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Vishal Mehrotra: Sussex Police refers its murder probe to IPCC

Father voices fresh fears of ‘cover-up’ over link to ‘Westminster paedophile network’

By Tim Wood | 28 May 2015

Sussex Police has referred itself for investigation over how it pursued enquiries over the murder of schoolboy Vishal Mehrotra.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed that it had received the referral amid claims that the eight-year-old boy’s abduction in July 1981 and murder were linked to the ‘Westminster paedophile network’. Vishal’s partial remains were found in February 1982 in woodland in West Sussex.

An IPCC spokeswoman told Exaro: “We have had a referral of a complaint from Sussex Police regarding the Mehrotra case, and we are assessing it. It was referred in late March.”

She said that the IPCC is assessing the case to decide whether to oversee an investigation. She was unable to say when a decision would be made, adding: “It depends on whether we need further information from the force.”

The boy’s father, Vishambar, a retired magistrate, suspects that Vishal’s murder is linked to a paedophile network that included VIPs. He believes that there was a police cover-up.

The IPCC is already investigating the Metropolitan Police Service over how it handled the “missing-person case” following Vishal’s disappearance in Putney in south-west London on the day of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Diana Spencer.

The father claims that the police, soon after Vishal’s disappearance, failed to pursue a telephone call from someone who claimed to be a male prostitute, saying that his son may have been taken to Elm Guest House, the paedophile brothel, in Barnes – also in south-west London.

A report by LBC last week raised fresh concerns over how police investigated Vishal’s disappearance and murder.

“It all points to one thing: there must have been a cover-up,” the father told LBC.

Sussex Police said in a statement that Vishambar Mehrotra had complained about the way the search for any further remains was carried out in 1982, about an alleged lack of communication with the family, and raised queries about a pathologist’s examination. This led to the referral to the IPCC.

In January last year, Exaro reported how a survivor of child sex abuse told the Met of the murder of a boy during a sexual assault that was linked to a network of VIP abusers as well as Sidney Cooke, the notorious paedophile and killer of 14-year-old Jason Swift in Hackney in east London in 1985.

And Exaro revealed last November how the Met launched ‘Operation Midland’ to investigate allegations that three boys were murdered by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.

Operation Midland began after a witness known as “Nick” came forward to Exaro, and then to police, and gave an account of the three murders – as well as child sex abuse by several prominent figures.

Detectives have been trawling through files on at least 200 missing children to try to identify the three boys.

However, Vishal does not match any of Nick’s descriptions.

Today’s development comes after the IPCC said in a report released last week that Sussex Police “missed an opportunity in 2008 to investigate and interview” Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star and prolific paedophile.

The force had mishandled a woman’s report that Savile had sexually assaulted her in a caravan in Worthing in 1970, according to the IPCC’s findings.

The IPCC said: “Not all lines of enquiry were properly followed by detectives. While there was no evidence that officers deliberately dissuaded the woman from pursuing her allegation, she felt reluctant to do so following contact with police.”

Last week, the police set out in an official statement the astonishing scale of their investigations into allegations of child sex abuse by “people of public prominence”.

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By Exaro

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