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Can the Independent Child Sex Abuse Inquiry really properly investigate Elm Guest House?

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David HenckeLondon
Can the Independent Child Sex Abuse Inquiry really properly investigate Elm Guest House?
Next March the Child Sexual Abuse inquiry will look again at Elm Guest House and whether there was a cover-up by the police to protect VIP clients who allegedly came there for gay sex possibly with children. It looks like the inquiry will not have the time or inclination to do a thorough job.

The news that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is to investigate events surrounding Elm Guest House in the London borough of Richmond is to be welcomed. But I have serious doubts whether the inquiry will have the time and space to properly investigate.

The item is one of a number sandwiched into three weeks of hearings under the Westminster strand of the inquiry and Alexis Jay, the chair made it clear ,last month there is no intention to make any of the investigations exhaustive.

As she said:"It is important that everyone, including the public, understands that this is not, and has never intended to be, an exhaustive examination of all Westminster-related child sexual abuse issues. Even focusing on institutional issues, a comprehensive
examination of all the allegations that have been made, and all the questions that have been raised, particular on the internet, would involve hearings lasting months, if not years."

So what will this brief cover. Again according to her statement it will be limited:

"Another category of these investigations concerns allegations relating to Elm Guest House. Those allegations include possible misconduct on the part of the Metropolitan Police in the way in which investigations into goings on at Elm Guest House were conducted, and also allegations that the fruits of those investigations were covered up.

"The latter allegations include the well-known allegation that evidence relating to Leon Brittan's presence at and/or involvement with Elm Guest House was suppressed. We propose to call some more detailed evidence relating to these cases at the hearings next year."

So even the remit looking at Elm Guest House will be confined.

I got involved in reporting this after a source who was neither a child sex abuse survivor nor a politician, stumbled across it during an unrelated dispute. The source had also discovered - and I have never had time to investigate this - allegations of elder abuse at a home in Richmond. Until then as a journalist I had never investigated any cases of alleged child sexual abuse.

What followed was a whirlwind of allegations, some involving national politicians, others pointing to a lack of duty of care for children by Richmond Council at Grafton Close children's home, a muddled police investigation, and a series of very disturbing stories from people who were children at the home at the time.

It ended with the successful prosecution of a well connected Roman Catholic priest, Father Tony McSweeney and charges against the former deputy manager of the children's home., John Stingemore. McSweeney was sentenced to three years in gaol, Stingemore died a fortnight before he was due to appear before Southwark Crown Court.

Unlike Operation Midland the Met Police investigation did produce results. In McSweeney's case it forced the Roman Catholic Church to commission a report into what went wrong when it was revealed that the paedophile priest was caught some 30 years later with a file of indecent pictures on his computer while playing a major pastoral role with young boys and men in Norwich scouts, boxing clubs and with the Norwich City Football youth team.

While the evidence about any connection between Elm Guest House and Grafton Close was never tested in court because of Stingemore's death the trial did reveal that both McSweeney accompanied by Stingemore took boys away from the home without permission for weekends at a flat in Bexhill. They were present where various alleged sexual assaults took place. If Stingemore had been convicted, the jury would have found out that soon after leaving Richmond, and working for another authority he was arrested and convicted of child sexual abuse.

All this suggested that Richmond Council was seriously amiss in looking after children in its care and that both elected councillors and officials should have known what was going on. But it looks that the inquiry would not look at this aspect, allowing the council to be let off the hook.

As serious as this is when Elm Guest House was raided by the police, Grafton Close was designated as a place of safety for any children that might be found there. Effectively the police unwittingly were sending children to an establishment run by a paedophile with a paedophile friend who regularly visited it.And by alerting Grafton Close in advance if there was a connection with Elm Guest House, the establishment would have got a tip off about the raid.

As for the place itself it seems like many hotels that welcomed gay guests in late 1970s and early 1980s, tolerated both consenting gay adults staying overnight and possibly paedophiles. The fact is unlike today homosexuality was viewed as a closet activity, driving both adults and paedophiles to the same venues. The situation is reflected in hotels used as gay haunts in North Wales at the same time.

As for VIPs and a police cover up at Elm Guest House the inquiry will have its work cut out. Perhaps they can throw light on the Metropolitan Police's reply to Channel Four Dispatches that Sir Cyril Smith visited the venue. As for Leon Brittan, the identification that he is alleged to have visited the venue come not from survivors or any list compiled by anybody but from enraged residents of this posh Barnes road. They say they spotted both him and at other times boys getting out of cars late at night and were fed up with this sort of traffic in a respectable neighbourhood.

#child sex abuse inquiry, #elm guest house, #london borough of Richmond, #Tony McSweeney, #Sir Cyril Smith, #Leon Brittan

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Bandini

16 days ago

Fancy going travelling just as your name is being mentioned at the Big Inquiry, Hencke - most odd!

But anyway it seems I owe you an apology as a little light has now been shone on the point I repeatedly tried to get you to clear up:

"Exaro/Hencke explicitly stated that NONE of the charges Stingemore & McSweeney were to face involved Elm. None.It was only when Stingemore died that Exaro performed a total reversal and claimed otherwise. Hencke has been repeatedly pushed to explain this astonishing - nay, unbelievable - script rewrite & was unable to offer anything whatsoever to back it up."

Although it may have seemed to me to be 'unbelievable', it does seem to have been the case after all. I apologise. However, the hand that giveth also taketh away and I think your reason for refusing to back-up that claim ALSO becomes clear (although even the IICSA's O'Connor managed to get a bit tangled up with Commander Jerome's testimony over this point, so...)

From what I can gather, of the 40 former residents of Grafton who were questioned only a solitary complainant (WM-A115) alleged abuse also took place at Elm. Stingemore was charged with offences relating to this complainant including offence(s) AT Elm (along with other charges).

"The Crown Prosecution Service had concerns about WM-A115's allegations. Having initially authorised charges, the CPS withdrew them, before reinstating them following an appeal."

(The charges are detailed on pages 26 and 27: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/9706/view/OHY006904.pdf )

O'Sweeney was also charged with offences relating to the SAME complainant WM-A115 (though NOT in relation to Elm).

Stingemore died so could not be tried.
O'Sweeney WAS tried and convicted of several charges. However he was found 'not guilty' of the charge relating to WM-A115.

From page 199, https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/9697/view/public-hearing-transcript-7-march-2019.pdf

"Q [O'Connor]. In any event, Mr Settle has expressed his view that those allegations [that children were being prostituted out from a local children's home and taken to Elm] were completely false. What is the Metropolitan Police's position in relation to those allegations?

A [Commander Jerome]. So I would say that that is entirely consistent with the evidence that I have given to this inquiry this afternoon."

In other words, the Met's position is that the supposed link between Grafton & Elm was "completely false" & it follows, therefore, that they shared the CPS' "concerns" over the Elm-related charge(s) that were reinstated after an appeal (and one has to wonder what role or influence the media - or perhaps meddling Watson who you accompanied to the initial meeting with police to present your incredible evidence of a 'boy brothel' - might have played here).

Nevertheless I apologise.
Perhaps when you return from your travels you'll start doing the same.

Bandini

14 days ago

Regarding the role of the media/Watson I've just seen this on Hencke's blog:

“The full story by my colleague Mark Conrad is on the Exaro website.but in essence it involved the CPS reviewing the charges after a complaint from Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, who revealed the scale of the scandal against Sir Cyril Smith, and planned action by Tom Watson MP to help the witness involved.”

Mystery (almost) solved. Encouraged & assisted by the errant traveller, Hencke?

https://davidhencke.com/2014/08/07/elm-guest-house-child-abuse-charges-to-be-reinstated/

Bandini

4 months ago

Oh lord, where to start with this? In no particular order...

1) "As for Leon Brittan, the identification that he is alleged to have visited the venue come not from survivors or any list compiled by anybody but from enraged residents of this posh Barnes road."

Untrue. In fact, it is a bare-faced lie from Hencke who well knows that the "identification" comes from the fraudulent low-life liar Chris Fay who claimed to have seen a photograph (which of course later 'vanished', so we'll just have to take his word for it, eh?).

When one of Exaro's 'magnificient seven' MPs spoke in Parliament his source was - who else? - David Hencke:

"... she had photographs of establishment figures at her hotel. One of them apparently showed a former Cabinet Minister in a sauna with a naked boy. She had logbooks, names, times, dates, pictures of her customers and so on. All that evidence simply disappeared after the raids and no longer exists. That is astonishing."

(It's equally astonishing that Hencke claims to have seen one of these 'logbooks' - perhaps by closing his eyes really tightly & wishing on a star. But let's not digress...)

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2014-11-27/debates/14112768000002/HistoricalChildSexAbuse

So, no mention of the neighbours moaning about losing their parking-spaces 35 years ago. Chris Fay → David Hencke → Zac Goldsmith.

Of course there was another individual fingering Brittan, though as there are criminal trials on the horizon we'd best not say too much. But let's not forget the name of the outfit behind THOSE claims: Exaro.

Anyway, Goldsmith left us in no doubt about Hencke & Exaro's role:

"Above all, I wish to pay tribute to the extraordinary work by the investigative journalists at Exaro, particularly David Hencke... ... But Exaro is crucial; David Hencke has encyclopaedic knowledge of something that I do not ever want to have encyclopaedic knowledge of, and he is an extraordinary figure."

Extraordinary!

Hencke: "I got involved in reporting this after a source who was neither a child sex abuse survivor nor a politician, stumbled across it during an unrelated dispute... ... Until then as a journalist I had never investigated any cases of alleged child sexual abuse."

How quickly he aquired that "encyclopaedic knowledge"! Heck, one might even say that he is an 'encyclopaedophile". Aye, has a ring about it...

2) Hencke: "Stingemore was charged with one count involving Elm Guest House but he died just before the case was due to come to court. So it was never tested in court."

God, I'm sick of repeating this but once again and in the interests of the TRUTH the fact is that Exaro/Hencke explicitly stated that NONE of the charges Stingemore & McSweeney were to face involved Elm. None. It was only when Stingemore died that Exaro performed a total reversal and claimed otherwise. Hencke has been repeatedly pushed to explain this astonishing - nay, unbelievable - script rewrite & was unable to offer anything whatsoever to back it up.

(See here, for example: https://www.byline.com/column/22/article/1938 )

But now?

"While the evidence about any connection between Elm Guest House and Grafton Close was never tested in court because of Stingemore's death the trial did reveal that both McSweeney accompanied by Stingemore took boys away from the home without permission for weekends at a flat in Bexhill."

Is this for real? The 'connection' to Elm - explicitly denied prior to death - is that they visited a flat in Bexhill?!? Ho ho ho! Seriously, what an absolute joke.

3) I'll drop this in here as despite the creepy obsession the 'campaigners' have with all things related to child abuse I didn't see a single one of them even pick up on this story, though given the shame they ought to have felt after reading it it is perhaps unsurprising:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44157428

Actually, one of them did: Mad Mary Moss - who was one of those responsible for pasting this fellow's name across the internet - had the bloody nerve to claim that it had been for his own good, to protect him no less! Nice one, Mary! Have a good read, Hencke. Feeling proud?

The subject of the piece previously appeared in the Panorama program that debunked a lot of the idiotic crap that Hencke & the Exaro goons had unleashed; he made it clear that Chris Fay's assertion that he had ever been to/abused in Elm Guest House was false. Fay lied. Just like he did about the bloody photographs that Hencke's stooge - Zac Goldsmith - relayed to Parliament. But now it's about (what Hencke has previously described as) "posh chauffeur driven cars" causing a nuisance to the inhabitants of (what he know terms) a "posh Barnes road". Who would've ever thought that festering car-envy could cause so much havoc...

I can't be bothered. You're a fraud, David Hencke, and a rotten liar to boot. I hope they drag you before the Inquiry and have the coppers on standby to cuff you when you've finished sweating. A 'rotten core participant'.

David Hencke

4 months ago

I see you are up to your usual rubbish. I am afraid your wish will never come true