VIP sex ring witness ‘invented vile crimes’
Paedophilia allegations against dozens of politicians were fabricated, court hears
SCOTLAND Yard’s £2million investigation into claims that a man called “Nick” was abused by a VIP paedophile ring was based on “totally unfounded allegations” that caused “immeasurable distress” to wholly innocent, highprofile men, a court was told yesterday.
Carl Beech, 51 – known by the pseudonym “Nick” – was described by the Metropolitan Police as “credible and true” when he told them in 2014 he had been raped and tortured as a child by a group of prominent public figures. But yesterday a jury was told that his claims “are in fact incredible and untrue”.
Scotland Yard spent more than a year investigating the “heinous” allegations made by the father-of-one, including that members of the gang had murdered three young boys.
Some of the accused were subjected to hours of police interviews and had their homes raided. Those accused included Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister; Lord Brittan, the former home secretary; MPS Harvey Proctor and Greville Janner; military figures, including Lord Bramall and former MI5 and MI6 chiefs.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Tony Badenoch QC said that, in contrast to Scotland Yard’s initial assessment, Mr Beech lacked all credibility. He added: “These false allegations led to police enquiries being made of living men, amongst them Lord Brittan, Lord Bramall and Harvey Proctor. Immeasurable distress was caused to them personally and those close to them.”
Mr Badenoch described how Mr Beech had given the Met sketches of places where he claimed the abuse had taken place. He told the officers he had drawn them from memory, but the prosecution barrister said he had simply copied the pictures off the internet.
The court heard that when Northumbria Police looked into Mr Beech’s allegations in 2016, they discovered key elements of his story to be “totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised and irredeemably contradicted”.
It can now be reported that after being charged he went on the run in Sweden until he was eventually caught and returned to Britain.
As well as the claims of “sadistic sexual abuse”, the court heard how Mr Beech accused the group of murdering three children in the late Seventies.
Mr Badenoch said that as a result of the false claims, the family of a young boy named Martin Allen, who went missing in 1979, were given false hope.
Mr Beech also claimed to have witnessed a school friend called Scott being killed by the gang in a hit-and-run.
The jury was shown video of a police interview in which he tearfully described how the primary school pupil had been ruthlessly mown down. But the jury was told extensive inquiries had failed to find evidence to support his claim.
The prosecutor said: “During the course of the Northumbria Police inquiry many, many other untruths were uncovered.
“The allegations made by Carl Beech are now completely undermined by the testimony of others, the absence of – and contradictions in – the evidence to support his key assertions.”
Mr Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud. The trial continues.
SCOTLAND YARD’S detectives had believed in “Nick”. His claims of being raped and tortured as a child by a group of paedophile VIPS that included a former prime minister, military generals and the heads of MI5 and MI6, was described by the Met Police in December 2014 as “credible and true”.
For more than 15 months, the force took seriously Nick’s insistence that he had personally witnessed three children being murdered by the gang.
“Nick” – whose real name is Carl Beech – provided Scotland Yard with the names of 12 of his abusers in October 2014; it would take the Met’s detectives until January 2016 for officers “to challenge the accounts” given by Mr Beech in 20 hours of interviews.
Two months later, the Met told Mr Beech it was no longer investigating his claims. Some months later, Northumbria Police was called in to examine the allegations with “fresh eyes”.
Mr Beech had become a suspect, accused of making it all up. “Nick was now the focus of the police at the highest investigative levels,” Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court yesterday. “His life was about to be turned upside down and inside out. He was now the suspect as police officers pawed over the allegations with a fine-tooth comb.”
He denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
Bit by bit, the court heard, Northumbria “found that key elements of the story were totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised, and irredeemably contradicted by other testimony”.
Mr Beech had told the Met that over the course of nine years, between the ages of seven and 16, he was taken out of school regularly, picked up by a driver and abused at various locations.
Detectives obtained his attendance records at Coombe Hill Primary, Rivermead Secondary and the Tudor School. “At schools, his attendance was very good,” explained the prosecutor.
In 1984, aged 16, Mr Beech received an “award for 100 per cent punctuality”. Northumbria obtained school photos of Mr Beech aged about 10, a smiling, mop-haired boy. By that age, Mr Badenoch said, he would have been abused sadistically for three years.
Police didn’t stop there. They traced Jonathan James Budd, a friend from school, and whose name significantly followed his in the register. Police asked Mr Budd if his friend was often absent. “That’s the biggest load of c--- I have ever heard,” Mr Budd told detectives. Steven White, another school friend, told the same story.
Mr Beech had told Scotland Yard detectives that a friend called “Scott”, whom he met at Coombe Hill Primary, was murdered by the gang in 1979 and that he had witnessed it. Scott was killed because the “group wouldn’t tolerate him [Beech] having friendships”.
Northumbria discovered two “Scotts” in Mr Beech’s year and others in different age groups. “All are well if alive, and obviously weren’t murdered as a child,” said Mr Badenoch. One of the boys died, but in a motorcycle accident in 1998 at the age of 26.
Mr Badenoch told the court that Northumbria’s “extensive enquiries ... rendered his account to the Met [about Scott] completely untrue”.
Nick’s claim that military leaders and spymasters abused him regularly was then investigated. Security, the court was told, was a “massive issue” in the Seventies and Eighties.
Field Marshal Lord Bramall, then the head of the Army, “would have been a target and lived in a barbed wire surroundings under armed guard”. Mr Badenoch added: “If these allegations are to be believed he [Bramall] was taking leave of his absence regularly, unbeknown to all of these people, to conduct himself in the sadistic sexual abuse of Carl Beech at a variety of military bases across counties. The truth? Of course he wasn’t.”
Officers uncovered a “wealth of evidence” that showed two other generals named by Mr Beech – Gen Sir Roland Gibbs and Gen Sir Hugh Beach – could also not have been involved. When it came to the heads of MI5 and MI6 “that is for even more obvious reasons completely unsustainable”.
Then there were the site visits. Mr Beech had been taken for drives with Met officers “to identify the scenes of these horrific crimes”, making detailed sketches of the buildings. All he did was, the prosecution claimed, tell police that they were driving past the Carlton Club, for example. It meant nothing but the “falsehoods [were] designed to influence the officers”.
Northumbria, when it took over the case, seized Mr Beech’s computer in a raid on his house, on Nov 2 2016.
On the computer, officers found internet images of the locations where he claimed to have been abused. Mr Beech told the Met he had made his sketches from memory. “It was like everything else a complete lie,” said Mr Badenoch. He sketched the Carlton Club with the “precise number of front steps”.
Barry White, who had worked at the Carlton Club for 41 years, told police that the front desk was manned 24 hours a day and recounted how “very rare” it was to see children go in for any purpose, let alone to be abused by Ted Heath, the former prime minister, and Harvey Proctor, a Conservative MP.
Mr Beech also described being abused aboard Heath’s yacht Morning Cloud, in a cabin with a double bed. But Heath’s crewmates explained it was a racing yacht with no separate cabins, only hammocks for resting.
Mr Beech had told the Met he had been subjected to the “most horrific”
sexual and physical abuse, including electric shocks. He gave a counsellor a “body map” marked with “countless fractures... puncture wounds to his groin, and burns to his back”.
However, medical records “tell a completely different story”, the jury was told. They showed he suffered from hay fever and “some bedwetting when around nine to 10” and a leg fracture from skiing in 1983 but no medic spotted injuries resulting from sadistic torture. Mr Beech refused to submit himself to a medical check-up.
Northumbria Police then approached Dawn Beech, his ex-wife to whom he had been married for 22 years. “She didn’t notice any marks on his body,” the prosecutor explained.
Ms Beech also knew about the penknife her ex-husband had handed to the Met in October 2014, explaining that Mr Proctor had threatened to castrate him with it three decades earlier and then presented it to him as a gift. Northumbria “sought to establish the provenance of this item,” explained Mr Badenoch, adding: “They spoke to his wife and she told them that Carl Beech had not only shown it to her, but kept it in his ‘happy memory box’.”
Police also uncovered photographs of Mr Beech at the seaside as a child, with no evidence of any injuries.
Mr Beech told the Met he had a lifelong fear of water because the VIP gang would torture him by holding his head under water and throw him off the diving board at the pool at Dolphin Square in London. “He couldn’t swim, or so he said,” Mr Badenoch told the jury, adding: “Northumbria ... found that quite the opposite is true. Carl Beech seems to enjoy nothing more than a trip to the swimming pool or the sea.”
Pictures and videos obtained by Northumbria, said the prosecutor on the trial’s opening day, showed him in a snorkelling mask on honeymoon.
The case continues.