Category Archives: Fairbank

DCI Paul Settle Did Not Leak VIP Accuser Details


DCI Paul Settle and ‘Darren’

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.

Independent on Sunday


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News

Statement re: Operation Midland and Fairbank

Bury the name and you bury the shame…


The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has today, Monday, 19 October, brought together all the various strands of non-recent child abuse allegations under a newly formed investigation team led by Detective Superintendent Ang Scott.

Whilst we are not prepared to give a running commentary on any ongoing live investigation, as Operations Midland and Fairbank have progressed officers identified a number of people and locations that were common to both enquiries. It is therefore operationally important to have the same officer in charge of these enquiries. This team will also be responsible for the preparatory work required to support the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

This team will continue to investigate the various operations that are ongoing, including those historical allegations of impropriety by police officers dealing with sexual abuse in the period 1970-2005.

Detective Superintendent Scott, who is based within the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse (SOECA) Command, will oversee the work of officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, Directorate of Professional Standard and SOECA. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse remains as the Gold Commander.

To date the MPS has received 48 allegations of historical impropriety by police officers dealing with sexual abuse, during the period of 1970 to 2005. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently managing 29 of these.


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News

Harvey Proctor R4 ‘Today’ 5 March 2015

Harvey Proctor speaking on Radio 4 ‘Today’ about the raid on his home, which took place 4 March 2015. ‘The home of former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has been searched by police investigating historical allegations of child abuse. The BBC understands police from Operation Midland arrived at the house on the estate of Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire, on Wednesday. The investigation is looking at claims establishment figures abused boys.

Mr Proctor, 68, denied being part of any “rent-boy ring” or attending sex parties with prominent figures. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he would like to be interviewed by police “at the earliest opportunity”.


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News, Politics

Food for thought?

The first effect of broadcasting Nick’s detailed allegations is that anybody wishing to make a false allegation has now been given not just rumours, which in truth have been flying around on the internet for years, but a detailed and apparently first-hand description of exactly how another witness says the abuse took place. This, of course, flies in the face of good policing practice in which the account of one witness is never given to other potential witnesses precisely because of the danger of contamination. It is true that neither Exaro nor the BBC has actually given the names of the alleged abusers but 5 minutes on the internet would supply a selection of Tory MPs and cabinet ministers about whom rumours have swirled. Most of those who were cabinet ministers in Mrs Thatcher’s first administration are now dead, so the tidbit that the Minister in question is still alive narrows the field to about 10 suspects.

In any case involving multiple complainants the defence always strives hard to show that the complainants may have colluded with each other, or at least that later complainants knew of the substance of an earlier complaint, while the prosecution tries to show that such collusion or awareness is unlikely. Well, Exaro and the BBC together have comprehensively ensured that any future complainant will be aware of the detail of Nick’s complaint and his evidence will for that reason be devalued. In a nutshell, if a future witness relates similar details to Nick’s he will be accused of having learnt them from the BBC and Exaro interviews. It is on such issues that cases turn.

Barrister Blogger 16/11/14


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

First Arrest In Operation Brancaster

Understandably, I don’t have any information about this new police operation other than it must be distinct from Op Fernbridge and Op Cayacos.

Any help would be gratefully received.


A 67-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of historic child abuse following an investigation into claims of a paedophile ring with links to parliament.

The unnamed suspect is being questioned at a police station in Dorset, Scotland Yard said.

He is being investigated as part of an inquiry named Operation Brancaster which was sparked by MP Tom Watson.

He also claimed that a member of the group had bragged about links with a senior aide to a former Prime Minister.

Mr Watson wrote to Scotland Yard about the case, and the force later launched a number of separate criminal investigations after assessing the information.

The Evening Standard


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News

More Details About Raid On Peter Righton’s Home

It’s nice to get this down as former Detective Constable Terry Shutt is confirming what Peter McKelvie has already said.

Mr Shutt  [former detective constable with West Mercia Police] was working as a detective constable when officers raided the home of paedophile Righton – who was once considered to be one of the country’s most respected authorities on child care.

As well as images of child abuse, they found five suitcases full of letters, which Mr Shutt says pointed to be him belonging to a much wider paedophile network.

‘In amongst all the other documentation, there was a definite link to establishment figures, including senior members of the clergy,’ he told BBC’s Today programme this morning.

‘So for me there was a definite feel that this was something bigger than we were looking at locally and that it should have been investigated further,’ he added.

Yesterday campaigner Peter McKelvie said he told police in 2012 that West Mercia Police were storing seven boxes of potential evidence about Righton

The Metropolitan Police did investigate the letters, but the now retired Mr Shutt says many of the most important leads were not followed up.

He claims it was seen to be more important to protect the establishment.

The Mail


Filed under Abuse, Cayacos, Fairbank, News

‘Leon Brittan Alleged To have Been Involved In Sexual Impropriety ?’

Well, I’m shocked! SHOCKED I TELL YOU!!

Could it be true that the former Home Secretary, in charge of the police, judiciary, and domestic intelligence services has had a file about him passed to the CPS ?

No, I can’t believe it. For he is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men.”



Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

Why Did Police Fail To Pursue Rape Allegation Against Former Cabinet Minister?

Over the weekend Exaro News published a number of stories concerning an allegation that a former cabinet minister raped a 19 year old women in 1967. Part of one of the stories is quoted below with a link.

The stories suggest that the police investigating this allegation ‘bowed to political sensitivities’ by failing to pursue this allegation thoroughly and it is this suggestion that I want to look at.

Let me begin by saying that I do not doubt the account given by the victim, who Exaro call ‘Jane’. Like many I’ve been aware of this particular allegation for over a year, though I was ignorant, until now, of the precise details. A case file was passed to the CPS last summer and it was decided not to pursue charges against the individual who from this point onward I will refer to as Mr X.

Why was this when the account seemed detailed and compelling ?

It needs to first be noted that this particular allegation against Mr X is very different to other allegations that have been made against him. This allegation involves the rape of an adult female in 1967, other allegations, of varying degrees of plausibility, involve the sexual abuse of young boys in the late 1970s/early 1980s. This does not mean that Mr X could not have committed both types of crime but, as I’ll try and explain, it would have helped make the chances of a conviction remote.

At the end of the day, if the CPS had agreed to pursue charges against Mr X, it would have been Jane’s word against Mr X. After 47 years there would have been no forensic evidence and there were no witnesses to the rape. Even if Mr X could be placed at the ‘crime scene’ the prosecution would still have to have proven that Jane did not consent and all of this ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ for a jury to find Mr X guilty of rape.

This does not mean that Mr X did not rape Jane. It just means that the chances of a successful conviction would have been extremely remote.

In every recent prosecution of historic sexual abuse, whether successful or unsuccessful, there have been multiple witnesses making allegations. This is because, in the absence of forensic evidence or eye-witnesses, the prosecution hope to demonstrate through corroborative testimony of independent witnesses a Modus Operandi, of the accused.

The case of Max Clifford is a case in point. The prosecution were able to satisfactorily demonstrate to the Jury that Max Clifford had a certain way of operating because multiple independent witnesses corroborated each other’s testimony. However, if there had only been one witness making an allegation against Max Clifford, even if it had been one that has subsequently resulted in a guilty verdict, it would have been extremely unlikely to succeed.

I’m unaware of any other allegations against Mr X regarding the rape of an adult female. Other allegations involve the sexual abuse of young boys. Even if I were to believe every allegation of sexual abuse of young boys by Mr X, and I do not, and even if the police had decided to charge Mr X with the rape of Jane as well as the sexual abuse of boys, Jane could not have expected other victims to have corroborated her testimony. It would still have been her word against his.

And so, to answer the question in the title of this piece; Why did police fail to pursue rape allegations against a former cabinet minister ?

The answer is fairly simple and one doesn’t need a conspiracy or a supine police force afraid of prosecuting powerful individuals to get there. The answer is that the police do not have enough evidence.

Because it is well to remember that however compelling or detailed an allegation is the police and CPS need evidence.

My own view is that if the police ever had enough evidence to charge Mr X, or indeed any powerful person, they would not hesitate to do so.

Police stand accused of bowing to political sensitivities to avoid questioning a former Conservative cabinet minister about a claim that he raped a teenage woman.

The alleged victim says that in 1967 the ex-minister, before he became an MP, tricked her into his flat, locked her in, then raped her.  She was a 19-year-old student at the time.

In extensive interviews with Exaro the woman, and her long-term partner accuse police of looking for excuses to shelve the investigation into her allegations against the ex-minster.

She told Exaro “I am concerned people may be protecting him.”If you compare the handling of this case with some of the ‘celebrity’ investigations, there appears to be an inconsistency.  Celebrities were quickly interviewed by police, and yet the allegations are similar.”

Exaro News


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News, Politics

Richmond child sex abuse trial postponed

Westminster Confidential

The trial of John Stingemore and Father Tony McSweeney – due to start on May 6 at Southwark Crown Court – has been postponed.

Southwark crown court today  said that there will be no hearing on the 6 May and that it is due to make a fresh announcement on future court dates on 13 June.

Exaro understands that 71 year-old Stingemore, the former officer in charge of the Grafton Close children’s home in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, is suffering from ill-health and was recently admitted to hospital.

Privately, sources close to the case have expressed fears that Mr Stingemore may not be fit enough to stand trial unless his health improves significantly.

Mr Stingemore’s solicitor was unavailable for comment this afternoon.

John Stingemore, of Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, faces five charges of indecent assault, once count of taking an indecent image of a child, and one…

View original post 101 more words


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

In praise of Simon Danczuk

Simon Danczuk has led the front pages this week with his explosive account of how an MP could hide a lifetime of abusing children.

The Westminster reaction to his Cyril Smith allegations? Embarrassed coughs.

Simon Danczuk

Good on Simon for having the courage to speak his mind. Since his 2010 election, itself a feat of endurance, he’s demonstrated a forensic mind and a canny eye for a story. He represents a diminishing Westminster breed, a ‘character’ who speaks with an authentic voice and with conviction. In the bland world of party slogans and ‘lines to take,’ he stands out. I admire him.

And despite these qualities, maybe even because of them, I hope our colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party are rallying round to support Simon. Because he’s about to realise what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the liberal establishment at its most savage.

Our central concern should always be the survivors of sexual abuse.

Yet the daggers are already being sharpened in the salons of North London. ‘How can he serialise in the Mail?,’ ‘Why is he criticising Labour people?,’ and ‘He’s not a proper journalist’ are just three of the attacks I’ve heard whispered in the last few days.

This is an attempt to undermine the substance of his argument: that career child abuser Cyril Smith covered up his activities with the collaboration of colleagues in Westminster and beyond. Since then the fog of collective amnesia has enveloped his party and anyone ever associated Smith.

I’ve not yet read Simon’s book but I saw the report of television journalist Liz MacKean, who was one of the first to highlight that Special Branch intervened so that Cyril Smith died avoiding the justice which his victims deserved.

As Simon pointed out on Radio 4 yesterday, Smith is not the first MP to be named as a child abuser. Two former ministers have named Sir Peter Morrison as a ‘well-known pedarast’.

There are three things that need to happen in relation to these serious allegations.

First, all the child abuse inquires in local authorities, the NHS and other public institutions such as the BBC must be wrapped into one national independent review of historic abuse cases. In Australia, they’re having a Royal Commission. We could adopt the same practice. MPs of all parties have written to the PM urging him to make a decisive move in the right direction.

Secondly, let’s acknowledge what the police privately admit: investigating child abuse is hopelessly under-resourced. Worse, whistle-blowers in the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre tell me their work is being diluted as the National Crime Agency (NCA) absorbs them into the new organisation. Recent parliamentary questions have yielded obfuscated answers on how many dedicated specialist investigators with arrest powers are working full-time on abuse inquiries. One whistle-blower told me that a very senior director at the NCA said child abuse is ‘not their priority.’

What also needs to happen is for political parties to unite on child abuse. They need to work with campaign groups who wish to see the law changed so we have mandatory reporting of suspected abuse in regulated settings such as private boarding schools. There’s a remarkable man called Tom Perry who runs the organisation Mandate Now- he needs our support.

I’ve already documented my reasons for asking the Prime Minister about an historic case of child abuse in October 2012.

Since then, there have been numerous arrests and people are facing charges, so I have to be careful what I write.

But I can say there have been some shocking claims made, many of which police are investigating.


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

PIE: Charles Oxley Interview 1983

Charles Oxley who infiltrated PIE

Charles Oxley who infiltrated PIE

Asked how he, Charles Oxley, was sure that members of PIE actually abused children, he replies,

“Because I’ve heard them boast about their activities [at PIE committee meetings]. One of them boasted about an afternoon he spent with two boys on the river Thames.”

I wonder who he could be talking about ?

Extract of Charles Oxley interview begins 10 minutes in.

BBC Radio 4


Filed under Abuse, Cayacos, Fairbank, News, Politics

Do You Have Information For The Police About Child Abuse ?

Last October The Needle published the contact telephone number for Operation Fernbridge/Fairbank-  HERE. To our knowledge this was the first time this telephone number had been made public.

The telephone number for Operation Fairbank and Operation Fernbridge is – 0207 1610500

Following this appeal for witnesses to come forward we did receive some indication from a couple of people that they had contacted the police as a result of that post. We’d like to thank them for their feedback which is an encouragement to us.

However, we are aware that there are probably many others who read The Needle who have valuable information but who have as yet not talked to the police.

There may be many reasons for this. We can certainly understand that talking to the police about abuse that you have suffered as a child may seem like a very big step to take. Actually, calling the police and talking to them does not commit you to a long drawn out process and it might help the police and other victims who have already come forward.

It might be that you feel that the abuse you suffered as a child may seem insignificant or perhaps an isolated incident. The truth is that people who sexually abuse children rarely abuse just one child. If you were abused it is extremely likely that the abuser abused other children. You will almost certainly not have been the only victim.

There may also be a perception, due to the media’s preoccupation with celebrity, that the police are only interested in actors, popstars, politicians and other famous people. Again, this is simply not true. All are investigated with equal determination, there is no differentiation. There is no such thing as a ‘celebrity’ child abuser, there are only child abusers. If you contact Fernbridge and another police operation is dealing with allegations connected to the abuse you’ve suffered, that is not a problem. They will make sure that you are put in touch with the correct police operation.

As I tried to make clear in that post from October, this really is the best time to come forward. The police are far more open-minded, sympathetic and understanding than they have ever been. Contrary to what some people have said, I can categorically assure you that the Operations Fairbank and Fernbridge are both very much active investigations and the police will almost certainly be interested in what you have to tell them but these investigations will not remain active forever, Now really is the best time to contact them.

Again, the telephone number for Operation Fairbank and Operation Fernbridge is – 0207 1610500

I know that there might be some people who want to talk but do not trust the police. I can say that everything that we hear would suggest that those fears are completely unfounded.

However, if this is the case you can also contact the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). This organisation is founded by Peter Saunders who is a survivor of child abuse himself. If you talk to them it will be in complete confidence but if after talking to them you decide to go to the police, they can support you in that process.

Here are NAPAC’s contact details just in case.

NAPAC provides the only national freephone support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood. Because of the large volume of calls we are sorry that many people are unable to get through. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to call you back which also means that any answerphone messages cannot be answered.

Call 0800 085 3330 for free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones.
Call 0808 801 0331 for free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.

Telephone support line opening hours:

Email support – Please send your emails to

Good luck !




Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

Police Child Abuse Investigations And The MSM.

There are two reasons why I want to make a post on this subject. The first is that The Needle team are working on a series of articles looking at child abuse investigations centred around London during the 1980s and that these articles will be heavily reliant on mainstream media (MSM) sources for information.

Like the majority of people in the country, I had always assumed that information published, or broadcast, by the MSM had always been thoroughly investigated and was reliable. Certainly, mistakes happen but these must be rare anomalies to my mind. However, having looked closely at a few live police investigations  over the last year and read virtually every news story connected to them, I’ve had to conclude that there are quite a few misleading inaccuracies which inform the general public’s overview of these current historic child abuse investigations.

I’m just going to highlight two examples.

The first concerns a broadcast by Channel 4 News back on the 6th November last year. As Darren Laverty clearly demonstrates on his blog HERE, and HERE, the alleged witness, whose identity has rightly been protected by Channel 4 News, makes some ‘newsworthy’ allegations but as Darren Laverty goes on to point out, the ‘witness’ has since publicly retracted or contradicted the version of events he gave to Channel 4. We can only hope that the subject of this interview has not been similarly economic with the truth if he has been in contact with the police. As was demonstrated earlier in the year when someone else was arrested for making unsubstantiated allegations against a current member of the government, making false allegations to the police or misleading them in the course of their investigations, if deemed to be malicious, can lead to being arrested for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The Channel 4 News story can be viewed HERE

The second example I want to highlight concerns a story published in The Sunday Mirror on 16th February this year, it can be read HERE. The Needle team have very good reasons to believe, and are satisfied, that the reference to Operation Orchid in this story is incorrect and that it should read ‘Operation Hedgerow’. Therefore, the further reference to a connection to Sidney Cooke, which was almost certainly inferred by The Sunday Mirror due to the incorrect assumption that the police investigation was Operation Orchid, is ‘questionable’.

Furthermore, although it is my belief that Cyril Smith was connected to Operation Hedgerow, and that the unnamed politician may have been connected to that police investigation, I’m extremely skeptical that Jimmy Savile was.

These are just two examples but I could flag up many more from other MSM outlets.

I do not want to suggest that either Channel 4 News or The Sunday Mirror acted in bad faith when they put these stories in the public domain, nor that they are the worst offenders (that prize goes to another newspaper), nor either that these mistakes make up the majority of news stories on this topic,  I just want to highlight that, from my experience, the MSM are not infallible.

Some readers might ask; why if I know that some MSM stories are inaccurate or misleading do I not correct them all instead of picking just two out ? Unfortunately, that is a difficult question to answer. The best answer I can give at this time, and I know this will sound disappointingly vague, is that I do not believe it would be helpful to the police if I were to do so.

I said at the beginning of this article that there were two reasons why I wanted to write about this issue. The first was that The Needle will be publishing some articles which rely on MSM sources, though I’m confident that the material we will use is accurate.

The second is that at some point in the future, the current historic child abuse investigations will conclude and reports will be made and I can anticipate a situation arising whereby members of the public will infer that the police have covered up simply because their reports contradict or do not consider some information contained in MSM stories.

It seems best to me to highlight this issue now rather than when these reports come out as it will give people plenty of time to consider the issue and it will not look like an excuse. If it is possible, I will try and explain other ‘mistakes’ in MSM stories at the appropriate time.

PS, Just so nobody thinks this article is a case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’, I’ve made a few of my own mistakes and so have inadvertently added to the misleading canon of information in the public domain which will have to be corrected.


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Comments On Exaro Story

On Saturday night Exaro published a story- here.

Firstly, I’d like to make clear that Exaro have not, and have never, revealed any sources of information to The Needle Team but it is the case that some sources of information (witnesses) may have contacted Exaro and The Needle Team separately and so it may be that either directly or indirectly we may both have the same information.

I would like to correct just two mis-interpretations of the story that Exaro published.

1) The witness mentioned in the story was not, and has never claimed to be, at Elm Guest House.

2)  The second source quoted is not Mark Williams-Thomas.


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

Op Fairbank Seize Video Of Former Minister At ‘Sex Party’

I’ll try and comment on this tomorrow.

Detectives have seized video that places a former Conservative cabinet minister at one of several parties where boys were sexually abused by men.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit seized the footage under ‘Operation Fairbank’ which is scoping historical claims against politicians of child sex abuse. It is investigating additional allegations against politicians and other prominent people under ‘Operation Fernbridge’.

The unit is focusing on a series of parties in London three decades ago at which boys were supplied for sexual gratification of men.

Exaro News


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, News, Politics

For The Attention Of Alison Saunders

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions.

Dear Ms. Saunders

I am forwarding you an email I sent to the Right Reverend Bishop Paul Butler following his appearance on this week’s BBC Panorama programme alongside your predecessor, Keir Starmer.

The changes which have taken place in policy, procedure and attitude to child sexual abuse allegations under Mr.Starmer’s leadership are most welcome indeed and if carried out throughout our judicial system over the next few years will justify Mr.Starmer’s claim that ” the Final Guidance document on the prosecution of cases invoving child sexual abuse in England and Wales represented the biggest shift in attitude across the criminal justice system  for a generation “.

The statement by the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales, Ed Beltrami  – ” We are now very clear that the focus must be on the overrall credibility of an allegation, rather than the perceived  weakness  of the person making it ”  –  truly does represent a watershed moment and will provide long overdue encouragement for more victims to come forward.

I would be extremely grateful if you would personally agree to oversee that the alleged ” evidence ” of the Right Reverend Dominic Walker, recently retired Bishop of Monmouth, does now get in to the hands of the relevant Police team particularly as it is suggested that an MP was involved.

Mr.Starmer stated in the Panorama programme that professionals such as teachers and health workers who stay silent in child abuse claims ” should be prosecuted ” and ” go to jail “.

Unfortunately he failed to include politicians who stayed silent in the cases of Peter Morrison, Cyril Smith and many more and one wonders whether such guidance will be applied to all people in our society or just a scapegoated few in certain professions. What guarantee will you give under your leadership that the Establishment will no longer protect the Establishment in cases of child sexual abuse hiding under the phrase ” not in the public interest ” which the public well know means ” not in the Establishment’s interest “.

Past decisions by the Attorney General and DPP particularly in the cases of the late High Commisioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman, and Sir Cyril Smith that prosecutions were ” not in the public interest ” were absolutely disgraceful when it was known that both men were career paedophiles. Sir Peter Morrison went on to be promoted by his political party despite it being well known amongst the leadership that in Edwina Currie’s words he was a pederast. Should Edwina Currie be prosecuted alongside all other politicians who covered up these heinous crimes ( are you aware of Michael Cockerell’s 1995 BBC Documentary ” Westminster’s Secret Service ” in which he revealed the truth about the Whip’s Dirt Books which contained details of the MP’s who had been involved in paedophile activity and how they were protected ) and also should all the members of the security services who played their part in these high level cover ups now be brought to justice in line with Keir Starmer’s thinking ?

The suspicion by the public, and particularly the  victims of abuse by powerful individuals, will remain that there will always be a law for one and a law for the other regardless of bold policy statements unless these are translated in to visible,transparent action right across the board regardless of that person’s status in society.

Yours respectfully

[Gojam Edit:From a man Tom Watson MP described as a “noble retired child protection officer”]


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

Bill Cash MP And Damian Green MP Correspondence.


Many thanks to Peridot for passing on this correspondence between Bill Cash MP and Rt Hon Damian Green MP the Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice.

If you have information connected to Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge you can call them direct on 0207 161 0500

Or you can contact NAPAC on 0800 085 3330 free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones or 0808 801 0331 free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.

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Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News, Politics

The Needle Talks To Peter Saunders Of NAPAC.

Peter Saunders of NAPAC

Peter Saunders of NAPAC

Yesterday, Op Greenlight and myself went to meet Peter Saunders at the NAPAC (The National Association of People Abused in Childhood) offices. I’d talked to Peter on the telephone before but this was the first time that I’d met him in person and he was as impressive face to face as he is on the television.

He was extremely generous with his time and I’d like to thank him for taking the time to talk to us at length on a number of topics.

One subject we talked about was NAPAC’s relationship with the police.

“It is essential that survivors of child abuse know that they can contact NAPAC in confidence.” he told us, “but if a survivor requests it we can help. We can arrange for the survivor to meet with specialist police officers who understand what a big step the survivor is taking by talking to them and in the past we’ve offered to attend these meetings and support the survivor.”

But Peter Saunders was very keen to emphasise the confidentiality of NAPAC. “We do not record telephone contact with survivors and it is essential that survivors know that they are in control. We are here first and foremost to support them.”

More on the Peter Saunders interview later on The Needle.

If you would like to make a donation to NAPAC  then you can either click on the donate button on the top right on The Needle or you can visit their website where you will also find out how you can volunteer your time to support survivors of child abuse.

If you have information connected to Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge you can call them direct on 0207 161 0500

Or you can contact NAPAC on 0800 085 3330 free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones or 0808 801 0331 free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.

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Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News

Why a Whitewash Won’t Wash

It is not hard to see why many believe thatwhitewash 2 the outrageous behaviours and cover-ups that were common in the past continue today.
Just consider these three examples:

The late (Sir) Jimmy Savile
The late (Sir) Peter Morrison
The late (Sir) Cyril Smith

Will Police Operations Fairbank, Fernbridge, and its sibling investigations into abuse dating back over 40 years
be ‘different this time?’

One could be forgiven for thinking that it will be more of the same and ‘business as usual’. It seems that little, if any, real investment has been made to resolve these crimes and eradicate child sexual abuse:

The fact that only 25 police in total are working in the Met Police’s paedophile unit, despite an increase in victims coming forward over the past year.
The fact that only 8 officers (from the 25 above) are working on Operation Fairbank.
The fact that many witnesses are being screened by charity-based organisations which are now at breaking point.

Where are the signs of real care and concern from our government and authorities?
Where is the determination and most importantly, where is the investment?

Will it really be ‘different this time?’

The definition of a fool is said to be someone who expects that doing the same thing over and over again will produce a different result.

For it to be ‘different this time’, something major needs to have changed.

That major change could lie in this paradigm shift: Historically, the Main Stream Media (MSM) has been quite compliant to government requests. For example, although ‘D’ (and now ‘DA’) notices are only advisory, it is usual for MSM to comply with them. But this compliance also seems to extend beyond the formal notices, and into the realms of the Gentleman’s Club. Such cosiness is a tradition that spans many decades. The reward for loyalty might even be some gong or other awarded to the higher echelons in the press organisations.

Today, Alternative Media don’t necessarily share those aspirations. Many thousands of bloggers are very alert to what is really happening and their sites are already serious competition for MSM. It’s not just the blogs, of course, there are the social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and the Internet Chatrooms and Forums.

Out there is a whole new world of social media and alternative news that the establishment is only now trying to gets to grips with. Wikileaks illustrates the changing of this paradigm.

So how successful would a ‘cover-up’ be today?

Survivors and witnesses would have ready mouthpieces for their stories on the alternative news sites, as would the police or other officials and would-be whistleblowers who knew the truth. Blogs would be scrambling to tell the full story and places like Twitter and Internet Forums would be on fire.

Assuming that MSM played their traditional role there’d be no leakage there. But, would they continue to play by the old rules?
MSM’s life blood is being threatened by these internet upstarts (in fact some journalists have already jumped ship into these alternative news channels).
How long would it be before the first MSM caved and broke ranks with the old guard? Maybe it’s happening already?

So, is a cover-up possible?
Yes, of course it is, but is it as likely to stick? I doubt it.

Remember that there are thousands upon thousands of ordinary people who are utterly revolted by the crimes of abuse against children committed both in the past and the present. Included in these many thousands of people are serving police officers, judges, barristers, care workers and journalists, to name a few, and they also want to see these evil creatures brought to justice.

There is a ground swell of feeling that has been thoroughly misjudged by people who should know better. Throwing out another dead paedophile for the public to feast on isn’t going to wash anymore.

‘It may be that you are a vital witness or that you possess crucial evidence, or that you have information that Operation Fairbank need to complete the picture. To these people I want to say, please do not assume that someone else is going to provide that information. Please step forward and help.’
The Operation Fairbank telephone number- 0207 1610500

Stepping forward to add your voice as a witness is the way to avoid a whitewash.

Call 0800 085 3330 free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones.
Call 0808 801 0331 free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.


Call 0800 800 5000

Operation Fairbank
Call 0207 161 0500


Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge

Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge Telephone Number

How many witnesses does it take to get a conviction?

Obviously, it varies, but I’m guessing if I were asking a policeman that question he’d probably tell me that you simply can’t have too many witnesses.

There is a reason for me pointing this out. At some time in the future, it could be a year from now or even two years, but at some time Operation Fairbank and the historic abuse operations that have arisen from it will become inactive (investigations technically never close). Now, that certainly isn’t going to happen before the trials of the three people already charged and, if there are more arrests, the date will get pushed back, but it will happen at some point.

The Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile Unit has around 25 police officers and eight of those are working on Operation Fairbank-related historic investigations. They’ve not had any increase in resources over this last year despite the widely reported increase in victims coming forward nationally and their primary focus must always be to intervene in cases where a child is in danger right now. I don’t believe anyone, regardless of how passionate they are about seeing justice for those making historic allegations, would question that the protection of children today, right now, must always be their priority.

It is simply naive to think that The Met are going to keep a dedicated team, one third of the Paedophile Unit, looking at historic allegations indefinitely.

So, this really is it. Operation Fairbank exists to try to bring to justice those who may have escaped it for the past 40 years. I cannot foresee that there will ever be a dedicated Met police operation looking at these matters quite like this one ever again.

What I’m trying to get around to saying is this; if you are a witness with information that can help, or a victim of abuse related to Elm Guest House or have any allegation of a similar nature which relates to a VIP, whether that is an MP, member of the House of Lords, or anyone in a position of authority then if you do not contact Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge/Cayacos with that information while these investigations are still active, it will be far harder to get justice afterwards.

I’m acutely aware that there may be victims of child sexual abuse who have moved on with their lives, they may be married and perhaps their spouses are unaware of what happened to them as a child. They may read The Needle and they may be hoping that the person that abused them will receive the justice that they know that person deserves but they are unwilling to come forward themselves. To these people I would say that I’m confident any communication you have with this dedicated team would be treated with delicacy and respect for your current situation.  It may well be that you could provide the final piece of the jigsaw that sees the person who abused you put behind bars.

It may be that a victim of child sexual abuse feels that previous trouble with the law means that the police will not take them seriously. To these people I want to say that I can assure you that that is not the case. You will be listened to and accorded the same courtesy as anyone else.

It may be that you are a vital witness or that you possess crucial evidence, or that you have information that Operation Fairbank need to complete the picture. To these people I want to say, please do not assume that someone else is going to provide that information. Please step forward and help.

To help you in this I’m going to supply the Operation Fairbank telephone number- 0207 1610500

I’ve had this number since the beginning of the year. I’ve only passed it on to two others in that time and I’ve only called it myself twice. If you ring that number you will be asked to leave a message and someone will call you back. On the couple of occasions I’ve called a very nice female detective, whose name I will not make public, has called me back. Please be aware that this team are very busy but they will call you back.

Here is the telephone number for Operation Fairbank again – 0207 1610500

If you are a victim, a witness, or someone with vital information please give that number a call.

One note of caution, the police don’t need your theories or your speculation, please do not call them unless you really do have valuable information.

Now, I know that not everyone feels comfortable talking to the police and so I want to give two other telephone numbers. Both NAPAC and the NSPCC are recommended contacts if you feel you can not contact the police directly, or if you wish to talk to someone in confidence before talking to the police.


NAPAC provides the only national freephone support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood. Because of the large volume of calls we are sorry that many people are unable to get through. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to call you back which also means that any answerphone messages cannot be answered.

Call 0800 085 3330 for free from landlines, 3, EE, Vodafone and Virgin mobile phones.
Call 0808 801 0331 for free from O2, EE and Vodafone mobile phones.

Telephone support line opening hours:

Email support – Please send your emails to





Filed under Abuse, Fairbank, Fernbridge, News