Bishop tells Met’s ‘Operation Cayacos’ how same network sexually abused him as a boy
By David Hencke | 26 February 2014
Detectives expect to press charges within weeks in an investigation that was sparked by a question in Parliament about a paedophile ring linked to politicians.
The charges would be the first to result directly from a dramatic intervention in the House of Commons by Tom Watson, the campaigning MP, in October 2012.
Officers on the case were astounded when a bishop in the Church of England came forward to allege that he was sexually abused as a boy.
An eminent businessman also told police that he was sexually abused as a boy. In addition, detectives have interviewed a well-known journalist who reported an attempt to sexually abuse him when he was a boy.
Watson alleged in Parliament that a network run by Peter Righton, the notorious paedophile, reached into the top levels of British politics. The MP raised the issue in prime minister’s questions soon after the exposure of Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star, as a paedophile.
The comments led the Metropolitan Police Service to launch ‘Operation Fairbank’, a scoping exercise that in turn sparked two criminal investigations. These cover a wide range of historical allegations against politicians, VIPs and others.
One investigation by the Met’s paedophile unit focussed on claims that politicians and others abused boys in care at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London and other locations three decades ago.
With Exaro’s help, police launched the investigation into allegations of child sex abuse at Elm Guest House and other locations under what became ‘Operation Fernbridge’.
So far, two men have been charged under the operation in connection with claims relating to a children’s home that was near to the guest house. Their trial is due to begin in May at Southwark crown court.
However, sources close to the police investigation suggest that none of the people who suffered sexual abuse at Elm Guest House has so far been able to provide a perpetrator’s name to officers. Other victims are refusing to co-operate with ‘Operation Fernbridge’ because they do not trust the police, according to the sources.
Under ‘Operation Cayacos’, the Met has been conducting a parallel investigation into a network of abusers that over three decades was run by Righton, a convicted paedophile. The late Righton – at one time regarded as a leading specialist in child protection – was a founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which promoted sex with children.
Sources close to the Met investigations have told Exaro that the latter operation is making the most progress.
Detectives on Operation Cayacos have interviewed 100 people, and are understood to be confident that the evidence is strong enough to support charges.
They are also certain that they have credible witnesses who would be capable of withstanding the ordeal of testifying in court and facing cross-examination.
These witnesses include the two boys who went on to become a bishop and a businessman. They cannot be named for legal reasons, but are understood to be among several people who have come forward as the Met’s paedophile unit has carried out intensive enquiries.
One source said: “Witnesses have flooded in from everywhere,” adding that the police expect serious jail sentences to result.
Some witnesses, however, remain reluctant to talk to police, the source added.
One victim has described how Righton brought him into contact with Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP and paedophile.
The Met has confirmed that Smith visited Elm Guest House.
According to the witness, Righton boasted of links to powerful figures in government.
When police raided Righton’s house in Evesham, Worcestershire in 1992, they found hard-core images of child abuse from Amsterdam and a “quarter-century of correspondence” between paedophiles in Britain and around the world. But police failed to follow up the leads at the time, prompting allegations by Watson 16 months ago of an ‘establishment’ cover-up.
More than two decades later, police believe that in Operation Cayacos they have uncovered abuse “on the Savile scale”, with a high degree of co-ordination by a network of paedophiles.
The developments came after Exaro revealed last week how dozens of people who allegedly suffered child sex abuse have come forward to say that police and prosecutors failed them since Jimmy Savile’s exposure.
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