VIP paedophile ring accuser Carl Beech lodges appeal

Simon Murphy

Carl Beech, the fantasist jailed over false claims of VIP child abuse that triggered a £2m Scotland Yard inquiry, is appealing against his conviction.

The 51-year-old former nurse has lodged papers with the court of appeal to apply for permission to overturn his conviction for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, it has emerged.

Beech, who was jailed for 18 years last month with a judge labelling him a “resourceful, manipulative and devious person”, is also appealing against the length of his sentence.

The father of one – known as “Nick” – was handed 15 years for perverting the course of justice offences and a further 18 months for the fraud claim, which related to a £22,000 abuse compensation payout.

The remainder of the sentence related to skipping bail – when he went on the run in Sweden – as well as a separate case in which he pleaded guilty earlier this year to indecent image offences and voyeurism.

On Tuesday, the court of appeal criminal division confirmed he had applied for permission to appeal, reported the Daily Mail.

Defendants wishing to appeal against convictions must do so within 28 days of the verdict. Beech was convicted on 22 July.

A judge will now assess Beech’s application and decide whether to grant permission for a public court of appeal hearing. It is not clear what the grounds for Beech’s appeal are.

Beech’s false allegations – in which he accused an establishment group of abusing, kidnapping, torturing and murdering boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s – led to a multimillion-pound Scotland Yard inquiry, Operation Midland, that closed without making a single arrest.

He claimed the gang of abusers included the former prime minister Edward Heath, the D-day veteran Lord Bramall, the former home secretary Leon Brittan, and the ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor. Others accused of abuse were Jimmy Savile, the former head of MI6 Sir Maurice Oldfield, the Labour peer Greville Janner and the former head of MI5 Sir Michael Hanley.

At his sentencing, the toll of Beech’s lies was laid bare, with emotional witness impact statements read to the court. A statement read on behalf of 95-year-old Bramall – a former head of the British army whose home was raided by police while his wife was confined to bed with dementia – revealed the hurt that had been caused.

“In service of my Queen and country I have done all that has been required of me,” Bramall said. “I have suffered both physically and emotionally as a result and did so without regret or complaint. I thought I could be hurt no more. I can honestly say, however, I was never as badly wounded in all my time in the military as I have been by the allegations made by ‘Nick’ that formed the basis of Operation Midland.”

The widow of Brittan, who died in 2015 with the allegations still hanging over him, also revealed the pain of Beech’s false claims. A statement read to the court on Lady Brittan’s behalf said: “In the last year of his life – and particularly in his last few months – he had to face, while desperately ill, a series of entirely false allegations and smears of the very worst kind.”