Yesterday we looked into part of Thursday’s hearing at the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), in which Commander Neil Jerome of the Metropolitan Police Service described the 1982 raid on the Elm Guest House.
The raid came about as a result of an anonymous tip alerting police to the presence of a child at the guest house, which catered to gay men. Following police surveillance of the premises, as well as two police officers posing as members of the public to investigate activities at the house, the raid was conducted and 20 people, including its owners, were arrested. The child in question was removed by police as well.
In the video, Fay claims that the guest house was raided for mysterious reasons related to national security, and that the raid was carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1976. Because of course it was.
According to Fay,
So you had police on one hand saying raiding it because it was being used as a brothel, and on the other hand you had the Kasirs, plus their lawyers and everybody else saying they were raided under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. It’s the only law that was around then where the police could stop you seeing your solicitor for up to 36 hours.
“The Kasirs, plus their lawyers and everybody else”: who, exactly, was this “everybody else”? Did their initials happen to be CF?
Yeah, and there was also a thing we became aware of very, very quickly. One of the people who used that guest house was in fact Anthony Blunt. Anthony Blunt was the disgraced spy who’d been spying for the KGB for years.
As we learned yesterday, this is simply not true. While Blunt’s name might have been scribbled on a piece of paper found at Fay’s colleague Mary Moss’ house during a police raid, it would have had no evidential value, as the material found during that raid contained names, but no specific allegations, dates, or other corroborating details.
This, however, did not stop Fay from claiming that Blunt and other high-profile individuals had been guests at the Elm Guest House:
Now Blunt, and that led us very quickly on to Commander Trestrail who was head of the royal protection squad. There was a guy called Richard Langley who was a senior aide at Buckingham Palace.
Erm, there was a guy called Paul Hendry, who was a Commander for the Special Branch. Now Special Branch itself is no longer in existence – it’s the anti-terrorism squad today , but back then they were the people who used to do the dirty work for MI5.
Commander Trestrail was mentioned in Hansard on 19 July 1982. The then-Home Secretary William Whitelaw announced that Trestrail, the Queen’s police officer, had “confessed to having a homosexual relationship over a number of years with a male prostitute”. Trestrail’s confession took place about a month after the raid on the Elm Guest House, and was announced in the House of Commons—not exactly the best way to run a cover-up, perhaps.
Fay alleged that a children’s home in Richmond, Grafton Close, was “grooming and providing” boys to Elm Guest House.
It was about kids in care, so if you’re going to do it, if you’re going to provide boys that had to be organised and run by somebody within the care system within Richmond Council. Somebody was grooming and providing these boys to the Elm Guest House. So we very quickly got on to, the entire ring seemed to be centred around Grafton Close Children’s Home where the officer in charge was called Neil Kier and his deputy was the guy who’s just been arrested, John Stingemore.
As it happens, this topic was tackled during Thursday’s hearing at the IICSA.
Jerome noted that beginning in 2012, allegations regarding Grafton Close were investigated as part of Operation Winter Key. During that investigation, eight boys of 40 interviewed made allegations of sexual abuse against Stingemore, who was the manager of the home, and a Father McSweeney, who worked there as a care worker.
Of the eight who made allegations against Stingemore and McSweeney, only one alleged that he had been taken to the Elm Guest House by Stingemore. Stingemore was charged, but died prior to his trial. McSweeney was tried and convicted on two counts of abusing children at Grafton Close.
Following his conviction, McSweeney was also charged with having trafficked the child to Elm Guest House; however, he was found not guilty on that charge.
Reading through the Fay/Maloney transcript, and comparing the Fay’s breathless revelations with the factual material now emerging from the IICSA hearings, it becomes ever more clear that Fay cobbled together tiny bits of truth with generous dollops of pure malevolent fantasy.
And aside from having never been able to produce any evidence whatsoever to back up his outlandish claims, he gives himself away in the details.
One example: Fay claimed that “the entire ring seemed to be centred around Grafton Close Children’s Home where the officer in charge was called Neil Kier and his deputy was the guy who’s just been arrested, John Stingemore”.
Later, describing the 1982 raid, he stated:
Now procedure dictates that normally you would have got, say, the local field social worker in the local office who would have come in with the police on the raid. Any children present, they would have taken, they would have taken them into care. However, on the day of the raid, the man from Kingston, err from Richmond Council, who, who was on the raid with the police was Neil Kier, the officer in charge of Grafton, who took [the child] into care.
First, John Stingemore was the manager of Grafton Close Children’s Home at the time. And second, we know from Jerome’s testimony at the IICSA that an Andrew Keir, from Richmond Social Services, was present at the interview of the WM-A9, the child who removed from Elm Guest House during the raid.
Incidentally, Fay and Maloney make no effort to maintain the child’s anonymity in their video—they name him repeatedly.
The D-Notice…of DOOM
At one point in their interview, Maloney and Fay begin to sound as though they’re practising a comedy routine:
CHRIS] the one interesting thing above all else, when Tom Watson asked a question in the House of Commons recently, as you know.
[BILL] Member of Parliament.
[CHRIS] Member of Parliament, he also asked about the use of D-Notices. D-Notices are notices that they’re supposed to be advisory, but basically the government doesn’t like a story in the newspapers about to print, it’ll slap a D-Notice…
[BILL] A D-Notice is a gagging order.
[CHRIS] is a gagging order. Now when Mary Moss and I left the coroner’s court the entire world’s press was outside, obviously it was a very, very big story.
[CHRIS] Because we’d stood in the witness box, we’d named Leon Brittan, we’d named Harvey Proctor, we’d told the inquest all the evidence we had about who’d been involved at the Elm Guest House, so by any stretch of the imagination it was big news story. When we got outside the coroner’s court there was, they were all there, BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Sky, you name it.
[CHRIS] Not one single British television station, radio station or newspaper interviewed myself or Mary. We were interviewed by Canadian Broadcasting Radio and a Japanese television station, and…
[CHRIS] I spotted the BBC reporter who I knew and I went across to him and I said ‘What’s going on?’ and he said ‘D-Notice Chris’.
[CHRIS] So D-Notices were used.
Just in case you missed the point: D-NOTICE.
Sadly for Fay and Maloney, they have no idea what they’re talking about.
According to yesterday’s hearing at the IICSA,
D-Notice is actually called Defense Advisory Notice System. This is a voluntary code and operates between the UK Government departments which have responsibilities for national security and the media. The notices have no legal standing and advice offered within the framework may be accepted or rejected. At all times, there is a single point of contact and responsibility for offering DA-Notice [Defence Advisory Notice] advice to the media. There is no physical notice issued by DSMA or by the old DPBAC.
Retired Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds, a witness at Friday’s hearing, is Secretary of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, which is the sole agency responsible for issuing D-Notices.
“Judges and police are not involved in the D-Notice system”, Dodds said. “The only person authorised to issue a DSMA notice is myself or my two deputies when they are on duty”.
So much for the old “the police slapped a D-Notice on me, and now I’m effectively gagged” argument.
While we harbour no illusions that the clear, precise, and detailed information which has been emerging from the IICSA hearings will have any effect on purveyors of conspiracy theories, we hope that it will at least prove educational to the rest of us…not the least because it’s been relentlessly exposing the liars and con artists who profit from child sexual abuse.