Exaro News Archive

Revealed: Carole Kasir and her squalid life at Elm Guest House

‘Madam’ spanked one male guest in kitchen with riding whip in front of shocked friends

By Mark Conrad and David Pallister | 1 April 2015

Revealed: Carole Kasir and her squalid life at Elm Guest HouseElm Guest House was home to Harry and Carole Kasir. Living with them there in 1979 was their young son and Carole’s daughter from a previous relationship. And they were heading for disaster.

Their Edwardian property stood on a leafy road opposite Barnes Common, a well-known gay cruising spot during the days when the legal age of homosexual consent was still 21. But it was what took place inside Elm Guest House that attracted the interest of police.

The property was a guest house for gay men – offering a sauna, solarium and video facilities – but also operated as a paedophile brothel.

In 1982, officers had the place under surveillance. One Saturday night, four police officers infiltrated the guest house by posing as homosexuals when a party of 30 men was expected.

The expected party did not show. One officer pretended to have a broken arm, and concealed a radio transmitter in the plaster cast to call in the raid. However, it is understood that the officer accidentally triggered the transmitter, starting the raid prematurely.

The police did not, as anticipated, find any boys there who had been brought from the nearby Grafton Close children’s home for sexual abuse.

Nonetheless, the police arrested Harry and Carole Kasir, and charged them with keeping a “disorderly house”, or a brothel. They also arrested a 17-year-old boy who worked as a masseur at the guest house, but he was later released without charge.

And they arrested nine men. Five of them had been watching, naked, what would later be called in court a “thoroughly obscene” video, but they also were not charged.

Locals in Barnes, south-west London referred to the raid as “the activities”, which were even mentioned in a book by the novelist, Jilly Cooper.

She wrote about walking her dogs across Barnes Common three days after “the activities” when one woman said to her: “Absolutely disgusting.”

The police raid prompted a lot of Press interest in the Kasirs and their clients.

Carole feared the bad publicity, and was already suffering ill health from diabetes. She decided that this was the time to attempt a reconciliation with her abandoned family, the daughters from her first marriage.

But relatives warned each other to stay away, describing her as “vicious and nasty”, and as a “highly manipulative” woman who was obsessed with money.

Carole continued to entertain visitors inside Elm Guest House for a short while more. And often, by mid-afternoon, she was quite drunk.

One visitor told Exaro how, on one occasion, a middle-aged male guest kept calling Carole, “mistress”, and was openly spanked by her in the kitchen with a riding whip – in front of her shocked friends.

Harry and Carole Kasir were convicted in 1983 at the Old Bailey of running a disorderly house, and fined £1,000 each. They were given suspended prison sentences of nine months.

Judge Tudor-Price, delivering the sentence, talked of “unwholesome activities” at the guest house. “Those disgusting films were harmful to the people who saw them and led to the acts of gross indecency.”

The Kasirs are understood to have sold the guest house to pay the fines and court costs of £500 each. Harry and Carole split.

Carole had a miserable end to her life. She met her last lover, David Issett, according to his account, at the bar of a pub in Barnes.

Soon, she moved into a flat with him nearby.

One day in 1990, a friend found Carole Kasir in bed at the flat, dead.

The coroner at her inquest later that year recorded a verdict of suicide by insulin injection.

However, the inquest heard sensational claims by two campaigners from a children’s welfare charity of child sex abuse at Elm Guest House by top politicians and other prominent people.

Police initially said that they were interested.

If there was an investigation by Scotland Yard into Elm Guest House at the time, no action followed, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) wants to know why.

Concerns remain of a cover-up by government – aided by media.

But for Carole Kasir, best known for running Britain’s most notorious guest house, it was a squalid end to a squalid life.

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By Exaro News

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