VIP abuse detective still faces inquiry after claims by fraudster
Senior officer who warned of witch hunt accused of leaking details
THE senior detective who warned against a “baseless witch hunt” of VIPs over false sex abuse allegations remains under official investigation after being reported to the police watchdog by a convicted fraudster and a fantasist.
Det Chief Insp Paul Settle was accused of leaking personal and sensitive details of two men whose honesty and integrity is now in serious doubt.
One of the men can be named today as Chris Fay, who was sentenced to a year in jail for fraud for his part in a scam in which pensioners were conned out of almost £300,000. The other, a fantasist who falsely claimed he had witnessed the murders of children and a young man with Down’s syndrome by a paedophile gang, was also jailed for hoax bomb calls.
The second man, known as “Darren”, cannot be identified because he has claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse.
Mr Settle was forced to step down as head of the Metropolitan Police’s paedophile unit after he tried to close an investigation into Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, over unsubstantiated claims of rape.
The case was reopened after political interference by Tom Watson, the Labour deputy leader. Mr Settle was removed from the investigation and subsequently went on sick leave, suffering from stress. An official report by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge, examining Scotland Yard’s handling of historic sex abuse investigations vindicated Mr Settle’s judgment.
But the detective remains under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). He was reported to the IPCC by Darren and Fay in about November last year. The case is still being investigated.
The IPCC said in an email to The Daily Telegraph that “both members of the public allege the improper disclosure to the press of people’s personal and sensitive details by a senior Metropolitan Police Service officer”.
Fay, 70, a former social worker and Labour councillor, drew up a fictitious list of public figures who he said had visited a guest house in London, where children had been sexually abused.
The list was released online when Mr Watson was alleging in Parliament the existence of a powerful paedophile network.
The list, which included Lord Brittan and Harvey Proctor, would lead to them being accused of murder and abuse by another fantasist, named as Nick.
Fay, who lives in a council flat in Blackheath, south-east London, had been jailed a year before the allegations were circulated for his part in a £300,000 fraud. Victims were told they were buying shares in property and Tesco but were issued with fake certificates. Fay helped to launder cash through false bank accounts.
Darren was jailed in the Nineties for hoax bomb calls and threatening neighbours. He suffers from mental illness and once falsely confessed to the murder of a prostitute.
A senior police source said: “It is disgraceful Paul Settle is still being investigated by the IPCC. He was the only detective who spoke out against the witch hunt of VIPs and he is being punished for his honesty.” Another said: “There is huge concern about the length of time it is taking the IPCC to carry out this investigation.”
Paul Settle, left, was reported to the watchdog by Fay, right