The unredacted review into the conduct of Operation Midland has now been published. Its author, retired judge Sir Richard Henriques, has delivered criticisms so serious the Daily Telegraph claims the reputation of the Metropolitan Police lies in tatters.
The astonishing claims of a Westminister VIP sex abuse ring, dominated by the rich, powerful, and influential, committing murder, rape and abuse without regard for the law and without fear of justice, have been eviscerated once and for all as the tissue of lies they obviously were. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; there was no evidence, and none could be found though the Metropolitan Police spent years searching for it.
43 key failings have been identified. When read together they take on an unstintingly relentless quality. Examples are as follows:
18.104.22.168 I find it incredible that there is no record of any injury in ‘Nick’s’
22.214.171.124 I find it incredible that ‘Nick’ could have been systematically removed
from a number of schools by unauthorised drivers on numerous occasions
over a number of years without teachers intervening or ‘Nick’s’ mother being
126.96.36.199 I find it incredible that ‘Nick’ could have been given drink and/or drugs,
injured, raped and returned to a location near his home on numerous
occasions without his mother’s suspicion or knowledge.
188.8.131.52 I find it incredible, if ‘Nick’ was injured and abused as he alleges, that
he continued to meet drivers to be taken to be similarly abused time and
184.108.40.206 I find it incredible that ‘Nick’ could witness the murder of three friends
on separate occasions, having been told that it was his turn next, and yet
continue to meet with his alleged abusers.
220.127.116.11 I find it incredible that ‘Nick’ could have been treated as alleged and
have witnessed three murders without at least causing his mother some
concern. The evidence is that they went for long walks by the river, they went
for riding lessons and had several skiing holidays abroad. They were, for
much of this time, a two-person unit. According to ‘Nick’s’ mother he was
her precious little boy.
18.104.22.168 I find the description of ‘Scott’s’ alleged murder incredible. It is
inconceivable, if such an event had occurred, that nobody would talk about
it afterwards and that nobody would mention him at school. It is also
incredible that there should be no record, memory or trace of such a grave
event had it occurred.
22.214.171.124 I find it highly implausible, indeed incredible, that Mr. Proctor would
arrange for one boy to be run down and killed, would strangle a second boy,
and beat a third boy to death, all three murders being witnessed by ‘Nick’.
126.96.36.199 I find it highly implausible that either ‘Boy 1’ or ‘Boy 3’ could have been
murdered with no missing person report and no unsolved homicide
investigation matching either ‘death’.
188.8.131.52 I find it suspicious that, in his complaint to the Wiltshire Police, ‘Nick’
named no living person who could dispute his allegations.
184.108.40.206 I find it suspicious that, from October 2014 until April 2015 and during
which time his claim was pending, ‘Nick’ cooperated fully with the MPS
investigation. Having received his compensation his attitude to the enquiry
changed. He became uncooperative, felt he could not continue, cancelled
appointments, and made it extremely difficult to arrange any further
interview. When an interview was arranged he stated after a short time that
he was ill and cancelled the adjourned process.
220.127.116.11 These incredible, implausible and suspicious facts can only be
reconciled by the sure conclusion that ‘Nick’ has invented these allegations
in order to claim compensation. I am satisfied that every person named by
‘Nick’, including his stepfather, is innocent of the allegation made against
The Daily Telegraph article states:
The review details a number of delays in the case which meant that witness statements which proved the allegations were a tissue of lies were not taken.
Of particular criticism was that it took six months to talk to Beech’s mother Charmian, who told officers that she had seen no evidence of abuse or injuries and whose evidence “renders many, if not all of Nick’s allegations, incredible”.
Investigators did not check initially with his schools about whether there had been any concerns or absences and did not interview his ex-wife, who he claimed to have confided in.
They also failed to promptly examine his medical records or ask Beech, who has since been convicted of perverting the course of justice, to undergo a medical examinations to back up the elaborate stories of serious injuries including broken bones.
Similarly he was not asked to hand over his computers. If officers had examined his devices they would have discovered that he was pretending to be one of the false victims he had invented, known as “Fred”, through a fake email address.
They would have also discovered that he himself was a paedophile.
Sir Richard Henriques says further on in his report that he is satisfied that a senior magistrate was misled and that search warrants were obtained unlawfully. He especially criticises the behaviour of Tom Watson, the Labour Party MP, for claiming there was substance to Carl Beech’s wild accusations, and suggests that his influence on the investigation may have caused panic among investigating officers.
Police officers also said BBC journalists – alongside those from the now defunct website Exaro – prejudiced the investigation into Beech’s claims.
Sir Richard has made 25 recommendations to prevent a repetition of the fiasco, the first one of which would overturn standard policing policy of recent years:
Throughout both the investigative and the judicial process those who make complaints should be referred to as ‘complainants’ and not as ‘victims’ by the MPS.
The MPS has rejected this recommendation, but has accepted the next one:
The instruction to ‘believe a victim’s’ account’ should cease. It should be the duty of an officer interviewing a complainant to investigate the facts objectively and impartially and with an open mind from the outset of the investigation. At no stage must the officer show any form of disbelief and every effort must be made to facilitate the giving of a detailed account in a non-confrontational manner.
Harvey Proctor, one of the accused, lost his home and his job as a result of the accusations and is seeking compensation from the Metropolitan Police for the disruption they have caused to his life. His barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC, has said:
“Operation Midland was conducted incompetently, negligently and almost with institutional stupidity.
“The allegations were inherently incredible, there was not a shred of evidence during or after they were investigated and Beech had already been shown by another police force to be a fantasist.”
Mr Proctor has made his own statement on the matter:
“I am grateful to Judge Henriques for this coruscating report about the incompetence, negligence and likely criminality of the police officers of Operation Midland who deliberately and unlawfully trashed my life and reputation and that of public men more illustrious than myself.
“For all the suffering these bad and bungling police have caused me I do not seek revenge. I deserve compensation (which the MPS has yet to agree) but most of all I want certainty that this behaviour will not occur again and that others will not suffer as I have from such monstrous abuses of police power.”
The repercussions of Sir Richard Henriques’ report are likely to be felt for years to come.
A copy of the Henriques’ report can be read and downloaded from the Met Police website here: https://www.met.police.uk/henriques