BBC presenter was linked to the Paedophile Information Exchange

Apologies if people have seen this before, but I just found it and must have missed it first time round. This article was published in the Mirror the day after Tom Watson’s PMQ in October.

PIE, which is now outlawed, also had links with another BBC presenter who was investigated over child sex allegations in the late 80s. Like Savile, the unnamed star was accused of using a charity as a cover to abuse vulnerable children. The charity was set up by a PIE member in the 80s, offering yachting classes to vulnerable and underprivileged children.

The BBC presenter was ­investigated after police became aware of allegations he was abusing boys during sailing trips. No charges were ever brought against the star for reasons that remain unclear.A child protection source said yesterday: “The presenter was going out on a boat with vulnerable children and a leading former member of PIE.

“The charity was being used as a way of taking indecent pictures of the boys and there was also physical abuse occurring.” One man was later convicted of abusing boys during the yachting outings and jailed for four years in the early 90s. Detectives are expected to re-examine the case in the light of the flood of allegations regarding Savile.

Read more

This section of the story seems to have gone unnoticed, there’s not a single reference to it in the comments thread. I can add a bit more information to the article:

The charity was the Azimuth Trust.

The “leading former member of PIE” was Dr. Morris Fraser, who features in the BBC documentary on Peter Righton, ‘The Secret Life of a Paedophile‘. More on Morris Fraser here

The man who was convicted was Michael Johnson.

I’ve no idea who the BBC presenter is, but he must be happy that this story’s been buried under all the other historical child abuse investigations.

  1. chess said:

    ‘I’ve no idea who the BBC presenter is, but he must be happy that this story’s been buried under all the other historical child abuse investigations.’.

    Thus far.

  2. murunbuch said:

    Interesting, thanks…looks like Yachting Monthly was the one of the few media outlets to pick it up. I found the Mirror article via a reference in International Business Times:

    It really shows what the British ‘free press’ has come to when you have to go to Yachting Monthly and the International Business Times for information about rich & famous people who abused vulnerable children. I wonder when the BBC wil give us an update on the police investigation…

  3. chess said:

    Yes, I saw the IBT article. Dates narrowed down to 1988 – 1991 approx, still digging for more info.on the BBC man.

  4. I apologise for remaining anonymous for the time being .I am the source of Tom Watson's PMQ on 24th Oct said:

    Clifford Luton Radio Four presenter
    Sacked by BBC

    • murunbuch said:

      Interesting, thanks. The Mirror must have got it wrong about no charges being brought, will check archives as there’s only one news report about Azimuth Trust online.

  5. I apologise for remaining anonymous for the time being .I am the source of Tom Watson's PMQ on 24th Oct said:

    Just discovered – at age of 88 Clifford Luton brought into court in wheel chair on March 26th 2013 in Bournemouth to stand trial on old offences
    See Bournemouth’s Daily Echo for March 27th

    • murunbuch said:

      I saw that…he’s back in court on 21st April, the allegations date back to the 70s/80s. Are you 100% sure he’s linked to Azimuth Trust? I’m getting a bit confused because apart from Michael Jonson, I can’t find any mention of other convictions related to Azimuth Trust in the early 1990s. I did find a report from 1978 which says Luton was charged with indecently assaulting a young girl and three boys. Are you sure that wasn’t the episode that got him sacked from the BBC? The Mirror article may have got it wrong, but they make it sound like it was a contemporary BBC presenter well known enough to have had the charges against him dropped.

  6. chess said:

    Solved then? Was he a ‘star’? Thanks.

  7. I apologise for remaining anonymous for the time being .I am the source of Tom Watson's PMQ on 24th Oct said:

    My source was an ITV producer now retired who covered the Azimuth abuse case
    This was his recollection
    Obviously it needs confirmation that it was Luton and not someone else
    Apparently Luton was well known to Radio 4 listeners and in general media circles

    • murunbuch said:

      Thanks, that’s good enough for me. The Azimuth Trust case doesn’t seem to have had much media coverage at the time, although maybe it was covered in one of the nationals but I haven’t found it yet. Did ITV make a documentary, or was the producer covering it for a news item?

  8. I apologise for remaining anonymous for the time being .I am the source of Tom Watson's PMQ on 24th Oct said:

    Yes he made a documentary which I will arrange through a mutual link to get to you
    This latest conviction in France is great news but sad how long they get away with it and how many victims there are before a conviction
    People need to know how wide these networks stretch right across national boundaries
    Morris Fraser heavily linked with Ecole Bateau and of course Fraser heavily linked with Righton and Napier
    I sincerely hope that a new Kincora investigation looks at whether Fraser was involved. He was in the area as a respected Child Psychiatrist. The odds are high
    The ITV producer by the way is a highly motivated member of our small group working to get all this out and I hope you and gojam will come to our first organised conference later this year

  9. Soulonize said:

    Does anyone know whether Clifford Luton has been convicted?

  10. publications connected to Peter Righton:

    councelling homosexuals: a study [S.I.] Bedford Sq. Press 1973

    Child care concerns and conflicts: a reader / edited by Sonia Morgan and Peter Righton
    London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989 Book

    Social work education in conflict / edited by Margaret Richards, Peter Righton
    [London] [5 Tavistock Place WC1]
    National Institute for Social Work [1979] Book

  11. ironic isnt it? Righton produces a book on child care and ‘concerns’ and ‘conflicts’ ..honestly you couldnt make this up and also PIE have a book to do with Home Office in connection with criminal law with regard to children..was this their attempt to change the law on age of consent? if i could access this book from british library i might find out..

  12. @murun and all on an item in daily telegraph about savile where culture sec says BBC has to ask questions…someone posts on comment thread ” whatever happened to clifford luton? ” …that is bizarre..

  13. from P.A.N number 9 July 1981….

    “Peter Righton, Director of Education, National Institute for Social Work, does some valuable spadework on the so-called scientific studies made in the past of paedophlea. He points to the obvious weaknesses of prison research (although, curiously, he takes at face value the protestations of inmates convicted of sex contacts with minors that they aren’t really paedophiles at all but only turned to kids because they were under stress, drunk, isolated from adults, etc. and will never touch a kid again when released — honest!). A more serious weakness, he feels is “the fundamental assumption” by virtually all researchers in the past “that the adults under consideration are either evil or sick”. And he calls attention to the dearth of accounts by paedophiles themselves. “These studies, taken collectively as expressions of ‘expert’ opinion, act as powerful reenforcers of the stereotype influencing members of the public to equate paedophiles with child-molesters.” Previous research on paedophiles, then, serves not to enlighten but to perpetuate superstition. Righton, it seems, rather than devising ways to pickle, drug, electrocute or traumatize the brains of boy-lovers, has actually listened to them in the course of his counselling experience — 68 by his count — and to some ***14 of the boys they had relationships with.*** He has come to some remarkably sensible conclusions. Discussing the aetiology of this phenomenon he says, ”

    i wonder who Peter Righton ‘listened’ to and who the 14 boys were?????

    • murunbuch said:

      BBC Northern Ireland correspondent for many years, that’s how he’d have met Morris Fraser

      • When the stuart hall story broke..someone posted on comment thread ‘ what happened to clifford luton?
        Now that is pretty weird..

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