Ex-charity worker Carl Beech found guilty over Westminster paedophile ring lies
A former NSPCC volunteer who lied about being abused by a murderous VIP Westminster paedophile ring is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud.
Carl Beech’s malicious, repeated and determined deceit ruined the reputations of those he accused and led the Metropolitan Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.
Mr Proctor blasted the force, calling the episode “a truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing”.
Their £2 million Operation Midland into the lurid allegations by the man they named only as “Nick” ended without making a single arrest.
Beech told detectives over hours of tearful interviews that his late stepfather, an Army major, raped him, then passed him on to generals to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused by other Establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.
He named former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, his sworn enemy Mr Proctor, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley, the head of MI5, and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the gang after meeting a journalist from the defunct news agency Exaro.
He claimed a schoolboy named Scott was deliberately knocked down and killed, that another boy who might have been the missing teenager Martin Allen was raped and strangled in front of him, and said another youth was battered to death by the ring.
A senior detective wrongly called the allegations “credible and true” before the force had completed their inquiries.
A jury at Newcastle Crown Court rejected Beech’s unfounded allegations and on Monday convicted him of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, relating to a £22,000 criminal injuries payout he falsely claimed for being raped by Savile.
The jurors were unconvinced by his claims that Army generals, at the height of the IRA terror threat, could sneak off unguarded to join horrific child abuse sessions.
They saw a videoed police interview with Lord Bramall where the war hero, now too ill to give evidence, thumped the table in front of him and denied having any sexual interest in children.
Another falsely accused general, 96-year-old Sir Hugh Beach, told the jury via video-link that the allegations against him were “beyond grotesque”.
Beech had also said the head of MI5 – presumably also busy dealing with terrorists – arrived at his school to tell him his dog had been kidnapped as a warning.
He claimed that he was there when the ring shot his horse Sam, although he had no idea what happened to the body, or what his mother thought, who was paying for its stabling.
With what Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, described as “breathtaking hypocrisy”, Beech himself was a paedophile with an interest in pre-teen boys.
The school governor and NSPCC volunteer was due to be tried on indecent images and voyeurism charges last summer but went on the run to Sweden, where he bought two remote properties and tried to evade justice using false identities.
After the trial, Mr Proctor said he was still to settle a claim against the Metropolitan Police, saying their raid cost his home and the job he loved, working for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.
Mr Justice Goss said he will sentence on these matters, as well as indecent images offences and breach of bail, at a later date.
The jury deliberated for around four-and-a-half hours.
Beech did not visibly react when the 13 guilty verdicts were returned.
How the Operation Midland Investigation into Carl Beech’s false claims unfolded
Allegations made by Carl Beech sparked a £2 million Metropolitan Police investigation, known as Operation Midland, with officers raiding the homes of several high-profile figures who were falsely accused.
Here is a timeline of events relating to the case:
- December 6 – Beech is interviewed by Wiltshire Police Detective Constable Mark Lewis after making a complaint about child sex abuse. He says his stepfather, Major Ray Beech, and Jimmy Savile both abused him. The force later marks the case as “undetected” and takes no further action.
- October 23 – After meeting with reporters, Beech comes forward to the Metropolitan Police with a string of allegations against high-profile figures.
- November 14 – Police announce the launch of the Operation Midland investigation into claims of “possible homicide” linked to an alleged VIP paedophile ring. The investigation centres on claims by a man known only as “Nick”.
- December 18 – Scotland Yard appeals for information regarding the alleged murders of three young boys linked to the supposed paedophile ring. People who lived in or visited London’s Dolphin Square apartments in the 1970s are asked to come forward. A Metropolitan Police officer describes the allegations made by “Nick” as “credible and true”.
- March 4 – The home of former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor is searched by officers investigating “historic child sexual abuse”. Later that day, Mr Proctor denies being part of a “rent-boy ring” or attending sex parties. The homes of Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall are later searched.
- April 30 – Normandy veteran Lord Bramall, then 91, is interviewed under caution.
- August 25 – Mr Proctor holds a dramatic press conference in which he denounces the allegations made by “Nick” and claims he is the victim of a “homosexual witch hunt”.
- September 22 – Alison Saunders, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at the time, admits that Scotland Yard may have “overstepped the mark” in describing ‘Nick’s’ allegations as “credible and true”.
- January 15 – Lord Bramall is told that he faces no further action. The field marshal describes being investigated as an “awful” experience. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, then the Metropolitan Police commissioner, later apologises to him.
- March 21 – Mr Proctor reveals he has been told he will face no further action. Operation Midland is closed without a single arrest having been made. Days later, the widow of Lord Brittan, who died in January 2015, is told that her husband would have had no case to answer.
- November 2 – A specialist team raids Beech’s rented three-bedroom home in Gloucester. Officers seize electronic devices, which reveal indecent images and covert images of boys.
- November 8 – A report by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques finds that Scotland Yard made “numerous errors” in Operation Midland. He says that a major contributing factor was “the culture that ‘victims’ must be believed”.
- September 7 – Northumbria Police pass a file to the CPS to determine whether “Nick” should face charges of perverting the course of justice and fraud.
- February – Aware that charges may follow from Northumbria Police’s investigation, “Nick” travels to Calais, before attempting to start a new life as a fugitive in Sweden. Growing a beard as a disguise and using several different names, he buys two properties there.
- July 3 – “Nick” is charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud. Mr Proctor says: “Justice must now be allowed to take its course.”
- October 20 – Having been extradited from Sweden, “Nick” appears at Newcastle Crown Court.
- December 3 – “Nick” is unmasked as Carl Beech after Judge Paul Sloan QC, the Recorder of Newcastle, lifts a reporting restriction preventing the media from naming him.
- January 22 – Beech pleads guilty at Hereford Crown Court to voyeurism, making indecent images of children, and possessing indecent images. The court hears how he covertly filmed a teenage boy urinating.
- February 18 – Beech pleads not guilty to charges of perverting the course of justice and fraud.
- May 14 – His trial begins at Newcastle Crown Court. Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC described Beech’s account to detectives as “totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised and irredeemably contradicted”.
- July 3 – Beech takes to the witness stand during the trial. He repeats the allegations that he made to detectives and stands by them.
- July 22 – a jury convicts Beech. He will be sentenced later.
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