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OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 11.10.17 16:09

Get'emGonçalo wrote:Courtesy of PeterMac:

Private Eye exposed all this many many years ago.  He never sued
So why aren't the Ma Learned friends allowing or sanctioning questions within the chambers of both House of common's and the Lords about,how Cyril Smith got away with child abuse,Oh,we'll hide behind Alexis Jay's IICSA Inquiry,that's **cked them up from having questions to answer for years,phew! fudge,fudge from the meisters of deceit?
So from the supplying of children to be abused by the Upper Echelons of society,that clearly shows a connection to a well known Gangster family and there Political friends to Lords from the Den of inequity,that have persisted for years? Those fine Woollen cloths securely in place on those fine Crowns and under their well trodden feet on those stupendous Carpets hidden in bowels of the depths of sanctity,never to be seen by the Plebicites or their relatives,keep sticking years on the release dates,the relatives are not all dead yet,Here,here?
Wheres me Fees £300 quid,ker ching,Uber Taxi,there much cheaper than those Black cabs,yer know,Er driver Don't forget the tip on the receipt,just put combined total fella,Good man?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 11.10.17 21:24

[url= Hearing Transcript 11 October 2017.pdf][/url]
Some snips from today’s transcripts. It’ll be interesting to see whether anything is made of the missing files from the ‘significant enquiry’ in the 80’s.

MR TIMOTHY JACQUES Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary

Page 58, relevant to this and other cases:

1.     I have interviewed all those complainants separately and
2.     2  I am satisfied there has been no collusion."
3.     3  A. Yes.
4.     4  Q. Of course, mutual corroboration is one thing but an
5.     5  absence of collusion is another.
6.     6  A. Yes.
7.     7  Q. An important feature when you're looking at
8.     8  a multiplicity of complaints from different
9.     9  complainants, the question will often arise in terms of
10.  10  an assessment of credibility as to whether they have
11.  11  been able to collude --
12.  12  A. Yes.
13.  13  Q. -- and arrive at similar, if not identical, allegations
14.  14  against an individual alleged offender?
15.  15  A. Yes.
16.  16  Q. An absence of collusion enhances their credibility?
17.  17  A. Yes.
18.  18  Q. And the case generally?
19.  19  A. Yes. And remembering that this investigation was some
20.  20  years after the allegations had taken place, and the
21.  21  individuals who gave statements were in different places
22.  22  and had moved on, some of them. So it wasn't as if they
23.  23  were a cohort of people who were together regularly, so
24.  24  that the consistency in their description of what
25.  25  happened is quite a compelling feature of that file and

P.95 Diligent Investigation

1.     Q. Do you have, finally, any concerns that Lancashire
2.     21  Constabulary failed to investigate Cyril Smith properly
3.     22  in 1969-'70 as a result of his influence on the police
4.     23  or others?
5.     24  A. No, I think Lancashire Constabulary diligently conducted
6.     25  their enquiries and the evidence they collected
7.     described a compelling case from the investigating officer's view, and I do agree with that, and that case was presented to the then Director of Public Prosecutions.

P.99 The missing ‘significant enquiry’ from the 80’s

8.     Q. Mr Esseen states that he had been informed, first of
9.     16  all, that GMP conducted an enquiry into Smith in the
10.  17  '80s and the '90s codenamed Operation Veronica:
11.  18  "I have had it confirmed today that they possess as
12.  19  computer disc, a Canon diskfile titled ... It contains
13.  20  a file relating to Cyril Smith [with a number]
14.  21  containing 172 pages ... entered on 15 February 1995."
15.  22  Everyone has been searching for Operation Veronica.
16.  23  The question I had was, was the computer disc relating
17.  24  to this investigation ever obtained by Operation Acura?
18.  25  A. No. My understanding is that it wasn't. As you pointed
19.  out, Acura was relatively short lived, and all the -- or
20.  2  the predominant amount of information that was gathered
21.  3  in that short space was Manchester related. Therefore,
22.  4  it was agreed on 26 November that they would further the
23.  5  investigation into it, and all that information.
24.  6  Q. The second question is the paragraph that starts:
25.  7  "In addition, a retired DCI from GMP has today
26.  8  contacted the force to state that a significant enquiry
27.  9  was carried out into Smith in the '80s. The documents
28.  10  were originally stored at Rochdale until they were sent
29.  11  to deep storage in the late 1990s. I therefore believe
30.  12  we will be able to access this file."
31.  13  Could I ask if those files were retrieved by
32.  14  Operation Acura?
33.  15  A. Again, those files weren't retrieved, is my
34.  16  understanding, because that was, again, a Manchester leg
35.  17  of the enquiry because Rochdale, of course, in the '80s,
36.  18  was controlled by Greater Manchester and the storage at
37.  19  Rochdale and any further storage would have been
38.  20  Greater Manchester's. So that's one of the many reasons
39.  21  why that primacy of the investigation was passed over to
40.  22  Greater Manchester.
41.  23  Q. Do you have any information at all about what that 1980s
42.  24  investigation might have pertained to?
43.  25  A. I'm sorry, I don't have any now.

 Gregor Anthony McGill, Director of Legal Services at the Crown Prosecution Service.

P.112 The DPP response within three days of the Lancashire Police file being submitted

1.     "Dear Sir ..."
2.     22  This is addressed to the chief constable:
3.     23  "I have considered your file and I observe that
4.     24  eight young men, whose ages range from 19 to 24 years,
5.     25  allege that between 1961 and 1966 Smith submitted them
6.     to various forms of indecency and I also observe that
7.     2  Smith denies their allegations. Any charges of indecent
8.     3  assault founded on these allegations, as well as being
9.     4  somewhat stale, would also be, in my view, completely
10.  5  without corroboration. Further, the characters of some
11.  6  of these young men would be likely to render their
12.  7  evidence suspect.
13.  8  "In the circumstances, I do not consider that if
14.  9  proceedings for indecent assault were to be taken
15.  10  against Smith, there would be a reasonable prospect of
16.  11  a conviction."
17.  12  There is the expression of the test of the day:
18.  13  "I do not, therefore, advise his prosecution."

P131 Statement that ‘False representations’ have been made

1.     I take it, as far as the materials you have looked at,
2.     20  and such access to the materials you have, that there is
3.     21  nothing that you have that sheds any light on why false
4.     22  representations may have been made either by the former
5.     23  DPP or by the current DPP, the then current DPP's, press
6.     24  officers?

P.156 Statement possibly of relevance to Alison Saunders visit to Portugal re MM the other year:

1.     A. The Crown Prosecution Service is an independent
2.     4  prosecution service. It is superintended by the
3.     5  Attorney General and the Attorney General accounts to
4.     6  parliament for the Crown Prosecution Service. But the
5.     7  DPP is an entirely independent prosecutor.
6.     8  Q. Thank you for correcting me on that. Would it,
7.     9  nonetheless, with the responsibilities that the
8.     10  Home Secretary has for the administration of justice
9.     11  overall, be inappropriate for a Director of Public
10.  12  Prosecutions to receive representations from the
11.  13  Home Secretary in relation to an ongoing investigation?
12.  14  A. It's very difficult to answer that question. Certainly
13.  15  you wouldn't expect a senior politician to seek to
14.  16  influence the Director of Public Prosecutions. I'm
15.  17  confident that, even if they did, they would not be able
16.  18  to do so. The director is entirely independent.
17.  19  Q. You are speaking from your experience today?
18.  20  A. I can only speak from my --
19.  21  Q. Indeed.
20.  22  A. -- experience today.
Doug D

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 12.10.17 11:22

Hi DougD,thanks for your correspondence,so what can you deduce from what these fine learned professionals,called on to give their opinion as to whether an Individual had carried out the abuse to children?
If one is to go off what DougD has supplied and the format,questioning,answer sheet,it is astounding that an individual can come to a conclusion,without having access to all of the material to base evidence on,but these Police Officers or Civil Servants had done just that,based an assumption on biased evidence,which had not been processed properly?

If the rest of the IICSA Inquiry is carried out in this way,there can be little hope of a proper accountability of material evidence to have been scrutinised to an acceptable Court standard,to attain the Truth?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 12.10.17 18:09

I think there is room for hope, willowthewisp.
You can actually watch the proceedings live on the IICSA site and the ACC questioning had a very different feel to that of the CPS guy.
The ACC seemed to be believed and came over as pretty open and honest, whereas the CPS guy, whilst not saying anything particularly untoward, seemed to be very concerned with trying to cover his department’s back.
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 12.10.17 18:28

CSA inquiry lacks ‘investigative capability’ to probe ‘cover-up’ claims, warns Mike Veale
FOIA Centre12 Oct. 2017

• Mike Veale: I heard claims of complicity by senior civil servants, police, HMG and judiciary
• UK needs to address ‘sinister undercurrent’ of possible conspiracy, says chief constable

• Inquiry should take over from Operation Conifer to tackle ‘distrust of political establishment’

By Mark Watts

Wiltshire Police chief constable Mike Veale warns that the overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse may be hampered by an absence of “pro-active investigative capability”.

The officer who led ‘Operation Conifer’, the national investigation into Sir Edward Heath, the late former prime minister, hopes that the inquiry will take over the momentum on investigating a possible establishment cover-up over child sexual abuse (CSA).

He spoke to me in an exclusive interview last Thursday, hours after publication of Operation Conifer’s summary report. I revealed last weekend how Veale had branded as “highly inappropriate” attempts by Keith Vaz, Labour MP, to interfere with his force’s two-year investigation into Ted Heath.

Asked what lessons he drew from Operation Conifer, Veale said: “I have been really struck over the last two years by the amount of people that have come to me privately to offer views about their distrust of the political establishment, that is probably the best way to describe it, and their genuine belief that there has been conspiracy, cover-up and people being complicit, whether that is senior civil servants, colleagues in policing, government, the wider judiciary.”

The country needed to address this “sinister undercurrent that may or may not exist.” 

He continued: “That is what I have been surprised about. That’s not Mike Veale saying that, that’s just because you are in the eye of the story, people make contact with you.”

Did he believe these suggestions? “I am absolutely not a conspiracy theorist. I just don’t know. I don’t know.”

“In the context of my not being a conspiracy theorist and having been a police officer for 33 years, some of the people I have spoken to are intelligent, bright, laudable and compelling people in their own right. 

“The unfortunate thing is, I can’t make a judgement in relation to the assertions that they’re making. I simply don’t know.”

On a similar theme, Veale told the Mail on Sunday’s political editor, Simon Walters, last week: “It needs someone to look into the potential for cover-up or a conspiracy.”

He added: “The boil needs to be lanced.”

Veale believes that Operation Conifer has gone some way to restore public confidence in the police’s ability to investigate allegations as serious as those against Heath.

He told me: “My hope is that those people who have that inherent distrust take reassurance from what we have done in Wiltshire Police.”

But he urged the CSA inquiry, launched by Theresa May as home secretary in 2014, to take up that challenge.

He said: “I think a wider reassurance needs to be provided by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse because if you have compelling terms of reference, the next question – the obvious question for me – is, how are you going to deliver on them? 

“Because, of course, they don’t have a pro-active investigative capability. They may have limited investigative capability, but I’m not sure they’re set up.”

Should the inquiry develop this capability? “I think that that is not a matter for me.” It is an issue that “sits fairly and squarely” with the government and Alexis Jay, inquiry chairwoman, he said.

I asked the inquiry for a response. A spokeswoman said: “The inquiry employs more than 200 staff in a range of roles. It has the investigative resource that it considers necessary at present.

“If, in future, the task requires additional skills to those currently available, it will advertise for those roles.”

A document revealed at an inquiry hearing on Monday showed how the Security Service, MI5, knew that the prosecutor’s office lied to journalists by denying that police had in 1970 sent a file for decisions on multiple charges against Sir Cyril Smith, before he became a Liberal MP, of child sexual abuse. Other documents obtained by the inquiry suggested that Margaret Thatcher, as prime minister, approved a knighthood for him despite knowing about the police investigation.

As I reported on Saturday, Veale was warned early in Operation Conifer that he could lose his job over the investigation into Heath.

Perhaps the establishment should be careful about haranguing him out of his job. He could become the investigative boost – and reassurance for abuse survivors – that the inquiry may end up needing.

Mark Watts (@MarkWatts_1) is the co-ordinator of the FOIA Centre, where this article also appears, and former editor-in-chief of Exaro. Part 3 of Mike Veale’s interview with Mark Watts will run later this week.
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Jill Havern on 12.10.17 18:48

Retired Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is being made a Lord despite overseeing failed 'witch hunt' on historic sex cases
Jill Havern
Jill Havern

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 12.10.17 21:44

Nothing very exiting that I can see in the Smith case transcripts today:
[url= Hearing Transcript 12 October 2017.pdf][/url]
Bit of discussion on:

‘Jack McCann was Deputy Chief Whip and a senior member of the Labour Government then in power and he was as good as his word. Despite the police file on Smith's crime running to 80 pages the response from the Director of Public Prosecutions came back in just eight days.’

and whether or not he exerted pressure to get the ‘don’t advise prosecution’ response or whether he just expedited a quick response.

Couple of other witnesses, plus

David Bartlett Q & A (from the Rochdale Alternative Paper) mainly talking about his articles
and then lots of background re Knowl View School
Doug D

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 13.10.17 17:49

Get'emGonçalo wrote:
Retired Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is being made a Lord despite overseeing failed 'witch hunt' on historic sex cases
Hi GGG,can you post me a full size picture of delightful Bernard,now Lord Howe,pin it me dartboard for darts practice,soon be hitting those 180's,with those lovely piercing blue eyes?
joking asside,you won't see justice for Madeleine if that person knows Jim Gamble,birds of a Feather is it F*ck together?
He could be a fellow brother to Gerry,met him on a few occasions,Dossier,Balloon funding event?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Jill Havern on 13.10.17 18:16

Here you go willow...I still think he looks good in his uniform - although I think it's more the uniform that looks good.

I've always loved smart uniforms and his is very, very smart.

Love the Royal Marines band uniform too...

Jill Havern
Jill Havern

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 13.10.17 20:56

No IICSA transcripts yet from today. A page has been created in the library, but they have loaded yesterdays transcripts into it.
Doug D

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Lord Hogan Howe

Post by willowthewisp on 14.10.17 15:50

Get'emGonçalo wrote:

Here you go willow...I still think he looks good in his uniform - although I think it's more the uniform that looks good.

I've always loved smart uniforms and his is very, very smart.

Love the Royal Marines band uniform too...

Looks like Bernards about to polish some knobs with those Lilli Whites protecting those fine soft smoothed fingers or is it to Protect his fingers from the Paper cuts operating those high speed Metropolitan Police shredders,where suddenly,thousands of pieces of the paper trail end,Liberal Democrat Jenny Jones?
My Hogan Howe has his"Knight Hood"Brother medal,swaying around his neck,do hope it doesn't become stuck in any machinery,Health ans Safety aspect,God forbid?
For sale on Gumtree, One lightly used shredder,only used for a couple of occasions,which can be confirmed by it's previous owner,still under the manufactures guarantee,C/O Metropolitan Police service??

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Jill Havern on 15.10.17 18:53

Not just Ted Heath: British Establishment paedophilia and its links to Ireland

In the wake of last week's Ted Heath revelations, Joseph de Búrca looks into a scandal which implicated figures across Britain and Northern Ireland

In August 2015 the Wiltshire Police launched ‘Operation Conifer’ into allegations that Edward Heath, the former Leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister 1970-74, was a paedophile. The force has just announced that grounds exist to suspect Heath of child abuse. As a matter of law the force was not entitled to reach any conclusions about the potential guilt of Heath and it did not. The furthest it could go was to state that if Heath were alive, he would have faced further questioning about the accusations levelled against him. Mindful of this, the force has found that Heath would have faced questions under criminal caution relating to:

  • 1 incident of rape of a male 16;
  • 3 incidents of indecent assault on a male under 16;
  • 4 indecent assaults on a male under 14;
  • 2 indecent assaults on a male over 16.

The investigation spanned the period 1956-92. None of these incidents took place while Heath was PM, 1970-74.
Last May, Village expressed its concern that attempts were being made by individuals to derail inquiries in various paedophile networks that were taking place in the UK. One tactic was to pollute them with false evidence and lying witnesses. The Wiltshire Police have reached a similar – if not identical – conclusion in respect of their inquiry. It has revealed that two people attempted to ‘intentionally’ mislead them. One was discharged with a formal caution. A live inquiry is proceeding with respect to the other individual. Village believes they should both be investigated thoroughly to see if they have links to MI5, MI6 or certain senior British civil servants – retired and serving – who have perpetrated a cover-up of child abuse in the UK which has lasted more than half a century.
Village hopes that a dam which has been shored up by these civil servants – ably abetted for decades by a maul of corrupt politicians  – may be about to burst and reveal one of  the most sordid scandals of post-WW2 British history.
The ramifications for Ireland are immense: the paedophile network which the British Establishment has being protecting for decades is linked to child abuse which took place at Kincora Boys Home and other institutions in Ireland.
As Village reported earlier this year, one victim of this network – an 11 year old boy – was taken to perform oral sex on a man in a cinema Dublin. Serious questions arise from all of this – who was the man in the cinema? Why was he supplied with a child from NI? Will the Gardai investigate this matter? The victim may very well still be alive. This unfortunate child was later sent to Kincora.
Kincora Boys’ Home
We are not alone in our concern about a decades long cover-up. Andrew Bridgen, the formidable Tory MP for Wiltshire, has called for an inquiry into those he believes have tried to cover up the Heath scandal.
Heath obviously received a lot of help in procuring his victims. One obvious candidate is his friend Jimmy Savile. Savile frequented the horrific Elm Guest House child brothel in London along with other VIP abusers such as Sir Cyril Smith MP. The links between Elm Guest House and a paedophile network which operated on both sides of the Irish Sea have been placed under the microscope by this magazine during the last year. At least one boy from Kincora – Richard Kerr – was later abused at Elm Guest House.
The paedophile network rippled over England, Scotland and Wales and across the Irish Sea where it spilled over both sides of the Border. The title ‘Anglo-Irish Vice Ring’ or A-IVR would be an appropriate way to describe it. The A-IVR was an utterly depraved and debauched collection of perverts, sadists and child molesters, some of whom even abused their own children. The ring included powerful Establishment figures from Westminster such as Sir Knox Cunningham MP, Sir Cyril Smith MP; British civil servants; MI5 and MI6 officers; members of the aristocracy among others.
The nightmare for the thousands – if not tens of thousands – of people whose lives were derailed, damaged and destroyed by the A-IVR may be approaching to an end of sorts: they may receive a modicum of justice in the shaming of some of those involved in the A-IVR and those who protected it – including a great number in the British media. Many of those who suffered child sex abuse at institutions in Ireland ended up as chronic alcoholics, drug addicts, were left homeless and never managed to have their own families. The experience in the UK can only be identical.
Courageous journalists like Don Hale (See Village May 2017) who tried to expose these scandals decades ago are now finally being allowed to tell a wide audience what they know. It is now being reported in the UK media that Heath was responsible for nominating Jimmy Savile for an OBE in 1972. This was just two years after Harold Wilson had a warned the Queen of England against making such an award; worse still, that Heath attended meeting of the Paedophile Information Network (PIE). Village looked at the activities of one PIE’s members – the diplomat- spy Sir Peter Hayman – last May.
Last February and March Village published its criticisms of the Hart Report of January 2017. Hart examined the Kincora Boys Home scandal. Some of these articles can be found on our web site. It should be noted that we found merit in quite a lot of the work carried out by the Hart Report despite the fact we fundamentally disagree with its core finding: that Kincora was not part of a wider network of child abuse. On the contrary, Kincora was a key component of the egregious A-IVR.

Courage in public office

The Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Michael Veale, and his team, were subjected to pressure to abandon their inquiry. As early as December 2016 he stated: “I will remain operationally independent and will not be influenced by inappropriate and unacceptable pressure from people who don’t know the detail of this case. I will not be buckling under pressure to not investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely.” It is now clear he remained true to his word. But who put him under pressure? And why?
Michael Veale
The public has been given access to what the Wiltshire Police are calling a “summary closure report”. A more detailed dossier has been passed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA). Village published a lengthy article on IICSA last June.  Let us now hope that IICSA shows the same moral courage, honesty and integrity as the Chief Constable Veale, his Assistant Chief Constable Paul Mills and their Operation Conifer team.
Meanwhile the British Establishment’s Dirty Tricks Brigade must be reeling in shock at the fact that Veale, Mills and their team have turned out to be such a determined and incorruptible group of people. They can now be placed alongside two other towering examples of integrity: the former deputy Chief Constable of Manchester, John Stalker; and Sir John Stevens of the British Metropolitan Police, both of whom acted in a dignified, brave and forthright manner in the teeth of vicious campaigns to destroy them while they probed sensitive controversies involving the intelligence services of the UK.
Others who merit substantial praise at the moment include the incumbent British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and her advisers. When Operation Confier ran into financial difficulties, Rudd bailed it out instead of exploiting the difficulty to thwart Veale. Clearly, Rudd stands miles apart from two of her Tory predecessors at the Home Office, Leon Brittan and Willie Whitelaw, both of whom covered up child abuse scandals. Brittan’s concealment was described in Village last May. Whitelaw’s perversion of justice will be examined later in this article.
Village believes it is in a position to map out the wider terrain of the Heath scandal, including details that will definitely not appear in the ‘summary’ of the Heath Report. This is information which the IICSA in London – which is inquiring into the VIP vice ring, especially the branch that was active at Westminster – will hopefully look at. Heath’s links to the Westminster VIP vice ring almost certainly brought him in contact with participants in the wider A-IVR, especially as three of the latter circle were Unionist MPs at Westminster. Moreover, one whistleblower – Robin Bryans – has linked Heath directly to one of these MPs from NI. In addition, as prime minister, Heath was able to influence and control organisations such as MI5 and MI6 which had an interest in protecting and blackmailing all of these networks, especially in NI through the operation that involved Kincora. Heath was also able to direct the corrupt judge Lord Widgery, who covered-up the truth about Bloody Sunday. Unfortunately, there is very little good that can be said about Sir Edward Heath.
Ted Heath, Prime Minister of Britain, 1970-74.

Rotten to the core: Heath the blackmailer

Heath, a life-long bachelor, became Tory Leader in 1965 and served as PM, 1970-74. What type of a man was he? For a start, he was a blackmailer. On his way up the greasy pole he served as Tory chief whip, 1956-59, and engaged in the sexual blackmail of paedophiles. In light of Veale’s findings, we can now add hypocrite to his rap sheet. Most Tory whips were blackmailers – it was simply part of the job. But Heath brought a professionalism to the task by assembling what became known as the Dirt Book, an encyclopaedia of embarrassing information about his colleagues, designed to stop them stepping out of line. It was exploited during the Suez Crisis.
When the Labour Party took over, Edward Short (later Deputy Leader of the Labour Party) became the new Chief Whip. He was repelled by the ‘dirty book’ and discontinued the practice. When the Tories returned to power, William Whitelaw stepped into the post of Chief Whip. He unashamedly confessed that he continued the practice to the BBC in 1995: “‘The Dirt Book’ is just a little book where you write down various things you know or hear about people that may or may not be true. I think you could make a very good guess what sorts of things it contains”.
We know exactly what it contained: one of Whitelaw’s successors, Tim Fortescue MP, who occupied the post of whip 1970-73 when Heath was PM, made it abundantly clear on camera to the BBC: “Anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say, ‘Now I’m in a jam. Can you help?’ It might be debt, it might be [..] a scandal involving small boys [author’s emphasis], or any kind of scandal in which [..] a member seemed likely to be mixed up. They’d come and ask if we could help, and if we could, we did”.
Fortescue’s reference to ‘small boys’ implies that blackmail material was gathered about MPs who were having sex with boys who were probably a lot younger than 21, then the legal age of consent. He also confessed that “scandalous stories” were of great assistance to whips. “When you are trying to persuade a member to vote the way he didn’t want to vote on a controversial issue – which is part of your job – it is possible to suggest that perhaps it would not be in his interest if people knew something or other – very mildly”.
William Whitelaw became NI Secretary, 1972-1974. Hence by 1972, both the British PM and the NI Secretary were experienced sexual blackmailers, hardly a deterrent to anyone in the intelligence community who wanted to engage in sexual blackmail at places like Kincora.

Judging a king by his courtiers

Heath had a habit of appointing people to high office in NI and elsewhere who were prepared to cover-up child abuse.
Heath appointed William Whitelaw as the first Secretary of State for NI. Whitelaw’s heart was already encased in ice from his stint as a blackmailing chief whip. The Kincora scandal festered under his NI watch. When he served as Home Secretary, 1979-83, he maintained his sleazy habits. On 6 December 2014, the Mail reported that in 1980 he “allegedly told a senior Metropolitan Police boss to quash a year-long investigation into a gang accused of abusing 40 children, the youngest of whom was six”. The alleged intervention came in 1980 after a newspaper revealed the country’s chief prosecutor was considering 350 offences against the gang, including allegations it “obtained young boys for politicians, prominent lawyers and film stars. The report, published on July 7 that year in the Evening News – a daily London newspaper – revealed police had passed evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and that up to 12 men could face trial for procuring boys and sexual assault”.
Ted Heath, Leon Brittan and Willie Whitelaw
The journalist who wrote the story was Jeff Edwards. He revealed that just days after it was published he was summoned by police to an interview and threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. According to the Mail, “Edwards also claims his source, a serving police officer, was disciplined and fined six months’ wages for leaking the story”.
Whitelaw’s deputy at the NIO during 1972-74 was the late William van Straubenzee, another lifelong bachelor. He was named in child abuse files unearthed by the Cabinet Office in July of 2015. The detail of the allegations levelled against him are still unclear save that they concerned child abuse.
There were other pernicious appointments: in 1973 Heath placed Sir Maurice Oldfield in charge of MI6, where he served until 1978. Oldfield was a notorious abuser of rent boys. The Hart Report reveals that records furnished to it by MI6 demonstrated that Oldfield had a ‘relationship’ with the ‘head’ of Kincora. The nature of the relationship was not described but it cannot have been innocent.
On 23 April 1987, Margaret Thatcher dropped a bombshell in the House of Commons when she revealed that after Oldfield’s appointment as Security Co-ordinator in Northern Ireland in October 1979, “reports were received which caused his positive vetting clearance to be reviewed. In March 1980, in the course of that review, he made an admission that he had from time to time engaged in homosexual activities.
Dr. Roderick Morrison Fraser
His positive vetting clearance was withdrawn. By this time he was already a sick man; he finally ceased to serve as Security Co-ordinator in Northern Ireland when a successor took over in June 1980; he died in March 1981”.
Heath did not need to infiltrate one of his creatures into the Ministry of Defence because it already had a resident monster, Sir James Dunnett. He ran it between 1969 and 1974. Dunnett infamously paid male prostitutes whom he picked up at Piccadilly Circus – ‘Dilly Boys’ – for sex. His reputation was shattered by his involvement with Vicky de Lambray, a transvestite male prostitute who stole his cheque book. De Lambray was put on trial in March 1983 instantly igniting a media frenzy during which Dunnett’s name became public knowledge. De Lambray later died in suspicious circumstances.

Protecting the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring

For decades the members of the A-IVR were untouchable. That changed after the eruption of the Troubles, when MI5 swept in and blackmailed and exploited some of them for various nefarious reasons.
One of their victims was Richard Kerr, who was put into care on 16 December, 1966. At the age of 8 he was abused by Eric Witchell, an Anglican lay monk, who was a friend of the man who ran Kincora Boys’ Home, Warden Joe Mains. Witchell was later jailed for abusing other boys at Williamson House, where he had been headmaster. The abuse of Richard Kerr started one night after Witchell visited his bed: “I was on my side, I had a teddy bear. I was biting into that while he had his hand down my backside and fumbled around.” Full rape commenced later.
The RU C spent decades covering up the crimes of the A-IVR. It is not possible to put a figure on how many lives were destroyed. At a minimum, it involved hundreds of boys, and also some girls.
In June of 2016 BBC NI’s Spotlight exposed the aberrant crimes of Dr Moris Fraser, a psychiatrist who specialised in child psychiatry. Fraser is still alive. Richard Kerr was sent to him for a review while he was still a resident at Williamstown House. Fraser took photographs of his private parts and later visited him at the home. Kerr was only ten. Fraser groped him during these visits. Kerr was later abused while a resident at Kincora and then trafficked to England.
It will be interesting to see if Fraser will be arrested by the PSNI, the successor organisation to the RUC. The darker elements of MI5 will be shocked if this happens because Fraser knows many of the secrets of the A-IVR. Worse still, his prosecution would undermine the finding of the Hart Report that Kincora was an isolated aberration and not part of a wider network.

Sir Anthony Blunt and the Vice Ring

MI5 was able to exploit the A-IVR. The officer who uncovered it was Peter Wright, perhaps the most callous criminal ever to serve in MI5. Wright spent seven years unravelling and mapping it out. Wright’s path to it began with MI5’s inquiries into the seedy criminal private life of the arch MI5 traitor, Sir Anthony Blunt, Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures. That process began after Blunt confessed to MI5 that he had betrayed it to the KGB.
While many of Blunt’s friends and colleagues knew or suspected he was gay, only a select few knew that deep in the shadowy recesses of his private life he hid a dark and sinister secret. Blunt enjoyed the ‘rough trade’ – the abuse of impoverished male urchins condemned to eke out a living as male prostitutes in seedy toilets in London. Blunt ‘cottaged’ for them around the lavatories in Hyde Park near to Speakers’ Corner, despite his left-wing pretence to care for the underprivileged.
Queen Elizabeth and the Keeper of her Pictures, Sir Anthony Blunt.
Blunt acquired his appetite for juveniles from Guy Burgess, another infamous MI5 traitor and hypocrite.

A whistleblower called Bryans

Blunt might have enjoyed his last few years as a respected Knight of the realm, slithering around Buckingham Palace and his favourite toilets in London, but for the intervention of Robin Bryans, a celebrated travel writer from Belfast. Bryans knew Blunt, Burgess and others in the A-IVR well. Through them he knew many members of MI5 and MI6. Indeed, it was Bryans who exposed Blunt as a KGB agent through the pages of Private Eye magazine in 1979.
Bryans, who died in 2005, amassed a wealth of information about the fabric of the Ulster branch of the A-IVR which he recorded in various books and open letters.
Bryans was born on 24 April 1928, to an East Belfast working-class family. His travel was informed by his taste for adventure. At one time he worked as a cabin boy on a Belfast Lough dredger; became a teacher in Devon; a shepherd in the Scottish Highlands; a student at Barry Religious College in South Wales; a diamond prospector in Canada and South America; and even hunted and trapped with the Blackfoot and Stony tribes in Canada. Although a Protestant, he was a supporter of civil rights for Catholics.
As he explained in one of his autobiographies, ‘The Protégé’, members of the British aristocracy took him under their wing thereby transforming him into a ‘lifelike toff’. The fact that his cousin, ‘Hellfire’ Jack Bryans became Imperial Grand Master of the Orange Order aided his gentrification and enhanced his status with the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. Hellfire Jack was one of those that Robin approached in his campaign to halt the abuse at Kincora. Bryans reported William McGrath, the Housefather at Kincora to Hellfire Jack but nothing was done. McGrath was a leading Orangeman. He was so influential he was permitted to establish his own Orange Lodge. He was convicted for his crimes at Kincora in 1981.
Survivors of the Kincora Boys Home: Richard Kerr, Richard Hay, and Clint Massey.

‘There were other homes involved’

In February 1990, Bryans told this author that: “The Kincora thing will be covered up. I would love to go on talking if I thought it was going to come out, but it’s not, because I know how the Establishment works. Be careful of the word Kincora, because you are going to limit it. There were other homes involved. There were three homes. There was one for boys from 12 to 16, and then there was one for younger ones”.
He revealed that boys from Portora Royal, NI’s most prestigious public school in Enniskillen were abused. They were in demand by members of the A-IVR who preferred boys who were younger and of a higher social class than the teenage boys at Kincora.
One of Richard Kerr’s abusers, Eric Witchell abused boys at Williamson House. It may have been the home for perverts which Bryans revealed catered for those with a taste “for younger ones”.
A children’s home in Portadown was also involved. While many of those involved may well have preferred older teenagers – even some who appeared willing to entertain them in return for alcohol or money – this matters little because many of these slightly older victims had been groomed, abused, brutalised and desensitised since early childhood.

Propositioned at the age of 14

Bryans wrote what might be termed ‘run of the mill’ travel books but also no-holds-barred tomes about the scandalous affairs of the Establishment. The indiscreet tomes were always extremely difficult to acquire; never more so than now. He sometimes wrote under the name Robin Harbinson. We will refer to him throughout this article as Bryans. Bryans had an encounter with a member of the A-IVR as a teenager – Henry Lynch-Robinson, the son of the powerful Permanent Secretary to the Stormont Ministry of Home Affairs. Bryans wrote: “I was 14 when I rose up in rebellion at the proud Henry Lynch-Robinson who tried to get me on my knees to perform an act of fellatio.” Since Bryans was born in April of 1928, he reached 14 in April of 1942. Lynch-Robinson was born in 1920 so would have been approximately 22 at the time of this incident. Lynch-Robinson became a celebrated architect, and died in 1984.

Five reasons to believe what Bryans had to say

Robin Bryans used to refer to Edward Heath as the ‘despised Edwina’ and linked him to a the Unionist MP who was involved in the A-IVR. This particular MP – who is long dead – abused children in NI and in Scotland.
Was Robin Bryan’s a reliable witness?
Robin Bryans
There are many reasons to suggest he was. For a start, he was right about Anthony Blunt being a traitor who worked for the KGB while he was in MI5 and exposed him to the world.
Second, he was correct in his assertion that there were homes other than Kincora where boys were abused as is evident from Richard Kerr’s horrific experience at Williamstown House. Kerr did not speak out in public until a few years ago, long after Bryans’ death.
Third, he was right about the scale of the Vice Ring and its connections to England, Scotland and Wales.
Fourth, declassified British Government documents concerning Lord Shackleton, the Labour Leader in the House of Lords and son of the famous Antarctic explorer, have copper fastened Bryans’ credibility. As Bryans revealed in his book, ‘Blackmail & Whitewash’, he tried to get Shackleton to intervene to put a halt to the Kincora scandal but Shackelton did nothing. Bryans wrote: “I knew too much and too much would come out because in 1973 I had told Lord Shackleton about the Kincora abuses and the terror of its young inmates. [..] Shackleton chose to do nothing about the Kincora scandal because he had no wish to upset his fellow Establishment figures who were also Knights of the Garter such as Lord Mountbatten who had known Belfast for an even longer period than Shackleton had”.
Significantly ‘Blackmail & Whitewash’ was published in 1996 long before declassified British Government files confirmed Shackleton’s willingness to protect child abusers. In May 2015 official papers revealed that in 1988 Margaret Thatcher had been furnished with a 19 page dossier which contained details about Sir Cyril Smith’s abuse of children, including an undated letter from Shackleton, then a member of the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee. In it Shackleton disclosed that the police had investigated Smith in the early and mid-1960s. During 1970 they had carried out inquiries about his “indecent assault against teenage boys”. Shackleton told Thatcher that the DPP had not prosecuted Smith because “there was no reasonable prospect of conviction”. This is not surprising since MI5 had confiscated police files and disrupted evidence gathering. The purpose of Shackleton’s letter was to recommend Smith for a knighthood. Shackleton told Thatcher that he felt it would be “slightly unfortunate” if this “episode” impeded Smith from obtaining a gong. Thatcher agreed and one of the most brutal paedophiles of his era became a Knight of the Realm.
There is a fifth indication of Bryans’ reliability: in 2015 an anonymous MI6 agent confirmed to the Daily Express that Bryans had indeed tried to save the victims at Kincora before it was exposed by the Irish Independent in 1980.
There is a possible sixth reason to believe Bryans: he knew something about ‘the despised Edwina’ Heath. Bryans was once interviewed by another Kincora whistleblower, Captain Colin Wallace (who worked with MI5, MI6 and military intelligence in NI in the 1970s). Bryans drew a link between Heath and a former Unionist MP who had been involved in the A-IVR, but no more. Bryans was usually fearless, but he refused to elaborate any further on the nature of the link. Perhaps the implications of exposing a former Prime Minister was just too much for him.
When Colin Wallace interviewed Bryans, he stated that he had also tried to get Lord John Donaldson who served at the NIO, 1974-76, and Lady Avon, the wife of Anthony Eden, British PM 1955-57 to intervene to halt the abuse in NI but without success.

Bryans and Blunt, the friends who fell out

Bryans got to know Anthony Blunt because of the spy’s frequent visits to Ireland. “The gay scene was one of the reasons why Blunt loved Ireland”, Bryans stated in 1990.
Bryans came to learn a lot about Blunt’s secrets. It was he – Bryans – who exposed Blunt as the Fourth Man in the Cambridge KGB Spy Ring through Private Eye magazine.
However, before they fell out, Bryans and Blunt had been quite friendly. In 1964 Bryans published a book entitled ‘Ulster’ with the help of the NI Tourist Board. Blunt assisted Bryans in the preparation of the passage about Louis MacNiece, the celebrated Belfast poet who had died in September 1963. MacNeice and Blunt had been friends since childhood having met at Marlborough School. Bryans’s book praised the courage of MacNeice’s father who had opposed bigotry and violence in Belfast. In another of his books, ‘The Dust Has Yet To Settle’, Bryans wrote that Blunt had been “delighted to read in ‘Ulster’ what I had written with his help about his closest school friend, Louis MacNeice, and the poet’s bishop father and Alan Buchanan the curate Blunt knew best as the Archbishop of Dublin much seen in royal circles”. Blunt helped Bryans prepare a guest list for one of the events associated with the launch of the book, a photographic exhibition of locations featured in it. The event took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place. NI’s then PM, Terence O’Neill, agreed to open the event but was called away at the last moment. In another of his books, ‘Let The Petals Fall’, Bryans described how instead O’Neill’s wife read “out his notes which chose a photograph of a well-known cast-iron gent’s lavatory as his favourite building in Belfast. I had been asked to prepare a guest list which I did in conjunction with Anthony Blunt of whose guests knew the lavatory as a popular picking-up place. But as the British House of Commons was in the throes of passing the [Leo] Abse Bill legalising homosexuality between consenting males, we thought that by choosing the cast-iron lavatory O’Neill had either been hinting that the law should also be repealed in Ulster or that he lived in blissful ignorance of the lavatory’s place in Belfast’s gay life”.
Blunt also tried to inveigle Bryans into spreading smears about Ian Paisley “with a view to blackening the Wilson Government’s record in Northern Ireland”. Bryans believed Blunt did this at the behest of MI5. If true, it is a further indicator that the arch-traitor Blunt was allowed back into the MI5 fold.
Some of Bryans’ rare books, many of which are now impossible to obtain.

Sir Knox Cunningham QC, MP, the British Prime Minister’s Private Secretary

Bryans also knew Sir Knox Cunningham QC, MP, well. Cunningham was not merely a Unionist MP at Westminster, but someone who rose to become PM Harold MacMillan’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, 1959-63.
Cunningham was a key participant in the A-IVR. Bryans recalled that Cunningham “always liked to appear as the great Queen’s Counsel who knew more than anybody about everybody, especially those in my books and bed”.
Knox Cunningham knew Bryans so well he was able to influence him to alter the content of ‘Ulster’. When Cunningham discovered that it was due to contain a passage about internment during the IRA’s Border Campaign of the 1950s, he feared it would create a bad impression abroad and intervened: “Sir Knox Cunningham asked me to delete my reference to internment without trials and I agreed believing him to share in 1963’s atmosphere of reconciliation over sectarian hatred”. Richard Kerr has revealed that Knox Cunningham was an abuser at Kincora.
A memorandum Colin Wallace prepared while working in NI stated that Cunningham was “closely associated” with William McGrath, the Housefather at Kincora and was “aware of his activities”. McGrath pleaded guilty to charges of buggery perpetrated at Kincora in 1981.
Cunningham became involved in the World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1947 and became Chairman of its National Council two years later, something which put him in charge of the YMCA in Ireland, Wales and England. His Wikipedia entry suggests that he became involved with the YMCA because of his “religious faith” but it is more likely he wanted to gain access to young men. Much of his interaction with the YMCA boys involved the sport of boxing. According to Bryans, he took Kincora boys to the YMCA in England.
Macmillan recalled Knox Cunningham fondly in his memoirs and awarded him a baronetcy in his resignation honours.
Kerr has also revealed that Blunt made visits to Kincora. He saw Blunt on the premises in the company of two other men. While Blunt did not abuse Kerr, the other two men did. As this was during the period 1975-77, at least two possibilities arise: (i) Blunt was simply taking some of his friends there to abuse the unfortunate and terrified residents, or (ii) he had lured some important figures to it at the behest of MI5 so blackmail material could be gathered on them. Blunt’s nemesis Peter Wright was also MI5’s surveillance supremo and is the most likely person in MI5 to have overseen the recording of the rapists at Kincora and elsewhere.

The ringmaster, Alfred Arnold, Private Secretary to the PM of Northern Ireland

‘Ulster’ was one of Bryans’ ‘run of the mill’ books. In it he described Alfred Arnold as “the English civil servant [who] fell in love with Ulster” and who was always “looking among theatrical people for likely talent for his new musical plays”. In his ‘indiscreet’ books, interviews and letters, Bryans described how Arnold was the driving force behind the A-IVR and exploited the plays to seduce young male actors. Arnold was also a friend of Blunt’s.
Arnold managed to get away with his heinous crimes because he occupied a lofty perch in the NI Establishment: he served as Private Secretary to notorious anti-Catholic bigot Sir Basil Brooke PM of NI 1943-63. While child abuse among the aristocracy has been going on for centuries, it was Arnold who turned the abuse into a system which turned care homes run by the Stormont Government into child brothels. Paedophiles (adults who sexually abuse children) and pederasts (adult males who sexually abuse adolescents) were assigned to run them and supply children to the A-IVR.
To the public Arnold was a respected member of the arts community. As Bryans wrote: “For many years the BB C programme The Arts in Ulster had the Englishman Alfred Arnold as its chairman, a brilliant student from Cambridge Basil Brooke imported as his private secretary in the 1930s”.
Arnold retired early from the civil service hoping to become Director of the Arts Council in Belfast but he did not find favour with Brooke’s successor as Stormont PM, Terence O’Neill, who thwarted his appointment. According to Bryans: “Alfred also wrote musical plays and involved himself generally in the artistic life of the province. He retired early from the Civil Service as he and many others thought he would make an ideal Director of the Arts Council in Belfast. Alfred did not conceal his devotion to young actors such as Laurence Beattie and he did not become Arts Council director and consequently left Belfast to live in the Maltese island of Gozo, while Lawrence went to Canada”.
Bryans has also described how Sir Basil Brooke was outraged by PM Terence O’Neill’s intervention to deprive Arnold of the Arts Council Directorship. The affair would even form part of the campaign to unseat O’Neill as PM. According to Bryans: “Basil Brooke and his son John were looking for everything possible in their campaign to topple the reformist O’Neill and they looked to their Orange brethren for support. The Alfred Arnold battle gave them good ammunition against O’Neill”.
Bryans hints strongly that Arnold may have seduced Sir Basil Brooke’s son John, who later became a Unionist MP at Stormont. The young man “had been much influenced by Alfred Arnold. When John went off as ADC to Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, nobody expressed surprise when the former Vicereine, Lady Linlithgow, called the ADCs’ room ‘The Pansies’ Parlour’. Certainly the last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, dined out on the story when he spent his summer holidays the west of Ireland and brought the latest news to Eli Lodge”.
Arnold also intervened to help members of the A-IVR when they got into trouble. He and Knox Cunningham QC were able to assist the notorious John McKeague escape from a charge of molesting two YMCA boys in 1966. McKeague was a leading member of the UVF and involved in a bombing campaign to unseat Terence O’Neill. He later went on to become a leading Red Hand Commando/UVF terrorist and was responsible for a series of brutal and sadistic murders.
Arnold could be quite indiscreet: it was he who told Bryans that boys from a home at Portadown were being abused.
Arnold was also a friend of Lord Shackelton which provides yet another explanation for Shackleton’s willingness to protect child molesters.

Blunt leads MI5 to the Vice Ring

MI5’s odyssey into the recesses of Blunt’s life led to an array of his friends and associates in Ulster. In June, Village described Blunt’s Irish network of friends. To recap briefly: at Cambridge Blunt befriended Knox Cunningham. Cunningham often stayed with Blunt while in London. Cunningham knew everyone there was to know in Unionist politics, and once nearly became Grand Master of the Orange Order.
Another of Blunt’s Irish friends was Capt. Peter Montgomery, a cousin of the famous WW2 field marshal who lived at Blessingborne, County Tyrone. The pair first met at Cambridge. Montgomery became one of Blunt’s earliest lovers, possibly his first. Capt. Montgomery later became Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, which meant he was one of a string of personal representative of the Queen in Ulster. Montgomery always kept a room for Blunt at Blessingborne, and Montgomery often stayed with Blunt when he visited London. It was correspondence Bryans exchanged with Montgomery about Blunt, which Bryans gave to Private Eye, that exposed Blunt as an MI5 traitor.
Peter Wright of MI5

A callous intelligence operation with many moving parts

The A-IVR was a mechanism with many moving parts. All told, MI5/6 found at least seven means of exploiting it:

  1. MI5/6 MI6 targets were lured to Kincora and other honey traps where they could be recorded and brought under MI5/6 control. One abortive attempt involving Richard Kerr as the bait was described in Village last March. Overall, the MI5/6 targets included Loyalist politicians and paramilitaries. The Hart Report discloses that MI5 actually admitted that it took photographs of John McKeague of the UVF/Red Hand Commandoes in London in the 1970s while he was arranging sexual assignations with young males.
  2. Plans were made for the selective disclosure of the sexual crimes of some of the A-IVR’s members as part of Operation Clockwork Orange. The targets were Loyalist politicians and paramilitaries opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement. However, this part of Clockwork Orange was cancelled after Harold Wilson became PM and MI5 decided to let Sunningdale fall and thereby embarrass Wilson and his Labour Government;
  3. In 1985 the Westminster press lobby was told during a hush-hush briefing that the Thatcher Government was going to order another investigation into Kincora. This happened just days before the signing of the Hillsborough Agreement. This was undoubtedly a signal to dampen the opposition of certain Loyalist leaders including (a) a senior Westminster MP in the Unionist Party who knew William McGrath the Housefather at Kincora (and is someone Bryans implicates directly in the abuse of boys in NI); (b) Ian Paisley who – although not a child abuser – knew all about McGrath yet had done nothing to stop him raping children (Village April 2017);
  4. Senior MOD and NIO officials such as Peter England were able to exploit the children and teenagers ensnared in the network for their own twisted pleasure;
  5. Children like Richard Kerr were put on a conveyer belt which took them from homes for young children to Kincora and later to London, Manchester and elsewhere where they were made available to VIP abusers thereby perpetuating the same depressing cycle of exploitation, control and blackmail in Westminster and elsewhere (Village April 2017).
  6. The politicians involved in the various overlapping vice rings were not in a position to step in – if they were ever minded – to curb murderous MI5/6 operations. On the contrary, they had to cover them up. This may explain why William van Straubenzee visited Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker, the notorious MRF-MI5 agent in prison after he confessed to a series of murders in 1973. The control of politicians would also explain why MI5 permitted Sir Peter Morrison MP to become Thatcher’s private secretary despite its knowledge that he was a child molester (Village May 2017);
  7. It appears that at least one member of the A-IVR was coerced into participating in a highly dangerous anti-Provisional IRA operation by MI5. It played out in Dublin in 1981

In addition to all this, it is clear that Peter Wright knew quite a lot about Heath’s aberrant taste for boys because he – Wright – was responsible for spreading stories about Heath’s attraction to young men while MI5 was plotting to topple Heath as Tory Leader and replace him with a more resolute right-wing figure. This is another story, which Village will return to in the near future.
Jill Havern
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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 15.10.17 19:26

Hi GGG,now one wonders if Big jim Gambles sphincter may be be twitching,as to what he did or did not know whilst employed in the RUC in Northern Ireland,Kincora Boys Home?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 15.10.17 19:41

Mike Veale: vilification of investigation into Edward Heath risks harm to abuse survivors

FOIA Centre14 Oct. 2017

• Traducing of Operation Conifer is intensifying suffering of survivors of child sexual abuse
• False story branded accusers as ‘fantasists’ and triggered onslaught against probe into ex-PM 
• Mike Veale blames campaign on ‘intransigent views’ about VIPs who may have been criminal

By Mark Watts

Police chief Mike Veale condemned the campaign against his investigation into Sir Edward Heath for increasing the suffering of survivors of child sexual abuse.
A campaign of vilification has dogged ‘Operation Conifer’, the national investigation overseen by Veale into allegations against the late former prime minister of child sexual abuse, since a front-page article in the Mail on Sunday (pictured above) last November branded accusers as “fantasists”.
It triggered a series of articles in the British media that amounted to a campaign to force police to shelve the operation, which was launched in August 2015.
Veale, chief constable of Wiltshire Police, told me: “The most frustrating thing for me was two years of intense scrutiny, misleading commentary and criticism, which concerned me, concerned me because I was worried about the impact it would have on victims, alleged victims, not just in this particular case, but from a wider perspective.”
Veale was talking to me in a lengthy exclusive interview shortly after Wiltshire Police published Operation Conifer’s summary report just over a week ago.
I revealed last weekend how Veale had branded as “highly inappropriate” attempts by Keith Vaz, Labour MP, to interfere with his force’s investigation into Ted Heath.
On Thursday, I reported a warning from Veale that the overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse may be hampered by an absence of “pro-active investigative capability”.
Police ended their investigation into Heath in August, and then spent more than a month drawing up and finalising a confidential report, which is going to the inquiry, and a summary for publication.
Veale continued: “For two years, there was not one operational detail in the public domain. It just didn’t exist. Yet, for two years, there have been headlines in most newspapers on one page or another that has been driven by voices and commentators.”
“How the story has kept going for two years without one operational detail in the public domain is beyond me.”
The article in the Mail on Sunday claimed that Operation Conifer rested on several “fantasists” who made allegations against Heath of satanic ritual abuse.
When Wiltshire Police published a 109-page summary report on Operation Conifer on October 5, it devoted about half a page to claims of “ritual abuse” from just six out of 40 people who made allegations to the investigation against the ex-PM.
None of the six was among the seven men whose claims would have led police to interview Heath under caution in relation to 10 alleged offences, or among another two witnesses who fell just short of that threshold, according to the report.
The Mail on Sunday performed a hand-brake turn on the story last February when it realised that Operation Conifer had assessed several of its witnesses as credible. 
However, other British media outlets are continuing the campaign – alongside an array of establishment figures, including friends and former colleagues of Heath – to traduce Operation Conifer. 
Veale claimed that he was not blaming the media for the “misleading commentary and criticism”, saying: “For me, this is about people who may have intransigent views about those people who may have been involved in criminal activity and, whatever the veracity of the information, whatever the behaviours of people in the past, they’re not going to change their minds.”
The source of the fundamentally misleading article in the Mail on Sunday was Richard Hoskins, a criminologist who was hired by police as an ‘expert’ on Operation Conifer.
Hoskins claims that he was acting as a whistle-blower, but his disclosures related to a tiny part of the operation that police did not rank as the most credible.
Wiltshire Police strongly condemned him, and a spokesman said that Hoskins had been removed from the National Crime Agency’s list of recognised experts.
While the media continues to vilify abuse survivors, Veale believes that Operation Conifer will help encourage public trust in police on investigating child sexual offences.
He told me: “I think a lot more people today will have a lot more trust and confidence in the British police service.”
“We have, hopefully, engendered a lot more trust and confidence in people who may have suffered child abuse in the past, child abuse today or child abuse in the future.”

Mark Watts (@MarkWatts_1) is the co-ordinator of the FOIA Centre, where this article also appears, and former editor-in-chief of Exaro.
Doug D

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 16.10.17 2:02

Hi dougD,I have just checked the News Night Programme,Emily Maitless interview and yes it was the infamous Mr Richard Hoskins who was on the program casting aspersions to the credibility of the Operation Conifer,witnesses?
In fact Mr Hoskins tried to state to Emily Maitless,that as a person who had been abused,he wanted to validate all of the witnesses credibility,as to their claims of abuse?
So if Mr Hoskins has been appearing in articles that are bringing the witnesses credibility into doubt of veracity,Daily Mail campaign on Ted Heath,Operation Conifer?  Then one needs to then question,has this person(Mr Hoskins)been chosen to openly discredit the witness evidence,as not being true or there are doubts of the allegations in Ted Heaths case,to undermine the Wiltshire Police forces credibility,Mr Mike Veale,having the Operation closed down before reaching a conclusion?
Let us hope that Mr Veale release the details of the interference involved in Operation Conifer,that he includes elements from the Home Office affairs select Committee,who may have Over stepped their boundaries of inquizitiveness,eh Mr Vaz,just like in Operation Midland?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 16.10.17 14:42

Friday’s transcripts have ben put up now.
POETS day obviously, only 85 pages and they packed up at 12.43.
Only two witnesses, first one just reiterated background, and not much new from second one either:
1.     A. I'm Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Jones of the Greater
2.     4  Manchester Police.
3.     5  Q. Thank you. Can you confirm that you were the senior
4.     6  investigating officer or the senior senior investigating
5.     7  officer on Operation Jaguar from 28 April 2014; is that
6.     8  right?
7.     9  A. Yes, I am the senior investigating officer.
8.     10  Q. Now, you have made a lengthy statement to the inquiry,
9.     11  for which we are grateful, which I am going to take you
10. 12  through, and I will help you with the relevant paragraph
11. 13  numbers so that neither of us gets lost. Can we go
12. 14  straight away, please, to your paragraph 6 and first of
13. 15  all explain what Operation Jaguar is?
14. 16  A. Operation Jaguar is an investigation, and it was in two
15. 17  parts, so the first part was an investigation into the
16. 18  criminal allegations made by students and pupils who had
17. 19  been at Knowl View School through its period of opening.
18. 20  The second part of the investigation related to
19. 21  allegations made against the now deceased Member of
20. 22  Parliament Sir Cyril Smith.
21. 23  Q. So two parts?

  1. 18  Q. Is Operation Jaguar, or has Operation Jaguar, run in
  2. 19  conjunction with Operation Clifton?
  3. 20  A. Yes.
  4. 21  Q. Explain to us what Clifton is, please?
  5. 22  A. Clifton is an investigation run by a separate senior
  6. 23  investigating officer, and my understanding of it --
  7. 24  I have outlined its terms of reference here. My
  8. 25  understanding of it was that it was an investigation
  9. into allegations of a coverup that had surfaced in
  10. 2  relation to Rochdale Council and other areas potentially
  11. 3  within policing as well.
  12. 4  Q. So it was an internal Greater Manchester Police
  13. 5  investigation whether there was any coverup either by
  14. 6  the police or by the council?
  15. 7  A. Yes.


  1. 25  Q. You mentioned photographs?
  2. A. Yes.
  3. 2  Q. Was there an allegation here that photographs had been
  4. 3  taken --
  5. 4  A. Yes, there was.
  6. 5  Q. -- in the course of some of these offences? By Smith,
  7. 6  on behalf of Smith or --
  8. 7  A. By another.
  9. 8  Q. But in his presence?
  10. 9  A. In his presence.
  11. 10  Q. Of the acts?
  12. 11  A. Yes.
  13. 12  Q. Can we then finally look at the outcomes in relation to
  14. 13  part 2, and that's your final paragraph, 94. Were five
  15. 14  files submitted to the CPS concerning living and
  16. 15  identified people said to have offended with Smith?
  17. 16  A. Yes.
  18. 17  Q. So you weren't looking at Smith, but you were looking at
  19. 18  those who were alleged to have been jointly responsible
  20. 19  with Smith, either as principals, presumably, or as
  21. 20  secondary parties?
  22. 21  A. Correct.
  23. 22  Q. All of which resulted in no further action?
  24. 23  A. That's right, yes.
  25. 24  Q. Can you say why, in a word or two, what the result --
  26. 25  why no further action resulted?
  27. A. It varied, Mr Altman. It depended on different cases.
  28. 2  So there was not one case. So I could run you through
  29. 3  each of the ones, if you felt that was necessary, and
  30. 4  give you my view of what the rationale was. It of
  31. 5  course is a decision for the CPS, and it is their
  32. 6  rationale, but there was no single reason.
  33. 7  Q. There was no single reason?
  34. 8  A. No.
  35. 9  Q. But each case file was looked at --
  36. 10  A. Yes.
  37. 11  Q. -- separately and individually?
  38. 12  A. Individually, yes.
  39. 13  Q. Were you content that the CPS looked at each
  40. 14  individually?
  41. 15  A. Yes.
  42. 16  Q. And afforded it the serious which each deserved?
  43. 17  A. Absolutely.
  44. 18  Q. And came to a decision?
  45. 19  A. Yes, I was, yes.
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 17.10.17 21:33

Can’t see where this has suddenly sprung up from, unless it is one of Mark Watts’ FOIA enquiries:                        

            Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

West London coroner's office is stalling on releasing Carole Kasir's inquest file. 1/6

           Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

Coroner's office delayed decision on releasing Carole Kasir's inquest file after consulting Met. 2/6

            Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

Met seems NOT to have closed file on Elm Guest House, the paedophile brothel where Carole Kasir was co-manager. 3/6
            Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

Coroner's office says that Met and "other authorities" have been to see Carole Kasir's inquest file. 4/6

            Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

Carole Kasir's inquest file contains "sensitive information", according to coroner's office. 5/6

            Mark Watts‏ ‪@MarkWatts_1 8h8 hours ago

Carole Kasir's inquest file may resolve issue as to whether police arrested her under Prevention of Terrorism Act (to keep her quiet). 6/6


More dodgy Met dealings, following on from todays Clive Driscoll and Crimewatch threads?
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 17.10.17 22:06

@Doug D wrote:‘Cleared’ of TV allegations?
No complaint was made to the police apparently, so presumably no formal investigation was carried out and a retired QC comes out with this:

Did he actually interview the inquiry worker and if so on whose authority?
Anyway the BBC run with it:
Child abuse inquiry counsel Ben Emmerson cleared
1 hour ago      
From the section 
The former senior counsel to the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in England and Wales has been cleared of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
An inquiry worker claimed he groped her in a lift in September.
But a former director of public prosecutions has now exonerated Ben Emmerson QC "without hesitation".

Mr Emmerson, who quit the inquiry in September, said he was "very pleased" with the investigation's outcome.

He said: "This has been a difficult period and I am naturally very pleased that an independent senior judge has now confirmed that the allegations against me were always unfounded."

The inquiry worker said the senior lawyer assaulted her at the inquiry's offices in Millbank in central London in early September.

Mr Emmerson was suspended over what the inquiry said were concerns about his leadership, and then resigned.

His chambers, Matrix, set up an inquiry into his conduct, led by Sir David Calvert-Smith.

As well as being a former senior counsel to the inquiry, Mr Emmerson is a deputy High Court judge, a visiting professor of human rights law at Oxford University and a leading international lawyer.

The national child abuse inquiry was set up in 2014 to examine whether public bodies including the police have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse. It will also examine claims of abuse involving "well-known people".

It is currently led by Professor Alexis Jay but has been beset by problems, most notably the resignations of her three predecessors.
As an aside, iirc, it was Bindmans that wrote to Joana Morais, Paulo Reis and possibly others trying to enforce a D-notice outside of the UK in respect of Henri Exton.

'Turning a blind eye', or merely incompetence? Surely we can't be talking about the 'c' word, within the 'establishment'? Whatever next!
Investigation into child abuse inquiry QC criticised
By Jake MorrisBBC Newsnight
·       16 October 2017
·       From the section UK
·       A report that cleared the former senior counsel to the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in England and Wales of allegations of wrongdoing was itself seriously flawed, a review has concluded.
In December 2016, a report by former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir David Calvert-Smith cleared Ben Emmerson QC of sexual assault and harassment.
However, that has now been criticised by a retired judge asked to review it.
Mr Emmerson has always denied any wrongdoing.
[size=13]According to the Times newspaper, the review by Dame Laura Cox criticised the legal approach taken by Sir David. [/size]
The BBC understands her review criticises the legal foundation on which Sir David based his decision that there had not been sexual assault or harassment.
It is also understood that the report criticised Matrix, where Ben Emmerson is in chambers, for accepting the original report's conclusions too readily. 
It is understood the review by Dame Laura Cox did not make its own findings regarding whether or not any sexual assault or harassment had occurred.
The review was commissioned after anger was expressed at the original report's findings.
A separate report by the Home Affairs Select Committee last year was highly critical of the way child abuse inquiry handled the original disclosure, saying the response was "wholly inadequate".
The inquiry subsequently appointed Mark Sutton QC to review its conduct.
A spokesperson for the child abuse inquiry told BBC Newsnight: "He has stated that the Chair and Panel were confronted with particularly challenging circumstances and the Inquiry responded in a way that was both appropriate and proportionate. 
"The reports by Sir David Calvert-Smith and Dame Laura Cox are internal reviews commissioned by Matrix Chambers. The Inquiry has not had sight of them."
Matrix Chambers issued a press release regarding the finding of the original report, but have refused to comment on or confirm the existence of the subsequent review.
A spokesperson said: "Matrix does not intend to make any public comment on what are plainly confidential internal matters."
Mr Emmerson has also not commented on Dame Laura's review. 
In October 2017, BBC Newsnight reported that the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) had been made aware of a disclosure of an alleged sexual assault involving Mr Emmerson.

'Shine a spotlight'

At the time of Sir David's original investigation, Mr Emmerson said: "This has been a difficult period and I am naturally very pleased that an independent senior judge has now confirmed that the allegations against me were always unfounded."
Reacting to the latest development, Labour MP Lisa Nandy said: "It's high time we saw some transparency and clarity from Matrix and the IICSA about these serious allegations.
"It raises critical questions about how an inquiry set up to shine a spotlight on abuse failed fully to investigate allegations of misconduct within its own organisation."
Matrix Chambers was founded in 2000 and is renowned for taking on high profile human rights cases. 
Its website states that: "Matrix is a place where diversity and accessibility are widely championed and out-dated practice is challenged."
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by elliem on 18.10.17 1:16

Long time watcher of your posts DD finger in the button, never wanted to go down this rabbit hole re: Madeleine, but cannot rule it out ! Looking at parents cohorts?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 18.10.17 19:24

IICSA witness statements covering much of the same ground. Hopefully someone is inputting all this on the HOLMES system or something similar to tie in the collations.
Transcript snippets 16th October 2017
Witness A7 former pupil at Knowle
…………..what Cyril Smith had done to you, but  certainly you were punished, however it was that
1.     9  Mr Turner discovered it. How did that make you feel
2.     10  about telling anybody else what had happened and what
3.     11  Cyril Smith had made you do?
4.     12  A. It wasn't just the way that I felt. I was also sent for
5.     13  EEGs over in Winwick Hospital and then I was bounced
6.     14  around different places until they let me back into
7.     15  Knowl View School, so it weren't just being verbally,
8.     16  I was sent all over the place.
9.     17  Q. Are you saying that was as a result of the information
10. 18  about what Cyril Smith had done to you?
11. 19  A. I don't feel it, I know that's what happened.
12. 20  Q. So you feel that you were removed from Knowl View
13. 21  because of something that wasn't your fault?
14. 22  A. Yes, for me making the accusations against him.
15. 23  Q. Now, it wasn't until the 1990s, the late 1990s, when the
16. 24  police approached you, that you told them about
17. 25  David Higgins. Why was it -- this is absolutely no
18. criticism, and please don't take it that way -- but what was it that prevented you in all the years in between, 20/20-plus years, saying anything at all about
David Higgins up to that point in time?
19. A. There was no point, really, because nobody would listen to you.
20. Q. Or about the housekeeper? Same reason or a different reason?
21. A. Well, it's like now the housekeeper -- the police tell me that this woman never existed. I know -- I know it did. It's absolute rubbish. That woman existed. I've been to her house and everything. She used to take me home with her.
22. Q. You were able to name her, weren't you?
23. A. Yes.

Witness – former member of Knowle staff

  1. Q. Who was the headmaster at that time?
  2. 22  A. John Tyldesley. He had been appointed by Cyril Smith on
  3. 23  a retainer. I went into the office, turned the light
  4. 24  off. The file was open. The Val Mellor report was
  5. 25  there and, yes, I helped myself because I believed
  6. that -- and I still believe, sir -- I would have been
  7. 2  breaking the 1980 Children's Act by assisting the
  8. 3  covering up of the abuse of minors, whether it be
  9. 4  physical or whether it be sexual, and I was not willing
  10. 5  to do that.
  11. 6  Q. Can you help us when this was, what year this was?
  12. 7  A. I think it was '94, sir.
  13. 8  Q. So you had available to you the documents. What did you
  14. 9  do -- photocopy them?
  15. 10  A. Yes, sir. I'm not proud of it, sir, but somebody needed
  16. 11  to know. There were parents who had not been told of
  17. 12  their own children's abuse, who currently today don't
  18. 13  know about their own children's abuse.
  19. of Sergeant Sterndale and, when the police wouldn't deal
  20. 2  with it, I took them to the press.
  21. 3  Q. Let's just take that in stages. You took them to the
  22. 4  Director of Education, what, physically or phoned up or
  23. 5  what?
  24. 6  A. I phoned up Khelsie Atkins in order to offer them to
  25. 7  her.
  26. 8  Q. What did you tell her that you had?
  27. 9  A. I told her I had information on the abuse of children at
  28. 10  Knowl View School which had not been made either public
  29. 11  or parents had not been made aware to my knowledge and
  30. 12  I would like to speak to Diana Cavanagh about getting
  31. 13  some attention for those individual children. I was
  32. 14  told that, "Diana Cavanagh has no wish to speak to you".
  33. 15  Basically, they didn't believe me.
  34. 16  Q. Did you actually ever have contact from Diana Cavanagh?
  35. 17  A. To this day, sir, no.
  36. 18  Q. It may be obvious, but what did you think the materials
  37. 19  that you had found and were able to copy showed?
  38. 20  A. I think they showed that the local authority were scared
  39. 21  of being sued by individual families and children for
  40. 22  not informing them of what happened to their child while
  41. 23  they were in loco parentis.
  42. 24  Q. So you drew a blank at the Education Department --
  43. 25  A. Completely.

Anonymous witness, young teenage pupil at Knowle
Q & A mainly regarding being sexually abused by Smith.
Witness – former member of Knowle staff
Practices and events at Knowle, plus questions regarding a late-teenage ‘intruder’ who regularly had to be escorted off the premises.
[url= Hearing Transcript 16 October 2017.pdf][/url]
Transcript snippets 17th October 2017
Anonymous witness ‘A9’, former pupil at Knowle.
Witness A8 – former pupil, hospitalised so statement read out
Witnessed and was abused at the school, including by Smith. Reported it to Headmaster and was punished for it.
Christine Scarborough, retired Social Worker
Support to the care staff,

  1. had you come
  2. 14  across anything quite like that before in relation to
  3. 15  any residential school?
  4. 16  A. Yes.
  5. 17  Q. Where?
  6. 18  A. I was -- as a newly qualified social worker in
  7. 19  Leicestershire, I had a child who was placed at
  8. 20  a children's home in Market Harborough in Leicestershire
  9. 21  with a manager called Frank Beck, and I on one occasion
  10. 22  went to the school and was told that they had been doing
  11. 23  some regression therapy with him, where they had -- he
  12. 24  was 14 at the time, where they had placed him -- given
  13. 25  him a bottle and put him in a nappy, stripped him down
  14. and put him in a nappy. I was about 24/25 at the time.
  15. 2  I was just completely horrified.
  16. 3  So I was really upset about it, and the child
  17. 4  wouldn't speak about what happened. I went back to the
  18. 5  office and I talked to them in the office, and that was
  19. 6  passed up the management line, and, basically, I got
  20. 7  a phone call two days later from a senior manager who --
  21. 8  it stands in my mind because it was one of the only few
  22. 9  times in my career when I was actually shouted at, about
  23. 10  what was I doing, what did I know about regression
  24. 11  therapy, how long had I been qualified, you know, this
  25. 12  man was doing a very, very good job, and, basically,
  26. 13  he'd brought children back from out-of-borough
  27. 14  placements and had made -- was being successful with
  28. 15  them and who was I to question this, and they didn't
  29. 16  want any more complaints from me again.

Witness – Alison Fraser, Psychiatrist
Support to the care staff

  1. A. No. Teaching staff never came (to the regular support meetings)

Witness – Janet Weeks, Child Protection Policy Officer, Rochdale
Brett Andrews – Deputy Head Knowle
Statement read
[url= Hearing Transcript 17 October 2017.pdf][/url]
Doug D

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 19.10.17 10:00

Hi DougD,i note the hearing notes related to Frank Beck,Regression Therapy,Social care worker Repremanded?

It will be quite interesting to see if Mr frank Beck has his allegations properly investigated by IICSA, Granvelle Janner reported Mr Beck to the Leicestershire Police,after Mr Beck had asked the same police Force to Investigate allegations of child abuse against Mr Janner?
Richard Henriques,QC,stated to DPP,CPS,Alison Saunders,that there was enough evidence from the Original Paper work to have charged Granville Janner with child abuse,charges?
Are there enough worms left in the can to be exposed?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 20.10.17 12:01

IICSA transcripts 18th October 2017

[url= Hearing Transcript 18 October 2017.pdf][/url]

Ian Michael Davey, March 1991 Director of Social Services in Rochdale.

Policies, practices, procedures, incidents, reports, dragging of heels re. child protection issues.

Very defensive feeling to the responses.
IICSA transcripts 19th October 2017.

Just reading them you get a strong sense of openness from some witnesses and serious defensiveness from others. Nothing particularly new today.

[url= Hearing Transcript 19 October 2017.pdf][/url]

Stephen Wallace Bradshaw, headmaster of Knowl View School between 8 April 1991 and July 1994?

Mainly the culture, staffing problems, and questioning on previously raised incidents

1.     THE CHAIR: What was your view of the quality of
2.     17  the teaching that went on?
3.     18  A. Very poor. It was very basic, apart from one teacher,
4.     19  it was a real contrast. It was one of those things --
5.     20  HMI did visit and they asked, "Where did you get her
6.     21  from?" Because the comparison was so stark in that way.

 Selwyn John Hodge.  Rochdale Borough Council, 1988, general adviser responsibility for science education.

Little to say. Not really sure why they bothered with him.

Paul John Rowen. Liberal Party councillor for Brimrod and Deeplish Ward in Rochdale between 1983 and 2007, leader of the opposition in Rochdale Council -- that being the Liberal Party -- between 1990 and 1992, member of the Education Committee and the Further Education Subcommittee, 1983 to 1992. Member of Parliament for Rochdale between 2005 and 2010

  1. A. Ray Colley. The chairman of the Education Committee was
  2. 10  Ray Colley. He was a Liberal Democrat. What we did,
  3. 11  was we had -- if there was a chairman who was
  4. 12  Conservative, there would be a Liberal Democrat as
  5. 13  a vice chairman, and vice versa.
  6. 14  Q. Was Norman Smith your social services spokesperson or
  7. 15  chair?
  8. 16  A. He was the vice chair. The chair was a Conservative and
  9. 17  that was Jane Hawton (sic).
  10. 18  Q. Is Norman Smith Cyril Smith's brother?
  11. 19  A. Yes.


  1. Mr Rowen, I just want to ask you then about this: there
  2. 17  have been allegations and rumours in Rochdale that there
  3. 18  was some form of pact between the Liberal Party and the
  4. 19  Labour Party; in essence, that the Labour Party wouldn't
  5. 20  mention rumours about Smith if the Liberal Party didn't
  6. 21  mention rumours about a different politician, whose name
  7. 22  I won't use. Are you aware of this rumour?
  8. 23  A. I became aware of that a few years ago. It is total
  9. 24  fantasy.
Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House: [***NEW***] ..and the Edward Heath > Cyril Smith > Clement Freud > McCanns connections

Post by Doug D on 22.10.17 12:09

IICSA transcript 20th October 2017
Only witness today Diana Lesley Cavanagh, Assistant Education Officer, through to Director of Education, Rochdale,1985 to 1996.
She’s coming back again on Monday.
[url= Hearing Transcript 20 October 2017.pdf][/url]
189 pages regarding the Hilton incidents, the ‘Smith Street toilets’, who knew what, security at the school, educational matters, reports & letters, child protection issues, policies and procedural reviews.
They seem to me to be getting rather bogged down with the two specific incident areas and who knew what, when & why, without delving deeper into whether the school was deliberately run on these lines to facilitate abuses, or whether it was just a very difficult school, with poor management practices, lack of suitable staff and an unwillingness from anyone to do much about it.
Maybe it will all come together and make more sense this week. The police are due to give evidence tomorrow, once they finish with Cavanagh.
Doug D

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IICSA transcript 23rd October 2017

Post by Doug D on 27.10.17 21:34

IICSA Transcript 23rd October 2017
[url= Hearing Transcript 23 October 2017.pdf][/url]
Diana Cavanagh continues. 93 more pages going over the Mellor Report, the Hilton & Smith Street toilet incidents, various other reports & meetings and who knew what & when.
1.     9  Mrs Cavanagh, on Friday, you will remember I had
2.     10  been asking you about the Mellor Report --
3.     11  A. Yes.
4.     12  Q. -- and to whom it was disseminated. I think the last
5.     13  thing you told us was that Councillor Farnell you had no
6.     14  doubt in your mind got a copy of it?
7.     15  A. Indeed.
8.     16  Q. Let's move on. Was the report presented at a couple of
9.     17  meetings after that?
10.  18  A. It was. Yes.
11.  19  Q. I think the first was on 13 March. I would like,
12.  20  please, to put up on the screen RHC001665, please.
13.  21  If you have a look at that, can you see,
14.  22  Mrs Cavanagh, it is a meeting held at 3.45 on Friday,
15.  23  the 13th, in your office. Present, including you, of
16.  24  course, Councillor Moffat, Mrs Mellor herself and
17.  25  Councillor Beasley, shown as education spokesperson,
[*]Mr Bradshaw, Ms Dobie, Mr Flammer, Councillor Hawton
[*]2  also shown as education spokesperson, and then, towards
[*]3  the bottom, Dr Hodge, Councillor Sargenson, Ms Simpson
[*]4  the adviser and Ms Taylor from the legal office.


  1. Looking back at that period, 1990 to
  2. 22  1994, I would have wanted to ensure much better
  3. 23  coordination of information and the records and to
  4. 24  ensure proper support and, where appropriate,
  5. 25  counselling for the pupils and their parents.
  6. The LEA, and that is the local authority, not just
  7. 2  the Education Department, was responsible for 32,000
  8. 3  children, schoolchildren, and it shared some of those
  9. 4  responsibilities with other Rochdale institutions.
  10. 5  I was a part of that. Insofar as my part in these
  11. 6  matters has meant some of the former pupils have
  12. 7  suffered abuse and subsequent trauma and unhappiness,
  13. 8  I am truly sorry, and I hope the current process brings
  14. 9  them some relief. Thank you, chair.

Philip Shepherd – Was Charge Nurse, Rochdale area
Sexual health, HIV/AIDS training at Knowl View.


  1. I came away from that place -- if I were to sum it
  2. 6  up in one word, it was abandonment. It just felt that
  3. 7  they'd been abandoned. The boys had been abandoned and
  4. 8  nobody was looking after them and focusing on them, and
  5. 9  the staff similarly. They'd just been left to their own
  6. 10  devices.


  1. Q. It is a reply to you, having sent your report of
  2. 20  5 April 1991. I am not going to go through all of it,
  3. 21  but in essence, Mrs Cavanagh set out to you some of
  4. 22  the steps that had been taken, didn't she?


  1. Why did you introduce Cyril Smith?
  2. 2  A. Because I'd heard that he had been around the place.
  3. 3  Q. When you say "around the place", Mr Shepherd, what do
  4. 4  you mean by that?
  5. 5  A. That he was a frequent visitor. I can't remember where
  6. 6  I'd got that or at what point during this process I'd
  7. 7  picked that up. It may well have been on the initial
  8. 8  day of 15 March, but I knew he came into the school.
  9. 9  Q. Why would that have been of concern to you?
  10. 10  A. Because there were constant rumours about Cyril Smith
  11. 11  and his predilection for young boys.
  12. 12  Q. How widespread were those rumours, Mr Shepherd?
  13. 13  A. I'd heard them for years around Rochdale.
  14. 14  Q. Were those rumours only in healthcare circles or did
  15. 15  they go wider than that?
  16. 16  A. Oh, wider than that. Wider than that: my mother,
  17. 17  neighbours, a lot of people. There were rumours around
  18. 18  all the time about Cyril. Nobody, I don't think, had
  19. 19  any evidence for it, but they'd picked it up from
  20. 20  somewhere and it was part of the tittle-tattle.
  21. 21  Q. Do you think if staff had mentioned Cyril Smith to you
  22. 22  on the day that you met them at Knowl View School in
  23. 23  1991, you would have put that in the report?
  24. 24  A. Possibly, yes. Yes.

Former DS Martin Bottomley (retired), now Forces Review Officer

  1. Firstly, I review
  2. 12  undetected serious crime, namely, rapes and murders,
  3. 13  primarily; also currently domestic homicide reviews and
  4. 14  undetected murders from today; I also review proactive
  5. 15  operations and I am also responsible for responses to
  6. 16  two public enquiries which GMP is currently engaged
  7. 17  with, of which this is one.

Q&A re: Incidents at Smith Street toilets, Rochdale Bus Station involving Knowl boys. The Hilton intrusions. Operation Cleopatra (investigation into abuse by staff members, Andrews & Diggens),
Cyril Smith, (via South Wales police Operation Goldfinch), complaint about ‘medical examination’ at Cambridge House.
Doug D

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IICSA transcript 24th October 2017

Post by Doug D on 27.10.17 21:49

Starting to get some contradictions and lies being exposed at last.

Transcript 24th October 2017

[url= Hearing Transcript 24 October 2017.pdf][/url]

1.     Can
2.     12  I firstly indicate that there are some statements which
3.     13  will be published in full on the inquiry website. They
4.     14  are as follows, and I will try to do this very slowly
5.     15  for the benefit of the transcript.
6.     16  First of all, Detective Superintendent James
7.     17  Henderson -- no relation, I should add -- which is
8.     18  GMP000135; secondly, Chief Superintendent John Houghton,
9.     19  which is GMP000174; thirdly, Chief Superintendent
10.  20  John Cantrell, which is GMP000199; fourthly, Detective
11.  21  Inspector Waller, which is GMP001021, and there is also
12.  22  a report attached to his statement, GMP000145; fifthly,
13.  23  Ray Colley, which is GMP001024; and, finally, a second
14.  24  statement from Gregor McGill, who you have heard from,
15.  25  which is CPS002846. Those will all be published

Statement of witness A6

1.     He alleges seven incidents of abuse by adults at
2.     Knowl View School. One of these was sexual abuse,
3.     2  allegedly perpetrated by Cyril Smith. The other six
4.     3  were allegations of abuse by staff members, and three of
5.     4  those had a sexual connotation.

Statement of Mrs Valerie Mellor (Chartered Psychologist)

Doesn’t really add anything to her report. (Mellor Report 18th Feb 1992)

Statement of DS Vincent Hill

1.     Operation Cleopatra. DI Ann Hewlett remained as deputy
2.     23  senior investigating officer. There were three
3.     24  detective sergeants with an outside enquiry team
4.     25  consisting of three or four detective constables at any
5.     one time. I was in charge of one of these teams and
6.     2  DS Louise Evans and DS Tony Griffiths were in charge of
7.     3  the other team. DS Neil Prunell was the HOLMES office
8.     4  manager and he ran the HOLMES system. He also had
9.     5  members of staff indexing and researching.
10.  6  "Sometime after 20 March 1998, I had a meeting with
11.  7  the head of Greater Manchester CID, Detective Chief
12.  8  Superintendent Tony Keegan, who handed me a bundle of
13.  9  documents abstracted from the original enquiry in 1970
14.  10  by Lancashire Constabulary investigating allegations
15.  11  about Cyril Smith and sexual assaults against boys. As
16.  12  a result of handing me these documents I was instructed
17.  13  to review these documents and consequently I interviewed
18.  14  A1 at his home address in Rochdale on 21 October 1998.
19.  15  Then on Thursday, 12 November 1998 I interviewed
20.  16  David Bartlett. Mr Bartlett handed me documents,
21.  17  probably copies, of affidavits from alleged victims and
22.  18  documents made as a result of his own enquiries into the
23.  19  activities of Cyril Smith as he had perceived them. As
24.  20  a result of these interviews, I produced my report dated
25.  21  2 December 1998. I handed my report together with
26.  22  a bundle of papers given to me and documents from
27.  23  Mr Bartlett personally to Detective Chief Superintendent
28.  24  Keegan. I have never seen these documents since but
29.  25  kept a copy of my report which I produce. To my
30.  knowledge, none of these documents were registered on
31.  2  HOLMES. I do not know what the outcome of my report was
32.  3  and I was never told.
33.  "Early in 1999 I was instructed by Detective
34.  5  Superintendent Roberts to make enquiries as a result of
35.  6  my 1998 report; I do not recall how I was instructed,
36.  7  whether it was by an allocated action or verbal command.
37.  8  In March 1999, I interviewed A4 and A68. As a result of
38.  9  these interviews and further information I had gained
39.  10  I produced and submitted my report entitled 'Allegations
40.  11  re Cyril Smith' dated 18 March 1999. I personally
41.  12  handed the report with my recommendations to Detective
42.  13  Superintendent Roberts.
This was typed up, but the last paragraph was omitted:
1.     "My own view is that a further investigation would
2.     3  be merited now that the information has been made
3.     4  available to Operation Cleopatra.
4.     5  "I feel that despite current priorities for the
5.     6  investigation, it would be better carried out sooner
6.     7  rather than later in order that the police be seen to be
7.     8  acting expeditiously and with due concern for those
8.     9  involved.

Statement of DS William Roberts
1.     "This is an original handwritten report allegedly
2.     24  submitted by DS Hill titled 'Allegations re Cyril Smith'
3.     25  and dated 18 March 1999. As far as I am concerned,
4.     I have not seen this report before and I didn't instruct
5.     2  Vince Hill to submit it. Had I instructed Vince Hill to
6.     3  submit that report, then I would have raised an action
7.     4  via the HOLMES system and his report would have been
8.     5  submitted in typed form and seen by the HOLMES team
9.     6  before reaching me.
1.     "I make the point that, having regard to the
2.     16  description of the HOLMES system I have given above, the
3.     17  only way I could have seen the two reports allegedly
4.     18  submitted by Vince Hill is if they had gone through the
5.     19  system and first been read and initialled by five
6.     20  personnel engaged as the HOLMES team. I have been told
7.     21  that there is no trace of these two reports in the
8.     22  HOLMES system. I am confident, therefore, that neither
9.     23  of them ever entered Operation Cleopatra and that
10.  24  I never saw them."
11.  "All reports submitted for typing within a major
12.  12  incident are typed directly onto the HOLMES system.
13.  13  There is no other way that a typed copy of report VH/2
14.  14  could have been typed within Operation Cleopatra.
15.  15  "I am informed that no copy of VH/2 has been found
16.  16  on the HOLMES system. It could not, therefore, have
17.  17  been submitted for typing through Operation Cleopatra in
18.  18  the first place. The allegation that it was is
19.  19  therefore spurious. It is also noteworthy that, once
20.  20  something has been typed into the HOLMES system, the
21.  21  original document, be it a report, action or statement,
22.  22  is then filed away and is never seen again unless, for
23.  23  instance, it is required as an exhibit during a court
24.  24  case. The original copy is never kept by the officer
25.  25  who submitted it."

(Presumably unless he had his own concerns that his report would be buried!)

1.     Vince Hill didn't grasp the system
2.     7  and embrace what I was asking. In fact, quite the
3.     8  contrary. He was probably the officer who was most
4.     9  vocal regarding his disgruntlement in having to work
5.     10  with a social worker. He continued to submit
6.     11  unnecessarily lengthy reports despite my instructions
7.     12  not to include superfluous information. Eventually,
8.     13  after he submitted a further statement that had numerous
9.     14  pages with inconsequential details, I decided to remove
10.  15  him from the operation.
11.  I can state that no person, either internally within the
12.  7  police or externally, has ever attempted to exert any
13.  8  pressure on me to either investigate or not to
14.  9  investigate anyone, including Cyril Smith. I would have
15.  10  been appalled had anyone tried to do so and I feel sure
16.  11  that anyone who knows me and who has worked with me
17.  12  would corroborate the fact that I was not a person who
18.  13  would have acceded to such a request/order.
19.  14  "Had there been evidence to investigate and arrest
20.  15  Cyril Smith, then we would have done that. We were,
21.  16  however, dealing with allegations of very serious cases
22.  17  of sexual abuse committed by people who had been, and in
23.  18  some cases still were, in a position of care and control
24.  19  over vulnerable young children. These had to take
25.  20  priority over the allegations of comparatively minor
26.  21  offences concerning Cyril Smith."
1.     23  "I have subsequently been informed that, following
2.     24  investigations by officers engaged on Operation Clifton
3.     25  [which we will hear more about today, chair] a typed
4.     copy of exhibit VH/2 has been discovered. This, however, has been found not to have been typed onto the HOLMES system. Five people are named in the report submitted by Vince Hill which it has now been discovered formed an advice file that was sent to the CPS.
A written advice letter from CPS has also been
discovered in response to Vince Hill's submission. The letter is addressed directly to Vince Hill and, as in
the case of the original submission, was never processed through the Cleopatra system."

Verbal questioning of Richard Farnell (leader of Rochdale Council,) by Mr Altman

1.     Q. Just think about what you are saying, Mr Farnell. You
2.     14  were the leader. She was the education chair. However
3.     15  formidable she was, any astute politician would not
4.     16  leave the leader unsighted by the kind of issues this
5.     17  enquiry has heard about going on at Knowl View between
6.     18  at least 1989 and the time that you lost your seat in
7.     19  the council in May 1992. Is that what you are seriously
8.     20  telling the enquiry?
9.     21  A. Yes.
10.  22  Q. She never brought it to your attention?
11.  23  A. She never brought it to my attention.
12.  24  Q. And nor did anyone else?
13.  25  A. No.
14.  Q. Not any single chair of any single committee who sat on
15.  2  your chairs' panel? No?
16.  3  A. No.
17.  4  Q. Not the chief executive, John Pierce?
18.  5  A. He didn't, no.
19.  6  Q. Not the Borough Solicitor?
20.  7  A. No.
21.  8  Q. No-one?
22.  9  A. No-one.
23.  10  Q. So you were completely and utterly oblivious to what was
24.  11  going on at Knowl View for all of those years?
25.  12  A. All those people you mentioned did not bring that to my
26.  13  attention.
27.  14  Q. Did anybody else, Mr Farnell?
28.  15  A. No.
29.  16  Q. No-one?
30.  17  A. No-one.
31.  18  Q. Is that reality, do you think?
32.  19  A. It is what happened in Knowl View.
33.  20  Q. Is it the truth, Mr Farnell?
34.  21  A. It is the truth, certainly the truth, yes.

1.     Q. Which is the very reason why I am suggesting to you, and
2.     14  have done more than once, that the idea that you never
3.     15  knew about it and were never told by Mary Moffat is just
4.     16  ridiculous, isn't it?
5.     17  A. That's your view, but I can only repeat that Mary Moffat
6.     18  was the kind of councillor who got on with these things,
7.     19  didn't share these things with many councillors, if at
8.     20  all. She got on with the job. She didn't come running
9.     21  to me with, "I need your help with this", or, "Do you
10.  22  know about this?". Education was very much her domain
11.  23  and she got on with it and that was her style.

P52 Hilton incidents, no knowledge at the time allegedly, even though it made the papers:

1.     A. If there was such an article, and I have no recollection of reading such an article, I would have been aware of it or somebody would have brought it to my attention, if that was the case.
2.      Q. But nobody did?
3.     9  A. Nobody -- no.

P53 Smith Street toilet incidents

1.     Q. Still, Mr Farnell, are you telling us that even in March
2.     7  or April 1991, you were still completely and utterly
3.     8  ignorant of the serious sexual abuse issues that were
4.     9  going on at the school?
5.     10  A. I was unaware of those incidents because the Director of
6.     11  Education, the Director of Social Services and the chief
7.     12  executive failed to inform me of those incidents.
8.     13  Q. So the man who came to prove an excellent Director of
9.     14  Social Services, he never mentioned a word to you?
10.  15  A. He never did, no.
11.  16  Q. Mrs Cavanagh, who this inquiry has seen in evidence for
12.  17  a day and a half, she said nothing to you?
13.  18  A. She said nothing to me and she's told the inquiry she
14.  19  never raised it with me.

1.     Q. As for the Mellor Report itself, which is dated
2.     14  18 February 1992 -- of course you were still in power
3.     15  then, Mr Farnell. Is that right? 18 February?
4.     16  A. Sorry, I didn't quite catch the month.
5.     17  Q. 18 February 1992 --
6.     18  A. Yes, yes.
7.     19  Q. -- you were still in power. Mrs Cavanagh told us she
8.     20  had no doubt that you received a copy of the report,
9.     21  Mellor, at the time. Did you?
10.  22  A. No.
1.     Q. Mr Farnell, you are forgetting what I told you. The
2.     whole idea of Mellor came about by the conversation
3.     2  between Mrs Cavanagh, who was the Director of Education,
4.     3  and Mr Shipp, who is the Director or was the Director of
5.     4  Legal Services. Mrs Cavanagh said it was commissioned
6.     5  on behalf of the leader. If those instructions trickled
7.     6  down to Mrs Mellor, that's what she meant by "chair of
8.     7  the same": you. That's the whole point of it.

P103     Cyril Smith
1.     Q. Did you hear any of the rumours about his alleged sexual
2.     involvement with boys at either Cambridge House Hostel
3.     2  in the '60s or at Knowl View School?
4.     3  A. Certainly not Knowl View. I remember when I first
5.     4  joined the party, the Labour Party, and that would be
6.     5  1974, the old-guard council would have mentioned --
7.     6  I can't remember exactly when, but, you know, there was
8.     7  something in Cyril Smith's background, he was alleged to
9.     8  have spanked boys at Cambridge House, it was
10.  9  investigated at the time but nothing was done about it.
11.  10  I was aware of that information about Cyril Smith from
12.  11  when I joined the party.
13.  12  Q. That suggests you knew about the police investigation or
14.  13  you'd heard about it?
15.  14  A. Only in very general terms. The view was, amongst my
16.  15  colleagues, it had been investigated but nothing came
17.  16  about it.
18.  17  Q. Did you, in 1979, read the Rochdale Alternative Paper
19.  18  article about him?
20.  19  A. Yes, I did, yes.

1.     Q. Was there, to your knowledge, Mr Farnell, at any time
2.     11  while you were a councillor, a pact between the local
3.     12  Liberal or Liberal Democrat Party and the Labour Party
4.     13  the effect of which was that the Labour Party would not
5.     14  raise issues about Cyril Smith in return for the Liberal
6.     15  or Liberal Democrat party not raising issues about
7.     16  another local politician?
8.     17  A. The idea of a pact: absolute nonsense. That would not
9.     18  have ever been contemplated by certainly anybody in the
10.  19  Labour Party. You know, the Liberals were our bitter
11.  20  political enemies.

1.     Q. But the first time it surfaces is when he speaks to the
2.     21  police on 30 October 2014, and now we have it and now
3.     22  I'm asking you questions about it. But, Mr Farnell, you
4.     23  are going to agree, aren't you, there is no grey area
5.     24  here: either he is lying or you are lying?
6.     25  A. And certainly my contention is he is lying about it,
7.     yes.
8.     2  Q. But it is one or the other, isn't it?
9.     3  A. It must be, yes.
10.  4  Q. So even up to this point in time, at the point at which
11.  5  you leave office, and even despite Mr Joinson's, you
12.  6  say, fabricated notes of a conversation that you never
13.  7  had, at the point at which you leave office, so that we
14.  8  understand the position, Mr Farnell, so that we all
15.  9  understand, you still were ignorant of all of the sexual
16.  10  exploitation and abuse that boys had been suffering for
17.  11  years at a school for which your council had
18.  12  responsibility?
19.  13  A. I was never informed about the events of Knowl View, and
20.  14  you're quite right, because you have reminded the panel
21.  15  several times now, that I have said I was unaware of
22.  16  these matters.

1.     Q. Just so we understand, because there will come a moment
2.     2  shortly when you leave this inquiry, Mr Farnell, but
3.     3  when you do, everybody should understand that you are
4.     4  not prepared to accept personal responsibility for this?
5.     5  A. I am not prepared to accept personal responsibility for
6.     6  not -- for failing to take action in this matter. For
7.     7  me to be able to take action in this matter, I would
8.     8  have had to be informed of the -- of the situation, and
9.     9  as clearly demonstrated, the key people -- the people
10.  10  with the information, the people with the professional
11.  11  responsibility to inform me about these matters, failed
12.  12  to do so, and that's a matter of record.
1.     Questions from THE PANEL

2.     17  MR FRANK: If you would help me with one matter: you have
3.     18  told us about the many occasions when you didn't have
4.     19  any knowledge about Knowl View. Could you please help
5.     20  us and tell us clearly, when did you first learn of
6.     21  the serious problems at Knowl View? When was the very
7.     22  first time?
8.     23  A. The very first time would be two to three years ago when
9.     24  Simon Danczuk, Member of Parliament, raised these
10.  25  matters under privilege in the House of Commons and then
11.  went on to write a book detailing the failures at
12.  2  Knowl View.
Mr Altman was clearly not impressed with Farnell’s answers.
Ms Eleanor Phillips, Senior Personal Secretary to Sir Norman Skelhorn, Director of Public Prosecutions (1974), then Private Secretary, Press Officer & Parliamentary Clerk for Sir Thomas Hetherington (1977).
1.     Q. Was there any situation in which you would be instructed
2.     10  to mislead the press?
3.     11  A. No.
4.     12  Q. Or even be economical with the truth?
5.     13  A. Maybe economical with the truth, yes. But not lie.

They have matched the signatory to the ‘don’t advise prosecution’ letter dated 19th March 1970, to a person who signed him/herself ‘Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions’ on a court document in Feb. 1962, although there is nothing further to suggest that they have dug further into who this person is.

1.     Q. Can we just take it in stages. You say initially that
2.     12  you believed that Frances, the secretary, called the
3.     13  journalist back and said the DPP did have a file but it
4.     14  would take some time; is that right?
5.     15  A. Yes.
6.     16  Q. You then say -- this is paragraph 11 of your statement,
7.     17  if we go over the page, that when Frances told you about
8.     18  the call the next day, you asked Sir Thomas about
9.     19  bringing it up and he said no?

1.     Q. What you do say, though -- this is paragraph 12 -- is
2.     3  that Sir Thomas did not seem surprised or curious about
3.     4  the file?
4.     5  A. That's right.
5.     6  Q. You got the impression he knew about the issues
6.     7  surrounding Sir Cyril?
7.     8  A. Yes.
8.     9  Q. What gave you that impression?

10  A. Well, I'd been working with the man for a few years.  He was very curious about a lot of things and I thought, if this was totally new to him, he may well have wanted to see it.

9.     14  Q. Did he say anything about Cyril Smith?
10.  15  A. No.
11.  16  Q. Did he say anything about why he wanted to leave the
12.  17  file in the archive?
13.  18  A. No.

1.     Q. You gave them the same standard answer: we don't comment
2.     24  on live, ongoing cases [as spoken]?
3.     25  A. That's right.
4.     Q. Why not just confirm the true position, that there was
5.     2  a file in 1970?
6.     3  A. Because I had been instructed by Sir Thomas not to.
7.     4  Q. He didn't explain why?
8.     5  A. No. When you get an instruction, you don't argue.

Nigel Marsh, former DS Greater Manchester Police, SIO Operation Clifton.

1.     Q. When was Operation Clifton set up, please?
2.     18  A. It was set up in 2014, but I believe I started the
3.     19  policy and the actual investigation on 10 October 2014.
4.     20  Q. Thank you. Could you explain to the panel, please, what
5.     21  Operation Clifton was set up in response to?
6.     22  A. It was set up -- there were a number of investigations
7.     23  ongoing at the time into allegations of abuse in
8.     24  Rochdale, some in relation to Knowl View, and the
9.     25  decision was taken by command that we would look at the
10.  action or inaction of GMP, Rochdale and other agencies.
11.  2  The allegation was that there was a coverup that had
12.  3  taken place relating to the abuse that had taken place,
13.  4  linked in to Cyril Smith and some kind of pact within
14.  5  the parties.

1.     Q. That's at page 6. I think this summarises it. The
2.     24  allegation was that senior Rochdale Borough Council
3.     25  executives and GMP officers had failed to properly
4.     investigate serious sexual abuse at Knowl View School
5.     2  and that there had been some form of coverup;
6.     3  specifically that the reports of Philip Shepherd and
7.     4  Valerie Mellor hadn't been made public for inappropriate
8.     5  reasons?
1.     Q. Then what you were going to consider was whether or not
2.     6  action or inaction revealed any complicity in relation
3.     7  to a coverup, corruption or criminal offences, such as
4.     8  misconduct in a public office or malfeasance?
5.     9  A. Yes.
6.     Q. 11 I think that's probably important to emphasise,
Mr Marsh, that you were looking at this in terms of whether or not any criminal offences had been committed –
7.     A. Yes.
8.     Q. 16-- by council officers or by police officers. You weren't generally considering whether or not, for example, child protection standards had been met at the time; is that right?
9.     19  A. No. (I think he means ‘yes’, he is confirming the negative statement)

1.     Q. Just to be clear, when we look at the PSB report, the
2.     officers who are considered by it are Chief
3.     2  Superintendent Houghton, Detective Superintendent
4.     3  Henderson and Detective Sergeant Sterndale.
5.     4  A. Yes.

1.     I want to ask you first of all, though, about
2.     8  cottaging at Smith Street toilets and the extent to
3.     9  which your investigation touched upon that. I wonder if
4.     10  we could look, first of all, at page 52 of your report.
5.     11  GMP000916_052. If we go to the middle paragraph that
6.     12  begins "It is clear", what I understand you to be
7.     13  setting out here, Mr Marsh, is that there were very few
8.     14  police records left in respect of Smith Street toilets
9.     15  and any investigations that had taken place in the late
10.  16  1980s or early 1990s?
11.  17  A. That's correct.
12.  18  Q. And that the findings that were made by you in this
13.  19  report were largely based on the social services records
14.  20  that were still available?
15.  21  A. Yes. My team trawled various avenues to try and recover
16.  22  documentation, the microfiche from GMP, because there
17.  23  was a crossover -- I can't remember now, whether it was
18.  24  '93/'94. There was a crossover from paper to a computer
19.  25  system, so we went to every available avenue to try and
20.  identify offences at Smith Street toilets, so we got
21.  2  social services and then tracked the enquiries back from
22.  3  there.
1.     Q. I'm just going to finish this bit of the report and the
2.     24  PSB report off by saying that, ultimately, the
3.     25  conclusion was, as regards these officers, there wasn't
4.     anything criminal, so to speak, about the lack of
5.     2  investigation after the Mellor Report?
6.     3  A. No.
7.     4  Q. But that, judged according to the standards of
8.     5  the present day, there ought to have been some sort of
9.     6  response or more police involvement following the
10.  7  Mellor Report. Is that correct?
11.  8  A. Yes, there is. I can see nothing proactive from the
12.  9  police in this area, which I would expect today to be
13.  10  a bit more proactive in going and finding information
14.  11  out.

1.     Q. I want to move on to the second person to whom Mr Digan
2.     7  refers, and that's Liz Lynne, who was the Member of
3.     8  Parliament for Rochdale. Again, that's dealt with at
4.     9  page 56 of your report if you need to look at it.
5.     10  I think in essence Mr Digan said he tried to make
6.     11  contact with Liz Lynne to discuss the bundle of
7.     12  documents that he had with her, but that he only spoke
8.     13  to her PA and that he didn't hear from Ms Lynne. Then
9.     14  in 1994, Deborah Doyle said that while she was working
10.  15  for Liz Lynne, Ms Lynne had instructed her to throw away
11.  16  notes that Ms Doyle had made of a conversation that she
12.  17  had had with Martin Digan?
13.  18  A. Yes.
14.  19  Q. So the suggestion from that evidence was that
15.  20  Martin Digan had given Deborah Doyle information
16.  21  relating to Knowl View School that was in this
17.  22  documentation and that Ms Lynne had essentially tried to
18.  23  stymie that from coming out or being made public or
19.  24  being dealt with by her; is that right?
20.  25  A. Yes.

No evidence could be found of any pact between parties to not mention Smith and another politician.

1.     Q. Finally, I just want to ask again about the outcome of
2.     22  your report and the conclusion that you came to. But
3.     23  I'm going to summarise it, if I may: the investigation,
4.     24  both from the perspective of Operation Clifton and the
5.     25  PSB, could find no definitive evidence of coverup,
6.     corruption or malfeasance. Similarly, this was also the
7.     2  findings of the CPS, which are documented, and you say
8.     3  that because your report and the request for --
9.     4  a request for advice from the CPS, you've obviously gone
10.  5  to the CPS so they have been able to consider the
11.  6  position as well?
12.  7  A. Yes. I couldn't identify any level of criminality that
13.  8  would support us asking for a charge and to arrest -- we
14.   9  never cautioned anybody because we didn't have that
15.   10  evidence that would say that we were led to believe that
16.   11  this individual had committed a criminal offence and
17.   12  required the standard of PACE to support them. It was
18.   13  important for me to have that interim investigative
19.   14  advice from the CPS because of the nature of
20.   15  the allegation that -- because, when you look at it, I'm
21.   16  investigating police as well, and for me -- the
22.   17  integrity of the investigation for me is I have to have
23.   18  some independence of that, that this is the information
24.   19  and evidence we have got so far, does it meet the
25.   20  threshold?
Doug D

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