Man Who ‘Invented’ VIP Westminster Abuse Ring on Trial
One of the most extraordinary criminal cases of recent years is currently underway at Newcastle Crown Court. Carl Beech is on trial for fraud and perverting the course of justice. Beech is more widely known by his pseudonym of ‘Nick’, and is believed to be the man who inspired the Operation Midland investigation, otherwise known as the Westminster VIP abuse scandal. Claiming to have been raped and tortured by a group of prominent public figures, he told a sensational story to the police of a hidden ring of public figures dedicated to paedophilia that shocked and alarmed the nation. Over 2 million pounds, and hundreds of man hours, was spent on trying to find evidence to corroborate Beech’s claims. Gradually, it became clear that the tales they were being told were an elaborate fabrication. On the second day of his trial, it was revealed that Beech was himself a convicted paedophile. He had been convicted of making and possessing indecent images of young boys earlier in the year.
The Daily Telegraph summarised the case as follows:
…. the court heard how Mr Beech had gone to Scotland Yard in 2014 claiming to have been sadistically sexually abused by a group of powerful public figures including, Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister, Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.
He even claimed the group had murdered three boys in front of him.
But despite Scotland Yard initially describing the claims as “credible and true”, a subsequent investigation by the Northumbria Force had found his “most heinous” allegations were “totally unfounded” and “hopelessly compromised”.
Mr Badenoch explained that as part of the police investigation, officers had seized a number of electronic devices belonging to Mr Beech and found indecent images of young boys, secretly taken photographs of school boys and a covert recording of a boy using the lavatory at his house.
The barrister said: “These child sex offences were committed whilst he was speaking to investigating police officers. At the same time he perpetrated these lies about Harvey Proctor and so many others, he was also viewing indecent images of the gravest kind and spying on small boys”.
The jury was told that when confronted with the evidence Mr Beech had initially pleaded not guilty, even suggesting that his son might have been responsible for the material.
But just as the trial had been about to get going in January he had changed his plea and admitted the offences.
The police have also discovered he created a fake email account in order to supply invented evidence from an imaginary victim, whom he represented as an old childhood friend called Fred. This ‘Fred’ confirmed some of ‘Nick’s’ story, whilst adding further details. Supposedly he received credible threats to his personal safety which made him wary of meeting the officer leading Operation Midland, Inspector Diane Tudway. However, by virtue of international co-operation with the email provider the police were able to discover that the encrypted email account being used was in fact set up by one Carl Beech. Recognising that ‘Fred’ was based on a real person, they located the actual childhood friend who had known Beech in the past and checked whether he had undergone the abuse Beech claimed for him. He said nothing of the kind had happened, and that he had never witnessed any abuse of any kind.
Carl Beech had successfully applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and on the strength of his accusations secured £22,000.
During Operation Midland the homes of Lord Brittan, Lord Bramall and Mr Proctor were raided and those individuals were taken in for questioning. No evidence was found and they were later exonerated.
However, Carl Beech stuck to his story and indeed elaborated on it. But police checked his medical records and found nothing to corroborate it. No trace was found, also, of a boy called ‘Scott’ who was supposedly killed in a hit and run accident by members of a gang in 1979. The police could not even find proof the boy even existed.
Carl Beech is denying 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud. The trial, which began on the 14th of May, continues.