VIP child abuse ‘victim’ charged
Man who claimed he was abused by high-profile figures in the 1980s now accused of fraud and perverting the course of justice
The man who sparked a wide-ranging child-abuse scandal that implicated senior members of the British establishment has been charged with making up the claims then trying to profit from them.
The 50-year old man known only as “Nick”, who cannot be identified for legal reason, has been charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had claimed to have been the victim of serious sexual abuse as a child in the 1970s and 1980s. His alleged attackers included a host of powerful men, including former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, former head of the Army Lord Bramall, former home secretary Lord Brittan, former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor and former Labour MP Lord Janner.
He also claimed that some members of the group had murdered three young boys.
The allegations, which were described as “credible and true” at the time, prompted an 18-month £2.5m investigation by Scotland Yard, codenamed Operation Midland, during which the homes of some suspects were raided by police.
However, says The Times, the “disastrous” investigation began to unravel as questions about Nick’s credibility emerged. It was eventually shut down in 2016 without a single arrest having been made.
Following a scathing report into the Met’s handling of the case, which identified 43 “significant failings” by the police, £100,000 was paid to Lord Bramall and to Lady Brittan, the widow of the former home secretary, for distress caused.
Harvey Proctor, who says he lost his home and his job as a result of the investigation, has also launched a civil case for damages against the Met.
Yet questions remain about how the word of one man led to such an extensive and public investigation into some of Britain’s most senior government and military officials, “which traduced the reputations of those who were falsely accused”, says the Daily Telegraph.