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Former detective points out 'errors' in false abuse probe


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Ex-charity worker Carl Beech found guilty over Westminster paedophile ring lies.

Artist's impression: Fantasist Carl Beech in court

Artist's impression: Fantasist Carl Beech in court

Date - 22nd July 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
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A force has been accused of “setting the hounds racing” before it had completed taking statements from the fantasist who falsely claimed to have been a victim of a powerful and murderous VIP paedophile ring.

Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald infamously described Carl Beech's claims as "credible and true" – but a jury decided the former NSPCC volunteer lied about being abused.

Beech’s malicious, repeated and determined deceit ruined reputations and led the Met Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old World War Two veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the late Home Secretary Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

As Beech faced up to a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Proctor blasted the force – calling the episode "a truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing".

Its £2 million Operation Midland into the lurid allegations by the man they named only as "Nick" ended without making a single arrest.

Beech told detectives over hours of tearful interviews that his late stepfather, an Army major, raped him, then passed him on to generals to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused by other Establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.

He named former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, his sworn enemy Mr Proctor, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley, the head of MI5, and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the gang after meeting a journalist from the defunct news agency Exaro.

He claimed a schoolboy named Scott was deliberately knocked down and killed, that another boy who might have been the missing teenager Martin Allen was raped and strangled in front of him, and said another youth was battered to death by the ring.

Det Supt McDonald wrongly called the allegations "credible and true" before the force had completed their inquiries. The prosecution at Beech’s trial said his claims were "incredible and untrue".

And the Newcastle jury rejected Beech's unfounded allegations and on Monday convicted him of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, relating to a £22,000 criminal injuries pay-out he falsely claimed for being raped by Savile.

With what Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, described as "breath-taking hypocrisy", Beech himself was a paedophile with an interest in pre-teen boys.

He was due to be tried on indecent images and voyeurism charges last summer but went on the run to Sweden, where he bought two remote properties and tried to evade justice using false identities.

The sentencing of Beech on these matters, as well as indecent images offences and breach of bail, has provisionally been set for Friday.

Beech first made his lurid allegations to the Met in October 2014 and he was given gentle handling, help in claiming for criminal compensation and was taken round London looking for the locations of the abuse he had made up.

Two months later, Det Supt McDonald made his "credible and true" comment about the veracity of the fraudster's claims.

This was more than a year before the Met conducted a "challenge" interview in January 2016, where Beech was questioned over inconsistencies in his fanciful story.

During this interview at a Gloucester police station, Beech claimed he had a headache and said he was going home.

An ex-Met detective, who asked not to be named, said former colleagues had formally started their investigation before getting all of Beech's statement.

The source said: "Forces are more touchy-feely now and use Achieving Best Evidence interviews instead of getting a written statement.

"You have a first interview, a second interview then the corroborative challenge interview.

"The problem is you might have been listening to the fantasist talking crap for the last six weeks.

"What happened in this case is they got the first account and set the hounds racing.

"It's not until months later that they have finished the ABE process.

"Of course when they started to challenge him, it fell apart.

"By then they had already been raiding people's houses, ruining people's lives and costing us millions.

"The investigation should never have started until they finished that process, until they had a statement in their hand.

"Kenny McDonald should not have gone in front of the cameras and said it was 'credible and true' until they had completed that.

"Putting it in old-fashioned terms, they launched the inquiry from what they were told by a nutter at the front counter."

The former detective said the police did not want to put people off by giving them the impression that they were not being believed.

But he said genuine victims would be enraged by someone, like Beech, making false claims – and that a real survivor of sexual abuse would not be put off by the process.

He said: "It's a fallacy about dissuading people from coming forward – you won't, not genuine victims."

Former judge Sir Richard Henriques carried out a scathing review of Operation Midland and identified 43 key failings in his report, which has not been published in full.

After the trial, Mr Proctor said he was still to settle a claim against the Metropolitan Police, saying their raid cost his home and the job he loved, working for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

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Even with a cursory investigation the allegations could and should have been proved to be false. Iwould,nbot have taken much investigation to know that Sir Ted Heath's yacht,  in which Beech claimed he was raped in a double bed, did not have any beds but hammocks.  The boy killed deliberately in a fatal accident, there was no accident anywhere near the alleged location. The Sex parties at a swimming pool which Beech drew was actually from a film promoting Culture Club.  So many allegations were easy to be proved to be false. 

If the investigating officer's were intent on making a name and reputation for themselves well, they certainly did that.

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On 23/07/2019 at 13:21, Zulu 22 said:

Even with a cursory investigation the allegations could and should have been proved to be false. Iwould,nbot have taken much investigation to know that Sir Ted Heath's yacht,  in which Beech claimed he was raped in a double bed, did not have any beds but hammocks.  The boy killed deliberately in a fatal accident, there was no accident anywhere near the alleged location. The Sex parties at a swimming pool which Beech drew was actually from a film promoting Culture Club.  So many allegations were easy to be proved to be false. 

If the investigating officer's were intent on making a name and reputation for themselves well, they certainly did that.

Much of the coverage I’ve heard regarding this case is being viewed with the benefits of hindsight. The public or commentators are outraged that the police, CPS, public, press, politicians and any other interested party could not see that the allegations were false. Those same people were complaining or being vocal when the police were not taking complaints seriously. It’s easy to criticise with the benefit of hindsight.  

What is has shown for me is yet another example of how politicised policing has become and the desperate need to reverse the political influence in policing.  

 

Another important issue that must be addressed is the HMIC’s direction that all victims should be believed. I’m sure I’ve commented, debated, probably argued on here that whilst we should take allegations seriously we must act impartially in all aspects of policing. We police without fear of favour and all warranted officers took the oath to be impartial.  

Edited by Mac7
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One of the basics in investigating a crime - Visit the scene of the crime. That would/should have set alarm bells ringing.

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I agree with Mac. In future these serious allegations should be given to some retired cop who could easily make a better assessment as to their validity of the report from their armchair than some current PIP 3 accredited investigator with a team of detectives.   

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46 minutes ago, Reasonable Man said:

I agree with Mac. In future these serious allegations should be given to some retired cop who could easily make a better assessment as to their validity of the report from their armchair than some current PIP 3 accredited investigator with a team of detectives.   

I hear that with experience you can tell if someone is guilty when you just LOOK at a photo of them.

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12 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

One of the basics in investigating a crime - Visit the scene of the crime. That would/should have set alarm bells ringing.

Sounds dead simple until you realise Ted Heath owned five yachts all called Morning Cloud between the seventies and eighties, and two of them have sunk.

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12 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

One of the basics in investigating a crime - Visit the scene of the crime. That would/should have set alarm bells ringing.

We (I) don’t know that they didn’t do the basics.  Can anyone tell me that the investigating teams or SIO didn’t view the allegations with some degree of speculation, but outside influences or the environment that this was conducted in pressurised them to run with it? But you only discover allegations are false to this extent by conducting an investigation.  That’s what the Met did and it lead them to this result.  

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9 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:

I agree with Mac. In future these serious allegations should be given to some retired cop who could easily make a better assessment as to their validity of the report from their armchair than some current PIP 3 accredited investigator with a team of detectives.   

Perhaps the retired detective had the added benefit of being able to look at the report impartially without the added organisational, political and social pressure from high above to see a conviction. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Radman said:

Perhaps the retired detective had the added benefit of being able to look at the report impartially without the added organisational, political and social pressure from high above to see a conviction. 

 

 

No, the retired detective (and other officers) have the advantage of making a comment on a brief report about hundreds of hours of investigation that only points out why it was ultimately found out that the allegations were false. 

These ex cops who they roll out to comment are only there to feather their own nests. If they something controversial and slating the police they get asked back time and again. Bolsters their pensions. 

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The worst thing in an investigation is, to go in with tunnel vision. A huge mistake was at the beginning giving interviews supporting the allegation and, somewhat denigrating the accused, One golden rule is believe nothing until you can find proof, one way or the other and always asking "Why".

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45 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

The worst thing in an investigation is, to go in with tunnel vision. A huge mistake was at the beginning giving interviews supporting the allegation and, somewhat denigrating the accused, One golden rule is believe nothing until you can find proof, one way or the other and always asking "Why".

Non of this stems from working from a position of initially believing the victim, you still go through the lines of enquiry and challenge the evidence continually. If that evidence begins to cast doubt on the victims claim, then you continue to investigate that also, you don’t just ignore it and still believe them, no matter what the higher up intent is. 

Some of this is laziness, some is down to lack of resources, some is just a lack of common sense and another sign of political correctness gone mad.  Equality is very rarely equal and only applies when it suites the political agenda.

 

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Yet the investigators, from the start, gave interviews and made statements praising the voracity and courage of Beech. Good job they had not been interviewing Pinnoccio.

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