Why are police refusing to prosecute two fantasists who falsely accused innocent VIPs of sex abuse? One was a convicted paedophile and the other a prolific liar with mental health issues… raising questions over why officers believed their claims
- Four months since Dame Cressida Dick granted two-year extension to contract
- Her determination to carry on had received strong backing from Sadiq Khan
- Many people questioned extension because of number of blunders and scandals
He wore a designer tracksuit top, zipped to his throat, and a wary expression. This was ‘Witness A’, whose identity as an alleged victim is protected by the Sexual Offences Act.
To breach his anonymity is to invite prosecution and potential imprisonment. You might come to think that is what he deserves himself.
For in the course of a two-hour conversation with the Mail, Witness A made a series of disturbing and sometimes sensational allegations. They concerned the senior public figures he claimed to have met and had sex with while working as a teenage prostitute in the 1970s and 1980s.
As he talked, his gaze often slid away from scrutiny. He is a liar by habit.
But at least one of his statements had the ring of authenticity — and it goes to the heart of a scandal that raises profound questions about the leadership and priorities of the Metropolitan Police.
For in the course of a two-hour conversation with the Mail, Witness A made a series of disturbing and sometimes sensational allegations
‘The police wanted me to join up the dots in the Harvey Proctor case,’ said Witness A, who has never spoken publicly before.
‘They realised their investigation [into him] wasn’t going anywhere. ‘So . . .they wanted me to say Harvey Proctor did this and that, and that I saw him [do it]. They wanted me to implicate him.’
And implicate Proctor — and others — Witness A obligingly did, in interviews with detectives from Operation Midland, the disastrous Metropolitan Police investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring.
The extraordinary story of Witness A and another fraudster known as Witness B, which we can tell today, suggests they are somehow above the law, despite a former High Court judge demanding they face prosecution.
For although both witnesses told a tissue of lies that could have led to innocent men being jailed for life, neither of them has been held to account.
Unlike the fantasist Carl Beech, whose sex abuse lies lay at the heart of Operation Midland, neither has been charged with perverting the course of justice.
A decision not to launch a criminal investigation into their testimonies was made behind closed doors by the Met — the same force that entertained them as witnesses. But it has never publicly explained why.
Could it be that the Metropolitan Police, ashamed of its own mistakes, has been operating a two-tier justice system?
As the Met begins to investigate alleged breaches of Covid regulations at No 10, fresh question marks have emerged over the judgment of the Commissioner who launched the controversial probe.
THE CHARGE SHEET OF COMMISSIONER CALAMITY
Only four months have passed since Dame Cressida Dick was granted a two-year extension to her contract.
Her determination to carry on had received strong backing from London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan and Lord (Ian) Blair, the former Commissioner and serial bungler who resigned from his post after disagreements with then London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2008.
But many people questioned the extension because of the number of blunders and scandals that have increasingly marked Dick’s career at the top.
There were calls for her head in 2005, when she was ‘Gold Commander’ in charge of the disastrous Met operation in which innocent electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead on a Tube train after he was mistaken for a terrorist.
Only four months have passed since Dame Cressida Dick was granted a two-year extension to her contract
More recently, as Commissioner, she has been caught up in a string of controversies including her force’s woeful security operation at the Euro 2020 final, and allegations of a ‘cover-up culture’ at Scotland Yard.
Last June, an official report branded her force ‘institutionally corrupt’ and accused her of trying to thwart an inquiry into the murder of private eye Daniel Morgan. She has rejected the key findings.
Last October, she faced a clamour to resign after she admitted that Sarah Everard’s murder had corroded trust in the police and brought ‘shame’ on her force.
And in what was described as Scotland Yard’s ‘darkest day’, a string of MPs, including the chair of the women and equalities select committee, said she should go.
They said it was clear she could not restore faith in Britain’s biggest police force after one of her officers, Wayne Couzens, was sentenced to a whole-life term for Miss Everard’s murder.
But perhaps the most egregious blunder on her charge sheet is Operation Midland, which she launched in 2014.
DAMNING DOCUMENT — AND AITKEN LINK
The astonishing stories of Witness A and Witness B’s dealings with the Met are set out in a confidential police report — Document 1794 — that has been leaked to the Mail.
It was written at the conclusion of Operation Midland in 2016 by then Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, the officer in overall charge and a key ally of Dame Cressida.
His report sets out how Witness A and Witness B mimicked allegations already made by Carl Beech, aka ‘Nick’.
Beech had claimed to have been the child sex victim of several Establishment figures including the late Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, former Tory Home Secretary Lord (Leon) Brittan, former Chief of the Defence Staff Field Marshal Lord Bramall and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.
They also molested and murdered three other boys, he claimed.
In 2019, Beech was jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice and paedophile offences
A senior Midland officer went so far as to declare Beech’s testimony ‘credible and true’.
In fact, it was total fantasy. In 2019, Beech was jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice and paedophile offences.
What, then, of Witness A and Witness B, who made detailed abuse and murder claims against the same group of VIPs?
In Saturday’s Mail, we told how Witness A also made unfounded sexual allegations against former Tory Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, who had previously not been linked to Midland.
Witness A said his claims were ‘supported’ by his possession of a number of items stolen from Aitken’s house during an underage gay sex assignation. In fact, they are believed to have been taken during a burglary at Aitken’s then constituency home.
Thanks to Document 1794 and related inquiries, the Mail now knows the true identities and backgrounds of Witness A and Witness B.
Witness A was and is a persistent sex offender — he has been convicted of a sex crime as recently as 2017 — and his record includes offences against children.
Document 1794 also reveals that he was given a caution by a provincial police force in November 2015, for having made a false claim of a death threat against him. This was only days before he began actively assisting Operation Midland.
Witness B has serious mental health issues.
Yet the part they were allowed to play in Midland arguably prolonged that inquiry for several months after it should have been ended.
COPYCAT CLAIMS AND A HISTORY OF LIES
Witness A came forward in September 2015. His testimony would support, even replicate, Beech’s claims, which by then were on many internet sites for all to see — or crib from.
Witness A was interviewed twice in January 2016 by Midland detectives. He made serious allegations against Proctor, Brittan and Heath, among others.
Like Beech, Witness A claimed he attended depraved parties at Dolphin Square, near the Houses of Parliament.
Like Carl Beech, he said he had witnessed the abuse and possible murder scene of a boy named Martin Allen, who had indeed mysteriously disappeared without trace in London, aged 15, in November 1979.
Rodhouse states that in an earlier interview with the provincial force, Witness A had said that in 1980 ‘Harvey Proctor took him out to a meal to Claridge’s (the five-star Mayfair hotel) and during the evening, Proctor broke down in tears and described how he had strangled ‘this kid’ believed referring to Martin Allen’.
Witness A made further allegations of rape and murder against Leon Brittan and said that when he was 13 he was abused by Edward Heath at Dolphin Square and on the former PM’s boat.
But there were ‘a number of concerns about the reliability of Witness A’s allegations’ that Rodhouse sets out in the document.
Operation Midland officers had — or should have had — immediate access to a number of sources that rang alarm bells about Witness A’s character. Multiple warnings had been made by sex offender clinicians and therapists about his ‘false’ claims of sex abuse.
Rodhouse tells how, in 1998, the manager of a facility for treating sex offenders ‘wrote to the Probation Service and stated that Witness A had spent a long period of time giving misinformation’.
A therapist at a clinic for paedophile offenders told police that, in 1999, Witness A had ‘admitted giving false information in the past about being systematically sexually abused over a substantial period of time by a paedophile ring’.
Midland detectives had also raised ‘concerns’ that Witness A ‘may have conducted significant levels of internet research . . . he had spoken ‘about how he had been trawling the internet to ‘find out everything that I could about Harvey Proctor, where he lived and what he was doing now and so on, and still with that mentality that I’m going to f*** them all up’.’
The Mail made our own inquiries and spoke to Witness A’s closest family member, a sister.
She said: ‘It’s hard to tell when he is telling the truth. [Eventually] I didn’t believe anything he said.’
When the Mail met him in person, Witness A said he had worked as a ‘rent boy’ in the late 1970s and 1980s and had been jailed in 1997 for paedophile offences.
He said that when he spoke to Operation Midland detectives, it was they — not him — who first brought up the names of Proctor and Brittan. They had also offered him £75,000 in victim compensation.
‘I am very sorry for Harvey Proctor,’ he said.
‘The police wanted me to join up the dots in the Proctor case. They realised their investigation [into him] wasn’t going anywhere. So . . . they wanted me to say Harvey Proctor did this and that, and that I saw him [do it]. They wanted me to implicate him.’
Witness A told the Mail that he had met Proctor three times and never had dinner with him.
‘I was a rent boy and knew what I was doing,’ he said. ‘I had sex with police officers and judges. I had sex with Edward Heath. [But] I never had sex with Harvey Proctor or Leon Brittan.’
ENTER WITNESS B — WITH MORE CLAIMS
According to the same document, Witness B’s allegations against VIPs were first made known to Midland by a social worker in a mental health team. He ‘told police that his patient had made disclosures about sexual abuse’.
Rodhouse states in his report that Witness B ‘has a range of convictions from 1981 to 1986 for offences including theft, fraud and violence.’
Witness B’s family provide their own view of his credibility, as Rodhouse relates in his report. ‘Officers have spoken with one of his brothers, a vicar, who has disclosed that Witness B is known within his family as being a prolific liar.’
Two liars, then, and two potential cases of perverting the course of justice. So why weren’t they investigated by the Met, unlike Carl Beech?
‘I COULD F*** THE POLICE’
In his 2020 memoir, retired High Court Judge Sir Richard Henriques, who delivered a devastating official report on the conduct of Midland, asked this very question.
‘They [Witness A and B] were apparently attempting to do exactly what ‘Nick’ had done. The sentence of 18 years imposed on Carl Beech underlines the gravity of this form of conduct. If there exists a sound basis for taking no action against A and B, I have yet to hear it.’
Witness A offered the Mail his own view on why no judicial action has or — he boasted — will ever be taken against him.
‘The police know that if they came after me I have a whole load in my back pocket about what they have done,’ he said.
‘If they want to f*** me then I can really f*** them back.’
The Met has repeatedly refused to say why it has not acted against him or Witness B.
A two-tier system, indeed — and one that does not inspire confidence in the Met and Cressida Dick’s judgment as the ‘Partygate’ probe gets under way.
Special reporting: Stephanie Condron and Simon Trump
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