For me there are four points of note in today’s Sunday Times story
- The Sunday Times have talked to an independent source who has confirmed the Daily Mail story that Operation Midland is “going nowhere”
- That Suffolk police became so worried about Darren’s behaviour that they referred his son to social services. Anyone who has witnessed some of Darren’s own comments on social media must have had concerns. I’m not going to embarrass Darren by reproducing them here but many readers will have noted them. He is plainly a vulnerable and distraught individual and my own belief is that the reason Exaro decided to report as to why the police had done this, in the way that they did, had nothing to do with abused men being more likely to become abusers themselves but was just spin. I’ve no doubt that somebody must have said that (perhaps the ‘source’ had been inadvertently led to say it?) but the fact is that no professional with experience would ever suggest it because it is just plain wrong.
- This very definite statement – “In fact, police sources say Darren had never come into contact with Righton or worked at the estate when Righton lived there.” This isn’t a surprise. Anyone who has read his account objectively would have understood that it was untrue. For balance I think it is important to point out that some of Darren’s earlier BBC stories do have a ring of truth and that I personally have no doubt that he is a survivor of CSA. A salient point to make is that his foster carer was later convicted for similar offences. So I don’t want to be too hard on him but the Thornham Magna and Dolphin Square accounts are not true.
- The Sunday Times seems to want to link Darren’s and Nick’s account to Tom Watson’s question at PMQs in 2012. For absolute clarity, they are not linked ! The evidence that Tom Watson alluded to was recovered, seven boxes of evidence in a repository in Leicestershire. This is documented evidence and Tom Watson’s question is not misleading in any way. Attempts to try and conflate false allegations with evidenced allegations will only backfire.
Last week it was reported in the Daily Mail that police had “grave doubts” over allegations by a second witness, known as “Nick”, who claimed to know of three murders by the gang, but officers could not find a “shred of credible evidence” to substantiate them.
In addition, a source has told The Sunday Times that Operation Midland — a separate investigation by the Metropolitan police into the alleged Westminster ring — is “going nowhere” because detectives can find no evidence to corroborate the stories of witnesses.
Last month Mark Williams-Thomas, the former police officer who exposed Jimmy Savile as a serial sex offender, warned that many of the current allegations against political figures were unsubstantiated and could undermine efforts to tackle child abuse.
Darren made his claims in an interview with the investigative news website Exaro, in which he claimed to have fallen into the hands of the VIP paedophile ring at the age of 15 when he undertook work experience at Thornham Magna estate in Suffolk.
At the time, he said, the known paedophile Peter Righton was renting a house on the estate after his conviction for possessing child pornography in 1992.
He claimed Righton was involved in the killing of a man in his thirties on the estate and that he knew of a girl who had died during a VIP paedophile party at the Dolphin Square apartment block in Westminster where Righton took him on a number of occasions in 1993.
But Suffolk police have investigated all the claims and found no evidence to support his account. In fact, police sources say Darren had never come into contact with Righton or worked at the estate when Righton lived there.
Watson had claimed in October 2012 that Righton, a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange group who died in 2007, was a key figure in the alleged Westminster paedophile ring.
Darren said he was abused by Righton and Charles Napier — who was jailed for 13 years in December for sex attacks at a boys’ school — while working at Thornham Magna.