Exaro News Archive

Analysis: what led to ‘homicide’ probe by ‘Operation Midland’

Exposure of VIP paedophiles depends on brave survivors of child sex abuse such as ‘Nick’

By Mark Conrad | 15 November 2014

I arranged a secret meeting with someone who was prepared to talk. It was in a London park in May. This man had information for me.

But nothing could prepare me for what he described, the darkest of ordeals.

The contact wanted his identity kept confidential and tightly contained. We would later refer to him as “Nick” in a series of articles.

On the face of it, Nick’s account of his decade-long abuse – the trafficking, the brutal sexual and physical assaults, and the murders – and revelations about the status of the men defied belief.

Unlike many abuse survivors, Nick has gone on to have a successful life. He is intelligent, articulate and strong-minded. His accounts are uncomfortably detailed and consistent.

At that stage, Nick had no interest in talking to the police, the result of fear as well as previous failures to investigate high-profile paedophiles such as Jimmy Savile, the BBC star, and Sir Cyril Smith, the former Liberal MP.

But during our detailed discussions, Nick’s confidence soared. His counselling was crucial. But, he said, Exaro had also done something that abuse survivors value. We listened, and we investigated.

In July, Exaro together with the Sunday People published a report on alleged abuse at Dolphin Square, an apartment complex favoured by MPs near Parliament, based on the accounts of Nick and another survivor.

The report told a horrifying story of how two former Conservative MPs – including an ex-cabinet minister – and other VIPs sexually abused, even raped, Nick and other boys.

The detective in charge of ‘Operation Fairbank’, Scotland Yard’s wide-ranging investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by MPs and VIPs, contacted Exaro’s Editor-in-Chief, Mark Watts, to ask whether our two witnesses would talk to them.

I passed on the request. To my surprise and delight, Nick chose to come forward to talk to the police as a witness.

He agreed to meet the officer in charge of the operation and a second detective, but he insisted that I attend.

During this meeting in October, Nick handed over to police a list of his abusers, venues and other key information.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit duly launched ‘Operation Midland’, under the Fairbank umbrella, investigating child sex abuse at Dolphin Square and other locations.

And on Friday, the Met announced that Operation Midland was investigating “possible homicide”. We reveal today that police are investigating three murders, including an allegation that one boy was killed by a Conservative MP.

Tom Watson, the Labour MP who suggested in 2012 at prime minister’s questions that there was a paedophile ring linked to 10 Downing Street, told us tonight: “The allegations of cruelty, torture and murder are truly shocking, and go far beyond the case that I raised with the prime minister two years ago.

“The public will be deeply concerned, which is why it is vital that the police quickly establish the facts. They are such disturbing allegations. I have no doubt that the resources will be found to conduct a thorough investigation.

“If true, this is a vital piece of the jigsaw in the pursuit of organised child abuse.

“We are at the point where the government should consider a national police inquiry made up of specialists from around the country. It is unfair to ask the police in London alone to investigate alleged crimes that took place in many regions of the UK. I am writing to the PM to make this request.”

Last week, Sir Peter Hayman was identified as one of the VIPs who sexually abused boys at Dolphin Square and other locations.

There is so much more to come.

I am sure that the public at large will be as shocked as I was when I learnt, at that meeting in May, of the level of abuse inflicted on boys by some of the most powerful people in the country.

After decades of fear, Nick – this bravest and most genial of men – has hope that the VIPs who abused him, and those who, he alleges, murdered boys, can be brought to justice.

Related Stories: Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread

By Exaro News

Exaro News investigates matters of public interest and seeks to uncover the truth.