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


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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…

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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…

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Op Greenlight: Court Artist.



See, I told you it would be like you were actually there!


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

Just Like Heaven

The Friday Night Song

1 Comment

Filed under FNS, Personal

Lord Janner Police Press Statement

I’m sorry if it’s a little thin but it is all the information that the MSM have (officially).

Many thanks to B


“Leicestershire Police can confirm its officers have executed a search warrant at a property in Barnet, London, as part of an ongoing criminal enquiry. No arrests have been made at this stage.”

Leicestershire Police


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Lord Janner: Home Searched.


Really good to read that Lord Janner has NOT been arrested.

Otherwise I’d be in contempt of court for writing this. Ho hum- ‘swings and roundabouts’

In 1991, after accusing LORD/MP Greville Janner of paedophilic behaviour with a teenager, Beck was arrested and charged with the sexual and physical abuse of children in his care over a thirteen-year period.
At his trial Beck stated that: – “One child has been buggered and abused for two solid years by Greville Janner“.
Immediately after this, Janner who just happens to be, ironically, a long time member of the boy scouts association, and Sir David Napley, his solicitor, went to Police headquarters in Leicester. Whereupon, the following statement was issued:

“We have advised Mr. Janner that he is prevented from making any statement at this stage”.

Shortly afterwards, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alan Green, let it be known that “for lack of evidence”, Janner would not be prosecuted, even though P, who was just thirteen when he and Janner first met, was able to describe Janner‘s home, the hotel rooms they had shared, and Janner’s habits and person in detail.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, himself, was arrested for kerb-crawling in Kings Cross a little while later.<


Today’s story

The London home of Lord Janner has been searched as part of an inquiry into allegations of child abuse, Leicestershire Police has confirmed.

He has not been arrested and has not been interviewed under caution.

Leicestershire Police said it had “executed a search warrant at a property in Barnet, north London, as part of an ongoing criminal inquiry”.

Greville Janner was a Labour MP for 27 years, in Leicester North West and then Leicester West. He retired in 1997.

Cambridge graduate Lord Janner, a father of three, is a former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

He is also chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust.

BBC News


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Child Abuse Victim Sent Threatening Letter ‘Claiming’ To Be From Brentwood MP Eric Pickles

Contrary to what Mr Pickles may think, the national MSM are taking a very keen interest in this story and are watching, as indeed I am, to see how this pans out.


A “THREATENING letter” purporting to be from Brentwood and Ongar MP Eric Pickles is being investigated by police.

The letter, sent to Teresa Cooper, a vocal critic of Mr Pickles, at her home in Ongar , demanded an apology for her actions earlier this year when she confronted the MP at Ongar Nature Reserve.

A source, who works with the Cabinet member for the Department for Communities and Local Government, said Mr Pickles and his office had no involvement with the writing of this letter and would co-operate with any police investigation.

Mr Pickles said: “We have not seen a copy of this letter but it is clearly completely unacceptable for anyone to masquerade as an MP.”

Brentwood Gazette


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Operation Stranger (Jan ’86 – ’89?)


We’ve been trying to untangle the police operations, the networks they connected, and piece together a chronology. The results so far have surprised us. We’ll make the connections later.

This is our first one, Operation Stranger (and its strands).

(Sources include ‘Lambs to the Slaughter’ by Ted Oliver and press reports, which may contain inaccuracies and contradictions, so we’d welcome input to help us refine any omissions or errors).

OPERATION STRANGER (January ‘86 – ‘89?)
This was joint Essex and the Met forces investigation into the deaths of Jason Swift and Barry Lewis. We believe three ‘strands’ are connected directly, or indirectly, to this operation;

1.      The ‘Dirty Dozen’ Paedophile ring (Feb ‘86 – Jun ‘87)
2.      The Alan Brent (baby-sitting) ring (Apr ‘87 – Mar ’88)
3.      The ‘Jason Swift murder’ Hackney ring (Jun ’87 – May ’89)

Operation Stranger was set up on 17th January 1986, as a secret operation between Essex police and the Metropolitan Police who were investigating the murders in 1985  of Barry Lewis, age 6,  and Jason Swift, age 14.  Detectives had been informed that both children had been drugged prior to their deaths but decided this should not yet be made public so as not to alert potential suspects.  (The operation was joint because Jason’s body had been found outside the Met boundary, in Essex.)

Commander Corbett, head of C11, the Met’s Criminal Intelligence Unit was appointed to co-ordinate Operation Stranger.

Operation Stranger was made public on 16th April 1986 when Commander Corbett, Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Hatfull from the Met, and Detective Superintendent James Kenneally from Essex, held a press conference at New Scotland Yard.

A key purpose of going public was to try to track down the man who had been seen carrying a child the day after Barry Lewis disappeared. The man had been driving a red Talbot Horizon, and photo-fits of the man were released.  It was the first time the murders of Barry Lewis and Jason Swift were officially linked, and nine similarities between their deaths were announced.

National Conference
Five days after the announcement of Operation Stranger, a national police conference was held in London to discuss child killings and abductions. Three boys in particular attracted the interest of the Stranger team. These were Mark Tildesley, Vishal Mehrotra (who vanished from Putney High Street on Royal Wedding day in 1981 and whose body was discovered in Surrey) and a six year old from Brighton who had been the victim of a vicious homosexual attack in a car in August 1983.

At the conference, a chief superintendent from Cleveland asked if anyone had information on an organisation called ‘Interchain’. This was a world-wide circle of homosexual paedophiles with its main centres in Switzerland and New York. These men exchanged information on their mostly violent perversions and fantasies about young boys. An investigation later showed that there were 142 British members of Interchain. All were traced and 15 were found to have convictions for offences against boys. Two of them were interviewed about the murders of Jason Swift and Barry Lewis, but never arrested.

The Operation Stranger investigations into Jason Swift & Barry Lewis resulted in conviction of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ gang, and led to four convictions for the killing of Jason Swift.

THE ‘DIRTY DOZEN’ (Feb’86 – Jun’87)

Hackney police raided a flat on the Kingsmeade Estate in November 1985 after a report that a 13 year old was being abused there, but failed to find the child who was hidden there.  Essex police later picked up this information and visited the flat to question the occupants, Lennie Smith and Robert Oliver, about Jason’s death. Both men had previous convictions for offences against young boys.

In February 1986, Essex detectives found the same 13 year old boy by chance when they raided a house in Croydon as they made inquiries into Jason’s murder.

They rescued him from the gang and sparked off a massive investigation. Two of the first names supplied by the boy were Lennie Smith and Sidney Cooke. Both men had had brutal sex with him. Within days, Smith and Cooke were arrested and charged and remanded to Brixton Prison to await trial.

In June 1987, twelve men from this paedophile network who had preyed on runaway boys were convicted. Crown prosecutor Mr John Sevan told the court that, between January 1984 and January 1986, the defendants procured and corrupted boys who had run away from home or from council care. Boys were ‘hawked about’ all over London, staying for a week or two at the homes of different men who passed them on when they tired of them. To keep one step ahead of police, social workers or parents, the men hid the boys.

This network became known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.

Walter Ballantyne, 46; a stallholder at Dalston Market, was one of the ringleaders of the network, he was given 6 years 3 months
Leonard William Smith, 31, was sentenced to 30 months;
Sidney Charles Cooke, 59, remanded for bail reports / got 2 years *
Simon Haeems, 35, was sentenced to 2 years
Colin Byrne, 18, was sentenced to 1 year probation
Daniel Paine, 33, was sentenced to 2 years;
Roy Alan Morris, 26, was sentenced to 30 months,
Alfred Goddard, 58, was sentenced to 2 years;
John Thornton, 36, was sentenced to 8 years (thought to be leader of the Croydon group);
John Stead, 23, was sentenced to 5 years;
Edward Talbot, 47, was sentenced to 1 year;
Brian Turner, was sentenced to 5 years

* ‘Lambs to the Slaughter’ by Ted Oliver and Ramsay Smith, 1993 reported that Cooke got 2 years for buggery of the boy that Lennie Smith also abused.

THE ‘BRENT INQUIRY’  (Alan Brent’s Baby-Sitting Network)

By the early part of early 1987, new leads relating to the Operation Stranger inquiry into Jason Swift and Barry Lewis were drying up, and the number of detectives working on the case had been reduced.

On Good Friday 1987, the Hackney crime squad investigated a complaint that a four year old local child had been abused by the family baby-sitter. Later that night, an anonymous telephone call to Hackney police led them to an address where they arrested Alan Brent, a 46 year old council cleansing department worker. Brent admitted he had molested the child and had convictions for similar offences dating back twenty years. It became apparent that the assault was not an isolated incident and, over the years, other members of the family had been subjected to abuse.

DI Bob Brown decided to form a squad to undertake ‘The Brent Inquiry’ which uncovered a catalogue of abuse against members of families that Alan Brent and his gang had been baby-sitting for. These men, who were linked to other groups, including the ‘Dirty Dozen’, wormed their way into the confidence of working-class families with the sole purpose of abusing their children. For years, young victims were passed from man to man and from group to group.

On the 26th June 1987 three men including a 72-year-old pensioner were remanded in custody on child sex charges by Old Street Magistrates Court.
Alan John Brent, 46, also known as John Alan Spicer and Andrew Spicer
Roy Becker, 72
Bryan Owen, 62
Brent and Owen were remanded in prison custody until July 8, while Becker was remanded in police custody.

In March 1988, the Brent Inquiry reached its conclusion at the Old Bailey. Alan Brent pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault on young boys and was jailed for five years. Four other men were given prison sentences ranging from 18 months to two and a half years.


As the Brent Inquiry widened, Hackney police realised the prospect of a link with Jason Swift’s murder grew.  DI Brown instructed the team to question every suspect in the Brent Inquiry about Jason Swift and he supplied them all with photographs of the murdered boy.

They were correct.  A key witness emerged who was 21 and one of the older members of the original family corrupted by Brent. He had been abused for years by the gang and gave a detailed history of how Alan Brent and others had systematically corrupted him, his two younger brothers and other male relatives. He spoke of meeting a boy called Jason in Holt’s shoe shop, a well-known homosexual haunt in Hackney, and identified Jason Swift from a school photograph. He told the police that Jason had been sent to a flat belonging to Robert Oliver on the Kingsmeade Estate.

On Wednesday 24th June, a 16 year old boy told the Brent team that he, too, had been indecently assaulted by Robert Oliver. The detectives tracked Oliver down to a flat occupied by Leslie Bailey’s mother and he was arrested. Leslie Bailey was in the house at the time in a room he shared with Oliver.

Under questioning, Oliver admitted he knew about the death of Jason Swift and that he had met him several times, first through Lennie Smith and Sidney Cooke. Essex police were informed of this development – in their own inquiry into Jason’s death they had 32 lines of enquiry left to deal with. On that list were the names of Sidney Cooke and Lennie Smith.

Oliver’s previous lodgings were searched by police and three prescription bottles of dimazepam were discovered, the tranquiliser found in the bodies of Jason Swift and Barry Lewis.

Detectives were sure he was involved in Jason’s murder, but his account was unconvincing, and there was not enough to charge him with murder. On Friday 26th June he was charged with indecently assaulting Jason, and with two other offences in relation to the Brent Inquiry.

The Hackney Gazette reported on 19 June 1987 and 26th June 1987, that the police might be close to identifying Jason’s killers, linking a Hackney paedophile ring with some of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ convictions, and claiming that 6 charges had already been made, with more expected.

Det Inspector Bob Brown, of Hackney CID, said: “There are certainly common factors between the investigations into child sex activities and those into the murder of Jason Swift.

On 27th June, 1987 the Times reported that a man, who has not been charged, was being quizzed over the killing of Jason Swift and Barry Lewis. Also, that during their inquiries police uncovered a network of alleged child molesters, based in a shop in Mare Street, Hackney, and that six men had already been charged with offences of gross indecency against a number of children aged between five and 15. The Times later reported that a 3rd man, Donald Smith, aged 62, a chef, of Hackney was due in court accused of the murder two years previously of Jason Swift.

Oliver appeared at Old Street Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29th June 1987 and was remanded in custody. A month later, police realised a definitive account of Jason’s murder was eluding them and decided to interview ‘that bloke he was sharing a room with’. Leslie Bailey was found and driven from his flat to the police station, the last ten minutes of freedom in his life. Bailey gave the police a horrific confession, a substantially true account of Jason’s murder and an uncannily accurate account of where the body had been dumped.

On 15th February 1988, committal proceedings against Leslie Bailey, Sidney Cooke, Lennie Smith, Robert Oliver, Steven Barrell and Donald Smith began at Lambeth Magistrates’ Court.

The Jury was sworn in on 20th Feb 1989 for the trial. Leslie Bailey, aged 35, and Robert Oliver, aged 34, both of Hackney, east London, pleaded not guilty to murder.
Sidney Cooke, aged 61, of Homerton, Donald Smith, aged 64, of Hackney, and Stephen Barrell, aged 29, of Dagenham, Essex, denied manslaughter.  All denied sexual charges.

The Times reported on 16th March 1989, that ‘ no evidence was offered against Donald Smith, aged 64, of Ashmead House, Kingsmead estate, the alleged scene of the killing, who was discharged after denying manslaughter, indecent assault and perverting justice.’

The court also heard that Sidney Cooke had made an anonymous call to the police a month after Jason’s body was found saying: “I just want to say it shouldn’t have happened like that. I want you to know it was an accident.” Cooke also claimed he was powerless to stop the killing.

All four men were found guilty of manslaughter on 12th May 1989. It was revealed that ‘A well-organised and financed group of paedophiles operating in east London, which has international links, is believed to have recruited at least 60 boys into their ring. From their headquarters, a shoe shop in Hackney, they produced manuals on how to entice and gain the trust of youngsters before seducing them.’

The sentences were delivered on 15th May 1989.
Sidney Cooke 62 of Kingsmead Estate, Hackney, was sentenced to 19 years.
Leslie Bailey, aged 35, and
Robert Oliver, aged 34, both of Frampton Park Estate, Hackney, were sentenced to 15 years each
Stephen Barrell, 28, of Arnold Road, Dagenham, Essex, was sentenced to 13 1/2 years.

In August 1989, police Operation Orchid was established, to further investigate boys missing in the 1980’s.

Related Videos;
Operation Stranger (Wolf Pack)
Crimewatch Reconstruction – The Lost Boys.
(Part 1 – Operation Stranger; Part 2 – Operation Orchid)


Filed under Abuse, Police Operations

Having Your Cake…



by | December 20, 2013 · 11:18 am


Attending Southwark Crown Court yesterday, I was struck by a charge which Father Tony McSweeney pleaded not guilty to which referred to the possession of an indecent ‘pseudo image’ of a child. This was not the most serious charge but it is one that needs an explanation. Certainly, I’d never heard of this before.

What does it mean ?

Below is the definition from wikipedia.

Father Tony McSweeney

Father Tony McSweeney

pseudo-photograph is “an image, whether made by computer-graphics or otherwise howsoever, which appears to be a photograph”.

Although the term pseudo-photograph can be applied regardless of what it depicts, in law its meaning is especially relevant regarding child pornography.

In the UK, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 amended the Protection of Children Act 1978 so as to define the concept of an “indecent pseudo-photograph of a child”.



Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

John Stingemore and Tony McSweeney enter pleas

Southwark Crown Court
John Stingemore, who was responsible for the day-to-day running of Grafton Close Children’s Home, and his friend, Father Tony McSweeney, appeared at Southwark Crown Court today before Judge Testar.

They entered pleas of not guilty to the 14 charges put to them.

The pair remain on conditional bail and no trial date has been set.

We will update later.

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Ian Watkins jailed for 35 years for child sex crimes

Detectives believe there are more victims and will continue to investigate activities of former Lostprophets singer

Ian Watkins

The rock singer Ian Watkins has been jailed for 35 years after admitting a string of sex offences involving children including the attempted rape of a baby.

Two women, known only as Woman A and Woman B – who are the mothers of children he abused – were sentenced to 14 and 17 years respectively. Watkins, 36, will not be eligible for parole until two thirds of the way through his sentence.

Mr Justice Royce told Watkins: “Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases. This case, however, breaks new ground.

“You, Watkins, achieved fame and success as the lead singer of Lostprophets. You had many fawning fans. That gave you power. You knew you could use that power to induce young female fans to have help satisfy your insatiable lust and take part in the sexual abuse of their own children.

The Guardian 18/12/13


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‘Half Of Lords’ Clock In To Claim Expenses



There are 781 seats in The House of Lords, 55 peers are on leave of absence or otherwise disqualified from sitting.

If half are on the fiddle, what are the chances of 390 Lords a leaping this Christmas ?

Nah!, it would never happen.

Half the members of the House of Lords clock in and out of Parliament for a few minutes a day in order to claim a £300 daily attendance allowance, a former Conservative peer has said.

Lord Hanningfield made the claim when challenged to explain his own attendance record.

The Daily Mirror alleges on 11 of 19 occasions he attended the Lords in July he spent less than 40 minutes there.

There is no suggestion the peer broke any rules.

Members of the House of Lords are not paid a salary but can claim a daily allowance of £300 if they attend a sitting.

BBC News


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Former Headteacher Of Caldicott School Convicted Of Child Sexual Abuse


Former headteacher, Roland Peter Wright, has today been convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault involving 5 victims over a period of 11 years. This follows earlier convictions for fellow former teachers John Addrison, Edward Carson and Hugh Henry.

Ruth Bowskill, Temporary Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:

“This case marks the end of a series of prosecutions of four teaching staff involved in the serious sexual abuse of a number of children at Caldicott school in Buckinghamshire committed over a period of a decade. The position of trust held by these men, the young age of the victims and their vulnerability at the time of the abuse greatly increases the seriousness of these already grave offences.

“Roland Peter Wright was a particularly trusted member of staff at Caldicott school and became the head teacher. Not only did he breach the trust of the pupils at the school, their parents and the staff, Wright also abused his position of authority in order to gain access to his victims. It is only due to the great courage and persistence of the victims and those affected by the abuse that the despicable behaviour of these teachers at the school has been exposed. Roland Peter Wright has never shown any contrition for his behaviour or apologised for his conduct; at all times he has sought to evade responsibility for what he did. I would like to pay tribute to the victims and witnesses in this case for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and giving evidence on matters which must have been extremely distressing still years after the events took place.

“Today’s convictions serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these that they should come forward regardless of when the offence occurred because time is not a barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this investigation, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

“The emotional impact on Wright’s victims and those of the other teachers is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions give some small comfort to the victims involved. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”

CPS Blog


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Op Fernbridge: Stingemore – McSweeney Committal Hearing


By Op Greenlight, The Needle’s court artist

This Thursday, 19th December, is the date of John Stingemore and Tony McSweeney’s Committal Hearing. The time of the hearing has not yet been published.

As we have done before with previous hearings we would like to urge all complainants and witnesses in this case not to attend. As those people already know Stingemore and McSweeney are the only two people that have been charged in connection with Operation Fernbridge (so far) and as such there is considerable media interest, even if that interest has not yet manifested itself as stories in the press.

At the two previous hearings television cameras filmed everybody entering and leaving the court and journalists were more interested in who was in the public gallery than they were in John Stingemore, Tony McSweeney, and the proceedings.

So, if you do not wish to have the unwanted attention of the press, please do not go.

Committal Hearings are usually very short, normally around five minutes long. The defendants confirm their names and addresses and the charges are read out and they may, if they wish, enter a plea before the judge dismisses them to a trial date.

That’s it.

It is true that the media, including this blog, are restricted in what they can report at these hearings but if you are connected with this case then I’m sure that the police contact you have will inform you of any important developments that can’t be reported.

Both Op Greenlight and myself will be attending ourselves and Op Greenlight has promised me that she will use her considerable artistic skills to try and capture the mood and the atmosphere in the courtroom for you. We’ll publish the pictures on Friday and I promise you, you will not feel as though you’ve missed out, it will seem as though you were actually there !


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News