Westminster paedophile ring liar ‘abused justice system on unprecedented scale’

By Henry Clare and Dave Higgens, PA

The actions of the Westminster paedophile accuser, whose lies about a murderous VIP paedophile ring prompted a £2 million police investigation, were “the cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system on an unprecedented scale”, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, 51, repeatedly told officers he had been abused in the 1970s and 1980s by a string of high-profile figures from the worlds of politics, the military and security services.

Among those the former nurse falsely accused were 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, all of whom had their homes raided in the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland investigation.

On Monday, Beech was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Millions of pounds were spent investigating Beech’s false claims (CPS/PA)

Speaking during his sentencing hearing, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said: “In this case, the defendant’s conduct amounted to the cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system on an unprecedented scale.”

He said that the offences demonstrated an “unparalleled cruelty and disregard” towards those who he wrongly accused.

Mr Badenoch added: “These offences were motivated by entirely selfish purposes.”

The prosecutor said that it was clear that Beech was aware that his accusations were of the “most serious nature” and that the stories he invented to detectives would be-front page news.

He said: “He also sought to inject himself into and thereby pervert the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.”

Beech had given “entirely false hope” to the family of Martin Allen, who vanished in 1979, by speculating he may have been one of the boys to be abused by the invented paedophile ring, Mr Badenoch added.

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor was one target of Beech’s lies (Danny Lawson/PA)

As well as his lies, Beech will also be sentenced on Friday for charges of voyeurism and possession of indecent photographs which he had previously admitted at Hereford Crown Court.

Mr Badenoch said during the two-month trial that the divorced father-of-one had shown “breathtaking hypocrisy” in accusing others of child sex abuse while he was pursuing an interest in boys himself.

On Friday, he said: “The evidence shows the defendant derived sexual pleasure from graphically describing the violent sexual abuse of young boys.

“He enjoyed the attention and celebrity.”

Mr Badenoch also referred to the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland investigation into Beech’s claims, which spanned from 2014 to 2016 and ended without a single arrest being made.

He said that, although it is difficult to put an exact figure on it, “many millions” had been spent by the force looking into the lies.

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

Those he named as supposed “abusers” included former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, late Labour MP Greville Janner, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile, and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley and Sir Maurice Oldfield, who were the heads of MI5 and MI6 respectively.

Beech said that he had been taken out of school frequently for the abuse to occur, and that he had seen three separate child murders committed by the men he called “The Group”, but jurors saw through his lies.