Roger Stoodley On The ‘Cooke Group’ And Elm Guest House Links

This newspaper headline is not an exaggeration.

This newspaper headline is not an exaggeration.

Former detective chief superintendent Roger Stoodley in The Times today effectively validates the cautious approach we felt obliged to outline in respect to Mr Mehrotra’s revelations in The Telegraph yesterday. That can be found HERE

Broadly, Vishal Mehrotra’s murder matched the Cooke group’s Modus Operandi who were active at that time and there was no known link between that group and the Elm Guest House.

He also recognises that there were other abductions and murders of children which were never officially attributed to Sidney Cooke and his associates.

We’ve quoted a little more of The Times article than we would normally because of the paywall.

The detective who led the investigation into Britain’s most notorious child abusers said its files could provide evidence for Scotland Yard’s investigation of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring.

Roger Stoodley said he would be delighted if the Metropolitan police were to reopen Operation Orchid, the inquiry into the Sidney Cooke gang, which abducted, abused and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.

The murders of three children — Jason Swift, 14, Barry Lewis, six, and Mark Tildesley, seven — were solved but detectives believed that as many as 17 other abductions and murders were connected.

Mr Stoodley said he had looked for possible links between the Cooke group and the Elm Guest House, in southwest London, which is at the centre of allegations about an establishment paedophile conspiracy, but was unable to find any.

The former detective chief superintendent, said: “The Orchid files — if they still exist — could hold the key to renewed concerns over the handling of police investigations into two child abductions.”

Mr Stoodley said: “Elm Guest House came up in our inquiry but it was not within our remit at the time. It is in our system, but we could not establish a link with Cooke.”…

…Mr Stoodley said the disappearances of Vishal and Martin “matched the modus operandi” of Cooke and his associates.

“We had the premise that there were 20 [victims] and we established there were three, so I have no doubt there were others we missed,” he said. “We had allegations that an Asian boy was killed but we did not have enough evidence to identify him.

“We were trawling through missing persons registers to see if kids were missing. That proved to be a very difficult challenge because half the forces did not record them properly.”

Cooke’s gang lured boys away when they were walking on their own, or groomed them for abuse.

The Times



Filed under Abuse, News

26 responses to “Roger Stoodley On The ‘Cooke Group’ And Elm Guest House Links

  1. “Not within our remit”..diplomatic language for…., “told to keep off.”. Just why would an investigation in the late 1980s have an interest in Elm Tree which was raided in 1982 ?

  2. “validates the cautious approach we felt obliged to outline”

    Sorry, could you clarify what that means please?

    • It means that given the evidence it was right to be cautious about Mr Mehrotra’s recollections of a telephone call 33 years ago while at the same time recognising the article that contained them.

      The sad likelihood is that Vishal Mehrotra was a victim of the Cooke group and unconnected to EGH.

      • gw

        I think if we were to question the link between EGH and Vishal Mehrotra, it would be the testimony of the “rent boy” and not that of Mr Mehrotra.

        Even after 33 years the circumstances and contents of the call is not one that you’d forget. Likewise its what the father claims is more specific then what I’d expect from a hazy memory.

      • That’s what I thought.

        I’m not entirely sure it rules out a link though.

        Derek Brown and others who fled to Holland in the mid-1980’s and were heavily linked to Cooke and Spinks.

        Brown was also linked with Tricker, who knew Rowe and the other RAWRO directors who paid for the video facilities at Elm Guest House.

        Derek Brown was also an associate of Mark Enfield who was definitely linked to Cooke.

        Stephen Smith (PIE) also escaped to Holland, knew Tricker and Brown.

        Plus remember the Spartacus guys who set-up in Holland after London was shut down.

        That all ended in Operation Framework, ten years after EGH mess allowed them to all move abroad and carry on in Holland.

        I know you mentioned Operation Stranger, as a possible link between Cooke and the politicians – another operation that was pulled by Special Branch. I see that as the same network evolved after EGH, rather than a separate one.

        So I would not rule out Cooke being involved in the supply of boys to the network in and around EGH, but I get what you’re saying – it’s not confirmed he was involved at that time.


        ER maybe Cooke’s gang was linked to EGH if Brittan was there i will lay money that Cooke wasn’t far away. Barnes to Dolphin sq 15 mins out of rush hour? i did that drive in December for the news reports i was being interviewed for easy drive during rush hour still under and hour! KA

      • Hi Kevin,

        We’re pretty sure that the connection that Roger Stoodley is referring to is that Lennie Smith was a rentboy, turned procurer but the connection is very tenuous as far as we can see.

  3. nuggy

    the school he attended had a pretty bad reputation it was run by some religious cult posing as an economic school.i believe

    i always wondered weather he had run away from it.

    mind you nobody’s seen him the odds are something bad happened to him..

    • Some of his remains were found in Surrey.

      • There’s an echo of the old Osiris ritual in the way his remains were found. If we assume the rest didn’t fall prey to local predators and there seems to be no suggestion they were, then the poor kid’s body was dismembered quite deliberately and his remains spread around. Ask yourself, why would you leave the spine out of that collection if you were just trying to hide the top and bottom halves of the body in separate places?

      • nuggy

        sorry gojam wasn’t paying attention as usual.

        i still think it might be connected to that school though i heard terrible things about that place.

      • Kitkat

        His remains were found in Rogate, West Sussex. Glitter had a house in Rogate …

  4. Sabre

    This may one day be recognised as a tipping point.
    To echo earlier posters “… Outside our remit …” Is Mr Stoodley trying to help us out?

    EGH did merit attention but turned up nothing, well what a bloody surprise given that SB had taken ownership of it !!!

    They couldn’t establish a link with Cooke could be due to
    a) it not being linked to Cooke
    b) the link to Cooke being indirect
    c) existing but not established by them
    d) established but undisclosed.

    Remember that the Cooke case alone has always deserved far greater attention. An established conspiracy, multiple defendants were convicted, involving the deaths of three children after or during gang rape and they were convicted of ” manslaughter ” the implication being that there was no intent to cause grievous bodily harm or to kill and the deaths were accidental or incidental ( all three of them, all twenty of them!!!)
    That f#####g dog don’t hunt!

    At least one of the nonces was shot to death on his doorstep, another one who was supposedly on the point of helping the police managed to get himself topped in the nick despite being ” on the numbers”.

    Cooke was released, I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again the police provided him with secure accommodation in a disused police station, a group of women were demonstrating outside, I and others ( I admit that our aim was a cynical exploitation of the event for political purposes) went to visit the placard wielding women, we arrived, the place was littered with discarded placards but no demonstrators. We made our way to the rear of the building and we could see the tarps that old bill had thoughtfully erected to shield Cooke from prying eyes during exercise. We realised that we were being watched while we watched for him.

    Old bill seem to have gone to great lengths to keep Cooke safe or possibly away from questions.
    Innocent prosecution witnesses doing their duty to society rarely get this level of protection during major trials, when they do it gets pulled as soon as the case is over.
    When did the police last get a major case like Cooke’s without trying to get a clear up for all outstanding cases?

    They trawled wide and deep to get everything they could on Sutcliffe.
    They still reawaken inquires re Hindley and Brady.

    The Cooke case was tidied away way too quickly.

    • nuggy

      the guy who was shot wasnt known to be in the gang he was the brother in law of the man who was hung in prison. he had been convicted of on the face of it unrelated sex crimes.

      bailey was beloved to have told him a lot about Cooke..

    • gw

      Was that Bristol?

      • gw

        Unrelated but a personal anecdote… I grew up in Stoke Newington (early 90s) and later Islington (mid to late 90s). Luckily I was not “vulnerable”. My mother said she worried about a bloke at a park who was, I think, a butcher. Does this ring any bells?

      • Sabre

        Stokey eh, right manor wrong era. You sound 20 years younger than me.

      • Sabre

        I didn’t understand the Bristol? , I hadn’t realised that the police accommodated him at Yeovil too !
        We ‘visited’ Sid at Leman Street in London.

  5. Sabre

    Send for the tape? Get it on crimewatch, appeal for the caller to come forward, appeal for people to identify the callers voice?

  6. Sabre

    I wonder exactly what was disclosed in this ‘in camera’ hearing at the Old Bailey.

  7. Bishop do you have any links that give details on this Derek Brown and that prove Mark Enfield was in any way linked to Cooke?

  8. dpack

    untangling this rather than tightening the tangles into knots is vital.
    mr stoodley may (or may not) be trying to help establish the full truth about these is best to keep an open mind .
    either way he has added further data that can be assessed for truth,cross referenced and used to add to the understanding of the situation.

    the only thing i can add to the data is that cooke was considered to be “a very evil man” by inmates who did not share his interests and he was kept safe and unusually comfortable by the system (with a close chum who did share his interests and bunk)when he was in wakefield jail.

    the links between events ,groups and individuals exist but identifying them accurately and placing them correctly in the lattice is essential in order to avoid the sort confusions that provide deflection to the macalpine “defence” or confusion to the “customs officer”allegations etc etc .
    smoke and mirrors is for life ,not just for a blazing pickfords warehouse.


    Martins remains,remain missing bless him!! 79-present i will kill those fuckers! 80 days since last contact with OP/midland….couldnt find there own arse with both hands! KA 23/02/15 22.24PM