Lord Bramall was having breakfast with his frail wife Avril, who was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, at his home in Hampshire when police knocked on his door on March 4, 2015
Britain’s top living soldier has accused the Metropolitan Police of ‘perverting the course of justice’ and continuing to investigate him despite knowing he was innocent for ‘their own public relations’.
Field Marshal Lord Bramall, 95, was one of many to be falsely accused of being part of a murderous Westminster VIP paedophile ring by 51-year-old fantasist Carl Beech, who was sentenced on Friday.
The D-Day hero revealed Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited him after the probe had been dropped to admit officers knew he was innocent but could not clear his name because they ‘had to look like they were investigating’.
Bramall described Sir Bernard’s visit in an interview with The Sunday Times.
‘He said, ‘We knew almost at once that none of these appalling things applied to you – but we could not stop making you a suspect or take you out of the investigation for another 10 months because we, the Metropolitan police, would have been accused of not investigating properly and giving people in high places preferential treatment.’
The former soldier, who was chief of the general staff during the Falklands War, was questioned twice over the alleged rape and torture of children, and at one point police even asked his daughter if he could be trusted around his grandchildren.
Police dropped their probe in 2016, a year after Bramall’s wife Avril had died after suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The D-Day hero (left, in police questioning) revealed Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (right) visited him after the probe had been dropped
Bramall’s solicitor Drew Pettifer, described in court the horror of having his home searched by officers as his seriously-ill wife lay in bed, as well as the pain of seeing her die without his name being cleared.
‘I think it [the investigation] probably shortened her life,’ he said.
The Metropolitan Police spent £2million looking into Beech’s allegations, which also smeared former prime minister Edward Heath and Leon Brittan, the former home secretary.
Beech, himself a paedophile, was handed an 18-year-sentence on Friday, as judge Mr Justice Goss told him: ‘Your accusations traduced reputations by maliciously making the most serious false allegations against distinguished former public servants who are no longer alive.’
In a statement that was read during the sentencing, Diana Brittan said her husband had to deal with terminal illness while facing ‘a series of false allegations and smears of the very worst kind’.
She told the court in a victim impact statement: ‘I feel he was caught up in a totally unjustified witchhunt which took its toll on both him and me.
Beech, seen in a police interview, was handed an 18-year-sentence on Friday by Mr Justice Goss
‘He was denied the dignified death that he deserved. His name has now been cleared but he will never know this.
‘The system has let him and my family down.’
A statement from Sir Edward Heath’s godson, Lincoln Seligman, was also read in court.
It said that the late Conservative MP ‘was always as he remains wholly and categorically innocent of these depraved and wicked accusations’.
He said the ‘plainly ridiculous’ allegations against his godfather ‘cast a dreadful stain on this country’.
Mr Seligman also condemned the Metropolitan Police and politicians who ‘should be ashamed of themselves’ for giving credence to Beech’s accusations.
He said: ‘It is unlikely this damage will ever be undone.’
Lord Janner, a late Labour MP, was another to be accused by Beech.
His son, Daniel Janner QC, appeared in the witness stand during the sentencing on Friday to say: ‘It is impossible to get over the hurt which such ghastly alleged acts of violence have on a law abiding family like mine.
‘They are corrosive. They lie on the internet with ignorant people saying that there is no smoke without fire.’
The Met declined to comment to MailOnline today. Lord Hogan-Howell has been contacted.