By Mark Watts
Police saw diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a prolific paedophile and were devastated when he escaped prosecution in 1978.
Hayman, the late senior MI6 officer who sometimes worked under diplomatic cover, detailed his sexual abuse of children in “diaries” that police seized from his flat after a package of “obscene literature” was found and traced to him. Hayman’s diaries were not simply, as often described, his “fantasies”.
Bryan Collins, the detective at Scotland Yard who sent a file on Hayman in 1978 to the then director of public prosecutions (DPP), fully expecting him to be charged, has supplied a disturbing statement on the case to the inquiry into child sexual abuse.
He describes the Hayman affair – together with the thwarting of a separate investigation into Sir Cyril Smith, the late paedophile Liberal MP – as a “cover-up”.
“I remain concerned that, given the nature of the content of the diaries of Peter Hayman, of which I recall there were approximately 48 large files with 100’s of pages, setting out in detail what he had done, it would have been clear to many people in positions of power how serious this was, and that action needed to be taken.”
His statement is due to be presented to the inquiry next Wednesday when Collins is expected to be called to testify during the third week of hearings in its Westminster investigation.
However, the inquiry has so far adopted the practice of not adducing written statements from former police officers, who, like Collins, testify to cover-ups for prominent people who are suspected paedophiles.
As I also reveal today, the then DPP, Sir Thomas Hetherington, agreed not to prosecute Hayman at a private meeting with his solicitor, Sir David Napley, who pleaded for his client to be let off being charged with distributing obscene material through the post.
The seized diaries marked out an especially dangerous paedophile, a conclusion on Peter Hayman backed up by Tony Daly, author of ‘Playland’, who witnessed him take part in the shockingly depraved sexual abuse of two brothers aged eight and ten.
Collins recalls in his statement how his chief inspector told him of the DPP’s decision: “We had received orders from above, and we were all upset about it.”
“By this stage, the DPP had been dealing with the case. It is significant to me that the decision not to prosecute Peter Hayman was made shortly after Sir David Napley got in touch with me.”
“He said to me he would talk to Hetherington… the DPP himself.”
In an echo of the Smith case from 1970, when the DPP’s office decided against prosecuting the Liberal MP even though investigating officers were sure that the case was compelling, Collins will tell the inquiry: “There was enough evidence to prosecute Peter Hayman under the Post Office Act, and this was my advice sent to the DPP.”
A file note by Jeremy Naunton, a solicitor at the DPP’s office, records that Hayman had “suicidal tendencies because of the case”.
Collins says that he has “no knowledge of Peter Hayman having suicidal tendencies, but I would describe him as a worried man.”
He met Naunton, he says. “We discussed in particular the charges to be brought against Peter Hayman as we were clarifying some dates. We didn’t conclude this meeting, and I was expecting to meet him again. But before we could, I was then informed the decision had been taken not to prosecute.”
Collins says in his statement to the inquiry that Hayman was cautioned instead.
He is “clear”, he says, that the DPP “had originally been intending to prosecute Peter Hayman.”
Naunton, in his statement to the inquiry, says that he was unaware that Hetherington had intended to charge Hayman before changing his mind.
After Hayman’s escape from prosecution reached the Press, Collins and a colleague were suspended pending an investigation into the leak. He adds: “It remains my view that the powers that be wanted ‘a body’ for this.”
Collins retired from Scotland Yard in 1983 after 21 years’ service.
Hayman featured prominently in MI5’s ‘paedophile files’, which I revealed earlier this month.
Mark Watts (@MarkWatts_1) is the co-ordinator of the FOIA Centre.
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