Exaro News Archive

‘Operation Fairbank’ carries out raid to seize files naming MPs

Police investigating top politicians over paedophile claims raid home of key witness

By David Hencke and David Pallister | 15 January 2013

‘Operation Fairbank’ carries out raid to seize files naming MPsDetectives investigating allegations of paedophile activity by prominent people at a Barnes guest house three decades ago have carried out a raid to seize documents.

Armed with a search warrant, the police officers raided the home of a potentially key witness who advised abused children at the time.

The raid was mounted on the home of Mary Moss, formerly London development officer for the defunct National Association for Young People in Care (NAYPIC), after she refused to co-operate with police.

Detectives spent up to five hours going through her papers at her flat near King’s Cross station in north London.

She told Exaro: “They were friendly enough, but I thought that it was too heavy handed and a complete violation of my privacy.”

She said that up to nine officers took part in the raid on Wednesday morning last week. They took away her laptop, which was returned to her two days later.

Activities in the early 1980’s at Elm Guest House, which operated in Barnes, south-west London, are at the centre of ‘Operation Fairbank’, under which the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit is “scoping” a wide variety of claims against several senior political figures of sexual abuse of children.

Exaro tracked down documents from the former guest house, which name two former Conservative cabinet ministers and an array of other prominent people, including seven other MPs, as having stayed there during the key period.

The documents also identify some 16 boys “recruited” for the guest house from local children’s homes.

Moss gathered records of the guest house at the time because she was helping its manager, Carole Kasir, mount a civil action against Richmond borough council after it took her two children into care.

Before the case came to court, Kasir was found dead in her flat at the age of 47. At the inquest into her death in 1990, Moss and a colleague at NAYPIC raised allegations about what took place at Elm Guest House.

The colleague, Christopher Fay, claimed at the inquest to have seen photographs of prominent people, including a former Conservative cabinet minister, in compromising positions with boys.

Moss kept her dossier about the case, as well as up to 60 boxes of NAYPIC material. NAYPIC was a government-funded group campaigning against child abuse. Its government grant was withdrawn in 1992.

The papers on Elm Guest House were potentially useful to Operation Fairbank, especially because they apparently identify boys who were sexually abused. Exaro asked Moss whether it could pass her dossier to the police, but she said no.

The police had already asked Richmond council to hand over files relating to children who lived in its care homes at the relevant time, to help track down possible victims. The guest house’s records would help the police narrow down the search.

Moss declined to meet the police, telling them that she wanted to talk to a member of the government about her long-term project to start a youth parliament.

The stand-off appears to have led to the police decision to raid her home.

Moss said: “They went through everything. At the end, I felt like one of the victims.”

Despite her resentment about the raid, Moss explained that she did co-operate. “I understand they want this type of evidence,” she said.

She said that she had about 40 boxes of NAYPIC papers in her flat, and another 19 kept in a friend’s garden shed.

She was not at home when the raid started, but she was alerted by a visiting friend who opened the door to the police.

The next day, she said, she took the other 19 boxes by taxi to Operation Fairbank’s base at Empress State Building in Earl’s Court, west London.

Related Stories

By Exaro News

Exaro News investigates matters of public interest and seeks to uncover the truth.