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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Man who accused UK establishment figures of sexual abuse found guilty of perverting course of justice

Carl Beech’s allegations began appearing in the press in 2014.

Court artist sketch of Carl Beech giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court
Court artist sketch of Carl Beech giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court
Image: Elizabeth Cook via PA Images

A BRITISH COURT has convicted a man who accused a string of establishment figures including former prime minister Edward Heath of sexually abusing children, finding him guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Carl Beech, a former children’s charity worker and nurse, was referred to as “Nick” during the large-scale investigation which his claims triggered.

As part of their enquiries, police raided the homes of Edwin Bramall, a former army chief and World War II veteran, and the late Leon Brittan, a former European commissioner.

Beech’s allegations began appearing in the press in 2014, raising the pressure on police to investigate after they were widely criticised for failing to bring former TV presenter Jimmy Savile to justice before his death.

The police officer leading the investigation, Kenny McDonald, described Beech’s allegations as “credible and true” on TV news bulletins in December 2014.

However, police could not find any evidence to support his sensational claims and the investigation was stopped in 2016.

Met Police statement

In a statement today, Met Police deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House accepted the force “did not get everything right”. 

He noted that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) stated in March 2017 that it had found “no evidence to indicate bad faith, malice or dishonesty on the part of our officers as they investigated the allegations made by Carl Beech”.

The IPCC also stated that the information available to them indicated the investigation was extensive and carried out diligently, House noted. 

The IPCC continued to investigate three officers for matters relating to the applications for search warrants. Today, the Independent Office for Police Conduct announced that none of these officers had a case to answer in relation to any allegations.

“In summary, none of the five officers involved in the original referral or the three officers subject to investigation were found to have cases to answer in relation to any of the allegations,” House said.

It must be remembered also that the work of Operation Midland was carried out against a backdrop of intense scrutiny and allegations that in the past the Met had covered up sensitive allegations about prominent people.

House added that there will be an “internal debrief” following the trial to “identify any additional lessons”. 

“It remains true that investigating allegations of sexual offences is a very complex and challenging area of police work. Those complexities are compounded where those allegations stretch back many decades, as was the case in Operation Midland,” House said.

Includes reporting by © AFP 2019  

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