Friday, November 11, 2016

Now put VIP abuse 'fantasist' in the dock

As damning report blasts gullible police's 43 blunders in their Operation Midland inquiry, accused ex-MP calls for 'victim' who sparked it to be prosecuted

The suspected fantasist who triggered Scotland Yard's disastrous VIP child sex abuse inquiry is facing prosecution.

Detectives are probing whether the man known only as 'Nick' should be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

His baseless claims about sex abuse and murder involving an Establishment paedophile ring led to the Yard's bungled Operation Midland.

The £2.5million inquiry led to raids on the homes of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall, the late former home secretary Leon Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

Last night Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of rape and murder, described Nick as a fantasist, adding: 'I have called for him to be prosecuted on a number of occasions and I do so again.'

Yesterday, a report by a retired High Court judge savaged the Metropolitan Police Service for giving credence to Nick's wild allegations.

Sir Richard Henriques identified no fewer than 43 separate blunders and said it was time for police to stop automatically believing the accounts of alleged victims.

Nick's baseless claims about sex abuse and murder involving an Establishment paedophile ring led to the Yard's bungled Operation Midland. The £2.5m inquiry led to raids on the homes of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall (left), the late ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor (right)

In a series of dramatic developments yesterday:

    Five Scotland Yard officers were referred to the police watchdog for potential breaches of professional standards;

    Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe issued a grovelling apology for the bungled inquiry – but escaped any personal blame for the failings;

    It emerged that the vast majority of the 400 complaints to wider inquiries lacked merit;

    One prison inmate made allegations against 40 people, including celebrities, and all were false;

    Scotland Yard faced claims of a cover-up after publishing only 84 pages of Sir Richard's report.

The existence of the inquiry into Nick was revealed following the publication of Sir Richard's report into the Midland fiasco yesterday.

The suspected fantasist had claimed that a string of politicians and military figures murdered three children and abused others at depraved sex parties.

The claims were initially described by senior officers as 'credible and true'. Nick, who could not be contacted last night, was also interviewed by the BBC.

Detectives are expected to interview him under caution and examine his computer, mobile phone records and his previous statements.

Last night Scotland Yard confirmed Northumbria Police was investigating an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

In a barely disguised attack on a now defunct investigative website called Exaro, Sir Richard's report highlighted how their journalists fatally undermined the police inquiry.

He said they drove Nick around London looking for 'scenes of abuse' and showed him photos of possible suspects.

The retired judge said this 'unwelcome intrusion' should spur policymakers to consider statutory regulation of investigative journalism.

'Had a prosecution resulted from the investigation, very considerable difficulty would have resulted in identification procedures sufficient to render convictions possible,' he said.

Daniel Janner QC, whose late father, the Labour peer Lord Greville Janner was falsely accused by Nick, said: 'I am pleased to hear that Nick is being investigated by the police for attempting to pervert the course of justice.'

Mr Proctor added: 'I hope the Home Office will look at these matters carefully and bring forward proposals to amend the current system where a complainant, even a fantasist and liar, can be given lifelong anonymity and financially benefit while the alleged suspect is routinely fingered and named by the police and in my case left destitute.'

Operation Midland began to unravel after the Daily Mail revealed in September last year that several detectives had 'grave doubts' about Nick's story and the inquiry.

A number of subsequent articles by this newspaper made further revelations about the shambolic investigation, which closed earlier this year without a single arrest.

Sir Bernard said he 'fully recognised' Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Mr Proctor were all innocent.

Sir Richard said their reputations had been 'shattered by the word of a single, uncorroborated complainant'.

Original report here

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