Mark Williams-Thomas Issues Statement After Judge References Alleged “Attempts to Gain Financial Advantage from Selling Details”

I return to a Daily Mail report that I discussed in my previous blog entry, concerning the former police officer-turned-journalist Mark Williams-Thomas:

Yesterday his professional reputation was called into question after Judge Deborah Taylor delivered a withering assessment of his previous work for Surrey Police on the [Jonathan] King case. before he left the force in October 2000 Mr Williams-Thomas was the detective who interviewed the first man to accuse King of sexual assault. He [i.e. Williams-Thomas] was subsequently accused – and acquitted – of blackmail in an unrelated case.

Yesterday the judge said: ‘During the investigation into that offence a document was found on his computer offering for sale names and introductions to victims of Mr King.

‘There was also information that prior to Mr King’s arrest, Williams-Thomas said that he had been provided by a journalist with information about King. Williams-Thomas left taking his contemporaneous notebooks of his involvement with inquiries into Mr King with him.

‘No attempts had been made to obtain them, although it is the Crown’s position that he should not have taken them with him as they were the property of Surrey Police.’

The judge added that it had been suggested ‘there was deliberate concealment of his previous prosecution and of the documents indicating attempts to gain financial advantage from selling details of Mr King’s case’. Yesterday Mr Williams-Thomas denied ever knowing the victims’ identities, or offering them for sale.

Curiously, the article was bylined (online at least – I haven’t seen the print version) to a generic “Daily Mail Crime Correspondent” rather than to the paper’s usual crime correspondent Rebecca Camber; perhaps she was unable to write the piece herself for some reason, but given Williams-Thomas’s dealings with journalists over the years an anonymous article suggests to me a lack of transparency.

As I noted previously, the article fails to make clear that the blackmail investigation, which was undertaken by Sussex Police, was resolved as long ago as 2003.  Matthew Scott, who has seen Judge Taylor’s judgment, says that it conveys that the information about the document allegedly offering to sell details “came into the hands of Surrey Police’s Anti-Corruption Unit in 2014”; it’s not clear how this came to be the case so many years later, but this was the same year in which Merseyside Police conducted a review of Surrey Police’s original investigation into King that had led to his 2001 conviction.

As a result of the review, King was rearrested in 2015 and subjected to police surveillance, which did not yield any new evidence. New historic charges were brought last year, which came to trial in June this year. The new trial collapsed when the judge determined that there had been disclosure failures: from the above, it seems that these failures primarily relate to problems with evidence gathered ahead of the 2001 trial and to the findings of the 2014 review, although the pointless surveillance from 2015 indicates that the new investigation was not a model of detective work either.

Williams-Thomas has now responded to the news, via a statement uploaded as an image to his Facebook page. This format makes the statement difficult to find and to quote from; and its nature is such that a summary would fail to convey the rhetorical strategies employed and its peculiarly diffuse style. I therefore provide here a full transcript, in the public interest:

For the first time on Monday of this week, I was made aware that my name has been mentioned in a ruling by HHJ Deborah Taylor in the case against Kenneth King (aka Johnathan [sic] King) at Southwark Crown Court. Neither the Police or Crown Prosecution Service had at any stage during Mr King’s case contacted me about such matters (both have known about such matters for 15 years), and neither has done so since. It follows that I have never been asked anything to date about the allegations made against me as set out in the Judgement and have therefore not been given any opportunity to defend myself and provide an explanation or account.

Following the ruling, I immediately wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Surrey Police Professional Standards to seek clarification of the matters referred to by the Judge.

I would have expected the Police and Prosecution to have spoken with me about the issues concerned. I would like to set out my response to what has been recorded in open court and to what has been subsequently reported, and I do so without having had sight of any material apparently referred to as being held by the Police and Prosecution.

I took a statement from the first complainant to record a complaint against Mr King. Prior to that I had received some information from a well-connected writer (who lived on my force area) regarding Mr King and that information was submitted in full to the forces intelligence bureau and also to the then National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).

Sometime later Max Clifford contacted Surrey Police to advise them that he was speaking with a male who was making allegations against Mr King. The Head of CID at that time saw that I had previously submitted information about Mr King and given my role at the time, I was asked to obtain a statement from the complainant. This male is the only complainant I had contact with at the time. I counter signed the statement as the taker as I would have done with any statement, therefore making me a witness in the case. His name was obviously known to me.

I have received apparent criticism for taking this statement, and I regard this criticism as unfair. The statement was taken from someone who was making an allegation against another. Given the nature of the complaint being made, a statement had to be taken. I had been asked to do so, and I simply did what was requested. The content of that statement is a matter of evidence, and the evidential value of it was always going to be considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. I simply recorded what I was told by the witness. If the circumstances of the taking of the statement was something that Mr King and his legal team looked to challenge, then I would have expected to have been contacted. Again, I was not.

Another matter that was the subject of judicial comment related to my pocket note-books. When I left the Police Force, I left with an exemplary record. At the point of leaving, I asked what I should do with my pocket note books. I was advised that the practice was for officers to keep them. This is exactly what I did.

When I left the police force, I became an investigative journalist, my current job today. As such, I am in regular contact with other journalists and also police officers. My determined work as an investigative reporter, often against overwhelming criticism, allowed me to finally expose the high-profile celebrity Jimmy Savile, where many other before had failed. Having done so, I worked closely with the Metropolitan Police Service and Operation Yewtree to secure evidence against many other offenders, including the high-profile sex offenders Rolf Harris and Max Clifford.

I am also aware form [sic] the judgement that there exists a document and that the content of that document was considered both in 2003 and in 2014 by Sussex and Surrey Police respectively. After two investigations, no action was taken against me. It must follow that no offences were disclosed. I am in regular contact with victims of all types or crimes, including those of a sexual nature. I pride myself on my ability to protect victims of such crimes, and others. I did so very successfully as a police officer and continue to do so as a report. Much of my work both in UK and overseas doesn’t get reported given the sensitive nature of it. I work to very high levels of confidentiality, integrity and trust.

It is very disappointing that I have not been asked by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service to comment previously, and crucially before a critical court judgement is realised. This has contributed to the criticism that has been levied against me. Had I have [sic] been asked to provide any information regarding my involvement in the King investigation I would have done so, and I would have had no hesitation in attending court should that have been necessary. I will continue to attempt to liaise with the DPP and Surrey Police to find out what has occurred, and in the meantime, I will continue to dedicate myself and my work to safeguarding children and to devote my time and expertise to help victims both of abuse and injustice.

For someone who spends the first three paragraphs complaining that he was not asked about the matters raised in court, and who towards the end of his statement asserts his willingness to have given testimony, it is strange that he does not anywhere specifically deny the existence of “documents indicating attempts to gain financial advantage from selling details of Mr King’s case” (or of even one such document – the basis for Taylor’s slip into the plural is not clear). It is also strange that he goes into such a lengthy justification for having taken a statement from a complainant – the report of Taylor’s judgment does not indicate that Williams-Thomas ought not to have done so, and the “apparent criticism” over this detail is not in fact “apparent” at all.

One passage in particular raises questions:

I am also aware form [sic] the judgement that there exists a document and that the content of that document was considered both in 2003 and in 2014 by Sussex and Surrey Police respectively. After two investigations, no action was taken against me. It must follow that no offences were disclosed.

This implies that he isn’t sure about which document has been under discussion, and that he wasn’t even aware of police interest until now. But it is difficult to see how there could have been “two investigations” over the matter without him being even asked about it.

Further, grounds for concern are broader than simply whether “offences were disclosed”. Of course it is not an offence to draft a document on one’s own computer offering to sell information. The mere existence of such a document does not prove that it was ever sent to anyone, or that if it was sent that any subsequent transaction occurred. But it does place its author under a heavy cloud of suspicion, and it raises doubts about character. Those doubts are not assuaged by cape-wearing platitudes about advocacy on behalf of “victims of abuse and injustice”.

Another difficulty is that given that there was apparently “deliberate concealment” of the document by Surrey Police in 2018, there seems little reason to have confidence that the matter was dealt with properly when it first came to light in 2003 (presumably Sussex would have referred the document on to Surrey) and then again in 2014 (presumably Surrey held an old record about it that was brought to light by the Merseyside review and referred to the Anti-Corruption Unit).

Perhaps it would be useful if Williams-Thomas could publish some of the investigation documentation online. He would be entitled to some via a Subject Access Request, and he could also publish the document itself. Of course, some redactions would be required, but primary sources we can judge for ourselves may do a better job of putting our minds at rest.

33 Responses

  1. The ever resourceful Moor Larkin seems to have picked up on the ‘list’ writing on December 18 2012 http://jimcannotfixthis.blogspot.com/2012/12/is-age-just-number.html
    He quotes from an interview with MWT originally published in Nov 2011, which is of course before or around the time he was connected to Newsnight in the abortive Savile item:

    “Mark goes on to explain, in some depth, the background to Jonathan King, the songwriter and record producer sentenced to seven years in prison in 2001 for the assault of five teenage boys. “I had intelligence from a woman in the media that King was picking up young kids and abusing them; taking them to music events, things like that. I wasn’t sure what to do. He was a huge name at the time and there was no evidence or other intelligence to corroborate the story. Then, five years later, a young man approached Max Clifford with stories that King had sexually abused him, along with many other children, when he was a child at the Walton Hop disco.” The trial attracted a lot of media attention. Celebrities, including Simon Cowell, publicly supported King. Mark, though, is unfazed. “It wasn’t just King. I had a list of people in the music industry that were abusing kids. Some were prosecuted, some were not.”
    http://www.sheengate.co.uk/elmbridge-and-kingston/2012/10/04/interview-mark-williams-thomas/

    However, later in the interview, it seems he was not part of the prosecution at all:
    Mark had left the force by the time Jonathan King was arrested. But he would soon find himself in the company of other detectives, in the shape of DIs Lynley and Boyd, as he began to advise scriptwriters on the accuracy of their storylines. Waking The Dead, in particular, is a series close to Mark’s heart.
    ***This article was originally published in the November 2011 edition of the Guildford Magazine***”

    So he had a ‘list’ . But in his statement he says he forwarded information from a ‘writer’ to the Surrey intelligence service and the NCIS ‘, not that ‘he wasn’t sure what to do with it’. So this info coming to him at least as late as 1995 was dormant until 2000? When Max Clifford came forward about ‘the young man’?

    And then it seems, that the head of CID, picked out MWT to take a statement ‘because of he had previously submitted information at the time.’

    But Mark then left the police in 2000 – before JK was arrested in November 2000 with the full bells and whistles of the media.

    But then elsewhere he says he took statements from two JK witnesses. So he must have hung around for the second one at least (on twitter he has in the past denied knowing any of the complainants, but let that rest.)

    But then there’s a third story – this time sourced from the top PR man at the NCIS at the time Mark Steels. He says he was responsible for actioning an email received in May 2000 from a victim who had been canvassing the trial of Chris Denning in Prague in 1999 and this mentioned JK among 7 high profile men.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/nov/22/childprotection.society1

    A former alleged sex abuse victim of another pop world celebrity had been trawling the net and come across a court report of his trial in Prague for sexually abusing young boys.

    During the Prague trial the celebrity – who cannot be named for legal reasons but who was convicted of seven counts of indecency against children, and already had a string of convictions for similar offences in Britain – had roundly protested his innocence.

    The court report quoted this at length, as well as mentioning the involvement of NCIS in securing his conviction.

    Incensed, the one-time victim, who had been using the net as he worked on his Open University degree, searched for NCIS on the net and came up with the press office’s email address.

    His angry email confirmed that the celebrity did not merely perpetrate his abuse in Prague. And, tantalisingly, he suggested he was not the only one involved.

    Mark Steels took the email upstairs to officers in the serious sex offences unit.

    When specially trained officers went to interview the now 46-year-old victim, he unburdened himself of secrets he had kept for 30 years, of abuse meted out from the time he was 13. There were a group of up to seven men – though mainly four – who had preyed on him and “shared” him, he told police, after he fell into their clutches at a youth disco in Walton-on-Thames. ”

    No mention of Max Clifford here. Nor any information received from a Surrey police officer. We know the Prague man was Chris Denning.

    However it goes on to say’

    “At the centre of the group was not just the celebrity convicted in Prague, but a business associate and friend of his, whose name cropped up repeatedly in transcripts of interviews with police in Prague: Jonathan King.

    Meanwhile, Thames Valley police who had raided a house and seized a large amount of video material came across a letter citing the name of another boy they suspected was a victim.

    When interviewed, he too alleged King had tried to assault him at around the same period, 1971. The victims’ statements were sufficient for Surrey police officers to visit King and then arrange for him to be interviewed, at Staines police station, on November 23 last year. ”

    So another chance finding after the MWT first statement which was after May 2000 revealed another potential complainant through a different police force and this person was traced and gave a similar story at about the same period of time. presumably the ‘letter’ found by TVP did not disclose this – but when the witness was traced and interviewed it seemed to tally.
    Was this the 2nd complainant interviewed by MWT?

    No mention of a second in his statement. Arundel was not officially established as an Op until 2001. And the ‘secret seven’ were described in NOW reports after JKs trials.

    Suspect there is much more to be found out. In particular, if MWT did take the second statement having knowledge of the first – was there contamination.?

  2. From his statement:

    “Much of my work both in UK and overseas doesn’t get reported given the sensitive nature of it. I work to very high levels of confidentiality, integrity and trust.”

    That I believe is true. The reason I believe it to be true is that a person in a country which I will not name had made certain allegations on an internet discussion site regarding what he viewed as a CSA network that he had encountered, which the (very underfunded) police in that country were not doing anything about (probably due to underfunding, rather than deliberate malice). I emailed MWT showing him the allegations the person had made….and something was done about it. Stuff happened, shall we say.

    I am not here as a fanboy of MWT, some of his Tweets seem unwise in hindsight, though I believe mostly well-intentioned. I was a bit taken aback to see his that he views Oscar Pistorius as innocent, but, well if that was his genuine belief based on interviewing Pistorius, fair enough.

  3. JK left a reply to Mr Williams-Thomas’s statement on my blog. It might be helpful to copy it here:

    I assume the Mark Williams Thomas reply you have posted on Twitter is the real thing but just in case it’s not, and is a hoax, I carry my questions answering his statement below on here for you to decide whether or not to pass them on. Asked in all innocence and not trying to imply anything…

    Please spell Jonathan correctly.
    Question One – did you have any previous or current (at the time) contact with Max Clifford?
    Were you involved at all in the cases of false allegations against either Paul Weller or Mick Hucknall?
    Did you take the statement from the original false accuser, told to invent a celebrity by Max Clifford, in order to increase the value of his story, with another officer present, as was procedure at that time; if so who was he or she, and can they back up your account?
    Could you provide written evidence regarding being told to keep your police notebooks?
    Did you actually immediately give any evidence brought back from the original false accuser to Surrey Police? Or did you keep some of it in your home for several weeks? And if that was the case, why?
    Should it not be FROM not FORM?
    Could you please show us the document and explain the contents? Would you be happy for that document and its contents, if it exists, to become publicly available?
    Are you sure there exists no other evidence that you may have been conspiring with other officers to pervert the course of justice?
    Would current serving officers at Surrey Police, such as Detective Inspector Clare Loving, confirm that you never contacted them at any time after leaving Surrey Police, trying to obtain confidential information about victims, and that you never asked any officer not to tell other senior officers about your requests? And are you sure there is not evidence of some of those contacts?
    Are you certain that, if any such evidence exists, it will not become available to investigators?
    Will your fine and honourable work, supporting victims of crime, include bringing to justice false accusers who ruin the lives of innocent men and women? And the reputations of dead celebrities?
    Which is your favourite Cliff Richard hit?

  4. A typically asinine letter from egotist King.

    There is one difference between King as compared to Hucknall and Weller, and objective observers might have noticed it.

    Unlike Hucknall and Weller, who have never being involved in child abuse or advocating in favour of child abuse, King is a convicted child abuser, and a particularly unrepentant one. I really and truly hope he gets treatment, thought I suspect the ugly old nonce is beyond help.

    • Could you define “nonce”, TDF?

      Is it being used as a synonym for the (usually incorrectly employed) word ‘paedophile’? It was odd watching the ‘social media campaigners’ seemingly switch from screaming ‘paedo’ to ‘nonce’ all at the same time; a pack mentality perhaps?

      I grew up wrongly thinking it meant ‘homosexual’, for which I blame TV’s prison-based ‘Porridge’. Here’s a charming example of its use as experienced by reformed lag, Jonathan Aitken:

      https://books.google.es/books?id=5hgdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79&dq=porridge++nonce&source=bl&ots=07l8EP_LHe&sig=7U4ngjf09e5BhPTIUl0IUuZ2JyU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjbjo-Zn-fcAhUO3RoKHTJkADoQ6AEwBXoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=porridge%20%20nonce&f=false

      (“Front wheeler” was a new one for me; a jew, apparently. So “paedo jew” in this instance.)

      “The only trouble is that, since the 1970s, the word nonce, deriving from criminal slang, has been used for ‘a sexual deviant; a person convicted of a sexual offence, especially child abuse’. Never mind.”

      https://www.spectator.co.uk/2010/09/mind-your-language-357/

      • Bandini, “nonce” is basically a working class slang term for a paedophile. I am aware that a paedophile is not quite the same thing as a pederast, if the words are traced back to their Latin origins, but words change their meaning over time. Apparently in Scotland, “beast” is also slang for a pederast, which I only picked up on when the media reported that someone had graffitied Savile’s cottage in Glencoe in Oct 2012 or so.

        “Front wheeler” is a new one to me also. In some parts of Ireland, “left legger” is a derogatory slang for a Protestant.

    • Think the point is tdf that Weller and Hucknall were both arrested with media ‘leaks’ shortly before and after the JK arrest in 2000.

      In fact Weller launched a campaign for anonymity based on this. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1375942/Simply-Red-star-cleared-after-arrest-for-rape.html

      It is not the case that the police brief the media before arrests in the normal run of things . They merely ‘confirm’ . The whole Cliff Richard saga, strangely, but maybe not so strangely, linked to MWT indirectly, is an example of this.

      Yes SYP colluded with the BBC journo re the raid. But that was because of the ‘blackmail’ info provided by the journo. Yes the police want the fact publicised in these weak ‘high profile cases’ in the hope it will attract other complainants.

      But it’s done through indirect means. Which means that ‘someone’ briefed as to arrests tips off someone else, and this either may be journalists or another ‘intermediary’ with the media. There’s a long food chain where money changes hands.

      Something of this sort appears to have happened with Weller and Hucknall. And it might have had something to do with Clifford. And someone in the know in Surrey police ‘briefing’.

      • Jeez tdf -‘left legger/footer? is the prot term for a catholic in Scots/N.Irish circles. c/f ‘Sinister’. Never heard it re protestants.

        What Ireland are you on?

      • ^ “What Ireland are you on?”

        Dublin, with some friends from Cork and Munster. I have never heard a Dublin person use the expression in any context, but have often heard it used by Cork and other Munster people to refer to Protestants.

        I see from a Google search that, as you indicate, up North, it is apparently a term used by Prods to refer to Taigs.

        I guess it’s true what Humpty Dumpty said, words mean what I want them to mean.

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=left%20legger

    • I apologise to Jonathan King for using the ephitet ‘ugly old nonce’ as it does achieve any practical good and is unnecessarily provocative and insulting. I do not agree with any form of vigilantism. I stand by the rest of my comment.

  5. “His contacts were also impeccable. In 2001, Simon Cowell stood him bail, and when he was arrested, King had been offered the chairmanship of recording giant EMI on an annual £5 million salary.”

    Oh come on!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6051299/Child-sex-abuse-case-saw-pop-mogul-Jonathan-King-handed-seven-year-jail-sentence-reopened.html

    • ^ This article neatly although unintentionally demonstrates the problem when award-winning journalists rush into print: their much-vaunted scepticism is often a one-way street.

      Anyone who has done the slightest research on the issue of child abuse (actually, frankly, anyone that has any empathy whatever) would be well aware that many survivors and victims end up with mental issues that turn them into drug abusers and may well make their testimony unreliable. That does not, as Rose appears to assume, mean that they are lying about the allegations of abuse.

      As for award-winning journalist David Rose’s assertion that King was in line for getting the chairman’s job at EMI for £5 million a year, the rumour probably was circulated by King himself.

  6. Although officially a statement by MWT this was obviously checked by his solicitor before uploading. For MWT not to do so ( following inferences alleged in court) would have been suicidal and I don’t believe MWT is that daft.

    Thus Matthew is correct in that salient points appear to have been relegated whilst unnecessary cosmetic statements about MWT’s moral self-righteousness are everywhere in evidence. It is not so much a statement of fact, more a polemic.

    If MWT, who will surely be reading this, wants to set the record straight and stop further rumour, why doesn’t he answer at least a few of the direct questions Jonathan King put to him via Matthew’s blog earlier (reproduced above)?

    Tony Rhodes
    Director
    SAFF

  7. As regards the question of police notebooks, I think it would be useful if other ex-coppers (preferably ones with no connections to MWT) would come forward and say “yes this is normal practice” or even “officially frowned upon but people do it” or “totally unacceptable and prohibited by police guidelines” (which ever is the case).

  8. It’s surely the latter, TDF – as “unacceptable and prohibited” as hawking complainants’ details around the media in search of piles of cash.

    Just because something is prohibited doesn’t mean it doesn’t go on though, and judging from the exchange here the rules around PNBs are regularly ignored:
    https://www.policeuk.com/forum/index.php?/topic/4757-pnb-entries/

    “stop worrying! I haven’t done that for over 20 odd years..it’s your notebook so you make your own notes. dont rule off ! like stan says its a waste of bloomin time..think how long you will spend over the years if you keep fannying about like that!”

    Yes, 20 years of not ‘ruling off’ will have left an awful lot of ’empty page’ that could, if necessary, be filled in as necessary… Frightening disregard for rules that will have been implemented to counter that very same ‘filling in (at a later date)’.

    • And another one for you, TDF:
      “The officer [presumably the copper being prosecuted in the article which appears to have vanished] stated that he was confused due to losing notebooks in house moves. Do officers routinely keep police notebooks in their houses ? In my force, used notebooks must be returned and logged for storage. If needed for court, they are signed in and out. They remain police property, so why would he have them in his house ?”

      Why indeed?
      https://www.policeuk.com/forum/index.php?/topic/18979-pcgirlfriend-points/&tab=comments#comment-535058

    • Based on those links it looks to me some way between 2 & 3 Genuine mistakes happend and I’d imagine in some cases blind eyes are turned.

      Granted (and speaking purely in general and hypothetical terms), were a former copper to take with his note books with the deliberate intention of putting alleged victims in contact with the media in return for the alleged victims receiving cash for their allegations, with a slice for the former copper, then that’s a different story. But I’m sure that’s never happened.

  9. Anna Raccon’s own words, in an hospital email to me 23 days before she died might help: “I felt very alone, very used and abused, friendless, and yes, I lashed out at all and sundry. I shouldn’t have, but I am trying to explain what I was going through myself at the time. I am going to try to put it right, I don’t know how. but I will try.” Susanne died in her sleep at home on 18Aug17 on the same day that Newsnight reporter Liz McKean died of a stroke at 52. Both were burned by fire from the Duncroft furnace stoked by Mark Williams-Thomas and Meirion Jones.

    • Thanks for this, Andrew.

      P.S. If it hasn’t already been brought to your attention your Anna Raccoon piece in Lobster has a bit of a typo in it regarding Henriques (unless he’s joined Anna & Liz McKean in the great Hereafter and I hadn’t noticed).

      • My dear Bandini, It’s great to find you are still active. You were always a reliable voice in the old snug at the Raccoon Arms. There was indeed an unfortunate literal in the Lobster story about moral panic but the Lobster sub-editor, who lives in Mexico, put it right a while ago and I have just checked to find it now reads, “Sir Richard Henriques”.

      • But he’s still ‘late’ (i.e. dead) in the PDF version!
        https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster75/lob75-anna-raccoon.pdf

      • Thanks for your co-operation, Mr Rosthorn.

      • Yo Bandini! Mea duplex culpa. We corrected Sir Richard’s forename without noticing that we had accidentally killed him. Sir Richard lives! So I must get the Lobster sub-editor in Mexico to bring him back to life. Sir Richard is only 74. Thanks Bandini.

      • Yo Bandini! I see Lobster have revived Sir Richard Henriques. Thanks for your intervention. Am on ros@poptel,org
        It’s good to talk.

    • Andrew, your last two sentences, or at least the implication in them, are a little bit much, no?

      • Was there a Duncroft furnace burning between 2012 and 2017? Self-evidently. By 2016 it had cost the BBC £10.7 million and ended the careers of half a dozen journalists and executives. The NHS mounted 44 investigations of which the NHS Leeds probe alone cost £1 million. IICSA will cost £100 million. Did Meirion Jones and Mark Williams-Thomas stoke the furnace? Well, they didn’t light the fire but both claim to have stoked it. MWT told The Guardian: “I ran it as though it was a criminal investigation and on the basis that I didn’t want anyone else to know what was going on. It was very secretive.”
        In 2014 MWT told the Sunday Times: “Right at the beginning I said there would be 500 victims. This is a prediction that has every chance of coming true. The Metropolitan police are looking at allegations from 450 possible victims, with more still coming.”
        UK Press Gazette reported in 2014: “Williams-Thomas first heard of Savile’s abuse when working on another Newsnight story. It was on the aeroplane travelling back from Lyon, France, with producer Meirion Jones – whose aunt was headmistress at Duncroft School – where Savile is now widely known to have abused pupils. ‘He said to me: ‘Have you heard about Jimmy Savile?’ And I said: ‘What do you mean?’ And he said: ‘Well, you know, he was a child abuser.’”
        Meirion Jones mentioned the flight at a public meeting Manchester: “I went to Interpol with an ex-PC called Mark Williams-Thomas. He later mentioned a police investigation. A couple of months later, Jimmy Savile died.”
        Anna Raccoon said, “Meirion fired a shot at just the right moment to ignite a powder keg. I will probably be the only person who remembers his name – everyone else will just remember the magnitude of the damage caused by the explosion.
        “I have followed this story more closely than most – and I’m still not convinced that Savile was a paedophile. I’m even less convinced than I was before I read the Dame Janet Smith report. Damn you Meirion, I should have punched your nose, not wiped the snot off it.”

      • ^ Ok. Well there had been formal complaints against Savile when he was till living, albeit not many, under half a dozen IIRC, if the official reports are correct(which they never are, obvs, ‘cos humans write the blasted reports.)

        Myself and Bandini, we independently researched the Jersey complaint against Savile, and what we found was, well, interesting.

        And I see recently that the Jersey Care Inquiry website is down until the end of 2019 which is….uhm, also, interesting.

        http://www.jerseycareinquiry.org/

        Eric, who comments here, thinks that I am a NOTW revivalist, which is far from the truth. I might remind him that The Guardian, as of 2014, was telling us that there were “up to 1000” complaints of sex abuse against Savile in BBC alone (weasel words in the mass media, as usual. Up to 1000 could mean anything from 0 to 1000).

        https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jan/18/jimmy-savile-abused-1000-victims-bbc

      • TDF: “Myself and Bandini, we independently researched the Jersey complaint against Savile, and what we found was, well, interesting.”

        ‘Interesting’ as in a vulnerable individual ‘helped’ into naming Savile as an abuser by a redacted individual after the press had put their foot in it by associating Savile with abuse at HDLG… with UK PI lawyers jetting off to Jersey to establish a support group/income stream for ‘survivors’/themselves.

        http://jimcannotfixthis.blogspot.com/2017/06/ahead-of-pack.html?q=ahead+of+the+pack

        There is no good reason to believe that Savile ever abused anyone at HDLG or in Jersey.

        Regarding the Inquiry’s website disappearance they should certainly have pre-announced this (assuming it wasn’t) but, given the wretched state of it the last time I looked, the re-organisation can only be a good thing. It really was a total mess.

      • Bandini,

        “There is no good reason to believe that Savile ever abused anyone at HDLG or in Jersey. ”

        I completely agree.

        “Regarding the Inquiry’s website disappearance they should certainly have pre-announced this (assuming it wasn’t) but, given the wretched state of it the last time I looked, the re-organisation can only be a good thing. It really was a total mess.”

        Again, agreed.

        Some of them on the blogs are speculating that the take-down is in some way sinister, particularly given they are not promising to have it all back until late 2019, but given that the organisation of the inquiry’s website was indeed a total mess, a year and a few months to sort it might be a reasonable timeline.

        Fwiw, from ITV Jersey:

        http://www.itv.com/news/channel/2018-08-09/care-inquiry-website-suspended-over-potential-data-breach-jersey/

      • That makes sense, TDF, and would explain the sudden takedown. If memory serves there were definite “inconsistencies” noted when we were wading through it all, so…

        “While cataloguing the documents to put them online, Jersey Archive has identified a number of inconsistencies in the redactions of confidential information within the original inquiry material.”

  10. Mark Williams-Thomas has had an amazing career. He states in this article in 2014 :
    “As a former detective and with ­nearly 30 years of experience in ­investigating child abuse, including the Jimmy Savile scandal, what I found in Brazil made me shudder.”
    At the time he was 44 if we believe his Wikipedia article which presumably he monitors as he threatened me, via Wiki editors with ‘libel’ for including in the entry details of his blackmail arrest & finding of innocence ( Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales ordered amateur editors to withdraw their ‘libel’ claim). Which means he was “investigating” at age 14.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/child-prostitutes-forced-cash-in-fans-3660354

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