A man accused of lying about a VIP Westminster paedophile ring gave police a list of potential abusers after he had been shown a series of photos by a journalist, a court has heard.
Carl Beech met Labour MP Tom Watson, a retired social worker who wanted to help the police called Peter McKelvie, and freelance journalist Mark Conrad in the months before he came forward with his allegations to the Metropolitan Police in October 2014, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
- January 6, 2020
- October 8, 2019
- October 7, 2019
That was almost two years after he told Wiltshire Police he had been abused by his late stepfather, as well as Jimmy Savile, who was also dead, and others he could not name, with the result that the case was then officially “undetected”.
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Detective Sergeant James Townly of the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Operations unit said Beech emailed him in October 2014, explaining he had got the officer’s contact details from Exaro News.
He said he could help with the Met’s ongoing investigation into allegations that high-ranking paedophiles had operated out of Dolphin Square, London.
Beech (pictured), 51, said he was nervous and needed to feel safe, and asked if they met that the journalist Conrad – an Exaro News reporter – could be present.
They initially met at a Gloucestershire police station for around 20 to 30 minutes, the court heard, and Beech explained he had gone through therapy since 2012 and was ready to speak to the police again.
On that occasion, the man who became known by the pseudonym “Nick” provided the detective with a list of typed names, some of which were underlined.
In a video-recorded police interview later than month, Beech explained it was only in April 2014 that he had seen a survivors’ website called The Tangled Web and started blogging on it about his experiences, but he was careful not to “name names”.
The posts were seen by Conrad, who contacted the site to ask for Beech’s contact details and they eventually met in London after Beech saw other stories Exaro had done.
Beech told police he wanted to know if there were other victims.
He said: “Peter McKelvie and Tom Watson also formed part of a little group that was supporting me and put my information out there to encourage other people to come forward, hence the piece they did on Dolphin Square.”
Beech said he met Watson and spoke to him at length in his office.
He said the experience of dealing with Conrad was positive, but also “incredibly frustrating”, as the reporter was aware he could not share certain information with Beech, the court heard.
The detective agreed with Beech that journalists had to protect the integrity of the investigation, adding: “It’s quite lucky someone like Mark is aware of that.”
Beech explained how Conrad showed him photographs of people “to see if there was anyone that I recognised”.
Beech told Townly: “He did not go into any detail and the fact that there would be lots of them, but it was something they had to do in a particular way, that he couldn’t be there whilst I did it.
“Then I was just asked to mark on them if I recognised them, and if I did recognise them and they took part in the abuse.
“Then he had a whole bunch of photos that I just looked through.”
Beech added: “I picked them out, I didn’t know either their first name or their surname, some of them I knew what they did.
“That made a difference. He [Conrad] has not told me how he has found out who they were.
“It really helps me because it fills another blank, it just puts another piece of the jigsaw in place, but it’s annoying and he knows that.”
Jurors have heard the claims led to the £2m Operation Midland investigation including raids on elderly suspects’ homes.
When that ended without any arrests, Northumbria Police was tasked with investigating the man who made the accusations.
Beech, a vicar’s son who worked as a Care Quality Commission inspector and who has been described in court as a “paedophile”, denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
Picture: Crown Prosecution Service/PA Wire