BOSS , Blackmail, And The Paedophile MP

All stories are from The Times archive unless stated otherwise.

Mr Andre Thorne

11th March 1976
13th May 1976
17th May 1976
Ministers from the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are expected to meet today to discuss allegations that an official of the South African Embassy may have been involved in a smear attempt on a British politician. The allegations were contained in a report in The Guardian on Saturday. A dossier has been sent to the Home Office. It was learnt last night that Mr Paul Rose, Labour MP for Manchester, Blackley, is hoping this week to see Sir Harold Wilson, who recently stated that ” overseas anti-democratic forces have conspired for years to undermine the political position of individuals and parties who have opposed apartheid “. Mr Rose, who has made allegations over recent months of South African attempts to discredit British politicians, said last night that he had been asked by Sir Harold to discuss with him the whole question of the campaign. He added: ” There will be more allegations of this kind following shortly involving men who have been members of the Government. There is a whole gigantic Boss (South African Bureau for State Security) operation in this country and it has to be flushed out” Anonymous letter: An anonymous, undated letter purporting to come from Johannesburg and addressed to Sir Harold contains a description of an alleged South African plot to discredit Liberal and left-wing Labour MPs. The letter begins: I am writing an behalf of one of the many groups of people of all races, who are trying to get political freedom for South Africa.” It alleges that a plan was devised to flood the market with diamonds worth 2,000 million Rand ” without upsetting the market value “. Two South African diamond mines would then have been blown up to create an artificial shortage and cause panic buying on world markets.
18th May 1976
19th May 1976

20th May 1976

By Staff Reporters. The story of the alleged South African “smear” campaign against the Liberal Party assumed bizarre proportions yesterday after the latest “spy” to offer evidence turned out to be man with a previous jail sentence and a “Walter Mitty” reputation. Mr Frederick Cheeseman, who told Liberals that he was a lieutenant-colonel and had proof of plans by the South African security service to disrupt the party, told the Daily Express that he had made up the story to “build an image to improve the standard of living of my wife and family”. He lives on unemployment benefit in a tiny Kent village, where he is waiting for a council house. Mr Cheeseman did visit Pretoria, on September 5, 1974, when he asked Major-General Fiendrik van den Bergh, head of the Bureau of State Security (BOSS), for a job. General van den Bergh yesterday denied showing him any dossiers on Liberal Party members and said that he was not even considered for a job. Mr Cheeseman, a dapper man, aged 51, married with four children, was sentenced at Dover Magistrates’ Court in 1966 to a total of 12 months’ imprisonment on being convicted of obtaining a £740 car and £178 in cash by false pretences. He asked for 22 offences to be considered. The court was told that he had served in the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force. In the Daily Express today Mr Cheeseman is quoted as saying that he had given himself the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the United States Air Force three years ago because he was down on his luck and wanted respect from neighbours. The highest rank he ever held was staff sergeant in the former United States Army Air Corps. ” The bubble got so big I had to go through with it’, he said. ” I was the victim of circumstance.” All the Services have denied any knowledge of Mr Cheeseman. Always a curious spectacle in the village of Bonnington, near Ashford, he became a source of amusement in public houses on Tuesday night when the local people saw him on BBC television describing himself as an intelligence agent. Yesterday the South African embassy in London demanded a retraction from the BBC and promised further action. A statement from the BBC replied: “We have good reason to believe that Mr Cheeseman’s allegations were worth drawing to the attention of the public and the competent authorities.” The BBC had significantly dropped the ” lieutenant- colonel” and by last night the Daily Express representative who had barricaded himself in described Mr Cheeseman’s cottage, where money is owed on the rent, had given the whole thing up and disappeared. Yesterday Sir Robert Mark, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was understood to be in possession of documents handed to Mr David Steel, the Liberal MP, by Mr Cheeseman. Scotland Yard said inquiries were being made through Kent County Constabulary head- quarters at Maidstone. But detectives there said they had no plans to interview Mr Cheeseman. The Liberals, who on Tuesday believed that they had evidence to support their suspicions that the Bureau of State Security in Pretoria was plotting against them, were a little less buoyant yesterday. Mr Steel admitted that the evidence was slender and thought that it was not the role of the Liberal Party to investigate it but that they should pass it on to the security services. The party had to be on its guard against eccentrics, he said. There had been dozens of calls from people who said they had information, and each call had to be checked. “We follow them up; we do not let them drop; but none of them proved worth spending much time on.” The South African Embassy was aggrieved about the whole affair, particularly in the aftermath of its quarrel with The Guardian over other “smear” allegations which led to the recall of one of its staff at the embassy on Tuesday. An official said: “I do not want to comment on the smear campaign against us and the evidence they plant against us . . . but how would you interpret Cheeseman ? “Obviously rumours are rife at the moment and the BBC took Cheeseman rather seriously. They will have to climb down. There is no evidence of any kind against South Africa and I challenge anyone to come forward with documentary proof.” He pointed out that the embassy was relatively “open” and that accounted for.the fact that a reporter from The Guardian and a man who later said he had a pornographic film featuring a politician were allowed to make representations in the first place. ” I might receive a telephone call from an Italian “, he said. ” He might say, ‘ I have a movie you might be interested in.’ We might see it and it might turn out to be a tourist movie. Any- one can turn up at the embassy or phone and say: ‘I Want to see such and such a person.’ It is an open place.” Mrs Mary Stainsby, a widow aged 74, who lets a cottage to the Cheeseman family, spoke last night of their strange behaviour. She said she often took tele- phone calls from people asking for Colonel Cheeseman “and I noticed Mr Cheeseman changed his accent sometimes when he took the calls”. She said he was always impeccably dressed. He usually carried a briefcase and often smoked a cigar, even when he went to collect his social security money. Mrs Stainsby said she recognized her neighbour when she heard the news of Mr Cheeseman’s activities. Mrs Cheeseman, she added, was a daughter of a local man and came to the cottage first in December, 1966, with their two children. Mr Cheeseman joined them in August, 1967, and there were now four children: Jonathan, aged 12, Sarah, aged 11, Sally, aged nine, and Julia, aged seven. Mrs Stainsby said she charged £6 a week for the cottage but the Cheesemans stopped paying rent in October, 1974, and notice to quit was served on them in February last year. She said she remembered Mr Cheeseman working for about 11 months in a local factory making plastic bags. Mr Cheeseman’s wife, Jane, obviously upset and nervous, said she knew nothing. about her husband’s connexion with South Africa until she heard it on the news and later read about it in the morning newspapers. She did, however, know that her husband. was interested in a job of some sort.

21st May 1976



24th May 1976

The Prime Minister is to be asked to make an official apology to the South African government in the aftermath of controversy involving members of the Liberal Party. Mr Patrick Wall, Conservative MP for Haltemprice, said yesterday that he would table a question asking for the apology now that the allegations had turned out to be false. He will also ask Mr Jenkins, the Home Secretary, to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances of what he describes as atteripts to discredit South Africa. The allegations reached bizarre proportions when Mr Andre Thorne, aged 20, who said that South African Embassy officials approached him about an alleged pornographic film featuring a British politician, said in The Sunday People yesterday that he had lied about the whole story. The disclosure came after an admission earlier that ” Lieutenant-Colonel ” Fredrick Cheeseman had hoaxed the BBC when he maintained on television that he had seen South African intelligence dossiers on leading Liberal politicians Mr Wall is making his demand amid growing challenges from MPs to Mr Callaghani and Sir Harold Wilson, who have consistently maintained that they have evidence of the existence of a smear campaign by the South Africans, to produce it. Mr Wall said: “‘Cheeseman and Thorne proved false and I would blame Sir Harold Wilson for starting all this. He has produced no evidence at all. Mr Peter Preston. editor of The Guardian, which first published Mr Thorne’s allegations, denied yesterday that his newspaper had been hoaxed. He said: ” We have made it clear repeatedly and from the very first that we attached no credence whatsoever to anything that Andre Thorne told us.” The newspaper’s original report and reports since then ”

4th Feb 1977
31st Dec 1979

From 1998

British expat Andre Stephen Thorne, 39, was arrested and charged with child molesting for his alleged sexual relations with minors.
The Police Squad to Monitor International Criminal Activity, during their uncover operations designed to stamp out foreign pedophiles, tracked down Thorne to his residence at Pattaya Land and House in Banglamung.
Upon searching Thorne’s house, officers found 4 Thai males, ages 23, 11, and two 8-year-old boys.

Photo: British expat Andre Stephen Thorne, 39, was arrested and charged with child molesting for his alleged sexual relations with minors.

The younger boys slept while police searched the house. Officers later awakened them and took them to the Banglamung Police Station.
The 23 year old told police that he had been living with Thorne for four years. He said the other boys moved in to the house a month ago. Thorne told the boys they would receive proper food and a good education.
The 23-year-old continued, giving police details of Thorne’s alleged sexual relationship with the boys.
After hearing the boys’ and Thorne’s testimony, police charged the English national with ‘molesting children under the age of 13’. This charge is valid even if the child was a willing participant.
Thorne flatly denied all charges. He has been remanded to custody and awaits due process of the law.
The 23-year-old man was held as a witness.
In the past 6 months the police have stepped-up their efforts to stamp out foreign pedophiles, with many arrests during this period.
Police hope this will serve as a warning to others abusing children in Pattaya.

Pattaya News



Filed under Abuse, News

16 responses to “BOSS , Blackmail, And The Paedophile MP

  1. Pingback: 1972-1976 The Art of Pervasion: Playland, Paedophiles, Power and Politics | Bits of Books, Mostly Biographies

  2. Random Anonymous Crank

    I hope I will be forgiven for going slightly off topic but there are some well informed people who comment on here and I would like to pose this question regarding police officers or in fact anyone coming forward with evidence.
    What are the rules for a trial when someone is accused of breaking the official secrets act, are they allowed to have a trial by jury,if the answer is yes there is no problem, if no then I will not be surprised.

    • The Last Of The Truffle-Snorting Heroes

      Both Sarah Tisdall & Clive Ponting were tried by jury with the latter being acquitted.

      The act has been amended since but as I understand it, any secret trial would still involve a jury but it would have reporting restrictions applied which could include a ban on the reporting the accused’s name, any or all of the proceedings & even the verdict. A jury should still be by normal selection but there have been instances of jury vetting, notably the ‘ABC’ trial in 1978 where the foreman of the jury was found to be an ex SAS officer and two others were signatories of the OSA. Fortunately, after much campaigning, the vetting was exposed and the trial abandoned. In the second trial, the judge indicated that he found the first one draconian and of the three charged, two were aquitted and one given a suspended sentence……..

      I suspect the powers that be feel significant concern around prosecutions leading to further damaging revelations.

      Sadly this may lead them to opt for other methods of retribution.

  3. dpack

    the south african connections are probably relevant but as mentioned above their input included truth(eg smith) ,lies(eg hain) ,arms(eg mcgrath),”contractors”(eg Eeben Barlow and many other overt and covert sof’s who have operated and still do operate in africa and beyond).
    it should be remembered about south africa that at governmental and corporate level it was/is deeply dependent on it’s friends in the usa/uk for it’s financial and political strength who seek to use south african assets in return.
    the thatcher family have strong links with south africa .

    i have reservations about some “wild goose “chases but many of the strangest stories about the south africans appear to be true.

  4. paul

    it looks like BOSS was playing a complicated disinformation game so no one would believe any allegations about south Africa by discrediting journalists
    page 201 and 202 says cheeseman thorne retracted their stories then retracted the retraction! p207 “the colonel cheeseman saga is known in intelligence circles as the double bubble….”

  5. Some background that might help give some context. Harold Wilson did not trust the British security services one iota. As far as he was concerned,, they were partly to and involved in the “coup plot”. and had strong links with ultra right wing organisations within this country.

    Do your own research on “Harold Wilson and Military Coup plot”. This titbit I will give you though. The ex member of the SBS who started all the stories about Edward Heath and his sexual interests post his military service, worked for one of the main names linked to the military coup plot.

    So, Harold Wilson returns to power as minority leader in the mid 70s and is already paranoid about British Intelligence who have also already, tried to place stories about Wilson himself being a Russian spy in the press. So is it any surprise that, Wilson dismissed any stories he heard from any security organisation with links to the far right as BOSS most certainly was? Wilson,, along with everyone bar the person in the street, knew Jeremy Thorpe was bisexual, it was of no importance at all save for. it later turned out Thorpe lost the plot and started his own plot only, the British Judiciary made absolutely sure he walked away scot free from that affair.

    In light of that, it’s hardly surprising that, Wilson chose to ignore rumours about Smith as well, emanating as they were from a right wing nutter. Although, to the best of my knowledge, Barbara Castle later, after Wilson had resigned, told him that Smith was a practising and regular paedophile and she had “cast iron evidence” to support her claims.

    I really do recommend people watch this documentary,

    as it forms a companion piece to a series broadcast by BBC2 in the 1990s which interviewed several member of the German RAF and Italian Red brigade who claimed the following. They had, later found out that, at least one active and ranking member in each organisation, was actually, a CIA plant and that, the murder of Aldo Moro was carried out at the behest of the CIA because, Moro was threatening to expose a huge corruption scandal involving the Vatican Bank, the CIA and the funding of ultra repressive right wing regimes throughout the world.. In other words, the biggest “threat to “democracy from within”, actually came from the USA, South Africa and within the ranks of the extreme right inside the then “Free Europe”.

    Now, it becomes even more complicated so please, bare with me? At the same time this was all going on there was also another rather “thorny problem”. Namely, the “Irish question”. There was a strongly held view amongst the far right and that included the security services that, any talk of “appeasement” and “face to face negotiation with the IRA” was tantamount to treason. Furthermore, any person who might suggest such and who had any political influence was then, fair game as far as dirty tricks were concerned. Only there was a problem here, whilst totally “onside” with many of their right wing brethren in the CIA , America was where the great bulk of the IRA’s funding came from in terms of weapons. MI5, MI6 etc all felt that, the CIA and the FBI were turning a blind eye to this and if anything, actually tacitly in agreement with a “United Ireland” What;’s more, the money that was flowing in from across the Atlantic was tipping the balance in the IRA’s favour on the ground.

    it was at this juncture that, many people claim, right wing elements within the security services began to use BOSS as a third party to deliver ever increasing amounts of weapons to the UDA, UVF etc etc, in order to keep some sort of balance in the province, without being openly seen to side with one group over another. This was dealt with in the BBC TV drama Series “Between the Lines”, where the claimed route for such weapons to the “loyalists” was, through, ultra right wing groups in The Netherlands and Germany.

    Whilst you might rightly say; “Well, that’s just a drama and therefore fiction”, yes it is however, the BBC has a history of talking about “difficult subjects” the news simply will not touch, through the medium of drama..

    So in summary, Harold Wilson was well aware of Thorpe’s sexual predilections and new they were not those of a pederast. He was understandably, given their history, very wary of his own security services and particularly those of the South Africans. He was also convinced that his minority government was under constant threat from outside forces who didn’t like its’ attitude towards South Africa as it gradually hardened, along with that of the British Public against the regime there. Hence, being told Smith was proven pederast probably just seemed like, another brick in the wall of black sic propaganda emanating from those sources. in short, Smith was just bloody lucky his “outing” coincided with political events that conspired to keep them under wraps.

    One final point to take into account. David Cameron was part of group that visited South Africa under the aegis of Thatcher, who most consider were there to discuss “sanction busting”. Cameron is also implicated deeply in “the missing nuke episode” and this , where did one Derek Laud flee to, the moment his name cropped up with serious regards to abuse?

    • RobDK

      I attended the NUS conference in 1981 or 1982 at Warwick University. All the Young Conservatives walked around with badges that said ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’. Shocking. Any evidence that Cameron and his mates attended that conference?

      • The Last Of The Truffle-Snorting Heroes

        There’s an infamous poster that went along with the badges.

        An indication of just how far right wing some of the Conservative student factions were is the fact that their FCS group was eventually outlawed by none other than Norman Tebbit following a campaign attempting to out Harold Macmillan as a war criminal!

    • The Last Of The Truffle-Snorting Heroes

      @stardog – thanks for the documentary link. I’ve heard about the Gladio element before but little of the detail so I will enjoy watching this tonight.

      I fully agree with all of your above comments & observations having read much about Wilson, smears, coup plots & the paranoia of the early 70’s.

      There were apparently bugs installed in No 10 by MI5 on Harold Macmillan’s orders following the Profumo Scandal in 1963. They were removed at the request of James Callaghan in 1977. It is unclear if they were ever activated, monitored or crucially, if PMs in between were made aware of their existence.

      The story of this is believed to have been the only portion of Christopher Andrew’s ‘Official History of MI5’ to have been excised ‘to protect the public interest’. The book’s author refers to the excision and clearly did not believe it was justified.

      Wilson appeared paranoid and has been regularly lampooned for suspecting he was being bugged but he is likely to have had good reason to be concerned.

      It is hard to believe that MI5 would have failed to make use of these devices considering the extreme views held by some of it’s agents at the time. The role of Angleton’s CIA at the time is also worth noting.

      The whole early 70’s period is worthy of study as it does reveal much of the diverse & murky influence of the secret state and how it’s components ran amok, unchallenged. It did leave me wondering who, if anyone, was actually in control of the country at the time. It is likely that we came very close to a coup in ’74 and perhaps only the inability of it’s plotters to discern the loyalty of key parts of the military stood in the way.

      • dpack

        there is a creditable account of the “mr worthington”files being in the locked boxes of the k8 section of the registry until they were moved to the dg5 office safe .they may or may not still exist .

        the russians also deserve a mention ,as well as having their obvious agenda there are instances of “in order to maintain peace” types of action which might involve briefing against what might be seen as moscow’s interests.
        for example there is a story ,which i find plausible,of the head of kgb london station telling a very senior uk officer that they were aware of a cottaging (with consenting persons)senior politician (who they preferred to the ones who might replace him,cos he was a “moderate” )and therefore giving the uk officer a chance to protect him rather than the kgb having the proof and a free hand in blackmailing him which might then lead to his resignation on hea(l)th grounds.
        to be protected by the “kgb” in such a way might make a senior politician a target for the cia or “right wing elements”within the uk(or other) secret services.

        spookery can be far more complex than nationalities or departments.

  6. dpack

    it is a pity mr worthington is no longer able to tell us his thoughts on these matters .
    the various interpretations that could be made from this data does make the situation very byzantine .

    • t”he various interpretations that could be made from this data does make the situation very byzantine” .
      This is not surprising, there is enough evidence in the public domain that clearly indicates that the Intelligence services where out to destabilise the Wilson government, and the bugging of the cabinet office by the intelligence services indicates that rather than been there to support a democratic government and state, there seemed an element that seemed determined to bring down a duly elected government with the aid of foreign powers.
      This went to all lengths, including engineering high profile strikes, false stories in the media. Now you may consider the above as the ramblings of some old disgruntled socialist, so I shall use the police to back up these claims. One leading policeman in Northern Ireland said that in all the years he had served in the force nearly every IRA member he had ever dealings had been an informer to the Police, Military, or the Intelligence Service. When some historian in a hundred years writes the history of the years 1966- 2007, and as access to all material, we would be unable to recognise it and even more the main characters in the story,

  7. joekano76

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

  8. cassandracogno

    Thorne’s defence counsel still around? Laurence Giovene had to sell one of his Bavarian castles [24 May 2008] – also known as the 17th Duke of Girasole, Italian aristocracy when not a criminal barrister in London

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