Cyril Smith

Dear Mr. Wilson,

I wonder if you would be prepared to help me.

I am a retired Child Protection Team Manager and the source of Tom Watson, MP’s PMQ to David Cameron on 24th October 2012, regarding the high profile paedophile ring that was partially exposed as a result of a police raid on Peter Righton’s home in 1992. The allegations that I took to Tom Watson resulted in the setting up of the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation, Operation Fernbridge.

Today I have become aware, after the intense speculation surrounding the article in the Mail On Sunday regarding the MP “north of Watford” , of your previous role with Social Work Today and by implication BASW.

I was heavily involved with the making of the BBC’s Inside Story Documentary in 1994 – The Secret Life of a Paedophile – which was about Righton. It remains very much unfinished business for me as to how much of a major player Righton was in an international not just national network of abusers, and I admit to almost obsessional behaviour in trying to get the whole truth out on how evil a man he was and how many vulnerable children were abused directly by him or through the access he provided for fellow paedophiles.

Righton made little secret to close colleagues of his inclinations, as described by Barbara Kahan and Daphne Statham in the Secret Life documentary. Did your paths cross when you edited Social Work Today from 1976 – 79?

I have recently been told that Righton and Cyril Smith not only knew each other but may have operated together as paedophiles. Nothing in the 3 days I spent at Evesham Police Station in 1992 going through the tons of paperwork, letters, diaries etc removed on arrest from Righton’s home gave a clue to any such relationship.

However I am aware that Cyril Smith was the Liberals spokesperson on Social Services during your time at SWT and so it was highly possible that they knew each other through that link.

If you wish to check on my authenticity you can google the Spotlightonabuse site and look at my various contributions such as “An Open Letter to David Cameron”.

I will also now send you communication seperately between myself and Norman Baker who has agreed to meet me on 13th May as Minister of Justice to discuss my concerns raised in the Open Letter to Cameron.

I know that you have a reputation of being a very successful campaigner (“We can only try to edge the world in the right direction” is a quote of yours I understand) and so I hope you will appreciate what I am trying to achieve.

Incidentally and I hope you don’t mind me raising this, can I assume that today in the Mail isn’t the first time you have made such serious allegations about what you knew to be happening with the “MP north of Watford”. I would like to believe that you passed this information to the Police at the time or certainly not long afterwards.
If you are able to share what happened to it after that I would be grateful to know. I am not asking for the name of the MP!!

Yours sincerely,

Peter McKelvie


Please Note – as of 7th June, no reply has been received to this letter

Dear Mr. Cameron

On the very day, 24th October 2012, that Tom Watson asked you a PMQ re. the possibility of a link between a very large and highly organised paedophile ring and No 10, you made a number of quotes to the mainstream media.

You were in fact referring to the Savile/BBC/NHS scandal.

I made a note of some of those quotes :-

”The Government will do all it can do, other institutions must do what they can do, to make sure that we learn the lesson of this and it can NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN”

“Collusion should NEVER happen again ”

”The measure of how our society is, is how we treat its most vulnerable members”

There are no more vulnerable members of our society than children who have been taken in to care and then re-abused by the very people charged with the responsibility of caring for them and protecting them,and even worse then passing them on to be further abused by the very people who make the laws in this country and are expected to lead the way on the moral compass of that society.

I have no doubt that you have watched or been made aware of Channel 4′s Dispatches on 12th September and the allegations that arose from it regarding the role of senior politicians, the security services and the Crown Prosecution Service in covering up the horrendous abuse carried out by Cyril Smith over 5 decades.The overlap with Savile in terms of who knew about this abuse were laid bare.

I also have no doubt that you are aware that your colleagues in your party, Edwina Currie,Gyles Brandreth and Rod Richards have made very damning statements of how well known in Westminster circles it was that Peter Morrison was a dangerous paedophile, and yet his career was unaffected as he rose to be Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Mrs. Thatcher’s PPS in 1990 and her campaign manager that same year despite this knowledge having been around for many years.

I also have no doubt that you are aware of the statement of Tim Fortescue,Edward Heath’s Chief Whip from 1970-73, made public on Michael Cockerell’s BBC Documentary in 1995 called “Westminster’s Secret Service “.
Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said ” For anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth ………….. it might be erm erm a scandal involving small boys ……….. we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points ……. and if I mean, that sounds a pretty,pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then,he will do as we ask forever more.”

I don’t need to tell you of the revulsion I feel towards our political masters having worked with sexually abused children for over 30 years when I heard of how the Whips ran the Dirt Book system.

Your colleague, John Whittingdale, in his role as Chair of the Culture Committee,put himself forward as the moral voice of Parliament in the days following the exposure of Savile on national TV.
He lost no opportunity to appear on every news channel for many days to demand in effect the head of the Director General of the BBC.To date I have not heard you or Mr. Whittingdale demand such investigations in to your own institution despite the mountain of concern a small proportion of which I have referred to above.
Just on Savile alone without looking any further why was there no investigation along the lines of the many BBC inquiries in to why a British Prime Minister was so close to Savile that he allegedly attended 13 consecutive New Year’s Eve parties at Chequers and why the same Prime Minister allegedly persevered for many years in insisting that such an evil man long identified as having a deviant sexual history should get a knighthood,ignoring the advice of her closest advisers.
Why was the same man so welcome in Prince Charles’s properties despite the security services and similar vetting institutions having enough opportunity to tap in to the ” gossip” about Savile that was around for decades.

I would dearly like to go in to more detail but until the Metropolitan Police’s Operations Fernbridge and Fairbank are completed then for obvious reasons I can not.

In the aftermath of the Lord McAlpine affair I was extremely disappointed by the confusion you attempted to create by making accusations of gay witch-hunts. There is no connection whatsoever between being gay and being a paedophile.
This is about and only about people who abuse young children regardless of whether the abuser is heterosexual or gay.
There is no witch-hunt against gay people and it was most irresponsible for a Prime Minister to make such a statement when the abuse of our most vulnerable was the issue.

Now is the time for you to show the genuine commitment expected of a Prime Minister and do what you preached in those statements last October especially ” COLLUSION SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN ” and the demand that ALL institutions look inwards and examine their role in past collusion/cover up.

A starting point, and to give Parliament and Government any credibility in this heinous historical scandal, is for you to put all party political considerations aside and arrange an urgent meeting with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to draw up a blueprint as to how your own institution will be investigated along the lines of the way you and colleagues demanded that people be brought to account in the BBC or NHS for their failure to blow the whistle on Savile.

It would be better if you led such an exercise before it is forced upon you by public demand.
The latter will happen in time.

A starting point would be an immediate statement that there will be urgent cross-party talks to set up an independant body to examine who ordered these cover ups of people like Smith and Morrison, after ordering an immediate Police investigation by the National Crime Agency and ensuring that the latter body has sufficient resources to go wherever the evidence takes them and however long it takes. This must include the investigation of living politicians, police officers,civil servants,security services personnel etc.

Yours sincerely,
The source of Tom Watson’s PMQ

Former Liberal leader Lord Steel insists that “no complaint of any conduct against Cyril Smith MP was ever made to me“. This is despite Smith’s name coming up in connection with sex offences against children with alarming regularity over a 30 year period.

The police knew about Smith as early as 1965. Senior Liberals knew about Smith.

So why did nobody consider his behaviour serious enough to complain to the Liberal leader, David Steel? Perhaps they were too busy “sniggering” about child sexual abuse to bother making a complaint.


CyrilSmith1Last month Exaro News revealed that Greater Manchester Police had abandoned their investigation into the sexual abuse of boys by the late Liberal MP, Sir Cyril Smith. Apparently the NSPCC had offered to help conduct a fact-finding survey similar to the one carried out on Jimmy Savile, but the GMP refused.

Cyril Smith is known to have abused boys at Cambridge House hostel and Knowl View special school, both in Rochdale. GMP recently announced that they are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at Knowl View dating back to the 1970s, but they are not investigating allegations against Smith.

GMP have denied that the Cyril Smith investigation is closed, saying that if anyone wants to come forward they would ‘record this to recognise the abuse the victim has suffered’ .Which basically means that the Cyril Smith investigation is closed, but GMP are pretending that it’s not.

So, why have Greater Manchester Police closed the investigation, and why did they refuse the offer of a large scale fact-finding survey?

Is it because the evidence they would find would be extremely damaging to all major political parties? What has leaked out so far is the tip of the iceberg. Smith was offending for decades and was protected by the Establishment. Look at what we know already:

– Cyril Smith abused boys at hostels and special schools in Rochdale.

He abused boys at Elm Guest House in London along with other MPs and Establishment figures.

Police were aware he was a paedophile in 1965, seven years before he became an MP.

– Cases against Smith were referred to the CPS at least three times, but no action was taken.

Senior Liberals knew all about Smith, but said nothing.

– Former Liberal leader David Steel claims he ‘never received any complaints’ about Cyril Smith

– Smith was an associate of paedophile Jimmy Savile

– Smith and ‘a former Cabinet Minister’ were ‘regularly handed boys’ by child killer Sidney Cooke

Smith was connected to Peter Righton, who was part of a network of paedophiles that abused boys in care homes and schools across the UK.

So imagine what else would come to light if a full fact-finding investigation was carried out? This is what Greater Manchester Police and the Government are scared of. Unlike Operation Yewtree, it wouldn’t be possible to divert the investigation towards washed-up celebrities. It would inevitably lead towards children’s homes, special schools, guest houses, MPs, Lords, and powerful Establishment figures.


The police now publicly accept that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by the Rochdale MP

Daily Mirror, 27th November 2012


Heavyweight MP Sir Cyril Smith was a paedophile who should have been brought to trial, authorities admitted today.

The MP was accused of molesting eight boys in a children’s home in his constituency of Rochdale in the Sixties.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed they decided three times – in 1970, 1998, and 1999 – not to prosecute the Liberal MP for alleged child abuse after being passed files by the police.

And Greater Manchester police said tonight that if they allegations had been made today they could have taken the case to court.

The force has taken command of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against the late MP.

Officers have been working with colleagues at Lancashire Police to pull together previous investigations carried out into Smith’s activities.

GMP now publicly accepts that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith….and they said if he had any accomplices still alive they would pursue the case.

Three separate files regarding Sir Cyril Smith’s actions were passed to first the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service although on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: “This has been a very complex inquiry and I hope people understand why it has taken some time before we were in a position to comment publicly.

“It was very important that both ourselves and Lancashire Police examined all our records very carefully so we could be certain what involvement we had in investigating allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against such a high-profile figure as Smith.

“We are now in a position to say that on three separate occasions, files were passed to first the DPP and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

“Having now reviewed those decisions, we believe that if the same evidence was presented to the CPS today there would have been a very realistic prospect that Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults, and that the case would have been brought to trial.

“Clearly that is a bold statement to make but it is absolutely important for those victims who were abused by Smith that we publicly acknowledge the suffering they endured.

“Although, Smith cannot be charged or convicted posthumously, from the overwhelming evidence we have it is right and proper we should publicly recognise that young boys were sexually and physically abused and we will offer them as much support as they need should they wish to speak to us.”

An investigation was carried out by Lancashire Police in the late 1960s into Sir Cyril Smith’s actions at the Cambridge House Hostel, a privately-run care home in Rochdale.

The investigating officer presented details of allegations made by eight youths to the DPP, and concluded Smith had indecently assaulted young boys. The DPP recommended no prosecution be pursued.

In 1998 and 1999, Greater Manchester Police passed two separate files to the CPS about Smith’s activities at Cambridge House, but on both occasions no further action was recommended.

Greater Manchester Police also investigated Smith’s involvement with the Knowl View care home in Rochdale, but during this investigation no allegations of sexual abuse were made.

Since the allegations resurfaced in recent weeks, two people have come forward to report historic abuse by Smith, and both are being investigated by Greater Manchester Police.

The Force continues to encourage anyone who was a victim to come forward.

“We need to be both realistic and frank that as Smith is no longer alive, we will not be able to bring any criminal prosecution against him,” ACC Heywood said.

“So there is no confusion whatsoever among the public: if you have a complaint, please report it to Greater Manchester Police. I would stress that if you do want to speak to someone, your information will be treated with the appropriate sensitivity and in total confidence.

“If we receive any evidence that anyone was complicit in the abuse that is still alive today, we will of course investigate that thoroughly.

“Lastly, I want to add my sympathies to anyone who was a victim of sexual or physical abuse by Sir Cyril Smith.

“Having reviewed the full history of this case, I am satisfied that numerous attempts were made to expose his activities but for various reasons this did not happen.

“That will be of little comfort to the people who were brave enough to recall their traumatic experiences, but will never see justice done in court. However, I hope that by publicly acknowledging what happened 50 years ago it will give those people some sense of justice.”

Smith, who died in 2010, was elected to parliament in 1972 and served for 20 years before retiring from politics.

He faced rumours of abuse throughout his career, allegations were published twice, but he never faced any charges.



Daily Mail, 23 November 2012

For a monthly newspaper published from a cellar by two idealistic young college lecturers, the scoop on the front page of the tiny Rochdale Alternative Press in May 1979 was truly sensational.

Known as RAP, the newspaper, which cost nine pence and was distributed by volunteers in pubs, devoted its entire cover to a story headlined: Strange Case of Smith the Man. Inside, across two pages, the report detailed — in harrowing, graphic terms — the systematic sexual abuse of young boys at a children’s home set up by local dignitaries and funded by the Lancashire town’s Rotary Club. But what really created a stir was the man identified as the chief paedophile: Cyril Smith.

Elected as the local Liberal MP in 1972, a position he held for the next 20 years, the 29-stone 50-year-old was as famous for his weight as his political views.

A regular on the chat-show circuit of the time, he even appeared with Jimmy Savile, the now disgraced BBC disc jockey, on a celebrity edition of the DJ’s TV programme Clunk Click. Smith died from cancer two years ago but remains,  officially, the fattest man ever to be an MP.

Known nationally as ‘Big Cyril’, the unmarried politician had first come to prominence when he bizarrely named his mum as First Lady of Rochdale after he became mayor in 1966, saying he wanted to ‘thank her’ for everything.

He later explained that he was a lifelong bachelor because politics meant ‘he hadn’t had a lot of time for courting women’.

The politician’s predilection for young boys, however, was already the stuff of gossip and jokes in pubs around Rochdale, a close-knit community where secrets did not remain secret for long.

The investigation published in the Rochdale Alternative Press grew out of saloon-bar chat at the Golden Ball, the local pub used for meetings by David Bartlett and John Walker, joint editors of the alternative newspaper, which was printed from a cellar in Bartlett’s home.

With rumours circulating about Smith and young boys for years, and the MP standing for election under the strange banner ‘I am the Man’, the pair had decided to see whether there was credible evidence to back up such allegations. There was.

After interviews with staff and former residents of the children’s home, and senior police officers aware of the allegations, at the end of a six-month investigation the newspaper had discovered nine victims willing to talk, and had four signed affidavits.

With the backing of a prominent lawyer in London, who studied the evidence, the tiny newspaper published its damning conclusions, revealing how the local MP liked to carry out perverted ‘medical examinations’ of young boys in the care home and fondle them inappropriately.

So what was the reaction to this extraordinary allegation? At first, there was mayhem. Other newspapers and television crews descended on Rochdale, buying up copies of the newspaper. Bartlett and Walker were interviewed. Photographs were taken.

But then Smith, a famous, powerful figure, swiftly announced that he was taking out an injunction against RAP and backed up the threat by claiming he was also suing for libel. Private Eye published a follow-up story repeating the allegations — but that was it.

‘It was a gagging action [on Smith’s part] — to prevent anyone else writing about this,’ David Bartlett, now 74 and living in retirement on the Isle of Wight, told me this week.
‘Smith never did sue. He increased his majority at the next election. The whole thing died down and just faded away.’


Jeremy Thorpe & Cyril Smith

Now, more than three decades later, the same claims about Big Cyril are finally being made at the highest level. With fresh impetus to uncover sexual abuse following the Savile scandal, police this week revealed that they have launched an investigation into the allegations.

This development came after Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, raised the matter in the House of Commons after victims contacted him to tell their stories. He described Smith as a ‘29st bully who imposed himself on his victims, leaving them humiliated, terrified and reduced to quivering wrecks’.

If what the MP says is true, why were Smith’s victims ignored for so long? Did someone cover up for Smith, and if so, could he have been protected by figures in the government of the day?

The question we must now consider is this: was Smith’s depravity indeed known about at the very highest levels of the Establishment, including the security services — and the plight of his victims ignored on the grounds of ‘political expediency’ at a time when he was key to a weak Labour government’s relationship with the Liberals?

Raised by his mother, along with a brother and sister, in a two-room house, Cyril Smith had, apart from a brief spell working for the tax office, been involved in local politics for much of his life.

In 1962, aged 34, he began taking a keen interest in youth matters in Rochdale — sitting on committees in charge of the Rochdale Youth Theatre, the Rochdale Youth Orchestra, the Youth Employment Committee, as well as the governorship of 29 local schools.

As well as these duties, Smith also directed his energies into setting up a hostel for boys from deprived families in Rochdale, approaching poor parents and explaining that their child would be better off  in care.

Funded with council cash, as well as donations from prominent businessmen and the local Rotary club, Cambridge House opened in 1962. Crucially, Smith kept his  own set of keys for the hostel,  meaning that he could come and go as he pleased.

Barry Fitton was a 15-year-old resident when he first had the misfortune to encounter Smith. Fitton was placed in the home because he was from a disadvantaged background — the son of a single mother — and had problems at school.

‘Everybody knew Cyril Smith,’ he told me. ‘He was very famous in Rochdale — he was very involved in things concerning young kids, boys’ clubs and things like that.’

Fitton says he was sexually abused a number of times by Smith. ‘I was embarrassed, of course,’ he says. ‘I felt this was not right, but what could I do? He was an authority figure and I had to do what he said. He was such an important guy, and I was 15 and scared to death.’

Once, he was told he was to have a medical examination at Cambridge House. ‘I thought it would be a doctor, but it was Cyril Smith. He told me to take my pants down and he started to fondle me. I thought it was odd and not right, but as far as I was concerned, he was completely powerful.’

Other victims have also come forward, describing almost identical abuse, as well as ‘spanking’ sessions when the gargantuan Smith would arrive to discipline boys accused of breaking rules — and then ‘comfort’ them after physically abusing them. When he discovered that Barry Fitton had  gone one day to hang around in Manchester, Smith summoned him to his office at the home for punishment, ordering the teenager to take his trousers down and bend over his knee. He then hit the boy.

‘He was big and heavy. You’ll have seen the size of his hands in pictures. Imagine how that would feel slapping you around,’ added Mr Fitton, now in his mid-60s and living in Amsterdam. ‘I was crying and he said “oh, there, there” and he stroked my bottom and fondled my buttocks.

‘There are still people in Rochdale who don’t believe that Cyril Smith was capable of doing these things. I think it should be brought out into the open, not just for my peace of mind but for other people’s peace of mind.’

So why did this not come out at the time? Our investigation has established that there were at least three separate police investigations into Smith — he became Sir Cyril after being knighted by the Queen in 1988 for public services — during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

We can also reveal that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions also sought outside opinion from a prominent barrister over whether charges should be brought in the 1970s. The barrister advised that there were sufficient grounds for prosecution. But the DPP still refused to act. Could the Home Office have blocked the charges?

But the biggest issue of all is this: If there was a conspiracy that allowed Smith to evade justice, was it founded on the cynical political calculations of the day?

For the fact is that throughout the years that his perversions were investigated by police, from 1974 until 1979, first the Conservatives and  then Labour wooed Smith’s Liberal Party.

The first General Election of 1974, in February, saw Labour win the most seats, but no overall majority. The Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, opened negotiations with Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe about forming a coalition government. Thorpe was himself the subject of squalid rumours  that would culminate in his trial  for the attempted murder of  his homosexual lover (he was  later acquitted).

When the Heath-Thorpe talks broke down, Labour’s Harold Wilson formed a minority government.
Although Wilson was returned with a slender majority in an election eight months later, that soon collapsed and in 1977 his successor, Jim Callaghan, and Thorpe’s replacement, David Steel, forged a Lib-Lab pact.

Wilson was aware of the scandal around Thorpe long before his trial shortly in 1979, and had asked Special Branch to keep him informed.

Any decision to prosecute Cyril Smith over allegations of homosexual child abuse could have proved just as devastating to Labour as to the Liberals. The question of who ran the country — so finely balanced because of the lack of a large majority — was at stake.

Throughout these years, Smith, popular throughout the land on account of his bluff Northern manner, was even touted as a government minister, and had served as his party’s chief whip.

According to police and legal sources with knowledge of these historic investigations, there was little appetite in Westminster for a high-profile trial.

The source says: ‘With the Jeremy Thorpe scandal hanging over the political scene, it may have been politically expedient to sit on the matter. It appears Sir Cyril’s influence politically was just too great, and the issue was quashed.’

This would explain one of the murkiest episodes of all in the Smith scandal: the removal by MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence wing, of police files containing reams of documents and sworn statements from victims of the MP.

In what serving officers of the time believed was part of a sinister cover-up, these police files — ‘thick’ with allegations from boys abused by Smith — were seized by MI5 and have never been seen since.

According to Tony Robinson, an officer with Lancashire Police in the 1970s, the files disappeared after an MI5 agent told him they needed to be sent to intelligence officials in London. After being taken out of the safe at Special Branch headquarters in Preston for despatch to the capital, the files vanished.

‘I looked through Sir Cyril’s file, which was kept in a safe in our office,’ he told a newspaper last week. ‘It was full of statements from young boys alleging abuse. It had been prepared for prosecution. Written across the top of it were the words: “No further action, not in the public interest. DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions].”’

To add to the stench of a cover-up, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), having initially claimed to have ‘no knowledge’ of any police investigation, admitted this week that it had now ‘unearthed’ its own file about allegations against Smith from as long ago as the 1960s.

Simon Danczuk MP told the Mail yesterday: ‘I am absolutely convinced there was a cover-up of Smith’s abuse. The question now is why, and why are ministers refusing to answer questions about police files full of allegations of abuse that were seized by Special Branch and buried?

‘Smith set a tone in Rochdale that made people like him think they could get away with this stuff, and I’ve no doubt that he was emboldened to carry on abusing children, all the time thinking that he was above  the law.

‘The daughter of a victim who’s now passed away has told us her father went to his grave angry and ashamed about Smith having abused him.’

Despite persistent inquiries by the Mail over the past  fortnight, the CPS has repeatedly refused to say who took the decision not to prosecute the MP, and why. Officials have also refused to answer any questions about specific allegations against the MP, or whether they will be made public.

The truth is that, as in the Savile case, the authorities seem to have been woefully reluctant to prosecute a high-profile figure, despite investigating the steady swirl of  allegations against him.

And many of those involved in the case — police, victims,  lawyers — believe the orders not to press charges came from the top, with Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, Labour Prime Ministers during different parts of the police probe, being involved in signing off decisions not to press ahead with charges so as not to upset their  Liberal allies.

Recent events prove that such allegations must be treated with all due caution — which is why the contents of those  police files take on such great significance.
So where are the police  documents now? Nobody knows — yet.

But what is certain is that, if there was an Establishment cover-up on behalf of Big Cyril, it is slowly but surely starting to unravel.

Operation Orchid investigated the paedophile ring led by Sidney Cooke who were responsible for the sexual abuse of dozens of boys, and the murder of up to 25 boys including Barry Lewis, Mark Tildesley and Jason Swift.

££ SUNDAY MIRROR ONLY Sidney Cooke-1714038

Officers working on the case eventually managed to get Cooke to confess to Swift’s murder, but soon after the Crown Prosecution Service decided to downgrade Cooke’s murder charge to the lesser charge of manslaughter. This angered the victims’ families and police, who felt the original murder charge was correct and said “it was the judge and jury who should decide”. This is referred to in this documentary around 38:00:

When Operation Orchid ended, “detectives admitted that they knew there were up to a dozen members of the ring who had escaped prosecution“.

We now have a much better idea of who these other members of the ring might be, thanks to a former Operation Orchid detective who spoke to the Mirror.

A former detective who worked on the original investigation into Cooke told the Sunday Mirror that the minister was among those alleged to have been ­photographed in a 1986 police surveillance on premises where boys had been dropped off. Others allegedly included Jimmy Savile, MP Cyril Smith and top judges – though none of them were ever arrested.

In spring 1987, when the decision to downgrade the charge was made, the Director of Public Prosecutions would have been either Sir Thomas Hetherington or Sir Alan Green. I haven’t been able to establish the exact date in 1987 when Hetherington stepped down and Green replaced him. They were both a safe pair of hands for the Establishment. In 1981, Hetherington had taken the decison not to prosecute paedophile diplomat Sir Peter Hayman.


Sir Alan Green went on to preside over the unsuccessful appeals of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, both among most notorious miscarriages of justice of the 20th century.

The decision to downgrade the murder charge resulted in Cooke receiving a sentence of only 19 years, remarkably short considering the horrific nature of his crimes. It seems likely that a deal was done to secure Cooke a shorter sentence if he promised to keep quiet about other members of the paedophile ring.

In 1989, the victims’ families received a further blow when the CPS decided to reduce Cooke’s sentence by 3 years as a result of an admission by Leslie Bailey, another member of the gang, that he was the ringleader. This was despite the fact that Bailey had learning difficulties, and all evidence pointed to he fact that Cooke was the ringleader. This resulted in Cooke being released from prison in 1998, having served just 9 years.

Leslie Bailey was later strangled in his prison cell. Another associate of Cooke’s, convicted paedophile William Malcolm, had bragged about being present at Jason Swift’s murder. After he was released from prison he was killed in an apparent hit, one shot to the head on his doorstep in East London. This doesn’t bear the hallmarks of a revenge attack, and looks more like someone making sure that he couldn’t talk about other members of Cooke’s paedophile ring.