A convicted paedophile has been found guilty of making false allegations of murder and child sexual abuse against a string of public figures.
Carl Beech, 51, from Gloucester, was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
His lies led to a £2m Metropolitan Police investigation which ended in no arrests being made.
Jurors at Newcastle Crown Court took a day to reach their verdicts following a 12 week trial.
Former NSPCC volunteer Beech, who denied the charges, did not react as the verdicts were delivered. He will be sentenced on Friday.
Beech had falsely claimed the ex-MP Harvey Proctor was directly involved in the murder of two boys – one of which also falsely implicated the former head of MI5, Sir Michael Hanley.
He also fabricated a claim about another boy being deliberately run over and that someone who might have been a missing teenager called Martin Allen had been killed in front of him.
Known as ‘Nick’
The Met investigation which resulted from his allegations – Operation Midland – closed without arrests or charges in March 2016.
Beech – who was named “Nick” by police – was later referred for investigation by Northumbria Police after a report into Operation Midland by retired High Court Judge Sir Richard Henriques.
Detectives then discovered that Beech was himself a paedophile and – in January this year – he admitted possessing hundreds of indecent images of children and voyeurism.
During tearful interviews with police, Beech falsely alleged his late stepfather, an army major, raped him and passed him on to other public figures to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s.
He also named former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, TV presenter Jimmy Savile and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the group.
The count of fraud related to a £22,000 criminal injuries payout he falsely claimed for being raped by Savile.
‘Disgraceful chapter in policing’
Beech’s allegations led to the homes of several men being raided by police, including those belonging to Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall as well the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Mr Proctor.
Mr Proctor, whose home was searched, called the investigation “a truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing”.
The court has previously heard how, at the time, the Met described Beech’s allegations publicly as “credible and true”.
In a statement, the BBC said: “In 2014 BBC reported serious allegations, in the public interest, which were the basis of a police murder investigation, and which the police later described as ‘credible and true’.
“Carl Beech has since been exposed as a fantasist and serial liar, not least by an investigation from the BBC’s Panorama.
“We express our utmost sympathy to those falsely accused by Beech and to the family of Martin Allen.”