@JohnMannMP Operation Midland never followed up Raikes/Courtney dossier
Police to investigate Geoffrey Dickens sex abuse dossier
21 October 2015
The Labour MP John Mann, who recently obtained the file, has criticised the government for failing to find it despite a Home Office review last year.
He has also asked why the contents of the file were not investigated at the time.
The document seen by the BBC contains 21 names. A handwritten note in pencil suggests it was “given to Geoff Dickens, in Lobby, Jan 84”.
The author, a Conservative party member in the 1980s, says the information was gathered from two former Tory MPs – Sir Victor Raikes MP for Southeast Essex and Anthony Courtney – a leading member of the Conservative Monday Club.
Both are now dead and as a result are unable to confirm they provided the information which appears in the document. However, handwritten notes said to have been compiled during discussions with the MPs in the 1980s are also also in the file.
Geoffrey Dickens is thought to have passed at least two “dossiers” to Lord Brittan in 1983 and early 1984.
He also met Lord Brittan to push the case for strengthening the laws on importing child abuse material and he urged the home secretary to ban the Paedophile Information Exchange – a group which campaigned for the legalisation of sex with children.
Why haven’t the police published their investigation of Dover customs officer’s claims of Brittan on video?
Later, when doorstepped, Solanki admitted that the minister in the video was Leon Brittan.
The Truth Shall Make You Free Fret
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
LEON BRITTAN AND THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
The much-delayed Independent Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry hearings into the Westminster paedophilia allegations finally began this morning with a lengthy opening statement by its lead counsel, Brian Altman QC.
Full disclosure: I provided a written submission to the Inquiry, which has now been issued to the Core Participants in the Westminster hearings. I have previously published my submission on this blog and do so again below.
Much of Mr. Altman’s opening speech was devoted to the historical context in which sensational claims, made in Parliament and in the media, led the Home Office to set up IICSA. This happened, as he noted, way back in March 2015 when Theresa May was still Home Secretary.
Although – in Mr. Altman’s own words – the Inquiry offers “an unprecedented opportunity to examine the extent to which institutions and organisations in England & Wales have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children”, he stressed that it would not “make findings as to whether individual allegations of child sexual abuse that have been made against Westminster figures are true. That is a matter for the police and for the courts.” Instead, it would examine whether the various political and governmental organisations had handled the claims appropriately.
Not for the first time in the vexed history of government-ordered child sexual abuse enquiries, this poses a fundamental and logically insoluble problem. If no verdict is reached on whether the allegations were accurate, how can any sensible conclusion be reached on whether official responses to them were appropriate ?
The same conundrum affected – badly – the judge-led Inquiry into the 1987 Cleveland Child Abuse Crisis. Under the remit imposed on Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, this was forbidden from deciding whether any of the 121 children involved had been sexually abused; instead its £5 million investigations were tasked with reporting on how the allegations had been handled.
This is the stuff of madness: IICSA, like Butler-Sloss before it, is spending vast sums of taxpayers’ money on considering the probity of official responses to a substantial elephant in the room, whilst being prohibited from considering whether or not the elephant actually existed.
There is also a second and rather more specific problem. Since at least some of those “Westminster figures” about whom allegations have been – very publicly – made are now dead, there is absolutely no prospect of any police or judicial verdict on their guilt or innocence. IICSA is all there is. And that leads us on to the curious case of Leon Brittan, former occupant of Theresa May’s old desk at the Home Office.
Mr. Brittan was one of the central figures in the tangled and multiple skeins of media claims. The most prominent of these were very loudly trumpeted by the now-defunct independent website, Exaro News and – in particular – its soi-disant “editor in Chief”, Mark Watts . In December 2013 Exaro and Mr. Watts claimed that detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s twin operations Fairbank and Fernbridge had “seized a video that places a former Cabinet minister at one of several parties where boys were sexually abused by men … Exaro has also learned that police have ‘talked to’ the ex-minister about his attendance a the sex party”. [The original webpage for this Exaro story is no longer functioning].
The story was picked up and subsequently reported by rather more mainstream news organisations. Although Exaro did not name the ex-minister, it was common knowledge amongst journalists (and on social media) that the man identified and allegedly interviewed by detectives was Leon Brittan – then still alive.
In March 2014, Exaro and the Sunday Express followed this up with a further story. They claimed hat in 1982 H.M. Customs and Excise had seized a videotape which showed “child abuse in the presence of a former cabinet minister”. Once again, Mr. Brittan was not named , but every journalist and Twitter follower of what Mr. Watts called “undoubtedly, the biggest political scandal in post-war Britain” knew he was the politician allegedly involved.
I interviewed one of the senior officers in Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge after each of these stories broke. He insisted – vehemently – that neither was remotely true. Instead he told me that his officers had gathered different – and potentially far more damning – information suggesting prime facie evidence that Leon Brittan had an interest in child sexual abuse. I published the story on these officer’s claims this blog on 4 August, 2015. [“The Politician, The Paedophiles & The Press: The Long Strange Saga of Leon Brittan”: it is still there to be read by those with the stamina to scroll back through the posts].
His evidence rested on two planks. The first was an interview the detective said his team had carried out with the Customs officer identified in the Exaro story. This man had told Fernbridge’s officers that the tapes seized in 1982 did not depict the former cabinet minister and that he had made this clear to the Exaro and Express journalists. A tape recording of that encounter, which I obtained, transcribed and published, bore him out.
However, he also volunteered to the officers that on another occasion he had stopped a man who he believed to be Leon Brittan at Dover customs and had seized child pornography from him. He had reported this to his superiors and suggested that Fernbridge locate the Customs seizure logs. The detective I spoke to in 2014 told me that this line of enquiry was on-going.
The second thread of evidence relating to Mr. Brittan concerned Elm Guest House, the much-discussed B&B for gay men, closed after a police raid in 1982. According to the Fernbridge officer, a young boy had been found on the premises on the night of the raid and in an interview with a police officer and social worker had told them not to worry about the abuse he had suffered because “Uncle Leon” from “the Big House” would sort everything out.
Operation Fernbridge got this information – so the detective said – from the police officer, but was surprised to find that the boy’s (unsigned) written statement made no mention of “Uncle Leon”. The team then tracked down the boy – now in his early 40s; he initially agreed to speak to them, but subsequently refused to do so. Nonetheless, the senior officer who I interviewed told me that he was convinced Leon Brittan had an active sexual interest in children.
The opening statement today by Brian Altman QC incudes the following notable statement in its section on Elm Guest House.
“It appeared that one boy, aged 10, had been sexually abused on the premises. The boy made a statement to the police that he had been raped by adult males at the house. A social worker claimed that the boy made an allegation in relation to ‘Uncle Leon’.”
[Transcript; Page 8].
There is no follow-up to this remarkable passage in any of Mr. Altman’s published remarks. It is simply left there to dangle in the wind. And yet it seems to establish as a finding of fact at least one section of the story the Fernbridge detective told me.
I made clear in my published story that I had no means to establish the accuracy of what the senior Fernbridge officer said – though he seemed to have no motive to be making it up. However, in my submission to IICSA, which detailed all of his allegations, I urged the Inquiry to interview the detective and the Customs officer. I stressed that the latter was in his late 80s and in failing health and that therefore time was of the essence. The published IICSA timetable for the first week of the Westminster hearings does not include either of their names. Nor does it include mine. Although I repeatedly asked to give oral evidence to support my lengthy written submission, its lawyers refused to allow me to do so. They also declined to give an explanation for this.
If the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is serious in its ambition to establish facts of this highly-polarized controversy it must allow the evidence to be heard – and tested – in public. The Fernbridge detective and the Customs officer must be called to testify and their claims about Leon Brittan must be examined.
To do otherwise is to ignore the fundamental question about the elephant in the room. And that is fair neither to the public, which is footing the bill to find out the truth, or to now-deceased politicians such as Leon Brittan who cannot defend themselves.
Why was Op Midland underfunded? Only £2 million – Madeleine McCann investigation £12 million.
There is a massive discrepancy between the Police watchdog on the Met and Henriques report. I’m highly suspicious!
VIP abuse accuser ‘manipulated by news website Exaro’
Readers will note that the report looks specifically at the allegations from one “Nick” and ignores any others. Moreover, it cites errors in procedure in dealing with his accusations over and above those of any the others. They were numerous yet this report looks only at the allegations made by one individual. As such it reeks of a whitewash.
For example it notably fails to specifically mention the allegation of rape made against Leon Brittan. Those claims have been further corroborated by friends of the rape victim. Yet these been have now been dismissed without police looking at them specifically because the veracity of complaints from one alleged victim has been called into question.
Suspicions that a whitewash is underway were first aroused by a BBC investigation into the allegations, which also tried to dismiss the claims in a Panorama documentary.
The fact that senior police officers have now joined with the BBC and a retired judge, who headed the report, suggests that the British establishment is engaged in a full scale damage control exercise.
Henriques report is about far more than Op
#Midland – it seeks to overturn much of latest police & CPS guidance on victims & sex abuse cases
Henriques Report. Recommendation 6 When people of prominence, Complainants should be encouraged to sign ‘confidentiality agreement’.
08 November 2016
College statement following Sir Richard Henriques Review
David Tucker, Crime Lead at the College of Policing said: “Great effort has gone into building public trust in police investigations and we know from research, and lessons from the past, that a key reason why people do not report abuse is a fear of not being believed. To start an investigation from a position of doubt is unlikely to encourage victims to come forward.
“Existing guidance says that when an allegation is received, police should believe this account and record it as a crime, unless there is credible evidence at the point the allegation is made that determines no crime has been committed. It is the credibility of the evidence, not solely the victim, which should be investigated.
“In respect of anonymity for suspects, in 2013 the College published guidance which was clear about the need to respect the rights of a suspect. It says the names or identifying details of those who are arrested or suspected of a crime should not be released save in circumstances such as a threat to life or where a crime may be detected or prevented. Any decision to release these details should be made at a chief officer level.
“As part of the police effort to build trust with those abused, the term ‘victim’ is used in line with statutory guidance, legislation and the Victims Code of Practice which sets out the measures required to support victims, particularly those who are vulnerable.
“As the professional body for the police, we will now carefully review the findings of this report.”
8 Nov 2016
Report – Independent Review of Metropolitan Police Service’s handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations
Metropolitan Police service to refer five officers in relation to Operation Midland
Nov 8, 2016Following today’s publication of the independent review by Sir Richard Henriques of the Metropolitan Police Service handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations alleged against persons of public prominence, IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne said:
“We were advised earlier today that the Metropolitan Police is to refer the conduct of five officers, ranging in rank from sergeant to deputy assistant commissioner, to the IPCC in relation to Operation Midland. We understand the conduct of a deputy assistant commissioner will also be referred to the IPCC regarding a different operation.
“We have assembled an assessment team to analyse relevant documentation to be supplied by the force, and provide me with a recommendation. Once I receive that recommendation, I will decide whether there will be an investigation and, if so, what form that investigation will take. I am aware of the significant public interest in these matters and I will announce that decision once I have made it and all concerned parties have been notified.
“We have not received any complaints from individuals who may feel they were adversely affected by the actions of officers involved in Operation Midland but, as in all cases, were such complaints to be referred to the IPCC they would be given due consideration.”
October 5 2016,
The Metropolitan Police has rejected calls for the full release of an independent review into its investigation of a VIP paedophile ring.
Assistant Commissioner Helen King said that it was her “strong expectation” that the retired judge’s review of Operation Midland would not be published in its entirety because it contains confidential material.
Public figures caught up in the inquiry believe that transparency is key to the Met learning lessons and that anything less would be a cover-up.
Met will not release review of VIP paedophiles inquiry
Censored! Fury as Scotland Yard say they will redact report into bungled £2m VIP abuse inquiry
- Metropolitan Police will only release bombshell report if it agrees with it
- Officials said force ‘strongly expects’ it will not publish the full findings
- It is expected to be ‘highly critical’ of VIP paedophile investigation
- Victims of ‘false allegations’ could pursue legal action to reveal findings
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19 Sept 2016
Judge Richard Henriques is paid £1,100 a day to write report about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child sex probe…but we only get a censored version
A retired High Court judge has been paid £66,000 to write a report about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child-sex probe – but the public will get to see only selected findings on the orders of Britain’s most senior policeman.
…his work – which includes examining other ‘non-recent’ sex investigations into VIPs.
Feb 10 2016
“Fat Cat Barrister” Judge Richard Henriques – Sympathetic and lenient towards paedophiles. He is a member of the establishment and was a friend/protege of George Carman QC who defended/protected Greville Janner and other child rapists…perfect safe pair of hands for the establishment.
A former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques is to examine the way historical allegations against public figures are investigated, after a request from the head of the Metropolitan Police.
Sir Richard Henriques is to conduct the review, which will be published later this year and will “focus on police procedures and will not reach judgements on the evidence”.
Operation Midland inquiry is ongoing.
Sir Richard Henriques’ Outrageous ruling: Paedophile allowed to move in opposite to the 12 yr-old girl he abused because he posed no risk and it would be a hardship for the paedophile!
Judge Richard Henriques claimed paedophile was no risk to victim when allowing him to move in opposite her
December 09, 2014
A PAEDOPHILE living opposite a girl he sexually assaulted was allowed to move back in to his home because Judge Richard Henriques ruled that he (the paedophile) would otherwise suffer “hardship“.
The reasons behind the judge’s decision to lift an order banning the man from living near his victim have been revealed after a transcript of a Court of Appeal hearing was released to the Crawley News.
It has also been revealed that Crawley Borough Council gave the child sex attacker a £75,000 discount when he bought the home in Broadfield. (Why!)
We revealed last week how the council had allowed the man to buy his council-rented home while the case against him was ongoing.
The victim’s mother has slammed the judge, Sir Richard Henriques, for putting the rights of a convicted paedophile above those of her daughter, who was 12 when she was assaulted.
She said: “How would it be causing him hardship? He was living with his mum and dad when he was banned from living in this street, so it’s not like he would be left on the streets.
“What about my daughter? There has been no thought for her at all.
“He is the one that’s committed the crime and she’s the one who’s going to end up suffering, because we’re going to have to move.”
Judge Henriques ruled that the man, who cannot be named because it could identify the girl, may suffer hardship if he was denied the opportunity to live in his house.
Judge Henriques ruled that a remaining condition – that he cannot contact his victim – would be enough to protect her from harm, adding that the man does not pose a serious risk to other children in the street.
The girl’s mother believes that judgement was “ridiculous”.
She said: “He still poses a risk to my daughter and yet they’ve moved him back into the same street.”
Sir Richard Henriques QC
His Friend and Mentor was George Carman QC
Sir Richard Henriques speaking about George Carman:
“George Carman and Christopher Rose were the giants of advocacy. George spent so much time socialising he knew how to talk to juries. It was a gift. I saw him through pupillage in my early years. He was a friend, came to our wedding
Sir Richard Henriques regarded the late George Carman, Lord Janner’s barrister when he was first investigated for sex crimes in 1991, as a friend and mentor at the Bar, a report in The Times claims.
Judge Richard Henriques’ friend,George Carman QC, defended/protected VIP/Establishment Child Sexual Abusers – Cyril Smith, Jimmy Savile, Greville Janner…
Mentor George Carman
The late George Carman, Blackpool born libel lawyer to the stars.
Jeremy Thorpe, Cyril Smith and David Steel
Michael Crick describes how Dominic Carman, son of George Carman QC who successfully defended Jeremy Thorpe in the murder trial, told him that only…
…a few weeks before the trial, allegations about Cyril Smith were circulating and George Carman QC got onto his legal friends, with Thorpe’s backing, to basically frighten the Fleet street editors into not picking up the Rochdale Alternative Press story about Cyril Smith.
From the 1990s onwards, Carman specialised in libel. The first was Tessa Sanderson in 1990, but after that the famous libels came thick and fast – Robert Maxwell, Richard Branson, Edwina Currie, Gillian Taylforth, Imran Khan, Elton John, Tom Cruise, Jonathan Aitken.
In 2001 the Purdews of Champneys (friends of Sir Jimmy Savile and Keith Vaz) briefly acquired Inglewood health hydro from agents of Saudi prince Mohammed bin Fahd. Inglewood had been the scene of allegations, published in the Guardian six years earlier, that then defence minister Jonathan Aitken, a director of the spa, had tried to arrange girls for a Saudi prince and his entourage.
The report led to the notorious libel action brought by Aitken ultimately culminating in his being sentenced to jail for perjury.
Former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken, once a director of Champneys Inglewood. He was accused by former employees of acting as a ‘pimp’ by requesting call girls, once for a sheikh and once for a group of Arabs.
Then he was embroiled in a legal dispute with former brothel keeper Lindi ‘Miss Whiplash’ St Clair, who claimed that she was thrown out of Inglewood partway through a course.
And though Aitken met his future wife Lolicia at Inglewood, he also cheated on her with bondage prostitute Paula Strudwick, telling her to collect the right sort of birch branches from the woods outside the estate for sadomasochistic sex games. You’d have thought someone would have twigged what was going on.
George Carman also involved in these cases:
The James Bulger case and Harold Shipman case, Dr Leonard Arthur, the paediatrician accused of murdering a Down’s syndrome baby; PIE member, Geoffrey Prime, the Cheltenham spy; a Russian-speaking civil servant charged with spying. He was a paedophile with detailed card-index files of little girls in the Cheltenham and Gloucester area, the family of God’s banker, Roberto Calvi, who wanted – and, thanks to George Carman, got – the suicide verdict reversed; Peter Adamson, who played Len Fairclough in Coronation Street, acquitted of the charge of indecent assault on two girls;
…What a mentor…
Carman also represented Jimmy Savile
In 1992, my father, George Carman QC, had been retained by Savile’s lawyers over a different matter, which never reached court. By 1994, the name Carman, and what he could do in cross-examination, put such fear into the minds of litigants, lawyers and editors that libel cases were settled and, in some circumstances, perhaps stories were not published.
…the editor of the Sunday Mirror in 1994, did have “credible and convincing” evidence from two women who claimed that Jimmy Savile had been guilty of abusing them at a children’s home.
…the paper’s lawyers “totally and utterly convinced” they were telling the truth
Despite Henriques’ relationship with George Carman (Janner’s solicitor), Sir Richard Henriques was put in charge of the reviewing of past mistakes that prevented Lord Janner being brought to trial
“Retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques is reviewing how police and the CPS handled previous allegations made against Lord Janner in 1991, 2002 and 2007.”
Mr Henriques’s feats of achievement have not found favour in all quarters. Along with Michael Mansfield, he was among four “fat cat” barristers probed by a House of Lords inquiry into alleged milking of the legal aid system.
In 1995/6 he made £500,000, although he claimed this figure related to earnings from more than one year.
a wealthy and powerful person, typically one involved in business or politics.
Judge (Henriques) reviewing Janner case was friend of peer’s barrister
Richard Henriques is the judge who, by common assent, presides over terrorist trials. Eight in all
George Carman’s defence of Geoffrey Prime & Peter Adamson