Detective at centre of ‘VIP sex abuse’ case retires on eve of trial
A DETECTIVE at the centre of the disastrous Westminster VIP paedophile inquiry has retired on the eve of the criminal trial of its key witness.
Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, one of the Metropolitan Police’s most experienced investigators, has left the force after 30 years.
He was thrust into the spotlight after describing the account of witness ‘ Nick’, whose claims sparked the £2.5 million inquiry, as ‘credible and true’.
Nick – real name Carl Beech, 51 – will go on trial next week accused of making up his story of abuse. The vicar’s son faces 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud in a Newcastle trial that could last up to three months.
For legal reasons, Beech, a former nurse, was previously entitled to anonymity and was known only as ‘Nick’. This was the name given to him by a news website when he went public with his allegations of VIP abuse five years ago. He denies all 13 offences.
It was during a police appeal for witnesses in December 2014 about three alleged murders that Mr McDonald gave his backing to Beech’s account of abuse. At the time allegations of a paedophile ring involving prominent figures in the 1970s and 1980s were being investigated under an inquiry codenamed Operation Midland.
The paedophile ring was alleged to have included senior military, law enforcement and political figures. The operation stemmed from allegations made by Beech, who said he was abused by a paedophile ring including high-profile people from the age of seven. Asked about the claims, Mr McDonald – who was overseeing Operation Midland – said officers who had spoken to him thought his account was ‘credible and true’. He also appealed for other boys who might have been abused to come forward.
Mr McDonald later faced intense criticism over his ‘credible and true’ comments and was replaced as head of Operation Midland in October 2015.
The investigation was closed in March 2016, without any arrests or charges being brought.
Beech had previously accused former Conservative prime minister Edward Heath, Tory ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and the former head of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Lord Bramall, of being part of a VIP child sex ring.
He also claimed some of the men – including ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor – were involved in the murders of three boys.
The charges of perverting the course of justice include allegations that Beech lied about witnessing three child murders and falsely claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a paedophile ring.
The fraud charge alleges that he falsely claimed £22,000 in criminal injuries compensation by saying ‘he was subjected to abuse by a paedophile ring, knowing this to be untrue’.
Scotland Yard said last night: ‘Kenny McDonald retired from the Metropolitan Police in April, after 30 years’ service.’
Criticism: Kenny McDonald
The Mail, March 2016