wrongdoing with which to bring them down.

The information only came to light following the allegations against Wood last year. Officers came forward to say they had been told about the surveillance operation directly by those involved.

It is believed the conspirators used police time and resources over several months to maintain the surveillance regime. A source said: “We believe Wood and Brown were regularly followed after leaving work to see where they ended up.

Those involved in the surveillance were looking for anything at all to use against them, however small. What is truly disturbing about this is if these officers are warped enough to spend their time stalking senior police officers rather than chasing criminals how can they be trusted to protect the public? It shows how obsessed they had become.”

Shortly afterwards, Brown became chief in Aberdeen and Power moved across Edinburgh to the inspectorate, leaving Wood as the sole target for CID men smarting over liberal cops, Fettesgate, tenure, and lack of promotion.

Wood, promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in August 1998, was far from conciliatory. In fact, he tightened the screw on the CID.

“Wood was not happy with CID. He thought their clear-up rate was crap,” said a source. “He demanded a lot more from them and got it. It made certain people even angrier. There was a clash of cultures too. Wood is well-known for taking a pragmatic line on things like cannabis and prostitution in saunas. Some of the old school hate him for that.”

In October last year direct allegations were made against Wood over alleged ‘links’ between Wood and Kenneth Erickson, a childhood friend who served 13 years for murder.

The officer who finally made the allegations is said to be embittered at his lack of progress within the service, and directly blames Wood for stopping a move to Special Branch. Supporters of Wood believe the individual only moved against the Deputy Chief after serving exactly 26 and a half years in the force; enough to give him 30 years’ pension rights if he was to retire on grounds of ill health.

SO WAS the break-in at Wood’s flat linked to a conspiracy? No one has been caught for the crime. A source said: “The break-in happened two weeks before the allegations were made.

Break-ins affect everyone, even Deputy Chief Constables, but was someone looking for proof of incriminating links to Erickson, or anything that could be used to hang Wood out to dry? Nothing was stolen and nothing incriminating found but the place was searched pretty thoroughly. Without more hard evidence the feeling is that it’s fifty-fifty.”

When Chief Constable Hamilton delivers his report tomorrow, it is expected he will say the allegations against Wood are groundless. The matter is unlikely to end there. Lothian and Borders Police faces the poisonous problem of a senior officer and a small number of renegade CID men being sworn enemies.

An investigation into the activities of the conspirators could follow with internal disciplinary – and even legal action – not ruled out. “Wood will have to be very careful,” said a source. “He’s smarting but can’t be seen to be out for revenge.”

Another officer said: “Let’s keep this in perspective. We’re talking about a handful of loose cannons causing harm. Some of us don’t like Wood but we respect him. This is a disciplined force not a social club and if the boss says ‘jump’ you ask ‘how high?'”


Evening Press (Edinburgh),
 March 20th, 2000
Chris Marks, ‘Police Plot Denied’

SENIOR police sources today dismissed claims of a plot against some of the highest ranking officers in the Lothian and Borders force.

And the detective who made a complaint against Deputy Chief Constable Tom Wood was described as a highly regarded and competent officer by a colleague.

The sources say Mr Wood will be cleared eventually following today’s hearing by Lothian and Borders Police Board following the complaint made in October by a serving detective sergeant -believed to be based at Gayfield Square, in the city centre.

He claimed Mr Wood had a drugs operation against a former schoolfriend dropped, had bought property with the suspect and allowed drugs and stolen goods to be stored there.

Claims have arisen over the last few days suggesting the complaint against Mr Wood was the result of a conspiracy by a group of rogue detectives to smear high-ranking police officers.

It has been alleged that a group of disgruntled officers, upset by recent reforms to the force, had set out deliberately to undermine Mr Wood and two of his former colleagues.

The “old-school” detectives allegedly placed the senior officers under surveillance hoping to uncover evidence of wrongdoing in their bosses’ private lives.

A senior source today dismissed the claims of a major conspiracy and said any discontent was limited to two or three officers who had become frustrated at a lack of promotion.

And another source said: “The DS who made the complaint against Mr Wood is held in very high regard by his colleagues and he is seen as being a very competent officer.

“I have got no reason to think these complaints were born out of malice.”

The source also dismissed suggestions that the officer had chosen to wait until he had served 26-and-a-half years in the force – enough to give him 30 years’ pension rights if he was retired on ill health – before making the allegations.

Mr Wood today refused to comment on the report or the conspiracy claims.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said today: “The inquiry is a matter for the police board. However, we expect it to be wide ranging and to cover all facets of all allegations made.

“The matter is still under referral to the procurator fiscal.”

Scottish Justice Minister Jim Wallace today called for an investigation into the conspiracy claims.

“I will be asking the chief constable, Sir Roy Cameron, for a report on these allegations,” he said today.

A report by John Hamilton, the chief constable of Fife, was submitted to a meeting of the Lothian and Borders Board’s complaints sub-committee today. Following the meeting, which was held in private, board convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “The sub-committee were advised the report by the investigating officer had been placed in the hands of the procurator fiscal in Dundee.

“Until the outcome of the considerations by the fiscal is known no further comment can be made.

Submission of the report to the fiscal is part of the standard procedure in such cases.

“Mr Hamilton was present at this morning’s meeting and briefed members on his report. The sub-committee is confident Mr Hamilton has conducted a far -reaching and thorough investigation.”

The alleged conspiracy also drew in former Lothian and Borders assistant chief constable Andrew Brown, now chief constable of Grampian Police, and the force’s former deputy chief constable Graham Power, now number two at the Police Inspectorate.

Neither were available to comment today.

The plot was said to have had its roots in the “Fettesgate” affair during which a report was stolen during a break-in at the police’s headquarters at Fettes.

The report centred on rumours that a “magic circle” of gay Scottish judges were being lenient towards homosexual criminals.

The investigation followed claims that detectives had offered immunity to the suspect in exchange for the return of the stolen report.

The resulting probe into the handling of the case led to a detective superintendent being retired, another put back into uniform and several CID officers forced into other departments.

Officers were alleged to have become disgruntled with the handling of the affair and were further accused of setting out to discredit the officers seen as being behind it.


Aberdeen Press and Journal
, March 20th, 2000
Alan Young, ‘Police chief was victim of force ‘conspiracy’; CID stalked Brown to destroy career – claim’

GRAMPIAN Chief Constable Andrew Brown yesterday refused to comment on claims that he was put under surveillance by disgruntled officers while assistant chief at the Lothian and Borders force.

Mr Brown and Lothian’s deputy chief Tom Wood were the victims of a conspiracy by their own detectives, it was reported yesterday.

A handful of detectives had stalked the pair in order to uncover evidence of wrongdoing and destroy their careers, it was claimed.

The alleged plot against Mr Brown and Mr Wood was said to have its origins in the Fettesgate Affair in 1992 when the Lothian Police HQ was broken into and a secret report on the alleged influence of homosexuals on the justice system was stolen.

It led to the downfall of several officers after it was revealed detectives had agreed immunity from prosecution for the alleged intruder in exchange for the return of the document.

There was also bitterness in the ranks at a policy which saw officers rotated around jobs, with many long -serving CID officers told to go back to uniform, the report claimed.

Mr Brown became head of CID following Fettesgate.

The surveillance operation was said to have come to light after a detective made serious allegations of corruption against Mr Wood last October.

Fife Police chief John Hamilton, who has been investigating the corruption claims, is to report on his findings today.

Mr Brown would not comment yesterday on the story.

A Grampian Police spokes-man said: “It would be inappropriate for Mr Brown or the force to comment.”

Councillor Marianne Stewart, chairwoman of Grampian Joint Police Board said: “It’s not my policy to comment on things I know nothing about.”

But North-east SNP MSP Irene McGugan said: “It seems if there is any evidence that people in the CID have put Mr Brown and others under surveillance then that is something that needs to be looked into.”

Mr Brown, who is in his mid-50s, has been a policeman since 1964 and has worked in a variety of departments. The father-of -two was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the 1997 New Year’s Honours.

He took over at Grampian in June, 1998, from Ian Oliver, who quit after a series of controversies, including the way the force handled the Scott Simpson murder inquiry.

 

Aberdeen Evening Express, March 20th, 2000
‘Cop Boss silent over conspiracy theory’

GRAMPIAN Police’s Chief Constable has refused to comment on reports he had been put under surveillance by officers at his former force.

Andrew Brown and Lothian and Borders Deputy Chief Constable Tom Wood were the victims of a conspiracy by colleagues, it was claimed yesterday.

A handful of officers had stalked the pair in an attempt to uncover evidence of wrongdoing and destroy their careers at Lothian and Borders, a report said.

The alleged plot is said to have stemmed from the Fettesgate affair in 1992 when the Lothian and Borders HQ was broken into and a secret report on the influence of homosexuals on the justice system stolen.

The affair led to the downfall of several officers after it was revealed detectives had agreed immunity from prosecution for the alleged intruder in exchange for the return of the document.

Mr Brown became the head of CID in the wake of the scandal at a time when a number of officers were told to go back into uniform.

The surveillance operation on Mr Brown and the other officer was said to have come to light after a detective made allegations of corruption against Mr Wood last October.

Fife Police chief John Hamilton, who has been investigating the claims, was due to report his findings today.

Mr Brown would not comment on the story.

 

The Scotsman, March 21st, 2000
Stephen Rafferty, ‘CID group plotted to smear boss, inquiry finds’

A POLICE chief’s four-month investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against one of Scotland’s most senior officers has found he was the victim of a vendetta by a small group of his own CID officers.

John Hamilton, the chief constable of Fife, told councillors yesterday that claims that the Lothian and Borders deputy chief constable, Tom Wood, was passing information to a convicted killer were groundless.

As revealed exclusively by The Scotsman last week, a number of disaffected detectives, frustrated by a lack of promotion and a dislike of Mr Wood’s liberal views, put him under surveillance in the hope of finding incriminating evidence to support their suspicions.

Mr Wood’s flat in Edinburgh was ransacked during a break-in just weeks before a detective sergeant made the corruption allegations and – four years earlier – another junior officer offered to supply information to a tabloid newspaper which he said would embarrass his boss.

The two detectives are believed to have been working together to discredit Mr Wood, and, at one stage, a dossier on the highly respected officer was offered to another detective, who was suspended and under investigation for another matter, with the advice that he might use the information to his advantage.

After a meeting of Lothian and Borders Police Board complaints sub-committee yesterday, the convener, Lesley Hinds, said she was satisfied there had been “a far-reaching and thorough investigation” into the claims.

Mr Hamilton’s report has been passed to the procurator-fiscal, but the board said it could not comment on the contents.

The justice minister, Jim Wallace, has called for a report from the chief constable, Sir Roy Cameron, on The Scotsman’s revelations, but force insiders say a separate investigation is unnecessary because Mr Hamilton’s report is expected to detail the background to the allegations.

A source also played down reports that a conspiracy against Mr Wood was rooted in the so-called “Fettesgate” affair of 1992, when a sensitive report into the alleged “magic circle” of gay judges was stolen from the headquarters of the Lothian and Borders force.

In the fall-out from the affair, many senior CID officers were demoted, moved or retired, while others escaped unscathed, but claims that Mr Wood was now paying the price for the debacle were said to be inaccurate.

A source said: “To link the Tom Wood situation with Fettesgate is like adding two and two and getting 500.

“It is more a case of a few loose cannons who have set out to make mischief, because they blame Wood for blocking promotions and because their old -fashioned views did not tally with his.”

The corruption allegations surrounded Mr Wood’s friendship with a convicted killer, Kenneth Erickson, who was jailed for life in 1971 for the murder of a 16-year-old youth.

It was claimed that Mr Wood was involved in buying property with Erickson and that he halted an undercover drug investigation against him.

Mr Wood, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, maintains that Erickson was a boyhood friend and the pair became re-acquainted after he was released from jail.

Lothian and Borders Police refused to comment yesterday, but Sir Roy Cameron is known to be furious that his force is again at the centre of unwanted attention.

 

Evening News (Edinburgh), March 21st, 2000
Chris Marks, ‘Wood Conspiracy Theory just a ‘Smokescreen”

THE investigation into complaints against Lothian and Borders Police deputy chief constable Tom Wood found no evidence of an alleged conspiracy to smear top-ranking officers, a senior source said today.

The officer leading the inquiry, Fife chief constable John Hamilton, was “specifically asked” about reports that there was a vendetta against Mr Wood, Lothian and Borders’ former assistant chief constable Andrew Brown and former deputy chief constable Graham Power.

But he told members of the Lothian and Borders Police board that nothing had been found to support the claims.

A source close to the police board today described the claims as “absolutely inaccurate” and said they were being used as a “smokescreen”.


Exaggerated

The source added: “John Hamilton was explicitly asked about these claims and he said there is absolutely no truth in them as far as his inquiry has found.

“There may have been one or two disgruntled officers but any talk of a conspiracy is wide of the mark. It’s just all been exaggerated.

“It’s been about diverting attention from the real issues – a smokescreen.

“These claims were looked at as part of the investigation and Mr Hamilton found there was no truth to them.”

Mr Hamilton’s report is believed to have cleared Mr Wood of complaints made against him in October by a serving Detective Sergeant.

The officer – who colleagues have described as competent and highly regarded – alleged Lothian and Borders’ second in command had halted a drugs operation against childhood friend Kenneth Erickson, who served 13 years of a life sentence for murder.

The detective also claimed Mr Wood and Mr Erickson had bought property together and the policeman had allowed drugs and stolen property to be stored there.

A five month investigation followed during which both Mr Wood and the detective who had made the complaint continued to serve with the force.

Mr Hamilton’s report was finally passed to the complaints sub-committee police board on Monday but no formal response is expected until it has been dealt with by the procurator fiscal.

Reports in the national press claimed the complaint was the culmination of a conspiracy against Mr Wood and his colleagues by “old school” CID officers disgruntled at modernising influences within the force.

On Monday, senior police sources dismissed the claims of a conspiracy.

And another officer defended the record of the DS who made the complaint saying: “He is held in very high regard by colleagues and he is seen as being a very competent officer.

“I have no reason to think these complaints were born out of malice.”

Speaking after the private meeting of the sub-committee on Monday, Police Board Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “The Sub-Committee were advised the report by the investigating officer had been placed in the hands of the Procurator Fiscal in Dundee.

“Until the outcome of the considerations by the Fiscal is known, no further comment can be made. Submission of the report to the Fiscal is part of the standard procedure in such cases.

Allegations

“Mr Hamilton was present at this morning’s meeting and briefed members on his report. The Sub-Committee is confident Mr Hamilton has conducted a far -reaching and thorough investigation”.

Neither Mr Wood, Mr Power nor Mr Brown would comment on the conspiracy claims.

A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Police said: “Mr Hamilton’s inquiry is a matter for the police board.

“However, we expect it to be wide ranging and to cover all facets of all allegations made. The matter is still under referral to the procurator fiscal.”

The alleged conspiracy was claimed to have had its roots in the “Fettesgate” affair in 1992, during which a report into rumours that a “magic circle” of gay Scottish judges were being lenient towards homosexual criminals was stolen during a break in at the police’s headquarters at Fettes.

An investigation followed after claims detectives had offered immunity to the suspect in exchange for the return of the report. The resulting investigation into the handling of the case led to a detective superintendent being retired, another put back into uniform and several CID officers forced into other departments.

Officers were alleged to have become disgruntled with the handling of the affair and had set out to discredit the officers seen as being behind it.

 

Scotland on Sunday, March 26th, 2000
Peter Laing, ‘Detectives in Plot against Top Officers likely to escape action’

THE detectives who plotted to undermine two of Scotland’s most senior police officers seem certain to escape punishment, according to senior police sources.

Scotland on Sunday revealed last week that rogue officers placed Andrew Brown, now the chief constable of Grampian, and Tom Wood, the deputy chief at Lothian and Borders, under surveillance in an attempt to pick up information that could destroy their careers.

It has now emerged that none of the plotters is likely to face criminal charges or internal action because they can claim they were simply doing their jobs.

That is because a police officer who suspects a crime has been committed but fails to act, risks being accused of neglecting their duty.

The revelation that disgruntled detectives tried to undermine senior officers sent shock waves through the police and Scottish Executive.

Jim Wallace, the justice minister, was so concerned by Scotland on Sunday’s report he ordered his officials to make urgent inquiries.

A senior Lothian and Borders source said it now appeared the conspirators were “bullet-proof” and added: “We know who they are and they are still doing their normal jobs . It seems extremely likely that they will not face any action at all.

All they have to say is they believed Wood and Brown were up to no good and they took steps to investigate.

“We know Wood and Brown are not in any way corrupt but that does not matter – the guys involved can claim they had the suspicion.”

Another source said tensions would continue to run high within the force for months, if not years. ” It’s like having poison in the system and having no way of getting it out,” said the source.

The saga centres on Wood, who was accused by a serving detective of halting an investigation into a known criminal because he was a boyhood friend.

The claims have been investigated by Fife chief constable John Hamilton and a report passed to the procurator fiscal at Dundee. It is understood Wood will be cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

Scotland on Sunday revealed that the allegations against Wood were the culmination of a long-running feud between a small number of CID staff and their senior officers.

The simmering row began with the Fettesgate scandal in 1992, in which the force headquarters was broken into and a secret report on the influence of gays in the judiciary stolen.

Many CID heads rolled as a result of a deal struck with the intruder in return for handing back the report.

Hamilton’s report on the case was presented in private to Lothian and Borders Police board last Monday.

Lesley Hinds, the convenor of the board, said: “No one in the force knows what is in John Hamilton’s report, so speculating about the outcome helps no one.”

Wood was not available for comment.

 

The Sunday Times, December 17th, 2000
Marcello Mega, ‘Scottish QC faces child sexual abuse allegations’

ONE of Scotland’s leading QCs, Robert Henderson, is facing allegations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s.

Henderson, 63, one of the most flamboyant and skilled practitioners at the Scottish bar, is the subject of a complaint to Lothian and Borders police. The complainant, now an adult woman, claims Henderson sexually abused her and a young boy when they were children.

The procurator fiscal’s office in Edinburgh has been notified, but the crown office will decide whether to prosecute. Crown counsel takes responsibility when allegations of criminal conduct relate to a “prominent” person.

Despite some controversies in his past, Henderson is revered by many of his fellow lawyers. Two years ago, a dinner to celebrate his 35th anniversary at the bar was attended by a number of senior judges. One of them, Lord Prosser, praised Henderson as one of the foremost advocates of his day.

Although a former Tory parliamentary candidate, Henderson is also close to Lord Hardie, the former Labour lord advocate who opted for a place on the bench just a few weeks before the start of the Lockerbie bombing trial. Hardie had been due to lead the prosecution case.

When Hardie stood as a candidate in the 1994 election for dean of the faculty of advocates, Henderson helped organise his campaign. When Hardie became lord advocate in 1997, Henderson made a speech at a dinner to mark his friend’s investiture to the House of Lords.

Last year, Henderson was involved in two embarrassing incidents. He was convicted for not paying a VAT bill levied by Customs and Excise, which moved to have him sequestrated for a sum of about Pounds 1,700. He admitted the offence and was fined Pounds 3,000 at Edinburgh sheriff court.

He was also asked for an explanation by the current dean, Nigel Emslie QC, over his failure to pay a cheque through faculty services, the support company that employs advocates’ clerks and runs the advocates’ library. Henderson had paid the cheque straight into his own account, bypassing the normal deduction, of about 15%, made by faculty services.

Henderson responded by resigning from faculty services, becoming only the second of Scotland’s 400-plus advocates to forego its support. He also informed friends he was moving towards semi-retirement.

Regarded as the country’s leading defence lawyer until the early nineties, he still makes occasional appearances in the criminal and appeal courts. However, his principal work in recent months has been in the Middle East where he is understood to have been representing the interests of a Scottish firm.

Henderson became an advocate in 1963 and took silk in 1982. As well as developing a successful practice, he dabbled in Edinburgh’s property market, buying and selling houses. He was involved with two property companies, both dissolved in the 1980s.

Despite buying property in many of Edinburgh’s foremost streets, including Heriot Row, Moray Place and Mansionhouse Road, his property dealings were not as sharp as his legal brain. In 1988, the National Westminster Bank was granted a decree against him for a debt in excess of Pounds 160,000. A number of properties he owned were repossessed by finance companies. In 1985, Henderson bought his home, the Old Schoolhouse at Gullane, for Pounds 65,777 from the former Lothian Regional Council. He still lives there, but property records show he sold it in 1990 for Pounds 140,000.

He is best known for his part in the “Magic Circle” affair, which shook the legal establishment almost a decade ago. A number of criminal cases in which prominent homosexuals were acquitted led to allegations that a “gay mafia” at the heart of judiciary had conspired to pervert the course of justice.

Henderson fuelled the rumours by alluding to a list he claimed was in his possession of senior gay lawyers. The list was alleged to have belonged to a client of Henderson’s.

A report into the affair, conducted by William Nimmo Smith QC, who is now a judge, condemned Henderson for the part he played, which included breaching his client’s confidentiality. Henderson was disciplined by the dean of the day, Allan Johnston QC, who is also on the bench, and fined the record sum of Pounds 10,000, later reduced to Pounds 5,000.

Henderson is renowned for his ability to enjoy himself. He plays golf at the elite Muirfield club, also patronised by a number of judges.

 

The Scotsman, December 18th, 2000
‘Lawyer faces sex claims’

POLICE confirmed yesterday that one of Scotland’s most prominent lawyers is at the centre of a child sex claim being investigated by detectives.

A woman has alleged she was abused as a child by Robert Henderson QC. She said a young boy had also been abused.

Mr Henderson, 63, who has been married twice and has four children, has a reputation as a skilled and flamboyant defence lawyer.

Last night, a police spokesman said: “We have received information and are currently looking at it.”

Mr Henderson, who lives in Gullane, East Lothian, , was unavailable for comment.

 

The Express, December 18th, 2000
‘Leading QC faces sex abuse allegation’

ONE of Scotland’s most colourful QCs is at the centre of sexual abuse claims stretching back almost 30 years.

A woman has told police that as a girl in the 1970s she was molested by Robert Henderson.

She also claims a boy suffered abuse.

Mr Henderson, 63, of Gullane, East Lothian, could not be contacted last night.

But a police spokesman said: “We have received information which we are looking at.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal’s office in Edinburgh said: “It is a police matter at this stage.”

Mr Henderson is often chosen to defend colleagues who fall on the wrong side of the law. He represented lawyer James McIntyre, who admitted unlawful possession of guns in 1997, and flamboyant QC Raymond Fraser when he admitted stealing a hat and cravat from Jenners in Edinburgh.

But his own career has not been without its low points, culminating in a court appearance last year for non-payment of VAT. He was fined GBP 3,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

He was also fined the maximum GBP 10,000 by a Faculty of Advocates disciplinary tribunal in 1993 over breach of confidentiality during the so-called Magic Circle affair, which investigated claims that a clique of gay lawyers was wielding undue influence over High Court judges. The fine was later halved because of the QC’s previously unblemished character.

Henderson’s personal life has been equally colourful, featuring two failed marriages. He now lives with his third wife, Carolyn Gell, whom he married in 1995.

 

Evening News (Edinburgh), December 18th, 2000
‘Leading QC investigated over child sex abuse claims’

ONE of Scotland’s best-known defence lawyers is being investigated over claims he sexually abused two children in the 1970s.

Robert Henderson QC is understood to have been accused by one of the alleged victims, who said she and a young boy were abused during their childhood.

The procurator fiscal’s office in Edinburgh has been notified of the complaint against the 63-year-old, who lives in Gullane, East Lothian. However the Crown Office will decide whether to prosecute.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said today: “We have received information which we are looking at.”

Robert Henderson was regarded as Scotland’s leading defence lawyer until the early 90s, but has since reduced his workload. He has a high reputation among colleagues despite some previous controversies.

Last year he was fined pounds 3000 for failing to make a VAT payment.

Six years ago he was taken to court by a woman in a bid to force him to pay maintenance for his “love child”.

Known as “R.E.” to his friends, he is close to Lord Hardie, the former Labour Lord Advocate.

 

Daily Mail, December 18th, 2000
‘Child abuse claim against QC’

ONE of Scotland’s top lawyers is under investigation following allegations of child sex abuse.

Lothian and Borders Police have launched the probe following claims that Robert Henderson, QC, abused two children in the Seventies.

The claims have been made by one of the alleged victims. The woman, who has not been named, alleged that she and a young boy were abused by Mr Henderson during their childhood. A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: ‘We have received information which we are looking at.’ He would not confirm the exact nature of the allegations against Mr Henderson.

The procurator fiscal’s office in Edinburgh has been notified of the complaint. Any decision to prosecute Mr Henderson, 63, will be taken by the Crown Office.

 

Daily Record, March 15th, 2005
‘Crime Capital: Paul Ferris fixed it for the gay burglar who raided Police HQ: Fettesgate’

THE cops were in big trouble.Their HQ at Fettes had been burgled.

Worse, the thief had taken highly sensitive files and documents. How were they going to face the public?

They decided to try to tough it out. Fat chance. The burglar, Derek Donaldson, was seeking advice from someone who was no friend to the cops.

Donaldson was a conman and gay – a bad combination since his crimes got him into jail where he was confronted with would-be gay-bashers.

In Shotts Prison, he was getting a hell of a time before fellow inmate Paul Ferris, former lieutenant of Glasgow Godfather Arthur Thompson, stepped in to stop the bullies.

Now, out of the blue in 1992, Donaldson contacted Ferris. He needed advice about some files.

He told Ferris: ‘I just brought some of the stuff, Paul. I think I’m in big trouble.’

Ferris scanned the material file by file. There were intimate details about a range of judges who sat in courts in and around Edinburgh.

It seemed some of these judges were gay and had been followed by cops when they went to gay parties.

Another file, named Operation Ulysses, targeted IRA supporters in Scotland and lawyers were named as having donated funds.

There were surveillance records of known UDA supporters and photographs of them visiting Belfast and being in the company of top UDA men.

Derek Donaldson was sitting on a goldmine or his death certificate – it depended on how he played it.

‘How the hell did you get this stuff?’ Ferris asked.Donaldson explained he’d had a long-term affair with a high- ranking married cop in Edinburgh.

The cop’s wife had found out and he’d broken off with Donaldson.

In a jealous rage, the forlorn lover had decided to break into the police HQ at Fettes to teach him a lesson. But he had stumbled on to high-risk material and now he was in big trouble.

‘Copy the lot,’ said Ferris. ‘Offer it out to the top people in Edinburgh. That’s point one.

‘Point two is lose the papers. Keep them secure as a bit of insurance but have sod all in your possession.

‘Point three is go to the media.

Mention the gay judges thing but f ** k all about the IRA and UDA supporters.

That’s too sensitive.

‘One way or another, the cops are going to find you.

‘You don’t want anything nasty going down. The best way is to speak out.’

Donaldson followed Ferris’s advice. All the major players in Edinburgh have photocopies of some or all of the files.

They paid well and it was worth every penny in getting certain cops off their backs.

Many have never been to jail since.

 

The Scotsman, February 24th, 2009
Alan McEwen, ‘Fettesgate: ‘Magic Circle’ spells panic in the police’

IT started out as whispers between lawyers over boozy lunches and mutterings of discontent in police canteens.

A group of gay judges and lawyers were conspiring to ensure soft treatment for homosexual criminals, or so went the rumour that spread through Edinburgh legal circles in the late 1980s.

The talk was of a “magic circle” reaching the highest levels of the Scottish legal system and the potential blackmail of judges by “rent boys”.

The gossip grew on the back of police frustration at the outcome of a series of fraud and other cases, where officers felt that defendants who happened to be gay had been unusually leniently treated.

It would all no doubt have died a quiet death if it were not for the bizarre events which took place one Sunday night at the police headquarters at Fettes.

At around midnight on July 19, 1992, an intruder slipped in through an open window – which was apparently left unlatched by detectives who used it as a shortcut to the car park – and made his way to the offices of the Serious Crime Squad.

Daubing Animal Liberation Front slogans on the walls as a smokescreen, he spent two hours searching the offices, including that of Deputy Commander Jimmy Smith, before making off with a haul of confidential files.

Among the two holdalls full of missing documents were ones listing details of police informants, Loyalist sympathisers and Animal Liberation Front activists, but there was one particular police report which would cause huge embarrassment to the force.

It examined the alleged existence of the so-called “magic circle” within the highest echelons of the Scottish judiciary.

Written by a respected senior detective, Detective Inspector Roger Orr, it concluded there was evidence to support claims that justice was being seriously subverted by “a well-established circle of homosexuals”, including judges, sheriffs and lawyers. Significantly, the report named names.

The police dossier listed five court cases where the outcome caused concern among officers and lawyers and concluded that “homosexuality may well have been used as a means to seriously interfere with the administration of justice”.

Now there was panic at police headquarters. The possibilities – including a potential goldmine for blackmailers and the undermining of public faith in the judicial system – did not bear thinking about.

Derek Donaldson, 32, a convicted fraudster and valued police informant, was quickly identified as the prime suspect.

Frantic efforts were made to recover the documents – attempts that would lead to the downfall of some of Lothian’s top detectives. One former senior detective, who was serving on the force at the time, recalls: “This was a perfect example of a storm in a teacup. You had a very dangerous and Machiavellian informant who had been allowed to gain a position of influence and power because he was good at what he did. But he was a double-dyed manipulator.

“Then we had some very ill-advised junior detectives who had allowed themselves to be convinced that there was some sort of conspiracy. But they failed to follow the evidence.

“Whether there was any conspiracy, I can’t answer. What I can answer is that there was no evidence of it.”

Two detectives, Det Chief Supt William Hiddleston and Det Sgt Peter Brown, eventually promised Donaldson immunity from prosecution as long as the documents were returned.

Within weeks, the files had been dumped at the council tip off Dalkeith Road and police informed, but detectives naturally suspected the most sensitive documents had been copied.

The deal did not prove popular with the high command, however, who were anxious to see an arrest to act as a deterrent. When he heard of it, Chief Constable Sir William Sutherland immediately vetoed the immunity arrangement.

The force was under immense scrutiny. The internal report and its controversial initial conclusion was leaked to the Evening News, sparking a national sensation.

The Crown Office appointed a highly-regarded QC, William Nimmo Smith, and a regional procurator fiscal, James Friel, to investigate.

But the affair, dubbed “Fettesgate”, was about to take another twist.

Before the report was officially published, Nimmo Smith was duped into revealing his findings to a bogus journalist. The “journalist” was none other than Derek Donaldson, who immediately sold his “scoop” to a tabloid newspaper, indicating that the report had found no evidence of a homosexual conspiracy.

Days later, Nimmo Smith was admitted to hospital with nervous exhaustion. Donaldson was later jailed for assaulting a real journalist who had continued to investigate the events.

When Nimmo Smith’s report was finally published in January 1993, it dismissed the idea of a “magic circle” of gay lawyers.

The 101-page report concluded there was no evidence to support the idea of a conspiracy to undermine justice, but strongly criticised a number of police officers.

Some had been “prepared to give as much credence to rumour as to actual evidence and to believe in conspiracy theories whether or not supported by evidence”, it said.

Other officers, it suggested, had been motivated by homophobia.

William Hiddleston announced his retirement just hours after the chief constable had admitted a small group of detectives “may have let the side down”. Several other officers connected were moved to uniformed duties.

MP’s enquiry that sparked dramatic chain of events

FORMER long-serving Linlithgow MP Tam Dalyell played a crucial role in bringing the “magic circle” controversy into the public domain.

The stolen police report which sparked the scandal was prepared in response to a letter the MP wrote to then Lothian and Borders Chief Constable Sir William Sutherland.

Mr Dalyell had raised what he believed to be genuine public concern about a series of Crown Office decisions on cases investigated by the force.

Sir William took these concerns very seriously and, after discussions with his deputy, Hector Clark, decided to have a secret report drawn up by a senior officer.

Today, Mr Dalyell looks back on the furore as something which had positive effects on the force.

Lothian and Borders Police established formal links with a series of gay community groups for the first time in its history in the wake of the controversy.

Mr Dalyell said: “In the years following the so-called ‘Fettesgate’ scandal, Lothian and Borders Police did make an effort to learn some of the lessons from the inquiry.

“It was a very awkward situation for some of the officers involved. I know that William Sutherland took it very seriously.

“But, from that, the police did try and make things better.”

In recent years, the force has won widespread praise for its work building relations with the city’s gay community. The rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community was flown above the Fettes HQ last year.


The Scotsman, December 12th, 2012
Martin Hannan, ‘Obituary: Robert Ewart Henderson, QC, advocate’

Born: 29 March, 1937, in Glasgow. Died: 9 December, 2012, in France, aged 75.

The death after a short illness of Robert Henderson QC, always known to his friends as Bob, has saddened the Scottish legal profession which has lost one of the most brilliant advocates of recent decades.

Charismatic and eloquent, Henderson was so renowned for the quality of his advocacy that other lawyers would often slip into his court to observe the master at work. Whether addressing a jury or debating a legal point, Henderson’s forensic mind and compelling fluency of speech made him a court performer of the very highest calibre.

An accomplished golfer and pianist, and a bon viveur of note, Henderson’s colourful personality and occasional transgressions meant that he never attained the very highest honours of his profession, but he himself always said that he was happiest in court and that he wanted to be remembered as a fearless advocate, which he undoubtedly was.

Born to William Ewart Henderson, an accountant of Orcadian extraction, and Agnes née Ker, Henderson was educated at Larchfield School in Helensburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff. His national service was in the Royal Artillery, where he reached the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Attending Glasgow University, he was one of a golden generation of lawyers and politicians that included Menzies Campbell, Donald Dewar, Lord Derry Irvine and John Smith. That he became president of the University Law Society in 1961-62 says much about the esteem in which he was held, even among such notable contemporaries.

In 1963, Henderson was called to the Bar and at the very outset of his career, he was involved in a piece of Scottish history that he did not seek. In later years he would often tell of his first case in the High Court in which he was junior to advocate depute Bertie Grieve, later Lord Grieve, who died in 2005. It was perhaps from that gentleman that Henderson learned the importance of the excellent manners and immaculate attire which were his trademarks. The case was that of Henry John Burnett and was held in Aberdeen. It was indeed historic, as Harry Burnett became the last man in Scotland to be hanged for murder. The jury decided that Burnett was “bad, not mad”, as Henderson put it. Despite psychiatrists stating that Burnett had a personality disorder, the Secretary of State Michael Noble refused to commute the sentence, and 21-year-old Burnett was hanged on 15 August, 1963.

Henderson would figure in many more criminal trials, and his reputation as an advocate, particularly for the defence, grew apace, especially after he took Silk in 1982.

Prior to that he had briefly served as Sheriff Substitute in Stirling, Dumbarton and Clackmannan, and as a Temporary Sheriff in 1978.

He was also standing junior counsel to the Department of Trade for many years and a member of various tribunals, and in 1974, the year of two elections, he twice stood as the Conservative candidate in the Inverness-shire seat held by Russell Johnston.

Despite that foray into Tory politics, he enjoyed long friendships with people of different political beliefs. At the time of the miners’ strike in 1984, he defended a number of the strikers, which led to a clash with Lord Wheatley – the irony being that Wheatley was the son of the Red Clydeside Labour MP John, while Henderson was a committed Conservative who manfully battled against the state’s prosecution of workers.

His court cases varied from murder trials such as his defence of James Baigrie, who killed an Edinburgh barman in 1982, to his overturning of the conviction of William Crowe in 1989. In 1984, lawyer Len Murray assembled perhaps the most powerful team of advocates ever put together for a single case, namely the trial of four Rangers and Celtic players over incidents during an Old Firm match. Needless to say, Henderson was one of the star quartet.

He also acted over the years for newspapers and the BBC, while one of his greatest successes was the defence of gay solicitor Colin Tucker, acquitted of an embezzlement charge despite admitting that he had been involved in diverting funds.

The fallout from the Tucker case thrust Henderson into the limelight of public controversy in the early 1990s. The allegations of sexual misconduct among Edinburgh’s legal establishment became known as the Magic Circle scandal.

The supposed story of powerful people allegedly engaged in a homosexual ring which conspired to pervert the course of justice was explosive and hogged the headlines for months. With his known associations with journalists, Henderson undoubtedly helped to create those headlines, and he was fined £10,000, later reduced to £5,000, by the Faculty of Advocates for breach of confidentiality.

It is often forgotten that while Henderson was criticised in the official report by William Nimmo Smith QC and Glasgow’s procurator fiscal James Friel, he was entirely cleared of serious allegations of conspiracy and blackmail, and indeed was cleared of the original allegations of criminality in property dealings dating from the 1980s. It may be concluded that Henderson was himself the victim of gossip and innuendo.

It was perhaps not very wise of Henderson to involve himself in the buying and of selling properties in and around Edinburgh, a pursuit that probably emanated from his specialisation in land and planning law. He was also a noted expert on licensing issues. Henderson’s business acumen was not on a par with his skill in court, however, as evidenced by his conviction for non-payment of VAT in 1999.

A member of the New Club and of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Henderson liked nothing better than a convivial round of golf at Muirfield not for from his home in Gullane.

His private life was also occasionally chaotic. He was married three times: to Olga Sunter from 1958 to 1978, by whom he had a son and two daughters; to Carol Black from 1982 to 1988, by whom he had a son; and to Carolyn Gell in 1995. He is survived by Carolyn and his children.

Henderson went into semi-retirement from 2001, before surprising his family and friends with a move to Dubai in 2004 where lucrative consultancy work gave him the wherewithal to establish a home in south-west France, where he delighted in entertaining old friends and colleagues from Scotland.

He was charming and witty to the end, and his passing leaves a huge hole in many lives, for he was a loyal and generous friend to many.

MARTIN HANNAN


The Herald
, December 13th, 2012
John McCluskey, ‘Robert Henderson QC’

Born: March 29, 1937; Died: December 9, 2012.

An appreciation

Bob Henderson QC was a unique spirit in the Scottish scene. I first encountered him 50 years ago in the two rooms known as The Juridical Library, an outpost of the Advocates Library on the corner of George Street and Charlotte Square, where the Faculty of Advocates provided a quiet haven where advocates could sit all night researching the law and preparing for the next forensic encounter.

But it wasn t all work. The couple who acted as caretakers used to bring us coffee and biscuits and we would break off for irreverent gossip. And I must confess that at half past nine some of us would sneak out to Scotts bar in Rose Street to seek fresh inspiration.

Bob frequently came to the Juridical Library when he was devilling to Ian Stewart, later Lord Allanbridge. He was immediately impressive as a powerful personality with a mind of his own and no undue sense of subservience towards the establishment. So he had no hesitation in joining in the chat and the mocking of our elders and betters.

Bob was already an accomplished golfer and pianist, and he was well read. He had the qualities that would enable him to succeed as an advocate in the highest courts. He was self confident, fluent with a commanding speaking voice and a capacity that marked his career at the Bar for going straight to the heart of the matter in language that was clear, unambiguous and positive.

From my later perspective as a judge, particularly when sitting with a jury, it was a joy when Bob walked into court and announced he was appearing as counsel for the defence: the lights seemed to shine a little brighter. You knew there were going to be very few dull moments. He had a gift for recognising that a good point could be made in one clear short question. So you quickly learned to listen: he was not going to repeat and elaborate till you were sick of hearing it. Juries appreciated this was a lawyer who was not going to waste their time, a lawyer who would not treat them like dummies who needed to be given repeated glimpses of the obvious. So they listened.

And judges did the same: they knew from experience that Bob s forensic motto might have been borrowed from television s Allo, Allo!: I shall say this only once. That, and his personal charm, gave him a popularity with his colleagues and with the Bench that stood him in good stead when, as happened occasionally, he blotted his copybook. Somehow Bob’s blots were made with rainbow-coloured ink and he emerged from various scrapes perhaps a little wiser but not in the least diminished in spirit. The strengths of his character more than compensated for the faults.

It was a sad day when Bob announced his fortune was to be sought elsewhere and he went off to Dubai to seek it. He found it. On his return, well timed to avoid the depression, he bought a lovely mansion house in south-eest France with delightful grounds. There he built a first-class tennis court, an excellent swimming pool and a cellar of well-chosen wines. He also turned the older buildings into first-class accommodation for visitors.

The first purpose was to welcome and entertain his and Carolyn s friends. Bob, though living away from Edinburgh for some years, kept in touch with all the news. He loved Edinburgh and he had many happy years in Gullane and playing golf at Muirfield: he missed it all but he kept his memories alive. I remember sitting with him until the wee sma hours, hearing his trenchant views about people, politics and events that he felt so strongly about. But, caustic or dismissive, he was free of malice.

His second purpose in developing his lovely French estate was to build a resort that could be easily managed and would provide some security for the years ahead. The tragedy is that those years were cut so suddenly and dramatically short.

Our thoughts go out to Carolyn. If the loss of Bob means so much to us, we can hardly imagine how empty these coming days must be for Carolyn; this is clear: we all, with Carolyn, continue to share and treasure the warmth and the excitement that Bob radiated so generously.


The Sun
, December 14th, 2012
‘Top QC dies at 75′

A LAWYER who was once one of the top QCs in Scotland has died, aged 75.

It is understood Robert Henderson passed away on Sunday in France, where he had lived for several years, following a short illness.

In 1993 Henderson was named in a report by William Nimmo Smith investigating claims of a gay conspiracy to block justice in Scotland.

He was accused of leaking information to cops. Friend Lord McCluskey, 83, led tributes to the dad-of-four. He said: “It was joy when Bob walked into court.”


The Scotsman
, December 14th, 2012
‘Obituary: Robert Henderson QC, 75′

ONE of the country’s leading advocates has died suddenly in France at the age of 75.

Robert Henderson QC, who built a towering reputation for his work in the Capital, died on Sunday after a short illness.

The Gullane-based advocate grew up in Kirkwall to parents William Ewart Henderson and Agnes née Ker, attending Larchfield School in Helensburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff.

He was admitted to Glasgow University, studying alongside a golden generation of lawyers and politicians including Menzies Campbell, Donald Dewar and Lord Derry Irvine.

Despite the list of luminaries, Bob – as he was better known – was named president of the University Law Society in 1961.

He was inadvertently caught up in a slice of Scottish history in his first case at the High Court in 1963 as junior to advocate depute Bertie Grieve, when Henry John Burnett was sentenced to become the last man in Scotland to be hanged for murder.

Bob was an honorary sheriff substitute at Stirling, Dumbarton and Clackmannan in 1968 and served as counsel to the Department of Trade between 1974 and 1977.

That experience led him in 1974 to twice stand as the Conservative candidate in the Inverness-shire seat held by Russell Johnston.

The lawyer would build his reputation as a defence advocate in a series of high-profile criminal trials after becoming a QC in 1982.

Bob was also hand-picked amongst a star team of advocates assembled by lawyer Len Murray to represent four Rangers and Celtic players charged over incidents during an Old Firm match.

Some of his most notable work came when he defended a host of miners during the 1984 strike.

Bob also represented the BBC and a string of newspapers. His defence of gay solicitor Colin Tucker, who was acquitted of an embezzlement charge despite admitting to diverting funds, was one of his greatest professional successes.

A keen golfer, Bob was a member of the New Club and of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, often playing at Muirfield.

He entered semi-retirement in 2001 before moving to Dubai three years later. His consultancy work overseas allowed him to buy a home in south-west France.

Close friend and Judge Lord McCluskey said it was a tragedy that Bob’s life had been cut short. He added: “He loved Edinburgh and he had many happy years in Gullane and playing golf at Muirfield.

“I remember sitting until the wee small hours hearing his trenchant views about people, politics and events he felt so strongly about. But, caustic or dismissive, he was free of malice.”

Bob is survived by his third wife, Carolyn Gell – whom he married in 1995 – and four children.


The Herald
, May 17th, 2013
Brian Home, ‘Solicitor is jailed after trying to take drugs into prison’

A SOLICITOR whose 30-year legal career lay in tatters after he was caught trying to smuggle mobile phones and drugs into Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison was jailed for four years yesterday.

The final act of David Blair Wilson’s shame was played out at the High Court in Edinburgh when judge Lord Jones told him he had abused his position as a lawyer.

In an earlier trial CCTV footage showed plain clothes police blocking any attempt by Blair Wilson to drive away, then leading him away in handcuffs.

A search of his car uncovered the phones, diazepam tablets which may have been worth £2800 at inflated prison prices, cannabis resin with a prison value of £4000 and other contraband items.

Judge Lord Jones said: “The misuse of drugs in prison is a well-recognised problem to which you were intent on contributing.

“You knew that, as a solicitor visiting a client in prison, you were in a privileged position. You cynically abused the privilege you had been given and abused the trust placed in you.”

The smuggling attempt was a well-planned operation, the judge added. Blair Wilson, 55, of Dunfermline, insisted he did not know the suspect packages were there and blamed another man for any wrong-doing.

The lawyer enjoyed a brief notoriety more than 20 years ago when he helped clear a friend and fellow solicitor accused of embezzling more than £50,000 of clients’ money from his firm.

The trial of Colin Tucker sparked a break-in at the Fettes HQ of Lothian and Borders Police, a probe by a top QC.

Yesterday, defence advocate Susan Duff, asking for leniency, paid tribute to Blair Wilson as a solicitor.

She said: “He has had a long and successful career in the law, a career built on hard work and a deeply committed attitude of care for his clients. Blair Wilson was a man for whom nothing was too much trouble.”

Now, she said, he knew he would never work again in that profession.

On the day he was caught the solicitor had arranged to visit – in his professional capacity – Lee Brown, 35, who told the trial he was serving 18-and-a-half years.

CCTV footage showed Blair Wilson arriving at the Saughton jail carrying a bulging folder.

Prison officer Graham Robertson, 25, described how he checked Blair Wilson’s ID and his colleague told the solicitor his folder had to be scanned.

“He became quite anxious looking, began to sort of fidget. His body language changed slightly,” said the prison officer.Blair Wilson returned to his Vauxhall Signum then came back into the prison vestibule. This time his file was thinner.

In the witness box, Blair Wilson said the suspect packages were nothing to do with him.

He said Steven Douglas – a youth he had befriended who regarded him as a surrogate father – must have put them under the driver’s seat when he borrowed the car the day before. There were 19 fingerprints on the packages that matched those of Mr Douglas. Not one matched Blair Wilson’s prints.

Mr Douglas should have appeared as a witness – but, when asked where he was, Blair Wilson replied: “I wish I knew.”

A jury’s majority verdict convicted Blair Wilson of attempting to smuggle three mobile phones, three SIM cards along with two chargers and two earphones into the jail.

He was also found guilty, by majority, of being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin, diazepam and body-building drugs – in particular to Lee Brown.During the trial, charges of breaching the Prisons (Scotland) Act by introducing drugs into the jail were dropped.

Lord Jones said he was taking into account Blair Wilson was a first offender who also suffered from serious health problems.

“While I take these matters into consideration, it has to be recognised that you chose to commit these offences and did this with your eyes open, knowing what the risks were and the consequences if you were caught.”

Blair Wilson also faces automatic prosecution before the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.

Philip Yelland, director of Regulation at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Solicitors are expected to maintain the highest standards both in their professional and personal lives.

“They are bound by rules including rules about their conduct, and serious criminal convictions are a breach of these rules.”

The Scotsman, July 13th, 2014
‘Sir Nicholas Fairbairn in child abuse scandal link’

SIR Nicholas Fairbairn, the controversial former Solicitor General for Scotland, has been linked to the child abuse scandal which is threatening to engulf Westminster.

Evidence has emerged which suggests Fairbairn, who died in 1995 aged 61, may have visited a brothel now at the heart of police and parliamentary investigations.

A list of names seized by officers indicates the former legal adviser to Margaret Thatcher may have abused boys at a notorious London guesthouse, where youngsters from children’s homes were reportedly sexually assaulted by high-profile visitors.

The documents have been seen by child protection officers and are now being used by police as evidence as part of Operation Fernbridge.

The apparent link has prompted calls for the long-serving Conservative MP to be posthumously investigated.

Fairbairn – who boasted about his “insatiable” sexual appetite – had a career which took him to the top of both the political and legal establishments but gained notoriety as a womaniser and heavy drinker.

Lists of visitors to the Elm Guest House – which hosted parties in the 1980s where vulnerable boys were sexually assaulted after being plied with alcohol – are now in the hands of police officers.

The hand-written documents, which have been seen by Scotland on Sunday, state that a number of politicians including “N Fairburn” and “C Smith” – who asked to be called “Tubby” – visited the property on 7 June 1982.

They also state that “Fairburn” had “used boys in sauna” and that photographs had been taken of him – as well as Cyril Smith – at the guest house. Police have confirmed that Smith, the late Liberal MP for Rochdale, who has since been exposed as a serial abuser of boys, was a regular visitor to the brothel. Despite the spelling discrepancy over Fairburn/Fairbairn, there have now been calls for a full investigation which would establish whether or not Fairbairn was involved.

Pete Wishart, the SNP MP, who represents Fairbairn’s former constituency of Perth, called for the allegations to be fully examined. He said: “If there is any evidence that Sir Nicholas Fairbairn was involved in the abuse of children it should be looked at and properly investigated.”

Simon Danczuk, the Rochdale MP who exposed Smith as a child abuser, said the documents must be investigated.

A spokesman for the Labour politician said: “The Metropolitan Police have confirmed Cyril Smith was at Elm Guest House and it is now important to investigate and establish exactly who else was there.”

In 2000 the daughter of a prominent Scottish lawyer, who was never publicly named, alleged Fairbairn was part of a paedophile ring. At the time the claims were angrily rejected by his family. Last night Sir Nicholas’ eldest daughter Charlotte told Scotland on Sunday: “There’s nothing I can say. He’s been dead for 20 years.”


Daily Record and Sunday Mail
, July 14th, 2014
Dan Warburton, ‘THE ACCUSED; SEX ALLEGATIONS CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PROBES AS MORE ATTACK CLAIMS EMERGE SEX ALLEGATIONS CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PROBES AS MORE ATTACK CLAIMS EMERGE ; Thatcher’s top two Scots Tories in 80s at centre of Westminster child abuse claims Whistleblower claims Dr Smith arranged young boys for senior cabinet ministers Fairbairn linked to brothel where kids from homes were abused by high-profile visitors’

THE two top Scots Tories from Margaret Thatcher’s Government were last night linked to an alleged child abuse ring.

Former Kinross and Western Perthshire MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn and former party Scottish chairman Dr Alistair Smith were named as suspects in the historic abuse of underage boys.

Last night, Labour justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said a public inquiry “cannot afford to leave any stone unturned and it must have the confidence of the victims”.

Senior officials in Thatcher’s Government were alleged to have attended private sex parties with underage boys and visited a notorious guesthouse.

A special police unit from 13 forces are thought to have drawn-up a “superlist” of celebrities and elected officials under investigation.

Pearson added: “The Scottish Goverment cannot stand back from this. We know victims have been calling for action here in Scotland and so far we are the only part of the UK not holding any investigations.

“With Scottish names now emerging as part of the UK investigation, we cannot “With Scottish names now emerging as part of the UK investigation, we cannot afford to be left behind.”

FAIRBAIRN – the former Solicitor General for Scotland who died in 1995, aged 61 – may have visited a brothel at the heart of police Evidence suggests Fairbairn – the former Solicitor General for Scotland who died in 1995, aged 61 – may have visited a brothel at the heart of police and parliamentary probes.

It’s understood Thatcher’s legal advisor visited the notorious Elms Guest House, where youngsters from children’s homes were allegedly abused by high-It’s understood Thatcher’s legal advisor visited the notorious Elms Guest House, where youngsters from children’s homes were allegedly abused by highprofile visitors in the 80s.

Documents seized by officers are now being used as evidence in Operation Fernbridge, a criminal probe into parties held at the site in Documents seized by officers are now being used as evidence in Operation Fernbridge, a criminal probe into parties held at the site in Rocks Lane, south-west London.

Rocks Lane, south-west London.

In 2000, Fairbairn’s family were forced to reject allegations that the flamboyant advocate was part of a paedophile ring of top Scots lawyers.

Yesterday, Fairbairn’s eldest daughter Charlotte is reported to have said: “There’s nothing I can say. He’s been dead for 20 years.”

Meanwhile, whistleblower Anthony Gilberthorpe – a former Conservative activist – claimed Dr Smith, who died in July 2012, had arranged for rent boys to have sex with Cabinet members.

Anthony, 52, said he was used to procure boys as young as 15, who indulged in alcohol and cocaine before having sex with politicians at party conferences in Black-Black pool and Brighton in the 80s.

He said: “Dr Smith, who I looked up to at the time and was the most important Tory in Scotland, told me to go and fetch some ‘entertainment’, which was ‘entertainment’, which was code for young boys.

“It was the norm and an open secret that these older members of the Tory Party, like Dr Alistair Smith, paid for young men to join them at sex parties.

“It was the first time I was asked to fetch them but it was hardly surprising as I was becoming one of their trusted people. I was expected to find the youngest and prettiest young boys. It was what those men wanted.

“In fact, it was all they wanted. So myself and another Tory candidate sat on some benches underneath an archway in the Pavilion area of Blackpool and waited.”

David Mellor, who was a Home Office minister between 1983 and 1987, dismissed Anthony’s allegations as “tittle-tattle”.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I think this is now open season because of a pretty dodgy dossier presented to Leon Brittan by a Tory backbencher, which had very little substance in my view.”

Officers investigating historic child abuse from 13 constabularies held a meeting in Merseyside last month. It’s understood each brought a secret list of elected officials and celebrities currently under investigation for alleged child sex abuse. A “superlist” of 21 of the best-known suspects was drawn-up, with half of those listed yet to enter the public domain.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “Police should investigate all allegations of this nature and the perpetrators should be brought to justice.”

When the Daily Record made attempts to contact Dr Smith’s family there was no response.

David Cameron faced further problems yesterday after he was accused by one of his own MPs of turning a blind eye to possible abuse by Government whips.

Mark Reckless, a member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the PM should order all former chief whips to reveal what they knew about child sex offence allegations. In a letter to Cameron, he called for a full public enquiry.

GRAPHIC: TRUST Thatcher made Fairburn and Smith senior officials

THE two top Scots Tories from Margaret Thatcher’s ­Government were last night linked to an alleged child abuse ring.

Former Kinross and Western ­Perthshire MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn and former party Scottish chairman Dr Alistair Smith were named as suspects in the historic abuse of underage boys.

Last night, Labour justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said a public inquiry “cannot afford to leave any stone unturned and it must have the confidence of the victims”.

Senior officials in Thatcher’s Government were alleged to have attended private sex parties with underage boys and visited a notorious guesthouse.

A special police unit from 13 forces are thought to have drawn-up a “superlist” of celebrities and elected officials under investigation.

Pearson added: “The Scottish Goverment cannot stand back from this. We know victims have been calling for action here in ­Scotland and so far we are the only part of the UK not holding any ­investigations.

“With Scottish names now emerging as part of the UK investigation, we cannot afford to be left behind.”

Evidence suggests ­Fairbairn – the former Solicitor General for Scotland who died in 1995, aged 61 – may have visited a brothel at the heart of police and parliamentary probes.

It’s understood Thatcher’s legal advisor visited the ­notorious Elms Guest House, where youngsters from ­children’s homes were ­allegedly abused by high-profile visitors in the 80s.

Documents seized by officers are now being used as evidence in Operation ­Fernbridge, a criminal probe into parties held at the site in Rocks Lane, south-west London.

In 2000, Fairbairn’s family were forced to reject allegations that the flamboyant advocate was part of a paedophile ring of top Scots lawyers.

Yesterday, Fairbairn’s eldest daughter Charlotte is reported to have said: “There’s nothing I can say. He’s been dead for 20 years.”

Meanwhile, whistleblower Anthony Gilberthorpe- a former Conservative activist – claimed Dr Smith, who died in July 2012, had arranged for rent boys to have sex with Cabinet members.

Anthony, 52, said he was used to procure boys as young as 15, who indulged in alcohol and cocaine before having sex with politicians at party ­conferences in Blackpool and Brighton in the 80s.

He said: “Dr Smith, who I looked up to at the time and was the most ­important Tory in Scotland, told me to go and fetch some ‘­entertainment’, which was code for young boys.

“It was the norm and an open secret that these older members of the Tory Party, like Dr Alistair Smith, paid for young men to join them at sex parties.

“It was the first time I was asked to fetch them but it was hardly surprising as I was becoming one of their trusted people. I was expected to find the youngest and prettiest young boys. It was what those men wanted.

“In fact, it was all they wanted. So myself and another Tory ­candidate sat on some benches underneath an archway in the Pavilion area of ­Blackpool and waited.”

David Mellor, who was a Home Office minister between 1983 and 1987, dismissed Anthony’s ­allegations as “tittle-tattle”.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I think this is now open season because of a pretty dodgy dossier presented to Leon Brittan by a Tory backbencher, which had very little substance in my view.”

Officers investigating historic child abuse from 13 ­constabularies held a meeting in Merseyside last month. It’s understood each brought a secret list of elected officials and celebrities currently under investigation for alleged child sex abuse.

A “superlist” of 21 of the best-known suspects was drawn-up, with half of those listed yet to enter the public domain.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “Police should investigate all allegations of this nature and the perpetrators should be brought to justice.”

When the Daily Record made attempts to contact Dr Smith’s family there was no response.

David Cameron faced further ­problems yesterday after he was accused by one of his own MPs of turning a blind eye to possible abuse by Government whips.

Mark Reckless, a member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the PM should order all former chief whips to reveal what they knew about child sex offence allegations. In a letter to Cameron, he called for a full public enquiry.

He added: “Given the mass ­shredding of documents by the whips office from 1996, will you write to all Conservative Chief Whips who have held office since 1960 or their heirs where deceased and ask them to provide all documents which remain in their possession from their time in office to the Child Abuse Inquiry?”

Reckless also called on him to look into whether former Attorney General Michael Havers – whose sister Lady Bulter-Sloss is heading the inquiry into child sex abuse claims – was behind the decision to destroy papers.


Mail on Sunday
, July 20th, 2014
Marc Horne, ‘Esther Rantzen: My shock over my MP lover’s links to Elm House paedophile ring’

  • Esther Rantzen had affair with politician Sir Nicholas Fairbairn in the 1960s
  • Suggestions he may have visited guest house where children were allegedly assaulted by high-profile visitors
  • Ms Rantzen speaks of her revulsion over his links to child abuse scandal
  • She distances herself from the late Conservative MP who died at 61 in 1995

Esther Rantzen has spoken of her revulsion after learning that a former lover has been linked to the child abuse scandal threatening to engulf Westminster.

The broadcaster and Childline founder had an affair with politician Sir Nicholas Fairbairn after they met at a BBC studio in 1966.

But Ms Rantzen has now distanced herself from the late Conservative MP and Solicitor General for Scotland – who died in 1995, aged 61.

Evidence has come to light suggesting he may have visited a London guest house where children from care homes were allegedly assaulted by high-profile visitors.

Miss Rantzen, 74, played a leading role in uncovering child abuse during the 1980s.

She said: ‘I am horrified and disgusted by these allegations because Nicky was a friend of mine.

‘I had a very brief relationship with him. I always assumed that he was attracted to adult women rather than children.

‘I had absolutely no knowledge of that side of him. However, over the years I have learned that you really never know anyone.’

The former That’s Life presenter was 26 when she embarked on an affair with the married MP after he appeared as a guest on a BBC show where she was a researcher.

She said: ‘When I knew Nicky he was courteous, charming and very fond of women.

‘He was a high-profile lawyer, who lived in a castle and had a very flamboyant private life.’

‘He took me to lunch at the Ritz. He gave me a long-stemmed red rose and ordered Beluga caviar and Krug champagne.

‘If ever there was an aphrodisiac meal that was it. Nicky took to me to some Lord’s house where he was staying and the rest was inevitable.’

The presenter, who founded the world’s first child abuse hotline, Childline, in 1986, was appalled by the emergence of evidence which suggests that a powerful network of paedophiles may once have stalked the corridors of power.

She said: ‘It is really important that the people who have suffered now recognise that they do have a right to justice. It is not about the culture of the time.

‘Child abuse has always been a crime and, in my experience, there was never a time when it was tolerated. What happened with Cyril Smith was horrific. The whole thing was hushed up and police were taken off cases and prevented from going public with what they knew.

‘It was straightforward, old-fashioned conspiracy.’

Lists of VIP visitors to the Elm Guest House – which hosted parties in the 1980s where vulnerable boys were sexually assaulted after being plied with alcohol – are now being used by police as evidence in their Operation Fernbridge inquiry.

The documents, seen by the Mail on Sunday, state that politicians including ‘N Fairburn’ and ‘C Smith’ visited the property on June 7, 1982. They also state that ‘Fairburn’ had ‘used boys in sauna’ and that photos had been taken of him – as well as Cyril Smith – at the guest house.

Police have confirmed that Smith, the late Liberal MP for Rochdale, who has since been exposed as a serial abuser, was a regular visitor to the address.

Despite the spelling discrepancy there have now been calls for a full investigation which would establish whether Fairbairn was involved.

Sir Nicholas, who carried a brace of pistols on his hip and designed his own flamboyant tartan attire, was forced to resign as Solicitor General in 1982 over a decision not to prosecute in a rape case.

RESIGNATION HURTS, SAYS BARONESS BUTLER-SLOSS

By Martin Delgado

Baroness Butler-Sloss, chosen to chair the inquiry into historic child abuse, has spoken of her ‘hurt’ at having to resign before she could even take up the role.

The resignation last week came after claims the retired judge’s late brother, Sir Michael Havers, who was Attorney-General and later Lord Chancellor, was involved in a cover-up.

‘I didn’t want to resign but I had to.

‘The victims didn’t have faith in me,’ she said. ‘Now all  I feel is hurt and sadness.

‘I discussed it with loved ones before making my decision, but nobody influenced or pushed me. It’s a pity.

‘Yes, it hurt me.’

The peer was speaking at London’s Piccadilly Theatre at the Jack Petchey Foundation’s Speak Out Challenge.

Peter Saunders, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: ‘She seems to be drawing attention to her own self-pity. Many victims of abuse will find her remarks insensitive.’

The previous year a House of Commons secretary had tried to hang herself from a lamp-post outside his London flat after they had an affair.

In Who’s Who Sir Nicholas described his pastimes as: ‘Making love, ends meet and people laugh.’

In 2000 the daughter of a prominent Scottish lawyer, who was never  publicly named, alleged Sir Nicholas had been part of a paedophile ring. At the time the claims were angrily rejected by his family.

Sir Nicholas’ eldest daughter Charlotte declined to comment on the latest allegations, stating: ‘There’s nothing I can say. He’s been dead for 20 years.’


The Express
, July 21st, 2014
Greg Christison, ‘Esther’s horror at Fairbairn child sex allegations’

ESTHER Rantzen has said she is “horrified and disgusted” after her former lover Sir Nicholas Fairbairn was linked to the child abuse scandal at Westminster.

The allegations have been denied by Nicholas Fairbairn’s family[NC]

The broadcaster, who founded the Childline telephone service for children suffering abuse, had an affair with the late Conservative MP and Solicitor General for Scotland after they met at a BBC studio in 1966.

It has been claimed that Sir Nicholas, who died in 1995 aged 61, visited a London guest house where children from care homes were allegedly assaulted by high-profile visitors.

Ms Rantzen said: “I am horrified and disgusted by these allegations, because Nicky was a friend of mine.

“I had a very brief relationship with him. I always assumed that he was attracted to adult women rather than children.

“I had absolutely no knowledge of that side of him. However, over the years I have learned that you really never know anyone.”

The 74-year-old, who has played a leading role in uncovering child abuse, was 26 when she embarked on an affair with the married politician.

They met after he appeared as a guest on a BBC show where she was working as a researcher.

“When I knew Nicky he was courteous, charming and very fond of women,” she continued.

“He was a high-profile lawyer, who lived in a castle and had a very flamboyant private life.

“He took me to lunch at the Ritz. He gave me a long-stemmed red rose and ordered Beluga caviar and Krug champagne.

“If ever there was an aphrodisiac meal, that was it. Nicky took me to some Lord’s house where he was staying and the rest was inevitable.”

Esther Rantzen has been shocked upon of the alleged child abuse [REX]

It is understood evidence suggests Sir Nicholas was one of several politicians who visited Elm Guest House, which hosted parties in the 1980s where vulnerable boys were sexually assaulted after being plied with alcohol.

A VIP list of visitors suggests Sir Nicholas “used boys in the sauna” and that photos existed of him at the guest house.

Police are investigating the list, which also contains the name of the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, as part of their Operation Fernbridge inquiry.

Sir Nicholas was forced to resign as Solicitor General in 1982 over a decision not to prosecute in a rape case. A year beforehand, a House of Commons secretary tried to hang herself from a lamppost outside his London flat after they had an affair.

In 2000, the daughter of a prominent Scottish lawyer, who was never publicly named, alleged Sir Nicholas had been part of a paedophile ring.

The claims were denied by his family.

Sir Nicholas’ eldest daughter, Charlotte, declined to comment on the latest allegations, stating: “There’s nothing I can say. He’s been dead for 20 years.”


Daily Mail
, August 14th, 2014
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’

  • Susie Henderson, 48, says she was raped by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn
  • Tory politician was solicitor general for Scotland, and Perth and Ross MP
  • MP died in 1995, aged 61, and was a favourite of Margaret Thatcher
  • Miss Henderson says she was abused by late father, a prominent QC
  • New evidence suggests Fairbairn visited Elm Guest House
  • Property is the focus of investigation into alleged paedophile ring in 1980s

A woman last night claimed she was raped at the age of four by a senior Tory MP who was one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest allies.

Susie Henderson waived her right to anonymity to describe the appalling abuse she alleges was inflicted on her by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn.

The late Conservative politician, who was appointed solicitor general for Scotland by Mrs Thatcher when she became prime minister, has been linked to the child abuse scandal threatening to engulf Westminster.

Last month evidence came to light which suggests Sir Nicholas may have visited the Elm Guest House which serial abuser Cyril Smith attended. The property in Barnes, south-west London, is the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged Establishment paedophile ring in the 1980s.

The evidence emerged weeks after Home Secretary Theresa May announced a Hillsborough-style inquiry into claims of paedophile activities in Parliament and other public institutions.

Now, Miss Henderson, 48, has told the Mail that she was raped as a young child by Sir Nicholas – and that she also suffered years of sexual assaults by her late father, prominent Scottish QC Robert Henderson, who was a friend of the MP.

She said of Sir Nicholas: ‘I hated that man,’ adding: ‘More than I hated my father. He just really wasn’t a nice man.

‘I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very evil. Not just to me. There are other children out there.’ Miss Henderson first made her allegations against Sir Nicholas – famous for his outspoken views, frock-coat suits and tartan trousers – and her father under the alias of ‘Julie X’ in 2000 but an initial police investigation did not lead to any charges.

Sir Nicholas, flamboyant MP for Perth and Kinross, died in 1995, aged 61. Twice-married, he once described his pastimes as: ‘Making love, ends meet and  people laugh.’

The MP from 1974 to 1995 was a favourite of Mrs Thatcher because of his right-wing views and his noisily expressed adoration of her. He once claimed to enjoy a ‘special chemistry’ with the former Prime Minister and wrote in The Spectator magazine about her: ‘Sexually attractive, no, but certainly bonny.’ Miss Henderson, whose father died in 2012 aged 75, claims 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.’

Recalling another incident, Miss Henderson, who lives near Inverness, claimed Sir Nicholas raped her when she was in bed with him and ‘another guy’ in a guest room on the top floor of her five-storey family home.

She says she was just four or five years old at the time, and remembers the pungent smell of his feet. Sobbing, she said she was not sure how many times Sir Nicholas abused her but says it was ‘a lot,’ adding: ‘Even once is too much.’ Last night Sir Nicholas’s daughter Charlotte, 50, told the Mail that while she ‘did not know’ whether her father had carried out the alleged abuse, she very much doubted it. She said: ‘I don’t really want to know anything about it, I would be very surprised by that [the claims made against her father], but he is dead. He’s not here to defend himself.

‘It would sound hollow if I said, “He’s innocent.” I don’t know, though I completely and utterly doubt it [that he was an abuser.] It’s all such a long time ago. I hope it’s not true.’

Lists of VIP visitors to the Elm Guest House – which hosted parties in the 1980s where it is alleged vulnerable boys were sexually assaulted – are now being used by police as evidence in their inquiry, Operation Fernbridge. One document states politicians including ‘N Fairburn’ and C Smith’ visited the property in June 1982.

They also state ‘Fairburn’ had ‘used boys in sauna’ and photos had been taken of him – as well as former Liberal MP Smith – at the guest house. Police have  confirmed that Smith was a  regular visitor to the address.

Last month broadcaster Esther Rantzen spoke of her revulsion after learning Sir Nicholas, with whom she had an affair after they met in a BBC studio in 1966, had been implicated in the scandal.

Miss Henderson, speaking  publicly after Sir Nicholas was linked to the guest house, said: ‘I knew this would come out.

‘I’m only surprised it has taken so long. I told the police about him in 2000, I told them what Fairbairn was. But they just wanted me to go away.

My father was feted by legal establishment, but was really a monster who let his powerful friends rape me

Every night before five-year-old Susie Henderson went to sleep, she would arrange her dolls around her bed. She wasn’t playing, she was hiding. Four decades on, it is a memory that still haunts her.

‘I put them there thinking that, when my father came for me in the night, he wouldn’t know it was me and he would take one of my dolls instead,’ she says. ‘But he never did.’

Now 48, Miss Henderson has spent a lifetime in hiding. For the past 14 years she has been known only as ‘Julie X’, the anonymous woman who in 2000 made allegations of child sexual abuse against her father – a senior member of the legal profession – and MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the former Solicitor General for Scotland and a member of Margaret Thatcher’s inner circle.

Today, Miss Henderson has waived her anonymity to detail the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, the late Robert Henderson QC, one of Scotland’s top advocates and a close friend and former colleague of Fairbairn. Henderson died in December 2012, Fairbairn in 1995.

In the wake of the paedophile scandal threatening to engulf Westminster in which Fairbairn was recently implicated, Miss Henderson has chosen to come forward to tell her story.

She is calling for the police investigation into Henderson and Fairbairn, which was halted in 2000 after details were leaked to the Press and evidence was mislaid, to be re-opened.

She has also given the Scottish Daily Mail the names of six other senior members of the Scottish legal profession who she alleges either abused her or were aware of the abuse, which took place in the 1970s. Two of these individuals are still alive.

Today Miss Henderson lives a quiet life near Inverness with her partner, who fully supports her decision to tell her story, saying: ‘Over the years, Susie has lived in fear – but once other stories about Fairbairn started to come out, we realised that she could finally do this without fear. She can get closure.’

Miss Henderson works in social care, has a grown-up son and at weekends walks her dog along the windswept beaches near her home. She is well-spoken and articulate, with a ready smile and a mischievous sense of humour.

Yet her life is still overshadowed by the monstrous actions of her father and his friends – a set of high-powered legal figures who, she says, ritually abused her as part of an organised paedophile ring in the early 1970s when she was between four and eight years old.

‘It’s really only in my 40s that I’ve started living my life,’ she says. ‘I have good days and I have bad days. It will never go away and I get horrendous nightmares at times but, because my father is dead now, I’m not as scared as I used to be.’

Miss Henderson was born in 1966 into a life of Edinburgh privilege. Her father and his first wife, her mother, lived in a five-storey Georgian townhouse in the New Town. Parties were common and Henderson, a rising star in the Scottish legal profession, was a flamboyant and charming man-about-town.

‘I have horrendous nightmares, it will never go away’

But behind closed doors he was a monster. He often beat his wife and young Susie was regularly belted: ‘He threw my Mum and me out in the snow one night when he brought a woman home.

‘He used to jump out of wardrobes to frighten people. He drank very heavily. There were always people round at the house and my Mum was just the slave.’

Henderson could be sadistically cruel towards his family. His daughter recalls: ‘One time he came home unexpectedly and I had my pet hamster out. I wasn’t allowed to have it out when he was there and I was terrified he’d go crazy. But he didn’t do anything, he just said: “Put that away.”‘

‘The next morning when I went downstairs, it was stuffed into a milk bottle. He’d killed it. That was my punishment for letting it out.’

Yet Henderson could also be urbane and charismatic. Well thought-of among the political establishment, he twice stood as a Tory candidate for Parliament during the 1970s in Inverness-shire.

‘He could be very charming, usually when drunk,’ says Miss Henderson. ‘I can’t remember him being a loving man but he could be quite nice. He wasn’t always horrendous.’

She believes her father started abusing her around the age of three and sexually abused her repeatedly until she was eight years old: ‘He would say to my Mum when he came back from the pub, “I’ll take Susie for a nap.” And that was when he’d do it. He always put a pillow over my head. Another time in the bath he abused me and put my head under the water.’

The house was often full of people, her father’s friends, who she says also abused her, or were fully aware of what was going on: ‘I was told that whatever anybody wanted I was to do it, no matter what it was.

‘My father had parties where I had to dance for people. He’d then put me in a bedroom. People came in. They had drugs there, lots of drink. My Dad used to give me drink.’

She clearly remembers the first time Fairbairn abused her at one of her father’s parties: ‘We were in the kitchen. I was maybe four years old. 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.’

She remembers another incident involving Fairbairn: ‘The house was five floors and the top floor was where the guests used to stay. I was in bed in the guest room with  Fairbairn and another guy.’

She alleges that on this occasion Fairbairn raped her. She was just four or five years old. Today, she sobs quietly as she recalls the  incident and details such as the pungent smell of Fairbairn’s feet: ‘I hated that man – more than I hated my father. He just really wasn’t a nice man.’ She is not sure how many times Fairbairn abused her but says it was ‘a lot’, adding: ‘Even once is too much.’

Last month, Fairbairn was named as one of those believed to have  visited the notorious Elm Guest House in London. A handwritten list of visitors to the guest house – which hosted parties in the 1980s where vulnerable boys were sexually assaulted after being plied with alcohol – states that a number of politicians including ‘N Fairburn’ and ‘C Smith’ – visited the property on June 7, 1982.

‘C Smith’ is believed to be Cyril Smith, the Liberal MP who has been exposed as a serial paedophile and who police have confirmed was a regular visitor to the brothel.

The documents also state that ‘Fairburn’ had ‘used boys in sauna’ and that photographs had been taken of him at the guest house. Despite the spelling discrepancy over Fairbairn/Fairburn, there have now been calls for a full investigation to establish whether or not Fairbairn was involved. Miss Henderson says she is not surprised: ‘I knew this would come out. I’m only surprised it has taken so long. I told the police about him in 2000, I told them what Fairbairn was. But they just wanted me to go away.’

The regular abuse stopped when she was eight years old and her mother left Henderson, taking Miss Henderson with her. It continued sporadically until she was around 12, whenever Henderson had custody of her.

‘Occasionally I would go and stay at my father’s,’ she says. ‘We never went to the pictures or did anything normal as father and daughter.

‘There were parties and drink and drugs and people half-naked. I remember him taking me to a sauna one time. Another time, he took me to a judge’s house and left me there.’

Miss Henderson knows that parts of her story may sound unbelievable: ‘Who would believe that the solicitor general and other top lawyers would be abusing children? Especially back in the 1970s and early 1980s. Those kind of things weren’t talked about.’

She kept in touch with her father during her teenage years – a decision which might seem incomprehensible.

‘I always wanted his approval,’ she says quietly. ‘I always wanted him to love me. I had this vision of what I wanted him to be. All my friends had nice Dads.

‘And, as I said, he could be really, really charming. But when he was angry or drunk he was something totally different.’

Those questioning why Henderson was not brought to justice while he was alive may remember the Fettesgate scandal of the 1990s, when it was alleged that a magic circle of legal figures was conspiring to fix sentences. The case was eventually thrown out of court.

Miss Henderson says: ‘With the Fettesgate scandal, my father had a list of all the prominent people involved and he used to just laugh. He would say, “If I go down, they’ll all go down with me.”

‘He told me he could put me six feet under’

‘He had all this evidence. He showed me. He just thought it was all hysterical. He knew he would take the whole lot of them with him. That’s why it was all hush-hushed.’

And so it was that in 2000, having agreed to speak anonymously about her experiences to Sandra Brown, author of a book about child abuse called Where There is Evil, she found her story greeted with scepticism.

Senior Tories rallied to Fairbairn’s defence, describing her allegations as ‘absolute rubbish’.

Fairbairn’s daughter Charlotte dismissed the claims. Henderson, by then retired but still a prominent member of the legal establishment, phoned his daughter and warned her not to continue making allegations.

‘He told me he could put me six feet under,’ says Miss Henderson, whose claims were investigated by the police. They interviewed both her and her mother, who supported her daughter’s claims.

But following a mysterious leak to the Press and the loss of evidence, Miss Henderson halted the investigation. She explains now that the police had ‘told me nobody would know until the investigation was over, but I was only half-way through my statement when it was leaked.

‘To have that happen to you, when it had taken me years to get to the point where I felt it was time for justice, was devastating. I was just a whimpering mess. I couldn’t go on.’

At the time, she handed a number of key pieces of evidence to police. She asked for their return several times over the years but was always told they were in a ‘safe’ place. Recently she was told that they had been ‘mislaid’.

‘I want answers for that,’ she says. ‘I want my stuff back. And I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very  evil. 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. It’s not right.’

Miss Henderson has lived with the scars, physical and mental, of the abuse all her life. As a teenager she developed an eating disorder. Following the birth of her son in her twenties, she suffered debilitating post-natal depression that caused many memories of those terrible times to come flooding back.

Eventually, she spent time in a psychiatric unit. Today, however, she feels that finally people will understand that she is telling the truth about Fairbairn: ‘I know – I hope – I will be believed.

‘He used to pay me money for it,’ she adds. ‘A pound here, a pound there. It was as if it was his way of thinking it was OK, because he’d paid for it.’

And like many abuse victims, for a long time she believed it was her own fault.

‘I used to feel guilty,’ she says. ‘I don’t feel guilty any more. Now I’m able to stand up and have a voice.’


Daily Mail
, August 14th, 2014
Jonathan Brocklebank, ‘A magic circle of judges, a sex abuse probe and the sinister truth about theFettesgate scandal’

  • Alleged in the 1990s that ‘magic circle’ of judges conspired to fix sentences
  • But Crown investigators found in 1992 the was no evidence of conspiracy
  • Detective’s report into claims was stolen from Fettes police HQ in 1992
  • Defence lawyer Robert Henderson let it be believed there was a magic circle
  • His record of legal figures compromised by their homosexuality did not exist
  • Henderson’s daughter Susie has accused late father of abusing her

It was the scandal that shook the Scottish legal establishment to its foundations, leaving no senior figure in the judiciary untouched by the whispering campaign it triggered. And, it appeared, there was not a shred of truth in it.

Exhaustive inquiries by Crown investigators in 1992 found no evidence whatever that a so-called ‘magic circle’ of judges, sheriffs and advocates was conspiring to ensure that homosexual criminals were given soft-touch treatment by the courts. Talk of senior judges in the magic circle being blackmailed by ‘rent boys’ was dismissed by the investigators as fanciful – and claims of corruption and collusion in the judiciary rejected as the ravings of conspiracy theorists. Yet there was just one element in the ‘Fettesgate’ scandal that did not seem to gel. Why was one of Scotland’s most admired and respected defence lawyers so keen to put it about that there was indeed a magic circle?

That man was Robert Henderson, a lawyer so lauded in his profession that fellow advocates used to make a point of slipping into court just to watch him in action. During the 1980s, after a particularly stirring closing speech to the jury in a murder trial, the presiding judge remarked that Henderson’s oratory had been ‘nothing short of masterful’.

He was charismatic, cultured and clubbable. And yet he seemed to want the world to know that the information he was sitting on would ‘blow the lid off’ the legal establishment.

Today’s revelations, detailing the sickening abuse of his daughter and his procurement of the child for high-powered friends to rape and molest, provide the strongest clue to Robert Henderson’s motivation. He was issuing a veiled threat to any and all who would attempt to bring him to justice.

As his daughter Susie Henderson reveals, he used to say: ‘If I go down, they’ll all go down with me.’

The defence lawyer certainly had no shortage of dirt on friends such as former Solicitor General Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the MP he had allowed to rape his daughter.

But Henderson’s record of senior legal figures supposedly compromised by their homosexuality never truly existed. It was a classic poker player’s bluff – an attempt to convince potential opponents he held a stronger hand than he really did. And it worked. Henderson died at 75 in 2012 with his reputation largely intact.

Retired judge Lord McCluskey was among those to write a glowing tribute to him in the national Press. Henderson the smooth, impeccably attired defence counsel never did move from the well of the court to the part of the room where he truly belonged – the dock, to stand trial.

It was in 1989 that he stumbled upon the ‘insurance policy’ that might protect him against prosecution for the abuse to which he had subjected his daughter a  decade and a half earlier. It came in the form of Colin Tucker, a gay solicitor accused – and later cleared – of embezzling funds from the clients of the firm Burnett Walker, where he was a junior partner.

When Henderson was instructed to act as his defence counsel, he asked the solicitor to write him a potted history of his time at the firm to help with his case. The resulting document extended to 32 sides of foolscap.

The second half of it was certainly salacious, dealing with the promiscuity of both Mr Tucker and the senior partner at the firm, Ian Walker, a closet homosexual who committed suicide in 1988. But Mr Tucker’s statement contained damaging revelations about only one other member of the legal fraternity – Court of Session judge Lord Dervaird, who abruptly resigned in 1989. No one else had reason to be nervous. Yet Henderson made them so.

A three-month investigation led by prominent QC and future judge William Nimmo Smith into the alleged ‘magic circle’ conspiracy found: ‘There is no allegation in the statement, directly or by implication, of homosexual behaviour by any prominent member of the Scottish legal establishment.’

The report added: ‘In short, there is nothing in the statement which, if published, would “blow the lid off” the Scottish legal establishment, as we have heard it put.’

But Henderson tried to convince his colleagues otherwise. His first act on receiving the document from Mr Tucker was to breach his client’s confidentiality by passing news of it to legal peers, not  forgetting to mention Lord  Dervaird in the process.

In the Chinese whispers which followed, the document morphed into a ‘list’ of names – and rumour abounded about the people who might be included on it. It was all sparked by Henderson’s betrayal of his client’s confidence – a schoolboy error it was hard to believe a lawyer as experienced as Henderson could commit innocently. The 101-page Crown report into alleged conspiracy hinted as much.

It said: ‘We cannot avoid the conclusion that Robert Henderson has been one of the main instigators and perpetuators of the belief that there was a document, whether or not in the form of a “list”, containing information relating to persons other than Lord Dervaird, and, in particular, other judges.

‘Even after our inquiry began, he made statements to journalists which did nothing to dispel such a belief.’

Henderson allegedly told one journalist that if the list ever  did come out it would ruin  many careers in the legal establishment.

He claimed to other journalists that he kept a file in a safe at a secret location which would ‘rock the establishment’ and have reporters ‘salivating all the way to the telephone’.

The report concludes Henderson had chosen to let it be believed that he had information he did not have. One theory the investigators considered is he did so to head off possible criminal charges relating to irregularities in his business affairs.

But they dismissed the possibility that the case had quietly been dropped over fears that Henderson had the legal establishment in a stranglehold.

Could it be that the defence lawyer had much more to lose than his reputation over a few shady business deals? That his persistence in talking up the magic circle ‘list’ had much more to do with providing him an amnesty for his monstrous activities in the family home?

Whatever his motivations, the magic circle conspiracy would probably have amounted to  little more than unsubstantiated gossip, had Henderson not handed over a copy of Mr Tucker’s statement to the police.

It was an act that his client viewed as the ultimate treachery. Henderson’s explanation was that he did so in ‘wider interests’, but perhaps they were really rather narrow interests – his own.

The Tucker statement fed into a probe which Lothian and Borders police were already carrying out following allegations of senior public figures involved with rent boys in Edinburgh.

Ultimately it was passed to Detective Inspector Roger Orr, who had received orders to get to the bottom of claims that a well-established circle of homosexuals in the legal fraternity were seriously subverting justice.

The detective’s final report was supposed to be for chief constable Sir William Sutherland’s eyes only. But what happened next made his findings very public indeed.

The reason the scandal is known as Fettesgate is because it was at the Police HQ at Fettes that Mr Orr’s confidential report was to be found. And an intruder slipped in to the building through an open window and stole it.

The thief went to some lengths to disguise his intent in the break-in, daubing Animal Liberation Front slogans on the walls.

But the files taken were so sensitive, so potentially embarrassing, that the true purpose of the raid was soon clear enough. Panic swept the force as the scope for blackmailers dawned on its officers. In the Orr report lay the potential for a collapse of public faith in the judicial  system – for the detective did believe that some court cases were influenced by a magic circle.

The thief, it turned out, was a homosexual criminal and police informant called Derek Donaldson, who fed stories from his haul of police files to national newspaper journalists.

Finally Donaldson was assured immunity from prosecution in return for handing back the files, but the controversial findings of the Orr Report still made it into the public domain, causing a national sensation.

So grave was the charge now faced by the Scottish legal establishment that Prime Minister John Major ordered the Lord Advocate to hold an inquiry.

William Nimmo Smith and regional procurator fiscal James Friel were the men now tasked with uncovering the truth about the magic circle ‘conspiracy’.

They found no proof of any such magic circle – but clear evidence that Henderson wanted people to think there was one. Time and again, they concluded, it was ‘loose talk’ by Henderson which promoted the belief in a magic circle.

There was a final, extraordinary twist before the report’s official publication. A man posing as a reporter from a high-brow newspaper managed to con his way into Nimmo Smith’s home with a tape recorder and quiz him on the report’s findings.

The bogus journalist was none other than Derek Donaldson, the Fettes HQ thief.

Donaldson immediately sold his scoop to a tabloid, which ran a story under the headline ‘Nimmo the Dimmo’. Days later, the senior lawyer was admitted to hospital with nervous exhaustion.

It is perhaps significant that Sir Nicholas Fairbairn was among the most vocal critics of the blunder, saying: ‘This  absolutely impurifies the whole process. I don’t see that the Lord Advocate can do anything but reappoint a new commission to do the whole thing again.’

Just over two years later, Fairbairn was dead – never in his lifetime exposed as a paedophile. His friend Henderson lived much longer – long enough to learn that his daughter had no intention of letting him get away with his appalling treatment of her as a child.

Calling herself Julie X, she told newspapers in 2000 that her father, a leading Edinburgh lawyer, had abused her from the age of four. The law prevented her from naming him publicly, but he knew who he was – he knew she was coming after him.

And so the final years of a once-universally esteemed lawyer were lived with the tension of his disgrace hanging over him like a filthy raincloud.

He died before it burst. His sudden demise at his retirement home in South-west France spared him from ever facing the consequences of his deeds. And the tributes which followed his death were all generous.

‘It was a joy when Bob walked into court and announced he was appearing as counsel for the defence,’ remembered Lord McCluskey.

‘The lights seemed to shine a little brighter.’

Henderson was, it seems, a much darker character than the senior judge ever realised.


Evening News (Edinburgh),
August 14th, 2014
Diane King, ‘Top Tory raped me when I was four, now I want justice’

THE daughter of a prominent Edinburgh lawyer at the centre of the Fettesgate scandal of the 1990s has claimed she was raped by her father and a senior Tory MP.

Susie Henderson, the daughter of QC and temporary sheriff Robert Henderson, waived her right to anonymity to talk about the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her father and the late Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, a former MP for Kinross and Western Perthshire, when she was four.

Miss Henderson, 48, said she was the victim of an organised paedophile ring consisting of high-powered legal figures who subjected her to years of abuse at locations including the five-storey Georgian townhouse in the New Town where her family lived.

Her father, Robert Henderson, was a pivotal figure in a major legal scandal of the late 1980s and early 1990s when he claimed a “magic circle” of judges, sheriffs and advocates were conspiring to ensure homosexual criminals were given light sentences by the courts. The claims were dismissed in an official inquiry, but much of the evidence in the report was stolen from Fettes by conman Derek Donaldson in 1992 and sold to the press.

Miss Henderson today called for a police investigation into her father and Fairbairn, halted in 2000 after evidence was mislaid and crucial details leaked to the press, to be re-opened.

“I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very evil. 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.”

Miss Henderson first made allegations against Fairbairn and her father under the alias of Julie X in 2000, but no charges were brought.

She has chosen to come forward and be named after Fairbairn was implicated in the scandal over the Elm Guest House in London which saw youngsters abused by high-profile figures in the 1980s. Fairbairn died in 1995 at the age of 61, while Henderson died in 2012 aged 75.

Fairbairn’s daughter, Charlotte, 50, reportedly said she “did not know” whether the allegations against her father were true, but said she doubted it. “I would be very surprised by that, but he is dead,” she said. “He is not here to defend himself.”

Documents targeted by thief

THE Fettesgate scandal of 1992 involved the theft of sensitive materials from Lothian and Borders Police HQ at Fettes in July, 1992 – including a report by Detective Inspector Roger Orr into claims of an established “magic circle” of homosexuals in the legal fraternity who were subverting the course of justice. The theft was disguised as an attack by the Animal Liberation Front, but it later emerged the documents had been targeted by thief and conman Derek Conway, who sold the information from the files to national newspapers. Donaldson was later given an assured immunity from prosecution in return for handing back the files – but not before the Orr report made it into the public domain.


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


The Herald
, August 15th, 2014
Victoria Weldon, ‘Former judge’s shock over QC paedophile ring allegations’

A FORMER senior judge has claimed he is “utterly flabbergasted” at allegations a prominent lawyer and close friend of his headed up a high profile paedophile ring.

Lord McCluskey said he was also shocked to hear that Robert Henderson QC had been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing his daughter from the age of three.

Susie Henderson has waived her right to anonymity to tell of her alleged ordeal at the hands of her father and several other prominent figures, including senior Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn.

The 48-year-old claims she was repeatedly subjected to sickening sex attacks by her father, who was well known and respected in Scotland’s legal fraternity.

She also alleges that she was passed among a number of his colleagues who also attacked and raped her at the family’s Edinburgh home.

Lord McCluskey, a former Solicitor General for Scotland, said he found the claims hard to believe.

The former judge, who wrote a glowing obituary for Mr Henderson following his death in 2012, said: “I’m utterly flabbergasted by these allegations. Never in my life have I heard any suggestion of anything of this kind involving Bob Henderson.

“I’m just amazed to hear it and I would be astonished if it turns out to be true.

“I’ve no reason to believe it’s true – I have no evidence and I never heard even a bit of gossip suggesting this.

“I would await the outcome of any inquiry before adding anything further.”

Miss Henderson’s case was looked at by police in 2000, but was halted after details were leaked to the press. She said officers had told her that nobody would know until the investigation was over, but panicked and refused to continue when details appeared publicly.

At that time she handed a number of key pieces of evidence over to the police but claims she was recently told that they had been “misplaced”.

A number of articles appeared following the initial investigation, but Miss Henderson was referred to only as Julie X and her father’s identity was never revealed.

She now wants the case to be reopened by detectives.

“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. It’s not right.”

Miss Henderson also claims to have the names of six other members of the Scottish legal profession who were involved, two of whom are still alive.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal said Police Scotland were committed to investigating all reports of historic abuse.

She said: “There are many reasons why a victim may not report such abuse until years – even decades – after the event.

“These can include fear of not being believed, especially if the individual is a prominent public figure, and of reliving the incidents. Similarly, some victims may contact the police to report abuse but then find it too difficult. We will listen, we will ask our partners in support services to assist and we can pick up where we left off when they feel more able to provide the necessary information.”

She added: “Any report of historic child abuse will be treated seriously.”

Miss Henderson claims that, while her father was seen as a flamboyant star of the legal profession, behind closed doors her had a much more sinister side.

She believes he began abusing her when she was just three and would tell her mother he was taking her for a nap before carrying out the attacks. The advocate also hosted regular parties and Miss Henderson said she was told to do “whatever anybody wanted”.

Miss Henderson claims to remember an incident where Mr Fairbairn, a former Solicitor General, raped her when she was just four or five years old.

Mr Fairbairn, who died in 1995, has been linked to the notorious Elm Guest House in London, where young boys are believed to have been plied with alcohol and sexually assaulted. Calls have been made for the Scottish Government to instruct an inquiry into historic sex abuse cases.


GRAPHIC: Nicholas Fairbairn: Susie Henderson claims he raped her. Robert Henderson: Daughter claims he sexually abused her. claims: Susie Henderson says she was subjected to sickening sex attacks by her father. Picture: Derek Ironside


Evening News (Edinburgh)
, August 15th, 2014
Kaye Nicolson, ‘Victims of rape need justice’

Calls have been made for a Scottish investigation into historic rape claims after the daughter of a prominent Edinburgh solicitor claimed she was the victim of a paedophile ring.

Susie Henderson, whose father Robert Henderson was the QC and temporary sheriff at the heart of the Fettesgate scandal, waived her right to anonymity to talk about the abuse she allegedly suffered as a child at the hands of her father and the late Tory MP Sir NicholasFairbairn.

The 48-year-old claimed she was targeted by high-powered legal figures who subjected her to years of abuse at addresses in the Capital – including her New Town family home.

Miss Henderson’s shocking claims – which included an allegation that Sir Nicholas raped her at the age of four – have fuelled calls for a thorough inquiry into historic child abuse cases in Scotland.

The UK government has launched plans for an overarching child abuse inquiry, but its exact remit has not been confirmed.

Lothians Labour MSP Sarah Boyack today added her voice to growing pressure for a home-based investigation after her party colleague and former police officer Graeme Pearson demanded a public inquiry last month.

She said: “I support his call because victims need access to justice. Survivors of abuse deserve the chance be heard and possibly gain closure from their horrific experiences. It is also important that lessons are learned for the future.”

She added: “With more people speaking out, the case for a public inquiry becomes ever stronger.”

Meanwhile, Police Scotland said it was “committed” to investigating all reports of historic child abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal said: “There are many reasons why a victim may not report such abuse until years – even decades – after the event.

“These can include fear of not being believed, especially if the individual is a prominent public figure, and of reliving the incidents. Similarly, some victims may contact the police to report abuse but then find it too difficult. We will listen.”

Robert Henderson QC, who died in 2012, prompted a major legal scandal in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he claimed a “magic circle” of judges, sheriffs and advocates were conspiring to ensure homosexual criminals were given light sentences by the courts. The claims were dismissed in an official inquiry, but much of the evidence in the report was stolen from Fettes police HQ by conman Derek Donaldson and sold to the press, in an incident dubbed “Fettesgate”.

The UK government’s child abuse inquiry was announced earlier this year after it was alleged that senior politicians were passed files in the 1980s containing paedophile allegations about prominent figures.


The Sun
, August 15th, 2014
Stuart Patterson, ‘I was raped aged four by MP Sir Nicky; Top Tory ‘in paedo gang”

A MUM claims she was raped by former Tory stalwart Sir Nicholas Fairbairn when she was four years old.

Susie Henderson suffered years of abuse at the hands of Scotland’s ex-Solicitor General, she says.

She told how she was offered for sex to the MP by her father Robert Henderson, also a lawyer, who also raped her.

Susie, 48, claimed the pair were part of a secret paedophile ring of Scottish establishment figures, who preyed on underage youngsters at drink and drug-fuelled parties.

She said: “I want it acknowledged that my father and Fairbairn did something very evil. Not just to me.

“There are other children out there. These were people in power. We put them there and they are supposed to be trusted. It’s not right.”

Susie claims her father laughed as she was abused for the first time by Fairbairn at the family home in Edinburgh.

She said the flamboyant Kinross and Western Perthshire MP – who died aged 61 in 1995 – later gave her money after some sex attacks.

And she named six other members of the legal profession who she claims also abused her, including two still alive. Her father was never charged before he died in 2012 at 75.

Susie’s allegations come as an official probe has been launched amid claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.

Fairbairn, known as Nicky, was named as a possible suspect. His daughter Charlotte, 50, said she would be “very surprised” if the claims were true.

She added: “I doubt it. It’s all such a long time ago. I hope it’s not true.


Daily Mail
, August 23rd, 2014
Guy Adams and Andrew Malone, ‘Revealed: Full Horrifying Truth about the other Paedophile at Maggie’s side’

Despite his reputation as a womaniser and fondness for malt whisky, a daily habit that brought about his premature death aged just 61, the funeral of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn in 1995 was marked by an outpouring of respect and admiration.

As more than 1,000 luminaries crammed into St John’s Kirk in Perth, the former Tory MP’s significance as a political figure was underlined by the presence of Lady Thatcher, who had promoted the brilliant solicitor to her first Cabinet in 1979.

While a lone Scottish piper played a lament, Britain’s first woman Prime Minister strode solemnly to the pulpit to read an excerpt from The Prophet, a book by the Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran, who had been one of Fairbairn’s favourite authors.

Her tribute was witnessed by a host of leading politicians, judges, and Scottish aristocrats of the day.

They had come to pay respects to a uniquely colourful individual who, in a political career spanning two decades, has achieved a mixture of fame and notoriety as one the most recognisable but also controversial members of the Commons.

A self-styled eccentric, who lived in the 13th-century Fordell Castle near Dunfermline, Sir Nicholas was blessed with extraordinary intelligence and political talent. He had been Scotland’s youngest ever QC before being elected MP for Perth and Kinross in 1974, at the age of 40.

In Westminster, where his initial rise was stratospheric, he cut a dandyish figure, and was often seen in blue baronial tartan adorned with two miniature (working) silver revolvers, which Sir Nicholas would load with blanks and fire when drunk.

When speaking in the Commons, Sir Nicolas sometimes wore an enormous Highland smock (I know I look like an ironmonger, but I don’t want my suits to glitter like other MPs’ ‘), or a kilt teamed with double-breasted scarlet jacket, gold watch chain and lurid pink shirt.

Other favourite outfits were buckled shoes, tartan knickerbockers, and a thick brown jumper over which he placed a huge leather belt with a metal buckle. When the Queen knighted him in 1988, he turned up in full Scottish regalia, complete with a skhian dubh a small dagger and sword.

Clothes weren’t the only thing about Sir Nicholas that generated column inches, though.

A notorious adulterer, who clocked up two wives and scores of mistresses, he was forced to resign as Lady Thatcher’s Solicitor General for Scotland in 1982, after a scandal stemming from his decision not to press charges against a group of men accused of attacking a Glasgow prostitute with razor blades during a gang rape.

Thereafter, he descended into chronic alcoholism, consuming at least a bottle of Scotch each day though he stressed that he was happy to make do’ with vodka.

As his fondness for drink worsened, his tongue loosened. Throughout the Eighties and early Nineties, he became notorious for giving colourful interviews in which he expressed deeply offensive, and often highly misogynistic, sentiments.

On Desert Island Discs, for example, he declared that female MPs lack fragrance they all look as if they’re from the 5th Kiev Stalinist machine gun parade’.

In newspaper interviews, he called Labour MP and feminist Clare Short the big, fat one,’ described rape victims as tauntresses’ and asked what is a skirt, but an open gateway?’

In late-night Commons debate about the gay age of consent in 1994, Sir Nicholas was meanwhile called to order by the Speaker for delivering a drunken diatribe against homosexuality which included an obscene description of the mechanics of sodomy’.

In later years he took great pleasure in making unsolicited and often deeply demeaning advances on women unfortunate enough to catch his eye.

The Guardian reporter Judy Rumbold interviewed him in 1991. Towards the end of proceedings, she wrote: He lunges across the table and tries to engage me in a whiskery snog.’ Shockingly, Fairbairn’s second wife, Suzanne (known as Sam) was in the next room at the time.

Not even Lady Thatcher could avoid his unwanted attention. In the mid-Eighties, Sir Nicholas drunkenly propositioned the then Prime Minister during a dinner at Hollyrood Palace, whispering into her ear that he’d always fancied’ her.

The Iron Lady is said to have responded: Quite right, Nicholas, you have very good taste.’ But noting the extent of Fairbairn’s intoxication, she then added: However, I don’t think that you would make it at the moment.’

Doubtless Lady Thatcher, like many in those less enlightened times, regarded her former Cabinet ally as an amusing buffoon.

Perhaps she, and other friends, forgave his wandering hands as a sort of harmless horseplay. Indeed, following his death from cirrhosis of the liver, obituaries portrayed him as a bombastic eccentric who’d added greatly to the gaiety of Westminster.

But that was then. Today, things have changed. And in light of a series of appalling recent allegations, that light-hearted view of SirNicholas Fairbairn seems nothing less than grotesque.

For in addition to being a drunk and a womaniser, this famous Scottish Conservative also stands accused of being a predatory paedophile one of two abusers now identified in Lady Thatcher’s inner circle.

Talking to the Daily Mail last week, 48-year-old Susie Henderson gave a disturbing account of her childhood encounters with the MP.

Waiving her anonymity, she claimed that Fairbairn had sexually assaulted and raped her on several occasions, beginning when she was four years old.

Sir Nicholas was a close friend of Susie’s late father, Robert Henderson, a fellow leading light of the Scottish legal establishment, who regularly held decadent private parties at his family’s large and smartly decorated townhouse in Edinburgh.

It was during one of these sordid events in about 1970 that Susie says her father came into the kitchen with Fairbairn.

I was maybe four years old,’ she told the Mail. 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.’

During another party, Susie says she was raped by Sir Nicholas and another man in a guest room at the top of her parents’ five-storey home.

I hated that man,’ said Ms Henderson, who says she still recalls the pungent smell of Fairbairn’s feet. She’s not sure exactly how often Sir Nicholas abused her over the years, but says it happened many times.

Ms Henderson does not seem to have been his only victim, either.

Last month, Sir Nicholas was named as one of three MPs on a list of clients of the notorious Elm Guest House, a gay brothel in Barnes, West London, where under-age boys from a nearby care home were allegedly plied with drink and drugs and sexually abused.

The other MPs were Sir Peter Morrison another Scottish minister close to Lady Thatcher, who was a prolific child abuser and Cyril Smith, the Liberal MP for Rochdale exposed as a paedophile in 2012.

The trio feature in documents apparently penned by the owner of the guesthouse, which state that N Fairburn’ (sic) and C Smith’ (who asked to be called Tubby by staff and boys), visited on June 7, 1982. The documents add that Fairburn’ had used boys in sauna’. Given the very public opposition to homosexuality that Fairbairn expressed in Parliament, allegations that he abused boys at a gay sauna have shocked his former colleagues.

Take an extended look at hiss life, however, and some astonishing secrets emerge. For in his younger days, this obsessive womaniser turns out to have been something rather different: a highly promiscuous gay liberation activist with murky links to the now-notorious Paedophile Information Exchange.

And indeed, those who knew him before he entered politics say that Fairbairn grew up aggressively bisexual, but suppressed his true desires in order to advance in the Tory party of the mid-Seventies.

They believe this left him hopelessly conflicted, leading to his chronic drink problem and the predatory and often hugely offensive nature of his advances to women.

The story begins in a deeply dysfunctional childhood. Fairbairn was born in 1933. His father was a prominent psychoanalyst, his mother an aristocrat. By the time I was born,’ he recalled, they were totally estranged.’

After graduating from the exclusive Loretto School and Edinburgh University, he trained as a solicitor, and soon became known in legal circles as a gifted advocate with strong libertarian principles and, outside the office, a keen interest in the arts.

An amateur poet and painter, he soon became chairman of Edinburgh’s Left-wing Traverse theatre in the Sixties. And it was here that he became active in the radical gay community.

Under Fairbairn’s stewardship, the Traverse began specialising in gay and lesbian drama,’ recalls a contemporary. I remember going to one play called something like Gay Sweatshop,’ and another called Mass in F,’ which was full of nudity and got picketed by the Mary Whitehouse lobby. The funny thing, given Fairbairn’s views later in life, was that he was also notorious for propositioning male actors and theatre staff. I remember a boy in his 20s telling me about an advance Fairbairn had made on him at a Traverse party.’

Fairbairn was in fact married from 1962-79, to Elizabeth Mackay, the daughter of the 13th Baron Reay and mother of his three surviving daughters. But in the circles in which he moved, this was not uncommon.

It was a time of free love. You must remember that homosexuality was illegal in Scotland until 1980, and many gay and bisexual men were supposedly happily married,’ adds the contemporary.

We have established that, in 1970, Sir Nicholas became honorary vice president of the Scottish Minorities Group (SMG), a new, radical gay liberation organisation founded by a man called Ian Dunn.

The SMG campaigned, among other things, for homosexuality to be legalised in Scotland, and for the age of consent to be identical for gay and straight sex.

But it also had a more contentious place in history. For in 1974, Dunn and another SMG activist, Michael Hanson, co-founded the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). The vile organisation, which lobbied for child sex to be legalised, was for the first year of its existence a sub- committee of the SMG.

Over the ensuing years, PIE retained affiliate status with the SMG, and forged links with other mainstream groups, including the National Council for Civil Liberties, which at the time was being run by future Labour heavyweights Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey.

Ms Hewitt apologised for her links to PIE earlier this year when they were highlighted by the Mail, though Harman and Dromey have so far refused to say sorry.

But we digress. After being selected as Conservative MP, Fairbairn performed a remarkable ethical volte face, quietly resigning his vice presidency of SMG in 1974, and morphing overnight into a vociferous opponent of gay rights. His links to PIE were never discovered by the Press. And details of his progressive youth never filtered through to Westminster where, though re-married to Suzanne, he ensured that he became famed as a womaniser by embarking on several high-profile affairs.

There were dozens of female lovers. One, a Commons secretary, attempted suicide outside his London home in 1981. Another, broadcaster Esther Rantzen, says he plied her with Krug and beluga caviar a few years later. The rest was inevitable,’ she wrote in her memoirs.

Ian Pace, a lecturer at City University in London, and a campaigner and researcher on organised abuse, believes Fairbairn’s behaviour during this era was part of a concerted effort to cover the tracks’ of his bisexual past.

If so, then it wasn’t entirely successful. In the early Nineties, a Scottish newspaper discovered Fairbairn’s name in an old piece of SMG literature. He responded by claiming that he’d had no idea of the nature of the perverted’ minority the SMG lobbied for when he’d agreed to be their figurehead.

That explanation always seemed unlikely, however. A former SMG activist who emailed the Mail this week described it as clearly a lie’.

I have never had access to early SMG membership records (they probably no longer exist), but I am told that Fairbairn was a fully paid up individual member before he was appointed as Honorary VP,’ said the activist.

Even if he hadn’t been, SMG was very high profile. And of course Fairbairn received all the Group’s mailings, for four years, so he must have known what the organisation did.

He moved in a lot of artistic circles in his youth and I know several (straight) people who can recall being propositioned by him. I wonder to what extent the denial of his sexuality led to the drinking which so clearly wrecked his life.’

Little wonder, perhaps, that even in his final years, Fairbairn still manoeuvred to keep his past under wraps.

A few years before his death, he called for Leveson-style curbs on Press freedom amid newspaper claims (dismissed by an inquiry) that a so-called magic circle’ of Scottish judges, sheriffs and advocates in his former professional set were conspiring to ensure that homosexual criminals were given soft-touch treatment by the courts.

After Sir Nicholas was buried at Fordell Castle, the obituaries talked of him as one of Parliament’s great womanisers. All of them, that is, except one in the little-read underground magazine ScotsGay.

Obtained by the Mail this week, it lamented that Fairbairn had died firmly in the closet’.

One straight man who remembers being propositioned by Fairbairn in the Sixties told ScotsGay: It was really a shame if he’d just accepted and been open about his bisexuality it would have taken a lot of pressure off him and he might not have taken to the drink.’

Given what we now know, of course, Fairbairn had plenty of other reasons to conceal the real nature of his sexuality. Did he, perhaps, drink himself to death because he was haunted by his paedophile past?

That seems unlikely. Shortly before his death, he expressed no regrets. I’ve had a hell of good time on Earth,’ he told Martin Robb, a fellow Tory. It has been Heaven.’

* Additional reporting:

Graham Grant

Secret perversion: Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, and, below, with Margaret Thatcher. Inset, Susie Henderson, who says he raped her when she was four years old.

Sunday Herald, August 24th, 2014
‘Notorious paedophile headed Scottish care home inquiry’

CHILD protection experts and abuse survivors are demanding an inquiry into why one of Britain’s most notorious paedophiles was put in charge of an investigation into a crimes against children at a Glasgow boys’ home.

The Sunday Herald has learned that Peter Righton – one of Britain’s leading care workers, and a man who lived a double life as a paedophile – headed an investigation into allegations of cruelty at the Larchgrove assessment centre for boys in Glasgow in the 1970s.

The inquiry resulted in no criminal proceedings being taken, despite 13 out of 30 allegations of violence and neglect being proved. The home, in Springboig, was under the control of Glasgow City Council, then Glasgow Corporation.

Glasgow City Council is now trying to trace all documentation in connection with the case. The council and the Scottish Government have both called on anyone who may have suffered abuse at Larchgrove to contact the police.

Although the inquiry in the 1970s focused solely on physical and emotional abuse, an investigation by the Sunday Herald in 2007 revealed that sexual abuse of children was also taking place in Larchgrove at the same time. A former director of social work said he had been aware of abuse at the home in the mid-1970s. There were claims that female as well as male members of staff were involved in the abuse of boys.

Righton, who co-led the Larchgrove inquiry in 1973, worked as a child protection expert and social care worker. However, he was also a founding member of the infamous Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which campaigned for adults to be allowed to legally have sex with children.

In 1992, Righton was convicted of importing child abuse images when customs intercepted material en route from Holland. A police raid on his home turned up more paedophile material as well as numerous letters relating details of abuse.

He died in 2007, but last year the Metropolitan Police set up Operation Cayacos to investigate claims that Righton was part of an establishment paedophile network.

Claims have been made that Righton was connected to Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP now exposed as a paedophile. Smith is known to have visited the Elm Guest House in London. Following claims that politicians and others abused boys in care at the Elm Guest House, the Met launched Operation Fernbridge. The late Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, a Conservative MP and solicitor-general for Scotland, has also been linked to the Elm Guest House.

Righton worked in a children’s home and was a lecturer in child protection and residential care. He was director of education at the National Institute for Social Work, and a consultant to the National Children’s Bureau. However, he is also now seen as one of the most determined and well-connected paedophile offenders in British criminal history.

The inquiry into Larchgrove ended in March 1973, when Righton was in his mid-40s. It came just a few years after Righton advised the Home Office on changes to the ­residential childcare system. As part of his research, Righton is alleged to have travelled extensively to carehomes across the UK.

There are claims he also visited Bryn Estyn approved school in Wrexham in Wales. Bryn Estyn was later at the centre of an abuse scandal which saw 140 former residents claim they were abused from 1974-84. An official report described “appalling” abuse, and former housemaster Peter Howarth was jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing boys as young as 12.

Peter McKelvie, a former head of child protection in England who helped convict Righton, told the Sunday Herald: “It is for me a no-brainer that Righton’s 1973 Larchgrove inquiry has to be declared null and void for many reasons and a new inquiry needs to be requested which should take an in-depth look at who recommended Righton and appointed him.

“A new investigation must be sought and former residents of Larchgrove pre-1973 be encouraged to come forward.”

Frank Doherty, founder of the Scottish charity Incas – In Care Abuse Survivors – yesterday also called for a new inquiry. Doherty was a resident at Larchgrove in the late 1960s and was subjected to regular physical abuse and violence.

He said Righton’s role leading the Larchgrove inquiry was “disgraceful”, adding that as well as a fresh inquiry into the care home, the Scottish Government should also institute a wide-ranging public inquiry into abuse, equivalent to Northern Ireland’s Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse.

“There has been too much cover-up and protection of those in high places,” Doherty said.

“We [Incas] have been calling for a public inquiry, similar to the one now going on in Northern Ireland, for the last 15 years. The Scottish Government is doing nothing to help us.”

The Larchgrove inquiry was conducted by Ronald Bennett QC, Sheriff of Berwickshire, and Righton. They were appointed by Glasgow council to investigate allegations made by a former supervisor, Francis Corrigan, at the carehome. Their report stated: “We do not find that the staff at Larchgrove pursued a course of systematic violence or harshness towards the boys in their charge.”

Some of the complaints of ill-treatment brought by the staff whistleblower were described as trivial, exaggerated and showing undue sensitivity. The report went on to praise staff for devotion to duty under “stress-producing conditions”.

Larchgrove was formerly known as a remand home for boys aged 11 and up who had appeared before a Children’s Panel or Sheriff Court.

The decision not to go for criminal proceedings in the Larchgrove case was taken in a statement issued on March 21, 1973 by Stanley Bowen, Crown Agent for Scotland, with the authority of Norman Wylie QC, the Lord Advocate – who was also a Conservative MP in Edinburgh. The statement said that the required standard of evidence was not available to justify criminal proceedings.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said yesterday: “It’s understandable that people might have concerns. We are attempting to recover the report of the investigation and any surviving paperwork. While we will look afresh at any evidence of how the investigation was carried out, anyone who wishes to make an allegation of criminality should contact Police Scotland in the first instance.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In terms of in-care historic abuse, independent inquiries in 2007 and 2009 explored how such abuses happened and addressed the particular challenges faced by the care system in Scotland.

“This systemic review and legislation on the management, cataloguing and retention of records delivered major improvements in the protection of young people in care. The Scottish Government will consider what further action is required in advance of our response to the Interaction Action Plan Recommendations in the autumn.

“We have also set up the National Confidential Forum which allows those who were placed in institutional care as children to recount their experiences of being in care in a confidential, non-judgmental and supportive setting.”


GRAPHIC: Peter Righton, below, one of Britain’s leading care workers while living a double life as a paedophile, led an investigation into allegations of cruelty at Larchgrove in Glasgow, left, in the 1970s 

Scotland on Sunday, November 9th, 2014
Tom Peterkin, ‘Behind the scenes bid to mount child abuse inquiry for Scotland’

A PLAN to hold public inquiry into historical child abuse in Scotland is being prepared by the Scottish Government, Scotland on Sunday has learned.

Ministers are looking at establishing a high-profile investigation into allegations of abuse carried out in care homes, educational institutions, by religious orders and by high-profile members of the Scottish establishment.

Discussions are taking place about the remit and timing of an inquiry, which would look at the allegations and how they were handled by the authorities at the time.

This week the education secretary, Michael Russell, will address Holyrood on child protection and will mention the issue of historical abuse in Scotland. His statement on Tuesday is not expected to include an official announcement of a public inquiry – an omission that will dismay abuse survivors who have been campaigning for years for such an investigation.

However, Scotland on Sunday understands that ministers and officials are working behind the scenes to set up a historical abuse inquiry in the coming months.

More work needs to be done to establish the precise nature of the inquiry and ministers are deliberating in order to avoid the problems that have plagued a similar investigation south of the Border.

Last week, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, apologised over the failure of a UK Government inquiry into child abuse to find a suitable chairperson.

Her apology came after May’s second nominated chairperson, Fiona Woolf, stood down because of her links to Lord Brittan, the Tory politician who was home secretary when some of the alleged abuse took place.

Woolf’s departure followed the resignation of Baroness Butler-Sloss, who resigned because of a conflict of interests arising from her brother Sir Michael Havers’s position as attorney general during the 1980s.

In Scotland, allegations of historical abuse have been made by former pupils at the Roman Catholic Fort Augustus School on the banks of Loch Ness. Hundreds of children are said to have been abused at Nazareth House in Aberdeen. Allegations of cruelty have also been made by those who were at Larchgrove boys home in Glasgow.

The inquiry is also expected to examine allegations involving the late Conservative MP Nicholas Fairbairn and a prominent member of the legal establishment, Robert Henderson QC.

This summer Henderson’s daughter Susie waived her anonymity to allege she had been assaulted by her father and Fairbairn, both of whom are now dead, from the age of four.

She said they were members of an organised paedophile ring which abused her in her family’s Georgian house in Edinburgh’s New Town and other locations. Fairbairn, a QC and former solicitor-general, has already been linked to the Elm Guest House in London – a gay brothel alleged to have hosted parties where vulnerable young boys had sex with influential people, which is now the subject of a police investigation named Operation Fernbridge.

Henderson was at the heart of the so-called Magic Circle scandal which emerged in 1989 and centred around rumours that a network of homosexual lawyers and judges in Scotland were conspiring to “go easy” on gay criminals. The rumours led to Fettesgate – where a 1992 police report into the claims was stolen from Edinburgh’s police headquarters – and ultimately led to an inquiry by William Nimmo Smith QC the following year, which dismissed claims of a conspiracy.

The Nimmo Smith report also took in concerns over Operation Planet, an investigation into a 16-year-old boy on leave from a children’s home who was drugged and raped by a group of men at an address in Edinburgh.

It is expected to be a matter of months before the Scottish Government makes the final decision on what form any inquiry will take.

Last night campaigners for an inquiry gave a cautious welcome to the prospect of an investigation, but remained impatient that it was taking so long. Frank Doherty, the founder of of INCAS (In Care Abuse Survivors) said: “We have been begging for a public inquiry for 15 years, but all the government has been doing is stalling, stalling.

“It was the government which put us in these places and when you have been fighting for this as long as I have, you can get a bit cynical. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see a public inquiry, but we are still waiting.”

Doherty, who was abused in Larchgrove in the 1950s, added: “Everything has been covered up by the establishment – these paedophile rings came from the top of the tree.”

Graeme Pearson, the Labour justice spokesman who has been campaigning for an inquiry, said: “I think the pressure has become so significant and events elsewhere in the UK means that this needs to be done to clear the air. I just don’t know why the government has been dallying so long.”

Russell’s statement on Tuesday will focus on child sexual exploitation. The statement follows a warning from Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, that it would be a “serious mistake” to assume that Scotland is immune from the exploitation seen in Rotherham.

The Telegraph, November 11th, 2014
David Barrett, ‘How the child sex abuse review searched for key names; Pages buried at the back of the Home Office inquiry into handling of child sex abuse allegations reveal how it looked for references to a series of political figures’

Home Office staff were instructed to search their databases for information about paedophile allegations as part of the review by Peter Wanless.

Civil servants were handed a list of search terms including “homosexual”, “under age” and “indecent”.

But they were also given a list of key names who were either major political figures of the day or who have since been linked with sex crime allegations.

Top of the list was Cyril Smith, the Rochdale Liberal MP since exposed as a paedophile.

His name was followed by Leon Brittan, the home secretary of the day, now Lord Brittan of Spennithorne.

Also on the list of names to be searched for was Greville Janner, now Lord Janner, whose home was searched by police last year in connection with an investigation into historic child sex abuse allegations.

It also included Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the late solicitor general for Scotland who a woman claimed earlier this year raped her when she was four years old.

David Atkinson, the late Tory MP, was also on the list of terms.

His son Anthony said earlier this year that he believed his father was a “prolific sexual predator” whose name may have featured in the dossier compiled by Geoffrey Dickens MP, whose work helped to trigger the current investigations even though he died in 1995.

The review by Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC, and Richard Whittam QC also requested searches for names of a number of members of the highly controversial Paedophile Information Exchange group, including its former chairman Steven Adrian Smith .

The Herald, November 15th, 2014
Ellen Thomas, ‘Historic abuse probe: Police investigate possible murder’

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, 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.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that because the inquiry was at an early stage it would not appropriate to issue appeals or reveal more information.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police child abuse investigation command are working closely with colleagues in homicide and major crime units 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.

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the controversial former Solicitor General for Scotland, has been linked to the scandal after claims emerged that the former Tory MP, who died in 1995 aged 61, may have visited the guest house.

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.”


GRAPHIC: Tom Watson: Parliamentary privilege allowed him to air claims.

 

Scotsman, November 17th, 2014
Claire Mckim, ’13 cases of child sex abuse every day in Scotland’

Child protection officers in Scotland are being presented with up to 13 new child sex abuse cases every day, it has emerged.

New figures reveal that between 2011 and September this year, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre passed on 10,434 cases of child sexual exploitation to police officers in Scotland to investigate.

At its peak during 2013, evidence of sex crime, including online abuse, was being handed to police in Scotland at a rate of 13 cases a day.

The statistics have been labelled “grave” and “extremely worrying” by experts.

The revelations come just days after education minister Mike Russell MSP announced taxi drivers, hotel staff and other night workers are to be issued with guidance on how to spot child sex abuse.

The Scottish Government is preparing to launch a public inquiry following the publication of a report by the charity Children in Scotland, which warned the country lacks a “confident and competent workforce for protecting children”.

Figures uncovered through a Westminster parliamentary question revealed that, during 2011, more than 1,100 leads were passed to UK police forces, which increased to 1,927 in 2012.

In 2013, that soared to 4,875. There have been 2,519 cases in the first nine months of 2014.

Lucy Morton, manager of the NSPCC’s Glasgow service centre, said: “The large number of children at risk of sexual exploitation is a matter of grave concern.

“Children who are abused or sexually exploited need to be listened to, believed and supported.”

Last month, Police Scotland announced the setting up of a National Child Abuse Investigation Unit to improve specialist intelligence-gathering and co-ordinate investigations.

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, warned that the volume of work faced by the unit may have a negative impact on frontline policing.

He said: “Resources have to come from somewhere and if that’s going to have to come from 24/7 response police, it is a concern for all of us.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, head of public protection for Police Scotland’s Specialist Crime Division, said: “The National Child Abuse Investigation Unit will deliver an enhanced specialist response that will support our 14 local policing divisions.”

In Scotland, allegations of historical abuse have been made by former care home residents from Nazareth House in Aberdeen, Roman Catholic Fort Augustus School on the banks of Loch Ness and Larchgrove boys home in Glasgow.

A 2007 report, by Tom Shaw, a former chief inspector of education and training in Northern Ireland, estimated around 1,000 children were abused in Scots care homes from 1950 to 1995.

The inquiry is also expected to examine allegations involving the late Conservative MP, Nicholas Fairbairn.

 

Scottish Express, November 17th, 2014
Siobhan McFadyen, ‘Police flooded by child sex abuse allegations’

AS MANY as 400 child sex abuse cases are reported to Police Scotland each month, it was revealed yesterday.

Now campaigners are warning the number of children at risk is of “grave concern”, as shock new figures reveal the true extent of sexual exploitation and internet sex crime involving minors.

Between 2011 and September 2014, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre con-firmed it reported 10,434 cases of suspected child sex abuse to authorities.

Investigation In 2012, the number of individual leads passed on to police was 1,927.

That had increased to 4,875 in the following year.

In the first nine months of 2014, 2519 cases were notified to each of Scotland’s 14 local policing divisions.

Lucy Morton, manager of the NSPCC’s Glasgow service centre, is worried about the rise in the amount of reported cases, insisting more has to be done to take children’s complaints seriously.

She said: “The large number of children at risk of sexual exploitation is a matter of grave concern.

“Children who are abused or sexually exploited need to be listened to, believed and supported.” The Scottish Government is getting ready to launch a far-reaching inquiry into sexual exploitation following a report published by the charity Children in Scotland.

It concluded that the country lacks a “confident and competent workforce for protecting children”.

The investigation, which is yet to find a chairman, is expected to look into allegations of historical abuse at the former Roman Catholic Fort Augustus School on the banks of Loch Ness, Nazareth House in Aberdeen, and Larchgrove boys’ home in Glasgow. The inquiry will also turn its attention to allegations involving the Conservative MP, and one time solicitor-general for Scotland, Nicholas Fairbairn, who died in 1995.

But there are fears not enough resources will be available to help police stem the problem.

Last month, Police Scotland announced it is setting up a National Child Abuse Investigation Unit to gather expert intelligence.

But Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, warned the sheer numbers facing the special task force could have a serious impact on frontline services.

He said: “Resources have to come from somewhere and if that’s going to have to come from 24/7 response police, it is a concern for all of us.”

However, Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, public protection lead for Police Scotland’s Specialist Crime Division, insisted the new unit will protect vulnerable youngsters.

Priority “The National Child Abuse Investigation Unit (NCAIU) will deliver an enhanced specialist response that will support our 14 local policing divisions and interagency child protection structures by providing dedicated specialist investigative resources who will lead and/or provide assistance during child abuse investigations.

“Protecting children is a priority and the NCAIU will play a critical role in helping us achieve that,” she said.

Scottish Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014
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’

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.

Mr Mehrotra said: ‘He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.

‘I recorded the whole 15-minute conversation and took it to police. But they just pooh-poohed it.’

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The Meeting with the Abuse Inquiry Secretariat at Millbank Tower, Friday October 31st, 2014

[Updated Saturday 8th November 2014 with transcript of responses from one panel member]

Yesterday (Friday, October 31st, 2014) I attended the roundtable for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse at Millbank Tower, together with 20 others. Whilst it would not be appropriate to provide a full list of attendees, various have otherwise identified themselves or been identified: Peter Wanless from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC); Peter Saunders from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)Liz Davies, social worker and whistleblower at Islington Council, now Reader in Child Protection at London Metropolitan University; Peter McKelvie, former child protection manager involved in the 1992 investigation into Peter Righton; Jonathan West, St Benedict’s School parent and campaigner into abuse at Ealing Abbey and associated schools, also part of MandateNow, but on this occasion there in a personal capacity; Alison Millar from Leigh Day Solicitors, Lucy Duckworth from Ministry & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors  (MACSAS); and Fay Maxted from The Survivors Trust. In some cases other representatives of these organisations were also present; other organisations represented were the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE), The Children’s Society, Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) Project, and Victim Support. I was at the meeting because of my involvement as a campaigner on abuse in musical education and contact with survivors there, and also because of wider research into organised abuse.

Jonathan West has already written a blog post on the meeting, and has covered some things I might have done and so will do so briefly; here I just want to add my own impressions and some further thoughts coming out of the further developments yesterday. It would not be appropriate to report exactly who said what, except where they have made this known elsewhere, so I will not do so, but I can give a broader picture of the nature of the meeting. From when people began to arrive there was a barrage of media outside Millbank Tower which had only increased by the end of the meeting; they were keen to interview attendees from when they arrived.

The meeting, which took place on the 12th floor and ran from 10:30 until slightly after 13:30, was also attended by two members of the inquiry panel, Barbara Hearn and Sharon Evans, as well as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC. It was chaired by Usha Choli, Engagement Manager to the inquiry, and several other administrative staff were present. All were sat around a large table with the panel members and counsel at one end, whilst Choli remained standing through the three-hour meeting. The administrative staff were taking notes throughout whilst Choli made some larger notes on a flipchart.

It is clear that this meeting was organised at very short notice, with most representatives having only been informed about it earlier in the week. It would appear to have been a response to widespread reporting about unhappiness following Fiona Woolf’s appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday October 21st, 2014, and many subsequent reports suggesting there was more to her connections with various relevant individuals than had been made clear during this appearance and in the letter confirming Woolf’s connections which was previously posted on the inquiry website. The details of these are now well-known and need little extra rehearsing; suffice to say that I think if she had stayed in position, some of the seemingly less important connections (in particular concerning her steward Colin Tucker) would have been raked over more extensively in the media.

However, I want to stress that I felt this was a very positive and constructive meeting, notwithstanding the naturally heated atmosphere as a result of overwhelming dissatisfaction with then then-chair of the inquiry, Fiona Woolf. Throughout I got a sense of a real will to listen to the representatives present and try to answer the numerous questions posed and also aim for transparency of process; of course the real test will be whether the Secretariat of the Inquiry and the Home Office follow through on these promises. There will be a further meeting next Friday morning (November 7th, 2014), possibly starting later. It was made clear at this meeting that the secretariat will be happy to accommodate a larger group if necessary (and book a larger room for the purpose), and I would urge anyone who feels they should be present as a survivors’ representative or because of other relevant expertise to contact them as soon as possible.

At the outset, all those present were invited to introduce themselves, detail the organisation they represented where appropriate, and list one thing they felt to be most important for the inquiry to consider. Many different responses were given to the latter, such as considering non-sexual abuse, looking at how various institutions turned a blind eye, to (my own point) considering the culture of institutions in which abuse is able to flourish unchecked.

From these points, almost immediately a discussion flared up about whether one should assume that the chair and panel as currently constituted would remain, and also about what real powers the inquiry would have. In response to concerns about the latter, the point was made early on that the possibility of the inquiry having statutory powers (so that they would be able to demand evidence) had not been ruled out by any means, leading Choli to take a poll of those present as to whether this would be their preferred option. There was unanimous support for this, with various individuals expressing their belief that otherwise many institutions would provide no more information to the inquiry than absolutely necessary (I personally know of institutions who would act this way as a matter of policy because of fear of any other information being used against them in civil lawsuits). Choli made clear that this verdict would be communicated to the appropriate people.

Following this came a call for everyone to express their views on the suitability of Fiona Woolf as chair of the inquiry. Of those present, the majority were unequivocal in their view that she should definitely resign; three individuals were a little less emphatic, mostly because of concern about the delay to the inquiry that would be caused by the resignation of the chair, and two others were very mildly less emphatic than others whilst still essentially sharing the belief that Woolf’s resignation was necessary. Later in the meeting, various people made clear that were Woolf to remain chair, they and the survivors they represent had no intention of having anything to do with the inquiry. As Jonathan West has pointed out, there were a variety of reasons for this view, not simply Woolf’s relationship to Leon Brittan and others; various people also commented upon her lack of experience in this field and the amount of time which it would take for her to become fully acquainted with it within an otherwise busy schedule.

There were some questions placed to the members of the panel present about their own connections and the means by which they were selected for this task; an undertaking was provided that this latter process would be made clear on the inquiry website. One individual present wished in particular to question Barbara Hearn, former social worker and Deputy Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau, who has also worked as an unpaid researcher for Tom Watson MP for the last two years. I have been sent a verbatim (allowing for the possibility of human error) transcript of what Hearn had to say in response to queries about how she was selected and possible conflicts of interest on her part:

Barbara Hearn: My process was that in July Tom Watson, who I have been working with amongst other MPs, asked me if an inquiry was put together would I be prepared to be on a panel. Then he asked me in middle of August for copy of my CV and statement to go to the Home Office. He said submission was made by him with support of Tim Loughton and Zac Goldsmith [Conservative MPs]. I then had a phone call on the Fourth of September from John O’Brien [Director of Safeguarding at the Home Office] asking me to be on panel and I said yes.

Questioner 1: Tom emailed me saying he had no role in your appointment.

Usha Choli: Let’s put on website how appointed.

[agreement from Ben Emmerson and others from secretariat that this will be done[

Questioner 2: I was referred and I didn’t hear anything from anyone. Would be nice to know why I was not suggested.

BH: My personal relationship with Tom Watson: I know him through family contacts, as I worked with his stepmother. After his announcement in 2012, as he knew me and trusted me, he asked me to come in that afternoon as I think he wanted to speak with someone who had experience of child protection. [Questioner 1] and [Questioner 2] were also at that meeting, and Tom described me in that discussion as a very close personal friend of the family.

Their concern is about my involvement with John Rea Price [Director of Social Services for Islington Council, 1972-92, from 1992 Director of the National Children’s Bureau] , and one of my staff members had been in Islington and refused to give evidence to the Islington inquiry, so I understand their concerns.

My view is that I’d use my contacts and knowledge to dig deep, but I accept the fact that there are issues for any of us who have worked together.

Jonathan West: it is a common characteristic that survivors are extremely distrustful of authority to the extent that those with no experience of abuse might find irrational. The Panel must bend over backwards to try to establish that trust and recognise the state of mind of many of the survivors.

Otherwise, the schedule presented (in which there would be discussions about how the panel would engage with representatives, how such representatives would engage with each other, which issues the panel should be considering, and how the panel could draw upon representatives’ networks) was not really followed, though various of the issues listed were covered through the course of the ensuing discussion. Those present were invited to suggest skill sets or other areas of expertise they felt were not represented on the panel at present, and invited to suggest names for further individuals who could contribute in this respect. Expertise in abuse in education, not least in elite public schools, does not seem to be well-represented on the panel at present, and I hope some good suggestions will be made on this; I have proposals of my own to make for those knowledgeable about abuse in music and the arts worlds to suggest.

The Terms of Reference of the inquiry have received some criticism, for reasons of perceived vagueness, the omission of some types of institutions from the scope, and in particular the restriction of the inquiry to cover England and Wales. It was made clear that this latter point was due to devolution legislation which made devolved authorities responsible for child protection issues; thus Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be included. The message communicated, if not wholly clearly, suggested that the authorities in Scotland had not shown any inclination to launch a parallel inquiry of their own, despite widespread allegations of abuse in Scotland (much of it involving institutions and individuals operative elsewhere in the UK). This issue needs to be pursued further, and the Scottish Government held to account; various of those present at the meeting rightly asked the question of what they were meant to take back to Scottish survivors of abuse from this meeting. One person suggested that the model of a Royal Commission, such as was used in Australia to overcome separate jurisdiction in different states, might get round this problem. I requested that the appropriate devolution legislation and other clarification be placed on the inquiry website concerning all of these matters. Further questions affect the Channel Islands, under separate jurisdiction; knowledge of links between Jersey and Islington were raised.

In terms of the shape of the inquiry, it was presented as being in three stages: (i) consultation of all published and unpublished documentary evidence (referred to as ‘the reports’); (ii) taking of testimony from individuals; (iii) writing of the final report. The counsel also made clear in response to questions, some from myself, that those giving evidence to the inquiry would not be subject to criminal liability if their information was sub judice (thus otherwise liable for contempt of court proceedings) or libel, unless it could be shown to have been given maliciously. Even more importantly, it was also affirmed that those who give evidence will not be liable to prosecution under the Official Secrets Act; this is very important for current or former civil servants who may have been privy to important information. The panel will receive ‘developed vetting’ powers, enabling them to view security and intelligence files. They will also be able to access currently ‘closed’ files – I raised the example of the Barbara Castle archives in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, access to most of which has been forbidden to three people who have tried, and which might oossibly contain a copy of Castle’s own dossier of paedophiles in politics. In other archives, others have found access has been forbidden to key files on sensitive matters involving prominent individuals.

Liz Davies has emphatically made the point both inside and outside the meeting about the need for the inquiry to be limited to organised abuse (so not familial abuse with no institutional involvement) and also should consider some non-sexual forms of abuse such as torture. Others spoke of knowing survivors of abuse by some of the most prominent politicians in the country, and of massively widespread abuse in the care system, churches, schools, and elsewhere. One individual made the important point that the principal reason for Lady Butler-Sloss’s resignation from the inquiry chair was not so much the fact that her late brother was Attorney-General as that a report had suggested she had dismissed evidence against a bishop in order to protect the church.

If anyone has reason to question whether this is a fair account of the meeting, I welcome comments below, and am happy to make changes if necessary.

As mentioned before, towards the end of the meeting, people returned to the issue of complete lack of survivor confidence in Fiona Woolf. Of course, within less than four hours of the meeting breaking up (and widespread media coverage of statements by various of those who were present), Fiona Woolf’s resignation was announced. Now the inquiry is at least partially in a state of limbo.

Tom Watson has repeatedly tweeted and otherwise expressed his opinion that this should not be turned into an opportunity to score political points against Home Secretary Theresa May, who he believes genuinely wishes to get to the truth, unlike various politicians and non-politicians around her. Knowing of Watson’s tireless efforts on behalf of this issue (from his crucial question to the Prime Minister in October 2012, alleging the existence of a high-level paedophile ring with connections to a former Prime Minister, onwards) and his resolute will to stand up to corrupt power (as amply demonstrated through the phone-hacking affair), I am sure he would not make such an observation about a politician from an opposing party lightly, and think everyone should take this seriously. In the immediate aftermath of Woolf’s resignation, both Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper have wasted no time in making this into an issue of incompetence on the part of the Home Secretary and accumulate political capital in the process.

I hope this will die down quickly. No political party has reason to be complacent on this issue, and for it to descend into partisan point-scoring (just as UKIP unsuccessfully attempted to do in elections for the new South Yorkshire Police Commissioner) is both to trivialise the grave importance of the issue and what is at stake, and may be insulting to some survivors. Finding an appropriate chair for this inquiry with no conflicts of interest is no easy task, and whilst it is clear that the process has not be managed well, it would be rash to assume that if Labour or another political party were faced by the same demands as is the current government, they would have managed it much better. Furthermore, Labour and the left in general have their own types of ‘establishments’ as well, including politicians and others who are also likely to be the subject of scrutiny; some candidates being touted from the left might be equally problematic for this reason.

I believe very passionately that all politicians should do all they can to take the issue of child abuse out from short-term party politics (and equally avoid exploiting it to bolster black-and-white ideologies concerning race, class, gender, sexuality and so on), and co-operate, in consultation with survivors and their representatives, and other expert parties, to try and find a chair who will command maximum support. It is in my opinion really vital that the inquiry is able to start its business before the General Election (to stop it being used as a political football then), and that it commands support and inspires confidence in its integrity. No such inquiry will ever satisfy everyone, and some alleged cases of organisational abuse may be found to have been other than portrayed by those making the allegations (though of course also some hitherto unknown cases may also come to light). But to have an inquiry which has the widest range of powers realistically available, and which is staffed by those with a genuine commitment to the truth, will be a major step forward, little imaginable even just a year ago.

An account of the second meeting, on Friday November 7th, 2014, can be read here. I would like to copy the following section from this, which includes some important contact details:

You must email suggestions and ideas to: john.obrien@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk . Please be assured your emails will be read and considered but you may not get a personal response due to the volume of correspondence.

You can email Inspire You Me Us CIC anonymously, marking your email CSAinquiry and we will pass your suggestions, concerns & stories on for you if that is helpful – inspire4survivors@gmail.com

Future information will be emailed out to representatives for circulation; please be patient and watch social media for information and updates. As many voices as possible will be heard in this mammoth task and this will take time if we want the process to be carried out properly and positively.

The Children’s Commissioner is carrying out an inquiry into Abuse in the Family Environment (intrafamilial):http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/info/child_sexual_abuse_within_the_family_environment

Are Children Better Protected from Sexual Abuse by Mandatory Reporting:

http://www.bpc.org.uk/event/are-children-better-protected-sexual-abuse-mandatory-reporti

CSA Inquiry website: https://childsexualabuseinquiry.independent.gov.uk/

[Addendum: An article in the Mail on Sunday has reported various participants expressing serious unhappiness about the fact that the resignation of Woolf had already been decided before this meeting took place, yet no-one at the meeting was informed of this. Whilst other aspects of the meeting remain valuable, I would like to add my voice to those who feel a lot of time was taken up pointlessly as a result, and this does suggest stage management on the part of the Home Office. In this context, I will also register here that at the meeting I raised the question of whether, in case there were to be a voluntary resignation of the chair (which at this stage appeared more than a little likely following the release of the seven drafts of Woolf’s letter to the Home Office, providing clear evidence of manipulation of truth), other candidates had been considered? This was not least in order to obtain some clarification of the process for vetting potential chairs. No doubt because of instructions emanating from the Home Office, the reply was that it would be inappropriate to discuss this issue at that point in time..]


Elm Guest House: Vigil, September 15th, 2014, and Links to Newspaper Reports

[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.


From Spotlight

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

‘Investigations, not witch-hunts: David Hencke on BBC R4 Today. Exaro, reporter, David Aaronovitch and John Humphreys discuss allegations of child abuse’, Exaro, November 9th, 2012

Keir Mudie, ‘Abuse scandals probe widens: The man who may hold key to UK’s biggest paedophile network ever’, Sunday People, November 11th, 2012

‘Audio: investigative journalism’s future after Newsnight fiasco’, Exaro, November 14th, 2012

Mark Watts, ‘Analysis: why media must still investigate claims of child abuse’, Exaro, November 16th, 2012

Nick Dorman, ”Paedo palace’ file re-opened: Detectives probing historic sex abuse claims’, Sunday People, December 2nd, 2012

Martin Hickman, ‘Scotland Yard investigating allegations senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and used ‘connections’ to escape justice’, The Independent, December 12th, 2012

David Hencke, ‘Exclusive: Police re-open investigation into London political paedo ring’, December 14th, 2012

David Hencke, David Pallister and Fiona O’Cleirigh, ‘Police investigate top Tories over ‘child abuse at guest house”, Exaro, December 14th, 2012

David Hencke, David Pallister and Fiona O’Cleirigh, ‘Police ‘twice failed to probe paedophile ring at guest house”, Exaro, December 14th, 2012

Gordon Rayner, ‘Allegation of paedophile ring of MPs investigated’, Daily Telegraph, December 15th, 2012 (see bottom of this post)

David Pallister, ‘Locals spoke of ‘the activities’ at guest house in police probe: Jilly Cooper included passage in book about ‘village talk’ of abuse at guest house’, Exaro, December 15th, 2012

David Pallister, ‘MPs and judges visited Elm Guest House, coroner’s court told’, Exaro, December 15th, 2012

David Hencke, ‘Detectives who must peer into disturbing case of child abuse’, Exaro, December 15th, 2012

James Hanning and Paul Cahalan, ‘Special report: Police revisit the grim mystery of Elm Guest House’, The Independent, December 16th, 2012

David Pallister, ‘Revealed: diaries and receipts for guest house in police probe’, Exaro, December 19th, 2012

Fiona O’Cleirigh, ‘How exposure of high-profile abusers impacts care for children’, Exaro, December 20th, 2012

David Hencke and David Pallister, ”Operation Fairbank’ carries out raid to seize files naming MPs’, Exaro, January 15th, 2013

Martin Hickman, ‘Police launch criminal investigation into MPs’ child sex ring’, The Independent, January 17th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Political Paedophile Scandal: Met Police announce criminal investigation, January 17th, 2013

David Hencke and David Pallister, ‘Met turns ‘Operation Fairbank’ into full criminal investigation’, Exaro, January 17th, 2013

‘Met investigates guesthouse child abuse claims’, BBC News, January 18th, 2013

Keir Mudie, ‘Child abuse cops seize VIP list: Politicians, MI5 agent, Royal aide and pop stars all named’, Sunday People, January 19th, 2013

David Pallister and David Hencke, ‘Found: co-manager of guest house at centre of police probe’, Exaro, January 19th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Police raid home of former gay guest house contact in paedophile investigation’, January 20th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Detectives set up 30 operations into ‘child sex abuse by groups’, Exaro, January 25th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Police operations into ‘child sex abuse by groups’ – Exaro’s list’, Exaro, January 25th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Revealed: The Tory promotion of the ‘paedophile’ guest house’, January 26th, 2013

David Pallister and David Hencke, ‘Tory group recommended guest house in Met’s paedo probe’, Exaro, January 26th, 2013

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)

James Hanning and Paul Cahalan, ‘Cyril Smith named in Barnes abuse case’, The Independent, January 27th, 2013

‘Top officials linked to ’80s child sex ring’, Morning Star, January 27th, 2013 (see bottom of this post)

David Hencke, ‘Child abuse questions for the London Borough of Richmond’, January 27th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Police chief warns VIP paedophiles: look over your shoulder. Peter Davies: police have no lack of moral courage to tackle child sex abuse – by anyone’, Exaro, January 30th, 2013

Keir Mudie and Nick Dorman, Elm guest house scandal: First victim of paedo guest house breaks his silence, Sunday People, February 2nd, 2013

Keir Mudie, ‘Diana saved my life’: Elm guest house victim met princess when he was sleeping rough’, Sunday People, February 2nd, 2013

David Hencke and David Pallister, ‘Elm guest house scandal: Coded advert that gave signal to perverts’, Sunday People, February 2nd, 2013

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

David Pallister and David Hencke, ‘Files reveal who turned Elm Guest House into paedo brothel: Coded newspaper ads hinted: guest house was for men who wanted sex with boys’, Exaro, February 2nd, 2013

David Hencke, Mark Watts and Alex Varley-Winter, ‘Richmond council made ‘hush payment’ to victim of sex abuse’, Exaro, February 2nd, 2013

James Hanning and Paul Cahalan, ‘Abuse victims ‘trafficked abroad”, The Independent, February 3rd, 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)

Anil Dawar, ‘Two pop stars and politicians ‘part of 1980s VIP paedophile ring”, Daily Express, February 4th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Did Richmond council pay ” hush money” to cover up the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal?’, February 4th, 2013

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

Martin Hickman, ‘Two arrested over claims that MPs took part in child-sex ring’, The Independent, February 6th, 2013

Sam Jones and agencies, ‘Police arrest two men in child abuse inquiry dating back to 1980s’, The Guardian, February 6th, 2013

Martin Evans, ‘Two arrested in Elm House paedophile ring investigation’, The Telegraph, February 6th, 2013

Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright, ‘Revealed: Face of boy abused in Elm House scandal as Catholic priest and head of boys’ home are arrested’, Daily Mail, February 6th, 2013

Natalie Evans, ‘Elm Guest House abuse scandal: Two men arrested by police probing ‘VIP paedophile ring’ at children’s home’, Daily Mirror, February 6th, 2013

‘Two men arrested in 1980s guest house ‘abuse’ inquiry’, BBC News, February 6th, 2013

‘Arrests over historic south west London child sex abuse’, Channel 4 News, February 6th, 2013

Tom Morgan and Jonathan Reilly, ‘Delia’s Norwich chaplain held over VIP paedo ring’, The Sun, February 7th, 2013 (see below)

‘Operation Fernbridge: Norfolk priest Tony McSweeney arrested’, BBC News, February 7th, 2013

Alison Winward, Mark Watts, Tim Wood, Keith Perry, David Hencke, Alex Varley-Winter and Mark Conrad, ‘Exaro’s pictures show first arrest in ‘Operation Fernbridge’, Exaro, February 7th, 2013

‘Operation Fernbridge: Norfolk priest Tony McSweeney arrested’, BBC News, February 7th, 2013

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

Keir Mudie and Nick Dorman, ‘Elm guest house: Home Office was warned by top Tory 30 years ago of VIP paedophile ring’, Sunday People, February 10th, 2013

Keir Mudie, ‘Elm guest house: Cops make first arrest into alleged VIP paedophile scandal, Sunday People, February 10th, 2013

Tom Savage, ‘Boy sex pics of former Cabinet minister is stolen’, Daily Star, February 10th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘See no evil,Hear no evil, Speak no evil: Richmond’s amnesia on child abuse’, February 11th, 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

‘Former Huddersfield MP’s VIP sex abuse dossier goes missing’, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, February 12th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Richmond social services knew their children were abused – former children’s director’, February 14th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Claims of child sex abuse haunted Richmond boss for 30 years. Terry Earland: no doubt in my mind that children were being used at Elm Guest House’, Exaro, February 14th, 2013

David Hencke and Fiona O’Cleirigh, ‘Elm Guest House: “Boy brothel boss” Haroon Kasir to leave Britain for America’, Sunday People, February 16th, 2013

David Hencke and Mark Watts, ‘Met paedophile unit prepares to arrest ex-Tory cabinet minister’, Exaro, February 16th, 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

David Hencke, ‘Analysis: public should know truth about VIP paedophile ring’, 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

David Hencke, ‘Will Elm Guest House man quit Britain?’, February 20th, 2013

‘Tory MP warned of powerful paedophile ring 30 years ago’, The Independent, February 22nd, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Police gave council advance warning of raid on Elm Guest House. Terry Earland: Richmond council provided social worker to help police operation in 1982’, Exaro, February 23rd, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Richmond council ‘was alerted to allegations of child sex abuse’: Former head of children’s services reveals borough’s knowledge about Elm Guest House’, Exaro, February 23rd, 2013

Josh Halliday, ‘Mark Williams-Thomas: I ran the Savile film like a criminal investigation’, The Guardian, February 24th, 2013

Keir Mudie and Alun Rees, ‘Tory MP’s file on alleged VIP child abuse ring was destroyed by family’, Sunday People, February 24th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Council bosses failed to investigate VIP child abuse scandal despite warnings’, Sunday People, February 24th, 2013

Paul Cahalan and James Hanning, ‘Paedophile ring leader, Colin Peters, linked to Barnes scandal’, The Independent, March 3rd, 2013

Martin Hickman, ‘Police failings put dozens of children at risk from notorious paedophile ring’, The Independent, March 3rd, 2013

Martin Hickman, ‘Two arrested over claims that MPs took part in child-sex ring’, The Independent, March 6th, 2013

David Hencke, ”I regularly briefed Jenny Tonge on child abuse in Richmond’ – children’s director’, March 6th, 2013

Jessia Beckett, ‘Hunt is launched for late MP’s child sex abuse dossier’, Manchester Evening News, March 9th, 2013

Nick Dorman and David Hencke, ‘VIP child sex ring victims’ new pain: Telling cops was worse than the abuse’, Sunday People, March 16th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Witnesses in ‘Operation Fernbridge’ plead for support service: Two men sexually abused as boys call on ministers to follow MPs’ key recommendation’, Exaro, March 16th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Two who suffered sexual abuse make appeal through Exaro’, Exaro, March 16th, 2013

Ben Rossington, ‘Elm House abuse scandal: ‘Chance to investigate VIP B&B paedophile ring was missed 12 years ago”, Daily Mirror, April 1st, 2013

Keir Mudie, ‘New victim links notorious paedophile Peter Righton to VIP child abuse network’, Sunday People, April 6th, 2013

Mark Conrad, Alex Varley-Winter and David Hencke, ‘Police commander overseeing ‘Operation Yewtree’ quits Met’, Exaro, April 6th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Met investigates police watchdog over Richmond ‘paedo ring’: IPCC faces scrutiny over its handling of complaint about sexual abuse of boys in borough’, Exaro, April 22nd, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Elm Guest House abuse scandal: “Paedo police ignored 16-year-old victim”‘, Sunday People, April 27th, 2013

Keir Mudie, ‘Elm Guest House abuse scandal: Picture of Princess Diana and Prince Charles wedding day barbecue at “perverts” home’, Sunday People, April 27th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Scene pictured from children’s home in Met’s paedophile case: Photograph of summer barbeque belies dark secrets of Richmond’s Grafton Close home’, Exaro, April 27th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Richmond files reveal failure to pursue claim of child sex abuse: Archives show inaction by police and council over Richmond ‘paedophile ring’ in 1983′, Exaro, April 27th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Richmond child sex abuse file “No further action required”, April 30th, 2013

Mark Conrad, ‘Ex-Richmond boss Louis Minster denies being… Louis Minster: Former director of social services proves evasive over questions from Exaro reporter’, Exaro, May 1st, 2013

David Hencke, ‘The mad world of Louis Minster- the man who denies he is there’, May 2nd, 2013

David Pallister, ‘Elm Guest House linked to ‘Britain’s biggest child sex racket’: Papers seized by police link guest house to paedophiles, pimps and pornographers’, Exaro, May 7th, 2013

Rachel Bishop, ‘Tia Sharp killer Hazell not at care home embroiled in child abuse accusations, Richmond Council confirms’, Richmond and Twickenham Times, May 14th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Police keep failing ‘to follow evidence’ in abuse cases, say MPs: Call for wide inquiry into ‘schools, churches, children’s homes, politicians and celebrities”, Exaro, June 3rd, 2014

Mark Watts, Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ‘Met’s ‘Operation Fernbridge’ is ‘going well’, says Boris Johnson’, Exaro, June 5th, 2013

Cahal Milmo and Paul Peachey, ‘Police reveal scale of Elm Guest House investigation into alleged paedophile ring’,The Independent, June 9th, 2013

‘Operation Fernbridge: Met looking into 300 lines of inquiry’, BBC News, June 10th, 2013

David Hencke, Mark Watts, Mark Conrad, Tim Wood, Fiona O’Cleirigh and Mike Deri Smith, ‘Met’s ‘Operation Fairbank’ arrests half-brother of top Tory MP’, Exaro, June 26th, 2013

Fiona O’Cleirigh, Alison Winward, Mark Watts, Mark Conrad and Tim Wood, ‘Exaro’s video shows ‘Fairbank’ arrest of Tory MP’s half-brother’, Exaro, June 27th, 2013

Margaret Davies, ‘Third arrest in Elm Guest House investigation into alleged paedophile ring’, The Independent, July 9th, 2013

Paul Peachey, ‘Third arrest in child sex abuse inquiry’, The Independent, July 9th, 2013

‘Operation Fernbridge: Third arrest in child abuse probe’, BBC News, July 9th, 2013

David Hencke, ‘Police arrest manager of Elm Guest House’, July 10th, 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

Keir Mudie, ‘Former manager of ‘VIP paedophile ring HQ’ Elm Guest House arrested’, Sunday People, July 13th, 2013

Nick Fielding, ‘Cyril Smith told detectives: I never behaved in any indecent way. Leading Liberal refused to make a statement to police, but then issued a staunch denial’, Exaro, July 16th, 2013

James Hanning and Paul Cahalan, ‘Elm Guest House investigation: Former senior cabinet minister faces rape investigation’, The Independent, July 21st, 2013

‘Operation Fernbridge: Two Men Charged with Sexual Assault’, Crown Prosecution Service, July 22nd, 2013

Sara Smyth, ‘Roman Catholic priest, 66, and 71-year-old man charged with historic sexual abuse at children’s home’, Daily Mail, July 22nd, 2013

‘Priest charged with child sex abuse’, BBC News, July 22nd, 2013

‘Two charged with historic child abuse under Operation Fernbridge’, This is London, July 22nd, 2013

‘VIP sex abuse charges handed out’, Daily Star, July 23rd, 2013

‘Father Tony McSweeney in court over child sex abuse allegations’, BBC News, September 4th, 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

Amy Dyduch, ‘Richmond care home boss and priest in court on child sex charges’, Richmond & Twickenham Times, September 4th, 2013

‘Sir Cyril Smith ‘visited alleged sex abuse guest house”, BBC News, September 13th, 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

James Fielding, ”Police gunman told me to ignore paedophiles’, says ex-child protection officer’, Sunday Express, October 20th 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

Justin Penrose and Mark Conrad, ‘Ex Tory Cabinet minister ‘caught on camera at child sex party”, Sunday People, December 7th, 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

David Hencke, ‘Second venue identified in Elm Guest House child sex abuse scandal’, February 5th, 2014

Mark Conrad, ‘Police and CPS ‘leave survivors of child sex abuse in the lurch”, Exaro, February 20th, 2014

David Hencke, ‘Police poised to level charges in paedophile ring linked to MPs: Bishop tells Met’s ‘Operation Cayacos’ how same network sexually abused him as a boy’, Exaro, February 26th, 2014

‘Murky link to VIP paedos’, Sunday People, March 30th, 2014 (see below)

Steven Swinford, ”Influential’ politician visited guest house at centre of child sex investigation’, The Telegraph, April 19th, 2014

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)

Jaya Narain, ‘Another paedophile politician could be unmasked by MP who exposed Cyril Smith’s sex ring’, Daily Mail, April 21st, 2014

‘New book places Cyril Smith at Barnes ‘abuse house”, Richmond and Twickenham Times, April 22nd, 2014

Kevin Maguire, ‘Victims of abuse are owed truth and justice – no matter how powerful the perpetrator’, Daily Mirror, April 28th, 2014

Peter Dominiczak, ‘Government urged to reassure public about child sex claims’, The Daily Telegraph, May 5th, 2014 (see below)

Paul Bracchi and Tim Stewart, ‘Child abuse at George Osborne’s old school and a scandal that grows ever darker’, Daily Mail, May 10th, 2014

Keir Mudie, ‘Tory cabinet minister accused of rape ‘protected from arrest in a murky establishment cover-up’, Sunday People, May 17th, 2014

Keir Mudie, ‘Cabinet minister ‘lured woman to flat on blind date and brutally raped her’, Sunday People, May 17th, 2014

Keir Mudie, ‘Tom Watson blasts police failure and demands urgent inquiry into Tory cabinet minister accused of rape’, Sunday People, May 17th, 2014

Jason Beattie, ‘MPs demand inquiry into historic claims of child sex abuse by Cabinet Ministers’, Daily Mirror, June 4th, 2014

Mark Conrad, ‘Met complains about Exaro’s ‘overly intrusive’ investigation’, Exaro, June 5th, 2014

David Hencke and Frederika Whitehead, ‘Every MP asked to back inquiry into organised child sex abuse’, Exaro, June 16th, 2014

Mark Leftly, ‘MP will name politician ‘involved in child abuse”, The Independent, June 22nd, 2014

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

Jack Blanchard, ‘Tell us what you did with paedo report: Lord Brittan ‘has questions to answer’ over missing dossier’, Daily Mirror, July 2nd, 2014

Adrian Radnedge, ‘Tory peer defends himself over ‘paedophile cover-up”, Metro, July 2nd, 2014

Leo McKinstry, ‘Fear of child abuse cover up secret dossier at the heart of establishment’, The Express, July 3rd, 2014

Amy Dyduch, ‘Paedophile inquiry call gathers pace after dossier revelation’, Richmond and Twickenham Times, July 3rd, 2014

Lewis Smith, ‘Child abuse list includes 10 MPs and peers’, The Independent, July 4th, 2014

Gordon Rayner and David Barrett, ”More than 10′ politicians on list held by police investigating Westminster ‘paedophile ring’, The Telegraph, July 4th, 2014

Gordon Rayner, Tim Tate and Christopher Hope, ‘Tory MP allegedly found with child porn in 1980s faced no charges, police told’, The Telegraph, July 4th, 2014

‘CHILD PORN TORY MP’ PROBE URGED’, Daily Mail, July 4th, 2014

‘New probe into abuse claims ordered’, Belfast Telegraph, July 4th, 2014

‘PM Orders Probe Into Paedophile Dossier’, Sky News, July 4th, 2014

Nick Dorman, ‘MP Tom Watson tells Cameron to beef up ‘totally inadequate’ paedophile ring investigation’, Sunday People, July 5th, 2014

Daniel Boffey, ‘Edwardian house at heart of a long-simmering sex scandal’, The Observer, July 5th, 2014

Daniel Boffery, ‘Child abuse files lost at Home Office spark fears of cover-up’, The Observer, July 5th, 2014

Ross Kaniuk, ”Kid Porn’, Claim’, Daily Star, July 5th, 2014 (see below)

‘David Cameron wants ‘answers’ on paedophile dossier’, BBC News, July 5th, 2014

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)

Tom Whitehead, ‘Westminster paedophile ring allegations: timeline’, The Telegraph, July 6th, 2014

Chris Johnston, ‘Q&A: what is the Leon Brittan dossier and why are there fears of a cover-up?’, The Observer, July 6th, 2014

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)

David Barrett, Christopher Hope and Tim Tate, ‘Westminster paedophile ring allegations: Scotland Yard detectives trace ‘victim”, The 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’, 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

Matt Chorley, ‘I was warned I could be responsible for Leon Brittan’s death if asked about paedophile dossier, claims Labour MP’, Daily Mail, July 7th, 2014

Jason Groves, ‘I’ll sue if anyone links me to untrue paedophile claims, says Tory grandee Sir Peter Bottomley’, Daily Mail, July 7th, 2014

Fiona Hamilton, ‘Rape claim is unfounded, says Brittan’, The Times, July 8th, 2014 (see below)

John Hall, ”’Powerful elite’ of at least 20 establishment figures may have been part of paedophile ring that abused children for decades’, Daily Mail, July 8th, 2014

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)

‘Why are abuse allegations in news?’, BBC News, July 9th, 2014

Nick Buckley and Keir Mudie, ‘Margaret Thatcher ‘personally covered up’ child abuse allegations against senior ministers’, Sunday People, July 12th, 2014

James Hanning, ‘Exclusive: Child abuse victims to sue Government’, The Independent, 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’, The Sunday Times, July 13th, 2014
(see below)

Dan Warburton, ‘Tory child abuse claims: Calls for criminal probes as more attack allegations emerge’, Daily Record, July 14th, 2014

Marc Horne, ‘Esther Rantzen: My shock over my MP lover’s links to Elm House paedophile ring’, Mail on Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Matt Chorley, ‘Thatcher’s bodyguard says he warned her about underage sex rumours about close aide amid claims senior ministers were named in dossier’, Mail on Sunday, July 27th, 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)

Mark Conrad, ‘CPS to reinstate key charges after error over Elm Guest House: Prosecutors: decision to drop case of one witness’s claims of child sex abuse ‘was wrong”, Exaro, August 6th, 2014

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)

Guy Adams and Andrew Malone, ‘Revealed: The Full horrifying truth about Sir Nicholas Fairbairn – the other paedophile at Margaret Thatcher’s side’, Daily Mail, August 22nd, 2014

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, August 27th, 2014

Jurgen Balzan, ‘[WATCH] Social services head admits being told of abuse allegations’ Malta Today, September 9th, 2014

Charlotte Edwardes, ‘Zac Goldsmith: I don’t want to be a minister — I’d need a lobotomy to read from someone else’s script’, The Standard, September 16th, 2014

Jurgen Balzan, ‘Former Malta university lecturer investigated on Richmond child abuse’, Malta Today, October 7th, 2014

Mark Watts, Tim Wood, Mark Conrad and David Hencke, ”Operation Fernbridge’ loses chief as pressure mounts on Met’, Exaro, October 7th, 2014

‘Home Office may never release abuse files, MP wars, Yorkshire Post, October 17th, 2014

Jurgen Balzan, ‘Expat denies involvement in Richmond paedophile ring cover-up’, Malta Today, October 28th, 2014

Guy Adams, ‘Are the vile paedophile allegations against Leon Brittan a sinister MI5 smear plot? Labour MP uses Commons privilege to link top Tory to abuse’, Daily Mail, October 31st, 2014

Mark Conrad and Mark Watts, ‘Met starts investigation into child sex abuse at Dolphin Square’, Exaro, November 1st, 2014

Keir Mudie, Nick Dorfman and Mark Conrad, ‘MPs and VIPs ‘child abuse ring’ at luxury flats near Parliament investigated by detectives’, Sunday People, November 1st, 2014

Keir Mudie and Nick Dorfman, ‘Elm Guest House ‘boy brothel’ victim slams Theresa May’s bungled abuse inquiry’, Sunday People, November 1st, 2014

Mark Conrad, ‘Ex-MI6 Chief named as sexual abuser of boys at Dolphin Square’, Exaro, November 8th, 2014

Mark Watts and Mark Conrad, ‘Revealed: Peter Hayman, paedo, spy Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, PIE’, Exaro, November 8th, 2014

Mark Watts and Mark Conrad, ‘How Peter Hayman was linked in Parliament to paedophile ring’, Exaro, November 8th, 2014

Keir Mudie and Mark Conrad, ”MI6 chief and shamed diplomat raped me’ claims alleged victim of VIP paedophile abuse ring’, Sunday People, November 8th, 2014

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)

Heather Saul, ‘Scotland Yard investigating ‘possible homicide’ in historical abuse inquiry’, The Independent, November 14th, 2014

Paul Gallagher and Nigel Morris, ‘Westminster child abuse gang ‘linked to boy’s murder”, The Independent, November 14th, 2014

Martin Evans, ‘Westminster paedophile ring investigated over murder links’, The Telegraph, November 14th, 2014

Justin Davenport, ‘Police investigation into ‘murder linked to VIP paedophile abuse network’, Evening Standard, November 14th, 2014

‘Possible Homicide’ In Sex Abuse Probe’, Sky News, November 14th, 2014

Clare Carter, ‘Detectives investigating alleged Westminster paedophile ring uncover evidence of possible link to MURDER’, Daily Mail, November 14th, 2014

Rebecca Camber and Stephen Wright, ‘Did VIP abusers murder a boy? Scotland Yard’s new probe into paedophile ring at luxury flats used by ministers’, Daily Mail, November 14th, 2014

Mark Conrad, ”Operation Midland’ investigates Tory MP over boy’s murder’, Exaro, November 15th, 2014

Keir Mudie and Mark Conrad, ”I watched Tory MP MURDER a boy during depraved Westminster VIP paedophile party”, Sunday People, November 15th, 2014

Ollie Gilliam, ‘Victim of VIP abuse scandal ‘saw Tory MP throttle 12-year-old to death’ as police launch probe into THREE deaths linked to depraved sex rings’, Daily Mail, November 16th, 2014

Sean O’Neill, ‘Murdered boy’s father says police ignored informant’, The Times, November 19th, 2014 (see below)

Bill Gardner, ‘Father claims Scotland Yard covered up son’s murder by Westminster paedophiles’, The Telegraph, November 19th, 2014

Bill Gardner, ‘Nick Clegg: ‘Claims Scotland Yard covered up boy’s murder are grotesque”, The Telegraph, November 19th, 2014

Bill Gardner, ‘Metropolitan Police detective’s fears of Westminster paedophile ‘cover-up”, The Telegraph, November 19th, 2014

Joe Murphy, John Dunne and Justin Davenport, ‘MPs demand action over claims magistrate’s son was murdered by VIP paedophile ring’, Evening Standard, November 19th, 2014

Laura Proto, ‘Father alleges Elm Guest House murder cover-up over abduction of his son in 1981′, Richmond and Twickenham Times, November 19th, 2014

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

Kunal Dutta, ‘Westminster child abuse scandal: Scotland Yard accused of ‘cover-up’ over death of boy in 1980s’, The Independent, November 19th, 2014

Josh Halliday, ‘Father claims police covered up son’s murder by Westminster paedophile ring’, The Guardian, 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

Sandra Laville and Josh Halliday ‘Paedophile ring allegations: police are failing us, murdered boy’s father says’, The Guardian, November 19th, 2014

Sam Rkaina, ‘Father of boy murdered in 1980s claims ‘Westminster paedophile ring may have been to blame’, Daily Mirror, 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)

Bill Gardner, ‘Westminster sex ring: Police investigating father’s murder claims’, The Telegraph, November 20th, 2014

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)

Steph Cockroft, ‘Notorious paedophile gang ‘could have covered up 17 child murders and be linked to VIP guest house”, Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014

Paul Gallagher, ‘Westminster sex abuse scandal: Police investigate father’s claims that eight-year-old son was murdered by Conservative MP’, The Independent, November 20th, 2014

Jon Stone, ‘Politicians’ alleged paedophile ring murder could have been covered up, says top detective’, The Independent, November 20th, 2014

Tom Kelly and Rebecca Cambra, ‘Murder covered up, says father’, Daily Mail, November 20th, 2014 (see below)

Tom Pettifor, ‘Nick Clegg describes Westminster paedophile ring murder cover-up claims as “grotesque”‘, Daily Mirror, November 20th, 2014

Laura Proto, ‘Richmond politicians horrified at Elm Guest House “cover-ups”‘, Richmond and Twickenham Times, November 21st, 2014

Guy Adams, ‘Paedophile orgies in luxury flats and claims three boys were murdered by VIPs: Special report into the growing stench of a cover-up by the Establishment’, Daily Mail, November 21st, 2014

‘Police ‘not in contact’ over murdered boy’, The Telegraph, November 21st, 2014 (see below)

Mark Conrad, ‘Met trawls files on 200 missing boys in murder probe into VIPs’, Exaro, November 22nd, 2014

Mark Conrad, ‘MP paedophiles were ‘Untouchables’ – ex-Special Branch officer’, Exaro, November 22nd, 2014

Daniel Boffey, ‘Media ‘gagged over bid to report MP child sex cases’; Security services accused of aiding Westminster paedophilia cover-up’, The Observer, November 23rd, 2014

James Gillespie, ‘Security services ‘have abuse file”, The Sunday Times, November 23rd, 2014 (see below)

James Murray and James Fielding, ‘Exclusive: Elm House ‘never ran gay orgies”, Sunday Express, November 23rd, 2014

James Fielding, ‘Labour was told in 2002 about child sex scandal’, Sunday Express, November 23rd, 2014

Keir Mudie and Mark Conrad, ‘Retired Scotland Yard detectives back up claims that paedo MPs murdered boys at sex orgies’, Sunday People, November 23rd, 2014

Nick Dorman, ‘Westminster paedophile ring: Cop warned brother of missing Martin Allen questions would get him ‘hurt”, Sunday People, November 23rd, 2014

Dan Bloom and Tom McTague, ‘Former Scotland Yard detectives say young boys were murdered by Westminster paedophile ring’, Daily Mail, November 23rd, 2014

Francesca Infante, ‘Missing boy’s brother claims he was threatened by police when he told them he believed they covered up disappearance’, Daily Mail, November 23rd, 2014

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)

‘Police may reopen the case of dead boy linked to VIP ring’, Evening Standard, November 26th, 2014

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)

Tom McTague, ‘Ex cabinet minister was photographed in sauna with naked boy at notorious guest house where children were ‘brought in for sex’, MP tells Parliament’, Daily Mail, November 27th, 2014

Jack Doyle, ‘Did PM’s adviser try to stop MP linking Brittan to claims of child sex abuse? Former solictor general said naming him ‘would not be a wise move”, Daily Mail, November 27th, 2014

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)

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, ‘Westminster sex abuse scandal: Ex-Cabinet minister ‘was photographed in the sauna with a naked boy at Elm Guest House”, The Independent, November 28th, 2014

Mark Watts and Mark Conrad, ‘Buckingham Palace drawn into scandal over ‘paedophile ring”, Exaro, November 29th, 2014

Mark Watts, ‘Revealed: Buried files link Buckingham Palace to paedophilia’, Exaro, November 29th, 2014

Mark Watts and Keir Mudie, ‘VIP paedophile ring ‘abused teenage boy INSIDE Buckingham Palace and Balmoral’, Sunday People, November 29th, 2014 (mentions palace officials linked to EGH)

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)

Paul Cahalan and Peter Henn, ”Willie Whitelaw ordered police to scrap inquiry into VIP child sex abuse ring’: Police probe into sensational new cover-up claims’, Mail on Sunday, December 7th, 2014

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
Picture: NEWSPICS


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.”
lynn.davidson@the-sun.co.uk 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”.

Scotland Yard announced last week that it was investigating possible murders linked to the Elm Guest House.

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.

A man he guessed to be in his 20s told him Vishal may have been abducted by “highly placed” paedophiles operating from the Elm Guest House.

He told the newspaper: “I was contacted by a young man who seemed to be in his 20s. He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House near Barnes Common.

“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 June 1982, four months after Vishal’s remains were found, police raided the Elm Guest House and it was widely reported at the time that the raids were linked to the boy’s disappearance.

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.

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, and Cayacos.

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.”

Mr Stoodley said: “Elm Guest House came up in our inquiry but it was not within our remit at the time. It is in our system, but we could not establish a link with Cooke.”

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.

Mr Mehrotra said: ‘He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.

‘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.

In June 1982, four months after Vishal’s remains were found, police raided the Elm Guest House and it was widely reported at the time that the raids were linked to the boy’s disappearance.

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.

“Elm Guest House came up in our inquiry but it was not within our remit at the time. It is in our system but we could not establish a link with Cooke.

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.

Vishambar Mehrotra recorded an unknown man saying in a telephone call that the nine-year-old may have been taken to the notorious Elm Guest House,south London, in 1981.

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.”

The new claims come after Scotland Yard last week reopened an investigation into the murder of Vishal Mehrotra, 8, who disappeared in 1981 near the ElmGuest House.


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.

He handed the file to police but got no response. A probe into historic abuse by paedos is centred on the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes, South West London.

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.

Met detectives are now re-examining files on Spinks amid claims he was a regular visitor to Elm Guest House, where the alleged systematic abuse of children sparked the original VIP inquiry in 2012.

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.

mike.sullivan@the-sun.co.uk 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.

Police are looking at claims that boys from the home were brought to Elm Guest House for sex.

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.

Sun 061214 - Web of Evil


Colet Court School and St Paul’s: A Collection of Articles from The Times

Since the initial appearance of my first article from 7/3/14 on Alan Doggett (the updated version can be found here), there has been a steady stream of articles, mostly from Andrew Norfolk at The Times, revealing a wider range of revelations from both Colet Court and St Paul’s Schools, leading to the initiation of Operation Winthorpe, headed by Detective Inspector David Gray, who had formerly run Operation Yewtree, into celebrities in the entertainment industry. As Norfolk’s articles are not generally available for all to view online, I am reproducing all the relevant pieces here. See also Benjamin Ross’s account of life at Colet Court.


130 private schools in child abuse scandal (20.01.14)

The Times, 20th January 2014

by Andrew Norfolk

Teachers at 130 independent schools have been implicated in sex crimes against hundreds of children, an analysis by The Times reveals today. Experts warn of a looming scandal over the abuse of boys in boarding schools during the past half century.

The list features dozens of Britain’s leading public schools well as 20 elite prep schools that regularly send children to Eton College. Included are 64 mainstream private-sector establishments, most of them boarding schools, where at least one male teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing boys, and a further 30 at which a member of staff was sentenced for possessing child abuse mages.

Analysis of past crimes, scandals and police investigations at 130 schools reveals a significant surge in criminal prosecutions since 2012, often for offences that happened many years ago. Should the pattern continue, it is likely to damage schools’ reputations and finances. With annual boarding fees averaging £27,000, many are increasingly reliant on income from the 25,400 foreign pupils who occupy more than a third of boarding school beds.

Across the UK, about 6.5 per cent of schoolchildren are educated in the independent sector. Fifty of the 253 independent schools that make up the Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), Britain’s private-sector elite, have been connected with child abuse.

One specialist linked the significant growth in complaints to an increasing national awareness of the lasting damage caused by such crimes. Britain’s middle classes had belatedly decided that it is “socially respectable” to discuss childhood abuse, it was claimed while the head of a victims’ campaign group suggested that traditional male “stiff upper lip” attempts to shrug aside sexual trauma were increasingly viewed as outdated.

In the past 20 years, one or more men who taught at 62 independent schools, including Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Ampleforth, Wellington College, King Edward’s School Birmingham and The Oratory School, Reading, have been convicted of sex crimes – from indecent assault to gross indecency and buggery – against 277 male pupils.

Prosecutions involving 18 of those 62 schools came to court in the past two years. Former teachers from a further four independent schools have been charged and are awaiting trial.

Eton, Marlborough, Millfield, Oundle and Tonbridge are among 30 other schools where a male teacher has been convicted of possessing child abuse images. Downside School, Somerset, features in both categories.

Another 36 private-sector schools have been linked to child abuse. They include as yet unresolved prosecutions, civil actions for damages following an alleged abuser’s death, teachers convicted of abusing boys unconnected to their school, and police investigations that led to arrests but no charges.

In this category are Harrow, Sedbergh and Durham schools, all raided in the late 1990s during a nationwide investigation into an alleged paedophile network of teachers at six leading public schools. A teacher at each school was questioned and material including photographs, videos, letters and computer equipment was seized. No one was prosecuted due to lack of evidence.

In several cases that led to convictions, it later emerged that independent schools sought to protect their reputation by covering up potential scandals, allowing teachers to move to other schools where their crimes continued.

In a few cases, schools where teachers abused boys cannot be named, even years later, because court orders prohibit their identification. They include two leading London public schools.

Keir Starmer, QC, until last year the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that the list would strengthen the case for a mandatory requirement that schools to report all suspected abuse. The move is being resisted by the Government.

Mr Starmer said: “During the past 18 months we spread the message that those who report such crimes will be listened to by police and prosecutors. I sense that people today feel they will be taken more seriously.”

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said the organisation has received “many dozens” of calls from former public schoolboys “who have finally acknowledged what happened to them and want to do something about it”.

“There’s a particular vulnerability in boys’ boarding schools. Boys find it more difficult than girls to talk about their feelings. They’re brainwashed into believing that boys don’t cry. A barrier goes up but finally, in some cases 10 or 20 years after they left school, it seems to be coming down.”

Richard Scorer, a partner at Pannone Solicitors, which specialises in child abuse cases and currently represents former pupils of “at least 20″ independent schools, said the Jimmy Savile scandal “has made talking about childhood abuse more socially respectable. That’s particularly true for the middle classes.”

The Independent Schools Council (ISC), whose 1,223 schools, including HMC schools, educate 80 per cent of Britain’s private-sector pupils, said the “abuse of trust by a small number of predatory individuals” in its schools was “a matter of the very deepest regret”. A spokesman said: “While these cases are largely historic, this does not in any way lessen the anguish felt by the innocent victims.”


Parents tell of tragedies after private school child abuse; Scandal may be ‘Just tip of the iceberg’ (21.1.14)
(also printed as Teacher’s letter that told abuse victim he had ‘worn out’ video of the attack)

The Times, 21st January 2014

By Andrew Norfolk and Rosemary Bennett

The teachers at 130 independent schools named by The Times as having links to child abuse represent merely “the tip of a very large iceberg”, it was claimed last night.

Dozens of readers contacted the newspaper yesterday to speak from personal experience of sex crimes committed against boys in boarding schools as long ago as the 1950s.

Their accounts, some harrowing, included details of abuse said to have taken place in 23 schools, including 17 that did not feature in yesterday’s list. Some expressed astonishment that no teacher at their former school had yet been convicted. In two separate cases, the parents of boys who each committed suicide in their 20s said that their sons had been damaged beyond repair by events that took place at a Home Counties prep school and a leading English public school.

One of those children was abused during the 1980s by his prep school cricket coach, who was later jailed for sex offences against children at another school. His crimes included making indecent videos of his victims.

The boy’s mother said that her son had never felt able to discuss what happened to him when he was at school. After his death, she found three private letters written to the child by his abuser, one of which made reference to “that video”, which the coach described as having worn out through being watched so many times.

“During the period when he was being abused, my son’s behaviour changed dramatically from that of a happy, outgoing child to that of a depressed, fearful individual,” his mother wrote. “Thank goodness our attitude is changing and more is understood about how devastating this sort of abuse can be. Maybe if we knew then what we know now, my son would still be alive.”

The list published by The Times this week identified 64 mainstream British private sector schools at which teachers have been convicted of sexual offences against boys, with prosecutions involving 18 of the schools being brought to court in the past two years.

At an additional 30 schools, including Eton, Marlborough, Millfield, Oundle and Tonbridge, teachers were found guilty of possessing child-abuse images. A further 36 schools had links to child abuse, including those where teachers are awaiting trial or have been convicted of crimes against boys who were not pupils at the school.

One school unintentionally omitted from the list was St Martin’s prep school in Northwood, London, a former teacher of which was jailed for five years in 2010. Michael Cole, who taught at the boys’ school from 1988 to 1991, was convicted of five charges of indecent assault on pupils during “health checks” when children were ordered to strip then abused. He separately admitted possessing indecent images of children.

One Times reader, a pupil at a public school in southwest England during the late 1950s and early 1960s, provided a detailed account of serial abuse committed against boys by their housemaster and the school’s chaplain. He said that the schools named yesterday, which did not include his former school, were merely “the tip of a huge iceberg, some of which will remain hidden forever”.

The man said that as a child he complained of the sexual abuse to his father and was told not to be “silly”.

In several cases that resulted in prosecutions many years later, scandals were covered up to protect a school’s reputation. Teachers were quietly required to resign and went on to abuse boys at other schools. Such examples, say child-protection campaigners, strengthen the case for the introduction of a mandatory reporting requirement that would force schools to report any suspected case of child abuse.


The scandal of child abuse at elite schools; Letters to the Editor (22.1.14)

The Times, 22nd January 2014

Sir, This disclosure of abuse in schools is welcome, for boarding schools are very “closed worlds” and children as young as 7 are still being sent into the care of strangers solely because it is “the done thing”. Abusers can find it easy to groom children who are very lonely and vulnerable as they move into the strange life of an institution.

Paedophiles often blame the children. Of course they can be condemned whatever their age, as all abusers have always known the damage they cause. This is why they work in a dark world of secrecy, lies or threats to silence their victims.

Andrew Norfolk (report, Jan 20) is absolutely right in saying that no one can be confident that abuse does not exist today. Two things would help reduce the risk.

Firstly, schools need to be truly open and honest about the nature of abuse instead of repeating that it is a thing of the past and all boarding is now safe. It is not, and some in authority collude in the abuse as they silently let known paedophile teachers move to other schools without telling the police.

Secondly, the government has to take this issue seriously. There is no such thing as “mild paedophilia”. Urgent action is needed to change the law, making it mandatory to report all abuse.
Margaret Laughton, Boarding Concern

Sir, Your report on child abuse raises important issues, and no one involved in education would wish to ignore, still less condone past incidents. However, it does seem spiteful to put on an interactive map schools where teachers were acquitted, or where no case was found to answer. A zealous attitude of “no smoke without fire” risks undermining trust in such reports. Not all those accused of a crime are guilty.
Chris Ramsey, Headmaster, The King’s School Chester

Sir, You imply that schools are to blame if the abuse does not lead to prosecution for many years. I’ve twice taught in schools where such a case occurred. In both the school acted promptly when the abuse came to light. In neither was there enough evidence for prosecution though both tried to have the perpetrator included on the sex offenders list. One attempt failed for want of evidence, though the headmaster took the risk, when later he learnt that the man was applying to another school, of warning its head. Schools are natural targets for paedophiles, boarding schools offer more opportunities and victims often can’t speak about the abuse for years. For most of your 130 you list only one offender. In how many of those cases do the victims blame the school?
Tom Mcintyre, Frome, Somerset

Sir, All criminal acts within schools are deplorable. Modern communications do indeed render children less vulnerable to such abuse (letter, Jan 21). Far more significantly, however, extensive legal, regulatory and educational safeguards are now required, including rigorous inspection.

The events of the past cannot, alas, be undone, but the concerns and actions of the present will continue to ensure ever safer and more rewarding educational experiences in the UK schools of the future.
Dr Tim Hands, Chairman, Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference


Teachers ‘abused boys at Osborne’s old school’ (25.03.14)

The Times, 25th March 2014

by Andrew Norfolk

At least six teachers at one of Britain’s most famous and successful public schools are suspected of sexually abusing boys as young as 10 over two decades.

The schoolmasters, all of whom taught at St Paul’s School or its junior division, Colet Court, are implicated in numerous alleged sexual assaults against pupils between the 1960s and the 1980s, an investigation by The Times has established.

One, a close friend of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, became a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the pro-paedophilia pressure group that has been linked to senior Labour Party figures.

Alan Doggett, director of music at Colet Court, was allowed to resign after suspected serial abuse of a young pupil was exposed. He went on to teach at another leading institution, the City of London School, and became director of an acclaimed boys’ choir. He later committed suicide after being charged with indecently assaulting another boy.

An ex-pupil yesterday accused St Paul’s of exposing hundreds of boys to the risk of abuse by “hushing up” the offending that led to the teacher’s departure.

Dominic Grieve, QC, the Attorney General, was a Colet Court pupil when Doggett was asked to leave.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, also attended the prep school, which shares a 45-acre campus with St Paul’s in Barnes, southwest London. He attended the senior school in the 1980s. There is no suggestion that either was abused as a schoolboy.

On at least two more occasions in the 1960s and 1970s, St Paul’s is understood to have failed to contact police when concerns about masters’ inappropriate sexual conduct towards boys were raised by parents or members of staff. Former teachers at St Paul’s have been the subject of at least four child abuse investigations since the late 1970s. None was initiated by the school.

The most recent criminal case began last month into sexual offences allegedly committed by Patrick Marshall, 65, who taught geography and coached rowing at St Paul’s. He was arrested four weeks ago over the suspected abuse of a boy, aged 15, in the late 1970s. Police hope to speak to more ex-pupils as the inquiry continues.

Mr Marshall, who denies wrongdoing, has been released on bail. Police have previously investigated an unnamed St Paul’s teacher alleged to have abused a pupil in the 1980s. The suspect was arrested in 2000 and a file sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which ruled there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Another inquiry was held in 2000 into a Colet Court teacher, Paul Topham, said to have committed offences against a boy in the late 1960s. He also was not prosecuted, and died in 2012 aged 80.

A former housemaster at the prep school, known as “Alex” Alexander, is today accused by a former pupil of serial indecent assaults during the same decade.

A sixth, unidentified teacher agreed to leave St Paul’s after a school cleaner found sado-masochistic pornography in his room, alongside a personal register of pupils subjected to private spanking sessions. Parents were told that he left for “family reasons”.

A seventh teacher, 70-year-old Keith Perry, St Paul’s “inspirational” former head of history, received a two-year suspended prison sentence last month after collecting hundreds of extreme images of naked boys.

The school at which he taught for 38 years was not named at Southwark Crown Court, where he admitted 17 offences of making and distributing child abuse images “over a substantial period of time”. In internet chat rooms, he wrote of being “obsessed” with boys as young as 8. It is not suggested that any of Perry’s crimes involved pupils at St Paul’s.

In a statement, St Paul’s stressed that none of the alleged abuse concerned staff or pupils currently at the school. It added that three of the alleged offenders were dead but called for living suspects to be “investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice”.

“Any sexual abuse of children by an adult, and particularly by a teacher, is abhorrent, a serious violation of trust and an affront to the value of any caring community. The school deals quickly, sensitively and resolutely with any concerns or allegations of abuse. This commitment applies equally to allegations of historic abuse. Pupil welfare and safeguarding are our highest priority.”

Professor Mark Bailey, the school’s High Master, said he was “grateful to The Times for bringing these allegations to our attention”. He promised that St paul’s would co-operate fully with any investigation.


‘The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red’ (25.03.14)

The Times, 25th March 2014

by Andrew Norfolk

Doggett at Colet Court

Alan Doggett, Colet Court’s director of music, was forced to resign from the school. There is no suggestion that any of the boys in the picture were abused

By the age of 12, Luke Redmond had been sexually assaulted by three men. All were teachers at a prestigious school paid handsomely by his parents to give their son the best possible start in life.

One was a “gifted colleague” of the West End giants Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber; another became an Anglican clergyman. The third sat boys on his lap until he went “very red in the face”. Such were the hazards of 1960s life in an English preparatory school.

Last year The Times revealed that five teachers at another prep school, Caldicott, in Buckinghamshire, abused more than 30 boys over two decades. Caldicott was among 130 British independent schools, later identified by this newspaper, where staff had been linked to sex crimes involving boys. Teachers at 64 of them were convicted of sexual offences against male pupils.

Luke was outraged that his school was not on the list. He was not the only former pupil of St Paul’s and its prep school, Colet Court, to contact The Times to set the record straight.

Now 59, married and with adult children, he had set out to build a life that wasn’t defined by what happened to him at school. For years he blocked out all recollection of childhood abuse, but psychological wounds festered and 14 years ago the dam burst. Memories erupted and with them came a desire for justice. Luke contacted the police.

By 2000 only one of his three abusers was still alive. Paul Topham was by now an Anglican priest. In a police interview, Luke described lying in his dormitory bed on evenings when Topham was duty master. As dorm monitor, Luke’s bed was closest to the door and the light switch. Topham invariably entered the room, switched off the lights and then sat on Luke’s bed. In the dark, his hand reached under the boy’s bedclothes.

The child lay frozen with shame and confusion. He told no one, nor was there any discussion among the boys of Topham’s far more public assaults when Colet Court boarders were sent at weekends to use the senior school swimming pool. Swimming naked was compulsory. “If Topham was supervising, he’d be in the water in his turquoise shorts. If you rested against the side of the pool, he’d swim up from behind and rub himself against you.”

His abuser set out to befriend Luke’s parents. During school holidays he would often “pop by for a sherry”. Luke said: “He tainted the only safe place I had.”

The officer investigating his complaint of abuse told Luke that Topham was questioned under caution in 2000. He denied every allegation. No charges were brought. He died in 2012.

It was already too late to hold a second abuser to account: Luke’s former housemaster, known as “Alex” Alexander, was dead. Naughty boys were summoned to his study for a beating, then asked to select the weapon — a slipper, hairbrush or plimsoll. Boys pulled down their pyjamas, then bent over a chair. Afterwards, the housemaster would sit the miscreant on his lap, give him toffees as a treat, then shower the child with physical affection. “At the time, I didn’t realise what was happening. I just remember being cuddled and feeling puzzled because he’d always end up going very red in the face.”

Luke’s abuse by Alan Doggett, Colet Court’s director of music, was a once-only indecent assault during the boy’s compulsory audition for the choir.

A far worse fate awaited another boy in his dormitory, a year younger than Luke, who was angelic in both voice and looks. He was Doggett’s chosen one, summoned far too often from their dormitory to spend long hours at night in the choirmaster’s bedroom.

A year later, another boy cried foul and Doggett was forced to resign, though his crimes are understood to have gone unreported by St Paul’s. As a result, it was a decade before he finally appeared in court, charged with offences against a ten-year-old choirboy, born in the year the teacher left Colet Court.

Twice, in 2000 and earlier this year, Luke contacted St Paul’s to ask if it had support mechanisms for victims of historical abuse at the school. Each time, he says, he was told there was no such provision, though St Paul’s last week suggested a meeting to discuss how he might be helped to achieve “closure”.

The former pupil’s name has been changed to protect his identity.


Friends to stars had easy access to boys (25.03.14)

The Times, 25th March 2014

by Andrew Norfolk

Colet Court building

Colet Court building in West London

Many hundreds would be a modest estimate of the number of young boys with whom Alan Doggett was allowed close contact after his suspected abuse of a pupil came to the attention of St Paul’s School.

Quietly removed from his post at Colet Court, the future member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) went on to teach boys at a second independent school before working as a choirmaster with boys from more than 30 London schools.

A decade after his departure from Colet Court, the 41-year-old threw himself in front of a train a few hours after appearing in court, accused of twice indecently assaulting a child aged 10. Doggett’s bail conditions barred any further contact with his choirboys.

In the 17 years preceding his 1978 suicide, he worked almost daily with pre-adolescent boys. He was a gifted but weak man, surrounded by temptation.

Doggett was a former pupil of Colet Court and St Paul’s who returned to the prep school as director of music from 1963 to 1968, having previously taught the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber at Westminster Under School, the junior division of Westminster School.

A regular guest at the Lloyd Webber household, he became friendly with Julian’s elder brother, Andrew, and in the summer of 1967 invited the fledgeling Tim Rice-Lloyd Webber songwriting partnership to pen a pop cantata for an end-of-term school concert.

Rice was then 22, Lloyd Webber 19, and from that invitation Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was born. Its first performance was in March 1968 at Colet Court. Four months later, Doggett conducted the first recording of Joseph, at EMI’s Abbey Road, again featuring boys in the prep school choir.

Allegations of sexual misconduct with a pupil led to his dismissal in the same year but by 1969 he was again teaching music to boys, this time at the City of London School.

Doggett’s association with Rice and Lloyd Webber continued until 1976. He was principal conductor on the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar and directed the London Boy Singers — a choir whose first president was Benjamin Britten — in his role as “musical co-ordinator” for the first Evita album. As the choir’s reputation grew, he took his boys on European tours. They performed for the Pope, appeared on radio and television, recorded albums and performed in films. Doggett’s death came 15 days before he was due to conduct a massed choir of 1,000 schoolboys — all personally selected and coached — at the Royal Albert Hall. Police had been planning to interview every boy.

A farewell letter explained that in life he had chosen “the way of the Greek”, which “though hard is best”. Days later, Rice and Lloyd Webber issued a joint statement: “Alan was a music and singing teacher of extraordinary talent. We have lost a gifted colleague and a dear friend.”

Rice spoke at the funeral. In his 1999 autobiography, he wrote: “I cannot believe that Alan was truly a danger, or even a minor menace, to the many boys he worked with over the years. It has been known for young boys . . . to manufacture or exaggerate incidents when they know and disapprove of a teacher’s inclinations.”

Lloyd Webber was said by a biographer to remain convinced that “Doggett would never have been guilty of taking advantage of any young person in his charge”.

After his death, an edition of Magpie, the newsletter for the PIE pressure group that campaigned on behalf of paedophiles, revealed that a requiem Mass was said for Doggett by a Catholic priest, Michael Ingram, at a church in Leicester. Twenty-four years later, in 2002, Ingram was convicted of multiple sex offences between 1970 and 1978 against six boys aged from 9 to 12.

PIE’s treasurer, Paul Andrews, wrote that Doggett killed himself after being “accused of indecency with a 10-year-old boy”, adding that he could “well imagine the innocence with which this act of love and affection had taken place”.

Ian Pace, a professional pianist, City University lecturer and campaigner against abuse in musical education, last night demanded a “proper investigation” of Doggett’s continued access to boys after his offending was first exposed at the prep school. “It is rare for such abusers to have merely a few isolated victims,” he said. “The potential implications of this are alarming.”


Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher (28.3.14)

The Times, 28th March 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

The headmaster of an elite preparatory school punished two pupils for their “wickedness” in reporting serial sexual abuse by a paedophile schoolmaster.

Both were given detention after complaining of indecent assaults regularly committed against boarders at Colet Court, the junior division of St Paul’s School, by its director of music, Alan Doggett.

Doggett, a close friend of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, later became a member of Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned in the 1970s to lower the age of consent to 4. Doggett committed suicide when he was charged with sex crimes against another boy, ten years after leaving the prep school.

Many former pupils of Colet Court and St Paul’s, which share a campus in Barnes, southwest London, contacted The Times this week after it was revealed that at least six former teachers, including Doggett, were implicated in numerous sex crimes from the 1960s to the 1980s.

One suspect, Patrick Marshall, 65, who taught at St Paul’s in the late 1970s, was arrested last month and has been bailed pending further police inquiries. He denies any wrongdoing.

Several ex-pupils described Doggett’s routine “fondling” of boys in their beds. Three said they were abused by the choirmaster, who was conductor on the first recordings of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Doggett resigned after his abuse was exposed in 1968, but it is understood that St Paul’s did not report the allegations to police or to education officials, which was required by law.

He went on to teach at City of London School and became director of an acclaimed choir before killing himself in 1978.

Stephen (his surname is withheld), the pupil who ended Doggett’s Colet Court career, said that he and a friend decided to speak to the school’s headmaster, Henry Collis, after Doggett indecently assaulted both 11-year-olds as they sat on each side of him during a televised football match in May 1968.

“It was the Manchester United v Benfica European Cup Final. We were sitting on the floor and Doggett’s hands were groping inside our pyjama bottoms.

“He wouldn’t leave us alone. He’d already had a go at me in the dormitory on quite a few occasions,” Stephen said. After the match, the two pupils decided that “he’s got to be stopped”. They informed Mr Collis, who was headmaster of Colet Court from 1957 to 1973 and served as chairman of the Independent Preparatory Schools Association.

Stephen said: “When I next went home on exeat that weekend, the school had telephoned my father to complain that I’d made up terrible stories about Doggett. Dad asked me what had been going on. When I told him, he said he believed me and I’d done the right thing in speaking out, but when I got back to the school the two of us were summoned to Mr Collis’s study.

“I can still see us standing in front of his desk on the Monday morning.He was furious. He said we were wicked for making up such awful lies. Mr Doggett was so appalled and embarrassed by the disgraceful things we’d said that he’d decided to leave the school. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. He gave us detention.”

Stephen said that another boy in their year suffered far worse crimes at Doggett’s hands: “He had one particular favourite who received regular visits in the dormitory at night. He’d abuse the poor boy without seeming to care that we could all see and watch what was happening.”

Other ex-pupils spoke this week of open gossip among the boys that “half a crown” was the “going rate for a session with Doggett”. One said that his year group even coined a new verb: to be “Doggoed” was to be groped and fondled.

Doggett’s resignation was one of several occasions when St Paul’s allegedly failed to inform police after concerns were raised about sexual misconduct by teachers. Three ex-pupils named Stephen Hale, who taught at Bedford School before joining St Paul’s in the mid-1980s, as the unidentified teacher who was forced to resign after sado-masochistic pornography and a spanking register were found in his room by a school cleaner. The incident was reported in this newspaper on Tuesday.

Inquiries have established that Mr Hale, a maths teacher and boardinghouse tutor, left the school in June 1987, a day after the discovery. St Paul’s merely told the Department for Education that Mr Hale agreed to resign after breaking its rules on corporal punishment. No suggestion was made of any sexual impropriety. As a result, he was not placed on the national list of teachers barred from working with children. His whereabouts are unknown In a statement earlier this week, St Paul’s described all child abuse as abhorrent and stressed that its current arrangements for pupil safeguarding and welfare are rated as excellent by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The school has pledged full co-operation with any investigation into past crimes allegedly committed by teachers who are still alive.


Police look into ‘decades of abuse’ at top school; Teacher arrested as police look into ‘decades of abuse’ at school (9.4.14)

The Times, April 9th 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

Police have begun a criminal inquiry into decades of alleged sexual abuse at a top boys’ public school, as it emerged that a current teacher was arrested just six months ago for possessing indecent images of children.

The inquiry into St Paul’s School in London, and its prep school, Colet Court, come after revelations in The Times last month that prompted former pupils to contact police.

So many complaints have been made during the past fortnight that officers are investigating more than six “persons of interest” who taught at the school, whose alumni include George Osborne, the Chancellor.

The officer leading the inquiry said that it had spiralled rapidly into “a complex investigation with further victims, witnesses and suspects being identified on an almost daily basis”.

Detective Inspector Jon Rhodes also appealed for more witnesses to “come forward if they have information”.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “We can confirm that the child abuse investigation team is investigating historic allegations of sexual abuse alleged to have taken place between the 1960s and 1980s. We are aware of a number of potential victims and witnesses we wish to speak to over the course of the investigation.”

It can be revealed that Colet Court’s director of administration, a classics teacher at the preparatory school for more than 20 years, resigned during the current academic year after his arrest on suspicion of possessing child abuse images.

Anthony Fuggle, 57, has been questioned and released on bail. Police were alerted in September after photographs of boys and “inappropriate written material” were found on a school computer during routine IT checks.

A file on the case is with the Crown Prosecution Service. Mr Fuggle was unavailable for comment.

A meeting was held on Friday between police and the school’s current leadership team, at which St Paul’s pledged its full co-operation to the inquiry and its belief that any former employee guilty of child-sex offences should face justice. Letters and e-mails Continued on page 8, col 3 Continued from page 1 were sent last week to parents of boys at St Paul’s and Colet Court and also to former pupils who are members of the Old Pauline Club.

Two weeks ago, this newspaper revealed that six former teachers at St Paul’s and its prep school, which share a campus in Barnes, southwest London, were suspected of sexually assaulting boys from the mid 1960s to the late 1980s.

Students in that era included Mr Osborne, who was at Colet Court and St Paul’s in the 1980s, and Dominic Grieve, QC, the Attorney-General, a pupil at the prep school in the 1960s. There is no suggestion that either was abused as a schoolboy.

Former pupils subsequently contacted this newspaper to accuse more ex-members of staff of sexual misconduct. In total, abuse allegations have been made to The Times against 13 schoolmasters, five of whom taught at St Paul’s and eight at Colet Court. Six of the men are known or thought to be dead.

Offences are said to have been committed against pupils aged 9 to 17, ranging from indecent assaults, voyeurism and sexually motivated beatings to boys being groomed by a teacher who later paid them for penetrative sex.

In two of the 13 cases, at least five ex-pupils have separately made allegations against the same teacher. Former pupils initially came forward in January after St Paul’s was not named in a news article listing 130 British independent schools linked to the abuse of hundreds of boys.

A month later, police began a criminal inquiry into a complaint made by an ex-pupil against a former teacher, Patrick Marshall, alleging sexual offences in the late 1970s.

Mr Marshall, 65, who taught geography and coached rowing at St Paul’s, was arrested and released on bail pending further inquiries. He denies wrongdoing.

Liz Dux, a lawyer specialising in abuse cases, said that no independent school of St Paul’s status and academic reputation had faced such wide-ranging allegations.

Her firm, Slater & Gordon, whose clients include more than 140 alleged victims of Jimmy Savile, represents an ex-pupil who claims to have been sexually abused at St Paul’s in the 1970s.

Ms Dux said that it was “already clear that some of these complaints were known about by other members of staff at the time”. She voiced concern about the adequacy of the school’s response when allegations were brought to its attention during the years that are under police investigation.

The school said yesterday that it was working with the police to ensure that any former teachers who failed in their “heavy duty of responsibility for the well-being of pupils” were held accountable, whether for offences “50 years ago or more recently”.

A spokesman said: “We have direct access to the investigative team, and all allegations of historic abuse which are brought to our attention are forwarded immediately to them.”


Abuse claims against 18 teachers by ex-pupils at top public school; St Paul’s co-operates with police inquiry led by head of Savile investigation (1.5.14)

The Times, May 1st 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

A team of specialist Scotland Yard detectives led by the officer who headed the Jimmy Savile inquiry is to investigate claims that up to 18 paedophile teachers may have abused dozens of boys for several decades at one of Britain’s most famous public schools.

The move comes after a series of complaints from former pupils who say that they fell victim to sex crimes by staff at St Paul’s School, in London, or its preparatory school, Colet Court.

Triggered by revelations in The Times, multiple allegations have been made to police in recent weeks against numerous former schoolmasters, ten of whom taught at Colet Court and eight at St Paul’s. Some are no longer alive.

Detectives have compiled a list of more than 100 victims, suspects and potential witnesses.

Alleged sex offences at the two schools span five decades, from the mid-1960s to last year. A source close to the inquiry, Operation Winthorpe, described its scope as huge.

The new investigation will be under the command of Detective Superintendent David Gray, who led the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree investigation into the alleged sex crimes of Savile and other celebrities, including Max Clifford.

Mr Gray, head of Scotland Yard’s paedophile unit, said that police intended to carry out “a thorough and transparent review of non-recent offending at the two schools”, which share a campus in Barnes, southwest London.

“The investigation will be conducted by a dedicated team of specially trained officers who have experience of historic child abuse investigations and are sensitive to the needs of victims.” A telephone hotline and email address have been set up, to enable former pupils to contact the inquiry team.

Pat Marshall, 65, a former St Paul’s master, was arrested in February on suspicion of indecently assaulting a pupil in the 1970s. He denies any wrongdoing. His ex-colleague, Keith Perry, 70, received a suspended prison sentence in the same month for possessing hundreds of extreme child abuse images.

A Colet Court teacher, Anthony Fuggle, 57, was arrested last September on suspicion of possessing indecent images of boys, said to have been found on a school computer. He is on bail.

It can be revealed today that a second teacher at the prep school was also arrested last year, on suspicion of sexually grooming a child. Tim Harbord, 61, was not charged with any offence and denies any misconduct. He and Mr Fuggle both resigned during the current academic year.

Crimes, ranging from indecent assaults to penetrative sex, are said to have been committed by 18 teachers against boys aged from 9 to 17, in dormitories, classrooms, a swimming pool, inside a car and at teachers’ private homes. Much of the offending is alleged to have happened between the 1960s and 1990.

Pupils at one or both schools during the era under investigation included the chancellor, George Osborne, the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, QC, and the actor, Eddie Redmayne. There is no suggestion that they were abused as schoolboys.

Detective Sergeant James Townly, who has day-to-day control of Operation Winthorpe, said that former pupils who were the victims of sexual abuse were being placed “at the centre of our work”. Anyone who comes forward will “receive assistance and appropriate support”.

“We’ve already spoken to a number of complainants and there are many other people we need to contact to build a full picture of the alleged offending over several decades. It will obviously take some time for the police to work through all those names.”

St Paul’s, founded in 1509, says that the safeguarding and welfare of pupils is its highest priority.

The school has pledged full co-operation with the investigation and called for all living suspects to be “subjected to the proper processes of justice”, whether for offences 50 years ago or more recently.


Accused teacher kept on working for 24 years

The Times, May 1st 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

A teacher kept his job at a leading school for 24 years after he was accused of fondling a young boy in a classroom, it has been alleged.

Tim Harbord, who taught at Colet Court, the junior division of St Paul’s School, London, finally left at Christmas after a criminal investigation was triggered by a complaint from the parents of a current pupil. They contacted the preparatory school’s headmaster last year to return a jacket sent by the teacher to their son as a present.

Mr Harbord, 61, was arrested and questioned by police in June on suspicion of the sexual grooming of a child. He was not charged with any offence but resigned after receiving a final written warning from the school.

The Times has been told that more than two decades earlier, in 1990, a former Colet Court headmaster failed to take action against the teacher when a mother disclosed her ten-year-old son’s alleged ordeal at his hands. The former pupil, now 34, recently contacted police to add his complaint to a list of allegations against former teachers at St Paul’s or Colet Court.

Mr Harbord, who denies any sexual misconduct, is the second Colet Court master to leave abruptly during the current academic year. Anthony Fuggle, 57, a classics teacher for more than 20 years, resigned in September after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. Photographs of boys were said to have been found on a school computer.

Mr Fuggle remains on bail, pending further police inquiries. Mr Harbord, who coached sport and taught English and history during 28 years at the school, resigned before the start of its spring term in January.

In each case, the current leadership at St Paul’s contacted police and social services when concerns were raised last year. The school allegedly failed to inform child-protection authorities on at least three occasions in the 1960s and 1970s when sexual abuse claims were made against teachers.

The former pupil has told police that on a summer afternoon in 1990, aged ten, he returned to a classroom after lessons to collect a tennis ball and found himself alone with Mr Harbord.

He alleges that the teacher cuddled him before asking him to sit on his lap. He said Mr Harbord began stroking his hair and then his thigh, at which point the child panicked and fled the room.

The ex-pupil said he was so troubled by the incident that he later confided in his sister, swearing her to secrecy. She told their mother, who contacted Billy Howard, the headmaster at the time.

His mother said she gave Mr Howard details of the “totally improper” incident and demanded an assurance “that Mr Harbord was never again going to do anything like that to my son or to anybody else”.

She remembers his response: “He told me that it was very difficult to get male staff in London prep schools who weren’t homosexual. Even at the time, it seemed an extraordinary thing to say. He didn’t propose any action and that seemed to be the end of it as far as he was concerned.” The woman’s son said that until the classroom incident he was very fond of Mr Harbord. “I looked up to him. We all did. He was a ‘cool’ teacher. At the time, people were incredibly naive. What he did to me was brazen but it was completely brushed under the carpet. I’ve never forgotten it.”

Mr Howard’s wife, Heather, told The Times that her husband, 81, “has absolutely no recollection whatsoever” of receiving a complaint of sexual misconduct against Mr Harbord, who was adamant that no such offence took place. Mr Harbord said: “This is so untrue. Nothing happened like this. I’d never sit a boy on my lap in the classroom, stroke his hair. That’s a terrible thing to say.”

He insisted that at no stage of his Colet Court career was he told of any complaint of sexual misconduct against him, but accepted that he had recently been guilty “of naivety” in developing a close relationship with the boy’s family. “I got to know this family well. We did things together, as a family. I shouldn’t have got so close, but nothing sexual went on.”

He said the boy’s mother once sent a card thanking him “for all the affection you’ve shown”, but thought she might have subsequently felt that he was “getting a little bit too close”.

He added: “I was interviewed by the police. They went through all sorts of questions. It was the most despairing time of my life, but then I got a call to say the matter wasn’t going any further.

“There was a formal disciplinary meeting with the headmaster and I had to accept the school policy about gifts and seeing children outside school, and that I mustn’t contact the family. It was very sad because we were very close.”

Mr Harbord said he had no sexual interest in boys. “I’ve always wanted to be married with a family, but I was married to the school.”

In a statement, the school said that Mr Howard, headmaster of Colet Court from 1973 to 1992, “categorically denies any knowledge of the allegations relating to Mr Harbord. He further denies making any remarks about the recruitment of homosexuals to teach in London prep schools.”


Teacher kept job for 16 years after pupils found sex tapes (20.05.14)

The Times, 20th May 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

A paedophile teacher kept his job at a top public school for 16 years after pupils found his collection of indecent videos. Keith Perry taught for 38 years at St Paul’s School, in west London, where a police inquiry began last month into sex crimes allegedly committed against boys by 18 teachers since the 1960s.
Perry was convicted this year after police raided his home last summer and found almost 600 films and photographs showing the abuse of children. In online chat rooms, the “inspirational” former head of history spoke of being sexually obsessed with boys as young as eight.

Perry, 71, who retired in 2003, escaped a jail sentence after it was claimed in court that his addiction to the “utterly repellent” images was a recent lapse by a man of “exemplary character”.

It can be revealed today, however, that Perry’s viewing tastes were discovered in 1986, when boys in a St Paul’s boarding house found a collection of videos hidden behind a row of books in his study, where he often entertained pupils. It was always kept unlocked.

A former pupil told The Times that in Perry’s absence he and a small group of boarders watched an excerpt from one of the films. He said it showed a weeping boy, aged about 13, sitting naked on a chair. The child was instructed to perform a sex act.

Inquiries by The Times confirm the boy’s recollection of having been so disturbed by the video that he reported it to a teacher, who told the school’s senior management of the alleged discovery of “homosexual pornographic videos” in the assistant housemaster’s study.

The teacher said the pupil did not give him a detailed description of the video’s content and the school remained unaware of the allegation that some footage included the abuse of children. No investigation was conducted and no formal disciplinary action was taken against Perry.

It is understood that discussions led to Perry being “quietly advised” to move out of the boarding house, which housed 60 pupils aged from 13 to 18. He taught at St Paul’s for a further 16 years.

Operation Winthorpe, a criminal inquiry led by specialist detectives from the Metropolitan police’s paedophile unit, began work last month after former pupils of St Paul’s and its preparatory school, Colet Court, contacted The Times to allege past sexual abuse by a host of teachers.

Crimes under investigation are said to have taken place between the mid-1960s and last year. It is alleged that on several occasions the school failed to report sexual misconduct by staff. Teachers who were asked to leave found jobs at other boys’ schools.

A former St Paul’s teacher told The Times that the school’s child protection failings in past decades reflected “the rather depressing culture of the day” in many British independent schools. Another said: “In those days, protecting the institution from scandal was all-important.”

Perry admitted last week that he kept pornographic films in his study but denied that any featured children. He also denied being asked to leave the boarding house.
St Paul’s said that it was “co-operating fully with the police investigation”.
The possession of indecent images of children did not become a criminal offence in England and Wales until 1988. The police hotline for Operation Winthorpe is 020-7161 0500.


Colet Court and St Paul’s: a culture of child abuse; Andrew Norfolk on how the closed world of Colet Court and St Paul’s schools made possible decades of abuse against boys (20.5.14)

The Times, May 20th 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

SECTION: LIFE

LENGTH: 1740 words

At the height of the 1960s, when London’s pulse was a planet’s heartbeat, sex had just been invented and blessed were the young for they had inherited the world and all the LSD it contained, a nightly ritual was performed within the walls of a large Victorian building on Hammersmith Road whose values belonged to an older, more monotone land, one in which Britain still ruled an Empire, everyone knew their place and good boys did as they were told.

Here, after lights-out, a middle-aged bachelor schoolmaster descended from his room to deliver a cup of tea to his 14-year-old beloved, a child angelic of looks and voice. The teacher would scan the boys’ dormitory before selecting at random another pupil upon whom fell the task of returning the empty cup and saucer to the master’s room once Ganymede’s thirst was quenched.

This was School House, one of two boarding houses at St Paul’s School, an institution that since 1509 had steadily forged an unchallenged reputation for its ability to mould, from the bright offspring of the capital’s aspirational middle classes, young gentlemen fit for Oxbridge and a glittering future.

Across the road from School House stood Colet Court, the junior division of St Paul’s, where director of music Alan Doggett was also fond of nocturnal dorm visits. Here was no faux romance. The same 11-year-old boy lay back passively each evening as the teacher lifted his bedsheets and set busily to work. Fellow pupils sat quietly in the dark, watching. Everyone knew; no one said a word.

A few miles and a million light years away, Carnaby Street may have been swinging as old roads aged rapidly, yet some pillars of the British establishment held firm. None was more a bastion of tradition than the English public school. It inspired fierce loyalty, worshipped the team ethic and demanded high standards of children from whose parents submissive gratitude was expected at their son’s good fortune in winning admission to the hallowed privilege for which they were paying so handsomely.

Delight was taken in arcane terminology and age-old customs, their purpose long since lost to the mists of time. In classroom, playing field and dormitory, a master’s word was law, sneaking was for plebs and outsiders were viewed with polite but barely concealed contempt. Girls were a foreign country and secrets, even the darkest, were made for keeping. A man could do mischief here; some did.

Attitudes towards child sexual abuse in Britain are a long road slowly travelled. There was a time when no one looked behind a family’s front door; when a Catholic priest’s moral conduct was deemed irreproachable; when children in care were invisible; when what some celebrities did to underage girls was par for the course; when a pro-paedophile group won affiliation to a civil rights organisation while seeking to lower the age of consent to four; when men in the back streets of towns such as Rochdale groomed and sold children for sex while police and social services stood by and shrugged their shoulders.

Conspiracies of silence and complacency were eventually broken, lids lifted, victims given a voice. Eventually, sometimes decades after they plundered childhoods, guilty men were held to account. As each abuse model was exposed, it was asked how such crimes could have run unchecked for so long. In part the answer was chillingly simple: child abuse will flourish when there is an imbalance of power, a setting free from external scrutiny and a culture that plays by its own code. Small surprise, perhaps, that a famous independent school has joined those institutions stung by a long-overdue reckoning for alleged past sins.

There have been public-school scandals in the past, of course, notably those involving England’s three best-known Catholic boarding schools, Ampleforth, Stonyhurst and Downside, and in recent years there has been a steady rise in criminal investigations. In January The Times listed 64 fee-paying boys’ schools at which a male teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing a pupil. The offences dated back to the 1950s, but 62 of the 64 cases were brought to court in the past 20 years, 18 of them since 2012.

The article triggered long-buried memories. Men aged from their thirties to their seventies wrote and phoned in large numbers, seemingly compelled to share their own story. Some spoke of their abuse for the first time; a few broke down. Here were decades of unresolved shame, anger and confusion. Allegations were made against staff at 41 independent schools, of which 26 were not on our original list of 64. There was usually one alleged offender but the case of St Paul’s – two former pupils separately named four teachers – seemed on a different scale.

In March The Times implicated six former teachers at Colet Court or St Paul’s in alleged sex crimes against boys. By then a low-key police investigation was already in progress into a complaint by an ex-pupil against one teacher. The article prompted a surge of calls to the newspaper, the school and the police. Last month, a specialist team of detectives was set up to lead Operation Winthorpe. They have already recorded complaints against 18 former members of staff at the two schools, some no longer alive. The number of victims, suspects – spanning 50 years, from the mid-1960s to last year – and potential witnesses has passed 200.

Handed a list of England’s oldest and most famous public schools, few would have tipped St Paul’s to be the one to face such extensive allegations. A boarding establishment in a remote rural setting more easily fits the profile than a big London school with a rapier-sharp academic reputation and very few boarders.

Yet it was here, along Hammersmith Road until 1968 and since then at the school’s current location in Barnes, southwest London, that a culture is said to have arisen in which some masters, no matter how effective in sculpting young minds for examination success, treated children shamefully. Tales abound until the 1980s of sadistic violence, cruel bullying and of sexual attacks ranging from minor indecent assaults to extended, intimate relationships.

Teachers are accused of offences in dormitories, classrooms, the swimming pool, their own homes, even in cars. There was a period in the late Sixties and early Seventies when, if several former pupils are to be believed, to emerge after five years as a Colet Court boarder without once becoming the means of a teacher’s sexual gratification was to be distinctly fortunate. Some parents were warned that one endured the prep school because the prize was worth it: a place at St Paul’s.

At the senior school, police are examining whether tolerance of adult homosexuality may sometimes have edged dangerously close to turning a blind eye to pederasty. One boy remembers being assured by an avuncular master that homosexuality was a youth cult. In a 1978 suicide note after he was charged with abusing a choirboy, Doggett wrote that he had chosen “the way of the Greek”.

Doggett is one of six Colet Court or St Paul’s teachers who quietly resigned between 1967 and 1987 after suspected sexual misconduct came to light. Not once, it is alleged, did the school call in the police. The late Warwick Hele, high master of the senior school from 1973 to 1986, is remembered by a colleague as “a very good man but not one to stir up trouble unless he had to”. Another described an era when “protecting the institution from scandal was all-important”. For any fee-paying school, gaining a bad reputation could be extremely costly.

That remains the case today, but many outsiders would feel a degree of sympathy for Mark Bailey, St Paul’s highly regarded high master since 2011. His school is suddenly under fire, hit by a blizzard of alleged past misconduct, yet on the two occasions that concerns about teachers are known to have been raised since Bailey has been in post, the school responded swiftly and contacted external child-safeguarding authorities.

Investigations subsequently led to the arrest in 2013 of two long-serving Colet Court teachers, Anthony Fuggle and Tim Harbord, on suspicion of possessing indecent images and of sexual grooming respectively. Each resigned. Harbord has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Neither man has been charged with any criminal offence.

Had such decisive action been taken in response to pre-2011 complaints against teachers, St Paul’s would not be as vulnerable to the damning charge that it formerly seemed less concerned with the protection of children than with the protection of its own good name. The school, which says it is co-operating fully with the police, has described all child abuse as abhorrent and called for anyone guilty of past offences to be held to account. Its current standards of pupil safeguarding and welfare have been rated by inspectors as excellent.

Public reaction to the police inquiry has been instructively varied. Adults whose school years were not spent in similar institutions seem baffled that a world so seemingly careless of child welfare could have existed so recently. Many who were shaped by similar schooling in the same era know only too well that it did; most are nonetheless taken aback by the sheer scale of what is alleged at St Paul’s.

From some ex-public schoolboys, though, comes irritation that such a fuss is being made by chaps who really ought to “man up” and stop making such a hue and cry about a little mild spanking at schools that delivered a first-class education and bred resilience, independence and loyalty into boys who went on to become life’s winners. Some of them now run the country.

Such critics should rewind to the 1970s and a flat near St Paul’s owned by the late Rev Dr Edward Ryan, the school’s under-chaplain and a man who took a close pastoral interest in the vulnerable among his young flock. Boys invited to his home for a chat are said to have been plied with alcohol, then offered cash for penetrative sex. Those who tried to escape sometimes found their way barred.

One of “Doc” Ryan’s junior colleagues, who knew of his regular invitations to pupils but not of any sexual allegations, said he bore all the hallmarks of a predatory paedophile: “I would not have trusted Edward Ryan in the company of a young boy any farther than I could throw him.”

Should Ryan’s victims, some haunted to this day, be expected easily to forgive the school that for so many years gave him such unrestricted access to adolescent boys?


Former Colet Court teacher charged over abuse images (4.6.14)

The Times, June 4th 2014

By Andrew Norfolk

A former teacher at one of England’s most prestigious prep schools is to appear in court accused of possessing child-abuse images.

Anthony Fuggle was a senior classics master at Colet Court, the junior division of St Paul’s School, until he resigned after his arrest last September. Mr Fuggle, 57, who was also the prep school’s director of administration, was charged last night with 11 offences of making indecent images of children and six of possessing indecent images of children. He becomes the first former teacher at St Paul’s or its prep school to be charged under Operation Winthorpe, a criminal inquiry led by a specialist team of Scotland Yard detectives that was launched in April to investigate alleged sexual misconduct involving more than 20 members of staff.

Eighteen ex-teachers, not including Mr Fuggle, have been accused by former pupils of sexually abusing boys at the school over a 50-year period since the mid-1960s. Some are no longer alive. St Paul’s and its junior school share a campus in Barnes, southwest London.

Mr Fuggle was one of two Colet Court teachers to resign during the current academic year. Tim Harbord, 61, left at Christmas after he was arrested on suspicion of sexually grooming a boy. He was released without charge and has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

A former master at St Paul’s, Patrick Marshall, 65, who taught geography and coached rowing, was arrested in February over the suspected abuse of a pupil in the 1970s. He remains on bail.

Mr Fuggle was arrested last autumn after child-protection authorities were contacted by the school. Photographs of young boys were said to have been found during a routine IT check on Colet Court’s computers. He remains on bail and is due to appear before Wimbledon magistrates on June 20.