Harvey Proctor And The ABC Of An Untenable Situation

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Following Harvey Proctor’s press conference last week it is only natural to ask ourselves, “How did we get here ?”

This post is an attempt to answer that question. As I see it, we are where we are due to three individual factors, each on their own would not have created this awkward situation but compounded they have.

The first factor was the reporting of these allegations in the media since last Summer. I need to stress that on its own this has not created the current situation. A few experienced journalists independently described some of this reporting to me as fairly typical 1970s/1980s tabloid journalism. This appraisal wasn’t meant to be complimentary, it was intended to describe a form of journalism that uses anonymous sources and makes unprovable allegations against unnamed individuals. However, this information was also supplemented by those claiming to have inside information on social media. Still, very few would trawl through all of that and the identities of those accused remained for the most part unknown.

The second factor was last December at a Metropolitan Police press conference when Det Supt Kenny McDonald, who is overseeing Operation Midland, when asked about the claims, said officers who had spoken to the witness, including himself, thought his account was “credible and true”. He also went on to say that any witness who came forward would be “believed and supported”.

What was that all about ?

One explanation can be found in remarks made by Det Supt Jon Chadwick of Greater Manchester Police from the BBC documentary series The Detectives. The full three-part series can be viewed HERE

In the above clip Det Supt Jon Chadwick explains, “The ABC of being a detective is; Assume Nothing, Believe No-one , and Check Everything.” He goes on, “But if you treat a rape victim like that, you’ve already gone horribly wrong.”

The current issue of increased reporting of non-recent child sexual abuse is in part because, on too many occasions in the past,  victims of child sexual abuse were treated like that. Things are different now, there has been a huge shift in the way that the police deal with victims of sexual assault. Det Supt Jon Chadwick is explaining the general policy approach of the GMP Serious Sexual Offences Unit, not a specific case, but perhaps Det Supt Kenny McDonald has been misunderstood ?

I’m afraid that doesn’t hold up. In this BBC News clip HEREBBC home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds specifically asks Det Supt Kenny McDonald to clarify whether his comments regarding Nick being “credible and true” are part of a general police approach to CSA or specific to Nick as a witness.  It is clear from the response that Det Supt Kenny McDonald is referring specifically to Nick.

Regardless, this statement was not in itself an issue at that time while no living suspect had been identified but it was always going to become an issue if ever someone was arrested and charged. The immediate consequence was to appear to legitimise all the previous stories that had appeared in the media for which Nick was named as the source and then to validate similar stories that followed. Anyone who might have been sceptical until that point would have to re-evaluate after such a strong statement by the senior investigating police officer.

It was only on 4 March 2015, when the police searched Harvey Proctor’s home and he was named in the media, the third factor, that all three of these factors combined to create the unsustainable situation that we see now. Harvey Proctor had been identified as the person that previous media stories had alluded to. The  unmistakable inference was that Harvey Proctor had murdered boys and sadistically sexually assaulted others and that the investigating police believed that Harvey Proctor was guilty of these things.

How it came to pass that the fact that Harvey Proctor’s home had been raided was leaked to the media is fairly obvious but probably irrelevant in the long run. If it hadn’t been for the other two factors mentioned previously, the issue of his name being connected to Operation Midland would not have had the consequences it had.

Since then, the longer the police have failed to arrest Harvey Proctor the more unsustainable and untenable the situation has become.

Right now Exaro have given up any pretence of journalistic impartiality and are explicitly referring to ‘When’ not ‘If’ Harvey Proctor will be arrested on social media. Meanwhile Mr Proctor is staying with friends on the continent, the police didn’t seem to raise much of an objection…

There are some that have suggested that Harvey Proctor’s failure to submit to a voluntary DNA test is incriminating. I can think of a few good reasons why he would not wish to ‘volunteer’ a DNA sample which are not incriminating – not least that he might suspect that if he had, that news too would have been leaked to the media and then what ?

And so it goes on and it will only continue until somebody ends it.

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39 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News

39 responses to “Harvey Proctor And The ABC Of An Untenable Situation

  1. LJMT

    Might not the DNA request be linked to an item taken away by the police which his lawyer strongly advised him not to say what it was?

    I am not saying whether he is guilty or innocent, but I do think that the assumption of innocence needs to go both ways while these matters are under investigation, so that we assume the innocence of both in theory, even though that is impossible to be eventually true in practice.

    It is good the police are taking it seriously. There is no problem with describing the witness as credible, as that doesn’t mean that is right. He may have slipped up a bit if he said “and true” though they have to interview a victim sympathetically and treat them as if it is true anyway, and furthermore this is two steps away from the judicial process, as it has to go first to the CPS and then before the court, whose function it is to make the real judgement.

    Of course we all know he is a previous offender and this will not help his case. It is ubiquitous knowledge and no doubt any Judge would instruct juries as to how much weight it should carry. Thus is justice preserved. We also know that it is extremely rare for previous paedophiles or predatory hebephiles ( I am guarding us there!) to amend. I would love to believe it is possible for them to amend and go and live a quiet and inoccuous life, never downloading ghastly porn and so on, but I have yet to hear that that happens, and we have not even any evidence even of a strongly reformatory life event here.

    Who knows? I could be wrong, and maybe in future he will lead seminars on reforming your inclinations. It could give us all hope, but it feels a bit innocent.

    • duddenhallapproveds

      He has never been with anyone under 16 has he?

      • LJMT

        In keeping to
        a) assuming he is innocent until proven guilty
        b) assuming any accuser/s is/are innocent until proven guilty
        I don’t know whether he is alleged to have “been with” anyone under 16 at least in this country.

        “Using” rent boys whether of 16,17 or 18 or under is behaviour far beneath what we should expect from MPs anyway. It is not long ago that to say that would have been stating the more than very obvious. For some bizarre reason using people seems to have become more socially acceptable. Search me why; it is the epitome of selfishness.

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  3. callie

    The DNA request is standard and nothing should be read into it. If the police really want a DNA sample they can demand one. That they haven’t suggests they don’t have any viable forensic evidence.

  4. dpack

    whatever the truth of the matters in question the process seems very compromised by a combination of factors.

  5. “I can think of a few good reasons why he would not wish to ‘volunteer’ a DNA sample which are not incriminating”
    Can you inform your readers why YOU would not volunteer a DNA test to clear your name or a lie detector test for that matter.
    They are developing a machine to scan people’s writing that can pick up the falsehoods they print. Well I be dying to see the results of that on Liberal Party Manifesto’s

    • Sabre

      I think you’ll find that they will all be typed. You don’t need any sort of machine to detect the lies of politicos, assume mendacity and get the occasional pleasant surprise.

  6. A few experienced journalists independently described some of this reporting to me as fairly typical 1970s/1980s tabloid journalism. This appraisal wasn’t meant to be complimentary, it was intended to describe a form of journalism that uses anonymous sources to make UNPOROVABLE allegations.

    LOL. Are the journalists you spoke to from the same ilk as those in the 70/80’s who probably heard tons of stuff on janner, leon, smith etc, but looked the other way. Last time i checked good investigative journalism was about working with anoonymous sources that are often trying to shine light on things those in power want to keep hidden.

    Gary Webb who exposed CIA etc involvement in drugs had all those experienced journalists turn on him destroying his career. It was so bad that the head of the CIA said something along the lines that journalists were cheaper to buy than hookers. Webb by the way won two pulitzers prior to his expose, and went on to say after his expose that all the time before then he thought he was a great experinced journalist. Only to realize that he had mistken good jornalism with govt approval, and if you went up against them they throw everything and everyone at you.

    Sure the govt and the spooks love it when people like you go out of your way to attack those that are at least trying to peel back the curtain, which is being held in place by some powerful forces.

    I am still trying to figure out the purpose of your blog. Because, and maybe I missed it I have not seen any investigative posts here uncovering VIP abuse. If you keep attacking the few that are at least trying to do that then tell me who else do you see uncovering what the establishment want hidden.

    Murdock’s empire? The Barclay Brothers? BBC, the police with help of top brass, May, the countless inquiries that seem to go on and on?

    • nuggy

      you campaigning against abuse of children and trying to expose vip abuse does not mean you have to believe every story your told.

      and it does no service to genuine victims to just blindly believe every claim of abuse however daft it sounds..

      i

      • Sabre

        Does Cyril Smith getting lifted by the police and taken to Canon Row Nick for child sex offences only to be released by the ‘funny squad’ sound daft?

    • We were discussing this on Hoaxtead blog today – how people who claim to be advocates for CSA victims unwittingly reveal that their true agenda is to shill for self-professed “whistleblowers”. Are you one of Brian Pead’s cheerleaders, Tricia?

  7. wichfinder

    if the police think its credible then it must be true they never get anything wrong ask the birngham 6.

    so boil him alive i say and cut his knackers off as well.

  8. My question is serious while you are attacking those that are trying to expose VIP child abuse, who do you admire that is also doing this?

    Even as I write thsi Janner who was protected from justice – even when a journalist did cover Beck’s trial, he was prevented by his fellow experienced jornalist from writing more – is it seems destined to escape justice again.

    We know that powerful people have colluded across multiple industries to hide these horrific crimes, and we know that they haveno intention of allowing them to rip through the surface. Given that who do you see making that happen. They havea all the tools and even if you dot your ‘ii’ and ‘t’ they will still atack. So maybe it is best to attack also rather than worrying how theh will twist it, as they will also twist it.

    Reason,I didn’t post here in a year is becasue I really didnot get what your goals are. For every step you seemed to take in the fight against VIP abuse you took two steps sideways or even back.

  9. “Gary Webb was no journalism hero, despite what ‘Kill the Messenger’ says”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gary-webb-was-no-journalism-hero-despite-what-kill-the-messenger-says/2014/10/17/026b7560-53c9-11e4-809b-8cc0a295c773_story.html

    Here’s another “heroic whistleblower” – Delmart Vreeland:
    [Delmart] Vreeland, wanted by police in eight Michigan jurisdictions for crimes like fraud and burglary was arrested in Iowa’s Franklin County on October 20, 2004. According to Sheriff’s Deputies, Vreeland ran an identity theft ring in the Detroit area for a few years and had felony convictions for breaking and entering and receiving stolen property. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Vreeland apparently claimed that he wrote a note that foreshadowed those events while he was in prison.

    Vreeland is reportedly considered a folk hero among conspiracy theorists who believe he is a spy for the Office of Naval Intelligence. Government officials denied that Vreeland ever served in the Navy. Vreeland’s various claims have included knowing the cause of death of a Canadian Embassy employee before it was officially released, working as an undercover American naval officer, and being the victim of a conspiracy of government officials attempting to keep him quiet. Police officers have reportedly characterized Vreeland as “a skilled con”.

    In 2008, Vreeland was sentenced in Colorado to 336 years to life in prison after he was convicted of inducement of child prostitution, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of children and distribution of cocaine following his luring of two boys to perform sexual acts on-camera in exchange for cocaine, money and the promise of a drum kit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmart_Vreeland

    • You use WAPO as your source!! Speaks volumes about your lack of understanding about what happened, and maybe you should consider the source you use with a dose of critical thinking.

      My main question remains – what media do we think will try to uncover VIP abuse?

      Gojam, I think you pick and choose what to highlight. For example, you could have just have easily highlighted HP claim he was a loner – how that squares with powerful people investing in his shirt shop? For decades the establishment have covered up child abuse by their own, and maybe HP saga is part of that plan. Who knows, but if your coverage was balanced and the purpose of this blog was to uncover the abuse, you could just as easily soeculate about that,.

      • Actually, I use a lifetime of research into conspiranoid BS as my source, supported by a lifetime of research into the facts about real CSA conspiracies.

        I recognized Gojam’s shock & outrage as genuine, when he realized that some people really DO lie about having been CSA victims, having experienced it myself decades ago. It was apparent to me that, from then on this blog wasn’t going to simply repeat whatever SPECULATION happened to be trendy at the time. That’s why I like it.

      • Sabre

        @Justin, why have you spent a lifetime researching either let alone both?

  10. “For example, you could have just have easily highlighted HP claim he was a loner – how that squares with powerful people investing in his shirt shop?”

    Gojam and others have. There’s this thing called a “search”. Try it.

    We can’t repeat everything ad nauseum.

    What Gojam is doing is trying to be objective. And highlighting that others simply are not and believe every bogeyman story they are told.

    • There is such a thing called context. So when Gojam wrote his piece last week where he said he believed HP with no facts to back that up, maybe in that piece he could have also highlighted HP claim he was a loner, something he banged on about in the press conference as evidence he couldn’t be part of a gang, and how it does not square with his shirt shop business.

      As I said Gojam does pick and choose what to highlight. Fine if he wants to attack those trying to expose VIP child abuse, but what media sources does he support that are also exposing VIP child abuse? Because I am pretty certain journalists and their owners heard quite a bit about child abuse and janner, smith etc, and did NOTHING to bring it to light.

  11. I think the police were working in the dark, they made a lot of assumptions, which were obviously not true. Most of this was due to the fact that files had gone missing, in some cases a whole enquiries had vanished.
    The police assumed that Harvey Proctor had been seen in other places, but, when it was pointed out to them that he most definitely had not, they went into denial.
    All this changed at the end of March, two appointments to interview Harvey Proctor were cancelled, and the two that did take place were insisted on by Harvey himself.
    The whole enquiry seems to have taken another direction, a stormy, and, as Detective Hogan-Howe said, slow path, involving witnesses who, are ‘not necessarily’ victims. Now you either are a victim, or you are not?
    If a clever journalist can work that out, they will find the answer to this complexed puzzle.

    • I know what “stormy and slow path” that I wouldn’t be surprised they were taking but I doubt that the particular thorny issue of HP can be put off before that path is walked to its end.

    • I’ve considered a scenario wherein Nick might have been someone’s point man, whose purpose would be to present police with a credible enough plot-line from a credible enough complainant for them to be seduced into interviewing certain persons and searching their residences. This has in fact taken place. NIck’s “sponsors” would presumably have been betting on the searches turning up concrete evidence of guilt – not guilt in relation to Nick’s own allegations but guilt with respect to OTHER crimes that they suspect Proctor in particular to be involved in – or that one of the questioned men would panic and rat out some of the others. If that was someone’s intention, their assumptions have apparently failed to play out.

      This has been raised before, on Exaro’s comments, but bears repeating. Australian boy-killer Bevan von Einem – a tall man with very blond hair – believed responsible for 4 murders between 1979-1982, is known to have vacationed in the UK. But he’s not a British VIP, nor is he on Chris Fay’s fake decoded EGH guestlist, so he couldn’t be a viable suspect for any crimes committed in the UK I guess.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevan_Spencer_von_Einem

      • The Elm Guest House list seems to be accurate. I gave names of ‘unknown’ people, I strongly suspect of murder. The first names came back as correct, that must be more than coincidence?
        I have not heard of Bevan von Einem, but he sounds interesting, I will look him up. If you are suggesting that he was the man seen abducting Martin Allen though you are wrong. He would have been 25 then, and does not resemble the man.
        In case you are wondering, niether does Harvey Proctor fill that description, because the man, according to at least six witnesses, did not have a parting in his hair, HP has always had a distinct one.
        The man was described as well-built, (no offence to Harvey Proctor, but he has always been effete).
        The man wore denhim, HP has never been seen in denhim, and always wore suits. Lastly the man had a moustache, HP has never had a moustache.

      • PS. Sorry he would have been 35, but still not the man seen in Earls Court.

  12. That should read, ‘I gave the ‘sirnames’ of ‘unknown’ people, and their first names came back correct.

  13. dpack

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3222908/Grave-doubts-claims-key-witnesses-VIP-sex-abuse-inquiry.html

    it seems that the case has unraveled and in the process has very effectively confused reality with fiction in order to discredit those who do wish the truth to be exposed regarding the actual realities of the darker sides of power and hold the guilty dead or alive to account.
    yet again there is a central factor in common with the “custom’s officer” and a variety of extremely lurid “exclusives” that upon close forensic examination turn out to be a mixture of a small amount of truth,a great deal of untruth and what appears deliberate confusions .
    overall this does tend to indicate a lack of objective investigative reporting or a deliberate attempt to divert from and discredit the process of establishing and exposing the actual facts and the context in which those fact fit.
    if it is the case that malice rather than incompetence is the cause of this series of events the next stage is likely to be the “stars”being brought to earth with a bump(both legal actions and propaganda could be involved in that fall) leaving the process of investigative journalism and ongoing and subsequent attempts to expose the realities of evil doing among those with power discredited in the eyes of the public.
    as a tactic to protect the guilty and conceal truth illusion is far more effective than censorship .

    • Are you saying that Nick is an MI5 agent? It may have been mistaken identity? Having heard what Nick said, I would say it was not HP, but PVT, and his Doctor friend.

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  15. tdf

    Justin Sanity & Andrew:

    I am aware of von Einem and the crimes he is suspected of but I don’t think it’s likely he would attempt such a blatant crime while on holidays in a bustling city far from his familiar stomping ground of South Australia.

    It seems to me that a more likely perp for the Martin Allen kidnapping & suspected murder than either Proctor or von Einem is a man named Leslie Goddard, who was one of the notorious ‘Dirty Dozen’, though the age is slightly out (he would have been in 50 in 1979 rather than in his late thirties. But men with blonde hair can often appear younger than they are, I guess). Interestingly, in one of the few photos that exists on the web of him, he is wearing a similar denim jacket to the man depicted in the photofits for the Martin Allen abduction.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3215608/Adam-Ant-s-father-dragged-VIP-child-abuse-probe.html

    • No it was not Leslie Goddard, you may be right about some people looking younger, but it was not him. His jacket was also done up right to the neck, unlike the drawing of the abductor. Martin Allens abductor was a ‘dandy’, or Peter Pan. There are also no records of Leslie Goddard living near earls Court Station?

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