Veteran investigative reporter, Don Hale, who saw a dossier in the 1980’s that alleged child abuse offences were committed by establishment figures, tells James O’Brien what he knows. Listen here.
Veteran investigative reporter, Don Hale, who saw a dossier in the 1980’s that alleged child abuse offences were committed by establishment figures, tells James O’Brien what he knows. Listen here.
The chilling claims that a paedophile ring may have been operating within the British establishment first emerged in an investigation by campaigning Conservative politician Geoffrey Dickens.
In November 1983, the MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester sent a 40-page document to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan detailing alleged VIP child abusers, apparently including former Liberal party chief whip Cyril Smith and other senior politicians.
In a newspaper interview at the time, Mr Dickens claimed his dossier contained the names of eight ‘really important public figures’ that he planned to expose, and whose crimes are believed to have stretched back to the 1960s.
Geoffrey Dickens produces a huge dossier detailing allegations of sexual abuse against prominent figures in the British establishment. He tells his family the claims will ‘blow apart’ the VIP paedophile ring.
Home Secretary Leon Brittan tells Mr Dickens that his dossier has been assessed by prosecutors and passed on to the police, but no further action is taken. The dossier is now either lost or missing.
Geoffrey Dickens dies. A short time later his wife destroys his copy of the paedophile dossier. The only other copies – one received by Mr Brittan and another allegedly sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions – are believed to have been lost or destroyed.
The 29-stone Rochdale MP Sir Cyril Smith dies aged 82 without ever being charged with sex offences.
Following the death of Sir Jimmy Savile, dozens of claims of historic child abuse emerge – including a number of alleged victims of Smith, who is said to have spanked and sexually abused teenage boys at a hostel he co-founded in the early 1960s.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP Tom Watson claims there is ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10’.
Lancashire Police announced they will be investigating claims of sexual abuse by Smith relating to incidents before 1974, while Greater Manchester Police will investigate claims after 1974.
The Crown Prosecution Service admits Smith should have been charged with crimes of abuse more than 40 years earlier. The CPS also admitted Smith had been investigated in 1970, 1974, 1998, and 1999 but rejected every opportunity to prosecute him.
A former special branch officer, Tony Robinson, says a historic dossier ‘packed’ with information about Smith’s sex crimes was actually in the hands of Mi5 – despite officially having been ‘lost’ decades earlier.
Scotland Yard sets up Operation Fairbank to investigate claims a paedophile ring operated at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London, in the 1970s and 80s. Among those abusing children are said to have been a number of prominent politicians.
Operation Fernbridge is established to investigate the Elm Guest House alleged paedophile ring.
It is claimed a ‘paedophile ring of VIPs’ also operated at the Grafton Close Children’s Home in Richmond, Surrey.
Two men, a Catholic priest from Norwich, and a man understood to be connected to Grafton Close, arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and questioned by Operation Fernbridge officers.
Scotland Yard claims that seven police officers are working full time on Operation Fernbridge and are following more than 300 leads.
Charles Napier, the half-brother of senior Conservative politician John Whittingdale, is arrested by Operation Fairbank officers.
Some senior Labour party politicians linked to pro-paedophile campaign group the Paedophile Information Exchange, which was affiliated with the National Council for Civil Liberties pressure group, now known as Liberty, in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Police search the home of Lord Janner as part of a historical sex abuse investigation. He is not arrested.
Current deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, who was NCCL’s in-house lawyer at the time of its affiliation with PIE and even met her husband Jack Dromey while working there, is forced to deny she supported the activities of the pro-paedophile collective.
Patricia Hewitt, Labour’s former Secretary of State for Health who was NCCL’s general secretary for nine years, later apologised and said she had been ‘naive and wrong’ to consider PIE a legitimate campaign group.
Lord Janner’s Westminster office is searched by police. Again the peer is not arrested.
July 3, 2014
Labour MP Simon Danczuk called on Leon Brittan to say what he knew about the Dickens dossier. It emerges the dossier has now been either lost or destroyed and the Home Office admits it can find no evidence of any criminal inquiry relating to it.
July 5, 2014
More than 10 current and former politicians are said to be on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of an alleged paedophile ring.
July 6, 2014
Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill reveals that 114 files relating to historic allegations of child sex abuse, from between 1979 and 1999, have disappeared from the Home Office.
It is also revealed that former Home Secretary Lord Brittan was accused of raping a student in 1967. The 2012 allegation was not investigated until Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders ordered the Met Police to re-open the case in June this year.
An internal review of hundreds of thousands of Home Office files found 13 previously undisclosed “items of alleged child abuse” last year. Four had not been referred to the police.
Four previously unknown cases of historic sex abuse have been referred to the police by Home Office officials in recent months, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
An internal review of hundreds of thousands of Home Office files found 13 previously undisclosed “items of alleged child abuse” last year.
The Home Office said that nine of the 13 cases had been reported to the police – including four which involved the department’s officials.
However, the remaining four were overlooked by civil servants – and have now been reported to the Metropolitan Police.
The cases were unearthed by an internal review ordered by the Home Office’s permanent secretary Mark Sedwill in February last year, months after the scandal involving former Liberal MP Cyril Smith broke.
The review – which was carried out by an independent investigator from HM Revenue and Customs – trawled through 746,000 files between 1979 and1999, and uncovered the 13 instances of alleged child abuse.
A summary of the review, which was made public after a Freedom of Information request, said: “This work identified 13 items of information about alleged child abuse, including 4 cases involving Home Office staff.
“Nine of these items of information, including all of the cases involving Home Office staff, were either already known to the Police or were reported to them by the Home Office at the time.
“The Investigator considers that the remaining 4 items of information are likely to be of limited value, as they are either of doubtful credibility or involve the use of a single profile indicator to identify a potential offender.
“However it is recommended that the information is passed to the Police for a proper assessment as this falls within their remit.”
The Home Office said that all the recommendations had now been implemented, which meant they have been referred to the Police.
The review also said that it had “identified 11 centrally recorded files from the 1980s relating to the Paedophile Information Exchange, all of which had been destroyed”.
It added: “The recorded file titles, together with media reports of events at the time, give some indication of the probable contents of these files from which the Investigator has concluded that their destruction was consistent with applicable record retention policies.”
It concluded: “The independent investigator is satisfied that the Home Office did pass on to the appropriate authorities any information received about child abuse in the period 1979 to 1999 which was credible and which had realistic potential for further investigation.
“The investigator believes that the risk of any undisclosed material remaining in files form that period is extremely low.”
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale who has been campaigning on historic child abuse, questioned why the Home Office had not passed on the cases to the police earlier.
He said: “It’s never the job of the Home Office to try and determine what constituted potential evidence, that’s the job of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The public will think that people in the Home Office were withholding information from the police which could have led to the successful prosecution of child sex abusers.
“Had the evidence been passed to the police at the time they might have been able to link it to other information in their possession and build a case against someone.”
He added: “The public are left wondering why the Home Office didn’t pass on the four cases to the police when they initially received the information, some years ago.
“The more we delve into historic child sex abuse and the role of the Home Office the more concerns are raised. This is why we now need an independent overarching enquiry into historic child sex abuse.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it was considering a request for comment from The Daily Telegraph, but could not comment at the time of going to press.
A Home Office spokesman said: “In response to concerns raised in Parliament and the media relating to the handling by the Department of historical allegations of abuse, the Permanent Secretary commissioned an independent review of all relevant papers received by the Department between 1979 to 1999 to identify any information received and the outcome.
“The review concluded the Home Office acted appropriately, referring information received during this period to the relevant authorities.
“The Department has now received a request for further information from the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further until we have responded to the Chair’s request. We will respond in due course.”
The British policing and criminal justice minister has dismissed a proposal by a number of MPs calling for an independent official probe into cases of sexual abuse that occurred in the past.
Damian Green told the UK’s House of Commons on Tuesday that a decision on such an inquiry should wait for the outcome of other criminal investigations that are currently underway into the abuse allegations.
More than 120 British lawmakers from all parties backed a call demanding a wider national inquiry into the abuse cases in Britain, which have come to police notice for years but the culprits have never been prosecuted.
Those MPs behind the move cited cases in which young working-class victims were not considered as credible witnesses where suspects were former officials and well-connected.
“Is it not now time that we had an overarching inquiry into the culture at that time of these historical sex offences so that we can both bring closure to that and actually learn lessons from the future?” said British Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland.
Several high-profile figures have been arrested in connection with the multiple investigations into the abuse scandal surrounding Jimmy Savile, a disgraced former TV host with the state-funded British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He died in 2011, but, following his death, hundreds of allegations of sex abuse and rape of minors became public.
In January 2013, in a report by police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Savile was branded as one of the UK’s most prolific known sexual predators, who used his celebrity status to “hide in plain sight.”
(not satire – it’s the UK today)
There has been some criticism of Theresa May’s decision to appoint Lady Butler-Sloss as chair of the VIP paedophile inquiry.
Most of the criticism has centred around the fact Lady Butler-Sloss sits in the House of Lords and may have to criticise her fellow peers in the inquiry.
Personally, I think much more worrying is the little mentioned fact that Butler-Sloss will most certainly have to investigate a close member of her own family.
Her brother is former Tory MP and Attorney General Sir Michael Havers – who also happened to be one of the establishment figures alleged to have argued for the protection of the identities of VIPs accused of child abuse.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Just 4 days ago – before it was announced Butler-Sloss would head the inquiry – the pro-establishment Daily Mail had this to say about Havers:
View original 152 more words
A Judge retires to consider his verdict. Judge Alan Goldsack QC (left) of Sheffield Crown Court spoke out last week, as he retired after 43 years in the legal profession. I have added suitably satirical bits in red to his statements in order to demonstrate, with as little didacticism as possible under the circumstances, why he is part of the problem in Britain of dealing with systemic child abuse. Sadly, the bits in black are what he actually did say.
“A frightening thing is the number of people I see who are the grandchildren of the people I have prosecuted and defended 40 years ago – because crime runs in families in the same way that being a doctor, teacher or lawyer does – and despite all of them having been rogered up hill and down dale for three generations by some of my closest colleagues, they continue to offend. It is really quite mystifying. We have to get in on the ground and remove young babies from the families that are going to produce the next generation of criminals, and that is why I did family law right up until the end because I think it is very important work and without it, we’d have sex-starved teachers, care workers and politicians all over Britain, which I think would be tragic. I have read so many pre-sentence reports where I said to myself ‘why was this person not adopted at birth? All the signs were there’…but despite knowing as I do that the self-centred fluffies on Westminster’s Left were in denial about feral crime, I said nothing beyond floating the idea of post-natal strangulation. Family is all important if you want to prevent people becoming criminals – a stable family life prevents most people from becoming criminals but rather than deal with the families what we have decided to do as a society is bugger their children senseless. Sadly, this had proved ineffective….children are removed from dysfunctional homes too late – at an age when it is difficult to find adoptive parents so the youngsters end up in care. And of course when they come before me, utterly without shame, and complain that their bottoms hurt, I am forced to ignore their manipulative lies in favour of some some tosh cooked up by a bent shrink and a care-home perv.
“Children removed from home at 11 or 12 will invariably end up in a children’s home, and that’s a bit too old for the likes of most paedos, which is why we have to get in early. It’s not uncommon for a dysfunctional family to have £250,000 spent on them, but if we got in early and removed children from these homes we could save thousands of sexual sadists from being forced to kidnap happy children and murder them. It all seems very obvious to me. Supervision on release is all important and here in Yorkshire we have the very people to groom them for a life ending abruptly in suicide later, which is a much cheaper solution to the problem.”
Now to be fair to Judge Goldsack, in other parts of his valedictory address he did make a number of telling points about why society is falling apart, and how a combination of do-gooding twits and uncaring psychos in Parliament had been the vital catalysts for managing – in sixty years flat – to turn a generally stable, polite and law-abiding society into the wriggling mass of licentious behaviour and emotional incontinence we are forced to spend each day ploughing through in 2013 Britain. But there are two overriding features of his goodbye note that are utterly reprehensible:
1. His astonishing inability to think of the consequences of some of his proposals in terms of personal liberty. (Taking children away at birth, supervision at every lifestage and so forth).
2. After five decades working in Family Law, the complete omission of any reference whatsoever to the obvious existence of pernicious sexual corruption in the care system. Alan Goldsack freely admits that Britain’s care system is failing, but refuses to even acknowledge the existence of a hard core of the depraved preying on the deprived.
The first point above is so close to being ubiquitous in Britain today, I no longer have the strength to deal with the uncaring naivety that typifies much of it. The Woolwich event brought forth yet more controlling drivel from the Mayor: proposed moves to stop two clowns chopping someone’s head off by introducing ID cards and yet more CCTV is beyond stupid as a suggestion. A better observation might have involved asking the security services why they hadn’t collared the pair long ago. Another might have been to ask the Left why they took no notice, for years, when Islamic demonstrations in the UK carried placards suggesting “Behead infidels” as a form of progressive social action.
On the one hand we have a silk – a Judge – giving the police yet more carte blanche to turn into a Gestapo; on the other, we have muddled and unscrupulous ‘human rights’ lawyers fighting endless orders for the deportation of folks like the Woolwich double-act.
The second point recurs over and over at The Slog, and is a central, critical reason why the vast majority of paedophiles go about their sexual behaviour with something approaching impunity: the parents don’t want to hear what their kids tell them, the police aren’t interested in wading into a sewer of political privilege, the media’s readership are made uncomfortable by the coverage, and the Judges don’t believe the testimony.
The first person to put his literary finger precisely on the power of judges to defend the forces of authority was Charles Dickens. While on occasion such an attitude is essential if a culture’s positive values are to be retained, far too many of the Bench bewigged these days begin with the assumption that they’re dealing, in the case of abuse victims, with incorrigible liars. Sometimes they are, of course. But you can’t be a judge and a bigot: something has to give.
When those above the law make miserable the lives of those who have broken it, it is very hard indeed to engender public sympathy: that, I’m afraid, is human nature. But when those exploiting the law go around at will sodomising the sanity of kids already unlucky by dint of birth, they are committing one of the worst crimes known to our species.
The long-term answer is to put some principles and reality back into social politics…rather than privatising the process of getting feral families to reform (on the Right) or saying such and such “is not a syndrome I recognise on the ground” (on the Left). The short term key to at least starting the process of cleaning up the care system is to stop denying that the problem exists.
Oh look, nothing’s changed in Rochdale after all. That it does exist continues to be obvious on a daily basis. And whereas for some reason it seems to have a Tory bias in national politics, at the local level Labour enjoys a clear majority. Fifty-five year old Garry Layfield hails from Rochdale, and has been active in Kirkholt Labour Party for much of that period. Last Friday 24th May, he was jailed for several sexual offences committed over a number of years involving minors, including two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault.
Layfield, who had been followed by ugly rumours for a considerable time, was found guilty at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court. He got seven years, and was ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register indefinitely. His main victim was eight-years-old when the abuse started….in 1975. It continued for five years. It happened in Rochdale. It went undetected, then ignored, then – when confided by the victim to an appalled relative – resulted in a conviction.
Since taking over as Labour MP in 2010, Rochdale’s Simon Danczuck has been extremely voluble on the subject of systemic paedophilia in the previously incumbent Liberal Democrat Party. The local Member used to be Cyril Smith. Only a few days ago, I posted about Rochdale Council’s former CEO being uninterested in child sex-abuse, along with a tub-thumping insistence from Danczuck that Ellis should be forced “to pay back his enormous pension fund”.
But when it came to things being put right on his own watch, our Simon told the Manchester Evening News that he was confident “Lessons have been learned. There’s no complacency on the part of police about these horrific crimes, and I’m confident every effort is being made to get these predators off our streets”.
Sadly, that doesn’t seem to have included the Labour man himself, allegedly: a comment threader at the Rochdaleonline piece notes, ‘I want to know what Mr Danczuk has to say about this beast? After all, I personally told Mr Danczuk in 2011 about this vile person and what he had done, yet he still remained an active part of the Kirkholt Labour Party, knocking on doors all over the estate. As said by Mr Danczuk, sex offenders are walking the streets, and obviously they are helped around by our councillors.’
Once again, tribalism triumphs over any real sense of justice among our MPs. Be it Tom Watson or David Cameron, Theresa May or David Steel, over the decades the mantra has remained the same: “My Party right or wrong”.
Pompous MP turns out to be full of sh*t. Nothing to see here, move along now please….
ABOVE: Steve Garner
More council bosses are expected be called before Parliament to explain why cries for help from child sex victims were ignored by those who were supposed to protect them.
It comes after Rochdale council’s former chief executive Roger Ellis appeared before the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Also giving evidence were Mr Ellis’s successor Jim Taylor and Sara Rowbotham, a front line sexual health worker, who revealed the full extent of the scandal to MPs.
A spokesperson for the committee said they were planning to hear more evidence on November 20. They added the committee had not yet decided who would be called.
But when they meet they are likely to want to explore Mr Ellis’ evidence that neither he nor his senior managers were told social workers were reporting dozens of cases where young girls were being sexually exploited by gangs of older men.
Earlier this week, MPs heard that during the time the abuse was reported by social workers, the council’s director of children’s services role was held over the years by Terry Piggott, Steve Titcombe and Cheryl Eastwood.
They also heard that Steve Garner had been in charge of the children’s social services team from 2009.
Mr Garner has already been called to appear before the committee but was too ill to attend.
MP Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Committee chairman, said a judicial inquiry may now be needed to explore why the council did not act sooner.
Greater Manchester Police, the council and Crown Prosecution Service are already holding their own investigations into how they dealt with the scandal while a serious case review is also taking place.
Mr Vaz said Keith Bristow, head of the National Crime Agency may be asked to look into the case. He added: “Clearly we will have to wait for the outcomes of the prosecutions to be completed but it seems appropriate that there should be a further inquiry into why the council failed to act and maybe the best course of action for this committee is to draw Keith Bristow’s attention to the evidence given, because as the Home Secretary has said, he will be coordinating other examples of abuse in other parts of country.”
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said all managers involved in the council’s failure to intervene sooner needed to explain their actions.
He added: “Having heard Roger Ellis deny knowing anything about sexual abuse and claiming senior managers did not tell him anything, there is clearly a need for Steve Garner, Terry Piggott, Steve Titcombe and Cheryl Eastwood, to be held to account.
“If any judicial inquiry is to take place they need to be called to give evidence.”
Mr Garner, Mr Piggott, Mr Titcombe and Mrs Eastwood are no longer employed by Rochdale council.