October 16 2017 – Statement – “Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest” – Catholic World News – July 16 2010

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“Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre – Ch 9 – Categories of False Accusations – 2. The “dead priest” accusation – Page 83 [Notes & References]
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=6947

Catholic World News

Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest

July 16, 2010

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver issued a statement on July 13 announcing that Msgr. William Higgins, a priest who died in 1967, had been falsely accused of the sexual abuse of a minor.

“More than a year ago a female plaintiff filed a complaint under the pseudonym ‘Jane Doe’ against Monsignor William Higgins,” said Archbishop Chaput. “Msgr. Higgins passed away in 1967, after more than five decades of loyal service in this archdiocese … Other than this single complaint made 42 years after Msgr. Higgins’ death, no complaint has ever been advanced against this fine priest.”

Archbishop Chaput continued:

Through the litigation and the extensive discovery in the case, the archdiocese determined that the plaintiff’s complaint was not credible and the charges made against Msgr. Higgins were groundless. The plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed all claims.

If Msgr. Higgins were alive today, he would be in good standing and able to minister in the archdiocese. False charges do inexcusable harm to a priest’s good name, his reputation earned over years of service to others, and to the lay Catholic faithful and other dedicated priests. We are saddened that such a charge was made, but want you all to know that you can esteem Msgr. Higgins and keep him in your prayers as a righteous man.

As we work to ensure all people in the Archdiocese of Denver are safe, so too are we determined to defend the reputation of the many, many innocent good men and women who work in the archdiocese and give so much to others.

Further information:

 Comment
  • Posted by: Don Vicente – Jul. 16, 2010 9:21 AM ET USA
  • I am glad to live in the US, where an accused is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty. It would behoove everyone to remember this when accusations are made. Abuse is a terrible crime; so is false accusation.
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October 15 2017 – “Ted Heath sex abuse expert: I’d never let him near children” / “Met DIDN’T probe claim by 11-year-old” – Mail on Sunday – Simon Walters

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4980996/Child-sex-expert-not-trust-Ted-Heath-children.html

‘I’d never let him near children’: Leading child sex abuse expert who investigated said she would not trust former Prime Minister Ted Heath were he alive today

  • Dr Elly Hanson says Ted Heath would not meet ‘modern safeguarding criteria’
  • She hit out at the ‘hostile’ response to police enquiry into the late Prime Minister
  • Compared it to the Harvey Weinstein scandal in being late to surface in media 

One of Britain’s leading experts on child sex abuse who took part in the investigation into paedophile claims against Sir Edward Heath has said she would not trust him with children were he alive today.

Dr Elly Hanson, a clinical psychologist who specialises in abuse and trauma, said her opinion was based on secret evidence obtained by police concerning Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

She also criticised the ‘hostile’ response to the police inquiry into the former Prime Minister, who died in 2005, which said he should be questioned under caution over the abuse allegations if he were alive.

Dr Hanson compared the response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the silence that shrouded his alleged behaviour before this month’s revelations, arguing that it deterred other sex abuse victims from reporting crimes.

She spoke out after Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale faced pressure to resign over claims that he was ‘duped’ by ‘fantasist’ allegations against Sir Edward.

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today 

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today

A report by Mr Veale said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Sir Edward of young boys would justify questioning him under caution – though did not prove his guilt.

Dr Hanson told The Mail on Sunday: ‘On the balance of probabilities and based on the information I have seen, if I was asked to decide if Sir Edward should have access to children I would say he would not meet the modern safeguarding threshold to protect them from risk.’

One of four ‘independent scrutineers’ given full access to secret details of child sex allegations against Sir Edward, Dr Hanson praised the ‘professional, thorough and sensitive’ inquiry.

‘Just because a jury can never decide guilt or otherwise in this case does not mean we cannot or should not even look at it,’ she said.

‘Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Harvey Weinstein are all innocent in the eyes of the law, but we have been able to have a discussion about what they are alleged to have done.

Yet some appear to think we are not entitled to have the same discussion about Sir Edward Heath.

‘I am not saying he is in the same category as them, or that he is guilty. But in my view, the fact that he was Prime Minister makes it all the more important that we can discuss it.’

She said some of the evidence obtained by police was ‘very compelling’, often with ‘supporting information’.

Dr Hanson said: ‘The hostile response by some to the inquiry into Sir Edward Heath is disappointing. To label everyone who comes forward as fantasist is unfair and unhelpful. It sends completely the wrong message to all victims of sexual abuse.

‘As we have seen in the Weinstein case, if they feel they won’t be listened to they will remain silent.’

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

She was backed by fellow ‘scrutineer’ Perdeep Tanday, who runs a pharmacy business in Salisbury, Sir Edward’s home city.

Mr Tanday, appointed to ‘represent the public view’, said he was ‘shocked’ to learn from detectives of details of Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

He said: ‘I always had great respect for Edward Heath as a politician but the allegations were shocking.

I believe the majority were 100 per cent genuine and convincing. The evidence was of a high quality and in many cases corroborated.’

Asked if he would have trusted Sir Edward with his three grown-up sons when they were younger, Mr Tanday declined to answer.

Mr Tanday, 51, added: ‘Unlike those criticising Mr Veale, I know the facts.

The evidence was gathered by detectives with decades of experience of investigating rape, murder and other serious crimes. I trust them.’

Mr Veale received further support from Wiltshire MP Claire Perry, former adviser to David Cameron on the sexualisation of children.

‘We would have been doing victims of sexual abuse a great disservice if we hadn’t investigated these claims and I fully support Mike Veale,’ said Ms Perry.

But Wiltshire North Conservative MP James Gray, who knew Sir Edward, said: ‘Mr Veale tried to make a name for himself on the back of the Jimmy Savile hysteria and came unstuck.

‘He has besmirched Sir Edward’s good name and should resign.’

The two other ‘scrutineers’, human rights QC Danny Friedman and surgeon Professor Vassilios Papalois, said Operation Conifer was ‘fair, sensitive and rigorous’.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4981076/Police-didn-t-investigate-boy-s-claims-Ted-Heath-abuse.html

Met police DID NOT probe claim by 11-year-old boy that he had been abused by Ted Heath because of policy not to investigate allegations against dead people

  • The now 68-year-old alleged victim reported made a complaint in April 2015
  • It was assumed the Met had investigated before deciding not to pursue the case
  • But it has been revealed it wasn’t looked into because of lack of ‘current risk’

A key criticism levelled at the police chief under fire for the paedophile investigation into Sir Edward Heath was exposed as false today.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale has been condemned for including the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy by Sir Edward in 1961 among seven cases he said would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he alive today.

Critics said Mr Veale had blundered because Scotland Yard ‘investigated’ the case in 2015 and ‘dropped’ it.

In fact, Scotland Yard did NOT investigate the claim because they secretly introduced a policy ‘not to prove or disprove’ child sex allegations against dead people, The Mail on Sunday can disclose.

 Scroll down for video

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)'s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy's claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)’s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy’s claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

However Mr Veale’s team DID investigate it and found evidence that they say suggests it could be true.

The alleged victim of the rape, who is now 68 and went on to be convicted of child sex abuse crimes himself, complained to the Metropolitan Police in April 2015.

Four months later, the force said it had obtained a ‘full account’ from the complainant and, after a ‘full assessment of the allegation’, decided there were ‘no lines of inquiry that could be proportionately pursued’.

The statement was interpreted as meaning that the Met had carried out a full investigation and dismissed the claim as groundless – and was used to attack Mr Veale’s claim that the allegation was serious.

However, this newspaper can disclose that Scotland Yard did not investigate the matter because of its new policy on ‘response to allegations of sexual abuse against deceased suspects’ – which can be revealed for the first time.

In a statement to The Mail on Sunday, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said the rules state: ‘The purpose is not to prove or disprove the offence reported.’

Instead, the main aim is to find out if the suspect was linked to other abusers and prevent any ‘current risk to children’.

It adds: ‘A full and detailed criminal investigation may not be required to achieve this.’

By contrast, Mr Veale’s team was ordered to carry out a full investigation into the claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005.

Rules set out last year by Operation Hydrant, the national police inquiry into all historic child sex abuse inquiries, said it was vital to ‘establish the facts and identify offenders deceased or not.

‘The closer to power, the greater is the duty to investigate.

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys 

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys

‘Due to Sir Edward’s prominence, it is particularly relevant to investigate allegations against him.’

Mr Veale’s supporters reject criticism for investigating complaints by ‘victims’ who may have gone on to abuse children themselves or were rent boys.

They highlighted research that suggests some people become abusers as a result of being abused themselves as young children.

A well-placed source said: ‘Wiltshire Police fully expected to discover the Heath claims were nonsense, and that if there was any evidence, it would be well hidden.

‘They were as surprised as anyone to find the evidence was there with telltale patterns of behaviour, but no one had really looked for it.

‘If, as they believe, some of the allegations are true, other police forces who failed to act in the past will have a lot to answer for.’

The controversy took a new twist yesterday after the alleged rape victim’s sister reportedly said her brother’s claims were a ‘crock of ****’. She is said to have called him a ‘born liar’.

Ted Heath would have been questioned over sex abuse allegations

 

October 15 2017 – “‘Presumption of innocence’ – innocent until proven guilty – is a high standard of justice. ‘On the balance of probabilities’ – guessing – is a low standard of justice. Bishop Bell was judged by those with a low standard of justice. This led to a miscarriage of justice. Restoration of justice is therefore required by those with a high standard of justice” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

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“Presumption of innocence” – innocent until proven guilty – is a high standard of justice. “On the balance of probabilities” – guessing – is a low standard of justice. Bishop Bell was judged by those with a low standard of justice. This led to a miscarriage of justice. Restoration of justice is therefore required by those with a high standard of justice” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

https://www.disabilitylaw.ca/disability-lawyer-calgary/proof-on-balance-of-probabilities

What does proof on a balance of probabilities mean?

The civil standard of proof is proof on a balance of probabilities. The criminal standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This article deals with civil standards of proof. Saying something is proven on a balance of probabilities means that it is more likely than not to have occurred. It means that it is probable, i.e., the probability that some event happens is more than 50%. So mathematically proof on a balance of probabilities is 50.1% likelihood of something having occurred.
A lawyer I once knew explained it this way. You see the scales of justice. They are evenly balanced. Both sides are the same height. But if one side has the weight of a feather added to it, causing it to go down and the other side to go up. Now that side with the weight of a feather has won. Proof greater than that is not required. Simply a balancing of both sides seeing which side has the stronger proof.
Quotes from cases where judges have commented on the civil standard of proof follow:
McIver v. Power, [1998] P.E.I.J. No. 4, Prince Edward Island Supreme Court – Trial Division, MacDonald C.J.T.D.,
5 In any civil case the plaintiff must prove their case on a balance of probabilities if they are to succeed. This means that the plaintiff must prove that his facts tip the scale in his favor even if it is only a 51% probability that he is correct.
F.H. v. McDougall, [2008] S.C.J. No. 54:
44 Put another way, it would seem incongruous for a judge to conclude that it was more likely than not that
an event occurred, but not sufficiently likely to some unspecified standard and therefore that it did not occur.
As Lord Hoffman explained in In re B at para. 2:
If a legal rule requires a fact to be proved (a “fact in issue”), a judge or jury must
decide whether or not it happened. There is no room for a finding that it might have
happened. The law operates a binary system in which the only values are zero and one.
The fact either happened or it did not. If the tribunal is left in doubt, the doubt is resolved
by a rule that one party or the other carries the burden of proof. If the party who bears
the burden of proof fails to discharge it, a value of zero is returned and the fact is treated
as not having happened. If he does discharge it, a value of one is returned and the fact
is treated as having happened.
In my view, the only practical way in which to reach a factual conclusion in a civil case is to decide whether it
is more likely than not that the event occurred.
[49] In the result, I would reaffirm that in civil cases there is only one standard of proof and that is proof on a balance of probabilities.
Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311 is a medical malpractice case and the issue was whether the plaintiff required a firm medical opinion to establish a causal link between her surgical outcome and the defendant doctor’s actions. Sopinka J., speaking for the Supreme Court of Canada, commented on the difference between medical certainty and legal certainty. He commented that “near certainty” is the medical standard of causation while the legal standard requires only a 51% probability. He concluded that a firm medical opinion is not required to establish causation in law. Rather, causation is a question to be determined by weighing all of the evidence in order to determine whether a causal link has been established on a balance of probabilities.
Veerasingam v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 241 — Federal Court of Canada
. . .paras 29 that the term “balance of probabilities” was equivalent to “more likely than not”, but with two distinct steps involved as to the burden of proof and legal test. […] to be persuasive evidence of that risk “on a balance of probabilities” or to show that it was “more likely than not.” The Board uses this terminology throughout its decision. […] As demonstrated, the Board was mindful of its role in considering the evidence of “risk” to the Applicant on a balance of probabilities. . .
Roseanne Conley v. Keel Construction, 2005 NBQB 263
[2] On the question of liability the onus of proof must be met by the claimant, Mrs. Conley and the standard of proof is that of a balance of probabilities, i.e. is it more likely than not that the incident occurred in the manner she alleges.
Bhullar v. I.C.B.C., 2009 BCPC 44
But the burden of proof here is not like a criminal charge, beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is on the balance of probabilities, more likely than not. . . While I have an expert opinion, which I accept, that this car was either driven with a key or towed, for the reasons I have already gone into, I do not find this vehicle was towed, which means the likelihood is, more likely than not, balance of probabilities proven the vehicle was driven with a key. The only people that had keys were the claimants. Nobody else. If that is true, which seems to be true on the facts, then again more likely than not, Mr. Bhullar was involved in the theft and burning of the vehicle.
Mitcham v. Canada, 2003 FCA 340 Federal Court of Appeal
. . . While Mr. Mitcham is now diagnosed as having fibromyalgia symptoms, the Board, weighing the evidence on a balance probabilities, held that he was more likely than not capable of regularly . . .
R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103 — 1986-02-28 Supreme Court of Canada
. . . in such a case and it is sufficient if the court considers that upon the evidence before it it is more likely than not that the fact does not exist. . . . The test is the same as that applied in civil proceedings: the balance of probabilities. . .
Canada (Minister of National Revenue) c. Fabrication GMCA Inc., 2002 FCT 1260 Federal Court of Canada
. . . (3) The evidence must show, on a balance of probability, that it is more likely than not that collection would be jeopardized by delay. . . Lamer J. for her to conclude that on a balance of probabilities it was more likely than not that giving the respondent further time could compromise the collection in question. . .
R. v. Turner, 2004 BCSC 1778, Supreme Court of British Columbia
. . . [14] The standard of proof in civil trials is proof on a balance of probabilities; namely, proof that something is probable or more likely than not. . . . . In criminal trials, such as this trial, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is higher than the civil standard of proof on a balance of probabilities. . .
So you can see the test of proof in a civil case is whether it is more likely than not, that something occurred. No more, no less.


Author:
Allan Bayda
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October 14 2017 – Request to Archbishop for a Statement regarding Bishop Bell on October 22 2017 [as a follow-up to the Statement on October 22 2015]

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October 14 2017

 

The Most Reverend and Right Hon The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury

Lambeth Palace

London SE1 7JU

 

My Lord Archbishop

 

I am writing to ask if you would consider bringing forward the Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958) toOctober 22 2017, to correspond with the October 22 2015 Statement two years ago.

Thank you for giving this request your consideration.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester-october-2015-to-october-2017/

 

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October 10 2017 – “Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports” – Christian Today

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/bishop.george.bell.review.to.criticise.churchs.handling.reports/115579.htm

Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports

Bishop George Bell’s reputation could be restored after an official review in the Church’s handling of abuse allegations is expected to be critical of how the CofE handled the case.

The wartime Bishop of Chichester, a celebrated Anglican figure who was given the equivalent of a Saints’ Day, was accused of historic abuse in 2015.

Bishop George Bell was a celebrated theologian who was praised for his staunch opposition to Hitler’s Nazi regime. Courtesy of Jimmy James

A Church inquiry two years ago found ‘on the balance of probabilities’ he had abused a child in the late 1940s and 1950s. The Church awarded his alleged victim, known only as ‘Carol’, compensation of £15,000 after experts said they had ‘no reason to doubt’ the claims.

The case is hotly debated both within the Church and across the wider establishment with Bell’s accusers saying the compensation is long overdue. But a George Bell support group was launched last year to argue his positive reputation and legacy is being tarnished by unsubstantiated claims.

recent debate on historical child sex abuse in the House of Lords reflected the growing concerns among leading establishment figures about the George Bell case.

It is expected to be critical of the Church’s initial investigation, although it does not rule on the bishop’s guilt or innocence, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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October 9 2017 – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair'” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

http://thejusticegap.com/2017/10/church-englands-handling-allegations-bishop-bell-flawed-unfair/

Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’

A review into historic abuse allegations against a celebrated bishop is expected to criticise the Church of England’s handling of the case as ‘flawed and unfair’.

As reported on the Justice Gap (here), 37 years after the death of former Bishop of Chichester a woman known as ‘Carol’ made complaints that he had abused her when she was a young girl in the late 1940 and early 1950s. Bell has been described as ‘the most significant English clergyman of the 20th century’ and who spoke out against the Allies’ carpet-bombing of German cities such as Dresden.

The allegations first arose in 1995. In October 2015 a claim was settled by the Church of England and compensation reported to be £15,000 was paid out. The current Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner issued a formal apology in October 2015.

In July 2016 two members of the General Synod, Martin Sewell and David Lamming, both retired lawyers, proposed a motion of ‘no confidence’ in the investigation. Speaking to the Justice Gap, Sewell said that the case was ‘almost unique’ insofar as its review was conducted in ‘complete purdah’. ‘You can’t get anything out of the Church and that is what raised our hackles. It must deal with these matters with transparency and accountability,’ he said.

The Bell case represents the perfect storm from which injustice emerges. We had a Church fearful and sensitive to allegations that it might be covering up abuse, a plausible complainant, a long dead Bishop with no living heirs, and a culture which had abandoned the presumption of innocence in favour of asserting that all complainants are entitled to be believed.’
Martin Sewell

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has spoken in parliament about his ‘distress’ at the Church’s treatment of Bishop Bell and claimed that its procedures ‘had the character of a kangaroo court and not a just, compassionate and balanced investigation of the facts’. The George Bell Group was set up in response to the perceived unfairness at the late Bishop’s treatment. The campaign – supported by former chairman of the Bar Desmond Browne QC, historian Andrew Chandler, Frank Field MP and the Conservative Peer and historian Lord Lexden – calls the wording of the October statement ‘(at best) reprehensibly equivocal, and (at worst) positively misleading’.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Lord Carlile handed his report to the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. You can read Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday on the George Bell case (The spirit of justice seems to be dead in many parts of this country).


This article was first published on October 9, 2017

 

Profile photo of Jon RobinsAbout Jon Robins
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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October 8 2017 – “Ted Heath police chief: Now probe ‘cover-up’ in Westminster” – Mail on Sunday [Simon Walters] + “At last…a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn” [Maggie Oliver]

http://tapnewswire.com/2017/10/police-heath-was-pedocriminal-cover-up-slips-up/

Police – ‘Heath was pedocriminal’. Cover-up slips up.

Ted Heath police chief calls for a new inquiry into a Westminster child-sex ring ‘covered up’ by the Establishment

  • Wiltshire Police chief Mike Veale was formally accused of leading a ‘witch hunt’
  • Back at his desk in Devizes he called for an inquiry into ‘sinister’ claims
  • He attacked idea sex abuse of ‘rent boys’ was less serious than abuse of wealthy 

Mike Veale has spent two years being assailed by the Establishment over his investigation into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath.

The Wiltshire Chief Constable has had to bite his lip as mandarins, ex-Cabinet Ministers, Tory MPs, peers, members of the judiciary and media moguls lambasted his controversial Operation Conifer.

He was accused of being ‘stupid’, leading a ‘witch-hunt’, and told he would be forced to resign the moment it saw the light of day.

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

Well, it did on Thursday – and 24 hours later he was back at his desk at Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes.

In his first major interview since the release of a report which said seven child abuse allegations against Sir Edward – including the rape of an 11-year-old boy – would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he still alive, Mr Veale:

  • Called for a new inquiry to ‘lance the boil’ of ‘sinister’ claims that a Westminster child-sex ring was covered up by the Establishment;
  • Said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper;
  • Attacked ‘sickening’ suggestions that the sexual abuse of ‘rent boys’ and those ravaged by drugs or alcohol was less serious than cases involving ‘wealthy people from Middle England’.

Married Mr Veale, tall and with a rugby wing-forward’s build, is not an obvious candidate for membership of the Establishment.

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

The 51-year-old’s accent retains the soft burr of his Somerset childhood; he left Midsomer Norton secondary school aged 16 and spent ten years on the beat.

‘I’m a down-to-earth guy, my social circle is not wine bars and gin and tonics,’ he says, smiling, before adding: ‘But I’m a bit more astute than a dogged old cop.’ Just in case you think he is a yokel in a uniform, which he isn’t.

He says a ‘relentless campaign by the Establishment’ to undermine him over the Heath inquiry caused him ‘the most stress and soul-searching I’ve had in 30 years. There were some dark days’.

His features, as fair and fresh as a cider apple, strain as he grapples with his tormentor – that ‘inanimate object’, as he calls the Establishment.

‘It can be quite sinister. I was told early on in Conifer, “You’ll lose your job, the Establishment will get you”. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe in Martians. I used to think, “What are these people on about?” ’

Asked if the Heath inquiry had changed his mind, Mr Veale replies in a flash: ‘Yes.’

Is he really suggesting allegations of a wider Westminster paedophile ring – dismissed as fantasy after a separate inquiry into ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan and others collapsed – could be true? Each word of his reply is delivered as carefully and as slowly as a PC stalking a burglar.

‘If any, if even one bit of this [Conifer] is true, what did the Government know, the Civil Service, the security services? Those questions need to be answered.’

Surely, though, it’s all hearsay?

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

He won’t have it and points to the recent decision by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) to extend its scope to include claims of an Establishment cover-up – significantly, after they learned of the Conifer findings.

Highly laudable, says Mr Veale, but so far IICSA has done zilch about actually investigating it.

‘It needs someone to look into the potential for cover-up or a conspiracy.

‘In the last two years I’ve spoken to people who genuinely believe… there are too many people making too many assertions… around the Establishment.

‘Compelling, intelligent people who have moved me.

‘The boil needs to be lanced one way or another. If there is nothing to hide, open the doors.’

Mike Veale said he could have spent ¿two or three¿ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Mike Veale said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Frustratingly, he won’t say more, citing the confidentiality of his inquiry. But it has the ring of a job application, not to join the Establishment, rather to expose it.

Far from going on a ‘fishing operation’ against Sir Edward, as some have said, Mr Veale suggests he barely touched the surface.

‘The reason it is not a witch-hunt is because it could have gone on two or three years longer.’

Police investigated only victims who came forward, instead of seeking them out as they normally would.

Mr Veale’s inability to give details of each case or any corroboration to protect anonymity played into the hands of those who said the accusations against Sir Edward were flimsy.

But claims that Mr Veale was not thorough are unfair. He ordered regular independent scrutiny checks. He even copied the BBC TV series New Tricks, starring Dennis Waterman and Amanda Redman, about retired cops who investigate unsolved crimes. His team of 24 officers included eight hard-nosed retired detectives.

The old-fashioned country boy air about Mr Veale, whose black shoes gleam like a guardsman’s, is matched by a progressive policing more akin to Notting Hill than Midsomer Norton. ‘The old CID attitude to rape was sometimes “blame the woman”. That changed.

‘It’s the same with child sex abuse. Victims must be able to trust police.’

Nothing riles him more than the insinuation that allegations made by former rent boys should be treated with scepticism because of their background.

‘It rolls off people’s tongues that it’s somehow all right because it’s a rent boy,’ he fires back.

‘The rent boy is just a kid. My son is 14. I’d be mortified if he was trivialised like that.’

He rages at the notion that allegations from ‘people ravaged by drugs or alcohol have little credibility but if it’s from a Middle England or wealthy background it must be true’.

He says that he ‘nearly went through the TV’ in fury when a bulletin suggested ‘police should spend more time investigating allegations by genuine victims’.

He says: ‘The inference that unless they’re from Middle England then they’re not genuine sickened me.

‘I don’t give a monkey’s what background victims are from or what position in society they hold.

‘We treated them all with respect and dignity.’

At last… a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn: MAGGIE OLIVER says Ted Heath police chief gave a textbook demonstration of how forces should be free from political interference

It’s not often that I have a good word to say about police chiefs. Greater Manchester Police bosses forced me out of a job I loved and top brass everywhere are usually too busy doing the bidding of politicians.

But there are still a few who aren’t political pawns. One is Mike Veale, the inspirational Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police.

Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference and able to investigate crimes without fear or favour.

'Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,' writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

‘Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,’ writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

He has been subjected to fierce Establishment criticism for investigating sex abuse claims against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Lesser police chiefs would have dropped the investigation by now, but not Mr Veale. He’s doing exactly what police chiefs should be doing – investigating serious complaints and not being deterred by the fact his force could arrive at a very inconvenient truth.

All too often, the threat of uncovering something politicians don’t want the public to know stops investigations in their tracks.

I know because it happened to me. As a detective for Greater Manchester Police, I spent years working on murders, rapes and child protection issues, helping eventually bring the Rochdale grooming gang to justice.

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

In 2004, I went to bosses and warned them that large numbers of Asian men were violently abusing white girls.

Even though I had strong evidence that would lead to convictions, the investigation was closed down. The police did not want to go there.

They were worried about damaging ‘community cohesion’. And the more I pushed for justice, the more I came under attack from bosses.

My chief constable said I was ‘too emotionally involved’. I was bullied, isolated and I eventually collapsed at work in a sergeant’s office due to severe stress.

I had no choice but to resign in order to speak out publicly and expose the truth. As a chief constable, Mr Veale is harder to silence and he is right to stand his ground.

Tim Fortescue, a Whip in Heath’s Government in the 1970s, boasted he could cover up a ‘scandal involving small boys’.

So there are very reasonable grounds to investigate allegations from this time.

I wish there were more like Mr Veale. When we return to a culture where police can follow the evidence without being petrified of the political consequences, we’ll all be better off for it.

 

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