‘Operation Midland’ searches for clues to three alleged killings by paedophile network
By Mark Conrad | 22 November 2014
Officers who are carrying out the triple-murder investigation under ‘Operation Midland’, made a request to police forces across the UK for files on boys who disappeared and never turned up between 1977 and 1983.
They limited the search to those who match the descriptions of the three victims, as given by an abuse survivor who says that he saw them murdered. The key witness, known as ‘Nick’ to protect his identity, also says that he was sexually abused as a boy by a network of MPs and other VIPs.
The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit was already investigating historical allegations of child sex abuse by politicians and other prominent people. Even before the officer in charge of the case had finished his interview over three days with Nick, he made a formal request for a large increase in resources.
Nick told detectives that he saw a then-serving Conservative MP murder a boy during a sexual assault at a town house in central London around 1980. He said that he witnessed the murder of another boy in front of a former Conservative cabinet minister in 1981 or 1982. And he told of a third killing by unidentified members of the paedophile network in south-west London in 1979.
The Met has pulled files on missing boys for a slightly wider timeframe, and expect the number of cases to rise far higher than 200, according to well-informed sources.
One source close to the investigation said: “It is important that the investigation team is given the time and space to assess all of this information. This is going to take some time.”
Newspapers have speculated about the possible identities of the three victims. They focussed on Vishal Mehrotra, the eight-year-old boy who went missing in July 1981 and whose partial remains were found in February 1982 in woodland in West Sussex.
His father, Vishambar, a retired magistrate, suspects that Vishal’s murder is linked to a paedophile network that included politicians and judges, and that there was a police cover-up.
However, Vishal does not match any of Nick’s descriptions.
Martin Allen was 15 when he went missing in 1979, and has never been traced. His brother, Kevin, also suspects a cover-up after police told him that all the case files had been lost in a freak flood.
But the large number of missing boys who match Nick’s brief descriptions shows the Met officers’ huge task.
It also highlights just how many boys went missing – often from within the “care” system. Some were never even reported as missing to the police.
The Met asked Exaro to speak to Nick following our report in July on allegations of child sex abuse at Dolphin Square, an apartment complex favoured by MPs near Parliament, based on his account and that of another survivor.
The detective in charge of ‘Operation Fairbank’, Scotland Yard’s wide-ranging investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by MPs and VIPs, asked Exaro to speak to our two witnesses.
Nick agreed to talk to the police, provided that our reporter was present. That meeting was in October.
The Met launched ‘Operation Midland’, under the Fairbank umbrella, investigating child sex abuse at Dolphin Square and other locations. The operation is also investigating “possible homicide”.
Even before detectives completed their formal interview with ‘Nick’, the officer in charge requested a large increase in resources.
An assistant commissioner was briefed on the investigation.
Within a week of completing the interview, senior officers approved much of the requested boost for ‘Operation Midland’.
The source close to the investigation said that, following Nick’s interview, it had “gone to a completely different level”.
Homicide detectives were transferred to the operation, which has had new computer systems set up and additional support staff and facilities.
A detective sergeant was running the operation since the departure of the previous officer in charge.
A detective inspector has taken over as head of ‘Operation Midland’, while the detective sergeant continues work on the case.
Related Stories : Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread