Police to probe failure to investigate alleged fantasists who supported Beech over sex abuse claims
Scotland Yard’s failure to investigate two alleged fantasists who came forward to support liar and paedophile Carl Beech over bogus claims of VIP sex abuse will now be examined by Merseyside Police.
The force will investigate why the Metropolitan Police did not take action against the two men despite Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who was then in charge, concluding they were ‘deliberate liars’.
The pair, known only as A and B, went to police in September 2015 claiming they could back up Beech’s false claims that a VIP paedophile ring had abused and murdered boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of the men was described by his brother as a liar with convictions for fraud and violence, while the other had a history of giving fake information about being abused by paedophiles and also had convictions for fraud and theft.
But officers from the Met Police did not investigate the pair for conspiring to pervert the course of justice or wasting police time.
In a statement, Merseyside Police said officers are carrying out an inquiry to establish why Scotland Yard failed to act – a decision that is likely to heap pressure on Mr Rodhouse, now a senior officer at the National Crime Agency.
Merseyside became involved after former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was investigated on false claims by Beech, made eight complaints to Northumbria Police in October 2019 over the Met’s Operation Midland.
Scotland Yard’s failure to investigate two alleged fantasists who came forward to support Carl Beech over bogus claims of a VIP paedophile ring will now be examined by an outside force
They included an allegation that Mr Rodhouse and the Met did not investigate two further complainants for perverting the course of justice and wasting police time.
In a damning independent review of the case, retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques said the two men who gave accounts that apparently backed up Beech had ‘both deliberately lied’.
Sir Richard said their intervention had ‘unquestionably prolonged the investigation’ adding to the suffering of those who had been falsely accused by Beech.
He wrote: ‘I believe that but for the false information being pedalled by witnesses A and B, the DAC [Deputy Assistant Commissioner] would have terminated the investigation.’
His findings recommended that ‘offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice be considered’ against them, but his advice was ignored by the Met.
Mr Proctor’s complaints were referred to the Met, before one was passed on to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which recommended an outside force should investigate.
Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was investigated on false claims by Beech, made eight complaints to Northumbria Police in October 2019 over the Met’s Operation Midland. Merseyside are now investigating why the Met did not investigate two alleged fantasists who supported Beech – a move that will heap pressure on former DAC Steve Rodhouse
Now Priti Patel demands MPs probe ‘Nick’ shambles: Home Secretary will meet top judge who has called for full criminal inquiry into ‘VIP paedophile ring’ investigation
Priti Patel signalled a dramatic new intervention into Scotland Yard’s disastrous VIP child sex abuse investigation.
The Home Secretary admitted there were ‘outstanding questions’ about the Operation Midland scandal and urged MPs to launch an ‘all-encompassing’ inquiry.
It escalated tensions between Miss Patel and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, after the Home Secretary refused to declare confidence in her.
Her aides and the Prime Minister later insisted Britain’s most senior police chief had the backing of the Government.
Miss Patel revealed that she will meet retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques, who has urged her to order an independent criminal investigation into five detectives at the centre of the scandal – and the watchdogs who cleared them.
The Home Secretary said: ‘There are outstanding questions. I would like to meet with Sir Richard primarily to understand effectively the processes, what has happened, what went wrong.’
She told MPs on the home affairs select committee: ‘This is a difficult issue, because obviously there is a historic timeline where evidence was collected.
‘There is more that clearly needs to be done here. I will absolutely follow the inquiries that the committee is holding. I think I do definitely need to ask some questions in terms of what has happened.’
Sir Richard’s concerns focus on the way Scotland Yard ‘acted unlawfully’ in giving a district judge false information used to obtain search warrants to raid the homes of former home secretary Lord Brittan, D-Day hero Lord Bramall and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.
A statement from Merseyside Police said: ‘This is in relation to a complaint decision that was not recorded to the right standard with reference to a decision made by MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) not to investigate false allegations from two complainants, and at the completion of Operation Midland in relation to perverting the course of justice and wasting police time.
‘Officers from our professional standards department have now commenced the investigation, as recommended by the IOPC.’
In an email seen by PA, the investigating officer said: ‘I have now prepared an investigation plan regarding the above matter and I am in possession of a number of documents from Operation Midland that will assist me with my investigation.’
Mr Proctor, 74, said he is ‘very pleased that Merseyside Police have begun investigating a complaint I made against the MPS in October 2019 concerning the Metropolitan Police Service and the then DAC Steve Rodhouse not investigating two false accusers’.
He added: ‘I am hopeful that they will conduct a full, thorough and transparent investigation. I believe it is in the best interests of restoring the criminal justice system.’
The Met said it will co-operate fully with Merseyside, but added that the complaint was assessed by its ‘appropriate authority’, which found any decision to investigate A or B was not for Mr Rodhouse to make.
A statement from the force said: ‘However, it was a decision for a senior officer or senior officers in the MPS to make.
‘Records show clear evidence of careful consideration of this matter and a clear rationale for not commencing an investigation, but not of the explicit recording of this to the standard required.
‘Therefore, a complaint against the MPS was recorded in January 2020 and voluntarily referred to the IOPC in accordance with IOPC statutory guidance.
‘The IOPC determined that the matter should be investigated as a local matter but suggested it be conducted by an external force.
‘In the summer of 2020, the MPS agreed with Merseyside Police that they will conduct the investigation. The MPS will co-operate fully with their investigators.’
Former home secretary Leon Brittan was one of the men falsely accused by Beech – then known as ‘Nick’. Mr Brittan died in January 2015 without knowing there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
His home was raided, along with those of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall and Mr Proctor, before it emerged that all the claims were based on lies by Beech, who was jailed for 18 years in 2019 for perverting the course of justice.
Calls for a public inquiry into the investigation have been backed by retired senior district judge Howard Riddle, who granted the contentious search warrants for the probe, while Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she will ‘ask further questions’.
Mr Proctor added: ‘I look forward to the Home Secretary answering the questions of judges Sir Richard Henriques and Mr Howard Riddle on Operation Midland again in efforts to restore the criminal justice system so badly damaged by Operation Midland.
‘There should now be a full public inquiry to consider the judges’ comments on Operation Midland.’
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