Category Archives: Fernbridge

THE LONG STRANGE, SAGA OF LEON BRITTAN

Written by journalist and filmmaker Tim Tate and reproduced in full with permission. Originally posted – timtate.co.uk

~

Over recent months two separate police forces have been carrying out enquiries into a snippet of 30-year-old gossip about a dead man. The Met and North Yorkshire Police have been interviewing people who, in the early to mid 1980s, heard a rumour that the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan had molested a young boy at a weekend retreat. I am one of them.

There are a number of oddities to this story, and, together with the rest of the strange saga of Leon Brittan, they shine a light on the frustratingly opaque progress of historic child sex abuse investigations. They also provide a litmus test for Lord Justice Goddard’s Independent panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The rumour first.   In the early 1980s I was a researcher on Roger Cook’s BBC Radio 4 investigative programme, “Checkpoint”.  The editor of the series had a source inside 10 Downing Street who was in the habit of passing on juicy titbits of scurrilous gossip about members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.

Why he did this was something of a mystery: “Checkpoint” was a fine programme, but it rarely strayed into political investigations. I never met the source, but according to our editor, he simply enjoyed gossiping over drinks at a private club both belonged to. To my knowledge, nothing had ever been done with the tittle-tattle he related.

The Brittan story, though, was different. According to the source, Brittan had been attending a weekend house party somewhere in North Yorkshire (he was initially MP for Cleveland & Whitby, then Richmond, N. Yorks): at some point he was supposed to have molested a young boy.   Local police allegedly attended, but very quickly were ordered off the case by Special Branch officers. There were no details of where exactly this happened, nor what exactly Brittan was supposed to have done.

Despite the sketchy nature of the rumour – and perhaps because I still lived in Yorkshire and had some relevant police contacts – I was instructed by my editor and the BBC’s (then) assistant director-general, Alan Protheroe, to make some discreet enquiries.

Over several weeks I spoke to a succession of contacts within the police. All said they knew nothing. Finally, I approached an officer in the neighbouring West Yorkshire Police Special Branch with whom I had an occasional, if slightly uneasy, working relationship. He agreed – reluctantly – to make some enquiries: very quickly thereafter he told me he was not going to pursue them.

And there our own investigations stopped. We told Alan Protheroe that we could find no evidence to support the rumour and I went back to work on more regular “Checkpoint” stories.

We were not, of course, alone in hearing this rumour. Private Eye had also picked it up and subsequently ran a short piece suggesting that members of the security service were trying to smear Brittan with false child abuse allegations.

Private-Eye-Brittan-1984

Over the next decades I made a succession of films and wrote a number of books, investigating child sexual abuse and paedophile networks. But I rarely gave any thought to the Brittan allegations until claims about paedophile parties at the Elm Guest House in south-west London surfaced in late 2013.

A  report on the Exaro news website, repeated in national newspapers and over the internet, claimed a video tape had been seized by Operation Fairbank (later known as Fernbridge),the Metropolitan Police’s unit investigating allegations of historic “VIP” child sexual abuse.  According to Exaro the tape showed a senior former Tory minister – plainly Brittan, though since he was still alive he was not named – in compromising circumstances at the guest house.

I had a contact in Operation Fernbridge,   Immediately after the story appeared, I met up with him: he denied absolutely – and vehemently – that any such tape had been seized. But because no official denial was issued by New Scotland Yard, the story fed into the growing public rumour-mill about ‘paedophile politicians’.

Two further issues quickly emerged which further inflamed the mood. The first was the mystery over what had happened to a dossier given in 1984 to Leon Brittan (while he was Home Secretary) by a back-bench Conservative MP, Geoffrey Dickens. Newspapers at the time had reported  that this dossier – which stemmed from Dickens’ earlier attempts to have the Paedophile Information Exchange proscribed – named a number of high-profile active child abusers.

In dealing with enquiries (in 2013) about what had happened to the Dickens material The Home Office did not exactly cover itself in glory: it initially claimed that it could not find 11 files, some of which included the dossier; then was forced (after a succession of Freedom of Information Act requests and demands by the Home Affairs Select Committee) to disclose that it had discovered the remnants of not 11, but 114 files relating to correspondence from Dickens or other MPs about alleged paedophiles and the prosecution of child sexual abuse.

The Home Office had also maintained in 2013 that the files themselves had been destroyed in line with “applicable document retention policies” at the time. Yet a year later it was forced to admit in response to my FOI request that it didn’t actually have a copy of this policy: it did not explain the apparent conflict between the absence of this policy and its previous assurance that the child abuse documents had been properly destroyed.

29875-Tate letter 28 Aug 2014 Final-1

Leon Brittan, for his part, was initially unable to recall the Dickens’ dossier before later remembering that he had passed it on to his officials who had in turn discussed it with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The second incident was a story in the Express and on the Exaro News website alleging that in 1982 a Customs Office called Maganlal Solanki had seized child pornography films or videotapes sent or brought to the UK by Russell Tricker, a convicted British paedophile living in Amsterdam: one of these allegedly showed a former Tory cabinet minister sexually abusing children.   Once again, Brittan was not named, but there were clear hints in the stories that he was the politician in question (in 1982 he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury).

Mr Solanki had unquestionably seized the tapes and films referred to. An official 1982 notice in the London Gazette recorded the seizure and his name was shown as the Customs officer responsible.

lb-customs-seizure-1982

This did not specify the exact nature of the material – child pornography was then not legally defined, nor indeed was simple possession of it specifically illegal: the notice simply stated that the films and tape were indecent.  Crucially, though, it listed the title of the video as “LB”. [Note: in the 1980s there was a commercially-produced series of child pornography films entitled “Loverboys”.]

The coincidence of these initials with those of Leon Brittan led the Express reporter to doorstep Mr Solanki at his home in Leicester. The reporter recorded the conversation. The Express and Exaro claimed that during the interview the now-retired Customs officer confirmed clearly that the seized material showed the politician sexually abusing children.

I obtained a copy of the recording and transcribed it. Far from confirming the Express/Exaro claims, this clearly showed that Mr Solanki had repeatedly refused to confirm the reporter’s allegations that Leon Brittan was shown on the tapes. The most he appeared to concede was that the ex-minister was “involved” somehow with a tape: but he made clear that he was not at liberty to talk and told the reporter to speak to H.M. Customs.

However, the story had another twist in it.   In April 2014 I met with the senior Operation Fernbridge detective with whom I had previously spoken. Over the course of a two hour, off the record interview he told me that his officers had also interviewed Mr Solanki. The former Customs officer had, according to the detective, insisted that he couldn’t remember anything about the 1982 Tricker seizure – much less having viewed the tape and films. (Mr Solanki is in his 80s and somewhat infirm).

But what he said next was even more potentially explosive. He told the officers that he clearly remembered stopping Leon Brittan on another occasion – he could not recall the year, but it was at some point in the 1980s – when the politician came into the port of Dover from Europe. Mr Solanki recalled that he was on normal duty, working in a two-person team with another officer.   Mr Solanki observed the driver of a car behaving suspiciously: he pulled it over and the two officers discovered video tapes inside.   Mr Solanki told the Fernbridge detectives that he took the tapes away to his office, viewed them and saw that they were child pornography.   The detectives asked what exactly was on the tapes: Mr Solanki was embarrassed, but said they depicted boys and girls, clearly under 12, having sex with each other.

How, the detectives asked, did he know the man he stopped was Leon Brittan ?   Mr Solanki explained that he had asked to see the man’s passport. Additionally, Brittan had described himself as “an MEP”.

This posed a problem. Leon Brittan was never an MEP. He went from being a government minister to the backbenches following the Westland Affair, before being knighted and appointed European Commissioner For Competition in 1989.  The detectives eventually decided that Mr Solanki was telling the truth as he recalled it, but that he had most likely misheard (or misremembered) the phrase “MEP”, when in fact Brittan had said “MP”.

Mr Solanki also told the detectives that he had seized the tapes, sent Brittan on his way and referred the incident to his superiors. He indicated that the videotape seizure would have been recorded in the log book kept by Customs officers at Dover. The senior Fernbridge detective was making plans to look for these when we spoke. He was also trying to locate the date on which – according to vaguely remembered details – late one evening in the 1980s the Westminster press lobby gathered, at short notice, outside Downing Street, apparently having been briefed to expect an announcement concerning Leon Brittan.

Meanwhile, he was simultaneously following another two lines of investigation concerning Brittan and child sexual abuse.  The first was the old rumour about him molesting a boy at the weekend house party. In the intervening years, the incident now had two separate alleged locations: North Yorkshire and London.   But Operation Fernbridge had been unable to trace anyone who had any first hand knowledge: most importantly no alleged victim could be found in either place, and the detective now believed that the story was something of an urban myth which had probably arisen out of the mysterious late-night gathering of press in Downing Street.

The second lead was very much firmer – and very much more disturbing.   It involved Elm Guest House in south-west London.  In 1982 the Metropolitan Police had raided the guest house believing – correctly – that it was being used for (adult) male prostitution. The officer in charge of the raid had alerted the local social services department that there was a possibility at least one child might be on the premises and that, if so, a social worker and a temporary place of safety would be needed.

The police did indeed find one child – a boy of around eight years old – in the guest house. He was taken to a local children’s home and, according to a document the Fernbridge detective found in the council archives, was jointly interviewed by a detective constable and a social worker.

Fernbridge tracked down the (now-retired) officer in question.   He was interviewed and described the boy as being the most sexualised child he had ever seen. He also said that the boy described being sodomised by nine adult men at the guest house, but seemed somewhat surprised that the police were concerned. He told his interviewers that “Uncle Leon” would take care of the problem, and that “Uncle Leon” worked up at “the big house”. The former officer said he had understood this to be a reference to Parliament and had realised that Uncle Leon was probably Leon Brittan.

All of this should have been recorded in a statement. But the Fernbridge team was surprised to discover that although a statement of sorts did exist, it was not signed by the boy; nor did it make any mention of “Uncle Leon”. They questioned the retired constable: he explained that it was late at night when the boy was questioned and he had taken a joint decision with the social worker that the statement could be signed after the boy had got some sleep.   But next morning the boy had “acted out” and refused to sign.

The Fernbridge officers also questioned the retired officer about why he hadn’t recorded the “Uncle Leon” information in the (unsigned) statement: he then apparently became uncooperative, giving the distinct impression that he was concerned about either disciplinary proceedings or a potential threat to his police pension.

Fernbridge went on to track down the boy – now a man in his early 40s and living in America. A US Marshall, previously on secondment to the Metropolitan Police, went to see him. Although the man initially seemed willing to speak, he later refused to do so.

Shortly after the Fernbridge detective gave me the above information, he left the unit. I have not spoken with him since and do not know whether he was ever able to progress the investigations into Leon Brittan.

What I do know is that he was absolutely convinced that there was prime facie evidence that Brittan had a sexual interest in children; and that – unless he was lying to me (which I doubt) – Operation Fernbridge holds documentary evidence suggesting that Brittan was involved in either the attempted importation of child pornography, or the sexual abuse of a young boy. Or both.

In November 2014 a separate Metropolitan Police investigation – Operation Midland – was established to examine claims of historical child sex abuse and murder at the Dolphin Square apartment block near Westminster. Exaro News claimed the credit for this, alleging that its reporting of allegations by two men it called “Nick” and “Darren” had forced the Met to open the inquiry.   The men claimed that their abusers had included two former Conservative MPs, one of them a former Cabinet Minister.

Leon Brittan (who had been ennobled as Baron Brittan of Spennithorne in 2000) died in January this year. Within a week Exaro named him as the former Cabinet Minister being investigated by Operation Midland.

In February, the Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson (son of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson) defended his father’s former Cabinet colleague. He attacked the Exaro allegations as part of what he saw as a long-standing campaign by “foil-hatted conspiracy theorists who see the Palace of Westminster as nothing other than a cover for satanic rituals”.

The thrust of Lawson’s attack – that irresponsible reporting of anonymous allegations was tarnishing the names of dead men whom he simply presumed to be honourable – was given more life than it deserved by Exaro’s involvement in an Australian television programme in July.   Whilst it unquestionably raised the profile of the story internationally, the 60 Minutes Special presented the claims by Exaro’s stable of complainants as established facts rather than allegations under police investigation.   It named Leon Brittan as an abuser.

I have no means of knowing whether the claims by “Nick”, “Darren” and the other complainants whose cause Exaro has promoted are accurate.   They are very serious allegations and are rightly being examined by the Met.   But in so far as they relate to Leon Brittan, this police investigation poses a problem.

Because Brittan passed away in January this year, there can be no criminal proceedings.  Therefore none of the evidence being collected by Operation Midland – nor the documentary evidence already held by Operation Fernbridge (let alone the enquiries still being made by North Yorkshire and Scotland Yard detectives into the mysterious house party rumour) – will ever be produced in court.

There is only one forum now in which the allegations about Leon Brittan can publicly be examined: Lord Justice Goddard’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

This week I formally asked the Inquiry’s press office the following questions:

  1. Has the Inquiry yet established direct contact with Operation Fernbridge ?
  2. Will the Inquiry be examining documentary evidence held by Operation Fernbridge concerning its investigations into the late Baron Brittan ?
  3. Specifically, will the Inquiry secure from Operation Fernbridge copies of all such documents including, but not limited to, formal statements made under caution, officers’ notebooks, internal memoranda and historical documents acquired during its investigation into the late Baron Brittan ?
  4. Does the Inquiry plan to require public testimony from the current head of Operation Fernbridge, AND its former senior investigating officer, [NAME REDACTED HERE] concerning the late Baron Brittan?
  5. Does the Inquiry plan to require public testimony from the former Customs and Excise officer Maganlal Solanki who gave evidence to Operation Fernbridge concerning the alleged seizure of child pornography from the late Baron Brittan ?
  6. Does the Inquiry plan to take evidence from the US Marshall formerly attached to Operation Fernbridge in connection with a visit he made at the request of Operation Fernbridge to a suspected victim of Baron Brittan ?
  7. Does the Inquiry plan to publish the documents acquired and/or generated by Operation Fernbridge during the course of its investigation into Baron Brittan ?

The Inquiry has yet to provide a response.

The long, strange saga of Leon Brittan is a litmus test of how rigorous and open Lord Justice Godard’s enquiry intends be. The enquiry must summons – as it has the power to do – Mr. Solanki and the officers from operation Fernbridge to give evidence on oath. It must also obtain all the statements taken by Fernbridge which relate to Brittan.

Leon Brittan was no obscure politician or ordinary Cabinet Minister. For more than two years he occupied one of the three great offices of state: Home Secretary.  Unquestionably, he should have been subjected to positive vetting by MI5 before being appointed: Goddard must insist on seeing those vetting reports.   She must also discover what, if any, subsequent vetting took place before David Cameron appointed Brittan as a trade advisor in 2010.

And, just as crucially, she must reveal all of this evidence to the public which is, after all, paying for the Inquiry.

There remain, too, legitimate and unanswered questions about Brittan’s opposition to proscribing the Paedophile Information Exchange (and indeed about PIE’s alleged involvement with the Home Office itself while he was a Minister Of State there between 1979 and 1981).

The announcement last week that further (and previously undisclosed) Cabinet papers from the era had been located and in some unspecified way referred to Brittan,  make it even more vital for the Inquiry to examine – publicly – the claims that the former Home Secretary was involved in the sexual abuse of children.

If it does not, then the public will have every right to doubt the integrity of the Goddard enquiry – and to question why substantial sums of public money are being devoted to a series of police investigations which will never see the light of day.

And rightly or wrongly the as yet unproven allegations of an overarching Westminster plot to protect a powerful paedophile politician will become entrenched in the public mind as unchallenged fact.

36 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Elm Guest House And Why The Truth Matters !

When I first started looking into historical child sexual abuse I rather naively thought that no one would possibly lie about a subject that was so serious. I was wrong and this post reveals how I came to realise that. It will also help readers to understand why The Needle has sought to navigate a course between those that believe and report everything and anything and those that believe nothing and report that no allegation is true. What I and the Needleteam have come to realise is that the greatest threats to the truth, which is certainly in the public interest to understand, are the false witnesses who appear to corroborate existing allegations of the testimony of genuine survivors. These false witnesses are like a poison which contaminates the truth. After a while the truth and the lie become so associated that once the lie is unearthed, as invariably it always is, the truth is dismissed along with it and with the truth goes any hope the genuine survivor has of justice and any chance the public have of understanding the gravity of the complex child sexual abuse issue in the UK.

What I have come to realise is that it is extremely easy to cover-up child sexual abuse but you don’t do it by testing the evidence, you do it by providing false corroborative evidence and exaggeration. You build it up then knock it down and the truth gets buried in the rubble of lies. The process of embellishing the truth with lies and exaggeration has been a cooperative effort between some elements of the Alternative Media (AM) who will often publish any unsubstantiated rumour believing that there is little consequence and some elements of the Mainstream Media (MSM) who have spotted a rich vein of stories, stories that sell newspapers. Often the relationship between the established media and the ‘new’ media is symbiotic with false stories in the MSM becoming embedded as ‘truth’ in the AM and with MSM outlets, with fewer professional journalists because of increasing financial pressures due to the emergence of online media, searching for new angles in the AM thus turning rumour into ‘truth’. It is almost an alchemical process like turning lead into gold but when the tallyman comes for payment you’ll find that the result is worthless and don’t then be too surprised if the tallyman is wary even when you offer good coin.

Anyway, those are general points, I want to write now about a specific one to help illustrate it.

In December 2012 a raft of documents suddenly appeared online posted by Mary Moss, formally of NAYPIC, which appeared to be related to the Elm Guest House which was the subject of what was then a new police investigation, Operation Fernbridge. The significance of the documents only appeared to increase when officers from Operation Fernbridge raided Mary Moss’s home and seized the documents. I had already spent a few months looking into allegations of historic child sexual abuse across the UK and, like a great many people online, I began to try to decipher and understand the documents in the public domain but, unlike most others, I very quickly found myself in a privileged position with access to many of those connected in some way to those documents. I learned from Chris Fay, a former NAYPIC advisor, that the documents were written by him circa 1990 and that they were private notes and speculations that were never intended to have been put in the public domain but as they had been put into the public domain Chris Fay was eager to help us understand them. It may interest readers to know that one of the first things that Chris Fay wanted to clarify was that he had found no evidence that a pop star mentioned in the documents had sexually abused children. Chris Fay was very generous with his time and not adverse to having long held beliefs tested and although I have come to the conclusion that the documents are at best very misleading, at worst mostly very wrong, I remain extremely grateful for the time he gave us.

Another source I talked to in the early part of 2013 was a man by the name of Clive Godden who was described in the documents as a “private investigator”. Mr Godden’s input primarily regarded the allegation that child sexual abuse at Elm Guest House was connected to a ‘child pornography’ racket run by London mobsters. At the very centre of this set up was a man called David Hamilton Grant. David Hamilton Grant was a small time film maker during the 1970s which included low budget pornography. Initially, we believed him to be dead but when we discovered that news of his death was slightly premature and he was living in Southern Europe we became intrigued to say the least. It all seemed to fit, it all seemed so plausible but we were to learn that allegations connecting David Hamilton Grant to Elm Guest House were a determined fabrication.

Mr Godden had talked to Operation Fernbridge, he maintained that he had spoken to Carole Kasir, had seen compromising photographs in her possession  of VIPs, including Leon Brittan, with young boys, and that he, Clive Godden, had in his possession Carole Kasir’s notebook, which he described as his “insurance policy”. Then one day he told me that he had evidence of a police raid during the late 1980s on a boat house used by David Hamilton Grant as storage in which the police at the time had seized ‘child pornography’ including some produced at Elm Guest House. He even gave me the date, the names of the police officers involved and the search warrant reference number. I explained to Clive Godden that if true I could not publish anything without first having talked to Operation Fernbridge. After all, if physical evidence of child sexual abuse at Elm Guest House implicating VIPs existed somewhere in a police warehouse then it was extremely important that they had the opportunity of retrieving it. Clive Godden eagerly agreed and I called Operation Fernbridge and gave them the details and they promised to get back to me. When they did a few days later they explained that they were already aware of the information and seemed remarkably unperturbed by the prospect of the details being published.

Ah! What a great story it would have been. Imagine, the police had seized evidence of child sexual abuse involving VIPs and done nothing !!

There was just one problem with it. It was complete crap.

If it had not been for the advice of Exaro’s Mark Conrad who was investigating the very same issues at the time, and who cautioned that I should be careful and dig further, I might have published then and I’m very grateful to Mark for that.

Clive Godden had promised to send me a copy of the search warrant and other documents by post and impatiently I waited for them to fall through my letterbox and then I could write my big story. When several days later a thick A4 manilla envelope arrived I sat down and started to go through the documentation. Slowly it began to dawn on me that something was very wrong. I found the copy of the search warrant and found to my disbelief that Mr Godden had filled out half of it himself and his account of how he became interested in David Hamilton Grant which he had recounted on the phone on several occasions looked even flakier now that it was written in black and white before me. Yet still the notion that anyone would lie about an issue as important as child sexual abuse was so alien to me that I refused to immediately accept it. I first decided that Clive Godden had only slightly embellished his account but slowly any veneer of plausibility to Mr Godden’s story fell away.

The boat house had been used by David Hamilton Grant as storage and the police had indeed raided it but far from seizing ‘child pornography’ produced at Elm Guest House involving VIPs, the police instead seized a cache of counterfeit VHS videos. Nothing but a van load of ‘knock off’ pirated tapes of Convoy, ET, or something similar.  No wonder Operation Fernbridge were so laid back. Oh, what a fool I’d been !

Mr Godden’s tale started to unravel and the truth began to emerge. The inconvenient fact the Clive Godden’s wife had run off with David Hamilton Grant, which had always left me uncomfortable, now became a motive for a remarkable campaign of vindictiveness which has stretched back three decades. Somehow, Mr Godden was able get David Hamilton Grant deported from Cyprus and a local newspaper reported the departure of this ‘evil child pornographer’. He fled to Turkey pursued by Mr Godden who, using the evidence from the Cypriot newspaper story, was able to get a Turkish newspaper to run something similar and then, astonishingly, by producing both the Cypriot and Turkish newspaper stories and other evidence he had cobbled together he managed to get stories printed in the UK including even The Sun. Creating  in the process a false canon of media stories which appeared to corroborate his tale.

hamgrant_1988

At a stroke I had to re-evaluate everything in the documents but more importantly I had learned a crucial lesson and luckily for myself it was one I learnt at a very early stage of my investigations and that is that people lie and their reasons for doing so aren’t always immediately apparent. By no means does everyone lie but a minority do and my starting point that nobody would lie where child sexual abuse was concerned was both naive and deeply flawed.

Now, here is my main point. There are many untrue elaborations and false witness testimonies in the Alternative Media and in the Mainstream Media regarding Elm Guest House but regardless of all of them and after two years of critical investigation I would still maintain that there was child sexual abuse there, that VIPs were involved, and that, as evidenced by the recent IPCC investigation, there are serious questions to be answered regarding why the police did not adequately investigate at the time.

I don’t tell you the story of Clive Godden seeking to undermine the truth regarding Elm Guest House, I tell you it to demonstrate that the truth can and will withstand false evidence and this is not a point specific to Elm Guest House it is a more general one. The danger for the campaign to expose historical child sexual abuse does not lie in the exposure of untruths, it only becomes damaging when ‘campaigners’ continue to maintain that what can be demonstrated to be false is true because when this is done the truth is buried in the rubble of the lies.

 

57 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

New information on Carole Kasir via Exaro

Carole-Kasir young
Three new pieces of journalism by Mark Conrad and David Pallister have been published today which give very good background information on Carole Kasir, who with her husband Harry owned and ran Elm Guest House from 1979 to 1982.  Much of the information has been put into the public domain for the first time.

Carole Kasir’s past: fractious family life and failed relationships

Meanwhile, following failure of her first marriage, Carole began to use the surname, “Weichmann”. The Press often wrongly reports that Carole was German by origin, but Exaro has uncovered the roots of this mistaken belief.
Carole became convinced that she was not the daughter of the man who was widely recognised as her father. Instead, she claimed to friends, her mother had an affair with a German man, and she was the result of this liaison.
It is unclear whether Carole identified “Weichmann” as her real father or simply adopted a Germanic name that she liked.
In any event, Carole saw the change in her personal identity as her chance for a fresh start.

Carole “Weichmann” had another daughter with a Chinese man known as “George”. However the relationship between Carole and “George” also failed. Their daughter would stay with Carole, and ended up living at Elm Guest House.
By 1971, Carole met and married Haroon Kasir, known as “Harry”. He was born in India, although he was from the part of the country that later became Pakistan after partition.
Carole and Harry, the year after their wedding, had a son.

Exaro News 01/04/15

Carole Kasir and her squalid life at Elm Guest House

Police arrested Harry and Carole Kasir and charged them with keeping a “disorderly house”, or a brothel.  They also arrested a 17-year-old boy who worked as a masseur at the guest house, but he was later released without charge.

And they arrested nine men.  Five of them had been watching, naked, what would later be called in court a “thoroughly obscene” video but they also were not charged…Judge Tudor-Price, delivering the sentence, talked of “unwholesome activities” at the guest house.  ‘Those disgusting films were harmful to the people who saw them and led to the acts of gross indecency.’

Exaro News 01/04/15

Carole Kasir ‘boasted about VIPs who visited Elm Guest House

Up to her sudden death at the age of 47 in 1990, Carole claimed to be unaware that her guest house was used by paedophiles.

But acquaintances told Exaro that Carole was ‘manipulative’ and ‘promiscuous’, accusing her of abandoning her original family.

Once source who visited Carole as she held forth at her large kitchen table at Elm Guest House told Exaro: “She always denied that young boys went there, or that she knew about abuse.”

“We used to say to her, ‘There is only one door into the guest house, and one door out of it, Carole.  It is not Buckingham Palace.’ ”

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, added “She would not say anything in response.”

Exaro News 01/04/15

The latter passage effectively states that neighbouring witnesses saw boys arriving at, and departing from, Elm Guest House.

All three articles are well worth a read by anyone with an interest in Elm Guest House.

7 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

Tony McSweeney Guilty

stream_img

Father Tony McSweeney has been found guilty on 4 charges . One count indecent assault and three counts of making indecent images of a child.

He was found not guilty on four other charges.

That might be the end of Operation Fernbridge and it will be interesting to see if the police or CPS comment. I’ll wait and see if they do before commenting myself in more detail about Grafton Close and Elm Guest House.

14 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

Tory Mandarins ‘Close Ranks’ Following Leon Brittan’s Death

24F2419B00000578-2923121-image-m-9_1422007691880

You’d have thought that these senior Tories who when asked to comment on an embarrassing development are the first to hide behind the need to not jeopardise ongoing police investigations when it suits them, would refrain from pressuring others to go public with information which might still be part of an important police investigation into VIP paedophiles.

I’ve a message for them;

The police will not be cowed by establishment pressure from political has-beens. The police will not be given the bum’s rush because friends of a person who has come under police investigation think that he will be exonerated if more information is made public prematurely.

The Tories claim to be the party of law and order. That espoused respect for the law seems to be distinctly absent as they use the power of the Tory media to put pressure on the police with these juvenile responses.

“Put up or ‘shut up'” a playground response to a grown up issue.

Politicians fuelling rumours about Leon Brittan’s involvement in a Westminster cover up of child abuse were this morning ordered to come clean about what they know or ‘shut up’.

Former Cabinet colleague John Gummer, now Lord Deben, said MPs were ‘making innuendos and insinuations in order to make themselves look as if they know something when they don’t’. He said it was ‘wicked’ to make allegations without any evidence.

The Tory peer’s outburst comes after campaigning MP Simon Danczuk said Lord Brittan’s death was a ‘sad day’ for the victims of child abuse who wanted to question the former home secretary about the missing ‘Dickens dossier’ of paedophile allegations handed to him in the 1980s.

Daily Mail

15 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Leon Brittan Accused Of Attempting To Smuggle Child Abuse Images Into UK.

bc34e8fc-04ad-11e4-_728936c

I’m very grateful to journalist Tim Tate for leaving this comment, quoted below, which has confirmed my suspicions about the provenance of The Daily Telegraph story, also quoted below, which alleges that Leon Brittan had been caught trying to smuggle indecent images of children into Dover while he had been an EU Commissioner in the late 1980s.

Tim Tate is on the byline of the original Daily Telegraph story

“Almost a year ago I interviewed a very senior detective who was handling the Brittan investigation. He was very clear that the Customs Officer (referred to above) had made a clear and credible statement about stopping Brittan at Dover, and seizing child pornography video tapes from him. The Customs Officer stated that he viewed the tapes and was able to describe what was on them.

That statement is – or should be – still held at the Metropolitan Police station from which the investigation was conducted.

I believe that it is essential that the historic child abuse enquiry – assuming it survives – is given a copy of the statement.” – Tim Tate

A senior Tory politician said to be part of a child sex ring was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography videos but got off scot-free, police have been told.

The former MP was driving back to the UK via Dover when a customs officer pulled him over because he was “acting suspiciously”. The border guard, who is now retired, has told detectives that when he searched the MP’s car he found videotapes of children “clearly under the age of 12” taking part in sex acts.

He passed the material on to his superiors, but the MP was never arrested or charged.

The Telegraph

 

51 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Was Leon Brittan A Paedophile ?

Sir-Leon-Brittan_2961184b

Leon Brittan has died, he was aged 75.

You’ll find fulsome obituaries elsewhere and perhaps even praise but I want to focus on the truth, or not, of the allegations that Leon Brittan was a paedophile.

Over the last two years there have been many rumours and news stories alleging that Leon Brittan was a paedophile, though you may not have realised as he has invariably been euphemistically alluded to as “a former senior Tory cabinet minister” or something similar. There had been some concern among journalists, and even this blogger, that the continued and ubiquitous use of this term might itself have become so synonymous with Leon Brittan that its use might itself have precipitated legal action if Lord Brittan decided to take that route.

The allegations are not new they go back to the early 1980s at least, as Bernhard Ingham, former press secretary to Margaret Thatcher, has confirmed recently to Sky News, he was aware of the allegations at the time and even asked him about them at the time. I’ve also talked to journalists who investigated these rumours in the late 1980s.

Clearly now that Leon Brittan is dead, I’m free from legal constraints and I can say exactly as I wish but just because I can write what I wish, doesn’t mean that I should. Ultimately, I’m only interested in the truth and not rumours.

About 15 months ago I discussed the allegations with a source close to an investigation looking into these and other similar allegations. I asked the source directly whether he thought that Leon Brittan was a paedophile. After a pause he replied that in his view 80% of the allegations were false but that the remaining 20% of allegations left him with the view that Leon Brittan did indeed have an unhealthy sexual interest in children.

It is with this in mind that I will refrain from repeating every allegation that has been swirling around the internet over the last two years because I agree with that source, there are many allegations that are false, as an example, there has been a suggestion that the police have a video of Lord Brittan at a “sex party”. This story is untrue.

So, I’m going to lay to one side all of the stories that I believe make up the 80% of false allegations and look instead at the allegations that I believe make up the 20% of allegations that have substance, or at the least raise questions that need answering.

I’ll touch briefly on the allegation that he raped a 19 year old female student, who is referred to in the press as ‘Jane’, in 1967. My view is that this allegation is credible but it is also my belief that after such a long time, and with no evidence beyond the victim’s word against Lord Brittan’s, a successful prosecution would have been very unlikely and that if the CPS had decided to proceed it would have put a great deal of pressure on the victim ‘Jane’ with little result. But for clarity, I believe her.

The second allegation I wish to mention is the one related to Elm Guest House.

It is my belief that the Daily Mail story, extract quoted below, refers to Leon Brittan. I say this because I had heard very similar accounts from other sources before this story had been published, some close to events at the time. I just didn’t have the first hand source/sources that The Mail had and so I couldn’t publish.

I’d recommend that readers, read this story once again.

The man recalled that during the boy’s testimony at Richmond Police Station, he had spoken of an abuser whom he called ‘Uncle XXXXX’. This abuser worked ‘at the big houses’, the boy said.

As the boy talked, at least two of those officials present came to independent realisations of his testimony’s significance.

If ‘Uncle XXXXX’ had done what was alleged, this was not just a sordid suburban scandal, but one of national importance.

The Daily Mail

I should note here that the victim in that Elm Guest House story has not felt able to co-operate with the police, hence no action could realistically be taken.

Another credible allegation is that Leon Brittan was stopped by British Customs trying to enter Dover with indecent images of children in the late 1980s while he was with the European Commission. This story, below, refers to that allegation.

A senior Tory politician said to be part of a child sex ring was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography videos but got off scot-free, police have been told.

The former MP was driving back to the UK via Dover when a customs officer pulled him over because he was “acting suspiciously”. The border guard, who is now retired, has told detectives that when he searched the MP’s car he found videotapes of children “clearly under the age of 12” taking part in sex acts.

He passed the material on to his superiors, but the MP was never arrested or charged.

The Telegraph

I am very aware that there will be many who will be disappointed that I’ve not related other allegations. As I’ve tried to make clear I want to stick only to those that I believe can be substantiated. If the victim at Elm Guest House speaks out then that allegation can be substantiated, if documentation exists, as it should, that Leon Brittan was stopped by a customs officer trying to enter the UK with indecent images, that too can be substantiated.

 

80 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics