UK

Harvey Proctor: Carl Beech abuse inquiry police ‘acted in bad faith’

Harvey Proctor arriving at court Image copyright PA
Image caption Former MP Harvey Proctor was cross-examined as a witness in the trial of Carl Beech

A former MP who was named a paedophile and murderer by a man later charged with making the claims up says police investigators acted in “bad faith”.

Harvey Proctor was being cross-examined as a witness in the trial of Carl Beech who is accused of lying to police about an alleged VIP paedophile ring.

He denounced a defence suggestion at Newcastle Crown Court that the claims against him “are in fact true”.

Mr Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

The 51-year-old from Gloucester had claimed Mr Proctor was directly involved in two murders and multiple counts of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.

Defence lawyer Collingwood Thompson QC asked Mr Proctor in his cross-examination: “You were a member of a paedophile ring weren’t you?”

“No sir,” Mr Proctor said.

When it was suggested he had been part of a group of powerful people who abused children at Dolphin Square in London and other locations, Mr Proctor said: “No sir, there was no Westminster VIP paedophile ring.”

Mr Proctor, 72, told the court he was suing the Metropolitan Police and his accuser for £1m in damages.

The trial heard previously he had lost his home and job as a result of the claims.

‘Absurdity’

The court heard Mr Proctor was not interviewed by police until June 2015, despite his home in the grounds of Belvoir Castle being raided by officers three months earlier.

“If they genuinely thought that I had murdered anyone, why would they have waited three-and-a-half months to interview me and then interview me on a voluntary interview but not charge?,” Mr Proctor said.

“They’re allowing a murderer to roam the streets of Leicestershire for three-and-a-half months? An absurdity, but just another absurdity in the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland,” he told the court.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Harvey Proctor giving evidence as Carl Beech looks on

Operation Midland – the investigation into Mr Beech’s claims – cost £2m and ended without any charges.

Mr Proctor said he was reassured by officers carrying out the search of his home that the media would not be told about it.

The former Conservative MP for Billericay said it was “quite outrageous” that Mr Beech’s police liaison officer, Det Con Danny Chatfield, was a member of the search team and told Mr Beech what was happening.

Mr Proctor said Mr Beech then told a reporter about the police raid.

Mr Proctor previously told the court the consequent intense media interest led to him losing his job at the Belvoir Castle estate. He then decided he “wasn’t safe” in the UK and moved to Spain, the court heard.

The trial continues.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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