Survivor’s fears for girl who disappeared after top Tory took her into ‘medical room’
By Tim Wood | 10 January 2015
He names the same former Conservative cabinet minister identified by the other two witnesses as having sexually abused boys at the apartment complex near Parliament where many MPs have their London homes.
“He liked boys to dress up in lacy women’s underwear,” he recalled. “He would sometimes spank you, and it would always end up with either buggery or oral sex.”
He fears that one 15-year-old girl was killed after disappearing with another senior Conservative politician into the “medical room”.
The witness, whom we are calling “Darren”, fears for his safety and is in hiding. He has been talking to Exaro since August about his experiences of abuse by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.
One of those survivors, known as “Nick”, is the witness at the centre of Scotland Yard’s ‘Operation Midland’, which is investigating his allegations of the murders of three boys by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.
Darren said that senior Conservative figures were among prominent people who sexually abused boys and girls at “abuse parties” at Dolphin Square. “It was a very upmarket affair. Around 30 people would attend – mainly men.
“There would always be three or four young boys and one or two girls. Some of the party-goers had minders, which made me realise they were powerful people.”
Darren also identified one of his abusers at these parties as a famous comedy actor.
He said that he was forced to go to 15-20 “abuse parties” attended by VIPs at Dolphin Square – all during 1993. This is over a decade later than the periods specified by the other two witnesses, and suggests that VIPs have been sexually abusing children at Dolphin Square for far longer than previously realised.
Darren described how he was trafficked to Dolphin Square by the late Peter Righton, who had been regarded as one of Britain’s leading specialists in child care and was a government advisor.
But Righton was a fraud. He was a founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which promoted sex with children, and was fined £900 in 1992 for possession of obscene images of children.
Darren’s is the first testimony that directly evidences the sensational claim by Tom Watson, Labour MP, in Parliament during prime minister’s questions in 2012 that Righton was central to a paedophile ring linked to senior political figures.
Darren said that he was in care after his father and other family members sexually abused him. He was 15, he said, when he met Righton. He was sent for work experience at Thornham Magna estate in Suffolk. It was the home of the late Lord Henniker, a former UK ambassador, where Righton was renting a cottage.
According to Darren’s account, Righton sexually abused the 15-year-old and on three occasions forced him to give oral sex to Charles Napier, who was jailed last month for a series of sexual assaults on boys.
Darren detailed the terror of abuse that he suffered by Righton and Napier at Thornham Magna. He said that Righton used physical violence to keep him and other boys in check.
Exaro is not naming the alleged perpetrators for legal reasons.
Darren said that he recognised VIPs at some parties. The “non-VIP” parties included several foreign guests, he added. Righton did not always go into the flats for those parties, but attended all the ones with the VIPs.
Darren also described how people linked to some of his abusers have threatened to kill him.
Watson is aware of the threats, and is prepared to name in Parliament who was behind them should Darren be harmed.
“Darren has told me that he fears for his safety,” Watson told Exaro. “Were he to be attacked, I will personally make sure everyone who needs to know will know who these people are.”
Update 14 December 2015: Darren denies claims in The Times and the Daily Mail that he has retracted his murder allegations.
He also gave a video interview, in which he repeated his claims about what happened to the girl in Dolphin Square.
In both cases, Darren was not able to be completely sure that the two people died, although he believed that they had.
He told the police about the two episodes. Darren withdrew co-operation with the police after they threatened to refer his baby son to social services, ending the investigation.
A report on Thursday in The Times headlined, “Witness in VIP paedophile scandal backs down,” said about the murder claim at Thornham Magna: “He is adamant now that he never saw the boy being killed.”
It continued: “He claims now that the girl is alive.”
The Times did not carry a quote from Darren on either point.
Since September, Darren has said that he does not want to talk to the media, including Exaro. But he has told friends to pass on that he has not retracted his claims.
He says, as he said from the outset, that he was never sure that either the girl or the man had died.
The Daily Mail repeated the story on Friday, under the headlines, “VIP child abuse witness retracts murder claims,” and, “Outrage of ex-Tory MP who was implicated by ‘Darren’”. The headline was referring to Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP, who was also pictured.
However, Darren has not identified Proctor in any way, and was never reported by Exaro as having done so. He made no allegation about Proctor to the police, and was not a witness in ‘Operation Midland’.
Exaro has carried out picture tests with witnesses in order to help identify people. When carrying out such tests, Exaro shows a selection of photographs that includes pictures of ‘persons not of interest’. The police have made clear to us that they are completely satisfied with how we undertake picture tests.
Exaro has always reported the evidence and witness testimony fairly and accurately. Many survivors of child sex abuse, who make allegations against prominent people, have approached us with their stories in recent years, and we have featured some of them. We have always treated abuse survivors fairly, extending full support that reflects our duty of care.
It remains important that abuse survivors and other witnesses to the serious crime of child sex abuse should continue to come forward, as they are doing.
LIST OF PREVIOUS RELEVANT PIECES: Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread