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Jury convicts 'VIP paedophile ring' source 'Nick' over lies that led to failed £2m police operation

A source who lied about being abused by a murderous VIP Westminster paedophile ring is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud.

Carl Beech’s malicious, repeated and determined deceit ruined the reputations of those he accused and led the Metropolitan Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

Proctor blasted the force, calling the episode “a truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing”.

Their £2m Operation Midland into the lurid allegations by the man they named only as “Nick” ended without making a single arrest.

Beech told detectives over hours of tearful interviews that his late stepfather, an Army major, raped him, then passed him on to generals to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused by other establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.

He named former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, his sworn enemy Proctor, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley, the head of MI5, and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the gang after meeting a journalist from the defunct news agency Exaro.

Beech claimed a schoolboy named Scott was deliberately knocked down and killed, that another boy who might have been the missing teenager Martin Allen was raped and strangled in front of him, and said another youth was battered to death by the gang.

A senior detective wrongly called the allegations “credible and true” before the force had completed their inquiries.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court rejected Beech’s unfounded allegations and today convicted him of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, relating to a £22,000 criminal injuries payout he falsely claimed for being raped by Savile.

Mark Watts, who was editor of Exaro at the time and published a number of Beech’s claims, said in a statement today that he believed Beech did not have a “fair trial” and that his convictions today were “wholly unsafe”.

He said the trial “underlines the urgent need for a public inquiry” into Operation Midland “to ensure the right lessons are learnt from it”. He made no comment on his own reporting of the claims.

Jurors were unconvinced by Beech’s claims that Army generals, at the height of the IRA terror threat, could sneak off unguarded to join horrific child abuse sessions.

They saw video of a police interview with Lord Bramall where the war hero, now too ill to give evidence, thumped the table in front of him and denied having any sexual interest in children.

Another falsely accused general, 96-year-old Sir Hugh Beach, told the jury via video-link that the allegations against him were “beyond grotesque”.

With what Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, described as “breathtaking hypocrisy”, Beech himself was exposed as a paedophile with an interest in pre-teen boys.

The school governor and NSPCC volunteer was due to be tried on indecent images and voyeurism charges last summer but went on the run to Sweden, where he bought two remote properties and tried to evade justice using false identities.

After the trial, Proctor said he was still to settle a claim against the Metropolitan Police, saying their raid cost his home and the job he loved, working for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

Justice Goss said he will sentence on these matters, as well as indecent images offences and breach of bail, at a later date.

The jury deliberated for around four-and-a-half hours. Beech did not visibly react when the 13 guilty verdicts were returned.

In 2012 Labour deputy leader Tom Watson stood up in Parliament and called on then-Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure the Met Police “investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number Ten”.

In a statement following Beech’s conviction, the MP said it was not his role to judge whether Beech had been telling the truth and that he had only met Beech, under the pseudonym “Nick”, once in 2014.

Watson also declined to apologise to former Tory MP Proctor, one of Beech’s victims, but appreciated he was “hurt and angry”.

Watson said in a statement: “I met the man I knew as ‘Nick’ once, on 8 July 2014, two years after I had raised my question in Parliament. During that meeting Nick said very little and did not name any of his alleged abusers.

“I reassured Nick that the police had made clear that all allegations of historic sex abuse would be taken seriously and treated sensitively. That is what the police had asked me to do, and it was the process I followed with all those who claimed to be survivors of historic child sex abuse.

“It was not my role to judge whether victims’ stories were true. I encouraged every person that came to me to take their story to the police and that is what I did with Nick.

“I hope this trial, and the case of one person, does not prevent survivors of child sexual abuse coming forward and reporting their experiences to the police.”

In an emotional statement, Proctor called on the Labour deputy leader to apologise and said Watson had said in a Guardian interview that Beech “was not delusional”.

Watson said: “Harvey Proctor makes an understandably emotional attack today. I appreciate that he is hurt and angry but in justifying his attack he has disingenuously used a selective quotation from an interview I did…

“What I actually said in that interview was: ‘What I’m certain of is that he’s not delusional. He is either telling the truth, or he’s made up a meticulous and elaborate story. It’s not for me to judge.’

“My actual quotation made clear that I did not know if ‘Nick’ was telling the truth, or lying, but that it was for the police, rather than me, to make a judgment about that.”

Watson said “Nick” never alleged to him that Proctor had abused him.

He said he was justified in speaking out in Parliament about a paedophile ring, as his pressure had led to lost police files being recovered, and three men being convicted for child sexual abuse.

He said: “As a public figure of responsibility I felt it was my duty to respond to the claims that had been made to me. To stand aside when there was a possibility that children were at risk of sexual abuse was not an option.”

Picture: CPS/PA Wire

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