Operation Midland: Exaro’s Corroborative Witness For Nick


Daniel Foggo talks to ‘David’ on Panorama

When Exaro News first published a story regarding the Operation Midland witness Nick [12 July 2014], the reaction of The Needle team was one of shock but not, like most readers, because the allegations were so disturbing but because we could see straight away that Exaro had used someone we knew to have already told false stories to the press which had been published. This was not the only aspect of this story that made us extremely wary but it did leave us asking ourselves why it would be necessary, if Nick’s allegations were true, to use a false witness to bolster them ?

On the Panorama programme, broadcast 6th October 2015, this witness was referred to as ‘David’. We had become aware of David in the Spring of 2013 when stories published in the print media had quoted him as a witness for Elm Guest House stories. Later that Summer, he made contact with Chris Fay and during July, September and October of 2013 we were aware that he was being interviewed by Operation Fernbridge, by which time we had already formed the opinion that he was extremely unreliable.

Exaro’s first stories that used him as the primary source are dated to around December 2013. The stories fall into two broad categories – information that David claimed to have gleaned from the detectives during his 50 hours of interviews, and those in which David claimed to have been a direct witness to events. The first category included claims that Dutch police were investigating his claims, a security service agent had sat in on one of his police interviews, and that the police had a video of David and a former cabinet minister (Leon Brittan) attending a VIP sex party; the second category included claims that he had been sadistically abused by Sidney Cooke.

Exaro News were not the only media outlet to be running stories with David as the primary source. The Express, with the help of Bill Maloney, were doing so also. The story about the female former Conservative MP and another about a BBC Executive are examples of stories that appeared in The Express where David was the source.

At this point I’d just like to note that in the Panorama Chris Fay is the only individual who faces criticism, I think that it is deserved. However, the programme did not mention the role that Bill Maloney played and that of former East 17 front man Brian Harvey. All should stand together in the dock of public opinion for the way that they exploited David, and not Chris Fay alone.

All of the stories that I’ve mentioned above, all of them, in The Express and on Exaro News are untrue.

So you can imagine our astonishment when we saw that David was once again being wheeled out, this time to act as a corroborative witness for Nick.

Yesterday I spoke to David for the first time. As I did so the words of Daniel Foggo from the Panorama were ringing in my ears:

“David admits he finds it a struggle to recall details, and I’d certainly found it difficult to get a clear and consistent picture from him. In the past he’s been willing to tell people what they  want to hear, and it’s possible that he may be doing that to us too.”

Foggo’s words had echoed the views I’d held myself for some time but the open acceptance by the programme makers that, because of David’s vulnerability, they couldn’t vouchsafe the accuracy of their own on camera interview with David seemed to highlight an implicit paradox regarding any value I might gain from talking to him myself.  If I had not already been unequivocally certain that David was the source used by Exaro to corroborate Nick’s Dolphin Square claims then I would not have talked to him, much less referred to our conversation here and I’d ask readers to hold in the forefront of their minds Daniel Foggo’s caveat.

David appeared unaware that he was the corroborative ‘witness’ for Nick’s allegations in the early Exaro stories. He recalled talking to an Exaro journalist about Dolphin Square. He volunteered on more than one occasion during our conversation and without prompting that he had never been to Dolphin Square.

It is necessary during such difficult conversations to listen rather than talk for fear of leading a source. David was very upset by the way he had been used by Chris Fay, Bill Maloney, and Brian Harvey.

David is not a monster, he isn’t calculating or malicious. He went to a special needs school when he was a boy, he’s very easily manipulated, easy to take advantage of. He probably doesn’t like confrontation and so he tries to please those he communicates with, he tells people what he thinks they want to hear. He wants others to like him. I’m sure most readers can understand what that is like and will readily forgive him.

If David’s story had not touched on the Operation Midland fiasco, I wouldn’t have troubled him myself. I hope he can put what has happened over the last few years behind him and move forward with his life.

We know from  Exaro’s Operation Midland stories that followed that the Metropolitan Police having seen these early stories asked to talk to Nick. Did they not also ask to talk to the other witness who at the time was unnamed? They must have. Exaro made it clear in the story of 1st November 2014 that the second witness would not talk to the police despite the Met’s request. Were the police aware that the second witness was David who they had already interviewed for 50 hours over numerous, diverse, and unrelated claims of child abuse a year previously? It’s not implausible that Exaro withheld David’s name from the police to protect a vulnerable anonymous source but under the circumstances, given the impression that the police must have been left with that there was potentially a credible corroborative witness for Nick’s claims, was that the right thing to do?

Most disturbing of all, is it possible that the now infamous ‘credible and true’ police press conference was an attempt at trying to get David to come forward and speak to them by publicly reassuring him that he would be believed?

It would be incredible if this were true. A handful of the Operation Midland detectives had previously worked on Operation Fernbridge they would have been fully aware of the kind of unreliable witness testimony David would provide.

I’m going to conclude by briefly looking at another claim I’ve heard, the suggestion of another second witness. This is from a single source, one who’s reliability I’ve not been able to test. However, we’re on the subject of second sources and readers can apply their own good sense in judging whether to hold much store in it. I’m on the fence.

I had been told that Nick has claimed that there is another corroborative witness who lives in Europe. According to the source, this witness only communicates with Nick and is too frightened to talk to the police. Naturally, this is worthless as far as the police investigation goes but it does have echoes of the kind of unverifiable evidence that we see elsewhere. For example, the fact that the establishment paedophiles Nick claims to have been sadistically abused by had their own medical doctor who patched him up, which means that there are likely no medical records of the injuries he claims he sustained; or the fact that Nick claims that he was taken to Paris to be abused by members of the Saudi royal family by private jet from an, as yet unidentified, airfield in southern England, which obviates the need for a passport or any record that may have existed that he’d travelled abroad.

All in all, a troubling picture that raises disturbing questions.  Whether we get the answers, or whether there are too many vested interests who are guardians of the embarrassing truth, remains to be seen.




Filed under Abuse, News

28 responses to “Operation Midland: Exaro’s Corroborative Witness For Nick

  1. GMB

    No I know about it are you the source gojam? Anyway was has Op Pico Rivera got to with that matter?

  2. Justin Sanity

    False witness David (to distinguish from the other Davids) and his ‘vulnerability’ sound very much like a “disorder” that I’m very familiar with, having a family member with the same characteristics.
    @gojam – do you believe, then, that other persons may have suggested names of VIPs to this David, and that he ought to make accusations against those VIPS – accusations which those persons must have known to be false in his case? Accusations that could potentially lead to the house searching “raids” that have indeed taken place under Midland, if they had been deemed credible?

  3. IM

    The ‘credible and true’ conference may have been an attempt to get other witnesses to come forward – Nick himself asked other victims and drivers to come forward.

    • David

      Not just an ‘attempt’, they did.
      14th May 2014- Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said other people had been in contact regarding the claims.
      He said: “I think there’ve been more people who’ve helped us,” adding they were not necessarily “victims”.

  4. Tom Young

    Mention of private jets and airfields bring to mind Jeffrey Epstein’s permission to use RAF Marham… Seems not all passengers on the flight were named: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1364742/Jeffrey-Epstein-Prince-Andrews-billionaire-paedophile-friend-visit-Sandringham.html

    Also heard other allegations of Military Helicopters being used to traffick kids within the UK…

  5. GMB

    Why are a lot of people not listening to Richard Kerr’s claims about EGH? This site stated recently that Richard is ‘.. a 100% genuine survivor of CSA in Williamson House, Kincora, and elsewhere..’
    I have spoken to retired Police Officers who confirmed (in detail) what you said about the EGH. Even a senior detective investigating the Elm wrote on the 4.2.2014 ‘…hopefully we will start to see some justice for victims who have waited far far too long’.
    That justice is coming because of disclosures from people you would least expect it from.
    I hope you see this Richard and a question: Whatever became of the little Asian boy known as B…S…?

    • I may write something on this (EGH) but it may not be all that you wish for.

      I’ve spent scores of hours talking to Richard.

      I’d need to talk to him before and ensure that he’s happy first though.

      • GMB

        Wishing in one hand seems to be Exaros way of doing things. Facts and reliable sources are what this should be about. Like the retired DCI and and the ISO who both told me about the surveillance at the Elm. I sincerely wish that the alleged child abuse never took place at the Elm but I am afraid I believe it did. What I am waiting to see is what the tight lipped IPCC do after talking to our retired finest.

    • GOG

      was justice not served by the conviction of Mc Sweeny that came out of the EGH investigation?

    • Justin Sanity

      I accept that Richard Kerr really is former Kincora resident “X”, discussed in detail in the Hughes Inquiry report, but that fact does not of itself validate his allegations. There are some problems of fact in statements he has been making. For example, although Richard was friends with the two boys – who were brothers – that absconded via ferry to London in November of 1977, Richard was not with them. Furthermore, they were apprehended immediately upon landing and sent back to Belfast on the next run. They could only have been “trafficked in London” for a matter of hours, that’s how long they were there. Richard was in jail about a month after that, remaining there until 1979. He claims to have been “trafficked” around London, including EGH and Dolphin Square, at age: “I could have been 16…15…17”, but EGH didn’t exist when he was 15 or 16, it opened when he was 17 – while he was in jail in Ireland.

  6. Yes, I know, but the fact that Daniel Foggo, was attempting to smear whistleblowers like the other David in the Panorama programme, when he grew up living across the road from Peter Morrison is odd.

    • He didn’t smear the other David or even refer to him and that Sir Peter Morrison lived opposite him when he was a child is irrelevant.

  7. Let’s not forget Sir Peter Hayman, deputy boss of MI6. A member of the public found a package of child pornography on a bus and handed it into the police, who traced it to Sir Peter Hayman.
    He was one of a group of seven men and two women who were writing to each other about their shared interest in child sex. One of the nine corresponding with a tenth with whom he shared fantasies about torturing children to death.
    Sir Peter Morrison – at the heart of the Thatcher government. A former resident of the Bryn Estyn children’s home has told Channel 4 News that he saw Sir Peter Morrison at the notorious care home five times.

    David said he saw two brothers, aged 8 and 10, being sexually tortured at a property in Notting Hill, a centre of child abuse.
    David has told BBC Radio Four’s World at One programme of a party where boys of 15 were sexually abused by men who celebrating Thatcher’s election victory.
    David told the BBC that: ‘At a house party in Essex. I saw a man leading a 12-year-old boy down a corridor… ‘I just saw the expression of fear and terror as they passed me into a bedroom. I never saw him after that.’

    BBC reporter Daniel Foggo, whose Panorama programme attempted to smear certain child abuse whistleblowers, grew up on same London street as Sir Peter Morrison, just across the road in fact.

  8. Cambridge Street, where the Daniel Foggo family lived i Pimlico, was also home to Sir Peter Morrison, the former Conservative MP, who was among those accused of sexual abuse. Daniel cannot therefore be regarded as neutral in this matter?

    • jsc

      Foggo can be reasonably assumed to be neutral, unless there is evidence that his family were personal friends with Morrison. It is hardly unusual for people living in Central London to occupy a house on the same street as a politician.

    • GOG

      how do you work that out? the mind boggles at the stupidity of the suggestion!

    • Callie

      For goodness sake David, pack it in. No one is taking that Exaro nonsense-smear seriously.

      • Callie, The police are taking it seriously, that is why Operation Midland, of which, ‘well over half’ is ‘not’ in the public domain, remains a murder inquiry.

    • Callie

      That this ‘David’ was a special needs individual was blindingly obvious to anyone who’s seen or heard a clip of him talking. There are a lot of people who should hang their heads in shame over the way he’s been used.

      • I cannot personally judge ‘David’ unless I met him and spoke to him and I am incredibly uncomfortable with the way his status as being ‘special needs’ is being used. Could he have been manipulated by those seeking exposes? Undoubtedly yes and that seems the case. But even here I think it also problematic the way his ‘special needs’ is being offered up as a point of disbelief. The phrasing by people on this blog needs to be careful because it may set a precedent so that people that are vulnerable and have been sexually abused and exploited because of their vulnerable status, are never believed when they should be.

        • Hi James,

          I’m not offering up his ‘special needs’ as a point of disbelief but as a factual basis to illustrate his vulnerability and susceptibility to manipulation.

          My own view, for what it is worth, is that David was likely abused as a child precisely because of these vulnerabilities.

          • Hi Gojam. Thanks for your response. I was not directing my comment at you my friend but rather directing it more generally. Your view is always most welcomed as it is usually a highly considered and fair one! I will drop you an email on another matter.

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