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Exaro journalist told 'VIP paedophile ring' source 'Nick' how to hide internet activity, court hears

A journalist told the man accused of lying about a Westminster VIP paedophile ring how to hide his internet activity and set up a secure email account, a court heard.

An investigative reporter with the now-defunct Exaro news agency told police he informed 51-year-old Carl Beech about The Onion Router, known as TOR, and secure Proton Mail accounts in 2014.

Beech (pictured), a divorced father from Gloucester who denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, is accused of lying to the Metropolitan Police about being abused as a child by powerful figures in the 1970s and 1980s, and witnessing three child murders.

A former NHS manager and Care Quality Commission inspector, Beech has admitted using the internet to download indecent images of young boys and a voyeurism charge, the jury at Newcastle Crown Court has heard.

One of the perverting the course of justice charges relates to him allegedly using a Swiss-based Proton Mail account to trick police into believing there was a corroborative witness who saw one of the murders and who was considering coming forward to speak to detectives.

Ray Tully, defending, told the jury that Exaro reporter Mark Conrad gave a statement to police in March this year to say that he had discussed using TOR with Beech.

In a written statement to investigators, he said: “I also noted at this point a secure way of communicating with Carl to reassure him that we would do everything we can to protect his identity.

“I mentioned using TOR in order to mask online identity and scramble IP addresses.”

Conrad said they also discussed setting up an email account using random letters and numbers with TOR “to further secure communication”.

He added: “Along the same lines, but possibly on another date, I told Carl about Proton Mail, a secure email service.

“Carl set up a Proton email account and we used it for a short period of time, however, we reverted back to normal emails.”

Conrad showed Beech a series of photos of potential abusers before he came forward to police with a list of 12 names, the jury has heard.

The reporter was also present when Beech first met detectives from the Met, the court has been told.

The case continues.

Picture: Crown Prosecution Service/PA Wire

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