‘Nick’ po­lice chief cleared of blame with­out in­ter­view

Daily Mail - - News - By Stephen Wright As­so­ciate News Editor

PO­LICE watch­dogs have been crit­i­cised for clear­ing a po­lice chief of any blame over Scot­land Yard’s sham­bolic VIP child sex abuse in­quiry – with­out even in­ter­view­ing him.

For­mer Tory MP Har­vey Proc­tor, who was falsely ac­cused of be­ing a child killer by the fan­ta­sist known as ‘Nick’, re­acted fu­ri­ously af­ter it was con­firmed that Steve Rod­house was never quizzed as a suspect dur­ing an in­quiry into pos­si­ble mis­con­duct.

Mr Proc­tor ac­cused watch­dogs of en­gag­ing in ‘a circle of in­jus­tice and de­ceit’. Mr Rod­house was ex­on­er­ated within four months of in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­ing asked to con­sider his con­duct in the £ 2.5mil­lion Op­er­a­tion Mid­land in­quiry when he was a Met deputy as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner (DAC).

But sources said the officer should have been ques­tioned as a suspect about his knowl­edge of dis­crep­an­cies in the fab­ri­cated ac­counts given by ‘Nick’, real name Carl Beech, con­cern­ing a West­min­ster pae­dophile ring.

They added that Mr Rod­house should also have been asked about why one of his most se­nior de­tec­tives pub­licly de­scribed Beech as ‘cred­i­ble and true’ and whether he had read tran­scripts of po­lice in­ter­views be­fore of­fi­cers applied for search war­rants.

Mr Rod­house was cleared by the then named In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC) in March 2017.

Watch­dogs in­ter­viewed him as a ‘witness’ only as they probed al­le­ga­tions that three of his of­fi­cers mis­led a judge into grant­ing search war­rants to carry out raids.

All three were also cleared of any wrong­do­ing last month by the watch­dog, now called the In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct. Beech was jailed for 18 years last month for per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice.

In a state­ment last night, Mr Proc­tor said: ‘Hav­ing con­ve­niently an­nounced the “chief” did noth­ing wrong, re­as­sur­ing him he was in the clear, and free of any mis­con­duct or crim­i­nal mis­de­meanours, the IPCC/ IOPC then in­ter­viewed him as a witness to seek to ab­solve his more ju­nior of­fi­cers of blame and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

‘It is a circle of in­jus­tice and de­ceit. It’s a mon­u­men­tal cover-up.’ Mr Rod­house, who was con­tro­ver­sially pro­moted to Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (Op­er­a­tions) of the Na­tional Crime Agency, is fac­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture as Scot­land Yard pre­pares to re­lease the unredacted re­port into Op­er­a­tion Mid­land by Sir Richard Hen­riques. His 2016 re­port iden­ti­fied 43 key blun­ders by po­lice.

The IOPC con­firmed that Mr Rod­house was cleared with­out be­ing in­ter­viewed, along with for­mer Met detective su­per­in­ten­dent Kenny Mc­Don­ald, the se­nior officer who de­scribed ‘Nick’s’ claims as ‘ cred­i­ble and true’ in De­cem­ber 2014. It said: ‘Our ini­tial as­sess­ments, af­ter which we dis­con­tin­ued in­ves­ti­ga­tions into a DAC and a Detective Supt were based on the com­pre­hen­sive ac­counts they had pro­vided to Sir Richard Hen­riques and con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous records the of­fi­cers had made re­gard­ing the de­ci­sions they’d taken.’

It added that the Met did not re­fer ‘the con­duct of an officer for using the term cred­i­ble and true dur­ing a news con­fer­ence’ to watch­dog in­ves­ti­ga­tors, but said: ‘We did review the ev­i­dence in re­la­tion to this and were sat­is­fied the de­ci­sion not to re­fer the mat­ter was cor­rect.’

Mr Rod­house has re­fused to answer any questions from the Daily Mail.

Cleared: For­mer chief Steve Rod­house

Jailed: Fan­ta­sist Carl Beech

From the Mail, July 23

From the Mail, July 30

From the Mail, July 31

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