The Friday Night Song (with the words!)
The Friday Night Song (with the words!)
The Friday Night Song
Today we learn from The Telegraph (story below) and The Mail that DCI Settle’s wife has written to Bernard Hogan-Howe demanding an apology for her husband (full letter below). She is absolutely justified in doing so.
If there were any justice DCI Settle wouldn’t just receive an apology and commendation for his work but also an immediate promotion. He alone had the courage to stand by his principles and though there will be many in the Metropolitan Police, some senior officers and a great many rank a file officers who will have supported his stand, it is he and his family that have had to deal with the consequences of doing nothing more than his job with dilligence and integrity.
DCI Settle is exactly the kind of police officer that the Metropolitan Police need to help take them forward as they enter a new era after Hogan-Howe leaves in the new year.
The Telegraph states:
“A spokesman for the IPCC said the investigation remained ongoing but it is understood DCI Settle will be formally cleared when its findings are published.”
Quelle surprise! Two complainants both with previous criminal records for different forms of deceit and both with well known links to discredited news site Exaro. These complaints to the IPCC against DCI Settle were always just another way of attempting to smear him personally and reputationally.
“I accept that the correct decision was made by Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle in concluding that no further action should be taken in the case.” – Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
You may recall that I wrote to you in September with a letter regarding the abysmal treatment my Husband Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle had received at the hands of your organisation. Given that you did not even have the common courtesy to acknowledge receipt, let alone compile a meaningful reply I have taken the liberty of copying this email to several Journalists who have covered the case to date.
Following the publication of the Henriques Report it would appear that the only person to come out of the whole affair with any credibility is my husband. I believe that Sir Richard stated that his conduct was exemplary. I also note that you admitted in your press release that his decision was correct despite the underhanded behaviour that followed it.
Given that my husband has been completely exonerated and praised for his actions by a High Court Judge, I would like to know if you have any intention of apologising to him? If not, why not?
Furthermore I am acutely aware that others have been recognised for their work on Operation Yewtree. Taking into account, the lack of support and resources my husband had, and the fact that unlike many others he has shown to have his integrity intact, this is of course despite efforts to the contrary by your own senior leadership. I would like to know if you have any intention of commending my husband? Again if not, why not?
Finally this has had an incredible impact upon my husband. The blanket of professionalism that he had prided himself on has been needlessly ripped from underneath him, by the very organisation he has loyally served for 25 years. I would like to know why it took an independent review for you to listen to what my husband had been saying all along?
I would also like to know what you are doing to prevent this sorry state of affairs from occurring again, and impacting upon others the way it has my family?
I look forward to your reply.
Story In The Telegraph
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howehas been accused of destroying the career and wrecking the health of the only senior detective to warn him that the VIP sex abuse inquiry was a “baseless witch hunt”.
In a blistering letter, seen by the Daily Telegraph, the wife of Detective Chief Inspector, Paul Settle, accused the Met Commissioner of treating her husband “abysmally” and called on him to apologise immediately for the damage he has done.
DCI Settle was forced to step down as head of the Met’s paedophile unit after he tried to close an investigation into Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, over unsubstantiated claims of rape.
The case was reopened after political interference by the Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and DCI Settle went off on sick leave, suffering from stress.
He was later placed under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after being accused of leaking personal information about a convicted fraudster and a fantasist.
But last week a damning report by Sir Richard Henriques into Scotland Yard’s handling of the disastrous VIP sex abuse investigations, completely exonerated DCI Settle of any wrongdoing.
I wrote the majority of this article a year ago but I decided not to publish at the time for various reasons that I won’t go into here. Things have changed. I’ve made a few changes from the original.
Talking to Richard Kerr for the first time, I’m struck by his politeness.Whether this is due to his upbringing or the famous courtesy you find in those southern states of the USA which may have washed over him down the years, in the same way his accent of Irish brogue evenly competes with the Texan drawl of his adopted home, I can not say but what I can say is that it is a pleasure to talk to him.
Richard has every reason to wish engage in the current UK wide debate regarding non-recent child sexual abuse. At the age of five he entered the Northern Ireland care system, and in 1975, at the age of 14, he became a resident of the notorious Kincora Boys Home where he was sexually abused. He is referred to in The Hughes Report but on this occasion, this post will not concern itself with the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, which continued after he left the care system, and it will not attempt to untangle the web of Unionist politics and security service involvement which has made Kincora a byword for child sexual abuse, scandal, and cover-up. Instead I’d like to look at the reason Richard Kerr will no longer deal with Exaro News and why one journalist, Fiona O’Cleirigh, will no longer work for them.
A quick word here about why I think this is important, and even necessary because there are some that have suggested that I have some personal vendetta against Exaro News and their Editor-in-Chief Mark Watts in particular. I’ve met Mark Watts on only one occasion and our meeting was quite cordial but ultimately someone has to carry the can for what has happened and as Mark Watts was the Editor-in-Chief and therefore the person who decided which stories were published and which were not, how and when they were presented, and would have been cognisant of the overall impression that they gave, I think it is only fair that he take the responsibility.After all, that is what he has been paid to do.
Another reason for writing this is that I believe it demonstrates that often media outlets, not just Exaro News, may publish material that may not be in the interests of the survivor they have talked to. There is also the danger, especially in this post-Panorama period, that any survivor who may have had dealings with Exaro may become contaminated by association and more generally this may happen to any survivor making allegations regardless of whether they’ve talked to Exaro, or indeed any media outlet and that, I feel, would be a crying shame.
This particular account begins this Summer  when Richard Kerr was visiting the UK on personal business and he was asked by Exaro to participate in the Australian 60 Minutes programme. “I felt that if I could help other survivors by speaking out and talking about my own abuse then I should.” Richard tells me.
And so, in the middle of June – a month before the programme was broadcast, Richard was interviewed by the Australian Channel 9 journalist Ross Coulthart for the documentary. During the interview Richard was shown a number of photographs of men and asked if he had been abused by them or if he knew whether any of them had been part of the Kincora abuse cover-up. With no warning and taken by surprise by this approach Richard answered as best he could. However, following the interview he expressed his concerns to Ross Coulthart and asked that that part of the interview not be broadcast and that no mention of the men he named be included in the programme. Ross Coulthart agreed to Richard’s request and it is to Ross Coulthart’s credit that when the 60 minutes was broadcast, no mention was made of any of the men that Richard had attempted to identify from the photographs.
The interview in the can, nothing that further impacts on this narrative occurs until just before the broadcast in Australia of the 60 Minutes documentary. Like any editor of a news outlet which has worked in concert with a film like this one, Mark Watts wanted to run parallel stories. Readers will have noticed a similar approach from the BBC just prior to the broadcast of the Panorama documentary. There is nothing really very unusual or controversial in this strategy. However, Mark Watts had not had a preview of the Channel 9 documentary and had become convinced that Ross Coulthart and the film makers would not keep their word with regards to the undertakings given to Richard Kerr.
The story that results and which carries Mark Watts’ name on the byline is entitled ‘Richard Kerr names powerful men who ‘cover-up’ Kincora’, in the article published just before the broadcast of the 60 Minutes, Mark Watts writes;
“The programme is expected to show on Sunday night (local time) some of the dramatic sequences where Kerr identifies powerful men as part of the Kincora cover-up.”
The 60 Minutes programme does not do that but Mark Watts does and I think it’s telling that Watts doesn’t believe that other journalists keep their word.
In the hours preceding the publication of this Exaro story, Richard Kerr couldn’t be contacted. Texts messages between Fiona O’Cleirigh, a freelance journalist who had been working with Richard Kerr for Exaro News, and Mark Watts were exchanged which ended with Mark Watts demanding from her Richard’s contact details which, to her credit, she refused to pass on to him and as a consequence she lost her job with Exaro News.
Following the publication 0f the story Richard Kerr was naturally very upset. He’d been taken by surprise when the five photographs of individuals had been produced during the interview, he’s an obliging gentleman and attempted to help the interviewer but directly after the interview, recognising that he couldn’t be 100% certain that he had correctly identified all of the men in the photographs, or if he had recognised them, from other sources. Of the 5 men that Richard identified he was certain that he’d met of two of them but of the other three he was uncertain. He he had immediately requested that this part would not be made public. Richard Kerr knows too just how much such a mis-identification, once public, can harm the credibility of a survivor (even one like himself who can demonstrate his abuse very clearly).
However, despite requesting that the VIPs he had named under these pressurised circumstances be removed, it was never done and they remained on the Exaro News website until the day the site recently disappeared.
Putting aside the dubious usefulness of this photo-identification technique, this kind of shoddy journalism may grab the attention of conspiracy theorists, it may result in a website getting more hits but it does nothing for the reputation of a witness who may have very valuable information about establishment CSA.
The Friday Night Song
Following today’s publication of the independent review by Sir Richard Henriques of the Metropolitan Police Service handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations alleged against persons of public prominence, IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne said:
“We were advised earlier today that the Metropolitan Police is to refer the conduct of five officers, ranging in rank from sergeant to deputy assistant commissioner, to the IPCC in relation to Operation Midland. We understand the conduct of a deputy assistant commissioner will also be referred to the IPCC regarding a different operation.
“We have assembled an assessment team to analyse relevant documentation to be supplied by the force, and provide me with a recommendation. Once I receive that recommendation, I will decide whether there will be an investigation and, if so, what form that investigation will take. I am aware of the significant public interest in these matters and I will announce that decision once I have made it and all concerned parties have been notified.
“We have not received any complaints from individuals who may feel they were adversely affected by the actions of officers involved in Operation Midland but, as in all cases, were such complaints to be referred to the IPCC they would be given due consideration.”
(Click images to open)
Pages 1 – 67
Chapter One of the Review, covering Terms of Reference, Background, Scope and Recommendations:-
Pages 68 – 73
Summary of Recommendations:-
Pages 74 – 85
Sir Richard’s conclusions and Principal Police Failings on Operation Midland:-
For completeness, this is the covering letter Sir Richard Henriques sent with his full report (491 pages);
The Henriques Report (and the other documents) can be found HERE
This document can be found HERE
The Metropolitan Police Service has today, Tuesday, 8 November published the key findings and recommendations from the independent review into the investigation of non-recent sexual offence allegations against public figures.
That review was carried out by former High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques. He examined eight investigations, including cases from Operation Yewtree; Operation Midland and Operation Vincente.
The report contains 25 recommendations, that are relevant to law makers and policing nationally, it also highlighted a number of ‘significant failings’ in Operation Midland.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said:
“I asked for this independent review because I wanted to know if mistakes had been made in Operation Midland and other investigations into prominent persons so that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) could learn any lessons.
“Over eight months, Sir Richard has been able to examine these cases in detail, and the MPS is publishing his findings today.
“His review articulates serious failings in the conduct of Operation Midland, an investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse, and Operation Vincente, the unrelated investigation into an allegation of sexual assault by Lord Brittan.
“It also highlights the impressive and dedicated work in Operation Yewtree and Operation Fairbank.
“In his letter accompanying the report, Sir Richard Henriques, a former High Court Judge, says the failings of a few officers should not undermine the reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service as a whole.
“Forty-three failings are identified in Operation Midland. The principal errors were:
“To believe the complainant Nick was a credible person for too long;
“To say publicly that the allegations were credible and true;
“To obtain search warrants with flawed and incomplete information; and
“Not to have closed the investigation sooner.
“I accept on behalf of the Metropolitan Police accountability for these failures as I accept accountability for failures in any of our operations and investigations.
“It is a matter of professional and personal dismay that the suspects in the investigation were pursued for so long when it could have been concluded much earlier.
“I am today issuing a public apology to Lord Bramall, Lady Brittan and Harvey Proctor for the intrusion into their homes and the impact of Operation Midland on their lives.The public identification of suspects compounded the harm of our investigative failures.
“They have all suffered as a result of the investigation and our description of the allegations as ‘credible and true’. We should not have said this, and we should have tested the credibility of the complainant more rigorously before conducting the searches.
“I fully recognise that Mr Proctor, Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall are innocent of the offences of which they were accused of by the Operation Midland complainant. That investigation found no credible evidence against any of the suspects.
“Sir Richard also concludes that there were significant failings in respect of the way in which Operation Vincente was handled.
“I accept that the correct decision was made by Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle in concluding that no further action should be taken in the case, although I can understand why the case was reopened and note that Sir Richard describes the decision as not wholly unreasonable.
“However, once the investigation had been reopened, Lord Brittan should nevertheless have been told before he died that the CPS full code test had not been met and that there was no intention to prosecute him in the case. Again, for these failings I have offered Lady Brittan an unreserved apology.
“I have already conveyed my sincere apologies to Lord Bramall in person and have offered to meet Lady Brittan and Harvey Proctor for the same reason.
“Under my leadership, I have been clear that the Metropolitan Police should apologise when it get things wrong.
“In these cases, I believe it is right to offer a personal meeting because the damage caused was amplified due to the public profile of the suspects.
“These investigations – and those in Operation Yewtree many of which led to convictions – started at a time when there was significant concern that numerous sexual attacks on children and others had been ignored, including by the Metropolitan Police in decades gone by.
“Even worse were the allegations that abuse had been covered up by the establishment, including the government.
“It was in the context of the creation of an independent inquiry, together with parliamentary and media scrutiny that officers made their judgment.
“I cannot, and do not expect the sympathy of the suspects in these cases. But I do believe that it is necessary to understand the pressure on the investigators at this time.
“I am grateful to Sir Richard for his scrutiny of our investigations and for the series of recommendations he has made. This is an important contribution on a subject of significant public interest, and the police service and criminal justice system should give his recommendations detailed consideration.”
The Friday Night Song.
The High Court has ruled that the Government does not have power to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval and a vote from MPs.
Campaigners have won their battle over Theresa May’s decision to use the royal prerogative in her Brexit strategy to start the process of leaving the European Union.
The government have said they will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. A spokesperson confirmed: “We will appeal this judgment.”