News of the World, 8th July 1979



Detectives investigating burglaries at the homes of top TV and showbusiness personalities have been given evidence linking them with a vice ring of teenage homosexuals.
Tam Paton, millionaire manager of the Bay City Rollers, has told police that “rent boys”—young male prostitutes—had cased his home and those of several other people in the pop world.
Cash and goods worth £100,000 were taken in five thefts and now detectives are taking a second look at unsolved burglaries in Finchley, Paddington and South London.
A 17-year-old homosexual has already been convicted of handling property stolen from Paton’s flat in Finchley, London.
The boy, [redacted], claimed in court that he received a guitar, two decanters, a record player and other electrical equipment from a boy in a club known as a meeting place for young homosexuals.
He said several showbusiness personalities went there and some of them had also been burgled.
Now police want to interview a 19-year-old youth in connection with the burglary at Paton’s flat and to assist with inquiries into an armed robbery at the South London home of a TV producer.
Mr Paton, who also has a home near Edinburgh, told me: “I do not wish to make any comment about my sex life, but I have no doubt that several burglaries which took place are connected with a crowd of rent boys and hustlers whom I had the misfortune to meet.
“I have been completely open with the police. I cannot say the same for other people in the same situation.
“It is true that I invited [redacted] into my flat in London, and to my home in Scotland.
“For some reason [redacted] desperately wanted to go to my flat in London. There was no question of sex.
“Later on his own invitation he arrived at my house in Scotland. Again there was no question of sex.
“My flat in London was cleaned out and I subsequently discovered that many showbiz colleagues who have been to clubs associated with gays have also been turned over.
“The other boy police want to interview has also been to my London flat. Again there was no question of sex.
“A lot of people are worried by these police investigations. I have had a phone call telling me to say nothing.”
Mr Paton, who goes to several gay clubs in London, and one in Edinburgh, added: “I believe people ought to know the truth. Many parents would be horrified if they discovered their sons had become rent boys or gay hustlers.
“Boys are openly hawking themselves about and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
“I’m not worried because I would not touch any of these boys.
“I know [redacted] well. I did not trust him.
“A lot of rich queens in the pop and showbiz scene are worried by what has been happening. But they are absolutely terrified that they might incriminate themselves.”
A police spokesman said: “We have received information from Mr Paton which we are checking out. Inquiries have been made in a certain club.”
A detective told me: “Because of the nature of the inquiries, we are not getting the fullest cooperation. It’s possible some victims are not being totally honest with us.”
When [redacted] appeared at Marylebone, London, he was given a 12-month conditional discharge for handling the property from Paton’s flat.
Afterwards [redacted], of Lissom Green Estate, Marylebone, said: “I’m gay. That is well known. I have had sex with several well-known people.
“But although I have admitted certain offences, I am not behind these burglaries.”
I tried to contact several showbusiness people whose homes have been burgled.
A radio and a television personality both refused to meet me or accept a telephone call. A record company boss said: “I have met one of the boys you mention. But he has never been near my place.”