—spotlight spotlight on abuse: the past on trial

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spotlight on abuse: the past on trial

News of the World, 21 September 1975

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Dozens of arrests are expected after the Director of Public
Prosecutions has acted on a detailed dossier on illegal homosexual
activities.

Some of the men involved are celebrated in show business, others are top names in the financial world.

The arrests will come in the wake of a vice trial at the Old Bailey.
Five men guilty of indecency offences involving boys will be sentenced
tomorrow.

At the core of the case is an amusement arcade called Playland, near Piccadilly Circus in London.

Police have interviewed 152 boys many of them ‘Johnny Go Home’
runaways, whose search for the bright lights ended in enticement and
male depravity.

The vast investigation began 18 months ago. It was then that one of
the men involved told me he wanted to co-operate with the police because
he resented the way ‘some very big names’ were taking advantage of
young boys.

The informant and I went to Commander David Helm, head of the West End Central police force.

Watch was kept on Playland. And a network of vice was uncovered.

Pressure was building up yesterday for the closure of Playland and any other arcades where perverts might prowl.

Mr William Molloy, Labour MP for Ealing North said: “The Old Bailey
trial points to the need for immediate co-operation between local
authorities, the police and the managements of these arcades.”

If this was not given, the arcades must be closed, he said.

The licences of Playland and six other arcades are to be reviewed by
Westminster City Council’s licensing sub-committee on Friday.

Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) is a support group that
has been set up to listen and document the accounts of those who have
suffered or witnessed a variety of horrific abuse whilst in care in
Lambeth Children’s Homes. Not all children suffered sexual abuse but to
date we now know the victims ran into the hundreds. The destruction
didn’t stop there. When you add those who were physically abused and
those who suffered mental trauma the numbers become alarming.

Please see: http://ift.tt/1LTwyBF for further information.

SOSA is calling out for survivors of abuse and those that witnessed
abuse whilst in the care of Lambeth from 1950-2003 to come forward and
speak to them in confidence. They are looking to trace children from
South Vale, Angell Road, Highland Road, Nottingham Road, The Den and
Chevington.

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The song “Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” is available to buy from iTunes (Link: http://ift.tt/1pUqlkn iTunes Search: EtherMia). All proceeds go towards SOSA and their fight for justice.

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The Sun, 16 May 1986 p.11

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A judge slammed the scandal of ‘rentboy’ vice rings in London’s West
End yesterday as he jailed a gay social worker for four years.

Judge John Hazan QC, said at the Old Bailey: ‘This evil trade must stop.

“One can only hope that the realisation by punters of the dangers of
sexual transmission of diseases such as AIDS will give them cause for
thought.”

His attack came after Abraham Jacob, 45, was convicted of living off the earnings of teenaged male prostitutes.

The judge told him: “You must learn that young men are not pieces of
meat on display on a rack to be sold like merchandise in the market.”

Jacob who cared for the elderly was found guilty by [  ] majority after the jury retired for 14 hours.

The court heard that Jacob, a senior care officer with London’s
Islington council worked a gay vice ring called ‘The Meat Rack’ in
Piccadilly Circus.

Runaway boys were displayed in Wimpy bar windows for clients to select for sex.

The judge told Jacob: “You are a menace to young men. They are human
beings entitled to be treated with dignity.” The judge also praised the
police for mounting ‘Operation Circus’ to smash the rings.

Comment from Peter McKelvie:

“I am perplexed by the complete wall of silence in the media following the publication of this story.

This is a major breakthrough but has gone unnoticed it seems.
This is the first time I have read in the media of “evidence” of a link between Leon Brittan and PIE.
I have seen the anonymous letter sent regarding Harding and his connections.
I am also aware of the sources who had first hand acquaintance with
Harding and the visitors to his shop in Islington and they are totally
credible
The allegations that these visitors included Brittan, Smith and
Thorpe, plus the high profile members of PIE who had gone public at the
time, are very credible
The reason for a return to a conspiracy of silence by the media
does not bode well for survivors of abuse by very powerful networks”
Clockmaker Keith Harding played vital role in Britain’s biggest child sex ring
by James Fielding
Sunday Express, 10th May 2015
 The pervert met regularly with MPs Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith at his world-renowned workshop.
The former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe would also drop by along with
key members of the vile Paedophile Information Exchange Steven Adrian
Smith and Tom O’Carroll.

A PIE list seized in 1984 records Harding, who died from cancer last
year aged 82, as member 329 and his address as Hornsey Road, Holloway,
north London.

He is understood to have kept hidden a list of more than 1,000 PIE
members with prominent names including top politicians from the Thatcher
era.

One of his staff, who worked for him
between 1980 and 1987, said: “Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith were both
regular visitors to the shop.Usually they would come in via the side
door, other times they would ring the bell at the front entrance and
come in.“They’d straight away ask for Keith who would be coming down the
stairs.
“Then they would then either go up to his office for a private meeting or they’d go out for several hours.”

The former worker added: “The shop had many high profile customers,
including the Royals, because we were one of the few antique dealers in
the world that specialised in restoring clocks, music boxes and
automatons.

“It’s only now, with what I know about Brittan and Smith, and of
course Keith, that has made me wonder what they were doing. Jeremy
Thorpe too was an occasional visitor.”

Harding was given the Freedom of the
City of London and made a member of the Worshipful Company of
Clockmakers.He moved to Gloucester in 1987 after PIE disbanded, setting
up Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music, a museum in Northleach,
near Cheltenham.He was exposed as a member of PIE last November when
footage emerged of him appearing alongside Jimmy Savile on a Christmas
special of Jim’ll Fix It.
It later transpired that he had been convicted of indecent assault
against four children aged eight and nine in 1958 when he was a teacher.

He apparently confessed to a friend he had the list of names kept in a safe.

Harding’s civil partner John Ferris, who now runs the museum, said
yesterday: “I know nothing of any list. The safe is empty now. Keith
never disclosed much about his life in London. I only met him in 1994
and I never knew he was a part of the Paedophile Information Exchange.”

KeithHarding

Keith Harding

Peter McKelvie’s unabridged comment for the Guardian article Greville Janner affair: Children’s homes inquiry evidence ‘must be released’.

“For all the incredibly brave survivors who have come forward re
Janner, they deserve at the very least an explanation as to why the
Kirkwood inquiry wasn’t made public and they certainly deserve the right
to know everything that was heard behind closed doors then

The whole of Parliament needs to make a public apology for the standing ovation given to Janner
It is simply not possible that the Attorney General, the DPP,
the hierarchies of the main parties/security services,as well as very
senior Police Officers at  the time, did not know of what  Janner stood
accused
This pattern is now glaringly obvious in the cases of Smith,
Brittan , Morrrison, to name but a few, and will soon be revealed to
apply to further protected politicians right up to Prime Minister level.
It is quite remarkable that the new Chair of the Independent
Inquiry in to Institutional and Organised CSA had to justify her
credentials to the Chair of the HASC, and be cross examined, when that
person would have known the severity of the allegations facing Janner,
has been a longstanding friend and confidante of Janner, even leading a
campaign to clear his friend’s name in the 90’s and he failed to declare
a conflict of interests and stand down as soon as Janner’s home and
offices were raided by Police in 2013.”

Please also read this important article by Jay Rayner:
I saw up close how an establishment closed ranks over the Janner affair

The Observer, 19 April 2015

A little over 24 years ago, as a young freelance journalist on the Independent on Sunday,
I telephoned the Leicester office of Raymonds News Agency and arranged
for a reporter to cover an imminent pre-trial hearing at the city’s
magistrates court. It was the sort of mundane hearing that would not
normally trouble the media. A few days before, in a Leicester pub, I had
met a solicitor’s clerk, to whom I had been introduced by a source on a
previous story. The clerk told me that at the hearing a former
children’s home manager called Frank Beck, who stood charged of sexually
abusing the children in his care, would claim the man responsible for
the offences was actually Leicester West’s long-standing MP, Greville,
now Lord, Janner.

Events played out exactly as I had been told they would. At the
hearing’s conclusion, Beck shouted out his claims and was duly wrestled
to the floor by the clerk of the court, before being taken back to the
cells. Rumours about Janner that had circulated in the city for some
years were now recorded by the journalist I had placed there and thus
out in the public domain.

Last week, the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced that the now 86-year-old Janner would not be facing any charges
on the grounds that he was suffering from dementia and therefore unfit
to stand trial. It required the CPS to add that “this decision does not
mean or imply that… Janner is guilty of any offence”. In turn, Janner’s
family issued their own statement praising the man’s “integrity” before
adding: “He is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.”

However, in an exceptionally rare move, the CPS went on to detail the
exact charges Janner would have faced had he been deemed well enough:
the 22 sex offences, alleged to have taken place from 1969 to 1988,
involving nine children and young adults then cared for in children’s
homes. These ranged from indecent assaults to buggery. What’s more,
Saunders admitted Janner should have been charged in 1991 and that there
were two further missed opportunities in 2002 and 2007 when the
“evidential test was passed”, meaning there was a realistic prospect of
conviction.

Saunders has now appointed a high court judge to investigate the
failings, though, if he likes, I can tell him now what went wrong and
spare him the trouble.

The establishment, in the shape of his fellow MPs, men such as
Labour’s Keith Vaz, Tory David Ashby and the then Lib Dem MP now Lord
Carlile, closed ranks. Janner was a barrister and MP, a man who
campaigned for justice for the victims of the Holocaust. It simply
couldn’t be true. That Frank Beck was eventually found guilty of
horrendous abuse charges and sent to prison (where he later died of a
heart attack) aided them. Clearly Beck had been trying to save his own
skin. The possibility that Janner had also been guilty didn’t seem to
occur to them.

Faced by stories of cover-ups around paedophiles such as MPs Cyril Smith and Thatcher’s henchman Peter Hayman,
hindsight can make it tough to get a handle on how such conspiracies
functioned. Who covered up for whom? Did everybody collude to do so?
What was the mechanism? Sometimes, as we can with the Janner case, you
simply have to play the tape forward.

All reporters have stories that get away from them. The Janner story
is mine. At the pub meeting, I was given copies of letters from Janner
to one of his alleged victims. Only if you had been told a backstory do
those letters look incriminating. They make arrangements to meet in
hotels, talk of “mutual understanding” and sign off with expressions of
“love”. My expectation was that these letters would be tested in court
alongside other evidence.

Getting Beck’s shouted accusation about Janner suited my purposes.
Since it happened in open court it put something on the record that at
some point could be used in a story. While the Beck case was ongoing it
was all sub judice and nothing further about Janner could be reported.
The MP was also bound by the Contempt of Court Act. The moment Beck was
found guilty, however, Janner declared in the House of Commons that
there was “not a shred of truth in any of the allegations”.

What happened next was crucial. There was a (failed) parliamentary
attempt to change the Contempt of Court Act to protect people named
during proceedings in the way Janner had been. During the debate, many
MPs, including Ashby and Carlile, spoke up for him. Key was Vaz, MP for
the neighbouring Leicestershire constituency, who clearly hadn’t been
party to the rumours circulating in his home town. He said his dear
friend had been the “victim of a cowardly and wicked attack”. That was
it. The story was dead. The Independent on Sunday was not a
paper to be cowed by pressure from above, but it was simpler than that.
Clearly Janner was set up. I don’t even recall being taken off the
story. It was just never spoken of again.

Today, Vaz is chair of the Commons home affairs select committee. He
enjoys portraying himself as a champion of the voiceless, happy to
castigate the Home Office over its handling of the current investigation
into child abuse. Last week, I asked Vaz via Twitter whether he had
anything to say about Janner, given the CPS announcement. He responded
by blocking me. He later unblocked me but, at the time of writing, has
still not commented.

The temptation is to demand a law change to stop something like this
happening again, but the law is perfectly adequate. It’s the way it has
been exercised – or not exercised – that is at issue. In 1991, Janner
consulted solicitor David Napley and the barrister George Carman, both
now deceased. According to a source with knowledge of that meeting,
Carman was astounded, based on what Janner had told him, that he was not
later charged.

Leicestershire police are baffled now, too, and are apparently
investigating ways of challenging the CPS decision. They even released a
statement from an alleged victim. “If he was an everyday person with a
normal life and job, justice would [have] been served,” he said. Curiously, it echoes Janner’s comments in 1997
about a man spared a trial for Nazi war crimes because of his age. “I
am sorry that he was not tried while he was fit enough to stand,” he
said. “There was absolutely no reason why he should have escaped charges
forever.”

How was this allowed to happen? Perhaps it was simply force of
personality, which I saw at first hand. In May 1992, Janner invited me
to tea. I was intrigued. I knew people who worked for him and had been
asking pointed questions. He must have known this. If so, he gave no
indication. He cheerfully poured the tea, handed round sandwiches and
talked light politics. He didn’t give the impression of a man who feared
the judicial system catching up with him. As of last week, it never
will.

The Times, 28th February 2015

by Janice Turner

At Stoke Mandeville, the abuser was allowed to operate because of a toxic mix of his fundraising power and Tory policy

The Jimmy Savile hospital reports read like a grotesque trilogy. Leeds General is Savile Begins
— the sly, young abuser honing his style and modus operandi: buy the
porters a TV, flatter the top brass, brazen it out with nurses and the
rest. Broadmoor is Savile Unbound — free to roam, keys jangling,
inviting famous mates to gawp at women’s ward bath time, making
playthings of the mad, the forgotten, the unloved.

But Stoke Mandeville is the most complex story. It is, of course,
still about sexual abuse: the 60 reported victims, almost half of them
children, the horror put in cool officialese that here his fondness for
groping patients beneath bedclothes probably evaded detection “as
paralysed individuals would not have felt anything below . . . their
spinal lesion.” But this is also about how politics and money gave him
absolute power. Savile, the King. And it was Margaret Thatcher who crowned him.

If “Name the NHS’s first public-private partnership” comes up in a
pub quiz, here’s your answer. Although famously the birthplace of the
Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville was a hospital village of wooden
huts in rambling grounds when, in 1979, the roof of the acclaimed
National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) collapsed. Since the new Tory
government was set on sweeping cuts, its future was grim.

Now Savile, already a prolific abuser in his guise of unpaid porter
and resident celebrity, saw his chance. He offered to raise £10 million
to rebuild the unit under his personal charitable trust. The Tories were
excited by his financial model, saw this harnessing of private
fund-raising as the NHS’s future. In a reckless act of political
expediency they ceded this eccentric, with his sweaty nylon tracksuits
and tendency to kiss right up women’s bare arms, total control. As Dr
Androulla Johnstone’s report says, the same “it’s just Jimmy”
exceptionalism that made people shrug off Savile’s bizarre acts also
freed him from conventional restraints. Shackle this maverick with
bureaucracy, civil servants feared, and he might “disengage”.

So Jimmy was free to choose the architect, select a more grandiose
scheme, with a higher upkeep, than was required. But the government
wasn’t concerned because Savile pledged also to fund the additional
running costs. Millions were donated by a generous public. But how this
was spent — ultimately whether Stoke Mandeville lived or died — was put
solely in Jimmy Savile’s hands.

Since “his” charity had paid for it, he believed he owned the NSIC,
could shape it to his whims. He insisted on thick lobby carpet though it
was hell for wheelchair users, demanded pimp flourishes such as
zebra-striped ward curtains, had hospital crews service his Rolls, the
canteen named “Jimmy’s” and his own vast office have a gold letterbox
and flip-down bed. “I’ll withdraw all the trust’s funds,” he threatened.

Once you understand that Savile was not merely a major donor or Mrs
T’s well-connected New Year’s Eve party pal but a despot who could
summon the hospital’s general manager to his office, making him wait
while, feet on desk, he finished his call to the Duchess of York, his
criminal impunity is not hard to fathom. Ministers did not know about
Savile’s abuse — though were disgusted enough by his crudeness and
promiscuity to withhold a knighthood, until Mrs Thatcher interceded —
but placed him, as the report says, “outside the regulatory processes
designed to prevent such abuses of power”.

But what does it mean to “know” anyway? Reading this report I am
reminded of Gitta Sereny’s book about Hitler’s architect: “I think,” she
quotes Albert Speer as saying, “that we saw only what we wanted to see
and knew only what we wanted to know.” The Nazi wives who summered at
the Obersalzberg with the Führer, whose husbands kissed them fresh from
some Eastern Front atrocity or Final Solution conflab, did they “know”?
Or did they merely not think too hard?

Certainly, on some level, the nurses knew: they detested Savile, fled
when he passed by, told little girls to pretend to be asleep, sometimes
physically kept him at bay. His bedroom was in the nurses’ quarters. A
memo circulated warning new recruits to lock their doors. One
occupational therapy tutor recalls tearful teenage students lingering in
class on a Friday night because they couldn’t bear to face him. The
tutor’s concerns to management were slapped down with a reprimand.

“Victim 21”, whose father made the only official complaint, was told
by a Sister Cherry “that Savile would not do such a dreadful thing and
that he raised a great deal of money for the hospital”. Spinal patients
he abused kept silent for fear he’d kick them out of the NSIC, which was
saving their lives.

And what of Savile’s secretary, Janet Cope? She is all over the Stoke
Mandeville report: one victim claims she walked in on his abuse,
another to have written her an unanswered letter. But after 32 years at
his side, Mrs Cope says she saw, heard, knew nothing.

Savile’s abuse at Stoke Mandeville ended in 1992 around the time his
absolute power was seized back by the newly created Buckinghamshire NHS
hospital trust. Later, having raised money for the children’s ward, he
demanded an access-all-areas swipe card as reward. It was denied. Next
time the BBC or NHS are damned as dark enclaves of the Stalinist state,
too huge and sclerotic to address his crimes, remember that at Stoke
Mandeville Jimmy Savile was privatisation’s paedophile prince.

Unpublished letter to the editor of the Times, by Peter McKelvie:

Sir

Your superb coverage by Janice Turner in Opinion February 28th
highlights an issue that should have been front page news on every
newspaper, not hidden away on Page 23 in an Opinion column, as if it
just the opinion of a guest journalist.

“Savile the King
And it was Margaret Thatcher who crowned him”
As someone who has known a great deal about the  cover ups by all 3
main political parties over the last 50 years regarding the behaviour
of Establishment  Paedophiles, I find it very difficult to accept that
we are allowing the deaths of key figures (like Thatcher, Thorpe,
Brittan, Smith, Morrison,) , and the slide in to “medically unfit to
stand trial” status of others (such as Janner and Ball) to just happen
without a public outcry fuelled by completely honest but unbiased
reporting by the media of what those individuals should have been made
to account for while alive and in good states of health.
Peter McKelvie (source of information behind MP Tom Watson’s PMQ of 24th October 2012)

Sunday People, 15th March 1981

People150381See also:

News of the World, 2nd January 1983

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