Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Inquiry into alleged VIP paedophile ring collapses

"Harvey Proctor, the last living person under investigation, calls on senior Met officers to resign after police find no evidence of child abuse and murder."

"A £2m police investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring accused of killing three children more than 30 years ago has collapsed amid calls for resignations from three of the UK’s most senior police officers."

"The Metropolitan police said Operation Midland has been closed without any charges being brought against any of the former politicians, military officers or government officials said to be involved, after a 16-month inquiry involving 31 detectives."

"The declaration came on Monday afternoon an hour after the last living suspect in the inquiry said he had been told he would face no charges. Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP, was told after a conversation between his solicitors and a senior Met officer that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a case."

"The decision to clear Proctor represents a humiliating retreat for the Met, one of whose officers had previously described his accuser’s allegations as `credible and true` a claim that was subsequently withdrawn."

" `Operation Midland has now closed`, the statement said. Deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse, the senior officer in charge of Operation Midland, has concluded that the threshold has not been met for the case to be referred for any charging decisions."

"While investigations could not be completed into individuals who are no longer alive, sufficient evidence has not been found that would have led the MPS to refer the matter to the CPS if they were alive."

"The closure of the high-profile investigation is being seen as a significant blow to the reputation of Scotland Yard and its commissioner, Hogan-Howe."

"The high-profile investigation was based on claims from a single alleged victim known as Nick. He said he witnessed a group of powerful men in the 70s and 80s abusing young boys in central London locations, such as a flat in the Dolphin Square block near Westminster."

"Nick’s allegations centred on a number of figures in the establishment at the time. These included Proctor; Leon Brittan, a former home secretary; Lord Bramall, a former head of the armed forces; Sir Edward Heath, the late prime minister; and the former heads of MI5 and MI6, all of whom were said to have been part of the savage paedophile ring that killed three boys."

T"he investigation into Nick’s allegations will be examined by the Goddard inquiry into sexual abuse in institutions, which is likely to call senior officers and others to what will be one of the first public hearings the inquiry carries out."

"In March, detectives raided Proctor’s home near Grantham, Lincolnshire. The former MP for Billericay had stood down from his seat in 1987 because he was charged, and later found guilty, of indecent behaviour with men aged between 17 and 21 a charge that could not be made today because the age of consent for same-sex relationships is now 16. Since then, Proctor had been living anonymously with his partner away from the public eye."

"The Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, in an article in the Guardian, last month admitted that public confidence has been affected by the controversy over Operation Midland. He indicated that there would be a rethink of the policy of automatically believing people who say they have been sexually assaulted."

"As the fallout continues, there are fears for the pressure Nick has been under. Pete Saunders, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: `I am concerned about him. I have no doubt that Nick has been abused, and he won’t mind me saying that we have been supporting him in any way we can.` "

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