Link: children with MP may have been trafficked to Dolphin Square
By Mark Watts
Detectives on an investigation into organised crime in 1991 stumbled upon an audio tape on which an MP is heard “having sex” with a “teenager”.
They had just raided the business premises of a “prime suspect” arrested as part of an organised-crime gang that was allegedly into property fraud and corruption, according to the officer known only as “GB”, who was then based in Rotherhithe in south-east London.
The inquiry sponsored by the Home Office into child sexual abuse failed to call as a witness either GB, or the MP caught on tape, to whom it refers as only “WM-F7” or even his associate in organised crime who held the tape in her safe, known only as “WM-F172”.
The inquiry’s report on the Westminster investigation completely ignored the former officer’s account.
The inquiry formally adduced the ex-detective’s witness statements and anonymised him in them to “GB”.
GB talked about the MP and the sex tape in interviews with Operation Winter Key, an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s professional standards department into allegations of historic child abuse relating to institutions and prominent people.
Met notes of Operation Winter Key’s two meetings with GB record (as it appears in the original document, as with all material quoted, complete with punctuation and other typing errors):
“Whilst searching her house [GB] states he found an audio recording in a safe of a male having sex with a child. He states that he knew that the male’s voice was [WM-F7] who was an MP at that time and [GB] was aware that [WM-F172] would accompany [WM-F7] to high-profile functions.
“GB does not know for certain but he believed that [WM-F7] may have been blackmailed by [WM-F172] due to her having possession of this recording. He remembers that children from GLCH [Green Lane children’s home] and a children’s home in Deptford were staying overnight at [WM-F7] house.
“This information was passed over to security services MI5 as it was too big and too political for local police to be dealing with.”
The revelation piles further pressure on the CSA inquiry because the Security Service, better known as MI5, was supposed to hand over all material in its possession relating to possible child sexual abuse and MPs.
But there was no indication in the MI5 disclosures of the MP’s sex tape with a teenager.
An anonymous MI5 witness, understood to be its legal director, told the #CSAinquiry on Day 6 of the Westminster hearings that it had handed over all relevant material from its files on allegations of child sexual abuse against MPs.
But GB’s account undermines this claim, and yet the inquiry failed to follow up MI5’s omission.
The Met notes of its meetings with GB continue:
“After a few weeks he tried to get the recording from property in Rotherhithe but it was missing and never found. He describes the property office as not very secure and most people had access to the keys.
“He believes that someone was protecting [WM-F172] or [WM-F7] and also felt that [WM-F172] may have been an informant as she was only ever found guilty of a couple of frauds and received a suspended sentence although he did not know this for certain.”
A Met transcript of GB’s interviews recounts more detail of his recollections of that raid:
(For those for whom reading about sexual abuse may be a ‘trigger’, you may want to skip the following, graphic section of evidence.)
“We came across a safe that she wasn’t going to open and didn’t have the key. We were going to call a locksmith when she opened it and we found the tape recording. We thought it might be more evidence of what we were looking for. We got back and listened to the tape.
“[WM-F7] has a distinctive voice realised it was his voice on it and he was engaged in having sex with someone another male. We knew he had an association with WM-F172 as there had been bits in the press attending functions with her on his arm.”
“Q- Describe the voice that you believed was WM-F7
“A- I don’t know how to describe his voice, its distinctive and it was him, as far as I was concerned it was him.
“He was the local MP for [redacted] I had seen him a few times around, I had spoken to him a few times, on TV, he is regularly on. He has a twang to his voice, if you heard it you would know it was him
“Q- What did you hear on the recording
“A- It was obvious he was having sex with someone basically, grunts, groans, his voice encouragement and bits and pieces and it went on for a while.
“Q- Did you hear what the other person was saying, what the voice sounded like
“A- I can’t really recall it it sounded a youngish male basically or you could gather from it
“Q- How young are we talking
“A- Impossible to say
“Q- Young male as in teenager or above or are we talking child
“A- It was teenager, child that sort of age it was a young person. He was in his 40s this was significantly younger probably a child or young adult, grunts and groans and talking during sex it wasn’t exactly a young conversation. It sounded like they didn’t know that they were being recorded.
“Q- What was the recording done on what type
“A- Can’t remember if it was an ordinary cassette or micro cassette. I think it was just an ordinary cassette
“Q- It was just audio
“A- Just audio
“Q- Anything written on the cassette you can remember
“A- I can’t remember
“Q- From that recording this teenager or child can you remember what they were saying
“Q- What made you believe it was a young person or child
“A- The voice was higher just the whole tenure of it being encourage to participate as though he was talking to someone young, couldn’t say if it was a child could have been a young person, it was definitely someone on the younger side
“Q- Were there sounds of distress
“A- No it was consensual our main concern was that he was often protecting her when people were complaining to him about [WM-F172], people had gone to his surgery to complain that the villains had got their [sic] but he said no I’m sure not. He was on her arm at places and it wasn’t until about 10 years later that he came out being gay before that the people of [redacted] would not have voted for him.”
The Met notes of its meetings with GB record:
“He describes the other males [sic] voice as youngish male but impossible to say how young. Cannot remember what the other male was saying on the recording. He describes the voice as ‘teenager, child that sort of age it was a young person.’
“[WM-F7] was in his 40’s and GB describes the other voice as significantly younger and talking during sex but not ‘exactly a young conversation’… No sounds of distress and consensual.”
According to the Met transcript, GB says that he thinks that two colleagues listened to the recording with him. He continues:
“We were going to keep it quiet. We couldn’t say if it was a child, was an MP being blackmailed, was he being blackmailed by [WM-F172] therefore by most of the villains in South East London.
“Q- When you say you were going to keep it quiet was there a conversation around that
“A- Yeah the DI [detective inspector] was going to take it to SB [Special Branch] I think we didn’t want to make it worse. It needed appropriate people to deal with it, we couldn’t deal with it as the local CID. It was going to be taken up elsewhere as far as we were aware.
“Q- Who was the DI at the time
“A- Micky Suett
“Q- There was a conversation about this going to SB as the local CID couldn’t deal with it
“A- Yes the three of us didn’t saying anything to anyone else. Then the tape went missing.”
“We weren’t sure who had taken it had SB come along and taken it. It was not booked out, it wasn’t where is should be
“Q- Was this fed back to the DI
“Q- Do you know what happened from there
“A- I think he may have done a copy so I don’t think he was that worried. We all talked about doing a copy each and keeping hold of it.”
“Q- Did you know that for certain or was it just a comment saying he would make a copy
“A- I just felt confident he had made a copy, we talked about making copies ourselves
“Q- Did you make a copy
“A- Don’t recall making a copy, no.”
“Q- Who would have had access to the property office
“A- It would have gone to the property store at Southwark once it had left us because she was a prisoner it would have been booked in at Southwark
“Q- It was moved from Rotherhithe”
“A- Yeah after the arrest was made she went to Southwark as there was no facilities at Rotherhithe. We would have taken the stuff back to the office in Rotherhithe to listen and book it in and leave it in the property store.”
“Q- At the time you found this tape was it a case of you all being worried that an MP was being blackmailed by [WM-F172] and other villains or did you look at it as a child abuse aspect
“A- Couldn’t say for a 100% that it was a child it was just things that came latter [sic], children in, children I was investigate [sic] later from the Children’s Home spending the night at his constituency surgery seen coming out in the morning
“Q- So it was later on in your career when you discover all that and that’s when you thought
“A- Yeah it was later on, just as I left Rotherhithe to go to the CPT [child protection team] I remember having a conversation with the Ch Supt [chief superintendent] there Alan Evershed. I don’t know how we got on the subject but it was about [WM-F7] He may have been briefed by Mick Suett about children coming out of his constituency surgery in the early hours of the morning
“Q- That information was fed to you so you didn’t witness it yourself
“A- I did later. There were children there that were related to [name redacted] that group of kids were the ones coming out of his constituency surgery. Those kids like [WM-A118] and [WM-A119] never said anything about [WM-F7]. Alan Evershed telling me about the kids coming out of the surgery and we were doing some observations around there about a child we knew who was a prolific burglar we caught him coming out of his constituency surgery.”
“Kids had been staying there. The one kid I saw, can’t remember his name was from Rotherhithe. Same sort of thing he was into burglaries, stealing he was about 15 or 16 and had stopped all of a sudden. He was coming out there one morning. I don’t think we were doing a surveillance, just driving past, it was towards the end, when I was leaving there. Evershed said he received information that kids were spending the night at the surgery.”
Met notes of a meeting between officers on Operation Winter Key and GB record:
“Whilst having a conversation with Ch Supt Alan EVERSHED, about [WM-F7], he was made aware that children, some of which believed to be from GLCH [Green Lane children’s home], had been seen coming out of [WM-F7] constituency surgery in the early hours of the morning. He states that at one point, whilst working on the [WM-F172] investigation, he was to witness a young boy leaving the surgery whilst driving past one morning.”
GB says in a witness statement of 2017 to Operation Winter Key:
“Matters relating to [WM-F172] had very little relevance to child abuse enquiries. This was an investigation carried out whilst I was based at Rotherhithe Police Station [and] involved a large scale fraud involving local authority housing.
“The only link to child abuse was through [WM-F172] and [the] MP at the time [WM-F7]. At the time of her arrest her property was searched and in a safe was found an audio tape on which I believed that I heard [WM-F7] voice. From the tape he appeared to be engaged in a sexual activity with a young male.
“The tape was stored at Southwark Police Station but it disappeared. As far as I was concerned only 3 people knew the content of the tape. I believe the loss of the tape was deliberate, however housekeeping at Southwark at the time was not the best which would have made any theft easy.
“During the course of the investigation [redacted] children were seen leaving the constituency office of [WM-F7] and his relationship with [redacted] children were brought to the attention of Chief Superintendent Alan Evershed.”
GB recounts how he was threatened in about 1991 by a mysterious senior police officer over the organised-crime investigation. He says in the witness statement:
“Shortly after the arrest of [WM-F172] I contacted a friend/colleague whom I had known since my early days at Chelsea and arranged to meet with him at a pub in Dulwich. Whilst waiting in the pub I was approached by an individual who claimed that he was a Detective Superintendent from the Regional Crime Squad. He proceeded to threaten me over my involvement with the [WM-F172] investigation. During the following 24 hours I attempted to identify the individual but could not do so. I made the arrangements to meet my friend over the phone from the CID offices at Rotherhithe and Southwark.”
Met notes of a meeting with GB say:
“Whilst working on the [WM-F172] investigation in about 1991, he was sitting in a pub in Rotherhithe on his own. He remembers seeing a police car outside and thought his friend had arrived in it. Whilst at the pub he was approached by a man who showed his ID stating he was Superintendent from the South East Regional Crime Squad. He was told to stop the investigation into [WM-F172] or he would tell everybody that [his female colleague] [redacted].”
“Only person he told about the threat was [his colleague]. She was very angry and never spoken [sic] to GB again. As the male left GB looked outside the window and saw him getting into a car with another man who I [sic] had not seen previously. He noted the car registration and ran it through PNC [police national computer]. He states it was not local but registered somewhere up north. He cannot remember any details of this and at that time unable to identify the owner. GB believed he was told to stop the investigation into [WM-F172] because either [WM-F172] was an informant or it was to protect [WM-F7], however no evidence to prove this.”
According to the Met transcript, GB says:
“I was meeting a friend of mine in a pub on the way home from Rotherhithe. I got to the pub and outside was what was obviously a police car. I thought it was my mate taking the piss. Got inside and there was someone there who introduced himself as a Supt [superintendent] from the Regional Crime Squad. I thought he might be with my mate but he wasn’t. We started chatting. He started blowing smoke up my bum about things I had done, new [sic] a lot about me. He said we should stop the investigation into [WM-F172] for everyone’s interests
“Q- Do you know who he was
“A- No. I took the car reg at the time and ran it through, not locally but someone up north but never identified. Can’t even remember his name, I had it all written down. I didn’t know who he was but he was purporting to be from the job. That’s how he knew I was going to be in the pub because I had phoned my mate once from Rotherhithe and once from Southwark confirming the meeting so unless it was someone in those offices listening to me no one else would have known I was going there. He was waiting for me so we had this conversation. It was a case of my saying no I don’t think we will stop the investigation. Making life difficult if [his colleague, redacted detail] Making life difficult for me. That was it and off he trotted.”
“I met with [my colleague] the next day and told her what happened she went off on one and I never actually got to tell her they claimed they [redacted].”
“Q- This male introduced himself as a Supt RCS
“A- Yes claimed to be from the South East Regional which made sense with the job car outside that got into when he left
“Q- What did he look like
“A- About 5’10”, slim face, small moustache, quite skinny,
“Q- Was he on his own
“A- Strangely when he got into the car someone else got into the car I hadn’t seen before the two of them got into the car to leave.”
“Q- Did he say why he wanted this stop
“A- No. Theres [sic] two theory’s [sic] one is about [WM-F7] or about [WM-F172]. I think she may have been an informant. Certainly my life turned to shit afterwards
“Q- After that meeting
“Q- Was that investigation still going on…
“A- Yeah we got to the stage, I think we were charging her that week or the following week. This was days before she was charged… The CPS put a bar on me from attending court
“Q- Why was that
“A- Because I was under investigation. Strangely someone had made a complaint against me. I had received the 163A which meant that the complaint was over. The complaint started again I was reinvestigated for it.”
“Q- What happened with [WM-F172] trial
“A- I didn’t go but I heard from someone else she was found guilty on some of the counts and someone went in to see the judge [implying that police requested a light sentence because she was an informant]. That’s what I heard but of course I wasn’t there.
“Q- Did you ever mention to anyone else, senior officers about this person threatening you in the pub to drop the investigation
“A- I didn’t trust anyone, wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to stop, no [sic] in my nature
“Q- Anymore you can tell us about the [WM-F7] [WM-F172] element
“A- No. I can’t be sure but it was always in the back of my mind these were the same group of kids [as in Operation Mileshogue], but there. But never did any of the lad I dealt with ever mention him its just the tape recording suspect, whether it was a child or not, being known and talked about regularly about the kids coming out of his address. He could have been a nice man putting them [up] for the night, nothing a 100 per cent.”
Mark Watts (@MarkWatts_1), co-ordinator of the FOIA Centre, is the former Editor-in-Chief of Exaro.
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