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Daily Mail Keeps Pressure on Metropolitan Police After Judge’s “Perversion of Justice” Allegation

From the Daily Mail, 29 July 2019:

‘Nick’ police searches broke the law: Bombshell as judge behind inquiry reveals ‘perversion of justice’ and says officers got search warrants using false evidence but his findings were ignored by police watchdog

Police broke the law in the bungled probe into VIP child abuse fantasist Nick, a former High Court judge says today.

Sir Richard Henriques said officers used false evidence to obtain search warrants to raid the homes of retired Armed Forces chief Lord Bramall, the widow of ex-Home Secretary Lord Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor and should now face a criminal investigation.

In an astonishing intervention, he tells the Daily Mail that Scotland Yard detectives did not have the right to search the properties because their description of Nick – real name Carl Beech – as a ‘consistent’ witness was false, effectively fooling a judge into granting the warrants.

Richard Henriques previously wrote a report that was critical of the police in the wake of “Operation Midland“, which was based on Beech’s allegations. Beech has now been convicted of fraud and perversion of justice.

Henriques’s article follows further down the page. He writes:

…numerous inconsistencies were within the knowledge of those officers leading the investigation. A document highlighting Beech’s ‘inconsistencies’ was in existence prior to the application for search warrants. The Wiltshire interviews had been handed to the Metropolitan Police in May 2013.

….there was compelling evidence that Beech had never been injured in the manner he had asserted, that he had never been absent from home as alleged, nor removed from school as alleged, there was no evidence that any one of the three children allegedly murdered had in fact been murdered, and no corroboration of any single allegation not withstanding a public request for information made on December 18, 2014.

…It is significant a comparatively junior officer – a detective sergeant with limited knowledge of the investigation and with no knowledge of the content of the Wiltshire interviews (having chosen not to read a summary provided to him) – was detailed or required to sign the three applications and to apply in person to the district judge.

Indeed, the detective sergeant told the IOPC that he was unaware of the inconsistencies in Beech’s accounts and had not read the Wiltshire interviews.

The senior investigating officer, however, attended before the district judge and had herself reviewed the written applications.

She had access to the Wiltshire interviews and to the document highlighting Beech’s several inconsistencies.

This is worse than I had imagined: I always thought it had been remiss of the police to ask for warrants without having checked on Beech’s background – but it now transpires that at least some checks had in fact been made, but their implications ignored. The Metropolitan Police’s Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald had previously described Beech as “credible and true”, and it is reasonable to suppose that the raids were a fishing expedition that the force hoped would extricate them from the hole they had dug themselves into.

The new intervention from Richard Henriques was written up in the Mail by Stephen Wright, who also provided “The top officers in the firing line: Cleared of blame, detectives now face fresh call for criminal investigation” on the same day.

Since then, the Mail has published a dozen or so articles to keep up the pressure, mostly by Wright but with some assistance from others, primarily Jack Doyle and Glen Keogh. These include (dates refer to uploads rather than printed editions):

30 July

Pictured: Moment the heavy mob moved in on Leon Brittan’s home – as victims of VIP abuse fantasist demand full force of law be turned on ‘Nick’ police after judge’s bombshell intervention

The ten questions that HAVE to be answered by officers in ‘VIP paedophiles’ case

Harvey Proctor demands independent probe into ALL of Labour deputy Tom Watson’s dealings with Scotland Yard over Carl Beech sex ring lies after judge says police broke the law to secure search warrants

31 July

Home Secretary to call in head of police watchdog: £175,000 boss faces grilling over decision to clear Met officers of misconduct.

(the “watchdog” here is the Independent Office for Police Conduct [IOPC], which cleared the officers in its earlier incarnation as the Independent Police Complaints Commission [IPCC]. I looked at the findings here)

Former Scotland Yard chief Lord Stevens calls on Met Police to release full report into the bungled probe over false VIP paedophile ring claims

1 August

Former CPS boss Lord Macdonald calls for Met Police to release unredacted version of report into Scotland Yard’s ‘VIP paedophile ring’ probe

 3 August

I want answers from ‘Nick’ police, says Priti: Home Secretary demands full explanation as to why police cleared three officers over the bungled VIP sex abuse inquiry

4 August

Former head of Met Police’s paedophile squad Paul Settle calls for criminal inquiry into Scotland Yard’s bungled probe into VIP child abuse fantasist ‘Nick’

(more on Settle here)

5 August

Revealed: Damning document ‘Nick’ police used for authorisation of raid on VIP’s home to investigate fantasist’s claims was riddled with FALSEHOODS

So who was to blame for breaking law over the warrant to raid VIP’s home following allegations from fantasist ‘Nick’?

Warrant for disgrace: In shocking detail, the shameful document police submitted to authorise raid that ruined life of war hero Lord Bramall

6 August

Watchdog’s lead investigator into ‘VIP paedophiles’ was only a few years out of university

***

As well as the above, Daily Mail hatchet man Guy Adams was also tasked with producing an attack article about Bernard Hogan-Howe, who was the head of the Metropolitan Police at the time of Operation Midland, although his discovery that Hogan-Howe enjoys a comfortable retirement with a generous pension and private sector consultancies was hardly a revelation. However, his “senior police officer is well paid” angle did inspire a similar piece about Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse in the Sunday Times.

The Mail has also today published a leader, titled “Something Rotten in Met“:

These were not the misguided acts of a few inexperienced junior officers but the systematic violation of that most basic of rights — the one protecting law-abiding householders from the arbitrary invasion of their homes by agents of the state.

This outrage was sanctioned in the highest reaches of the Met and carried out by detectives displaying a cavalier and contemptuous attitude towards due process.

Operation Midland was a rogue investigation fuelled by an insane Met policy demanding that alleged victims of sexual abuse should not only be listened to seriously but automatically believed… All at the behest of Beech, a grandstanding Walter Mitty whose account of devilish sex parties involving Establishment figures torturing and murdering boys would strain the credulity of a sceptical layman, never mind the seasoned detectives of Scotland Yard…

Similar commentary has appeared in other papers, and there have been a few references to Operation Elveden, which targeted journalists for paying officials for information. The Tom Watson angle has also received particular attention, although the exclusive focus here could be broadened at bit. In particular, when Proctor’s home was raided in 2015, the Daily Mail at the time referred not to Watson but to “a list of politicians passed to police by campaigning Labour MP John Mann”, and the headline announced that “Harvey Proctor will be first of many to be investigated, says campaigning Labour MP”. (1)

Footnote

1. That 2015 headline is slightly odd, in that the full version is “VIP abuse police raid home of shamed Tory: Veteran Harvey Proctor will be first of many to be investigated, says campaigning Labour MP”. Why is Proctor described as a “veteran”? Veteran of what? He had been out of public life for nearly three decades at this point. Was this perhaps an early reference to Lord Bramall, which was excised from the published version but one word left in by mistake?

One Response

  1. David Hencke has today blogged on the verdict…better late than never I suppose.

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