The Latest Daily Mail ‘Nick’ Story

First, an apology to readers; I will not be posting a link to the story that I’m writing about. This is for legal reasons.

I’ll explain. The article contains images and information relating to the police witness known as ‘Nick’ which is likely, in my opinion, to lead others to identify him. If this is so, then I could possibly be breaking the law  if I were to knowingly direct others to that information.

The CPS states;

The victim in a case of rape or one of the sexual offences listed in the 1992 Act is entitled to ‘anonymity’ in the press. Once an allegation of one of the relevant offences has been made, nothing can be published which is likely to lead members of the public to identify the victim.

The IPSO guidelines are;

Clause 11 Victims of sexual assault

The press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material likely to contribute to such identification unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so.

So you see, I can’t very well link to the article. From the moment that Nick walked into a police station and made a complaint of sexual assault or rape, he was entitled to legal anonymity. It makes absolutely no difference if the allegations are proven or not, that is his right as a complainant. This does not just cover the outright naming of an alleged victim, it also covers ‘jigsaw’ identification. In other words supplying pieces of information which when joined can lead to the alleged victims identification.

I personally believe that this is an important legal principle but there might be some, perhaps even some working for the Daily Mail, who disagree with me and think that this isn’t a fair law. They are certainly entitled to think that but nevertheless that is the law of the land and we can’t choose to obey the laws we like and disobey those we don’t like.

There are legitimate questions that need to be asked with regard to Nick’s allegations including Exaro’s relationship with Nick . I’ve made my own view crystal clear in previous posts that I do not believe that Nick’s allegations are correct but what is called for at this time is balanced, objective, and forensic journalism and I’m afraid that this latest story in The Mail was none of those things.

It read, on the whole, like a malicious rant, part of someone’s personal hate campaign and indeed there are some indications that behind the two journalists named on the byline, are a couple of people with axes to grind. If it were possible the article  could be undermined even further, then including an unwarranted and thinly veiled political attack on Tom Watson MP, who was recently elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, certainly went a fair way to achieving that end.

This story will set things back, not move them forward.


Filed under Abuse, News

42 responses to “The Latest Daily Mail ‘Nick’ Story

  1. Pingback: Needle Statement | theneedleblog

  2. nuggy

    i find it rather ironic that blogers are urging caution while the mainstream media are printing any accusation however ridiculous.

    and they call us conspiracy theorists.

  3. Met police set up new child abuse team (The Guardian)

    Team of 90 to deal with multiple inquiries, including Yewtree, Goddard and IPPC police corruption allegations

    Scotland Yard says under the new arrangement Operation Midland, focused on claims of a paedophile ring at Dolphin Square, London, will remain a homicide team.
    Scotland Yard says under the new arrangement Operation Midland, focused on claims of a paedophile ring at Dolphin Square, London, will remain a homicide team.

    Jamie Grierson and Sandra Laville

    The Metropolitan police have set up a new team of 90 officers to deal with investigations into alleged attempts to cover up child abuse by high-profile figures.

    At Scotland Yard, the Independent Police Complaints Commission is managing internal investigations into 29 allegations of police corruption in the handling of child abuse claims. Among the allegations are claims that special branch and senior police intervened to block investigations into high-profile figures, including politicians.

    The team will also deal with the demands of the statutory inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, led by Justice Goddard, and with criminal investigations relating to Operation Fairbank, the umbrella inquiry into child sex abuse claims involving high-profile figures, and Yewtree, which was set up amid the Jimmy Savile scandal.

    In a statement the Met police said: “The MPS is in the process of establishing a specific team in response to the combined demands of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse led by Justice Goddard, the investigations following our referrals to the IPCC, and the ongoing related criminal investigations relating to Operations Fairbank and Yewtree. It is anticipated that this team will comprise about 90 staff, with some staff in place already.”

    Operation Midland, which is examining claims that boys were systematically abused by a paedophile ring made up of men from politics, the military and security services at locations across southern England, including the Dolphin Square estate in south-west London, will continue as a distinct homicide team consisting of 27 officers. “The team are taking no new investigations and their main focus is on Midland,” the Met said.

    On Wednesday the IPCC announced 12 more investigations into the Met’s handling of abuse claims, adding to 17 that were announced earlier this year. Another allegation has been made against Essex police, bringing the total to 3o.

    The majority of the investigations stem from allegations made by retired Met officers and are to be conducted by the internal professional standards departments at the Met and Essex force but overseen by the IPCC.

    Detectives have faced calls to shelve Midland, which is based on the testimony of one witness, known only as Nick. This person was once described by police as “credible and true” but recent reports have suggested faith in his evidence has weakened.

    It also emerged that Scotland Yard had launched a review of Midland, in April, which concluded at the end of last month. Its findings are now being considered.
    Police watchdog expands inquiry into alleged cover-up of paedophile network

    IPCC announces further 12 investigations into allegations of corruption in Met police – bringing total to 30 inquiries

    New Scotland Yard
    New Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan police. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

    Jamie Grierson and Josh Halliday

    The police watchdog is to broaden its investigation into claims Scotland Yard covered up a network of high-profile paedophiles dating back to the 1970s, after a significant increase in allegations made by retired officers.

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission is examining 30 allegations of police corruption in the handling of child abuse claims, including allegations that special branch and senior police officers intervened to block investigations into VIPs and politicians.

    The IPCC announced 12 more investigations into the Metropolitan police’s handling of abuse claims on Wednesday, adding to 17 that were announced earlier this year. Another allegation has been made against Essex police, bringing the total to 3o.

    The majority of the investigations stem from allegations made by retired Met officers, the watchdog said. Among the new investigations, one concerns allegations that a prosecution against a government official over child sexual abuse images was dropped on the instructions of senior officers and lawyers.

    Another concerns allegations that high-ranking officers prematurely shut down an investigation into a south-west London paedophile ring in the 1970s.

    A separate investigation has been launched into claims that an MP was arrested and then released without charge following an inquiry into a south London paedophile ring in the 80s. It is alleged that officers were threatened with breaking the Official Secrets Act if they spoke of the events.

    The investigations are to be conducted by the internal professional standards departments at the Met and the Essex force but will be overseen by the IPCC. However, Scotland Yard revealed a further 18 allegations have been referred to the police watchdog and the force is waiting on a decision.

    “We would encourage anyone who has information or knowledge of how these historical cases were investigated to come forward and assist with the investigations,” a spokeswoman for the Met said.

    Among the most recent wave of allegations to be looked at by the IPCC is that evidence relating to child abuse at a youth club in the 1980s and 90s that involved politicians and council officers went missing from a London police station.

    Another claim alleges that an MP was charged with specimen child sex offences and not more numerous or serious offences. It has also been alleged that special branch made attempts in the 70s to interfere in an investigation that would have revealed an MP’s involvement in child sex offences.

    A further claim contends that an allegation of child sex abuse in central London in the 80s was halted when it became apparent that an MP was involved.

    Other allegations referred to the watchdog in March arose during Operation Fairbank, Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations that establishment figures abused children at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, during the 70s and 80s.

    Investigators are also examining claims that Essex police failed to examine intelligence provided by a witness that an MP was involved in child sexual abuse.

    Separately, the future of Operation Midland, Scotland Yard’s investigation into an alleged ring of high-profile paedophiles, is in the balance. The force is considering the findings of a review of the inquiry, and there have been reports that the evidence of its key witness may be in doubt.

    The operation was set up by the Met nearly a year ago to examine claims that boys were systematically abused in the 70s and 80s by figures from politics, the military and security services at locations across southern England, including the Dolphin Square estate in south-west London.

    Detectives have faced calls to shelve Midland, which is based on the testimony of one witness, known only as Nick, once described by police as “credible and true”. Recent reports have suggested faith in his evidence has weakened.

    It has now emerged that Scotland Yard launched a review of Midland in April. The review concluded at the end of last month and the findings are now being considered.

    A Met spokesman said: “An internal review of Operation Midland was commissioned on 8 April 2015. It is routine for investigations of this nature to be reviewed in this way. The review was carried out, with the full report submitted on 25 August. The product of this review is under consideration.

    “We are not prepared to comment on the review in any detail at this time as Midland is an ongoing investigation.”

    On Tuesday, Ken Macdonald QC, the former director of public prosecutions, said detectives investigating historical child abuse allegations should not indulge “narcissists and fantasists”.

    Nigel Evans MP, the former Commons deputy speaker who was acquitted of rape and sexual assault charges last year, criticised police for playing “judge and jury” over Nick’s allegations before the investigation had concluded.

    Nick’s claims formed part of the allegations put to Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP, during a police interview. At a press conference last month Proctor said he was completely innocent and accused police of a witch-hunt against homosexuals.

    He disclosed that he had been questioned about his alleged involvement in a paedophile ring with the former prime minister Edward Heath and the former home secretary Leon Brittan.

    Nick has claimed MPs and other high-profile figures were linked to the alleged murder of three children aged seven to 16 between the mid-70s and mid-80s, including that of a child who was run down by a car.

    At a press conference last year, DS Kenny McDonald, who heads up Operation Midland, said he believed Nick’s evidence to be “credible and true”. But McDonald in recent weeks has faced criticism for having expressed this view, and the police force is now reportedly unprepared to back the testimony in such certain terms.

  4. Andy Barnett

    If I can take us back to the substance of Gojam’s post, I would like to say that I find the Mail’s behaviour in giving clues to Nick’s identity utterly appalling. I very much hope the Police investigate that behaviour and charge both the paper and the so-called journalists involved.

    • trish

      I know this Andy if you had just done what the mail did you would already be arrested. The words, ‘banana republic’ come to mind. Although, I know despite the mounting facts in multiple venues that show this you still belive or have hope in the system. I know, I suffer from ‘groupthink’

  5. @trish – Exaro are masters of association by implication. It is as much about what they DON’T say, as what they do say explicitly. I’m looking at a page titled: “Child sex abuse, Fernbridge and Fairbank: Exaro story thread” in which appears this statement: “Later, Exaro reported accounts from two people who alleged that they were abused as boys by the ‘Westminster pedophile network’ at Dolphin Square…”

    The implication is, since both people were abused as boys, by the same pedophile network at the same location, that their allegations corroborate each other – and this implication is blatantly intentional. There are no clarifications, on this page, about when these people allege that they were abused there, or that they were not abused there during the same period of time, or even that they were not abused there at the same time TOGETHER – any of which would be understandable assumptions to draw from this brief, misleading summary. Similarly misleading associations by implication appear everywhere in their articles, I’m sure I could cite dozens if there were any point to doing that.

    By the way…if it is fair for you to demand an explicit statement by Exaro of: “Darren corroborates Nick’s story”, then it should be fair for me to demand that you quote Gojam stating: “I support the mail etc re nick and darren?” Please produce a quotation with that exact wording.

    • trish

      All media use the ‘association by implication’ trick. Unless you have extremely low comprehension skills, one can see right through it. Gojam, is no idiot, and I am sure he can read very well.

      He has made a serious allaegation about Exaro, and how they have misled the public, and I think, and I am sure many reading here would agree, it is only fair he quote where they said – Darren corrobates Nick’s story.

      • trish

        BTW, JS, I jsut read the story you posted from. The article clearly is a summing up of evets so far and links to the relevanat articles. Only an idiot would read the summation as fact or form an impression as a result of reading it.

      • Nonsense. Gojam hasn’t made “serious allegations about Exaro” – but I will. Exaro are the lowest form of sleazebag journalism, run by paranoid conspiracy theorists, employing a stable of CSA frauds and con-artists. Now run off and tell your masters that I’ve been a bad boy…

    • You really do need to look up the definitions of ‘assumption’ and ‘implication’. x^2-16=0 => x=+4 or x=-4 Boy A getting abused by paedo ring P at Location L and Boy B getting abused by paedo ring P at location L does NOT IMPLY that they corroborate each other despite the fact that you ASSUME it does.

      • Doug

        Exaro used both mens accounts to imply that this was corroberation with respect to abuse actually occuring at that venue, albeit in different eras.

  6. trish


    I am calling you on it. The only reason you can not post when Exaro said Darren’s story corroborated Nick’s story is becasue THEY NEVER DID. I have gone back and read all the stories, and I can’t find any such statement..

    I have stated many times that I don’t know what the truth is, but I do know the following:

    For decades the establishment with the help of MSM have kept VIP child abuse covered up;

    Hence, when today’s MSM attack a victim and use that to paint the whole thing as a cover up, I question their agenda;

    When the MSM use anonymoue sources to discredit witnesses, and say OP Midland, not maybe just the part to do with Nick, is all but dead, anyone after reading the statement the Met put out yesterday, should really question how reliable MSM anonymous sources are?;

    Obvious,even to the blind that victims of VIP child abuse have an uphill battle. The establishment which despite its pretend pandering is vested in keeping the lid shut. From the BS around OSA, to testimony from other MP’s trying to expose this, and being made to feel like the enemy, to missing files, closed files, and countless other examples, any victim coming forward is open to being ripped limb from limb;

    Only a fool would not consider the possibility of the establishmnet to push forward victims whose stories can’t be fully corroborated, and use that to destroy all allegations;

    The Inquiry is a sham, see some of the reasons above, and the obvious fact that most inquiries created by the establishment are little more than bread and circus;

    Given the conduct of some of the police in the past are we now to assume that all the police investigating victims claims are honest? Are we now to assume that all these operations are running without interference? Are we meant to believe the police investigating themslves is a sign of progress? Are we to assume their failure so far to arrest only one barely alive VIP is, because despite their hard work, so far they can’t substantiate claims by victims, or those brought to them by MP’s?; Or are there agendas at play here. and the burden of proof unbelievably high when it comes to charging VIP’s?

    Finally, if I was to hazard a guess why MSM etc are on the attack it is because there is one victim who I think is very credible, and I suspect this particular witness will help blow open the whole cover up,and take down the sham that is the Inquiry, and expose quite a few well known people.

    • Doug

      Exaro use anonymous sources constantly as well. Why should their anonymous sources be any more credible and reliable than MSM anonymous sources? Answer is- they arent.

      • trish

        Hi Doug,

        Just to be clear are you saying Exaro used both accounts to confirm abuse at the same venue? If, so totally agree they were quite clear about that, and the fact they were a decade apart.

        I never said Exaro anoymous sources were more credible than MSM, I only questioned why Gojam found MSM sources to be credible, and asked what was the source of his information?

        Andy, it was Gojam who attacked Exaro in this post, and when I pointed out that they did state it was a decade apart, he has so far not posted any link to support his accusation that Exaro said Darren corrobates Nick’s story.

  7. trish

    They don’t title the stories that way, so why don’t you post it or the link? I certainly posted where they quite clearly say that Darren’ account was a decade later.

    • Much as I’d love to run around finding stories for you, I’m drinking a beer and watching Sharpe’s Waterloo instead and so I’m otherwise engaged.

      You asked why I didn’t say anything at the time ?

      It’s not for me to point it out and then be accused of undermining a witness, it is for Mark Watts to ensure that witnesses are genuine before pushing them into the limelight,and in time to be publicly discredited. The fact is that I knew it was shaky and so did Exaro.

      Still, the Exaro fanclub and sycophantic Twitter mob loved it.

      • trish

        It is you that made the allegation that Exaro said Darren corroborated Nick’s story , and I who have shown that they confirmed months ago what the BBC said yesterday. – Darrren’s story is a decade later.

        Surely, it is on you to show where they said Darren corrobates Nick story?

        Enjoy your beer

      • mog

        I wonder if, or how often you make contact with the journalists at Exaro. You seem to have knowledge about aspects of their investigations, and have made several criticisms over the last year, but I have not seen much sign of (any) dialogue.
        Are you ‘in competition’ with them? If you knew that ‘Darren’ was unreliable, did you share your information with Watts, and if not why not (considering how much the revelation now risks setting things back) ?
        All very strange.

        • You’re blaming me ? Ha! very funny.

          I tried to warn them about unreliable witnesses long before Darren stories and in return they told people I was a spook whose job was to undermine survivors and cover-up CSA, they set their twitter mob on me to spread smears and lies. So, by the time Darren came along I saw little point in warning them, it was no longer just an error it was a trend.

  8. trish

    BTW, having just read all Exaro story on Darren, I think you should post a link where they state Darren corroborates Nick’s story. I can’t find it.

  9. trish

    There is no need for me to do that. If they hot it wrong initially, and I don’t know they certainly corrected it 9 months ago and long before the BBC report yesterday. If you knew that before posting your initial resposne to this can’t think why you didn’t say that.

  10. trish

    It is obvious MSM has an agenda, and it is ugly, so when you agree with them, and not saying it is wrong, it would be helpful as to why. Do you have credible information? You could at least say that, and frankly this article is a reason why ,more than ever, it would be helpful for you to say why you agree with them.

    A lot of people trust this blog, so when you come down on the side of the mail etc, you must understand we would like more clarity as to why. Not asking you to reveal what you know, just to tell us what the basis is for your knowledge and subsequent stance.

    • I haven’t come down on the side of The Mail. I don’t know why you’d frame a question in that way.

      I’ve been fairly consistent over the last year on this particular issue. I was criticised from the beginning for not linking and republishing stories related to it and at the first opportunity following Proctor voluntarily naming himself I made my views clear.

      I notice that nobody is talking about the Darren part of last nights BBC story where, among other things, it is made clear that Darren could never have corroborated Nicks account. And yet that is exactly what the first Exaro stories attempted to do a long with another discredited source.

      I’ll write what I want when I want to. I always try to publish as much as I can and that often means there is a reason I don’t say more.

      • trish

        If you read the Exaro article from Jan 10, 2015 it clearly states that Darrens’s evidence is about events that happened a decade later.

        I didn’t say you have come down on the side of the mail, and I think it is pretty clear from what I say. I am asking why you support the mail etc re nick and darren? I am not asking you to reveal your information, just asking what your information is based on? How hard can it be to reveal that?

        Most of us come to this blog for information, and I appreciate your hard work and what a stress it must be. I am sure you can understand when papers such as the mail obvioulsy have an agenda, go on to publish articles that you state you believe, those of us following you would like at the very least want to know what you base that on.

  11. Meanwhile Midland trundled on despite the now ‘incredible’ and ‘untrue’ allegations.

    • I stand by what I’ve written previously.

      • I always liked your blog and your toleration of widely differing and sometimes hostile opinions. You may well be proved right at the end of the day, personally I suspect that fuck all will be proved one way or another. Frankly the disappointment stems from the fact that you started off as an alternative to the MSM, going native is always a danger, but fuck me the Mail !!! You could at least go upmarket a bit and shadow The Sun their shallow inanity is harmless to anyone with a second brain cell.

      • trish

        Hi Gojam,

        You promised Sabre that you would do a post saying why yo u stood behind the stories in the mail, times etc. Given the influence of this blog, don’t you think you will be doing your readers a great service by explaining why you believe their anonymous sources. Is it based on facts you have or what?

        As for the mail, I think there agenda has been pretty clear all along. They seem desperate now to blow open the Nick story, even going so far as to identifying him, and use it to attack all involved in VIP abuse so as to put a lid back on this for the establishment. What is abundently clear is they have zero interest in helping to expose abuse and keeping the pressure on.

        It seems OP Midland is still going strong, although I saw you trying to get clarification is that still meant Nick’s case. It seemed to me from reading their statement that Nick was not only the reason OP Midland started, but they are aggressively pursuing all leads. In any event the recent attacks by MSM that Op Midland was almost dead seem just another lie by their anonymous sources. If their anonymous sources who you seem to trust actually knew at the very least they would have said – OP Midland still going strong, but Nick case under OP Mid is to fold. Or something like that.

        • Hi trish, same reply as before; I stand by what I’ve previously written on this subject.

          I didn’t promise. I said I’d try. In the end other things came up. I might have written more on it if the DM story had been more moderate and balanced. It wasn’t so I’m not going to write anything on the back of it at this time.

      • Gojam, I was hoping that your blog was going to expand out to economics and international affairs showing the context of the main issue we’ve been covering. The toleration and facilitation of the abuse of the young weak and vulnerable by the State does sound like a ludicrous conspiracy theory without the context for its necessity being explored. I realise that the task at hand must have been onerous without going into extra complexity. I wish you well in your quest for the truth and indeed personally. I will almost certainly be tempted to look in occasionally. Go boldly !

    • It seems that the Daily Mail has now abandoned any pretense of impartiality and is determined to discredit Operation Midland (and, by extension, the other investigations into VIP child sex abuse).

      The latest Mail article on Nick was extremely biased, even mocking, in its characterisations of Nick.

      I am very disappointed in the Mail, especially considering that in the early days of Op Fernbridge/Midland, it was one of the few newspapers to report on allegations against VIPs such as Leon Brittan.

      It seems that the Mail has been nobbled somehow. Have the “funnies” been at work again?

      Very strange.

  12. Nothing from Midland, Scotland Yard or the CPS just more ‘unnamed sources close to the investigation’. IF the reports are accurate ‘Nick’ is either lying or telling the truth, there isn’t any room for mistakes just happening to get mixed up with Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Military General Staff and top Spooks. If he’s lying prosecute ! A bit of a coincidence that he just happens to name people that have surfaced in ‘lost’ files that have suddenly come to light, are rogue elements of the cabinet office briefing ‘Nick’ about the likes of Brittan and Heath? Most unlikely.

    • nuggy

      i think you possbly be onto something there yes its unlikely but i believe its not imposable i think it has happend before.

  13. tdf

    Interesting to note that according to the Daily Mail article you refer to, it seems that Peter McKelvie does not trust either Tom Watson or Exaro.

  14. I have also been threatened with legal ramifications if I publish my book with the names of a Mr. Michael Sweet [oops!] who had sexually used and abused me over a period of 2 years whilst in the care of the Liverpool County Council [oops I did it again!] This is whilst I was in St Vincent’s Approved School which at the time was run by the Catholic Church and The Nugent Catholic Care Society [oops!] and their witch’s coven of Nuns.