Daily Mail Denounces BBC but Exonerates Itself after Operation Midland’s “Nick” Charged with Sex Offences

Note: At the risk of stating the obvious, Nick’s false allegations of 2014 are a separate matter from the new allegations that have been made against him. Nothing about the former should be used to draw inferences about the latter while the matter is sub judice.

From the Daily Telegraph:

The alleged fantasist who sparked the Westminster paedophile investigation has been charged with child sex offences.

The man, who can only be identified as Nick, was arrested last year and has already appeared in court, charged with multiple offences relating to allegations of making and possessing hundreds of indecent images of children. He has also been charged with voyeurism.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which allegedly took place between 2015 and 2016, and is expected to stand trial later this year.

Nick infamously claimed to have seen politicians and other establishment “VIPs” rape and murder children during paedophile orgies, prompting the disastrous “Operation Midland” police fiasco which began with the assumption that Nick was “credible and true” and ended in ignominy with no arrests and with compensation payouts over needless police raids on the homes of Lord Bramall (facilitated by the police misleading a judge) and the late Leon Brittan.

As a sex crime complainant, Nick enjoys a right to anonymity; apparently we only know about the new development at all because of a successful legal challenge (1). However, the allegations “cannot be revealed in detail for legal reasons” and the matter is sub judice; thus the Mail has bulked out its coverage with a new autopsy by Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright into how Nick’s claims were reported in 2014 and 2015.

Under the headline “‘Nick the Fantasist’ to stand trial for paedophile offences: How the man who sparked disastrous VIP child sex abuse probe had the police, BBC and Labour’s deputy leader lapping up his lies” (2), the two authors explain that the tales were taken seriously

because a middle-aged former public sector worker called Nick came forward to make claims that a significant, politically motivated cadre wanted to hear. It also suited the politically correct times.

Tom Watson, now Labour deputy leader but then still a backbench MP, was on a roll following his crucial part along with the campaigning group, Hacked Off, in setting up the Leveson Inquiry into the conduct of the Press.

Now he was looking for a new cause that would damage his enemies. And if it burnished his own growing reputation as a crusader for truth and justice, well, why not?

…BBC News also bought into Nick and his claims, providing a platform upon which he could build a mountain of lies. In December 2014, Nick’s interview with BBC News about his alleged child sex ordeal was broadcast on primetime news bulletins.

It is true that the the Daily Mail was the first media outlet to probe more deeply following Harvey Proctor’s August 2015 press conference; on 5 September 2015 Wright revealed that detectives had “grave doubts” about Nick’s story, and Wright co-authored a more in-depth piece two weeks later that sceptically drew attention to aspects of Nick’s allegations that were particularly bizarre and far-fetched.

However, there is self-serving revisionism in the paper’s criticisms of Watson and the BBC: there was already online scepticism about Nick’s claims before the Daily Mail gave the matter its attention, and the paper had previously been as credulous as the rest of the media. Thus in November 2014 the Daily Mail‘s attack dog Guy Adams produced a piece that was headlined “Paedophile orgies in luxury flats and claims three boys were murdered by VIPs: Special report into the growing stench of a cover-up by the Establishment”, in which he wrote that

‘Nick,’ who claims to have visited Dolphin Square on at least ten occasions (and recalls its ‘dimly-lit, musty corridors’), has supplied Operation Midland with a written account of his ordeal and been interviewed extensively by investigators, passing them names of the Tory MP and the Cabinet Minister.

A few months later, when Harvey Proctor’s home was raided by police, the paper’s journalists (not Wright) turned to “campaigning Labour MP John Mann” for comment. While Watson is credulous, Mann’s calculated disclosures about supposed “dossiers” relating to VIP abuse and have been self-promoting.

Meanwhile, Mail Online, which is apparently a separate entity from the Daily Mail but is published on the same website, ran an article following Proctor’s press conference stating that Nick had “handed over” evidence to police, when it meant that Nick had given evidence – the former obviously implying something of forensic value rather than just testimony.

Further, it should be noted that while BBC News did not distinguish itself in the autumn of 2014, Nick’s credibility was seriously brought into question by the BBC’s Panorama news programme a year later. This is just about acknowledged by the Daily Mail, albeit in a side-box rather than in the main text of the article (which meant I missed it in first reading article):

The early BBC News and Exaro reports were later pulled apart by BBC Panorama, which established that at least one of the murders Nick claims to have witnessed – the only one about which he has provided detailed information – could not have taken place.

In particular, the programme-makers probed Nick’s claim that a friend of his had been run over and killed in front of him in Kingston-on-Thames, as a warning to him not to have friends. As the New York Times reported after the programme was broadcast:

the BBC investigation found no public record of a murder or accident in the described location at the time. It also tracked down all the boys at Nick’s school at the time with the first name he had provided for his friend. All of them are either alive or died in different circumstances than those described by Nick.

It is very difficult to positively prove that something didn’t happen when dates are vague, but this is by far the most reasonable explanation for why such a dramatic claim cannot be substantiated.

Meanwhile, Nick’s various online supporters (there is an “ibelievenick” hashtag) are in something of a dilemma over the new allegations against him. Much of their online rhetoric has tended towards the view that those who express scepticism about allegations of paedophilia-related sex crimes are “nonce apologists” who support child sex abuse, and there has been a relentless lynch-mob glee in discussions about Nick’s claims (“Who’s that cow bag saying Bramall is an innocent man?” was a derisive question asked by Esther Baker, who is now a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse). Will they now turn on Nick in similar terms, or will they instead suddenly expound the virtues of being fair-minded and not jumping to conclusions?


1. One Daily Mail article states that “the charges against Nick can be disclosed after a court challenge, backed by the Mail, overturned a ban on reporting the case”. This does not make it quite clear who was responsible for the challenge, whereas a companion article in the same paper (quoted above) states that the “news emerged only because a judge lifted a reporting restriction which had been challenged by this newspaper.” However, Tom Wells, who is Chief Reporter at The Sun, has Tweeted that “the quite extraordinary development in the ‘Nick’ saga can only be revealed today because of a legal battle launched – and won – by @TheSun”.

2. This companion piece has been published both on a separate webpage and underneath the Daily Mail‘s more general article, where it has the shorter title “How ‘Nick the fantasist’ had the police, BBC and Labour’s deputy leader lapping up his lies”. This shorter title was also originally used on the separate webpage, as shown in the screenshot.

UPDATE 2019: “Nick” has now been revealed to be a man named Carl Beech. His allegations have been comprehensively exposed as lies, and he has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud. He was also found to be in possession of a collection of child-abuse images, and to have used a hidden camera to film the teenage friend of his son using a toilet. For more, see here.

22 Responses

  1. Richard, I cannot see why you are refocussing this issue on the Mail trumpeting it’s campaign against the lies of Nick, when, the real news is that a fantasist false accuser who made the most heinous claims possible was able to manipulate a police investigation at the highest level because of a foolish and patently wrong ideology about believing Victims which was originally imposed upon our society by Radical Feminists who sought to portray all mean as Rapists and Abusers and enshrine that risk in our courts.

    Whatever their original reticence, the Mail have done more than any other UK newspaper to undermine the fantasies at the root of the farcical Midland and Conifer operations.

    They have also suffered (relatively) financially in fighting the unfair secrecy and conspiracy surrounding facts on this case and risked large contempt of court fines to air facts which have been denied the public and without which the conspiracy of Police, CPS and fantasists would never have been exposed.

    There is often a prejudice and bias against the Mail because of it’s blatant right-wing propaganda, however I can tell you that when the 1990 Satanic Abuse Hysteria was at it’s peak and every other newspaper in the country (including the Broadsheets) was suckering in to it and breathing life into it, it was the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday ONLY which put teams into the fray to bust apart the lies then, as they have done today.

    It was the Mail which made expensive legal challenges to the system trying to cover-up the Rochdale scandal of social workers kidnapping innocent children and ripping them from their family home in dawn-lifts,.

    In particular the Mail invested greatly in the Orkney case and pushed to get the Inquiry there, amongst many other now forgotten attempts to get at the truth.

    Regardless of their standing in the eyes of ‘intellectuals’ in journalism it is the Mail which has, yet again, come to the defence of the ordinary people of this country today over these baseless smears which have ruined thousands of lives in a 30 year false-allegation witch-hunt.

    I have no remit to sanitise the excesses of the Daily Mail, but seeing ‘intellectuals’ in the media constantly kicking them is as becoming as worn out as alternative comedians attacking Margaret Thatcher as the stealer of kids’ milk.

    The Mail won an award for its coverage of the SRA myth in the 1990s and it looks like they’ve stolen a march on the rest of the British Media in 2018.

    The Times alone has kept up with them over this period. If you want to complain about any newspaper begin kicking the Guardian and in particular the Daily Mirror instead, which has, for purely political reasons, massaged the Westminster VIP lies for all it is worth.

    John Freedom


  2. Tom Watson long ago warned of a possible ‘reverse ferret’ by the Mail so he at least managed to get one thing right. He also said he’d been warned he could come to harm on persisting with his clueless ‘investigations’ so he probably employed a rotating tag-team of food-tasters to keep him safe, each tasked with digesting 5000 calories (or ‘breakfast’) before handing the bucket to the next poor sod. What a guy!

    • Did Watson ever end up buying that painting from the Moss woman?

      • I’d forgotten all about this one! Hanging on his wall between a pair of boxer’s mitts from Palmer’s Gym and a gold disc of ‘Stay Another Day’ wrestled from the hands of Danczuk & Goldsmith? Ho ho ho!

      • Indeed. Incidentally, looks like we spoke too soon as regards certain Twitter accounts going silent.

        This from Alun ‘Ciabaudo’ today-

        “Yes, and because he’s granted anonymity the whole case will take place in some secret court and his accusations against Establishment paedophiles will never be heard. How convenient!”

        Alun, you complete fool. Nick’s allegations were in fact publicised in considerable detail (too much detail, perhaps, for sensitive stomachs) initially by Nick himself and Exaro, and then by one of the people he accused – Harvey Proctor!!

      • Anul Alun is one bad loser and should learn to take it on his chins.

    • “Hanging on his wall between a pair of boxer’s mitts from Palmer’s Gym and a gold disc of ‘Stay Another Day’ wrestled from the hands of Danczuk & Goldsmith? Ho ho ho!”

      Rumour has it was a last minute telephone bid from a Mr John Mann from Bassetlaw, who is understandably reluctant to undertake travel, after the VIP abuse conspiracy removed the wheelnuts of his car.



      The astute among you will notice that the alleged wheelnut removal occurred pver two years before he was reported as having handed over a dossier of VIP abusers to the rozzers, but that is just naïve! They are capable of travelling through space and time! ’tis witchcraft, I tell thee!

      • ^ Actually now I feel bad, because Mann was campaigning against banker excesses back then, so there may indeed have been more to the wheelnuts incident than meets the eye. Certainly, I am not naïve about how the powerful are potentially prepared to react when threatened.

      • Another one I’d forgotten all about, TDF – and I imagine so have the police. Er, assuming they were ever even informed of this attempt at political assasination – the article doesn’t actually mention their involvement though cleverly throws in an entirely different claim that DID involve the police (if we believe what we’re reading, of course):

        “Nottinghamshire Police launched an investigation after Mr Mann’s wife, Jo White, a Labour councillor, was sent a dead bird in the post this May.”

        Rather than the wheelnuts I’m more interested in who loosened a certain screw:

        “The consequences of this madness do not bear thinking about.”

      • Sorry, interest piqued into the fascinating world of locking wheelnuts – God knows why!

        Apparently only one is used per wheel. All four were missing from Mann’s vehicle. It is not immediately obvious WHICH of the four nuts on each wheel is the ‘locking nut’, which may explain why the nuts on the front wheels were loosened – the thief was trying to find the valuable locking nut!

        “All four locking wheel nuts from Mr Mann’s Citroën Xsara Picasso had been removed and the nuts on the front wheels loosened.”


        Note that Mann himself claims elsewhere that ALL the nuts were removed. Also:

        “In a statement on his website [which is no longer available], the MP said only certain registered garages [and maybe the security services out to kill you, eh John?] had access to sophisticated equipment needed to remove locking wheel nuts but he feared the keys for such security systems may be reproducible. He said he was “calling on motoring organisations to audit security devices in order to reassure the general public and is publicising his traumatic experience in order to alert other motorists”.”

        However Mann is brought back down to earth by someone speaking from the garage which actually maintained his car:

        “The police came to look at the car and asked us some questions, but you can get kits from any motoring store to remove locking wheel nuts for about 50p these days.”

        And yes, the police WERE involved:

        “A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “I can confirm an allegation was referred to the Metropolitan Police from Nottinghamshire Police on 9 August. An allegation of THEFT from a motor vehicle has been recorded. No arrests at present.”

    • Sorry to keep going on, but these people are a f****** disgrace (Esther’s little fan club, that is, not NAPAC):


    • @ Bandini

      Coming back to the Bennell case, yes there’s an element of vindictiveness which doesn’t sit well. It reminds me of the case of the “former BBC Jimmy Savile chauffeur” (who, as it turned out, had seemingly never even met Savile) who topped himself before his trial, leaving behind an elderly mother. I’d like someone to tell me who in fact benefitted from his prosecution.

      • TDF, Garsden’s advice to Bennell (offered in the middle of an ongoing trial) to just roll over and plead guilty to everything not looking so hot as, according to the BBC…

        “The jury was directed to give not guilty verdicts in relation to three of the 48 offences. Judge Clement Goldstone QC said there was not evidence in relation to three counts of indecent assault.”

        And while we wait for the verdict…

        “Ms Laws told the court Andy Woodward, who waived his anonymity to speak out about abuse by Bennell, had previously lied in a compensation claim which was turned down by Crewe Alexandra.
        She said: “People who have been victims are all different and all behave in different ways. Some, as you know with Andrew Woodward, some lie in order to obtain money.””


        (A note on Bennell’s QC: “Saunders overruled the lead counsel, Eleanor Laws QC, who had recommended that Janner should be charged. The expert in child sex abuse cases wrote an advice note in November on why a prosecution was in the public interest.”)

      • @Bandini, or perhaps he plans to slap ‘the nonces’ in the face with a rolled up silk handkerchief?

        SunnyClaribel prefers the alternative technique of boring them to death!

      • As for Anal Alun, his wife’s fave song:

      • Alun’s gay son brings home the boyfriend….awkwardness ensues….

      • Is it a sign of premature dementia when the closeted gay Anal Alun forgets that he is an anti-semite nutbag, or was he always an anti-semite nutbag?

      • Anal Alun’s visit to doctor, and his holidays in Italy:

  3. Is it possible that Alun is a closeted homosexual. He sure behaves like one on Twitter!

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