Carl Beech, 51, alleged powerful men including MPs and generals sexually abused and killed children in the 1970s
The vicar’s son who sparked a VIP sex ring enquiry only mentioned the names of two of his alleged tormentors when he first made a complaint to the police – his step-father and Jimmy Savile – a jury heard today.
He alleged Savile raped him on all ‘three or four’ occasions he was in Savile’s company, saying he never saw his face but heard Savile ‘laughing or issuing orders that he wanted me to do’.
Carl Beech, 51, is accused of inventing stories about child murders and sexual assaults by political and military luminaries including former PM Ted Heath, Commander in Chief of the Army Lord Bramall and the MP Harvey Proctor, sparking a £2m police enquiry which ended in 2016 with no arrests.
Beech first came to the attention of the police under Operation Yewtree, which was then focusing primarily on the crimes of Savile, in October 2012.
He said he remembered Jimmy Savile as part of ‘The Group’.
He said: ‘It was his voice I remember, I don’t think I saw his face. I heard him laughing or issuing orders that he wanted me to do.
‘He did what they all did. He had a gold necklace, quite a long necklace, it was quite thick. I was nine or 10 I think, it happened in a house there were about five or six other people present I suppose.’
The court heard Beech had conducted online research into Jimmy Savile, and his victims’ compensation claims. Pictured: a screenshot from his laptop shown to the jury
He claimed that Savile raped him every time he was with him, which was three or four times.
Beech made sex assault allegations against the disgraced TV star and also against his step-father Major Raymond Beech.
However at that stage there was no mention of Edward Heath, Harvey Proctor, Leon Brittain or any other senior intelligence and military figures he went on to accuse in 20 hours of police interviews two years later.
The allegation against Savile and his step-father moved on to claims against military top brass who he called ‘The Group’ – the name he later used to encompass some of the best known political figures of the 1970s.
Giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court, Detective Sergeant Mark Lewis of Wiltshire police was asked which names Beech had mentioned when he first came forward.
He said: ‘He did not disclose any apart from his step-father and Jimmy Savile.’
Beech fled to a remote cabin in wooded northern Sweden (pictured) and lived under several false names as he tried to evade capture
The jury were shown pictures of Carl Beech aged around 10 in his final year of primary school when he claimed the abuse began
When Beech was asked by Detective Sergeant Lewis in the first police interviews he gave whether he knew the names of any of the other people involved he said: ‘A lot of them just blur into one really, I don’t know which bits go with which.’
The court heard that Beech’s mother, Rev Charmian Beech, met Major Beech, then aged about 40, six months before their wedding in 1976 and that she and Beech moved in with him and his youngest daughter in officers’ accommodation in Wilton, Wiltshire.
Beech claims that his step-father began to abuse him and then took him to other senior military figures at unnamed army bases for them to abuse him. He said Savile was also part of ‘The Group’and had raped him at least three times.
The jury were played a video of an interview conducted by Detective Sergeant Lewis at a specialist sexual offences suite in Swindon on December 6th 2012.
Beech, dressed in an ‘Animal’ branded hoody and chinos, sat with his head bowed and his hands in his lap as he made his first disclosures about his step-father.
He said that Major Beech began by kissing him on the forehead and cheek and then on the mouth before he started to commit sexual acts at bath-time and bedtime.
That moved on, according to Beech, to taking him to meet other paedophiles in the senior ranks of the military at unnamed army bases in the Wiltshire or Oxfordshire areas.
In his police interview Beech described one occasion he claimed happened around 1976.
Field Marshall Lord Brammall, pictured with his wife of 64 years Dorothy, who died before his name was cleared
Police researched Beech’s ‘violent’ step-father’s army records
Carl Beech’s stepfather had a drink problem and a history of domestic violence, a court has heard.
Beech told Wiltshire Police in 2012 he had been sexually abused by his late stepfather Major Ray Beech.
Detective Constable Mark Lewis told Newcastle Crown Court he later made inquiries into the late Major Beech’s Army records.
Official papers revealed the major was an unremarkable officer, of above average intelligence and had a drink problem.
He was retired from the Army on mental health grounds once it was known he had a history of domestic violence on both his wives – one of whom was the defendant’s mother – and a live-in housekeeper, the court heard.
The defendant’s mother and stepfather married in 1976 and divorced four months later.
She obtained a non-molestation order against him.
Wiping away tears he told Det Sgt Lewis: ‘My father took me into an office and then walked out and left me.
‘I remember then man being there, he had a crown on his epaulettes like my father and he had a diamond underneath that.
‘He didn’t say anything, my father didn’t say anything, he just left. I had to stand there and he touched my face which seemed to go on for ages.
‘He kept touching my hair and then he undid my shirt and took it off, then pulled down my trousers and pulled my pants down.
‘He kept looking at me, I don’t know how long I was standing there for until my father came back in.’
He said Major Beech seemed pleased with him but he didn’t know why.
Later that night he claimed: ‘He bathed me later and told me that I was to do exactly as I was told without question.
‘Then he put me under the water, I could not breathe, every time he let me up he asked me ‘do you understand?’ and then he would do it again. I didn’t know what I had done.’
He went on from there to make allegations against ‘The Group’ of military figures on bases.
He said he did not know names and his descriptions of the people involved were not specific but he said that he was passed around among high ranking army men and subjected to increasingly serious sexual assaults including rape.
Court sketch of Carl Beech, 51, from Gloucester, known as Nick, at Newcastle Crown Court
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor was accused of rape and murder by Beech. The court heard he is still ‘enraged’ by the accusations
Over the first two days of the case, as prosecutors laid out their claims against Beech, the court was told that:
- Beech is a convicted paedophile who pleaded guilty after police found indecent images of young boys, including some recorded by Beech, on devices in his home
- He fled to Sweden once police closed in and lived in a remote cabin in the woods, shown in police footage above, under a series of assumed identities and false names
- He claimed to have sketched the locations at which abuse took place from memory – but his laptop showed he had googled them before speaking to police
- He claimed not to have researched the men he accused – but had googled them
- He claimed his abusers mowed down and killed a boy, ‘Scott’, whom he tried to befriend – but the boy did not exist. He was shown in police footage telling officers about this fictitious incident
- He claimed a fellow victim, ‘Fred’ could corroborate his story – but in fact he made up the friend and posed as ‘Fred’, fabricating emails to police
- He claimed he had been regularly taken out of school to be abused by multiple men at ‘parties’ – but his attendance at his schools was exemplary
- He claimed he had a lifelong fear of water, abused by the men, who dunked him and threw him off boats – but photos show him snorkelling on honeymoon
- He produced an ‘abuse map’ of the places and ways his body was tortured – but his medical records show no evidence of abuse
- He claimed he was abused on beds in cabins on Ted Heath’s yacht – but the vessel was a racing yacht and only had hammocks
- He claimed Mp Harvey Proctor had threatened to cut his genitals off with a pen-knife Proctor later gifted to Beech. He gave the knife to police asking for forensic tests – but his estranged wife told police he’d kept it in a ‘happy memories’ box
- He had googled how victims of Jimmy Savile received compensation
- He bought a £64,000 convertible Mustang with the compensation payout he received for the alleged abuse
- He was indebted and living grossly beyond his means, intending to make money on the international speaking circuit, speaking about his ‘abuse’
The charges relate to claims Beech made that former prime minister Edward Heath (left), ex-home secretary Leon Brittan (right) and others were part of a child abuse ring
Timeline of Beech’s alleged falsehoods and the investigations they launched
2014/2015: Over more than 20 hours of recorded police interviews, Carl Beech makes lurid allegations of child rape and murder against senior Establishment figures including Ted Heath and Lord Brammall.
November 2014: The Met Police launch Operation Midland, which raids the homes of several elderly men looking for evidence to support Beech’s claims. A detective calls the accusations ‘credible and true’.
April 2015: D-Day veteran and former Army chief Lord Brammal interviewed.
June 2015: Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, whom Beech accused of child murder, interviewed under caution.
March 2016: Beech notified no further action was to be taken in respect of the allegations he had made.
2016: Northumbria Police conclude Beech’s claims are ‘totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised, and irredeemably contradicted by other testimony’.
November 2, 2016: Police arrive to raid Beech’s home in Gloucester.
January 23, 2018: Beech got £60,000 as an early pension from the NHS
February 6, 2018: He travels to Calais preparing to flee to Sweden, where he buys a cabin in the woods and lives under a series of assumed identities, travelling hundreds of miles from city to city to stay on the run
October 1, 2018: He was tracked down by Swedish and British police and arrested in advance of a 20-hour train journey to Gothenburg booked in the name of ‘Samuel Karlsson’.
2018: A highly critical review of Operation Midland reports police ‘acted like they were searching for bodies’ during raids on homes.
2018: Beech pleads guilty to possessing indecent images of children, in a separate trial.
December 2018: restriction on reporting of Carl Beech’s real identity lifted.
May 2019: Beech goes on trial for perverting the course of justice.
Beech’s claims led to raids on the homes of prominent and elderly people including former army chief, D-Day veteran Lord Brammall, whose wife of 64 years died during the investigation, before his named was cleared.
Beech’s extraordinary unfounded accusations were levelled against a list of prominent men including:
- Former PM Sir Edward Heath: he said he was sexually abused at Heath’s home in London and on his yacht
- Former head of the army Lord Brammall: he said Brammall repeatedly raped him and was present at the first meeting of ‘the group’
- Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor: he said Proctor demanded oral sex, abused him with a pen knife, and murdered two children, one after tying him to a table, raping, and stabbing him
- Former head of MI5 Michael Hanley, and former head of MI6 Maurice Oldfield: said to be responsible for abuse and torture including spiders being tipped over him, electric shocks, and having darts thrown at him, culminating in threats ‘to make him disappear’
- His step-father, Major Ray Beech: he said his step-father frequently and repeatedly abused, raped, and beat him, the first time in a public toilet at a wildlife park
- Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan: He said Brittan murdered a child, describing him as a ‘mini-Harvey’ who was sadistic and enjoyed putting his head under water
In all, Beech accused 12 men: Major Ray Beech, his step-father; Lt General Beach; General Gibbs; Lord Brammall; Jimmy Savile; Peter Hayman; Harvey Proctor; Leon Brittan; Greville Janner; Edward Heath; Michael Hanley; Maurice Oldfield.
Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said the 12-week trial would show Beech’s accusations against the men were ‘demonstrably untrue.’
The Metropolitan Police’s disastrous £2 million Operation Midland investigation into Beech’s unsubstantiated and unsupported claims collapsed in 2016 with no arrests, despite a senior detective saying Nick’s stories were ‘credible and true’.
The Met has since paid six-figure sums in compensation to distinguished former Field Marshall Lord Brammall and to Lady Brittan whose late husband Leon was also accused by Beech.
The Met Police spent 18 months and £2m on Beech’s claims of a Westminster paedophile ring
The Met is yet to agree any compensation deal with former Tory MP, Harvey Proctor, 70, who was falsely accused of rape and murder and lost his home and his job as a result.
It is thought Mr Proctor, who received a personal apology from the then Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, is seeking more than £500,000 for loss of earnings and damage to his reputation.
Leon Brittan and another accused, Greville Janner, both died within a year in 2015, the year following these allegations.
Dorothy Brammall, who was married to Edwin Brammall for 64 years, died during the course of the investigation and before Lord Brammall’s name was cleared.
During the probe, teams of more than 20 officers mounted dawn raids on the homes of some of the suspects, many of them now old and in poor health.
Last year a review of the flawed investigation, conducted by retired High Court judge, Sir Richard Henriques, said the police had acted as if they were ‘looking for bodies or bodies parts’, when carrying out the searches.
The 13 charges facing Carl Beech
Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud. The charges allege he:
- Made a false allegation of witnessing the child homicide of an unnamed boy committed by Harvey Proctor
- Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of a boy called Scott
- Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of another boy
- Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with senior military officers, military intelligence, a TV presenter and other unidentified men accused as members
- Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with politicians accused as members
- Provided a list of sexual abusers and locations falsely alleging he had been physically and sexually abused by said abusers at said locations
- Provided sketches of locations at which he claimed he had been abused, falsely claiming he had produced them from memory
- Provided the name Aubrey, falsely alleging Aubrey had been present and subjected to physical and sexual abuse when with him
- Provided a pen knife and two military epaulettes falsely alleging he had retained them from when he was abused as a child
- Falsely claimed that he had been seriously injured by sexual and physical abuse inflicted as a child
- Falsified a ‘Proton’ email account, and provided false information purportedly sent from ‘Fred’, an individual he had claimed was present when he was abused
- Went together with investigators on site visits and falsely alleged that it was at locations identified by him during those visits that he had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a paedophile ring
- Falsely claimed £22,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority saying he was subjected to abuse by a paedophile ring, knowing this to be untrue and intending to make a gain for himself