The Metropolitan Police have admitted that it was wrong to describe claims that an Establishment paedophile ring had murdered three boys as “credible and true”.
The force said that it was continuing to investigate the alleged triple killing – as well as sex attacks at army barracks and a residential block favoured by MPs – despite intense speculation over the state of its 10-month inquiry and questions over the credibility of its main witness, a man named only as “Nick”.
In a lengthy statement, Scotland Yard defended its decision to describe the man, aged in his late 40s, as “credible” but acknowledged that comments by a senior detective that what he said was true appeared to pre-empt the outcome of the investigation, Operation Midland.
The statement by the force was released nine months after the comments by Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald in December 2014. “I believe what Nick is saying to be credible and true hence why we are investigating the allegations he has made to us,” he said at the time.
Nick has claimed that he was abused from the age of seven to 16 by groups of men. He did not publicly name the men in interviews before he was questioned by police. But he is understood to have claimed the abusers included the former Prime Minister Ted Heath, the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor, and former heads of MI5 and MI6.
Nick has said that the abuse started with his stepfather, who passed him on to the Westminster ring. He claimed that Mr Proctor was responsible for murdering two boys while part of a ring of abusers active in the late 1970s and 80s. Mr Proctor has vehemently denied the claims, called on the head of Scotland Yard to quit and claimed that detectives were behind a homosexual witch-hunt.
Nick claimed that a third boy was deliberately run down by a car so he could not blow the whistle, according to an account given to the investigative website Exaro.
Nick’s claims were given broader currency after Det Supt McDonald said that he believed the allegation and appealed for others to come forward.
In their statement, Scotland Yard said: “Our starting point with allegations of child sexual abuse or serious sexual assault is to believe the victim until we identify reasonable cause to believe otherwise.”
But the statement continued: “We should always reflect that in our language and we acknowledge that describing the allegations as ‘credible and true’ suggested we were pre-empting the outcome of the investigation. We were not. We always retain an open mind as we have demonstrated by conducting a thorough investigation.”Reuse content