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Staffordshire Police Says Complaint Against VIP Abuse Accuser Esther Baker is “Being Investigated”

From the Daily Mail:

Detectives are investigating claims that a second alleged abuse victim lied about sex attacks by a VIP paedophile ring.

In 2015, Esther Baker said former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming was part of a group which lured children into woodland at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire to be raped.

…Now Staffordshire Police, which spent more than a year investigating the allegations, confirmed they were probing whether Miss Baker, 36, misled detectives.

…In a statement, Staffordshire Police said yesterday: ‘Following a complaint made to officers, the matter is being investigated and the file is currently with Staffordshire Police’s head of crime for review and consideration of next steps.’

It is difficult to tell from this how far along the police are – have Baker’s claims be re-scrutinised, or does this just mean that the force is investigating whether to investigate?

The complainant is the former MP John Hemming, and it is odd that neither the Mail article nor a BBC report refer to the fact that the force had previously considered his complaint in 2017. Their initial view, as reported in September 2017, was that a probe of Baker’s claims “would not benefit her or the wider community” (or, we might infer, the police), and a few months later it was reported that:

Staffordshire Police informed him [Hemming] via email that following a ‘review’ of his allegations, it had decided there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to proceed with the case and no further action would be taken.

Baker has responded dismissively to the new articles, scoffing on Twitter that “Police follow normal procedure and pass file up the chain to decide whether it’s worth passing to CPS before dropping it like last time… 4 years in … they’ve still not felt the need to interview me under caution – unlike some.”

She has also once again suggested that she has information that substantiates her account that is not the public domain:

Meh. I’m actually quite bored … but one day they’ll learn that for every time they try to discredit me with lies – I get irritated enough to post a bit more truth. Stay tuned travellers.

Baker has also in the past referred to Staffordshire Police’s continuing confidence in her as a truthful complainant. This is something to be borne in mind – clearly, constructing a case that officers were “misled” might imply criticism of those officers, and any decision to proceed now (following the high-profile conviction of VIP abuse hoaxer Carl Beech) would raise questions about why Hemming’s complaint was rejected in 2017 and 2018. This is perhaps a systemic conflict-of-interest problem when it comes to perversion of justice allegations.

Alongside her Cannock Chase allegations, Baker also claims to have been taken by night to London, where she was brought to a location that she now believes to have been Dolphin Square, and she has also made teenage “grooming”-type claims. These are claims for which she has waived her legal right to anonymity, although that would not preclude her from making other allegations that cannot be publicly attributed to her.

Baker’s supporters in Parliament include John Mann (who raised her name in the House of Commons chamber), Sarah Champion and Jess Phillips, who defeated Hemming in the 2015 general election.

Hemming settled a libel action against two of Baker’s supporters in January.

2 Responses

  1. “..and Jess Phillips, who defeated Hemming in the 2015 general election.”

    If you ask me this makes Phillips’ position problematic from a conflict-of-interest point of view. The media luvvies like David Aaronovitch won’t hear a word against her though!

  2. I suspect that the police are acting on new evidence which disproves Ms Baker’s version of events.

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