News today in the Independent on Sunday [story below] that DCI Paul Settle could not have been responsible for leaking the personal details of the alleged VIP abuse victims known as ‘Darren’ and ‘Nick’ because DCI Settle had been removed from Operation Fairbank by the time the police had Darren’s details.
Let me begin by stating clearly that I’m a huge supporter of the principle of anonymity for complainants in sexual abuse cases, I just happen to think that those complainants, like Darren’ and ‘Nick’ must bear some responsibility for maintaining it and not blame others because they’ve effectively identified themselves on social media and elsewhere. By doing this they make a mockery of the principle of anonymity which is there to protect the vulnerable and they allow critics to question whether victims should have anonymity.
In the case of ‘Nick’ the accumulative information from the Exaro stories, his writing on two different blogs, his social media activity, and information from two other sources was enough to easily identify him. It is alleged that BBC Panorama knocked on his door in the course of making the programme. Some suggest that this allegation of a leak relates to him but as you can see, Nick published enough information to identify himself. If we can identify him without the need of a senior Met leak then I’m pretty sure the BBC can.
In Darren’s case he was doorstepped by journalists from the Sunday Telegraph who on the 19th September reported that ‘Darren’ had been previously sentenced to two years in jail for making hoax bomb calls, nuisance and threatening calls about neighbours and criminal damage and that separately to this he had falsely confessed to the rape and murder of a prostitute in the midst of a high profile police manhunt in the 1990s. HERE The Sunday Telegraph did not identify ‘Darren’ or provide any personal details that may have led to his identification.
We first learn that the Met are investigating a senior officer for allegedly leaking Darren’s (or Nick’s) details two weeks later on Exaro HERE on the eve of the BBC Panorama when Exaro’s Editor-in-Chief, Mark Watts, is desperately pulling out all the stops attempting to get the programme pulled at the last minute.
Putting aside the fact that DCI Paul Settle couldn’t have leaked this information, why on Earth would The Sunday Telegraph need to have Darren’s personal details leaked to them ?
‘Darren’ has been talking to the media for the last 18 months at least. The only time he has complained is on this occasion when The Telegraph reported his history of hoaxing which called into question his credibility as a VIP Child Abuse witness. ‘Darren’ has been writing on social media and the obscured image that I’ve used of him above comes from a video which is freely available to watch online and which shows him talking to a crowd including journalists. In this video he gives numerous personal details and other details which identify him as Exaro’s source known as ‘Darren’.
So, I ask again; Why would The Telegraph need to have a senior police officer tell them who ‘Darren’ was when it was easy enough to find out for themselves ? We here on The Needle knew who he was and we didn’t need someone from the Met to tell us.
If you want to know why DCI Paul Settle was investigated over this trumped up allegation then you need to understand what happened before, during, and after the 19th May 2014, the date DCI Settle was removed from the Operation Fairbank investigation. Before that date Settle and his team of officers conducted the kind of professional investigation that the general public would expect, on that date following an intervention by Tom Watson MP and a series of news stories by Exaro and The Sunday People, the senior management of the Metropolitan Police went into panic mode, and following that date the Metropolitan Police management have spent the last 18 months investigating Exaro’s conspiracy theories, too afraid, too craven to drop it and admit they were wrong.
I’m not criticising the police detectives who have been on the case over the last 18 months but the senior management who have directed them in this folly. The term, lions led by donkeys springs to mind.
So, if you want to know why Exaro News and the senior management of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) are desperate to hang DCI Settle out to dry then you need to understand that they are both complicit in the farcical handling of these important CSA investigations over the last 18 months and you need to understand that if they can find a way to undermine Paul Settle they might be able to justify their decision to publicly attack him, in the case of Exaro, and remove him, in the case of the MPS management.
Forget the spin, that is what is going on.
The Metropolitan Police’s attempt to identify the officer who leaked personal details of an alleged victim of child abuse to the media has run into difficulties.
A “senior officer” had been suspected of “improperly disclosing to journalists the name, address and other details of a complainant who had alleged to… detectives that he was sexually abused as a boy by a politician and other VIPs in London”. And journalists had been turning up at the accuser’s door, seemingly as a result of this leaking.
But the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been told that the senior officer, believed to be DCI Paul Settle, had been relieved of his duties on Operation Fernbridge by the time the police had the complainant’s personal details.
Police sources say he had no access to any such information from mid-May, so he could not have been responsible for the leak. He had been removed following his decision not to interview Lord Brittan over a rape allegation that police later decided was not to be pursued.
A Home Affairs Select Committee examination of the police’s failure to inform Lord Brittan that he had been cleared of the rape is to be published this month, and senior police are not expected to emerge well from it.
Members of the committee privately expressed surprise when, asked what he had been doing since Operation Fernbridge, DCI Settle said: “Not a great deal.”
Scotland Yard said it would not confirm who is the subject of this investigation and that DCI Settle was unavailable for comment.