Monthly Archives: January 2014

Lord McAlpine: Paedophile ?


Though it is impossible to look into another man’s soul, I’d have to say on balance that I think he was not a paedophile.

When the McAlpine story broke in November 2012 I was very new to this subject and had very little information and no ‘inside’ sources, and like most I was scrambling around online to find out as much as I could and I could find nothing substantial, only rumours, and so I did not publicly accuse Lord McAlpine of being a paedophile.

I’m confident he was not involved in north Wales child abuse, this seems to have been a mis-identification. It would appear that Lord McAlpine’s cousin ‘Jimmy’ McAlpine was but it’s not clear if Lord McAlpine was aware of that or whether he used his considerable political influence to cover up this fact but I personally think that he did know.

Like many, I have read the notorious Scallywag article. There was only one part of that article which really intrigued me and that was a reference to a caution that Lord McAlpine had received during the mid 1960s  by Strathclyde police for an offense similar  to those alleged by the victims from Bryn Estyn and committed in his car. This information so obviously could not have come from the primary sources and I felt  it was probably more reliable.

But what would constitute a ‘similar offense’ in the mid 1960s ? Any homosexual activity would have been illegal at that time and even when the law changed in 1968 homosexual activity with someone below the age of 21 would have still been illegal.Even if true it does not indicate that Lord McAlpine committed an historical offense against a child. I asked around but I could find nothing though I still feel sure that something is there.

Then there is Lord McAlpine’s interest in the art of convicted paedophile Graham Ovenden. This seems certain but Ovenden’s pictures are of young girls and this does not fit with the alleged McAlpine profile.

On balance I’d say that Lord McAlpine was probably  gay and that is not a crime. That said, I keep an open mind and I’ll be watching closely for information that may come out in the wake of Lord McAlpine’s death.


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Lord McAlpine Is Dead

Lord McAlpine

Rather than say anything now myself, I’ll just leave free comments.

I’ll write my own view and post it later.


Filed under News, Politics

Mother Detained Over Mikaeel Kular Death


Nothing more to say other than to note the collective groan from the gathered  professional journalists when it was announced that a body had been found, that noise, that will stay with me forever.

I thought he’d be found..


Filed under Abuse, News

Letter To The Attorney General Regarding The Case Of Callum Evans.

Posted as a comment by IWTT in response to this ‘Judge Mental’ article – HERE 

A template letter to the Attorney General.

Thank you IWTT.


Judge Graham Hume Jones(left) and Callum Evans (right). [Just in case you couldn’t tell which was the judge and which was the serial sex offender]

Please copy and send to

Dear Sir,

I am writing with regard to the sentence given to Callum Evans on 16th January 2014.

He has been placed under a community order for three years, which does not reflect the severity of his misdemeanors, nor does it take into account the fact that Callum Evans is already a serial child abuser.

Whilst this is the 3rd time that Callum Evans has been brought before the court, he somehow manages to be tried by the same judge (Judge Graham Hume Jones).

Callum Evans lives in The Glebe in Queen Camel, near Yeovil.

He has previously pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making indecent photographs of a child and inciting a child to engage in prostitution or pornography

Six further charges relating to child sex offences have been ordered to lie on file.

Evans was already on a three-year community order, after being spared prison in 2011 having admitted a string of sex charges. It would appear that the sex offenders programme is not working for this paedophile and it is important that he is given a custodial sentence as soon as possible so that he is not allowed to abuse any more children/young people.

I ask that you review this latest sentencing and consider whether it is unduly lenient.

Please let me know your decision as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Perhaps Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, should be reviewing more than Callum Evans’ sentence ?

You decide…

His Honour Judge Jones has found himself at the centre of controversy over his sentencing in other cases in recent years.

And in April 2011 the judge said he was forced to free a pervert who downloaded over 6,000 sexual images because a prison sentence would not be long enough to rehabilitate him.

The Western Gazette


Filed under Abuse, Judge Mental !, News

Bad Moon Rising

The Friday Night Song

Comments Off on Bad Moon Rising

Filed under FNS, Personal

Operation Framework 1992-93

Operation Framework was an investigation into a number of British men who police believed were taking children abroad, principally to Amsterdam, where they were being sold into prostitution and pornography.

On the day of the final police ‘swoop’, thirty-one search warrants had been obtained, including one against Warwick Spinks.  Spinks at the time was a known but unconvicted paedophile, close to the heart of the trade in children.  Police used an undercover officer, known as Todd, to gain Spink’s confidence.  The story is reproduced here exactly as Todd recalls it in ‘The Dirty Squad‘ by Michael Hames.


In November 1992 I was tasked to gain the confidence of a man called Warwick Spinks, who lived in Norwood. After gaining his trust I was to monitor his movements and activities with a view to bringing a prosecution. I had to pass myself off as a homosexual paedophile, but this time I had to do it without letting the target know that I knew he was a paedophile. To make matters even more difficult, this man had never been convicted of anything, so I had to work on a person who had no form for me to study, and who also possessed an apparent ability to run rings around the law. It was not going to be an easy job, and we knew this would be a long-term operation. Spinks had placed advertisements in Boyz, a free homosexual magazine, offering flats to rent in Poland and Amsterdam. I called the number in the advertisement and Spinks answered the telephone. I introduced myself as an executive in an insurance and finance business, and I said I would like to use his flat in Amsterdam. We arranged the dates and agreed the terms, and I gave him a special office number so he could contact me if there was any need. He told me I could pick up the keys from him at the flat in Amsterdam, as he would be there on 17 December, the date I was due to arrive.

Spinks had been under fairly regular surveillance, and a couple of days before I was due to meet him he was seen in Victoria station, talking to a teenage boy he was definitely aiming to pick up. I was shown a photograph of the two of them in the station as part of my briefing before I left for Holland. On my arrival in Amsterdam I met up with a young Dutch police officer who was to work with me. He was using the name of Mark. In the early afternoon he drove me to the Amstel district and parked outside a large block of flats with the name `Amstel 294′ on the front. Mark waited in the car and I went into the foyer of the building. I pressed the intercom for one of the flats. A man answered and told me to take the lift to the fifth floor. When I got there I knocked on the door of the flat. Warwick Spinks opened the door. I recognised him at once from the various photographs I had seen. He looked younger than his years; he could easily have been taken for a man of twenty-five, rather fat but quite flashily good-looking, the type anybody would assume to be a ladies’ man. He took me inside and introduced me to the same youth he was photographed with in Victoria station. `This is my friend Ken,’ he said. Spinks then gave me a cursory tour of the flat, which was one big room with kitchen facilities and a fold-down bed, plus a separate shower room and toilet. I said to Spinks, I’ve met a friend of a friend of mine over here. He’s downstairs. He doesn’t know Amsterdam, perhaps we could all go out this evening?’ `Sure: Spinks said. ‘In fact we can go for a drink right now, just so you get the feel of the place, then tonight we’ll all go out for a proper pub crawl: `That’s marvellous,’ I said:I’m here for three days, and I don’t want to miss out on anything. If you really don’t mind showing me round …’

`It’ll be a pleasure, Todd: `Great. I’ll pay for everything. I want to see the right places. You know I winked, ‘where they’ve got the younger element.’ Downstairs I introduced Mark, then the four of us walked through the cold sunlit streets to the Marcella Bar in Princengracht. We sat at a table and Spinks ordered our drinks in Dutch. He was extremely friendly and I appeared to hit it off with him without any difficulty. He commented on my Cockney accent, and I told him that I came from the East End. He told me he was from South London. I tried to ask Ken about himself, but Spinks did all the talking. `Ken lives in Kent. He’s fifteen,’ he added, with the shadow of a wink. Later, when Ken went to the toilet, Spinks told me that he had had sexual intercourse with the lad the night before. He said it was Ken’s first sexual experience and that he had pretended to be drunk and asleep throughout the whole scene. When we were on our second drink Spinks asked me what I was going to do during my stay in Amsterdam. I told him I would like to look at some videos and visit a few gay bars. He told me that there were plenty of chickens — young boys — in the gay bars around the city. I did my best to look pleased about that, then I moved the subject on to videos. `I’ll tell you what, Warwick, I said, ‘I bought a few videos back in England but they were very poor quality.’ `Yeah, well, they would be’. He told me he had run a porno video business in Kent at one time, using the name of J. Heath. He said all of his stock of videos had been confiscated by the police, but he hadn’t been caught. Do you still have any contacts in the business?’ I asked him. He nodded slowly and smiled. He said that he could get any kind of videos I wanted right there in Amsterdam.

`I don’t think I’d like to run the risk of taking them through Customs’ I said ‘Have you got any back in England I might have a look at?’ `Sure, I’ll fix you up, Todd. Don’t worry about it.’ Later, while Ken and Mark sat saying nothing, looking around them, Spinks told me he had other flats for rent in Warmoestraat, which was in another part of Amsterdam. `But they’re for straight punters. I’ve got flats to rent in Prague and the Canary Islands, too, if you’re ever interested: `I quite fancy Prague,’ I said.’Never been there, mind you’.  Spinks told me drink and cigarettes were cheap in Prague. He had plenty of supplies in England and he would be happy to sell some to me cheap. I noticed that Spinks was getting more talkative the more he drank. He told me he had been coming to Amsterdam since he was fifteen years old. He also said that he had been married and had two children, but he had left his wife and was living with a nineteen-year-old Polish boy in Thornton Heath. He referred to this boy as ‘the wife’. When he showed some interest in my own background I told him I was the executive manager of an insurance and finance company. I was single, I said, and usually inclined to keep myself to myself. Spinks told me that tonight, just for a change, I could come out of my shell. He said he would show us round the best gay bars in Amsterdam.Then he looked at his watch. `I have to go. I’ve an appointment to keep.’ We arranged that we would meet again in the evening at seven o’clock, at Amstel 294. Before he and Ken left the bar Spinks gave me a set of keys for the flat. I waited five minutes, then left the bar with Mark. We met up with other Dutch officers and went to a hotel where a room had been booked for me.We spent the rest of the afternoon making notes.

Later I went to the flat with Mark, where we sat and waited for the other two to show up. At about half-past seven Spinks buzzed the intercom and told me he was in the foyer with Ken. Mark and I went down and all four of us went to the Amstelhoek, a gay bar. While we were there Spinks told me he wanted to show me as many bars as possible that evening because he was going back to England with Ken the following day. We stayed in Amstelhoek for about three minutes and then went to Chez Manfred on Halvemassteeg. It was full to the door with gay men of all ages.There were also two middle-aged women, who were walking along the bar, putting lipstick on the men as they passed. We declined their offer and went to another bar opposite. This place was decorated entirely in white, with white cloth on the walls and ceiling. `It’s like walking into a giant condom,’ Spinks said. Like the other places this was a gay bar, as busy as the one across the road. Two black men behind me were dancing, and after a minute I felt two hands closing around my genitals. I looked over my shoulder, trying not to panic, and I saw that one of the black men had turned towards me and was dancing with his front to my back. He grinned at me and so did Spinks. I pulled away from him perhaps a little too sharply, then I quickly explained to Spinks that he had been making me spill my drink. We left this bar after ten minutes and went to a quieter one on Amstel. There were only four other customers and the bar had no disco, so it was possible to have a conversation. Spinks drew me to one side. `Todd, I want your stay in Amsterdam to be a memorable one. There’s lots of other gay bars I want to show you, but I’ve got a problem. I didn’t get a chance to go to the bank, so I’m running low on money. Could you lend me three hundred guilders?’ `No problem’.

I handed him the cash, and I had the immediate sense that I had passed some kind of test. He put his mouth close to my ear. `The next bar we go to,’ he whispered ‘I’m going to fix you up with a chicken’.  So events were fitting the required scenario. Spinks had taken to me. I had won his confidence, and he accepted me as a paedophile, all on my first day in the job. The only snag so far was that I had to make sure I had no part in the soliciting of a minor, and I had to do it without making Spinks suspicious. `Listen: I said,’ tapping my chest, ‘I’ve got to be careful. With this heart condition I’ve got, a frisky chicken would probably kill me’ `Nah. Spinks shook his head. ‘You won’t have to do anything. You can just cuddle, or the boy can give you a blow-job. It won’t cost you a thing, either. It’ll be my treat.’ He said I could take the boy back to Amstel 294N, and at some point during the evening we could swap partners. He would let me sleep with Ken while he had sex with the boy he had supplied for me. Now I felt a little flutter of panic. I told Spinks it seemed like a good idea, but the fact was, I fancied Mark. He frowned at me. ‘Isn’t he a bit old for your taste?’ `He is, yes, but he’s the boyfriend of a friend, you see? It would give me a bit of a kick if I could make it with him. I won’t get a chance after tonight, so I’d like to take a shot at it, if you won’t feel offended.’ `Do you think Mark will go for it?’ Spinks muttered. ‘He doesn’t look all that interested to me.’ I said I would speak to Mark, and if he wasn’t interested, I would take Spinks up on his kind offer. `Fair enough: Spinks said. I asked Mark to come outside for a minute. He followed me out on to the cold street.

‘Look’ I said, `me and you have got to fall in love very, very quickly, otherwise we’re both in the shit, big time.’ Mark understood. We walked back into the bar hand in hand. `I’m in with Mark: I whispered to Spinks. ‘But thanks for your offer, anyway.’ Keeping my voice low, I told Spinks that not only had Mark agreed to sleep with me, but he was going to drive me back to his house where I could stay the night, so Spinks could have the use of Amstel 294, which would save him driving across the city to the place where he was staying. `Suits me fine,’ Spinks said, and I could see he had swallowed the story. He looked at his watch. ‘I’ll have to phone the wife soon. He’s a jealous lad and gets stroppy if I don’t keep in touch.’ At about 9:30 I told Spinks I was keen to leave with Mark, now we had an understanding. We said our goodbyes and I thanked Spinks for making my first visit to Amsterdam so enjoyable. I left the bar with Mark and we then drove to my hotel, where we made our notes. I was confident, by that time, that I had made a sound contact with Spinks, and that he not only trusted me and accepted me as a paedophile, but appeared to want to stay friendly. When I returned to England I allowed time for Spinks to get back, then I telephoned him, because I had to give him back the keys to the flat in Amsterdam. I said I would bring them round. He told me not to bother, I could just post them. I said I didn’t like the idea of putting keys in the post, I’d much sooner give them to him. So I met him down in Norwood, and he introduced me to the man he had referred to as his wife. We had a drink and as I left he said he wanted to have a natter with me again really soon. We kept in touch fairly regularly after that. I used to meet him at Compton’s and similar places in the West End. It was an easy-going arrangement, smoother than I had imagined at the outset.

Then without any warning Spinks moved to Hastings to live. I made excuses to keep in contact with him there, too. Operation Framework at that point had been running for about two years; they now had a list of numerous names and addresses where they would soon make simultaneous swoops nationwide. The big day was about to dawn. I went down to Hastings to find out if Spinks would be there the following Tuesday, when the raids were due to take place. When I was alone with him in his house he said, ‘I had two lovely boys here. Fourteen, they were, both of them.’ He winked. `I took photographs.’ `Local lads, are they?’ I asked him. `No fear.They’re from a children’s home in Doncaster.’ I told him I would love to see the photographs. He said he hadn’t had them developed yet. `I’m going over to Amsterdam next week, I’ll get them developed then. I asked him what the boys looked like. One was fair, he said, and was called Tom; the other one, Ricky, was dark-haired. `Lovely,’ I said. I’d definitely like to see them.’ Because of that conversation, the Framework invasion plan was put on hold until we had a date when Warwick Spinks would be back home at Hastings. Meanwhile, going on the descriptions of the boys I had been given, plus their names and the location, the police were able to go to the only children’s home in Doncaster where they found, sure enough, that two boys with those names and fitting those descriptions had run away several days earlier. Later, when the boys had been found again and brought back to the home, one of them described how they had been picked up in Hastings by Spinks and taken to his home. He had sodomised them at knife-point, then made them sodomise each other.

One of them was taken to Amsterdam and sold to the owner of a club called the Blue Boy. He eventually escaped through a window and went to the British consul, who brought him back to England. Meanwhile, Framework had to be re-scheduled, so I called Spinks in Amsterdam and said I was thinking of coming over to Hastings the following Wednesday, which was when the officers running Framework wanted to make all the raids. ‘I’ll be home that day, sure: he told me.’Earlier than that, most likely. Come down when you like: `I wondered if you’d have the photos of the two lads you told me about,’ I said. `I should have them by then, yeah: he said.’You won’t be disappointed, I can promise you.’ `Great. I’ll see you next Wednesday, then: Spinks was duly raided the following Wednesday.Among other material, the police found the negatives of the photographs of Tom and Ricky from the children’s home. At Lewes Crown Court Spinks pleaded not guilty to a number of charges. After I and everyone else involved in the case had given evidence, Spinks was found guilty. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

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Filed under Abuse, Police Operations

Operation Endeavour: 17 Britons Arrested Following Cyber-Sex Investigation

National Crime Agency

139 Britons among the 733 suspects. Five of the 17 British suspects arrested have been convicted, nine investigations are ongoing, one will face no further action and two are dead.

Police have smashed a Philippines paedophile ring and arrested 17 Britons after joining forces with authorities in Australia and the US during a two-year investigation.

The Philippines inquiry, Operation Endeavour, spanned 12 countries and focuses on what the UK’s National Crime Agency describes as “a significant and emerging threat”, particularly in developing countries.

Three other investigations are currently underway into live streaming of child sex abuse, with 139 Britons among the 733 suspects. Five of the 17 British suspects arrested have been convicted, nine investigations are ongoing, one will face no further action and two are dead.

A BBC report found also evidence of ‘cybersex’ dens in the slums in the south Philippines, where parents would bring their children to be abused.

The Independent

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RETIRED NORTH Wales Police superintendent Gordon Anglesea has been arrested on suspicion of historic physical and sexual assaults against children.

Anglesea was detained at his Colwyn Bay home in December by officers of the National Crime Agency.

He was the 18th person to be arrested as part of Operation Pallial, based at North Wales Police headquarters.

 Operation Pallial was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2012.

 His decision followed the BBC Newsnight programme which falsely implied that Tory peer Lord McAlpine had abused children in North Wales care homes.

ON 12 DECEMBER officers from the National Crime Agency knocked on the door of a house in a quiet suburban street in Old Colwyn on the North Wales coast.

Inside the property they arrested a 76-year-old man and later took him to a police station in Cheshire.

The detectives were part of the Agency’s Operation Pallial team.


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Judge Mental!: Judge Graham Hume Jones

Judge Graham Hume Jones is now a two time recipient of The Needle’s ‘Judge Mental’ Award. 

This time Judge Graham Hume Jones gets the award for giving Callum Evans, an already convicted paedophile and the same man he’s let off twice before, one “last chance” to avoid jail.

Last July I wrote:

Two years ago Judge Graham Hume Jones sentenced Callum Evans, now 21 after he admitted six charges of making an indecent image of a child, five charges of causing or inciting a child to take part in pornography and two charges of sexual activity with a child. At that time Judge Graham Hume Jones said that banning him from Facebook would be excessive and isolate him the “social traffic” of his peers.

But less than two years later Judge Graham Hume Jones has been confronted with his own incompetence. At Taunton Crown Court in Somerset he heard how Callum Evans returned to Facebook within weeks of walking free from his court to find yet more victims. Posing as a girl variously named ‘Georgina’, ‘Georgia’, ‘Georgie’ and ‘Jade’, he tried to groom 13 boys and one girl aged between 13 and 15 in 12 months, tricking them into sending pornographic photos of themselves.

Callum Evans was found in possession of 648 sexually explicit images of children with a handful in the serious grade four category.

The Needle

So this is the third time this judge has let this same paedophile off !

What the bloody hell is going on ?!

Judge Graham Hume Jones

Judge Graham Hume Jones

And now from today:

A convicted paedophile from Somerset who continued to abuse children even while under supervision has been given a “last chance” to avoid jail.

Callum Evans, 21, who had pleaded guilty to 40 child-related sex charges, was told by a Bristol Crown Court judge that he was close to a prison sentence.

But Judge Graham Hume Jones said he wanted to ensure Evans was kept under supervision for as long as possible.

He has been placed under a community order for three years.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, Judge Mental !, News

5 Years For Channel Island Man Found With Over 1 Million Indecent Images

I wonder if his former wife was aware of Kevin Roy Du Feu’s interest in indecent images of young girls while she was still married to him…

Kevin Roy Du Feu

Kevin Roy Du Feu


A Guernsey man who had more than one million indecent images of young girls has been sentenced to five years in jail.

The hoard was the largest the Guernsey Police Computer Crime Unit had ever come across, the Royal Court was told.

Kevin Roy Du Feu, 54, was arrested in 2009 after his ex-wife informed the police of images on his mobile phone.

He was convicted of 16 charges of possessing indecent images and videos of young girls.

The court was told Guernsey Police found a total of 1.1 million images after seizing six computer hard drives from Du Feu’s home in 2009.

Describing it as a “depressing and appalling case”, Judge Russell Finch sentenced Du Feu to five years in prison plus two years on probation.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, News

Do You Have Information For The Police About Child Abuse ?

Last October The Needle published the contact telephone number for Operation Fernbridge/Fairbank-  HERE. To our knowledge this was the first time this telephone number had been made public.

The telephone number for Operation Fairbank and Operation Fernbridge is – 0207 1610500

Following this appeal for witnesses to come forward we did receive some indication from a couple of people that they had contacted the police as a result of that post. We’d like to thank them for their feedback which is an encouragement to us.

However, we are aware that there are probably many others who read The Needle who have valuable information but who have as yet not talked to the police.

There may be many reasons for this. We can certainly understand that talking to the police about abuse that you have suffered as a child may seem like a very big step to take. Actually, calling the police and talking to them does not commit you to a long drawn out process and it might help the police and other victims who have already come forward.

It might be that you feel that the abuse you suffered as a child may seem insignificant or perhaps an isolated incident. The truth is that people who sexually abuse children rarely abuse just one child. If you were abused it is extremely likely that the abuser abused other children. You will almost certainly not have been the only victim.

There may also be a perception, due to the media’s preoccupation with celebrity, that the police are only interested in actors, popstars, politicians and other famous people. Again, this is simply not true. All are investigated with equal determination, there is no differentiation. There is no such thing as a ‘celebrity’ child abuser, there are only child abusers. If you contact Fernbridge and another police operation is dealing with allegations connected to the abuse you’ve suffered, that is not a problem. They will make sure that you are put in touch with the correct police operation.

As I tried to make clear in that post from October, this really is the best time to come forward. The police are far more open-minded, sympathetic and understanding than they have ever been. Contrary to what some people have said, I can categorically assure you that the Operations Fairbank and Fernbridge are both very much active investigations and the police will almost certainly be interested in what you have to tell them but these investigations will not remain active forever, Now really is the best time to contact them.

Again, the telephone number for Operation Fairbank and Operation Fernbridge is – 0207 1610500

I know that there might be some people who want to talk but do not trust the police. I can say that everything that we hear would suggest that those fears are completely unfounded.

However, if this is the case you can also contact the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). This organisation is founded by Peter Saunders who is a survivor of child abuse himself. If you talk to them it will be in complete confidence but if after talking to them you decide to go to the police, they can support you in that process.

Here are NAPAC’s contact details just in case.

NAPAC provides the only national freephone support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood. Because of the large volume of calls we are sorry that many people are unable to get through. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to call you back which also means that any answerphone messages cannot be answered.

Call 0800 085 3330 for free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones.
Call 0808 801 0331 for free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.

Telephone support line opening hours:

Email support – Please send your emails to

Good luck !




Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

At Southwark Crown Court Today

Yes, The Needle’s very own court artist Op Greenlight was at Southwark today!

Eat your heart out Sky News!!



Filed under Abuse, News, Yewtree

Operation Pallial: 19th Arrest



Officers from the National Crime Agency today arrested a 71-year-old man from the Ellesmere Port area of Cheshire, on suspicion of sexual assaults against two boys.

The arrest forms part of Operation Pallial, an investigation led by NCA Director General Keith Bristow into recent allegations of historical sexual abuse in the care system in North Wales.

The offences are alleged to have taken place against two boys, between 1977 and 1985, when they were aged between 13 and 15 years old.

The man has been taken to a local police station where he will be interviewed by NCA officers from Operation Pallial.


Filed under Abuse, News, Pallial

The Court Circular.

We’ve got three court appearances today.


Coronation Street actor William Roache will appear at Preston Crown Court for the first day of his trial. He is accused of committing a string of historic sex offences against young girls.

D L Travis

Dave Lee Travis will appear at Southwark Crown Court for the first day of his trial. He is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault.


Meanwhile, Rolf Harris will appear at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court. He is expected to enter pleas today to 12 counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child.


Filed under Abuse, News, Yewtree

20 Private Schools Facing Claims Of Child Sex Offences

This story, which was originally published in The Sunday Times, is well researched and gives a good indication of the scale of child abuse.

I hope that other victims of child abuse within private schools will feel confident enough to come forward to the police themselves.

A handful of solicitors have confirmed they are representing alleged victims pursuing action against schools such as Ashdown House in East Sussex and Beeston Hall prep in Norfolk.

Former pupils of Caldicott in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, are launching claims for compensation at the school which has seen former staff found guilty of abuse in the past.

Roland Wright, former headmaster at the school which was attended by Nick Clegg, was found guilty of indecency with a child in December.

Wright’s contemporary Hugh Henry reportedly tried to commit suicide after being found in the bed of a young boy in the 1960s.

The former teacher admitted a number of offences last year.

Speaking after his former headmaster was found guilty of abuse, the Liberal Democrat leader said: ‘These reports will disturb everyone, but most especially those, like myself, who were pupils at the school and were entirely unaware that such abuse was taking place.’

Beeston Hall is facing further allegations of abuse after former teacher Mervyn Rush was jailed last year for the abuse of 13 boys in the 1970s.

The claims, some of which may be as much as £400,000, could be enough to close the schools an expert said.

One alleged victim said: ‘The Savile disgrace has made it easier for victims to come forward.

Mail on Sunday



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Nellie The Elephant

The Friday Night Song


Filed under FNS, Personal

Operation Shakespeare (1993) And The Emergence Of The Pseudo-Image

As The Needle reported following the last court hearing for John Stingemore and Father Tony McSweeney at  Southwark Crown Court, one of the charges that McSweeney pleaded not guilty to referred to the making of an indecent ‘pseudo image’ of a child.

We’d never heard of the term and we felt certain that many others had not either and so we provided a definition but it is actually only 20 years since the police, working on Operation Shakespeare, first came across an indecent pseudo image which eventually precipitated an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which made such images illegal.

This post outlines how it happened, sourced primarily from Michael Hames’ autobiography ‘The Dirty Squad’.


Operation Shakespeare began after the Metropolitan Police received an angry call from a woman who had discovered a pornographic image of a child, who was a relation, on her husband’s computer.  The computer was siezed and the image found to be what is now known legally as a ‘pseudo-photograph’.

The man had used a pornographic image of a woman and transposed a photograph of the young girl’s head to replace the adult head.  He had used photo-manipulation software to remove the hair and breasts from the adult torso, resulting in a lewd image of an immature female body with a child’s smiling face.  Evidence of the manipulation was visible on close inspection, but to all intents and purposes the police were dealing with a pornographic photograph of a child.

This presented a legal dilemma.  What did the image amount to in law?  It was not a photograph of a child, it could be demonstrated that a photograph of an adult woman had been electronically altered, and that the child’s head had been superimposed.  The Protection of Children Act was clear on the subject of photographs, but police at the time could not be sure that this image fell within the definition of a photograph.  The Crown Prosecution Service was consulted but were as concerned and uncertain as the police.  In the end, no prosecution was mounted.

It was clear that the law needed to be clarified and Michael Hames, Head of the Obscene Publications Branch within New Scotland Yard decided to include the image in an exhibition held at the House of Commons in February 1993, organised by Ann Winterton MP.  Over 300 MPs accepted an invitation to attend and a press statement was released:

The Obscene Publications Branch of New Scotland will provide briefing on the obscene and pornographic material which is now increasingly available in the United Kingdom and to explain the weaknesses of the Obscene Publications Act.  Items on display will include tapes, books, magazines, and satellite and computer-generated pornography.  The material includes child abuse, bestiality, oral sex, both homosexual and heterosexual group and anal intercourse and other violent and abnormal sexual behaviour which it would be inappropriate to list.

Ms Winterton was

…deeply shocked that such material is now increasingly available, largely because of the lack of political will to tackle the weakness of the Obscene Publications Act.  The Act is a threadbare garment, woven in a different age, which can no longer provide the cloak of protection which women, men and children need against the most horrific, exploitative, and damaging pornography.  I am not talking about soft porn, or about material which is titillating.  I am talking about an exhibition of material which is so horrific that not one Member of Parliament at the private viewing held a short time ago was able physically to endure viewing all the exhibits in question.

The exhibition resulted in the Home Affairs Select Committee requesting the government to amend the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.  The Select Committee visited Scotland Yard to consult police on the growing problem of child pornography and police used this opportunity to raise the dilemma created by the image at the centre of Operation Shakespeare.  As a result, it became an offence for a person to possess an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child. (Section 160 of the 1988 Act as amended by section 84(4) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994)

Currently, the main offence provisions relating to indecent photographs of children are the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The latter extends to the making of ‘pseudo-photographs’, defined as ‘an image, whether made by computer graphics or otherwise, which appears to be a photograph’. Throughout the Act, pseudo-photographs are put on the same footing as actual photographs. It is possible to convict a person of making a pseudo-photograph where the dominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child, notwithstanding that some of the physical characteristics shown are those of an adult.  CPS.


Filed under Abuse, Police Operations

Police Officer Christopher Semak Jailed For 6 Years

There is nothing that the overwhelming majority of police officers hate more than a sex offender (except perhaps a police killer) and I expect that Mr Semak’s former colleagues will feel let down and will be furious about this.

What it does is reinforce the fact that offenders come from every walk of life, they are of every religion and none, and that they are of every race.

This is not a reason to suspect everyone of child abuse but it is a reason not to exclude someone from suspicion, if there are indications, just because of who some is or what job they do.


A police officer who engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl has been jailed for six years.

Christopher Semak, 33, from Kings Norton in Birmingham, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

He was found guilty at Stafford Crown Court of three counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child from April 2010 to November 2011.

Semak was suspended by the West Midlands force in April 2012.

Police said Semak, who became a police officer in 2010, was arrested at his home after the girl confided in a teacher.

BBC News

1 Comment

Filed under Abuse, News

TVP Financial Accounts


OK, I haven’t had very much time to look at this but these are my initial thoughts.

1) They are vague but then that is understandable given the short notice.

2) Without a balance it’s all a little pointless. No indication of how much money they’ve received.

3) If ‘Direct Wages’ are £75k after two months that would suggest an annual wage bill of around £450k

4) The only reference to rental is for the office £1,200. Is this the only area rented and what expense has been committed to through contracts ?  Either the entire Wembley floor space is rented for £7,200 per anum or something is not clear.

5) It’s difficult to calculate with 3) and 4) because the accounts are from June 2013 to Jan 2014. I’m assuming wages and rental for the last two months. This will be wrong if wages and rental were paid for longer than that.


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But What Have The Romanians Ever Done For Us ?


Nicolae Constantin Paulescu was a Romanian physiologist, professor of medicine, and politician, the discoverer of pancreine (later called insulin).

The jet engine used by modern airplanes was invented by Romanian inventor and aerodynamics pioneer Henry Coanda.

George Emil Palade (1912–2008) – cell biologist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1974)  The prize was granted for his innovations in electron microscopy and cell fractionation which together laid the foundations of modern molecular cell biology.,

Victor Babeș was a Romanian physician, biologist, and one of the earliest bacteriologists. He made early and significant contributions to the study of rabies, leprosy, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.

The monoplane (1903) and the steam generator with internal combustion were designed, built and tested by Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer Traian Vuia.  The steam generator with internal combustion is still used today in thermal power stations.

Power of Words

The fountain pen was invented by the mathematician, engineer and inventor Petrache Poenaru, invention which has been patented in 1827.

Ana Aslan was a Romanian biologist and physician who discovered the anti-aging effects of procaine, based on which she developed the drugs Gerovital H3 and Aslavital.

The sonic drilling has been invented by Ion St. Basgan in 1934. After 3 years, the inventor patented the invention in the U.S., for deep-sea oil drilling.

The parachuted chair, the early version of the ejection seat was invented in 1930 by Romanian inventor Anastase Dragomir.


Nadia Comăneci  is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.

Hurmuzescu electroscope’ was invented in 1894 by Dragomir Hurmuzescu, physicist, inventor, professor and member of the Romanian Academy. His invention contributed to the discovery of radium by Pierre and Marie Curie.

Theodor V. Ionescu, Romanian physicist and inventor made remarkable discoveries in plasma physics, ionosphere physics, ion coupling electrons in dense plasmas, masers, magnetron amplifiers, and Zeeman effects related to controlled nuclear fusion and quantum emission mechanisms in hot plasmas.

Dr. Eugen Pavel is a Romanian scientist and the inventor of theHyper CD-ROM, a 3D optical data storage medium with a claimed initial capacity of 1PB and with a theoretical capacity of 100 EB on a single disc. It is considered by some to be the next revolution in computer storage.

Ilie Nastase                     Wimbledon

Ilie “Nasty” Năstase was former World No. 1 professional tennis player, one of the world’s top players of the 1970s. Năstase was ranked World No. 1 in 1973  and 1974

Nicolae Titulescu was a well-known Romanian diplomat, at various times government minister, finance and foreign minister, and for two terms President of the General Assembly of the League of Nations (1930-32).


Filed under News