Australia Media Watch Highlights Problems with “Westminster VIP Child-Sex Abuse” Documentary

In Australia, ABC’s Media Watch programme has run a segment on “Spies, Lords and Predators”, a sensational documentary broadcast on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes in July 2015, at the height of journalistic frenzy over historical allegations relating to supposed “Westminster VIP” child-sex abusers. There are few surprises for those of us who have been following the story in detail, but the segment is a very useful summary of how 60 Minutes got it wrong; it is also important because 60 Minutes broke a promise made by its presenter Ross Coultart at the time that “We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of the police investigation”.

The fact that the promised update never arrived has meant that viewers were never told by 60 Minutes that the allegations promoted by Coultard as “the biggest political scandal in British history” were never substantiated, and that the credibility of the accusers interviewed on the programme has come under serious question.

MediaWatch notes in particular the problems with the accusers “Darren” and Richard Kerr. Darren turned out to have had a long history of dishonesty, and by his own account (as shown in a video clip) he had been diagnosed with a “paranoid mental health disorder”, while Kerr’s claim to have been trafficked to London from the Kincora Boy’s Home in Belfast was undermined by evidence presented at the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. Media Watch also points out that a supposed reconstruction in “Spies, Lords and Predators” depicted Kerr as a 10-year-old being chauffeured around London, when even he wasn’t making such a claim, instead saying that he had been “16, 15, 17”.

Media Watch also refers to “Nick” and Operation Midland; this is important for understanding the general climate of the time, but Nick was not discussed in “Spies, Lords and Predators”, and Channel 9 has seized on this in its response:

Contrary to your false assertions, ‘Nick’ was not a source or a key witness for our story in any way whatsoever and no allegation in our story came from him.


We did engage with Exaro in the course of our investigation but as best we could at the time we tested the witness accounts with Police – who, at the time, strongly backed the veracity of the extraordinary VIP paedophile allegations – and other sources.

Exaro was the website most responsible for promoting the claims. However, while the Metropolitan Police had infamously declared Nick to be “credible and true”, the more general reference here to “the veracity of the extraordinary VIP paedophile allegations” elides details specific to the documentary: Darren was himself complaining in 2014 and 2015 that the police did not believe him, and while police have investigated Kincora and secured abuse convictions relating to the home, Kerr does not appear to have made a police complaint about his trafficking allegation, despite making media statements.

Channel 9 continues:

We note also that the investigations are by no means over. Many of the allegations raised by these witnesses are still under investigation by the ongoing IICSA – The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’.

This point is perhaps relevant as regards Esther Baker, who appeared in the 60 Minutes documentary claiming to have been raped during woodland rituals by a group that included a politician. Although Baker is not discussed in the Media Watch segment, that police investigation has also since ended without charges being brought, and the politician concerned, John Hemming, has now gone public with his account of how the allegation has affected his life.

Despite this outcome, and the inherent improbabilities in Baker’s account (not least of which is the fact that Hemming happened to be in a dispute with one of Baker’s associates when she accused him), Baker is now a “Core Participant” in the Westminster strand of the IICSA.

Baker also claims that she recognised from details in “Darren’s” story that she had been taken by night to Dolphin Square in London; however, that particular claim did not feature in “Spies, Lords and Predators”, and she hasn’t referred to it since the collapse of Darren’s credibility. It wasn’t even mentioned by her lawyer, Peter Garsden, when he represented her at a preliminary IICSA hearing in January.

8 Responses

  1. Sixty Minutes has a long track-record of irresponsibly sensationalising false child-abuse claims. They worked with The Cook Report in 1989 to broadcast an Australian counterpart to Cook’s despicable ‘The Devil’s Work’ which started the Satanic Panic in the U.K. in the 1990s.

    The ‘star’ witness in that 60 minute programme was another fantasist whom the Cook report called ‘Natalie’ when they interviewed her in silhouette for their programme, but, outside of UK jurisdiction, Sixty Minutes didn’t bother and shows her full-face, only renaming her ‘Theresa’.

    Theresa’s claims were utterly unfounded. After all the shock-horror Media coverage had convinced the British Public, her case was tried at the Old Bailey with three men being accused of abusing her. The judge threw the case out after hearing three days worth of ridiculous evidence!

    The researcher and co-producer of that Cook Report, Tim Tate, has continued to insist that ‘Natalie’s’ abuse was real. She has become a celebrity within the conspiracyloon firmament. One video of her fantasies has been watched by over a million unquestioning people.

    Tate, by his own admission on Needleblog was also involved in cooperating with Operation Midland over the Westminster Abuse allegations, trying to link them with PIE.

    Tate was a mover and shaker in belief in SRA. He, along with his colleague Ray Wyre (now deceased) brought over the since utterly discredited ‘Indicators’ of Satanic Abuse from wacky U.S. Satan Hunters in the late 1980s and both Wyre and Tate injected them into the first SRA case in the U.K. The Nottinghamshire Broxtowe case. It turned out to be completely false but on the strength of this Ray Wyre went to Australia and New Zealand to ‘teach’ social workers and other child-care organisations there about the ‘reality’ of Satanic Abuse.

    Wyre was interviewed by Sixty Minutes. In the U.K. his pronouncements about SRA had always been measured but, presumably he assumed there would be a disconnect in OZ and made a number of utterly untrue statements to 60 minutes in which he said children had been sacrificed in satanic ceremonies.

    You can see a clip of that interview here:

    in which he unreservedly backs up the SRA fantasies of ‘Natalie’/’Theresa’ without mentioning that he worked as an advisor to the Cook Report and must have by then known that her case had collapsed in court.

    As the SAFF has been telling folk over the past five years. False accusations of Westminster Abuse are linked directly to the earlier Satanic Panic of the 1990s and ALL of the people involved in the 1990 scare (who are not now dead) are STILL promoting it behind the scenes in various forms and fooling society, politicians and the police at every juncture.

    John Freedom

    Another person interviewed

    • “Tate, by his own admission on Needleblog was also involved in cooperating with Operation Midland over the Westminster Abuse allegations, trying to link them with PIE.”

      I don’t think this is quite correct, John/SAFF, and in fact his stated opinion on PIE (based on a membership list he got his hands on) was that there were no high-flying Westminster members; his beef seems to be that the police didn’t follow up the leads thrown up by that list and as some of those therein named went on to be convicted for child abuse it’s easy to understand his point of view (although as the organization was never banned it’s also not difficult to understand why the police didn’t devote much attention to investigating members of a perfectly legal group).

      Tabloid Tim has also recently enraged the nutters by again challenging Exaro and in particular Mark Watts (who he says is described as a “fraud” by ex-colleagues, a description I’d personally use for the lot of ’em).

      In particular he claims that the infamous ‘Solanki recording’ – source of much bullshit from Exaro & the Express – was edited to present an untrue impression of its contents and was attacked by the usual gang of ghouls for his troubles. Exaro’s dreamgirl, Esther Baker, waded in as usual and promised to prove that this was not the case (presumably after speaking to Watts or one of the other ‘award-winning journalists’) but unsurprisingly never made good on said promise.

      Maybe Tabloid Tim will pop in to set us all straight – it’s always a pleasure watching him blow a fuse!

  2. Irrelevant I suppose but the IICSA is publicising a report from the discredited Channel 9 which in turn is based upon the IICSA’s ‘investigations’ (or perhaps their ‘findings’ from the ‘narrative’ coffee mornings taking place).

    In the critical ABC piece Channel 9 respond unconvincingly, hanging on for grim life by claiming that the fat lady still hasn’t sung as some of the claims it publicised and which have been shown to be, er, ‘incredible & false’ are to be looked at by… the IICSA. I’m lost.

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  5. So, Alison Saunders is moving on to pastures new.

  6. So, EB is now saying that she witnessed abuse at a orphanage abroad. Were her parents missionaries? She has previously said that her families church was the Assemblies of God.

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