Carl Beech: 'Fantasist' jailed for 18 years over VIP paedophile abuse claims

A former NHS manager has been jailed for 18 years for falsely claiming he was the victim of a VIP paedophile ring.

Carl Beech, 51, claimed he and others were tortured, raped and abused by senior politicians, military chiefs and the heads of MI5 and MI6 - and had witnessed the sadistic murder of three young boys.

Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Justice James Goss said: "I'm satisfied you are intelligent, resourceful, manipulative and devious."

He had "traduced the reputations" of his victims, some of whom had died before seeing the case resolved, the judge said.

Among those was Lord Janner, who died in 2015. Beech claimed he was raped by him at the Carlton Club in London.

Lord Janner's daughter, Marion Janner, said she was still "tormented by the injustice of the situation and the irreversible damage", while her brother Daniel called the accusation "ghastly".

Former MP Harvey Proctor, whom Beech accused of threatening to castrate him, said Beech had "a vindictive vendetta against him".

In a victim impact statement, Mr Proctor said the investigations had been "life changing", causing him to lose "a whole way of life".

"I gave up attendance in any public place when I suffered being spat at, shouted at... I fled to a remote part of Spain... I was in physical good health, now I am not."

As well as Mr Proctor and Lord Janner, those accused by Beech included 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall and the late Lord Brittan.

They were among the elderly and prominent figures whose homes were raided by Metropolitan Police officers during Operation Midland, which was set up in 2014 to look into the divorced father-of-one's allegations.

The investigation, which closed in 2016 without making a single arrest and cost of £2.5m, was described by Mr Proctor as a "truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing".

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said officers in the case had worked in good faith, and he would see whether lessons could be learned.

Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson encouraged police to investigate.

He met Beech in 2014, but said he had only told him the allegations would be taken seriously, as "it was not my role to judge whether victims' stories were true".

Beech also gave false hope to the family of Martin Allen, who went missing in 1979 at the age of 15, by saying he had seen a youngster matching his description raped and strangled.

Among Beech's allegations were claims that his stepfather, an Army major, raped him and passed him on to generals to be tortured and sadistically abused at military bases by other establishment figures.

Other members of a VIP paedophile gang he nicknamed "The Group" who, he claimed, abused him for nine years during the 1970s were former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile, and Sir Michael Hanley and Sir Maurice Oldfield, the heads of MI5 and MI6 respectively.

The jury found the school governor and NSPCC volunteer guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud after a nine-week trial.

He was jailed for 18 years for those offences, as well as charges of voyeurism and possession of indecent images of children, which he had previously admitted.

Beech showed no emotion as he was led from the dock.