So, Operation Midland is dead – ‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum. Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.’
John Mann MP has written that he wasn’t surprised that Operation Midland closed down and nor were most keen observers including myself but unlike John Mann I’ll say why nobody was surprised; it was because the allegations made by Nick, the sole complainant, were preposterous and therefore it was only a matter of time before any investigation into them was closed down – though several parties including the Metropolitan Police were eager to string it out for as long as possible.
Let’s quickly look again at how Nick’s allegations evolved over the decades because the BBC have recently supplied new information.
In one of Nick’s own blog posts published 4th May 2014, which have since all been removed, he gives us a timeline of disclosure.
“I first disclosed that I had been abused 6 years after it had finished, and this was just to acknowledge that I had been hurt. 15 years or so after it ended, I was able to say that I had been raped but on both occasions I kept everything else to myself. 30 years after the abuse stopped, I finally disclosed everything.”
We know from elsewhere in his blogs that he claims his abuse ended when he was 16 years old, circa 1984, and so we can deduce that Nick disclosed physical abuse circa 1990, sexual abuse circa 1999, and the entire allegations that were investigated by Operation Midland, including rape, sadistic torture, and murder by VIPs circa 2014.
The BBC have added more detail:
He first disclosed his alleged abuse to police in 2012. This was to Wiltshire Police and he did not name prominent men, just his stepfather, who by then was dead. Police could take no action.
He next spoke to the Met’s Operation Yewtree to allege abuse by Jimmy Savile.
Then, in 2013, he was interviewed by a television documentary about Savile. At this point he discussed a wider “group” of alleged abusers without disclosing names. His account was consistent with later descriptions he gave the BBC. With one exception.
The alleged murders were only disclosed in 2014 – after the initial media coverage that year of his wider allegations – yet they became the focus of Operation Midland
A year ago, I made the point that Nick’s allegations had evolved and I was rounded on. Now it is quite clear that they have evolved over time. Note also that the BBC make it clear that the accounts that Nick gave the BBC were not consistent – “His account was consistent with later descriptions he gave the BBC. With one exception.“
Nick’s allegations are a collage of internet conspiracy; by 2013 there were plenty of rumours swirling around regarding Edward Heath, Harvey Proctor, Jimmy Savile, Sir Peter Hayman, Maurice Oldfield, and Lord Janner – though none of those rumours ever had these individuals acting together and no credible rumour suggested that any of them had been sadistic in the manner that Nick had described. Some of these men – Hayman, Savile, and Janner – were abusers or, at the very least, had an unhealthy sexual interest in children but all of these men were ‘the usual suspects’ for anyone who had looked at these internet rumours.
Lord Bramall and Sir Roland Gibbs, both former Chiefs of the General Staff appear to have been included because Nick’s stepfather was an officer in the army during the 1970s, while former MI5 chief Sir Michael Hanley seems to have been included for no apparent reason other than to make up the ‘intelligence set’ along with alleged closet homosexual and former MI6 chief Maurice Oldfield and Sir Peter Hayman who has wrongly been identified as the former deputy head of MI6 but who, more likely, had some role within Army Intelligence.
Let’s take a look at the Metropolitan Police statement; it leans in tone but not so far as the facts can not bear – after all, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that at a future date an independent inquiry may come to check its accuracy.
This line is interesting:
“In the course of the investigation, officers have not found evidence to prove that they were knowingly misled by a complainant [Nick]. The MPS does not investigate complainants simply on the basis that their allegations have not been corroborated.”
There are a few interesting points to make about that section. The first sentence is qualified twice. It does not say that officers found no evidence but that they had “not found evidence to prove” and the police statement doesn’t say that there was no evidence to prove they were misled but that they had not found evidence to prove that they had been knowingly misled. These qualifications are critical because for the crime of attempting to pervert the course of justice to be proven, the police would need to find evidence that Nick had misled them knowingly. The following sentence appears to suggest that the police haven’t actually investigated Nick to determine whether there was indeed evidence to prove that Nick had knowingly misled them. This would appear remiss if, as has been reported, Harvey Proctor has made a formal complaint against Nick and Exaro News.
However, even if the case against Nick for attempting to pervert the course of justice was properly investigated, there is no guarantee that it would result in charges; barrister of 25 years, Matthew Scott goes into some detail, HERE, regarding the obstacles such a course of action would face.
Operation Midland is an embarrassment to the Met; either their detectives were credulous in the extreme or they went along with this absurd investigation to bring a number of mounting media/CSA issues to a head for their own ends. Regardless, one thing is certain and that is that they certainly do not want the details of this fiasco to come to light in any possible trial or as a result of an independent inquiry, which is the primary reason that the Henriques Inquiry will not look at the Operation Midland evidence and will report in secret. Remember also that the Met didn’t even submit a criminal file to the CPS regarding Nick’s allegations – one less outside body in possession of the facts it would seem… It would appear that the only possible recourse that Harvey Proctor may have which would result in his complaint against Nick for perverting the course of justice being taken seriously and presented to the CPS is if he decides to take out a private prosecution – an expensive course of action if taken to trial.
Independent journalists – that is to say, those without a vested interest – can all smell something rotten and all know that they are being deliberately shut out by a unnatural alliance of complicit parties all trying to save their own skins. That said, unnatural alliances never last.
The police statement goes on:
In the course of seeking evidence which could corroborate or indeed disprove the initial allegations, more individuals came forward to provide additional information to Operation Midland. They were interviewed in September 2015. The allegations included further information relating to the disappearance of Martin Allen. This generated new lines of inquiry which have had to be thoroughly investigated.
This evidence has also been assessed, but does not provide the corroboration that would lead to the MPS seeking to charge a suspect…
…The disappearance of Martin Allen remains an outstanding concern for the MPS and for his family, who do not know what happened to their son. Specialist investigators from the Homicide and Major Crime Command will continue a missing person inquiry into Martin’s disappearance.
For me, one of the most nauseating aspects of this entire Operation Midland travesty concerns the cruel and wholly unnecessary trauma caused to Martin Allen’s family. Martin disappeared in November 1979 and since then his desperate family have been looking for answers, as any bereaved family would do. Although Nick did not specifically identify Martin Allen – Martin was 15 years old at the time of his disappearance and Nick suggested that the boy he’d allegedly seen Harvey Proctor strangle was around 12 years old – as one of the three boys he claims were victims of the sadistic murdering VIP paedophile ring, it wasn’t long before the vultures that sought to validate his story mis-identified Martin as a possible candidate. However, the account that Nick gave of the murder of the boy allegedly occurred several months after Martin’s disappearance in early 1980; this resulted in the Allen family members being led to believe a horrible and disturbing scenario in which Martin had been kidnapped and held by Nick’s sadistic VIP paedophile ring for months before being murdered in front of Nick.
The police statement makes clear that they could find no corroborative evidence for this.
It must be painful enough for the family of a missing child, not knowing what may have happened, without being led to believe that their loved one spent their final months being tortured, sexually abused, and finally murdered based on no more evidence than Nick’s sensationalist account. It is truly despicable and, in my view, unforgivable.
It is welcome that the Metropolitan Police have looked again at Martin Allen’s disappearance; he is one of a large number of cases relating to missing children over the last 40 years that should be reinvestigated but there will be understandable suspicions that the police have only mentioned this case in their statement as a way of attempting to justify Operation Midland by highlighting this tenuously connected development. I hope that Martin Allen’s family find the answers that they are looking for but I fear that we’ll hear no more from the police about this heartbreaking case, it having served its purpose of distracting from the key allegations that Operation Midland was set up to investigate.
Meanwhile, Nick’s allegations, with the help of his online supporters, has become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorist and his personal friends as they seek to co-opt genuine survivors of child sexual abuse. They argue that ‘Nick isn’t believed – genuine survivors of CSA are often not believed – therefore Nick is a genuine survivor of CSA’ . It is a logically flawed argument which feeds off the distressingly familiar personal experiences that many survivors of CSA have had, drawing them into publicly supporting a false allegation which potentially might have the affect of discrediting them by association.
This would be a tragedy and if those campaigners who are engaged in this really do have the interests of CSA survivors at heart, they should stop attempting to co-opt them to this cause. Sometimes the reality is that individuals are not believed because what they say is not true.
As a footnote, I thought I’d touch on how the raft of sensationalist false allegations over the last couple of years and the aggressive and often libellous online campaigns that support them have affected how we on The Needle now deal with information regarding establishment abuse. We came from a starting point of full disclosure but as we’ve watched information twisted to support false allegations, libellous claims, and sensationalist theories we’ve become increasingly fearful that evidence that we put into the public domain might be used to make false allegations seem more plausible. So, although we continue to research and have a great deal of information which we would have previously published, we no longer post it.
As an example, some time back we positively identified the man who lived with Lennie Smith, who was convicted along with Sidney Cooke over the death of Jason Swift and who is alluded to in the book Lambs to the Slaughter, extract below.
“for about four years he [Lennie Smith] was able to boast one of London’s best addresses, a house in Eaton Place, Belgravia. Smith lived with the son of a man who held a prestigious and historic parliamentary post, meeting him first as a client who enjoyed being tied up and whipped”.
However, given that publicly identifying him would inevitably lead, with very little research, to two or three well known living individuals who would certainly face libellous innuendo from the fanatic cult-like online mob, we no longer feel it would be responsible to publish and that is just one example. These so called campaigners who claim to want to expose the hideous reality of CSA are actually having the opposite affect.
The only likely tangible consequences of this aggressive campaigning and promotion of false allegations that I can see is that it is likely that CSA complainants will no longer be automatically believed by the police and that suspects may come to have the same legal anonymity as the complainants in the future.
How has that helped CSA Survivors ?