Met police chief Dame Cressida Dick is cleared over her role in disastrous probe into false VIP paedophile ring claims made by fantasist Carl Beech
- ‘Not necessary’ to investigate Met Police chief Cressida Dick, IOPC says
- Operation Midland saw dawn raids on ex politicians’ and lords’ homes
- D-Day veteran Lord Bramall’s home was also raided by police in 2014
- Dame Cressida visited Lord Bramall before he died to apologise
An investigation into complaints against Britain’s most senior is ‘not necessary,’ the police watchdog has said.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has responded to complaints over Met Police chief Cressida Dick’s handling of the disastrous Operation Midland investigation.
False claims of a paedophile VIP ring made by fantasist Carl Beech in 2014 saw dawn raids at high profile addresses including the home of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall.
Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick will not be subject to an IOPC investigation. Britain’s most senior officer was responsible for supervising the senior investigating officer who said allegations made by fantasist Carl Beech were ‘credible and true’
Fantasist Carl Beech (pictured) told police he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s. Beech even claimed one boy was murdered. He is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud
Dame Cressida visited the home of Lord Bramall last September to apologise for mistakes the force made while pursuing Beech’s false claims.
The highly decorated veteran of three wars died in November.
Dame Cressida was responsible for supervising the senior investigating officer who said allegations made by fantasist Carl Beech – which were found to be false – were ‘credible and true’.
Today the Independent Office for Police Conduct said criminal or disciplinary hearings against the Met Police chief would not be justified.
The homes of Lord Brittan, who has since died, and the former MP Harvey Proctor, were also raided in 2014.
The IOPC said that after reviewing the information provided: ‘We have determined that it is not necessary to investigate these complaints.
‘We do not consider the allegation that the Commissioner deliberately misled the public regarding her role in Operation Midland requires investigation.’
There was ‘no indication’ she may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner which would justify disciplinary proceedings, it said.
Beech claimed that he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s and that one young boy was even murdered by members of a VIP paedophile ring.
He is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.
The Metropolitan Police were heavily criticised in an independent review of the case by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.
But the IOPC found no evidence of misconduct or criminality by the officers during the operation.
Two men known as “A” and “B” – who gave accounts that apparently backed up Beech – had ‘both deliberately lied’, according to the Henriques report.
Former MP Harvey Proctor’s home was among those raided by police in 2014 as part of Operation Midland, an investigation into false claims of a VIP paedophile ring in Westminster
His findings recommended that ‘offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice be considered’ against the two complainants, and this should be carried out by another police force.
The suggestion was supported by Mr Proctor, who last year made a string of fresh complaints.
He is to receive £500,000 in compensation from the force.
Scotland Yard has since referred itself again to the IOPC over complaints that officers had failed to fully investigate two other men for lying about being abused as children.
The IOPC added: ‘It is important to acknowledge that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has made significant changes as a result of the review of Operation Midland by Sir Richard Henriques, and of recommendations made as a result of our own investigation into how the force dealt with search warrants (Operation Kentia).
‘This clearly was and still is a very difficult situation that has impacted Mr Proctor’s life significantly.
‘Our assessment of the allegations and information should not detract from that fact.’
How one man’s false claims ended with disastrous raids on homes of veterans and politicians
2011: Beech downloads a criminal injuries compensation form later found on his PC
2012: Carl Beech gives his first interview, to Wiltshire Police, in which he claims to have been abused by his step-father and Jimmy Savile. The enquiry was classified ‘undetected’ and taken no further.
October 22, 2014: Carl Beech begins to make his accusations to the Met Police in the first of five interviews between October and April. Over more than 20 hours of recorded police interviews, he makes lurid allegations of child rape and murder against senior Establishment figures including Ted Heath and Lord Brammall.
November 2014: Operation Midland launched with a dramatic appeal for witnesses in which Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald describes Beech’s allegations of years of abuse at the hands of VIPs in Westminster as ‘credible and true’.
March 2015: Twenty officers search the home of D-Day hero and former army chief Lord Bramall and his dying wife.
The homes of Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, and of the late home secretary Leon Brittan are also searched.
April 2015: D-Day veteran and former Army chief Lord Brammal has his home raided by a large team of police officers, and is interviewed.
June 2015: Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, whom Beech accused of child murder, has his home raided by and is interviewed under caution.
August 2015: Harvey Proctor holds a press conference revealing he has been accused of murder, child abuse and torture and denying all allegations. He accuses the Met of running a ‘gay witchhunt’.
September 2015: Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe admits the Met was wrong to describe claims as ‘credible and true’.
October 2015: Kenny McDonald replaced as head of Operation Midland
January 2016: Lord Bramall is told he will face no further action.
February 2016: Hogan-Howe announces an independent inquiry of Midland by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired high court judge.
March 2016: Harvey Proctor is told he will face no further action. Midland is wound up.
June 16, 2016: Beech is charged with five counts of making indecent images and one charge of voyeurism, which involved rigging up a camera to film a boy using a toilet
October 2016: Hogan-Howe apologises to Lord Bramall.
November 2016: The Henriques review concludes Operation Midland was ‘riddled with errors’, that the judge who approved search warrants was wrongly told Beech had been consistent in his testimony, that police seemed to set aside the presumption of innocence and that the reputations of the accused were traduced.
2016: Northumbria Police conclude Beech’s claims are ‘totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised, and irredeemably contradicted by other testimony’.
November 2, 2016: Police arrive to raid Beech’s home in Gloucester.
March 2017: Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse and Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald are cleared of misconduct by an IOPC investigation into Operation Midland following the Henriques review.
September 2017: The Met pays Lord Bramall and Lady Brittan compensation understood to be around £100,000.
January 23, 2018: Beech gets £60,000 as an early pension from the NHS
February 6, 2018: He travels to Calais preparing to flee to Sweden, where he buys a cabin in the woods and lives under a series of assumed identities, travelling hundreds of miles from city to city to stay on the run
May 2018: Harvey Proctor sues Scotland Yard and Beech for £1million.
October 1, 2018: Beech was tracked down by Swedish and British police and arrested in advance of a 20-hour train journey to Gothenburg booked in the name of ‘Samuel Karlsson’.
2018: A highly critical review of Operation Midland reports police ‘acted like they were searching for bodies’ during raids on homes.
December 2018: restriction on reporting of Carl Beech’s real identity lifted.
January 2019: Beech pleads guilty to possessing child pornography, in a separate trial.
May 2019: Beech goes on trial for perverting the course of justice and fraud
July 2019: Beech found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud.
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