Witnesses made claims to inquest for woman who died after running guest house
By David Pallister | 15 December 2012
Carole Kasir, who ran Elm Guest House from 1979 to 1982, was found dead in her flat at the age of 47 in 1990.
The then guest house in Barnes, south-west London, is at the heart of ‘Operation Fairbank’, an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations that former senior Conservative figures and other prominent people sexually abused children.
Two friends of Kasir gave astonishing evidence to the inquest into her death about alleged sexual abuse of children at the guest house.
A diabetic since she was a young woman, Kasir apparently died from an insulin overdose.
The sensational evidence, which made newspaper headlines at the time, came from two representatives of the National Association for Young People in Care (NAYPIC), a campaign group that has since closed.
Kasir turned to the government-funded group two years earlier for help in seeking the return of her children after they were put into care by the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.
The two NAYPIC witnesses told Kingston coroner’s court that a children’s home then run by Richmond borough council, Grafton Close, supplied boys under the age of 14 to the guest house for sexual and pornographic purposes.
The witnesses had compiled a long list of alleged abusers, several with links to the Monday Club, a right-wing group within the UK’s Conservative movement.
Christopher Fay, a former social worker who was an adult adviser to NAYPIC, claimed that three months before she died Kasir had shown him compromising pictures of a former Tory cabinet minister in a sauna with naked boys.
He said that there were other pictures of a former top policeman and of Anthony Blunt, the Russian spy and master of the Queen’s paintings who died in 1983.
“I do not know where the photographs are now,” he added.
Fay, a former Labour Greenwich councillor, claimed that Kasir told him other clients were caught on video, including a bishop, a High Court judge, a director of social services at a local authority, and a leading businessman.
The other witness, NAYPIC’s London development officer, Mary Moss, told the inquest that the guest house was frequented by top MPs and judges.
Both said that Kasir had no idea that she was being used by the paedophile ring.
They said that she had been threatened by members of the ring, and feared for her life ever since the guest house was raided eight years earlier. In the smart local neighbourhood, “the activities” at the guest house were notorious and were even mentioned in a book by the novelist, Jilly Cooper.
The inquest also heard that Kasir had left two suicide notes to her lover on the night that she died.
Her doctor, Dr David Walker, said that she had taken an insulin overdose in 1974, and attempted suicide again in 1981. He said that domestic and marital problems caused these two suicide attempts.
The coroner, Dr John Burton, recorded a verdict of suicide. He was concerned about her alleged role in the paedophile ring, he said. However, he believed that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.
He said: “I have no doubt that she took her own life. But what part all these allegations played in her life, I cannot say.”
The Sunday Mirror quoted a detective from Scotland Yard at the time as saying: “If what Mr Fay says is true, then it must be investigated. He is making allegations involving people in high places, which cannot be ignored.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Richmond borough council told Exaro that its officials could not comment while the current police investigation continues.
Claims that ex-ministers and other VIPs sexually abused boys at the guest house are at the core of Operation Fairbank, which is being run by the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit, out of Empress State Building in Earl’s Court, west London.