Operation Circus

The Sun, 16 May 1986 p.11


A judge slammed the scandal of ‘rentboy’ vice rings in London’s West End yesterday as he jailed a gay social worker for four years.

Judge John Hazan QC, said at the Old Bailey: ‘This evil trade must stop.

“One can only hope that the realisation by punters of the dangers of sexual transmission of diseases such as AIDS will give them cause for thought.”

His attack came after Abraham Jacob, 45, was convicted of living off the earnings of teenaged male prostitutes.

The judge told him: “You must learn that young men are not pieces of meat on display on a rack to be sold like merchandise in the market.”

Jacob who cared for the elderly was found guilty by [  ] majority after the jury retired for 14 hours.

The court heard that Jacob, a senior care officer with London’s Islington council worked a gay vice ring called ‘The Meat Rack’ in Piccadilly Circus.

Runaway boys were displayed in Wimpy bar windows for clients to select for sex.

The judge told Jacob: “You are a menace to young men. They are human beings entitled to be treated with dignity.” The judge also praised the police for mounting ‘Operation Circus’ to smash the rings.

The People, 2nd November 1986

People021186The scandal never surfaced. The article may have been referring to a name that came up during Operation Circus, an investigation into child prostitution centred on Piccadilly Circus.

“And last night, senior detectives blamed politicians for dragging their feet in taking action against any MP involved.”

Daily Mail, 21st May 1987


News of the World, 11th May 1986

NOTW110586Although the police operation isn’t named in this article, I’ve filed it under Operation Circus as it involves child prostitution in Piccadilly Circus, and falls within the date range 1985-1987. However, the article refers to ” major probe into a police homosexual ring”, so this may have been a separate police investigation.

I don’t know the exact date Operation Circus started, but I believe the first trial was that of Ronald Cooper, the boss of Leeways children’s home, who was convicted in June 1985. According to The Times, the file on Operation Circus was closed on 17th February 1987. It said that a total of 15 men had been tried at the Central Criminal Court during the investigation.

I have so far only been able to find information on 5 of those men. Ronald Cooper (June 1985), Andrew Prichodsky (January 1986), Malcolm Raywood (January 1986), Abraham Jacob (May 1986), and Samuel Bolger (February 1987). I would be grateful for any information on the remaining 10 men.