A Note on an Edward Heath Accuser

From the Surrey Mirror, last month (1):

An anguished pensioner who says he was repeatedly raped, beaten and humiliated at a children’s home now being investigated by the police is still tortured by the horrific memories six decades later.

James Reeves has been scarred by the abuse he says he endured during his time at Beechholme, the former Banstead “children’s village”, when he was just six years old.

…The pained pensioner is taking comfort from the current investigation by Surrey Police into alleged historic child abuse at Beechholme, where he claims there was “humiliation and violence all the time”.

Another Surrey Mirror article noted similar testimony from Graeme Sergeant, who runs a survivors’ group.

The article about Reeves also explains what happened after he left the care system:

Desperate to escape the care system which he feared so much, James began life on the streets at the age of 14.

To survive the teenager was forced to engage in sex work across London, preyed upon, he says, by exploitative older men.

…He eventually managed to work jobs driving mini-cabs and taxis, and took steps toward a normal life with his first marriage in 1973.

Without commenting in too much detail while a police investigation is under way, it certainly appears that Reeves’s life has been blighted by abuse and exploitation. We can only hope that he at least gets some justice in his latter years.

However, it cannot be ignored that Reeves is also a prolific accuser of VIPs and celebrities; on Twitter, he claims to have encountered various household names while engaging in sex work in London in the 1960s, and he also extrapolates allegations from details in news reports.

In particular, he claims that Edward Heath was known as “Uncle Eddie” to underage rent-boys on Hampstead Heath, and he has given an account to Wiltshire Police, which has been investigating historic sex abuse allegations against the former prime minister.

This involvement in a matter of public interest is why, reluctantly, I am obliged to write a little more about a man who is clearly vulnerable: Reeves is a significant figure in a social media milieu that promotes allegations against Heath and others (often with a sense of glee), and his engagement with Wiltshire Police (including a Twitter exchange with Chief Constable Mike Veale) raises concerns about how a major police inquiry has been conducted.

The main point is that his accounts of VIP abuse are not just extensive (Frank Carson and David Frost are also accused, along with people still living), but that they have grown over time. For example, here are some innocuous comments he made about the former Labour leader Michael Foot in 2015:

michael foot regular walker on hampstead heath? [link]

saw michael foot on hampstead heath too he was walking his dog [link]

i often saw michael foot mp walking his dog on hamstead heath,nothing wrong with that,yet heath sex abusing boys on the heath.UPROAR,WHY? [link]

In response to a query about whether Foot is “implicated” in child abuse, he responded “not sure so far he hasnt”.

Now, however, he writes:

i saw edward heath,and michael foot,at southend green one night [Link] they were together [Link]

Southend Green on the edge of Hampstead Heath in north London has a reputation for gay cruising; the gent’s toilets in particular is “infamous” – Joe Orton used the facility, and it was where George Michael was arrested in 2008.

Reeves’s statement may be slightly ambiguous, but he followed up by RTing a reply from someone else, that “may they rot in the bowels of hell the lot of them”. Thus we can be confident that Reeves wants us to infer that Edward Heath and Michael Foot were out cottaging together on Hampstead Heath, and in particular seeking to exploit underage sex workers. It is an astonishing claim – both men were already famous at the time, and they espoused very different politics. There is no indication that they socialised.

Tellingly, despite Reeves’s social media following, his supporters have not chosen to denounce Foot. Instead, the allegation has been passed over, and when I referred to the Tweets one of his associates asked me to provide “evidence” that Reeves had made such a claim. Well, the links are above.

His supporters, though, have stated that they in general believe whatever Reeves says, and they express the view that it is a moral imperative for anyone “decent” to do likewise; and given Reeves’s account of Beechholme, it is natural to want to be sympathetic.

However, the claim that Edward Heath and Michael Foot were roaming Hampstead Heath in the 1960s together looking for rent-boys is fantastical, and the way it has been introduced highly problematic. His claims against other VIPs are similarly either implausible or so vague as to be impossible to assess.

People can believe what they like; but that does not make factual difficulties disappear.

UPDATE: I’ve been reminded that Reeves very specifically claimed that:

heath,had a flat in the barbican london,where,underage,rent boys stayed,in the flat ,at nights,heath was a,a kerb craller,picking up boys [Link] heath had a flat in the barbican,where rent boys and runaways from care slept there,heath sex abused those boys,regulary [Link]

Heath did not in fact have a flat at the Barbican, and there were no residents there until 1968, when Reeves was in his 20s.

Reeves also states that “heath picked up boys from jackstraws castle public house,car park,i witnessed it i was in the car park”.  The original Jack Straw’s Castle pub was destroyed in the Second World War; a new pub was built on the site in 1964, although it was made to look older (it superficially appears Victorian). Reeves would have been 18 years old at that time.

Footnote

(1) The Surrey Mirror website since been reorganised as Get Surrey. The story quoted above, though, has not been carried across to the new site.

18 Responses

  1. You have just done what you are accusing someone else of doing, using innuendo. You can’t be an ‘underage’ sex-worker, or an ‘underage’ rent-boy. If you are ‘underage’ then you are being used, and are a victim of exploitation?

    Again, you said that two politicians were said to be seen on Southend Green, which you say has ‘has a reputation for gay cruising; the gent’s toilet, in particular, is “infamous” – Joe Orton used the facility, and it was where George Michael was arrested in 2008.’

    I think the implication there might be that one politician must have known what the other was doing there. One had a dog, the other didn’t. The inference is not that both were out looking for sex, but that one knew what the other was up, and by not reporting it at the time gave tacit approval?

    I remember when Bernard Levin was attacked in the early hours of the morning in Holland walk a famous gay cruising area in Holland Park, Kensington. No mention was made of why Levin was walking there at that time, but most people surmised that something was not quite right,

    • I think your response shows the incredible dangers of gossip and innuendo and how complete falsehoods can be perpetuated.

      Bernard Levin was not mugged in Holland Park, it was the broadcaster Sir Robin Day who lived nearby the walk. The story was a sensation at the time and featured in every tabloid and Sir Robin said it was his habit to talk a “constitutional” walk every night and was thus mugged near the infamous ‘beat’ and had his wallet stolen.

      I can imagine Michael Foot who lived opposite the Heath and did take his dog for a walk each day- famously as he often allowed journalists to accompany him for interviews and as he said at the time he was always very relaxed on these occasions and enjoyed being able to answer questions easily – probably looked like any older gent particularly in the very ordinary way he dressed. Easily mistaken for someone else and visa versa.

      The very notion that Edward Heath, one of Britain’s most famous faces most of his life could ‘cottage’ on Hampstead Heath is utterly fantastical given he not only had fierce enemies in his own party but the Daily Mirror would have been on the Heath like a shot with cameras to record such shenanigans. Let alone any other British tabloid, Tory supporting or not.

      And as a person who worked for many Fleet Street newspapers in the late 1970s/80s doing investigative work which also included requests that any dirt that could be found on any politician or a celebrity was dynamite, Hampstead Heath was often discussed among newsrooms given the ‘gay beat’ there at the time. The Heath was not a ‘beat’ that so-called ‘rent-boys’. There was no reason for them to go there as the men who inhabited the beat were not the ones who expected to pay for sex.

      Piccadilly Circus and the West End with it’s myriad of small bars & clubs were the only place ‘rent-boys’ frequented because that’s where the customers went and if a newcomer appeared on the scene they were immediately snapped up by an old renter seeing an advantage in being able to hawk a younger face around the West End.

      This man making claims about Hampstead Heath can only be a fantasist. The sad fact is the Wiltshire top copper appears to be a hard-core Christian Evangelical who like many who are homophobic, have replaced their hatred of closeted and non acting gays like Ted Heath with a passion to root our alleged Satanic VIPs etc etc.

  2. If you are ‘underage’ then you are being used, and are a victim of exploitation?

    Yes, and the phrase “underage sex worker” is meant to convey the nature of that exploitation. I had hoped that was clear.

    The inference is not that both were out looking for sex, but that one knew what the other was up, and by not reporting it at the time gave tacit approval?

    So the idea is that Foot just happened to bump into Edward Heath on the Heath and they stopped for a chat, or at least to exchange civilities – and Reeves just happened to see it. That’s not what Reeves is saying, but if that is what is meant, the basic problem remains that Reeves did not link Foot to Edward Heath in 2015, which is very odd when we compare his comments then and now.

    • His claims grow over time.

      The very notion that Ted Heath walked on the Heath is so ridiculous given that half the Conservative Party would have loved to have found any reason to remove him as PM let alone the Labour Party that had it’s own crew to dig out dirt on any politician.

      People making these claims show an amazing naivety for the times but given they were young and basically unsophisticated it figures.
      The police were as political as any other body in the UK. If Ted Heath had done a fraction of what he claims the Special Branch would have ensured word got to the right people in order to remove Heath.

      I am amazed that the public still do not understand how very vicious various British police forces have been in the past.
      While I am and always have been a Labour supporter, the police irrationally hated the Conservatives for decades. It was a class thing. Any chance to nab a Tory (or a pop star) was a burning ambition. It’s disgraceful how this whole VIP Satanist child murdering claptrap has been driven by Labour supporters and MPs.

      • I don’t know about the police but the cabal of right-wing nutters that then held some sway in MI5 hated Heath because they thought he was a wet who was too soft on the unions. They spread false rumours about his cottaging and other supposed gay exploits Some of these ancient stories surfaced in the media in pristine condition when the latest scandal broke. Heath is another example of the process by which homosexual slurs have mutated into paedophile ones as the former lost their shock value.

  3. Foot may well have been on the Heath walking his dog, he lived near the Heath, and did have a dog, But Ted did not own a dog, and did not live near the Heath. Both men were seen talking near a notorious cottaging toilet on Southend Green.

    That implicates Ted, as he was also seen in other parts of the Heath which were also cruising areas but as was said it is unknown if Foot was also cruising, but he must have known what Ted was up to?

    • You are talking utter bollox and need to be called on it. Present your proof of who walked on Hampstead Heath and provide evidence apart from your innuendo.

  4. If it was a ‘burning ambition’ to nab a Tory then they didn’t do very well at it. Teddy Taylor, Rhodes Boyson, to name but two.

    • Perhaps they are innocent. I have asked you to present your evidence of the claims you are alleging and alluding to.
      As you have been exposed for getting the wrong victim of a mugging even while you alluded to the fact that it happened on a ‘gay beat’ how can anything you say be taken seriously?.
      Imagine if both men were alive and you claimed to a be a witness when you can’t even tell the difference between Bernard Levin & Robin Day?. You should be ashamed but no doubt you are not and will continue to mischievously & anonymously spread falsehoods like a complete coward.

      • You are the one making.claims, I was not there, I did not see these people. Others are saying they did see these people. Unless you are saying that no one should be allowed to say, ‘what they saw’?

        That indeed would make investigations, court cases impossible to conduct?

  5. Not uncommon for some men who were exploited on the ‘rent boy’ scene to make allegations against innocent people e.g. care workers, politicians etc. False memory? Revenge on system or family? Financial gain?

  6. “Hello Ted, you right wing asshole, What are you doing around here then. This is not in your patch.”
    “Hello Michael, you left wing prat. I’m thinking about buying a cottage hereabouts (but I’d like to keep it a secret so I’ll hide if I see you coming)”
    “You didn’t hide well enough then because James Reeves is over there watching us”
    “Oh dear, I didn’t see him. Back into the closet!”

    I will accept that Edward Heath was gay (without proof) but I won’t accept that he was a paedophile. Michael Foot? You know my politics, I’d love to think that he was a “raging poofter” (as we used to say) but I never heard anything against him on that score.

    In both cases – innocent.

  7. Reeves is a dangerous fantasist and a liar. I remember him accusing somebody on Twitter that he was the child killer Howard Hughes. It’s crazy shit like that what gets people beaten up or worse. Reeves should be ashamed of himself and anyone who believes him is as big a fool as he is

  8. Does anyone else find it odd that Reeves did not think to mention Ted Heath (or Michael Foot) or even Leon Brittan when he first put his story of childhood abuse online a few years ago

    http://www.charliefoulkes.co.uk/truth/pdfs/james-reeves.pdf

    • Reeves’ tall tales have evolved over time, with no mention in his earlier tweets of what he was to go on to claim. A search on Twitter of relevant search terms reveals this and the point at which his claims became more outlandish, depending on who he was in contact with at the time.

      Reeves claims to have seen Ted Heath at Hampstead Heath in 1962. Is this when he also saw Heath with Michael Foot?

      Unless Foot had a previous dog that he also walked on Hampstead Heath at the time, Heath was known to walk his dog “Dizzy” there from 1983 to 1998. So was it post-1983 that Reeves claims he saw Heath and Foot together?

      It beggars belief that the only person to have seen two of the most famous and recognisable faces in Britain walking together at that time on the heath was James Reeves. Reeves, born in 1946, was between the ages of 37 and 52 then too, so what exactly was Reeves doing on the heath?

      It’s complete garbage, and I hope Wilts Police had sense to realise that’s what it is and have filed Reeves’ claims in the bogus file in their report. therwise Reeves alone will make an absolute mockery of the whole thing.

  9. I do not know whether Mr Reeves’ innuendo about Sir Edward Heath and Mr Michael Foot and Hampstead Heath is correct although my opinion, having known both of them, is that it is patently false.

    However, what I do know is that for a number of years Reeves has told a pack of complete lies about me on the internet the latest being to connect me to Sir David Frost, who, to the best of my knowledge, I never met.

    Reeves’ mistake is telling lies about someone who is alive and who can answer back. He is a fantasist and Wiltshire Police should take that into account on any weight they might wish to give to his “evidence” under Operation Conifer.I have held back from commenting on his lies because I know it can give oxygen to their pretentions but getting history right is far more important than fluffing up his ego.

    I am unsure whether Wiltshire Police place Reeves into the category of “fantasist” or “third party witness”. In any event, his testimony should be treated by Wiltshire Police with derision as should those of the satanic sisters, “Nick” and the majority of these who came forward claiming to be “victims and survivors”

    Unfortunately Wiltshire Police are hung on the College of Policing’s line that “victims” should be automatically believed. Chief Constables Veale and Bailey have a common agenda. So their Summary Closure Report on Operation Conifer will be more PR gloss than substance, more police self-justification than intelligent thought.

    • FWIW I believe Reeves is a vulnerable adult who has had ideas planted in his head by nefarious individuals scheming behind the scenes. Whether he is an outright fantasist or just exceptionally gullible, those schemers are using him for their own ends.

      If nothing else it’s highlighted how sick and twisted those individuals are in using someone like him for that purpose. He clearly has Mental Health problems of his own and has recently been back in hospital, during his stay in hospital those schemers were still plotting online.

      There is an immense amount of evidence available to support my supposition of it being planned and co-ordinated and there are distinct individuals involved. One of whom even allegedly published “Nick”‘s alleged real identity last night on Twitter, if that is true then it’s a criminal offence in itself.

      They don’t care though what they do to hurt, use and abuse people. It’s high time the police woke up to their sick, twisted games but whilst Bailey etc promote the “believe the victim” policies (the Met for one have that as a written part of frontline policy) then there will always be room for the police to be manipulated by liars and frauds.

      Any good investigator should be asking the questions whether the allegations COULD be false right from the start or whether there is sufficient evidence supporting. It should not take months on end or years to resolve that issue, the “believe the victim” formal policy pollutes that into the accused having to prove their innocence and in itself that policy is also directly in conflict with the police oath that each officer takes when taking office.

  10. […] on Richard Bartholomew’s site, I posted a comment regarding the Edward Heath allegations and James Reeves alleged […]

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