Exaro News Archive

Charles Napier jailed in first triumph for ‘Operation Fairbank’

Key member of Peter Righton’s paedophile ring admits sexually assaulting 23 boys

By Tim Wood | 23 December 2014

Charles Napier jailed in first triumph for ‘Operation Fairbank’Paedophile Charles Napier was today jailed for 13 years as a result of police investigations into a network of powerful people who sexually abused children.

Napier pleaded guilty last month to 28 charges of indecent assault between 1967 and 1972 against 21 boys. In a further offence, Napier admitted forcing a boy to commit a sex act on him. Today, he pleaded guilty to two more charges of indecent assault against two additional boys.

Peter Clement, prosecuting, said that the total of 31 charges related to 23 boys who were aged between 8 and 13. Napier worked as a teacher at a prep school. Napier sexually abused some pupils more than 100 separate times each. Clement described it as a “campaign of sexual abuse”.

Napier’s 13-year sentence marks the first triumph in the courtroom for the wide-ranging investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit under the umbrella of ‘Operation Fairbank’.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith, sitting at Southwark crown court, told Napier: “You gravely abused your duty by systematically grooming those boys for your own purposes.”

Napier, who had been living the life of a country gentleman in Sherborne in Dorset, had been a close friend of the late Peter Righton, a founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which promoted sex with children.

Tom Watson, Labour MP, suggested during prime minister’s questions two years ago that a network run by Righton reached into the top levels of British politics. Righton was fined £900 in 1992 for possession of obscene images of children, but Watson suggested that the police investigation at the time failed to follow leads to powerful people.

Righton had previously been regarded as one of Britain’s leading specialists in child care and was a government advisor.

After raiding Righton’s home in 1992, police found a huge amount of correspondence between paedophiles in Britain and around the world.

They later found a letter from Napier that boasted of his life in the Egyptian capital of Cairo as a teacher for the British Council. He bragged of easy access to young boys and about how he could send obscene images back to Britain in diplomatic bags. Napier was also treasurer of PIE.

Watson’s intervention led to ‘Operation Fairbank’ to scope a wide range of allegations against politicians and VIPs. The Met said last week that it is running 18 separate operations under the Fairbank umbrella.

The Met investigated Napier, who was also a PIE member, under ‘Operation Cayacos’. In June last year, Exaro reporters were watching Napier’s home address as police arrested him in a dawn raid on his house.

Exaro then broke the news in February that police on Operation Cayacos were poised to press the first charges to be brought that resulted from Watson’s comments in Parliament.

John Whittingdale, the Conservative MP who chairs the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, is Napier’s half-brother.

Whittingdale has said that he cannot help who his brother is. They have the same mother. The MP was a child when Napier committed the offences.

Watson welcomed the conviction, saying: “He knows a lot more about the actvities of the network than he had publicly admitted.”

The judge adjourned the sentencing until today to give an opportunity for those who suffered Napier’s abuse to be able to attend the hearing.

Napier was jailed in 1995 for nine months for two offences of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy. He had lured the teenager to his home in Surrey during the 1980’s.

Today’s sentencing came after a series of stories on Exaro over the weekend fuelled the furore over VIP paedophiles.

Former police officers who revealed on a private online forum a cover-up for child sex abuse by ‘prominent people’ are to submit a dossier of statements to the Met.

Meanwhile, detectives are narrowing down 200 cases of missing boys to compile a shortlist of possible victims of murder by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.

And Exaro also revealed how Theresa May, home secretary, is set to disband the panel for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse.

Panel members are accusing May of listening to a vocal minority set against the inquiry instead of the majority of abuse survivors.

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.