Weaponising lies: Brittan’s accusers went on to smear Sir Cliff

Many of our readers will no doubt have read yesterday’s Mail on Sunday article about Mark Williams-Thomas, described as a “self-promoting TV detective” who seems to take delight in “exposing” VIP sex abusers, most of whom have never been charged, let alone convicted.

Following the success of the 2012 ITV documentary in which Williams-Thomas revealed that formerly beloved presenter Jimmy Savile had in fact been a sexual predator and child sexual abuser, he has made a career out of “paedophile exposure”. Among his victims have been Sir Cliff Richard, Jim Davidson, Freddie Starr, and Leon Brittan.

Chris Fay and ‘David/Andrew’

According to the MoS article’s authors, David Rose and Rosie Waterhouse,

AT THE end of February 2013, Williams-Thomas told a newspaper he was investigating sexual abuse by a ‘very significant individual’ at Elm Guest House in Barnes, South-West London. By this time, claims had been circulating on the internet that in the 1980s this had been a ‘gay brothel’ where children were abused, and that among those who stayed there were Sir Cliff and Leon Brittan, the former Tory Home Secretary.

One of their sources was a former social worker and convicted fraudster called Chris Fay. He had been trying to spread claims about Elm Guest House and ‘VIP paedophiles’ for many years. In 1990 he introduced ‘David’ – the fantasist who went on to accuse Sir Cliff – to a journalist called Gill Priestly, now deceased. In a series of taped interviews with her, David made astonishing claims: that he had been sexually assaulted by Lord Brittan, and ‘trafficked’ to Amsterdam, where he was forced to watch as children were raped and murdered to make ‘snuff’ porn movies.

We’ve discussed “David” (also known as “Andrew”) here in the past, in relation to Chris Fay and Bill Maloney, who have been caught on camera very obviously coaching this vulnerable individual to name names on demand.

In his interview on BBC’s October 2015 edition of Panorama, Andrew (dubbed “David” for the show) made the following statements:

Narrator: David started making claims about VIP paedophile abuse in 1990. He’d met Chris Fay at a support group, and he says he was encouraged to name names.

Andrew: I don’t know how Chris got me into saying names…it was done over a period of weeks, you know, it were done as a joke suggesting to start with, but that suggestion became reality.

Narrator: David told me he’d described a distinctive birthmark on one of his abusers.

Andrew: I described a birthmark and a first name, and described the person, and they says the surname and everything, and says that can only be one person. Why should I doubt them?

Narrator: The man who ended up being named was Leon Brittan.

As regards the alleged “snuff porn movies”, contemporaneous coverage in the Sunday Times reveals a degree of scepticism, even then, about David/Andrew’s early claims:Chris Fay-Andrew Ash 'snuff film confession' Sunday Times

Detectives are to study tape recordings of a teenager who has ‘confessed’ that he helped film a ‘snuff’ movie.

The tapes could provide some of the most revealing clues yet for police investigating reports that up to 10 boys have been murdered during the making of such films by paedophile rings from London and Kent. 

Andrew, 19, disappeared earlier this year after giving evidence to welfare workers from the National Association for Young People in Care (Naypic)

He claimed he was taken to Amsterdam in 1988 by a group of men from London, and forced to film in a warehouse where a 12-year-old boy was raped successively by 12 men, beaten with chains, run over by a motor cycle and his body dumped in a canal. 

‘Andrew said that the men who had done this then sat around drinking champagne’, said Mary Moss, the association’s London development officer. 

A few days before his confession, Andrew was drugged by two men, who bundled him into a van outside Moss’s home. ‘At first we took what he said with a pinch of salt, but when he began to be followed and was then kidnapped from my house we took him seriously’, she said. 

We published a dissection of this story in August, noting Chris Fay’s claim that he had watched a snuff film involving a 13-year-old girl being murdered by three men wearing leather masks and wielding flick knives. Did he immediately report this film to police? He does not say.

David/Andrew and Sir Cliff Richard

Despite the unreliability of his allegations, David/Andrew would not only play a role in identifying Brittan, but even after his allegations were discredited, would go on to name Sir Cliff Richard as another of his alleged abusers.

Rose and Waterhouse write:

This newspaper has established that one of Sir Cliff’s accusers, a man known as ‘David’, had already been exhaustively investigated by [then DCI Paul] Settle and his team, and found to be a suggestible, vulnerable fantasist. David, who had learning difficulties and had been in care, told them he was raped as a boy by both Sir Cliff and Elton John at a sex party, at which media baron Rupert Murdoch and former Labour deputy leader Lord Prescott were also guests.

‘Needless to say, this didn’t happen,’ Mr Settle said.

Inexplicably, the South Yorkshire police took David/Andrew’s fantastical claims about Sir Cliff seriously, interviewing him several times and asking him to give evidence. Ultimately, the case against Sir Cliff would be dropped, and he has won his case against the BBC, for which he received record damages.

Disturbing linkages

The links from Williams-Thomas to Fay, who along with Maloney pressured David/Andrew into making allegations against whomever they wished, are disturbing indeed.

It’s like some sort of mad rumour factory, with opportunistic hoax-mongers turning the raw material of a vulnerable adult’s coached/coerced allegations into weapons, used to destroy reputations and ruin lives at will. Gosh, does that sound familiar?

business equipment factory industrial plant

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30 thoughts on “Weaponising lies: Brittan’s accusers went on to smear Sir Cliff

  1. Thanks for sharing this, EC.

    I think Private Eye have mentioned this guy before. I’ll keep an eye out for their take on this development, should they elect to cover it.

    They recently produced an article about the poor treatment Cliff has received at the hands of the BBC. They apologised for their illegal aerial coverage of the police raiding his home but have now pretty much showed they weren’t sorry at all by appealing the compensation decision.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Nothing illustrates more the power of the Internet than the way falsehoods and rumour can spread like a wildfire as exampled by Sir Cliff’s experience and of course Hoaxstead and 1000s of other cases. And the insanity that can accompany these soul destroying cases exampled by a man who chose to shoot up a Pizza joint in Washington while families were dining there.

    We all love the freedom of the internet and hope it is not curtailed but those who govern us must seriously consider it’s capacity to destroy innocent people. How that is done, I’m not sure but I believe there needs to be very stiff laws of Criminal Libel introduced. Sir Cliff is rich ( God bless him) but 10,000s of others cannot fight back as he did.

    Two things: it shows we haven’t changed as people much over the aeons. Whoever wrote those Ten Commandments including “though shalt not bear false witness” was pretty tuned into man’s capacity to seek to destroy his/her fellow humans on gossip alone and..
    Given the right circumstances plenty of people would join a Salem style Witch Hunt today and cart a poor old immigrant Perth pensioner off for a dunking in the Swan River ( I can swim superbly but not with my arms tied in ropes) and cheer as his sank to the bottom just on the word of his malicious drunken pussy cat.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Both documentaries to which EC refers are on YT, should anyone wish to check them out (if you haven’t already):

    Panorama has a lot going for it (and is the World’s longest running current affairs TV programme, trivia fans), but it has in the past been accused of making poor decisions in the name of sensationalism. I can’t say I know much about ‘Exposure’ but it does seem that they failed in their due diligence as regards Mark Williams-Thomas.

    As with any news/information source, one great test of their credibility, in my view, is when they cover something you personally know something about or of which you have some personal experience and you can spot straight away if they’re being misleading or disingenuous. In the case of Panorama, they broadcast an episode in the 90s about my profession and it was utterly appalling how they twisted things. It was so bad and they received so many complaints that it made the national news.

    By the way, in the case of the Exposure Savile episode, the unquestioned credence given to his PA Janet Cope/Rowe (go to 7:59) rang a few alarm bells for me at the time. Not for what she said about Savile per se but for her claims about how suspicious she’d always been of him, when she’d been so fawning about him on ‘This Is Your Life’ in 1993 (go to 3:43):

    For me all this raises the question of how thoroughly the Panorama team vets sources like Cope, Ash, Fay and MTW; or do they simply jump on anyone who can provide them with a scoop without first ascertaining their credibility?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. NAYPIC : nothing illustrates more than this outfit for the proper oversight of so-called charities dealing in alleged child abuse.
    The capacity and temptation to easily believe or even invent sensationalized crimes such as “David’s” to obtain government hand-outs is too tempting.
    From memory NAYPIC lasted less than two years and fell apart after internal bickering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sigh..
      She claims the Sainted and revered late Richie Benaud attended a ritual to abuse her (no ordinary bin-men or milkman for Fiona), reckons she attended a meeting where the father of a world famous Aussie movie star murdered a young boy (while said star who was 9 years old sat in the front row) and goes in for the attack on respected journalist and Media Watch host Paul Barry claiming he was an MI5 agent.

      As for that bunch of loons listening….

      Liked by 2 people

          • It’s two weeks until Sabine’s trial, but does anyone have the date of Neelu’s return to Snaresbrook? There was a break fixture hearing in September but I can’t remember her saying anything other than it was corrupt. If it wasn’t changed, it was originally scheduled for sometime in November.

            Liked by 1 person

      • “Now I want a comedy series about a Super-Secret Gubblement / Luciferian agency, tasked with tracking the Elite Bloodline families so they can traumatise / brainwash the children thereof and mold them into super-intelligent super-fit warriors. Only the agency is rife with bureaucratic bumbling and sheer incompetence, so they muddle the files and end up recruiting Adelaide trailer-trash instead.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • That eventually leads you to the hideous “gumshoe news” and the bizarro Mary W Maxwell, LLB a Texan now living in Adelaide whose annoying smugness that reeks out of her writings is enough to hate her. Nothing worse than a conspiracy turd who adds initials to their name when they publish as though it gives them more credibility (Members of The Order of The Wombat- MOTT are excused).
          Her smug writings have an amazing habit of seizing upon the latest bit of news and weaving her own special magic into a tale such as the recent credible claims about the missing Beaumont children to which police were alerted to by some old road workers who recall being hired by a very rich local in the 60s to hastily did a large hole. It’s the most credible theory to date.

          But no, Maxwell LLB has decided a new Fiona Barnett clone is the “whistle-blower” (that term should be protected by law for the genuine ) and claims that because Barnett gas been rabbiting on since the 1980s (no proof provided) she must be genuine, rather than just having been mad for a long time.
          # I’m always amused by the fact Barnett claims the Great Gough Whitlam abused her. Gough was from an era were being gay was something you had to hide which he did. But he married a sweetheart and had several children and they were dedicated to each other until death. But Gough did have a decades long boyfriend on the side- a strapping 6 foot Brazilian immigrant. Barnett needs to research her falsehoods a bit better.

          Liked by 1 person

    • What does the bible say about UFOs?

      So they have a whole clothing line now, I wonder what they will go for next?

      Hampstead the Musical maybe?

      Liked by 2 people

    • I must admit, it seems to be a very common title, I am seeing it more and more…

      “Video unavailable
      “Arron Banks Blasts Channel…”
      The YouTube account associated with this video
      has been terminated due to multiple third-party
      notifications of copyright infringement.”

      A bit ‘wordy’ perhaps, but otherwise not a bad title at all….

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Going back to the original post, which I think is important, I think it will be very telling when the Otherwise Known as Nick trial starts. And since this Otherwise Known as Nick has now been charged, how come we aren’t allowed to know his real name? And since David/Andrew was a well known fantasist, and the BBC interviewed him for Panorama, why wasn’t he protected? They must of done their research beforehand, also who was it who put them in touch with each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That would be the English laws (I assume there’s the same in Scotland, but I wouldn’t want to presume) about not being able to name alleged victims of sexual abuse, whether or not there has been a conviction. It’s the same law which makes the naming of RD’s children illegal which we know that there are too many people prepared to flout. If someone outside the UK named him there is very little the law could do about it but I’m okay with the general principle and he is currently entitled to anonymity

      However, at the end of the case the Judge could make an order to reveal his name. However, at this point “Nick”‘s reputation as a fantasist with law enforcement would not make much difference to whether the general public need to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I know about that law thank you, but he has been charged with perverting the course of justice is what I’m saying, and the one who has made the most allegations, everyone knows his name.

        Liked by 2 people

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