Journalists from Exaro were watching Dorset house as Met’s paedophile unit swooped
By Fiona O’Cleirigh, Alison Winward, Mark Watts, Mark Conrad and Tim Wood
27 June 2013
Exaro journalists captured the moment that detectives investigating an alleged VIP paedophile ring arrested the half-brother of a senior Conservative MP.
“This arrest is part of a new strand of ‘Operation Fairbank’, entitled ‘Operation Cayacos’” – Statement, Metropolitan Police Service
Two of our reporters were watching an address in the market town of Sherborne in Dorset yesterday morning, and saw detectives arrive to arrest Charles Napier, 65. Exaro shot a small amount of video footage that records detectives arriving at the house at 8.30am yesterday.
In total, four plain-clothes officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit carried out the raid.
It was part of the Met’s investigation into a VIP paedophile ring under ‘Operation Fairbank’.
After Exaro broke the story yesterday morning, many other media outlets wrongly reported that the arrest was part of the Met investigation into allegations of child sex abuse at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, which is being conducted under ‘Operation Fernbridge’.
After 40 minutes inside the Dorset house, two of the detectives led Napier out of the property. Our short video clip shows him as he was taken from his house to an unmarked police car to be taken away for questioning at a local police station.
The face of the accompanying detective has been obscured.
As Napier was led away, the other two detectives continued to search the house.
The Met said in a later statement that a 65-year-old man was arrested in connection with a historical allegation of sexual assault.
It said: “This arrest is part of a new strand of Operation Fairbank entitled ‘Operation Cayacos’, which has now reached the criminal threshold.”
Napier is the half-brother of John Whittingdale, the Conservative MP who chairs the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee. Whittingdale is a former political secretary to Lady Thatcher when she was prime minister.
The Met said in a statement today that the person arrested has been bailed to a date in November.
As a result of the arrest, the media is legally restricted about what it can report about the circumstances surrounding the case, to avoid prejudicing any possible trial.
The raid in Dorset coincided with an arrest in Leicester of a 62-year-old man as part of ‘Operation Pallial’, which is re-investigating sex abuse at children’s homes in north Wales.
If you have information that might help our investigation, please contact us. Keep re-visiting Exaro for more on this investigation.