“VIP Child Sex and Murder” Accusers Profiled

“As a sign of respect (they said) I had to wear a poppy. So they would pin one directly to my chest and hurt me badly”

The Daily Mail and the Sunday Telegraph have published remarkable background pieces on “Nick” and “Darren”, the two anonymous “VIP child sex and murder” accusers who for the best part of the last year have provided a seemingly never-ending stream of sensational copy for the internet news agency Exaro News. In the case of Nick, his allegations led earlier this year to police raids on the homes of Lord Bramall, the former MP Harvey Proctor, and the late Leon Brittan. Exaro has invested heavily in Nick, and given that Nick only talks to other news sources with Exaro‘s approval, it is reasonable to describe the agency as his media handler.

Nick in the Daily Mail

The Mail‘s piece on Nick comes in the wake of an article the paper published a couple of weeks ago, headlined as “VIP Child Abuse Inquiry is Starting to Unravel”, which I discussed here.

According to the reporters, the new article is based on material from sources “including his lurid accounts on the internet and leaked police documents.” These “lurid accounts” were posted under a different name and have for the most part recently been removed, but they show how Nick’s allegations have grown over the years – and that Exaro has failed to report certain fantastical elements from his story.

I do, however, have a caveat: sex abuse complainants have a legal right to anonymity in the UK, and it looks to me that this article pushes the envelope somewhat. Anyone who knows the man would recognise him in an instant, both from incidental personal details and from the minimal pixellation on his face in one picture, which is little more than a vague blur. As such, I’m not providing a direct link for the time being.

The main points, though, are as follows:

1. Nick’s first allegations concerned a relative, and they were not investigated because the man was already dead. Nick then alleged that the relative had passed him to a paedophile ring. However, only later did he come to claim that the ring included VIPs, and only later still did he come to allege at first one, and then three, murders.

The report says that Nick first approached the police in 2012; it was later the same year that

Tom Watson made an extraordinary speech in the Commons asking David Cameron about claims of a ‘powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10’.

…One of the people who supplied Watson with intelligence and information was a former child protection officer called Peter McKelvie. In the aftermath of Mr Watson’s barnstorming performance in the House, Mr McKelvie spotted a tweet from a possible victim which read: ‘I was abused by the gang.’

The report also states that “allegedly, Jimmy Savile, predominantly a lone predator with a preference for girls, not boys, also attended the sex parties”. Although not mentioned in the article, Nick had expanded on this in a television documentary about Jimmy Savile that was broadcast in the summer of 2014. The programme stated that Nick (appearing under a different pseudonym) had first contacted police in the wake of the first posthumous allegations against Savile – which was a few weeks prior to Watson’s speech. [1])

2. Nick claims that one of the boys who was murdered was his friend, but “it appears he has been unable to tell police who he is.” In the case of another boy, who was run down by a car in Kingston upon Thames as a warning: “We could find no contemporary newspaper article about it. Nor, evidently, can police.”

3. Nick claims to have been taken to France in a private plane, where he was abused by Saudi royals in Paris.

4. Nick claims that he was subjected to bizarre ritualistic torture at the hands of soldiers:

‘I know poppies are a symbol of respect for those that have lost their lives during wars, however for me, they lost their meaning once the soldiers that hurt me physically pinned them to my bare skin.

‘I see poppies as a symbol of their hatred towards me. As a sign of respect (they said) I had to wear a poppy. So they would pin one directly to my chest and hurt me badly.

‘Once one was done, the next would unpin the poppy and move it to another part of my chest and do the same. They would all take turns until they had all had enough. The pain from the pin was nothing compared to the other pain, but it added to the humiliation.’

This seems to be a “secular” variant on Satanic Ritual Abuse; just as SRA accusations involve perverse distortions of Christian practices, here a benign and commonplace ritual of social memory is twisted in a grotesque and horrible way.

Perhaps this particular story was not told to Exaro, but it’s also possible that Exaro knew of it but decided not to publish it. We do know, for instance, that Exaro chose not to run an incredible story in which Nick was rescued from castration at a sex party by the intervention of former Prime Minister Ted Heath [2].

5. Nick has been in therapy. The fact that his claims have become increasingly extravagant during this time ought to raise alarm bells: could Nick have been subjected to the same sort of pseudo-therapy that blighted the last days of the late Carol Felstead? Felstead was brought to believe that she had been raped with a claw hammer in Conservative Central Office, among other things.

Darren and the Sunday Telegraph

It was recently reported that police have closed another investigation involving a supposed “survivor” promoted by Exaro: this is “Darren”, who in August 2014 featured on the BBC News website under the name of “Michael”. According to the BBC report:

His account of abuse spans several years at different locations. On the surface these episodes of abuse might appear unrelated, but Michael believes they were connected in that an abuser who knew an abuser knew an abuser.

…In 1992 he was moved to the Stowmarket home of a single male foster carer where he was to remain for about six months.

The abuse started on the fourth night and escalated, says Michael, from being asked to perform sex acts (to then being told he was dirty and threatened about reporting the abuse) to rape.

Michael was taken on “trips away” to Plymouth, Portsmouth, Wrexham, Cornwall and Islington, where he would be expected to perform sex acts for other abusers.

…On leaving Stowmarket, Michael describes living in “slave” conditions on a country estate in Suffolk where he came into contact with the now dead Peter Righton, a consultant to the National Children’s Bureau who was eventually unmasked as a paedophile. Righton repeatedly sexually abused him, Michael claims.

The report also notes that the foster carer was later “convicted of sexually abusing another boy”.

As with Nick’s earliest accounts, the report is significant for what is missing. There is no reference to Dolphin Square (where in January he said saw a girl being taken into another room to be killed), or to a murder that appears in an account that Darren later gave to Exaro, in which Righton supposedly forced Darren to tie a man with Down’s syndrome to two cars, which then reversed away from each other.

Doubts appeared in the Sunday Times last week:

Darren… claimed to have fallen into the hands of the VIP paedophile ring at the age of 15 when he undertook work experience at Thornham Magna estate in Suffolk.

At the time, he said, the known paedophile Peter Righton was renting a house on the estate after his conviction for possessing child pornography in 1992.

He claimed Righton was involved in the killing of a man in his thirties on the estate and that he knew of a girl who had died during a VIP paedophile party at the Dolphin Square apartment block in Westminster where Righton took him on a number of occasions in 1993.

But Suffolk police have investigated all the claims and found no evidence to support his account. In fact, police sources say Darren had never come into contact with Righton or worked at the estate when Righton lived there.

That last paragraph makes it clear that one of Darren’s claims is not just “unsubstantiated”, but has actually been rejected as false.

Exaro, however, has preferred to highlight Darren’s explanation for the end of the investigation, which is that it came to a premature conclusion because the police had referred his child to social services and he had therefore decided to withdraw cooperation (as noted below, he also has other criticisms of the police) [3]. However, the referral did not lead to the child being taken into care or any other intervention. It seems odd that a police force that thought Darren’s account might be true would be willing to allow a man who had claimed to have been an accessory to murder – albeit unwillingly – to walk away.

Now, however, the Sunday Telegraph has some further background:

* Darren had been previously sentenced to two years in jail for making hoax bomb calls, nuisance and threatening calls about neighbours and criminal damage

* he falsely confessed to the murder of a prostitute in the midst of a high profile police manhunt in the 1990s

* a judge accused him of telling “some pretty whopping lies” at the conclusion of a court case 15 years ago

Like the BBC piece, the article confirms that Darren was indeed placed with a foster carer who had committed abuse, and it explains that as a result he was “diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder”. The detail about his false confession sheds more context on a detail in the BBC report, that he “was arrested on suspicion of rape and murder in 1994 – he was found to have had nothing to do with either crime” [4].

The Telegraph piece also includes a response from Exaro:

Mark Watts, Exaro’s editor-in-chief, said: “Darren certainly had a troubled start to his life, as is often – although not always – true for survivors of child sex abuse, but you have been badly misinformed about his past.

“We cannot go into any detail about his past because we cannot say anything that could help to identify a confidential source, especially a vulnerable witness.”

On Twitter, Exaro is currently claiming that Darren is being “smeared by dubious sources”; there is not even a token attempt at critical distance from promoting Darren’s claims as fact. A few months ago, Darren was alleging on Twitter that “Senior management from @SuffolkPolice have ordered a cover up of my allegations and set out from the beginning to discredit all survivors” and “that @SuffolkPolice management approached my employers and told them I unsuitable to work there”.

So are we to believe that Darren’s history of erratic behaviour and disconnection from reality has simply been made up as part of the conspiracy? That would be a sensational story. But in the case of Nick, Exaro has batted away criticism by repeatedly citing the police view (expressed by  Det Supt Kenny McDonald last December) that his story is “credible and true”; yet in this instance we are supposed to believe that the police are rotten and corrupt. And where does all this background leave a claim that appeared in the Mirror in January, that “he lives in hiding, fearing for his own life”?

Exaro really needs to explain itself a bit better than this. As with some of Nick’s more lurid claims, it appears that the news agency has decided not to report details that are central for assessing the credibility of its source [5].

Context

“VIP abuse” claims have come under increasing critical scrutiny in recent weeks, as published allegations have become increasingly fantastical, and in the wake of Proctor’s press conference. However, most articles have been commentary pieces that simply discussed material already in the public domain, or updates on the police investigations (Operations Midland and Milipond) based on information from police sources (either on-the-record statements or “leaks”). The new articles today [6] are the first time that Nick and Darren themselves have been subjected to journalistic investigation.

The papers’ decision to run critical pieces may also have been prompted by the recent rise of Tom Watson to Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and the Mail article in particular is unable to resist getting in a few digs. I think that Watson ought to have been more circumspect when he decided to involve himself in publicising individuals’ claims, although it should be noted that these were not the basis on which he raised the question of VIP sex abuse in parliament in 2012.

It should also be remembered that Watson wasn’t the only one to be impressed by Exaro‘s alleged “survivors” : earlier this year John Mann MP was boasting about having a list of names that he had passed to police, and he suggested that the raid on Proctor’s home would be “the first of many” investigations.

The Mail also highlights Exaro‘s “close links to Labour”, but it should be recalled that the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has not been hesitant in making paedophile allegations against a senior Labour figure (not named publicly, although it’s obvious who he’s getting at).

Footnotes

[1] The documentary also included included input from Guy Marsden, who is Jimmy Savile’s nephew. Marsden claims he saw his uncle at paedophile sex parties in the late 1960s and 1970s, and that although he himself was not touched, his friends were abused. However, it should be noted that (a) Marsden did not mention any of this until after Savile’s reputation had been destroyed – before then, he had only praise for his late his uncle; (b) in August this year, Marsden suddenly revealed that Ted Heath had also been in attendance. This came just days after other allegations against Heath had appeared in the media. Further background here.

[2] Nick also claims to have to have been abused by Lord Janner. However, although Janner is soon to face a “trial of the facts” relating to allegations by other complainants, Nick’s accusations will not feature in this, and he’s the only one linking Janner to organised “VIP abuse” in London.

[3] There is a video of an event recorded last year featuring a man from Suffolk who claims to have been trafficked to London. His story is very similar to that of “Darren”, although no murders are mentioned. The man, who gives a different name in the video, claims that police falsely suggested he had a mental health problem and had referred him to social services ahead of the birth of his son. However, his dating would place the rupture with police as having been in August 2014 rather than more recently.

[4] The article also states, rather oddly, that “The Telegraph is aware of Darren’s real identity but has chosen not to name him over fears he remains vulnerable.” Well, that and the fact that it would be illegal to do so (unless he has waived it somewhere).

[5] A third source working with Exaro is Esther Baker, who has waived her legal right to anonymity. Baker claims to have been abused in the Midlands, although she also says that Darren’s account of a supposed “medical room” in Dolphin Square where torture took place led her to realise that she had also been abused there. In turn, Darren has reportedly identified Baker from a photograph (Exaro‘s David Hencke has reported both claims regarding the Baker/Darren corroboration, but for some reason they don’t appear together in the same article anywhere, at least so far as I can see).

[6] The Sunday Telegraph article was published on Saturday evening.

(Updated)

2 Responses

  1. Could be an intel psyop to discredit genuine cases which we know does happen – to protect the “higher ups”

  2. Hallelujah! Praise the Gods – whomever or whatever you perceive them to be!

    The ice has been broken, the self-imposed social straight-jacket of guilt-driven deference to a fraudulent CSA “survivors and whistleblowers” lobby has been breached.

    After several years of universal uncritical acceptance of, and indignant professed belief in, whatever claims and accusations that self-identifed CSA survivors & whistleblowers cared to make – however unsubstantiated, defamatory, fantastical or irrational those statements were – UK journalists have finally recovered the cajones to conduct and report independent fact verification about some CSA accusers, their accusations and their handler-promoters. I honestly feared such a day would never come again, at times, from the start of the Jimmy Savile skeptics inquisition.

    I think what the Mail has done is morally defensible, if perhaps skirting legally defensible. If Exaro can publicly dangle information about accused persons that clearly suggests their identifies, and then claim the moral high-ground because they didn’t actually publish their name, then it is morally justifiable for the mail to skate as close as possible to violating the letter of the law with respect to the anonymity of Nick and Darren.

    HOW COULD your citizenry have surrendered the most fundamental and critical of all legal rights – the right to face/know your accuser? The principle that no person should ever be arrested on the basis of anonymous accusations or face conviction on the basis of anonymous testimony?

    Publication bans on the identity of sex crimes accusers might be reasonable, but for the accused themselves to be denied the right to know who has accused them is OUTRAGEOUS. And your law actually goes much further, to the most extreme, “bizarro world” interpretation of victim claimant protection. The accused cannot know the identity of his accuser even after the conclusion of the trial, not if he is convicted, not even if he is acquitted and exonerated. If the accusation is withdrawn, or no evidence can be found to support it, even if it is found to be entirely baseless and without merit – the accused can never know the identity of the accuser? This is insanity.

    How carefully, craftily and fervently you all must have been ‘groomed’ by the lobby that brought this anonymity law into being. Perhaps your nationis finally waking to how baldly they screwed you all, as well.

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