From the Telegraph:
The Metropolitan Police faced fresh questions over the aborted VIP paedophile inquiry last night after “preposterous” evidence from its chief witness was made public.
…A summary of the allegations Nick made against Lord Janner, who he claimed was part of the VIP ring, have been made public by the deceased peer’s family. They describe the supposed evidence as “preposterous”.
…The evidence shows how vague Nick’s claims were and reveals how he only named Lord Janner after being shown his photograph by a journalist working for Exaro, a news website that has been widely discredited for its role in promoting Nick’s false claims. Exaro has since been shut down by its owner.
Daniel Janner QC said in a statement last night “…I believe that Nick should be prosecuted for attempting to pervert the course of justice.”
Nick’s account of Janner was published by Exaro in April 2015:
An abuse survivor, known as “Nick” to protect his identity [see footnote below – RB], said that Janner sexually assaulted him at several unidentified venues in London between 1979 and 1982. Asked how Janner abused him. Nick said: “Everything, including rape.”
The Met’s operation [Operation Midland – RB] has been running in parallel with a police investigation in Leicestershire into allegations that Janner had sexually abused boys at children’s homes in the county.
…Nick said that, as a boy, he did not know Janner’s identity. He identified Janner as one of his abusers in June  after seeing the Labour peer’s picture in a newspaper.
If the Telegraph article is correct, then, Nick saw “the Labour peer’s picture in a newspaper” because Exaro showed it to him. That puts a rather different light on Nick’s identification.
Nick originally made a police complaint in 2012 that he had been sexually abused by his late step-father in the 1970s and 1980s. He was advised that given that the step-father was now deceased, nothing could be done, at which point Nick added that his step-father had handed him around to members of a gang, apparently at a military base but also at other locations.
After allegations against the late Jimmy Savile appeared in the mainstream media, Nick then claimed that he had also been abused by Savile at paedophile orgies. Nick also went on to accuse various politicians, recycling old allegations that had been floating around on the internet for years. The provenance for some of these old claims was not encouraging: we know that in the 1980s anti-Semitic elements in the security services had smeared Leon Brittan, and that a “dossier” of allegations had been prepared by a faction within the right-wing Monday Club to use against internal opponents. Some claims had been published in the 1990s by Scallywag, a scurrilous gossip magazine that had also carried false allegations against Lord McAlpine.
On the other hand, though, some claims have been extrapolated from known facts: in the 1970s it was discovered that the diplomat and MI5 operative Peter Hayman was a member of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange; in 1987, the MP Harvey Proctor was convicted of gross indecency for sex with male prostitutes who were under the age of 21, in circumstances that involved “spanking” (he was convicted even though he had specifically asked them their ages, and they had told him they were 21); and in 1991 Greville Janner was accused of child sex abuse in Leicester during the Frank Beck trial. Other allegations have since been made against Janner.
Nick brought all these strands together into a unified narrative of “VIP sex abuse” that was gothic in its extravagance: he claimed to have suffered not just sex abuse, but to have been subjected to bizarre and ritualistic forms of torture, and even to have witnessed child murders at the hands of politicians. He also said that a school-friend had been run down by a car in front of him in Kingston-on-Thames, as a warning.
In August 2015, Harvey Proctor gave a press conference in which he revealed that one allegation against him was that he had attempted to castrate Nick at an orgy, but that another orgiast had intervened: none other than former Prime Minister Ted Heath. This detail was so preposterous that it was hard to believe that the police had taken such a claim at face value – and we can only conclude that Exaro had not published it because the site knew that it seriously undermined Nick’s credibility. Then came a Panorama investigation which revealed that there were no records or memories to corroborate the story of the boy being run over in Kingston-on-Thames.
Nick’s allegations caused great harm to innocent people and great expense to the Metropolitan Police, who ended their investigation in March. Proctor, who had been living quietly since the events of 1987, had to resign from his job and he left the country to escape the mob; Lord Bramall, the former head of the British Army, endured a police raid while caring for his wife, who was in the last stages of dementia; and the claims also angered the relatives of Maurice Oldfield, the former head of MI6. Nick’s step-father’s relatives have also protested that Nick’s allegations are untrue, and Nick’s ex-wife has described him as “a fantasist trying to cash in”
Allegations against Janner are currently a strand of the Government’s inquiry into child abuse, as I recently discussed here. However, Nick’s claims will not be considered. Exaro wrote in relation to police investigation into Janner:
Leicestershire Police was aware of Nick’s allegations, but did not include them with Operation Enamel, which already had a lot of witness testimony.
The idea that Nick was excluded because he was surplus to requirements does not convince. We now know that Leicestershire Police took a statement from the historian Gavin Littaur, who says that Janner made a gay pass at him when he was young adult – a claim that is rather more tangential than the sensational allegation that Janner was involved with organised child-sex abuse in London. It seems to me more likely that Leicestershire Police and the inquiry are ignoring Nick because his unique and fantastical claims muddy the water.
Should Nick be prosecuted for attempting to pervert the course of justice? By his own account, he has been under the care a therapist, and it seems to me that he may have been subjected to the same kinds of “recovered memory” techniques that were used on Carol Felstead, with tragic consequences.
However, there is one detail that suggests Nick has been deliberately deceptive. In February, it was reported in the Guardian that
Nick correctly described the interior of a military premises in southern England, where he claimed abuse had taken place. The details he provided were not publicly available, and the premises itself is not open to the public, making it likely he had been there at some stage, police concluded.
The problem here is that Nick used to post details about his alleged abuse and its effects on his later life on a blog, which he took down as his claims came under increasing media scrutiny. That blog included an account of having visited the military premises as a tourist during an open day in 2013. As I wrote in February, it is very difficult to escape the conclusion that Nick impressed the police with a childhood memory of a non-public location that he had actually visited just a year or so before. The very reasonable suspicion that follows from this is that Nick is not just a fantasist, but an actual hoaxer.
Nick’s identity is protected by law; the publication of some personal details and a very poor attempt at pixellation by the Daily Mail led to the paper being fined in May.
Exaro alleged that Nick’s name was leaked by the police to Panorama, and it reported in October that
Police are investigating a senior detective who is a confidential source for BBC1’s Panorama over the leaking of secret identities of complainants in abuse cases.
This implies that the the police accept that a leak has indeed occurred, although it seems more accurate to say that the police are investigating an allegation of a leak. However, Nick appeared in silhouette in a documentary about Jimmy Savile before he made contact with Exaro, and so it seems likely that his name is generally known among media professionals. Also, writings by Nick formerly available on the internet have meant that he has to some extent outed himself.
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