Carl Beech and his enablers

This fantasist and paedophile was aided by the credulity of police and politicians.

Simon Warr

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Topics Politics UK

Well, it’s over. What should be seen as one of the most significant criminal prosecutions of the decade has finally ended with the conviction of Carl Beech, aka ‘Nick’, on 12 charges of perverting the course of justice and one charge of fraud. He has been found guilty as charged by a jury of his peers and now faces the prospect of what should be a very substantial prison sentence, given the seriousness of his vile offences.

Beech, 51, falsely claimed to have been one of the victims of a VIP paedophile ring, which he said included former PM Ted Heath, former home secretary Lord Brittan, and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, among others. His lies, swallowed uncritically by police, sparked Operation Midland, a disastrous investigation that dragged the reputations of several public figures (alive and dead) through the mud.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Beech’s ludicrous claims have been exposed. His despicable attempt to ride the historical sexual-abuse gravy train has at long last hit the buffers. His trial exposed him to the world for what he really is: a loathsome liar obsessed with the topic of child abuse, a calculating fraudster, and a man who is devoid of any form of moral compass. (Beech had already been convicted of being a paedophile himself at an earlier trial.)

In spinning his web of lies, Beech dragged a host of totally innocent figures into his depraved, degenerate world. He did so in pursuit of money, and some sort of heroic-figure status for himself. Had he succeeded in his imposture, no doubt a ‘misery memoir’ and profitable lecture tour would have followed. But his vile crimes extended even further.

The disgraced former nurse, NHS manager and governor of two schools collected a vile library of child-abuse images (some of them of the worst kind imaginable). He amassed videos of sickening child abuse. He covertly photographed schoolboys, and he secretly filmed a friend of his own young son using the lavatory at his house.

Beech pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice. At his trial, he asked the jury to believe that he himself was the real victim in all this. He maintained his claims to have been sexually and physically abused by a long list of men, many distinguished soldiers or politicians. He continued to claim that he had witnessed young boys being raped and even murdered, despite the extensive police investigations that exploded each and every one of these bizarre assertions.

Beech could have entered a guilty plea. He could have spared some of his (mostly elderly) victims being forced to defend themselves in the witness box. He could have saved a substantial amount of public money being wasted during the trial – that is, in addition to the more than £2million already blown during Operation Midland. He chose instead to maintain a grotesque charade in which he continued to pose as the victim.

But it is also important to point out that Beech (and others of his ilk) has been enabled by police officers, who were far too ready to believe even the most bizarre of his allegations. Who can forget the Met’s detective superintendent Kenny McDonald proclaiming to the world in December 2014 that, ‘Nick [the police’s pseudonym for Beech] has been spoken to by experienced officers from the child-abuse team and from the murder-investigation team and they and I believe that what Nick is saying is credible and true’.

By September of the following year, the Met was left desperately trying to row back from one of the most damaging and expensive fiascos in modern policing history. It has done lasting damage to public confidence in the police, who were so easily duped by Beech. He led them on what was dubbed during his trial as a ‘merry dance’.

Beech was also enabled by an ideological shift within the criminal-justice system. Sir Keir Starmer, in his role as the director of public prosecutions from 2008 to 2013, was an enthusiastic proponent of the ‘believe the victim’ dogma. As was his successor, Alison Saunders. This approach effectively discouraged police officers from investigating allegations of sexual offences in an even-handed way. It pre-empted proper detective work and effectively reversed the burden of proof in sexual-offences cases. Police passed cases with little, if any, concrete evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). They were content to let prosecutors authorise charges and then leave it to juries to guess who might be telling the truth. Given how emotionally charged rape and child-abuse trials are, this approach was a recipe for wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice.

Certain sections of the national media were also only too keen to jump on to the ‘VIP paedo’ scandal bandwagon. Lengthy features were churned out that gave unwarranted credence to the lies of Beech and others, such as ‘Darren’ (another warped fantasist, now utterly discredited).

Then there was the so-called Exaro news service, an online band of journalists, who became enthusiastic proponents of this grand conspiracy theory. Indeed, during the course of Beech’s trial, evidence was given concerning the role that specific members of the Exaro team played in promoting and pushing their star source’s increasingly outlandish claims. We heard in court that it was Mark Conrad, one of Exaro’s reporters, who actually made the first contact with the police concerning Beech’s allegations. It was Conrad who also taught Beech in 2014 how to mask his identity online.

Beech also amassed a hardcore group of enthusiasts in public life who helped to give his allegations the oxygen of publicity. In particular, the support of Tom Watson MP, now Labour’s deputy leader, gave Beech’s noxious fantasies an unwarranted boost. As did sections of the Twittersphere, who helped spread Beech’s lies because it chimed with their own prejudices and fantasies. Their Twitter hashtag was #IBelieveNick. Anyone daring to challenge this cult risked being smeared as a ‘paedo apologist’.

In any sane world, Beech’s claims – about a ‘murderous paedophile prime minister’ and a group of ruthless, brutal paedophiles, including senior military men of impeccable reputation – would have been given short shrift. But in the febrile atmosphere following the Jimmy Savile scandal, too few were brave enough to air any scepticism.

History is the study of the past in order to understand the present and to prepare for the future. Let us hope that the story of Carl Beech, the lying, selfish, ruthless paedophile, is a lesson we do not forget.

Simon Warr is a BBC broadcaster, and author of Presumed Guilty: A teacher’s solitary battle to clear his name.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Marvin Jones

31st July 2019 at 2:57 pm

Just one little niggling thought. No matter how one feels about there not being one iota of truth in this case, how would he know about Dolphin Square. I was a telephone engineer in the 80s and would occasionally fix people’s phones there, and even then there were several whisperings about the place, not that I have any proof of anything.

jessica christon

23rd July 2019 at 8:58 pm

It wasn’t just the police and politicians – the media did their bit in facilitating “Nick” too. I’ve believed for a long time that people who are obsessed with unmasking, accusing or attacking paedophiles often have something paedophillic in their own nature that they’re trying to cover up, a bit like when the most raging anti gay turns out to be in the closet. This is why the turn of the “Nick” story wasn’t at all surprising, and neither would it be if something similar were to come out about the PeadoFinder General Tom Watson.

I think it’s time to remove anomymity for adult accusers of sexual crimes. Yes it may deter some from coming forward, but it may also be true that outside of the PC cirlcles of the police and the MSM, fair minded people including jurors instinctively take against anomymous accusers and have sympathy with the bloke who’s out there with his name getting dragged through the mud while nothing is allowed to be said about the accuser apart from accepting their story.

There’s always talk about conviction rates being low, but perhaps if it wasn’t weighted so far in favour of the accuser to begin with, jurors would be convict more often.

jessica christon

23rd July 2019 at 9:00 pm

“convicting”

tony noculak

23rd July 2019 at 8:31 pm

Carl Beech wouldn’t have been possible if it were not for one of the biggest examples of mass delusion to have affected the british public and that is the almost universal belief that Jimmy Savile committed the crimes he was accused of.
He didn’t. He didn’t do anything and anyone who believes he did is a fool. Show me just one piece of evidence and i’ll shut the f*** up but you won’t be able to because there is none. Yes, to this day there is not one atom of evidence to back up the claims that JS was the most prolific sex abuser the UK has ever known. And there never will be. EVER.

William Brown

23rd July 2019 at 4:15 pm

The Police are far too enamoured with identity politics to do the job we pay them for. Not the bloke in uniform who has to scrape human bits off of the motorway after an accident, not the plod who attends the footie matches – No, the Cressida Dick’s of this world – the common-purpose twonks who we should resist at every opportunity – they are the ones we need to be concerned about.

Garreth Byrne

23rd July 2019 at 1:45 pm

Conspiracy theories can be so attractive. Personal emotions and ideological positions influence gullibility.

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:32 pm

First time I’ve heard about any of this. Seems to be thing in England.

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:33 pm

*a thing

gershwin gentile

23rd July 2019 at 12:59 pm

Let’s be honest the campaign against the accused was about derailing any investigation of Lord Janner. He SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROSECUTED. But instead, the police pig some nonce (who worked for the NHS and NSPCC) and suddenly he makes an allegation against a load of non labour MPs. Notice the police actually bothered to get search warrants etc. Didn’t do that with Janner.

christopher barnard

23rd July 2019 at 9:43 am

The abused girls of Rotherham and Rochdale were not believed so easily. But then they were not accusing old, white men of terrible crimes. Our police forces have been corrupted by the cancer of political correctness.

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:33 pm

At least some people know.

Neil McCaughan

23rd July 2019 at 9:04 am

It’s remarkable that both the idiot Starmer and the imbecile Saunders should give such enthusiastic support to such baseless allegations, along with a procession of bogus rape allegations, while dragging their heels at the well documented activities of ‘grooming gangs’ against defenceless working class kids.

One could almost suspect a political motive.

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:40 pm

I’d really prefer not to have to talk to you. Sorry to repeat, but you should be in charge.

Jerry Owen

23rd July 2019 at 8:42 am

Nick may well find his fantasies become reality in prison.. oh dear !

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:46 pm

I used to barrack against tiger in the golf. Careful what you wish for, Jerry Oven-Kraut.

Is your memory so short? Have you seen ANTI Moreswill?

Phil Ford

23rd July 2019 at 8:35 am

Can we now dispense with the ridiculous, dangerous practice of publicly announcing ahead of any charges, any trial, any test of the available evidence, that the ‘accuser must be believed’? This kind of thing is nothing less than an invitation to absolute disaster. Shame on the police for their tasteless, unprofessional virtue-signalling, the way they capriciously ruined personal reputations, caused emotional and financial harm to the accused, their desperate fishing expeditions, and for wasting tens of £millions of public money on what amounted to little more than one sad man’s spiteful, genuinely evil fantasies.

All that should ever matter to the police is the evidence. Perhaps if they’d done more actual police work and far, far less self-serving mugging up to the TV cameras, if they’d protected the names of those being accused until hard evidence of actual wrongdoing had been firmly established (at the very least)… perhaps the police wouldn’t now look so inept, so misled and – possibly worst of all – simply malevolent in all their actions in this matter.

I look forward to the BBC documentary. There is going to be one, right..?

C J

23rd July 2019 at 9:30 am

>>I look forward to the BBC documentary. There is going to be one, right..?
I’d be staggered if there were. Subject matter far too close to home 😉

Jerry Owen

23rd July 2019 at 8:29 am

If a story is credible it should be believed , a naive childlike attitude or simply plain evil, I prefer the latter. In the main of course it was Tory’s and Tory donors , McAlpine springs to mind and of course some died with the accusation of guilt hanging over them . A despicable set of events no matter your political affiliation.
I listened to the odious Nonce Finder General ( sorry Richard ) saying he had nothing to apologize for as he didn’t make the accusations.
The police weren’t any kind of victim in this they were in collusion. When did they actually discover that ‘Nick’ was a pedophile, surely this should have been an early discovery in the investigations ?
The very logistics of this alleged pedophile ring would clearly have brought more victims out from the woodwork but it never did. I never believed it was credible, it was another dirty left wing attack on it’s opponents , I am aware Lord Janner was involved however he was probably the smokescreen.
Meanwhile Sir Cliff is still battling with the BBC years on. I hope he screws them.

Hana Jinks

23rd July 2019 at 1:49 pm

I can barely believe what a nazi you are. Utterly vile. I’m more than a wake-up to you , Jerry Oven-Kraut.

mister wallace

23rd July 2019 at 3:21 am

Imagine, The Common Cause Plod believing somebody who tells lies. I’m shocked!

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