In one of the most controversial inquiries in the history of the Metropolitan Police, a team of experienced Yard detectives took the pervert at his word. Describing his claims as “credible and true,” they launched Operation Midland – a £2million investigation which resulted in no arrests. But many legal experts were astounded that Beech – who served as a school governor and NSPCC volunteer – was taken seriously.
One commented: “His statements about the VIPs sex ring were not only bizarre, but they were also simply incredible and untrue. They were transparently false.”
Despite the debacle and waste of taxpayers’ money, no police officer has been disciplined over Operation Midland.
There were calls for them to be investigated last night led by the son of the late Lord Janner.
Daniel Janner QC, whose father, Lord Janner of Braunstone, faced allegations before he died, said that police must be held accountable.
He said: “The policemen who put out that Carl Beech’s lies were ‘credible and true’ in 2014 should be prosecuted for the crime of misfeasance in a public office.”
Beech – then known only as Nick – told a stream of malicious lies leading to heavy-handed police raids on the homes of Second World War hero Lord Bramall, now 95, the late Lord Brittan and former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.
The three men and a series of others named by Beech including Sir Edward Heath were completely innocent. But their reputations were dragged through the mire.
Mr Proctor lost his job and his home after he was falsely identified by Beech as being one of the sadistic murder gang.
The former MP blasted the Met describing Operation Midland as a “truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing”.
He is suing the force for £1million.
Lord Bramall and others have already received substantial payouts from the public purse.
Beech, 51, initially made his bizarre allegations through the now-defunct Exaro news agency and won support from Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, then an influential backbencher, the BBC and other news outlets.
He repeated the outrageous lies in a series of interviews with the Yard between 2012 and 2015.
Over hours of tearful interviews, Beech claimed that his late stepfather, an Army major, raped him, then passed him on to other officers including generals.
At a now-notorious Scotland Yard press conference, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, below, described Beech’s allegations as “credible and true” even though there was no corroboration.
He alleged he had been tortured at military bases and subjected to savage sex abuse by other establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.
Beech named Sir Edward, Mr Proctor and Sir Jimmy Savile as well as former heads of the security and intelligence services and other VIPs figures as members of the fictitious sex ring.
The fantasist claimed to have witnessed the rape and murder of a boy who could have been a missing teenager called Martin Allen.
Beech said another youth was beaten to death by the gang and a third was deliberately mowed down by a car and killed.
After Operation Midland collapsed, retired judge Sir Richard Henriques was brought in to investigate the way the Yard carried out Operation Midland.
Damningly, Sir Richard said Beech’s claims should have been probed “without any of the men named by Nick ever knowing about it”.
Stung by the collapse of the operation, the Met’s then Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe called in Northumbria Police to investigate Beech.
Beech’s mugshot [PA]
He was due to go on trial for downloading vile images of child sex abuse but fled to Sweden.
He was later extradited and charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice.
He was further accused of defrauding taxpayers out of £22,000 in a false criminal compensation payout after saying Savile had raped him.
Yesterday, a jury at Newcastle found him guilty of all 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and of fraud.
He is due to be sentenced on Friday.
Beech, of Quedgeley, Glos, denied all the charges against him.
After the verdicts, the Met’s Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House admitted the force “did not get everything right”.
Yesterday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct cleared three officers who were investigated over misconduct allegations relating to applications for search warrants.
Sir Stephen said in a statement: “It must be remembered also that the work of Operation Midland was carried out against a backdrop of intense scrutiny and allegations that in the past the Met had covered up sensitive allegations about prominent people.
“It remains true that investigating allegations of sexual offences is a very complex and challenging area of police work. Those complexities are compounded where those allegations stretch back many decades.”
Boy who enjoyed a privileged childhood in leafy suburbia
While fraud Carl Beech told the world he had seen unimaginable horrors in his childhood, the truth is he had a very privileged upbringing.
As an only child living in leafy Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey, he was given his own horse and a dog.
There were summer holidays in Malta and Tunisia, a ski trip to Austria when he was 15 and he and his mother Charmian, an ex-nurse who became a vicar, formed a tight bond.
Beech had a happy childhood [PA]
He claimed the abuse began after her brief marriage to his stepfather, the late Major Ray Beech.
They parted after four months in 1976 due to his drunken domestic violence.
Beech claimed in adulthood his stepfather, who retired from the Army on health grounds, raped him and passed him on to his superiors to be exploited by paedophiles at the top of British society.
Many observers now doubt that accusation of abuse by his stepfather, given the way he subsequently changed his story in blogs.
Beech told police the alleged VIP paedophiles “The Ring” punished him when he broke their instruction not to have school friends by murdering a boy at his school.
But Northumbria Police found two friends from the Tudor School in Kingston who recalled happily spending time in the library with him.
Steven White said under oath. “I think we bonded. We were all probably socially awkward, spending time in the library and talking.”
Jonathon Budd remembered him as “a good kid” who his parents liked.
Beech became a paediatric nurse, working at children’s hospitals in Birmingham and London, before becoming an NHS manager and a Care Quality Commission inspector.
He married now ex-wife Dawn, a nurse, and they had a son.
Beech began writing online about child sex abuse he claimed to have suffered.
He had 57 blogs and wrote a fictitious memoir, full of horrifying detail, which left observers convinced he was actually inspired by his own perverted desires.
Police found he had downloaded indecent material.
He also set up a camera to film a boy using a toilet and took covert photos of boys.
After he was charged with making indecent images, voyeurism and perverting justice he went on the run to Sweden where police found him.
A classic car obsession
Beech used a criminal injuries payout to buy a £34,000 “muscle car”.
The fraudster was obsessed with the Ford Mustang Drophead convertible, which he drove on a US trip in 2012.
Back home, he ordered a brochure to gaze at the white convertible model.
In August 2013, he made a special trip to see one and told police he needed cash to pay his counselling fees.
A payment of £22,000 was approved in March 2015 and Beech ordered the car the same day.
He used £10,000 as the deposit – and the fees were never paid.
SEVEN MAJOR FABRICATIONS
THE CPS was able to show seven key claims which Beech had fabricated or lied about.
Lie: He had a fear of swimming after being tortured at pools by his abusers.
Reality: He enjoyed swimming, below, and did so all over the world, from theme parks to snorkelling on honeymoon.
Lie: He suffered electric shock treatment, fractures and puncture wounds.
Reality: His ex-wife never noticed any marks and his only injury on file was a skiing accident aged 15.
Lie: Former MP Harvey Proctor threatened to cut his genitals with a penknife.
Reality: His wife said the knife was stored in Beech’s “happy memories” box.
Lie: He was regularly taken out of school and abused.
Reality: School reports showed good attendance and he received an award for 100 percent punctuality.
Lie: Beech sketched abuse locations based on memories “flashing up in his head”.
Reality: He researched the sites on the internet.
Lie: He saw the murder of three children including “Scott” and another allegedly killed by Harvey Proctor.
Reality: Scott did not exist and Beech manufactured all claims about Mr Proctor.
Lie: Witness “Fred” was in email contact with Beech and contacted police to express fears over co-operating with the investigation.
Reality: “Fred” never existed and Beech sent the emails.
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