Former MP: Child abuse claims were complete nonsense
Hemming feared he would be victim of vigilantes
FORMER MP John Hemming has revealed he was a suspect in a two- year police investigation into claims he sexually abused a girl, after police announced the case was being dropped.
Mr Hemming, who was never arrested nor charged with any crime, said he feared becoming a victim of a vigilante attack while investigations were taking place.
He said: “It was obvious from the start that the allegations were nonsense.”
The former MP for Birmingham Yardley was questioned by police over claims he was part of a paedophile ring that sexually assaulted a young girl in the 1980s and 90s, in woodland near Cannock Chase.
Staffordshire Police have now written to him saying: “There is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction of any suspect in this case”.
His accuser was a woman named Esther Baker, now aged 34, who waived her right to anonymity.
Ms Baker conducted an interview with Sky News in 2015 to say she was sexually abused by a politician and other senior figures at a beauty spot in Staffordshire and a number of nearby homes, from the age of six in the 80s and 90s.
Superintendent Amanda Davies, of Staffordshire Police, said: “In this case Esther made the difficult decision to waive her right to anonymity and we will continue to support her, as we would with all victims of crime. We want to take this opportunity to reassure other potential victims that their identity is protected by law.” While the police investigation has been widely reported, Mr Hemming has never before been publicly identified. Instead, reports referred only to “a former MP” or “wellknown politician”.
However, Mr Hemming said that some people knew he was a suspect, thanks to hints dropped on social media.
He has now chosen to identify himself, to highlight what he calls the “unjust campaign of vilification” waged against him. He said this created “an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill- founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself.”
Mr Hemming said: “This sort of situation is inevitably an attack on my family not just myself. I am still in discussion with the police about some of the criminal incidents involving my family and myself during this process. Therefore I do not wish to make further comment on those at the moment.
“I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. Being subject to an unjust campaign of vilification is something I do not wish to repeat.
“It has taken two years for this to be resolved. Identifying why that is will take time, but I believe that the system is too tolerant of false allegations.”
Speaking to our sister newspaper the Birmingham Post, Mr Hemming added: “I am naming myself at this stage because this pattern of false allegations being made with impunity has got to come to a halt.”
Supt Davies said: “It was vital we gave the victim the time, space and support she needed to disclose the information. Over 100 hours of interviews were conducted by specially trained officers, and throughout the investigation we have kept her informed and continued to provide support.”
Esther Baker who claims to have been sexually abused as a child on Cannock Chase John Hemming was never arrested or charged with any crime