Carl Beech was jailed for 18 years for his web of lies about a Westminster VIP paedophile ring
The victims of fantasist Carl Beech have called for Labour deputy leader Tom Watson to stand down for ‘whipping up a moral panic’ over the false allegations of a Westminster VIP paedophile ring.
Daniel Janner QC, the son of the late Labour peer Lord Janner, said Mr Watson was responsible for fuelling the ‘extremely hurtful’ claims.
Mr Janner said on Friday: ‘Tom Watson is primarily responsible for whipping up a moral panic. So he should hang his head in shame, and he should resign.
‘For him to take the moral high ground in the Labour Party against anti-Semitism is completely hypocritical.’
He was speaking ahead of Beech’s sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court – where the former NHS manager was jailed for 18 years.
Beech wrongly accused a string of high-profile figures – including Mr Janner’s father, the late Labour MP Greville Janner – of being part of a child-murdering gang of high-profile figures.
Mr Watson has been criticised for meeting in 2014 with Beech, known at that time as ‘Nick’, to discuss the false allegations, two years after speaking out in Parliament about the potential existence of a high-profile paedophile ring.
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, another to be named by Beech in his made-up stories, said Mr Watson acted as Beech’s ‘cheerleader-in-chief’.
His victims called for Labour deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured) to stand down for ‘whipping up a moral panic’ over the false allegations
Today’s sentencing hearing was attended by Daniel Janner QC, whose father, the late Labour peer Lord Janner was wrongly accused by Beech and former MP Harvey Proctor, who was wrongly smeared as a killer by the fantasist
He accused Mr Watson of having a ‘great interest in himself’. Mr Proctor said: ‘He denies it now, but he was the cheerleader-in-chief for Mr Beech. He was in the team. Tom Watson scared the Metropolitan Police to death over phone hacking.
‘He intended to do the same for historic child sexual abuse. Not because Tom Watson has got any interest in historic child sexual abuse.
‘Tom Watson has got a great interest in himself, and in grandstanding, just as he is doing currently on his so-called anti-Semitism campaign.’
He added that Mr Watson had used real child sex victims to promote his career, saying: ‘If I were influential in the Labour Party, I would now be looking for ways to open the door for him to leave, rather than to shine a green light for promotion if Mr Corbyn decides to resign.’
Mr Watson has previously said that his question to the Prime Minister in October 2012 had led to the police locating the Righton files, used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, which in turn prompted the convictions of three child abusers.
Referring to Beech, he said: ‘For decades victims of child sexual abuse were ignored or failed by the criminal justice system. I hope that this one fraudster does not take us back to a time where people are too frightened to report serious crimes against innocent children.’
Mr Proctor also aimed his anger at the Metropolitan police, who he said ‘were lapdogs to Mr Watson’s crude dog whistle’.
The Metropolitan Police spent £2million looking into Beech’s allegations that he had been sadistically raped and abused by famous Westminster figures in the 1970s and 1980s.
The politician encouraged former Met Police commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe to hand back his peerage and to apologise for Scotland Yard’s Operation Midland investigation into Beech’s allegations.
Of Lord Hogan-Howe, who was the commissioner at the time when Beech’s allegations were being investigated, Mr Proctor called on him to hold his hands up and say: ‘I was the Commissioner for the Metropolis and I failed.’
‘I lost my home, my job and my peace of mind’: Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor reveals trauma of accusations in victim statement
‘The criminality was intentional and malicious. I have never met him and he has no reason to hold any grudge against me, yet he chose to spread vile and false rumours about me.
‘He knew they would cause ordinary people to revile and despise me. It is plain and obvious to anybody who examines his fanciful stories that they are beyond any possibility of belief.’
‘They (the police) embarked upon and investigation which I am told cost the tax payer millions of pounds. They described his ridiculous stories as credible and true.
‘The police were also instrumental in making public that I was twice taken into custody about his allegations and my home searched for evidence.
‘There was no evidence whatsoever against me from Mr Beech’s fanciful stories.’
‘I lost my home, my job, my peace of mind and it led to the necessity that I leave the country where I had spent my entire life. For Mr Carl Beech I have a feeling of icy contempt.’
Daniel Janner tells court allegations caused ‘impossible hurt’ to family in witness impact statement
‘Reading these allegations made me feel physically sick and distressed. False allegations such as this stick like mud, they are vile, they leave a stain which is hard to remove.
‘They have turned our lives round. We have had to fight the injustice as a family of false allegations of Nick and others daily.
‘It is time consuming it is an all-encompassing battle which is vital for the sake of our children, my grandchildren and justice generally.
‘Public figures are vulnerable to attack yet the effect of sexual false allegations is to wipe out their good name and work.
‘Beech maintained in this trial that my father raped him in the Carlton Club, it is impossible to describe the hurt that these allegations have had on a family like mine. They are corrosive.’
Lady Brittan describes pain of having security guards at former Home Secretary husband’s funeral
The wife of former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has given a devastating account of the impact of the ‘VIP paedophile ring’ lies and the blundering police investigation which followed.
A statement by Lady Diana Brittan, whose late husband was falsely accused by fantasist Carl Beech of heinous crimes including rape and torture, was read out at Beech’s sentencing today. He was later given 18 years.
Lady Brittan said that, in the last few months of his life, her husband faced ‘a series of entirely false allegations and smears of the very worst kind’.
She wrote: ‘I felt he was caught up in a totally unjustified witch hunt which took its toll on both him and me.
‘The impact of these dreadful allegations on the entire global network of anyone caught up in such matters is indescribable, incalculable and unending.’
Lady Diana Brittan, whose late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused by Beech of heinous crimes including rape and torture
Lady Brittan said her husband was alone in hospital, terminally ill with cancer, when the BBC broadcast an interview Beech, then known only as ‘Nick’. On the day of his death, she had broadcasters outside her front door.
She continued: ‘I was so worried I even had to arrange security for his burial, something no widow should have to do.
‘To lose someone that you love is bad enough in itself but in these circumstances, it was truly terrible.’
‘Only six weeks after his death, our two homes in London and Yorkshire were raided by the Metropolitan Police executing search warrants… the experience of having my house in London searched by a dozen police officers for 12 hours was traumatizing.
‘At the same time, our house in Yorkshire was searched for two days. There the attic, the garage and the garden and hedgerows were combed through. The whole house was turned upside down, and questions were asked about ‘newly turned earth’. Van loads of personal effects were removed.’
Lady Brittan also hit out at Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who wrote a hurtful piece in the Sunday Mirror after Lord Brittan’s death, describing him as ‘as close to evil as a human being could get’.
She wrote: ‘On the day of his death, I had to deal with the press outside the front door and in the days that followed I had to face all the press coverage, some of it very distressing, especially Channel 4 News and a comment piece by a prominent politician in the Sunday Mirror, whilst all the time trying to come to terms with my grief.’
Lady Brittan praised the Daily Mail for questioning the claims, which the police had wrongly called ‘credible and true’ at a press conference.
Lady Brittan said: ‘My husband’s name has now been cleared, but he will never know this.
‘As a lawyer, he always believed in the judicial system – as do I, as a former magistrate. But the system has let him and my family down.’
She repeated a statement from Lord Brittan’s rabbi, Baroness Julia Neuberger, who spoke to the former politician in his final weeks.
Baroness Neuberger said: ‘The effect was a cruel one – he felt desperately ill, cut off from much of his social and business circle, and traduced. It had a powerful effect on a brave man. He was denied the dignified death he deserved.’
Lady Brittan said the claims travelled around the world and her grandchildren had to be shield from the lies.
Holiday photos disprove Beech’s claim that he had a lifelong fear of water and could not swim
‘I was never as badly wounded in the military as I have been by the allegations’: Normandy veteran Lord Bramall, 91, said he thought that at his age he could ‘hurt no more’ before police raided his house
Normandy veteran Lord Bramall, whose Alzheimer’s sufferer wife died during the investigation before his name was cleared, told how he had to move her around his home while police scoured the place for ‘evidence’.
One of Beech’s ridiculous claims was that he had been raped and tortured by Field Marshal Lord Bramall and the heads of MI5 and MI6 on Salisbury Plain.
As part of Operation Midland, Lord Bramall’s home was raided by 20 officers and he was interviewed under caution, despite him pointing out to officers there was not a shred of evidence against him.
Lord Bramall’s police interview. He feared he would die before Beech was brought to justice
In court today, Lord Bramall’s statement was read out by his solicitor Drew Pettifer, in which he said Beech hurt him more than he ever had been in his years of distinguished military service.
His statement was made before the trial because he was not sure that he would live long enough to see Beech convicted.
In his statement, Lord Bramall said: ‘Above all what really upset me is this; my record of public service speaks for itself. In service of my Queen and Country I have done all that has been required of me. I have suffered both physically and emotionally as a result and did so without regret or complaint. I thought I could hurt no more.
‘I can honestly say however I was never as badly wounded in all my time in the military as I have been by the allegations made by Nick that formed the basis of Operation Midland.’
He said he was at home with his wife when the Met executed their search warrant on March 4, 2015.
Supportive: Lord Bramall, with his son Nicolas and wife Avril, who had Alzheimer’s
Lord Bramall said: ‘My wife at that time was bed-bound as she suffered Alzheimer’s Disease. When the police first arrived I genuinely had no idea why they were there and welcomed them with the words “How very nice to see you”.’
He added: ‘The police proceeded to search my house resulting in us having to move my wife from room to room in her bed while they searched our home.
‘My wife continually asked me what was going on and what I had done. It was very difficult to explain to her what was going on due to the paucity of the information I had been given.
‘It is important that the court is aware that I live in a very small and quiet village.
‘The Metropolitan Police turning up 20 handed to search someone’s home was bound to attract attention especially when some of those officers went for lunch in the only village pub.
‘Needless to say the fact of the search and the intervention of the police’s own media department meant I was almost immediately the subject of national press speculation.’
Lord Bramall was not well enough to endure appearing at the trial and gave evidence via a link
He wrote: ‘The impact of the allegations was compounded by the Metropolitan Police Service automatically accepting Nick’s totally uncorroborated allegations at their face value and then describing them as ‘credible and true’.
‘One of the considerable effects of giving such weight to Nick’s allegations was to essentially reverse the burden of proof, encouraging the press and wider public to speculate on my guilt.
‘Nick made these devastating and monstrous allegations against me while protected by a cloak of anonymity.
‘Meanwhile everything about me from my character, my reputation and record of public service was impugned in the court of public opinion.’
He acknowledged that the Metropolitan Police had apologised to him but added: ‘Mud sticks.’
Sir Edward Heath’s grandson said allegations cast a stain on the country and police ‘should be ashamed of themselves’ for giving them credence
Beech made claims that former PM Edward Heath. His Godson hit out in court today
The Godson of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath says the case has cast a stain on Britain and police should be ‘ashamed of themselves’.
During the bungling police probe, police investigated Beech’s claims claims that ex-Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath abused him on a double bed inside his yacht Morning Cloud.
It was only at the time of the investigation into Beech however that it emerged the narrow racing boat only had room for hammocks and not a double bed.
In his victim impact statement to court today, Sir Edward Heath’s godson Lincoln Seligman said the former Prime Minister ‘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 condemned the Metropolitan Police, Wiltshire 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.’
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor breaks down as he describes losing his home and job due to allegations made by someone he had never even met
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, who was dragged into Operation Midland when Beech falsely named him as an abuser, told court the fantasist had pursued a ‘despicable vendetta’ against him.
Beech claimed that Mr Proctor tried to castrate him with a penknife and murdered another boy called ‘Scott’ in front of him by stabbing him for 40 minutes with a kitchen knife. The claims were totally invented and Mr Proctor had never even met Beech.
The politician said today that the reputational damage done to him had been ‘hugely magnified by the actions of the Metropolitan Police Service’.
He told court that Beech’s lies were ‘intentional and malicious’, and were made without him knowing the defendant personally, saying: ‘He knew that they would cause ordinary people to revile and despise me.’
‘I have never met him and he has no reason to hold any grudge against me, yet he chose to spread vile and false rumours about me.’
Harvey Proctor, pictured outside court today, said the way the police investigated the case increased the damage to the men wrongly accused
Mr Proctor also launched a ferocious attack on the Metropolitan Police.
He said: ‘They embarked upon and investigation which I am told cost the tax payer millions of pounds. They described his ridiculous stories as credible and true.
‘The police were also instrumental in making public that I was twice taken into custody about his allegations and my home searched for evidence.
‘There was no evidence whatsoever against me from Mr Beech’s fanciful stories.’
He said the police’s actions against him were ‘deliberate and malicious’.
Mr Proctor said: ‘There was evidence clearly demonstrated that Mr Beech’s accusations were lies.
‘They were contradicted by his own mother, they were stories that should have been torpedoed by elementary police investigation.’
His voice broke with emotion as he continued: ‘I lost my home, my job, my peace of mind and it led to the necessity that I leave the country where I had spent my entire life.’
He concluded by saying: ‘For Mr Carl Beech I have a feeling of icy contempt.’
The pen knife that Beech claimed a Tory MP threatened to castrate him with. In reality, his grandmother gave it to him
Lady Brittan’s devastating victim impact statement in full
My Husband had a very distinguished career and was a kind, loving and generous man throughout the 34 years we were married.
He was a barrister, Queen’s Counsel, a businessman, the Vice Chairman of the European Commission, a constituency MP and Home Secretary. He was widely respected around the world in his role as the Trade Commissioner for the European Union.
My husband always believed in, and upheld, the rule of law and was passionate about fairness in the criminal justice system. He respected the role of the police in our society.
And yet, in the last year of his life – and particularly in his last few months – he had to face, while desperately ill, a series of entirely false allegations and smears of the very worst kind.
Before he became the subject of heinous claims of child rape and murder by the man then known as ‘Nick’, he dealt courageously with various other entirely untrue claims of a sexual nature.
I felt he was caught up in a totally unjustified witch hunt which took its toll on both him and me. The impact of these dreadful allegations on the entire global network of anyone caught up in such matters is indescribable, incalculable and unending.
It was against his backdrop that we had to deal with the emerging story of Operation Midland, where a very senior Metropolitan officer described the allegations of the defendant in this case, on more than one occasion, as ‘credible and true’.
My husband was alone in hospital terminally ill with cancer when the allegations were first made public and then, when the BBC interviewed ‘Nick’ and made the story headline news, it went global.
To lose someone that you love is bad enough in itself but in these circumstances, it was truly terrible.
On the day of his death, I had to deal with the press outside the front door and in the days that followed I had to face all the press coverage, some of it very distressing, especially Channel 4 News and a comment piece by a prominent politician in the Sunday Mirror, whilst all the time trying to come to terms with my grief. I was so worried I even had to arrange security for his burial, something no widow should have to do.
Only six weeks after his death, our two homes in London and Yorkshire were raided by the Metropolitan Police executing search warrants. This was a direct consequence of the false allegations made by the defendant.
The experience of having my house in London searched by a dozen police officers for 12 hours was traumatizing.
At the same time, our house in Yorkshire was searched for two days. There the attic, the garage and the garden and hedgerows were combed through. The whole house was turned upside down, and questions were asked about ‘newly turned earth’. Van loads of personal effects were removed. The elderly couple resident in the house were shell shocked by the nature and extent of the search. They were also subjected to very intrusive questioning about my husband and my family.
I feared the two searches would be made public. And a few days later they were.
The impact of these allegations and their consequences on my wider family were significant. My younger daughter, who lives in Australia, advised me shortly after my husband’s death not to go onto the internet and in particular the website Exaro because she said, ‘you will find it very upsetting’.
She was also suddenly faced with a very lurid Australian TV documentary on Operation Midland, which repeated all the false allegations and included an interview with a British Member of Parliament. She had to deal with it and the comments of her wider circle of friends.
Both my daughters were worried for weeks about my personal safety.
It was difficult for my two granddaughters to be shielded from the claims made against their beloved step grandfather.
During the following months and years, I had to call on my reserves of inner strength and courage to deal with a rollercoaster of emotions as the truth about Operation Midland slowly unravelled.
Good and bad developments in the case always had an impact, meaning I was never completely free of the story.
After the dark days of those first few months following my husband’s death, when I had so many difficult things to cope with, it was immensely heartening to see that the media led by the Daily Mail and BBC Panorama and then the Times and Telegraph were at least beginning to question the premise on which Operation Midland was based that the allegations were ‘credible and true’.
After the Henriques report to which I contributed, serious doubts were raised about the credibility of the defendant and I felt more optimistic about the final outcome. I have nothing but praise for the Northumbria Police who were extremely professional in their dealings with me as the facts unfolded. I can only commend the thoroughness of their investigation in obtaining such compelling evidence.
Four years later, the impact of the trial in Newcastle has been for me like a second grief. The reported comments made by the defendant about wanting to inflict extra pain on me and my family were particularly upsetting and hurtful, as were the ludicrous allegations made against my husband.
My husband’s name has now been cleared, but he will never know this.
As a lawyer, he always believed in the judicial system – as do I, as a former magistrate. But the system has let him and my family down.
We hope that lessons have been learned and that no one else will have to go through what our family and friends did.
In addition to my statement above, I have been asked by Baroness Julia Neuberger that the following information from her is presented to the court.
‘I spent a considerable amount of time with Lord Brittan as his rabbi in his last weeks and months. He was hugely upset by the allegations made against him. And he told me that, lying alone in his hospital bed, this would go round in his head. He did not discuss it much, other than to say how desperately upset he was, and that the allegations were false. What he did tell me was that all this made it difficult to concentrate on ‘getting better’. The effect was a cruel one – he felt desperately ill, cut off from much of his social and business circle, and traduced. It had a powerful effect on a brave man. He was denied the dignified death he deserved.’