Monthly Archives: December 2013

Kincora: John McKeague And The Murder Of Brian McDermott


Loyalists have harboured within their ranks some of the most notorious deviants in Northern Ireland’s history. These include John McKeague, who led the Red Hand Commando terror group for a short time in the early Seventies. British military intelligence was aware of McKeague’s taste for young boys and used it to blackmail him into becoming an informer.

McKeague was aware through his links with other loyalist paedophiles, particularly the Orangeman William McGrath, of the child abuse going on at Kincora’s boys’ home in east Belfast.

In 1982 McKeague was about to go public about the role of British intelligence in blackmailing paedophiles like McGrath, Kincora’s housemaster, when he was shot dead by the INLA.

When McGrath’s regime of abuse became public, he was allowed to retire to the outskirts of loyalist east Belfast. None of the loyalist paramilitary groups took any action against him.

The Guardian



From a memo written by Colin Wallace entitled ‘TARA- Reports Regarding Criminal Offences Associated With the Homosexual Community in Belfast’. Extract from ‘Who Framed Colin Wallace’ by Paul Foot.


According to the memo, Mr Havers learned that the RUC was investigating three separate aspects of the Kincora affair.

“The first concerned a man… who in 1972 was falsely acquitted on the basis of perjured evidence; the file on his case has subsequently been destroyed by a bomb,” the memo reports.

Mr Havers was also told how the man may have withheld information on a notorious murder which took place nine years earlier.

The body of 10-year-old Brian McDermott was discovered in a sack in the River Lagan in September, 1973. No one was ever convicted of the killing. The meeting was told that the information provided “conflicted with what the RUC had previously told ministers and officials”.

The Belfast Telegraph


In January 1982 McKeague was interviewed by detectives investigating Kincora about his involvement in the sexual abuse. Fearful of returning to prison McKeague told friends that he was prepared to name others involved in the paedophile ring to avoid a sentence.[ Dillon, The Trigger Men, pp. 118–119] However on 29 January 1982, the INLA shot McKeague dead in his shop on the Albertbridge Road, East Belfast.[Dillon, The Trigger Men, p. 119] It has been argued that following McKeague’s threats to go public about all of those involved in Kincora his killing had been ordered by Military Intelligence as many of those who could have named were also agents, and a number of them more productive than McKeague, who by that time was highly peripheral to loyalism. To support this suggestion it has been stated that of the two gunmen who shot McKeague one was a known Special Branch agent and the other was rumoured to have Military Intelligence links. [Jack Holland & Henry McDonald, INLA – Deadly Divisions, Torc, 1994, pp. 199–200]



Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Merry Christmas

Unless something unexpected happens, this will be the final post until after Christmas and so I’d just like to wish, on behalf of the Needle Team, each and every reader of this blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Filed under Personal

‘Sarah’s Law’: 1 in 7 Requests Reveal A Paedophile

Many will remember that when the News of The World were campaigning for the introduction of a ‘Sarah’s Law’ they were accused of fueling a ‘moral panic’ and yet since it’s introduction in 2011, 700 paedophiles seeking access to children have been identified.

Parents, carers, and guardians can formally ask the police to tell them if someone has a record for child sexual offences.

If you have concerns about someone with access to your children you can find out about how the scheme works HERE

The ‘moral panic’ argument is wheeled out every time the public raise concerns about paedophiles preying on their children. There are certain groups of professionals who think that the general public can not be trusted to know the truth without acting disproportionately, this helps them remain in a position of authority on this topic.

When members of the public do act stupidly and outside of the law, as in the sad case of Bijan Ebrahimi who was falsely accused of being a paedophile and set upon and burnt alive by his neighbours, these self proclaimed guardians of children’s safety, instead of seeking to educate the public, attempt to close the debate down. They seek to combat ignorance by using these terrible but very rare cases as an excuse to give the public even less information on the subject, thus exacerbating the problem. This ensures that they remain the ‘experts’ on the subject.

There is nothing so insidious as the coveting of ‘secret knowledge’.

And when there is no example of ‘moral panic’ at hand, it’s not too hard to manufacture one.

Take this incident HERE from August 2000. The story is well known, a paediatrician from South Wales wakes up one morning to find the word ‘Paedo’ scrawled on her home. But who did this ? It is assumed that a member of the ‘ignorant unwashed classes’ did. The professionals gloat and everyone else congratulates themselves for being clever enough to know the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile.

But where is the proof that someone consumed by ‘moral panic’ has done this ? Isn’t it a little odd if you think about it ? The assumption at the time was that the doctor had been listed in the Yellow Pages. Would someone really be so stupid as to think that paedophiles would be listed there ? And if they were that stupid would they look it up under ‘PAE’ ?


More than 700 paedophiles have been identified since the introduction of “Sarah’s Law” in 2011, Freedom of Information requests have revealed.

Nearly 5,000 requests for information were made in England, Scotland and Wales; one in seven resulted in a paedophile being revealed.

The disclosure scheme was named after eight-year-old victim Sarah Payne.

It means a parent or guardian can ask police if a person who has contact with children is a child sex offender.

“There must be sufficient access to or connection with the child by the subject to pose a real risk of harm and therefore justify disclosure,” say the rules governing the scheme.

Some 4,754 applications have been made since the system was introduced two-and-a-half years ago but the number is falling. There were 1,944 in 2011-12 and 1,106 so far in 2013-14, while disclosures were 281 in the first year and 122 in current year to April.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Rolf Harris Faces Three More Charges



Rolf Harris is facing three further prosecutions for sexual assault including one against girl “aged seven or eight”, prosecutors have said.

The three counts are in addition to 13 alleged sexual offences which the entertainer was charged with in August.

The new counts are against females aged 19 in 1984, aged seven or eight in 1968 or 1969, and aged 14 in 1975.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the allegations related to one existing complainant and two new ones.

The count relating to the 19-year-old involves the same alleged victim as six of the earlier counts.

Mr Harris was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of allegations against the former BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, News, Yewtree

Operation Orchid (Aug ’89 – Oct ’92)

The second of our posts on Police Operations features Operation Orchid.

Police Op Orchid
Operation Stranger had resulted in the trial and conviction of four men; Sidney Cooke, Stephen Barrell, Robert Oliver and Leslie Bailey for the killing of Jason Swift.

Operation Orchid, which followed in August 1989, was connected to the Jason Swift murder in that no one had yet been brought to justice for the murders of other missing boys, including Barry Lewis and Mark Tildesley. Police believed these cases were all connected, and that the killers were likely to be the same men.  Operation Orchid eventually resulted in the conviction of Leslie Bailey for the killing of both Barry Lewis and Mark Tildesley.

Operation Orchid (August 1989 – October 1992) investigated the disappearance of boys during the 1980’s. It was instigated after Leslie Bailey’s cell mate, Ian Gabb, told the police about Bailey’s further confessions in prison.

Operation Orchid was led by Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Stoodley and Detective Chief Inspector David Easy. The Police team initially included DI Bob Brown (from the Alan Brent and Jason killers inquiries), and many of his original colleagues. When Bob Brown later moved, he was replaced by D.S Richard Langley, who continued to develop the rapport with Gabb. One name that repeatedly came up was that of Lennie Smith.

Lennie Smith had been strongly implicated in the Jason Swift murder.  However, at the time, charges were dropped against him. The Orchid team started to keep him under close surveillance.

He was eventually arrested at a public toilet, where he had indecently assaulted a child, and was sentenced to three years.

Ian Gabb had become a key contributor to the ‘Operation Orchid’ team in that he was placed as a cell-mate with three of Jason Swift’s killers. He had offered to help the police because he was revolted by their crimes, and he asked for no special favours in return. In fact, he even offered to prolong his stay in prison in order to gain more information. Firstly, he shared a cell with Bailey, then Oliver, and finally with Cooke.

After he shared a cell with Sydney Cooke, he wrote to the police:

“Dear Richard, I moved in with Sidney Cooke yesterday afternoon. Please God, don’t ever let this man walk our streets again. He continually talks about sex with children. Its really sickening. I can tell you that there are probably 25 to 30 dead children buried out there. Cooke has already admitted to me that he’s seen about 15 killed. He boasts of this figure. All that I write is the truth. The only part that is missing is the creeping feeling of evil I get while listening to Cooke tell me of these events. I cannot relate the fear I feel for children everywhere that I feel while this man Cooke laughs and squeals in delight as he tells me of the things he has done and the things he intends to do in the future.”

Gabb’s information was very detailed and included maps drawn by Bailey of where some of the bodies were buried.

In 1990, 28th May, the police publicly started a search for the bodies of four boys in a car park adjacent to Clapton synagogue. Although no bodies were found, it was later reported that the police found evidence that a body had been there, but then moved to another location.

In July, 1990,Scotland Yard disclosed that detectives were investigating the disappearance of boys over a six-year period, as well as deaths during the making of films in London dating back to 1984.

That same month in 1990, Leslie Bailey confessed to his involvement in the death in 1985 of Barry Lewis, aged 6, and he was charged with his murder.

Bailey was convicted in June 1991 for killing of Barry Lewis aged 6 yrs
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for Barry’s murder on June 14, 1991. He was already serving 15 years for his part in the death of Jason Swift, who was killed in the same flat.

At the time, Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Stoodley, who led Operation Orchid, said four other men were questioned in the Barry Lewis inquiry. He spoke of two paedophile rings in east London and Kent, and said on television: “My information at the moment is that nine boys have been murdered in cases of child sex abuse.”

When Bailey was also questioned about Mark Tildesley, the 7 year old who disappeared whilst visiting a fair in Wokingham, he admitted his involvement, and was charged with his murder.

Police were confident that both Cooke and Smith were deeply implicated in both the murders of Barry Lewis and Mark Tildesley and that they would be able to press charges against them. 

Ironically, however, the confessions from Bailey had led to appeals by the other three who were convicted at the Jason Swift murder trial.

The appeal judge took the view that Leslie Baily was the ringleader, and therefore reduced the sentences for Cooke from 19 years to 16 years, and for Barrell from 13.5 years to 10 years. Oliver (who had changed his name to Cooke) has his appeal dismissed.

The Police, who had been expecting both Cooke and Lennie Smith to be prosecuted, were disappointed when the Crown Prosecution Service announced: “There have been suspects considered where we have decided there is insufficient evidence.”

Only Leslie Bailey stood trial in 1992 for the murder of Mark Tildesley.

John Nutting, for the prosecution, unusually, named others who had not been charged with the murder, and gave the court a harrowing account of Mark’s last hours:

“On June 30, 1984, he had asked his father for permission to visit the fair. That day Bailey and his lover, Lennie Smith, had driven from London to Wokingham to visit a friend who had a caravan parked close to the fairground. The journey was a prelude to Bailey’s induction to the paeodophile ring, Mr Nutting said. Once at the fairground, Smith left Bailey to find his friend, Sidney Cooke. Some minutes later he returned with Cooke, who was holding a small boy by the hand. The child appeared to be dragging back and unwilling to be led, Mr Nutting said. The men took Mark to Cooke’s caravan where the child was forced to drink drugged milk and then subjected to multiple rape.
Smith and Bailey held Mark as each assaulted him. Bailey began to panic when the boy showed no sign of life but Cooke reassured the men by saying he would take him home.”

(A later press report from 1998 suggested that there was a fourth man, “Oddbod”, present).

Bailey was convicted 23rd October 1992 for the manslaughter and buggery of Mark Tildesley, aged 7 yrs

After the trial, Detective Supt Mick Short, the Thames Valley officer who led the inquiry, said papers on two men had been sent to the director of public prosecutions a year ago,and he had believed there was ample evidence to put those people before the court.

Mick Short added: “As far as Leslie Bailey is concerned, I don’t believe that he is the most wicked of the people that killed mark, in fact in many respects he was the least guilty. The other men I believe are evil, and I am certain they will come out of prison. And when they come out I am convinced they will kill again”.

That same month, October 1992, Operation Orchid, was wound down, and lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service decided there should be no further action against anyone for the murder of Mark Tildesley, 7, or the deaths of Barry Lewis, 6, and Jason Swift, 14.

Det Chief Supt Roger Stoodley, who led the operation retired earlier that month.
Subsequently, he said on BBC Crimewatch programme;

“Young boys were being carried out of flats on the Kingsmeade estate in Hackney, with anybody apparently noticing, or phoning the police, or in any way caring about what had occurred”.
“Its a very worrying situation”.

Operation Orchid resulted in Leslie Bailey’s conviction for the murders of both Mark Tildesley, 7, and Barry Lewis, 6. Lennie Smith was convicted for three years for indecent assault on a child.

Despite being implicated, neither Cooke nor Smith were convicted for involvement in the two young boy’s murders.

Leslie Bailey was strangled in his cell in Whitemore Prison on 7th October 1993. Two inmates were charged with his murder.
Lennie Smith was sentenced to 10 years in 1992 for the buggery of a 6-year old boy. He died of aids in 2006.
Sidney Cooke was released  from prison in April 1998.  In January 1999, Cooke, 72, was re-arrested and was given two life sentences at Wolverhampton Crown Court for a series of sexual assaults on two young brothers committed more than two decades ago.


Filed under Abuse, Police Operations

It is legal for Children in Children Homes to speak out against abuse

cathy fox blog on child abuse

It is not illegal for Children in Childrens Homes to speak out, a Freedom of Information Request has revealed. [1]

Whilst apparently Jack Straw did try and pass legislation to make it illegal in Part 2 of the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 the provisions never commenced as they were repealed by section 17(4) of the Crime and Courts Act 2010, following a recommendation by the Justice Select Committee. This is contained in an answer [2] to a Freedom of Information request.

“I can confirm that the department holds information that you have asked for. The information you have requested refers to Part 2 of the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 however, these provisions never commenced as they were repealed by section 17(4) of the Crime and Courts Act 2010, following a recommendation by the Justice Select Committee. ,I am pleased to inform you that you can access it via…

View original post 504 more words


Filed under Uncategorized

Rochdale Serious Case Reviews Published

cathy fox blog on child abuse

Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board have published two serious case reviews, redacted. The first of six children and the second of one child.

Serious Case Review 1  [1]             Serious Case Review 2  [2]

or they can be downloaded from Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children website [3]

The serious case review was announced by Rochdale Council last year after nine Asian men were convicted of the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of white girls in Greater Manchester .

An article from the Guardian [4] states that an internal police investigation, highlighted in the serious case review, also found a failure to recognise abuse.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this report. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other…

View original post 61 more words


Filed under Uncategorized