Second venue identified in Elm Guest House child sex abuse scandal

A  child sex abuse victim has identified a second house in the London borough of Richmond where children in care in the borough were taken en route to Elm Guest House.

The property in Avondale Road, Mortlake, has since changed hands but appears to be some sort of holding house for children in care who were taken out for the day.

The Met police have been informed about the existence of the property but it is not clear whether it is part of their  current investigation under Operation Fernbridge.

 A report by my colleague Mark Conrad on the Exaro website interviews  the victim who says that he knows of other children  taken to the property in the 1980s.

Elm Guest House is part of a current investigation but no charges have been brought against anybody for abusing children there. The guest house  was  at the time used by gays including it is claimed by MPs and other important figures. The Met Police have said that one of the visitors was  Sir Cyril Smith, the Liberal Democrat MP, who since his death has been exposed as a paedophile.

Elm Guest House owner released without charge

Harry Kasir, the co-owner of Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London has been released without charge by the police.
A report in Exaro News today discloses that detectives at Operation Fernbridge released Mr Kasir who ran the guest house with his wife Carole and said to be the centre of a VIP paedophile ring between 1979 and 1983.
Investigations into Elm Guest House are still continuing by the police as are investigations into the now closed Grafton Close children’s home run by Richmond Council in south west London.
Kasir has refused to comment about what happened at Elm Guest House. He did not return calls seeking comment about the police decision to release him without charge.
Sources close to Operation Fernbridge told Exaro that detectives were hoping that Kasir would become a key witness. However, he refused to talk to them about his time as co-manager of Elm Guest House.
After a police raid on the guest house in 1982, the Kasirs were convicted at the Old Bailey of running a disorderly house – meaning a brothel – and fined £1,000 each. They were given nine-month prison sentences, suspended for two years.

The former Elm Tree Guest House i  Pic courtesy: Exaro

The former Elm Tree Guest House i Pic courtesy: Exaro

Crown Prosecution Service to drop some charges in Richmond child abuse scandal

The Met Police paedophile unit has suffered a set back in its long running investigation into historic child abuse in Richmond after the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to drop some of the charges.
A story in Exaro News mainly by my colleague Mark Conrad reveals that the CPS have done a U-turn by changing their mind over four out of the 18 charges against 71-year-old John Stingemore,the former deputy manager of Grafton Close children’s home in Richmond on Thames, and 66-year-old Roman Catholic priest, Tony McSweeney.
It is dropping the charge against Stingemore of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery, along with two counts of indecent assault. But Stingemore, still faces six charges of indecent assault against five boys aged between 11 and 15, and two counts of taking indecent images of a child.
The CPS is also understood to have changed its mind about prosecuting one charge of indecent assault against McSweeney. McSweeney still faces one charge of indecent assault against a boy aged between 11 and 15, three counts of making indecent images of a child, one of taking indecent images of a child and a further count of possessing indecent images of a child.
The decision has left the witness bewildered at his treatment by the CPS, and he is seeking an explanation as to why prosecutors are dropping the charges when they had decided to bring them only four months ago.
He said: “I am devastated. It has taken me years to reach this point. The police knocked on my door when they sought information, and now this.” He is asking the CPS to review its decision.”
Curiously the CPS told him no other witnesses have said they were sexually assaulted at Elm Guest House, an assertion contradicted by another witness who says he gave the police a statement saying he was sexually abused there.The situation is about as clear as mud.

Elm Guest House – “Mary Moss” files

davidhencke:

This is another significant post from Chris Fay, who has campaigned tirelessly to bring sexual abusers of children to justice, about a document on Elm Guest House in Barnes which has led to fevered speculation on the internet about a cover up of prominent figures who could have sexually abused children there. What he is saying here is that the victims are genuine but do not automatically assume that all the adults who are alleged to have stayed there are abusers. This does not mean that on going investigations under Operation Fernbridge will not lead to further arrests.

Originally posted on theneedleblog:

In the interests of accuracy, and to protect the reputations of innocent people, I would like to set the record straight about certain things contained in the “Mary Moss” files placed online last year.

These were mostly handwritten notes made on a daily basis concerning NAYPIC’s investigation into complaints from young people in the care of Richmond of abuse at Grafton Close Children’s Home, and elsewhere, including the Elm Guest House in Barnes from 1977 to 1982.

Unfortunately, being just notes, they have no real context.  I will try to provide that.  Amongst the documents is a list of boys names. These are VICTIMS not abusers.  These were the names of young people who had complained to us, were strictly confidential and should never have been made public.  Due to the unfortunate circumstances around the police raid on Mary Moss’s home, these were released online.

Also included was a list…

View original 414 more words

Police arrest manager of Elm Guest House

The former Elm Tree Guest House in Barnes Pic Courtesy: Exaro

The former Elm Tree Guest House in Barnes, south west London Pic courtesy: Exaro

Harry Kasir, the former manager of the  Elm Guest House  where it is alleged that young boys were sexually assaulted by VIPs, and politicians in the early 1980s, was arrested by the Met Police Paedophile Unit  yesterday.

The full story is on the Exaro News website. It is a significant development by Operation Fernbridge, which has already arrested and bailed two other people in connection with the 1980s scandal. They are John Stingemore, who ran Grafton Close, the Richmond Council children’s home, where it is alleged boys in council care were taken to Elm Guest House in Barnes. The other arrested person, Father Tony McSweeney,is a Roman Catholic priest.

The Met Police in a statement confirming the arrest  but not naming Mr Kasir, aged 69, said he had been detained on suspicion of having indecent pictures of children, He was bailed until September.

Previous stories on this site on Mr Kasir are  (http://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/will-elm-guest-house-man-quit-britain/) and ( http://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/police-raid-home-of-former-gay-guest-house-contact-in-paedophile-investigation/).

Richmond child sex abuse file ” No further action required”

Richmond Council:  Another cover up exposedPic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.lnet.

Richmond Council: Another cover up exposed Pic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.lnet.

The latest damning disclosure about both the police and Richmond Council’s handling of the  child abuse scandal  at Elm Guest House and Grafton Close children’s home adds to growing disquiet that both the council and the police were not up to the job.

An article by me and Mark Conrad in exaro news ( see http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4944/richmond-files-reveal-failure-to-pursue-claim-of-child-sex-abuse ) and in the Sunday People ( see http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/elm-guest-house-abuse-scandal-1857494)  reveals yet another example of the authorities turning a blind eye.

Since the incident goes close to any potential trial I am restrained for legal reasons to go into too much detail or identify the file. However a copy of the entry has been sent to me.

The alarming thing is that this happened TWO years after the event and a year after the raid on Elm Guest House in Barnes and yet it appears neither the police – who requested the interview – or the council – took any other action to investigate. Just as they did not pursue the people involved after they raided the guest house in 1982 apart from prosecuting Mr Kasir, then the owner.

What is also very disturbing is the role of Louis Minster, the director of social services now living abroad, who twice requested a copy of this file with the complaints about sexual abuse. Once was when the boy involved was not even in council care. Why? No answer is forthcoming from Mr Minster who claimed earlier he had no knowledge of the  Elm Guest House scandal until it appeared on Exaro News website and in the Sunday People. Really, Mr Minster?

Equally distressing is that our source who requested  the file is ” not surprised” that the record shows the council and police did nothing. How bad is that?

This incident took place in the year Conservative minority rule ended at Richmond and the Liberal SDP Alliance took control. Until the whole story comes out there is now a stain on the record of the original police investigation and the Tories and Liberals in charge of Richmond Council at the time.

Will Elm Guest House man quit Britain?

The former Elm Tree Guest House Pic courtesy: Exaro

The former Elm Tree Guest House Pic courtesy: Exaro

Harry Kasir, the former co manager of Elm Guest House in Barnes, appears to be on the verge of leaving the country.

Mr Kasir, a central figure in the scandal involving investigations into child sex abuse at the guest house, was convicted  with his wife, Carole, of running a gay brothel after the police raid on the place in 1982.

The full story by my Exaro colleague Fiona O’Cleirigh and myself (http://bit.ly/YA42MS)  reveals that Kasir has recently sought  to raise nearly £60,000 from his ex-partner –  part of his share of  their house. He wants the money under a legal agreement by  next Monday. The story also appeared in the Sunday People in a  more shortened form.(http://bit.ly/11V6sMC)

He is also thought to have applied for a residential visa to move to the United States so he can live with his 40-year-old son. Kasir has two passports – a UK and a Pakistani passport.

Exaro has informed the police . Certainly Kasir might have many reasons to move – his home has been raided by the police and he has been pursued by journalists from us, the  Sunday People and Channel Four News. He has reserved his right not to speak to anyone.

However if he does go abroad – given the weakness of the US UK extradition treaty – thanks to  former home secretary Mr David Blunkett, it is going to be difficult for anyone to get him back.

Justice will need to be seen to be done in this criminal investigation and I suspect that Mr Kasir should be telling the police everything he knows.

Richmond social services knew their children were abused – former children’s director

Richmond Council: Not a welcome refuge for children: Pic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.lnet.

Richmond Council: Not a welcome refuge for children: Pic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.lnet.

The amnesia surrounding everybody at Richmond Council over the 1982 Elm  guest house paedophile scandal is at an end.

A dramatic interview by my colleague Mark Conrad published in Exaro News today (   http://bit.ly/Vesffe) with Terry Earland, the former assistant director in charge of children’s services, reveals that he  knew that children at Grafton Close children’s home were sexually abused at Elm Guest House.

You will have to get on to the Exaro website to read the full story. But this disclosure from Earland’s  home abroad raises even more damning questions about the conduct of Richmond Council at the time. It directly contradicts what Louis Minster told Exaro  from Malta only days ago when he claimed he had never heard about the Elm Guest House in Barnes until Exaro and the Sunday People revealed the police investigation into the scandal. How can his head of children’s services know what happened and he didn’t know anything?

This awful saga which began with allegations about prominent people sexually abusing boys at the guest house is now also turning into what looks like a ” cover up ” by Richmond Council of the abuse of children, some as young as ten, in their care in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It has all the hallmarks of the scandal in North Wales. Searching questions are needed of  people in power at the time.

And watch Exaro over the next few days for  even more damning revelations about the role of Richmond Council.

Updated: First two arrests in Richmond paedophile ring

The  Met Police investigation into the Elm Guest House paedophile brothel took a dramatic turn yesterday. The first two people suspected of being involved in the scandal were arrested at dawn yesterday in simultaneous police raids in Hastings and Norfolk.

The  first arrest at a flat in St Leonards came as Exaro reporters were outside the flat and witnessed the eight police from the paedophile unit arrive at 7.15 am. There is a full report and a picture of the arrested man being taken away by police on the exaro website (http://bit.ly/X2U3RK).

The first man to be arrested was John Stingemore, the former deputy manager of Grafton Close children’s home. Now 70 and frail he was taken to a local police station for further questioning. The police are investigating claims of child sexual abuse at the  home and at the guest house.

The second person is a 66-year old Roman Catholic priest, Tony McSweeney who was arrested in Norwich . Father McSweeney, a former chaplain to Norwich football club, is being asked about child sexual abuse at the Elm Guest House in the 1980s,

Grafton Close children’s’ home, closed since the 1990s, is on the borders of Richmond and Hounslow. One central allegation in the story is that  it supplied young boys to Elm Guest House,in Barnes  a place strongly recommended on the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality and offering discounts to people belonging to the Spartacus club, then an organisation  for men seeking sexual relations with young boys. Central to the allegations is the guest house for VIPs including politicians, government ministers and business people.

This is the first action by the Met police since 1982 when they raided the guest house and made 23 arrests. All the people were then released. Harry Kasir, the owner of the guest house, was later charged and convicted of running a gay brothel.

Both men have now been released by the police on bail until April pending further inquiries.

Police are  appealing for more  people to come forward and contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

Did Richmond council pay ” hush money” to cover up the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal?

Richmond Council: Not a welcome refuge for children: Pic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.lnet.

Richmond Council: Not a welcome refuge for children: Pic courtesy: http://www.officespaceinlondon.net.

One of the most disturbing  of the many sordid facts emerging in this tale of a 30 year child sex abuse scandal is the role of Richmond Council.

It is their kids in care who were allegedly procured from their homes – mainly the now closed Grafton Close home – and taken to Elm Guest House – and then sexually abused by prominent people including ministers, and MPs.

Two graphic accounts appeared over the weekend  in the Daily Mail ( http://bit.ly/XE6iCj) and the Sunday People( http://bit.ly/XE6OAf ) from victims about what happened there in the 1980s..

The Exaro News investigation – now involving  the editor, Mark Watts, five reporters  David Pallister, Nick Fielding, Fiona O’Cleirigh, Alex Varley-Winter and me – has produced a fresh spate of articles, including one on Grafton Close children’s home today  See http://bit.ly/WLo45E ,http://bit.ly/Xiw9Om, and http://bit.ly/Y4XFzI   ) for the full stories.

These reveal that Elm House was also on the then Spartacus club network where men attracted to boys could get a discount for staying there. Coming on top of the ” strongly recommended ” rating on the Conservative Group for Homosexual Reform – this again points to the place being used not just for homosexual sex between consenting adults but also with young boys.

They also reveal that  the two managers of Grafton Close,both employees of Richmond Council, were named as part of the paedophile ring at a coroner’s court hearing into the death of Carole Kasir, who co-managed Elm House, in the 1990s.

What is interesting in both reports  is the fact that Richmond Council faced civil proceedings from one of the boys and paid out a ” considerable sum ” of money to him to go away. Why I say fact rather than allegation is that I understand the papers obtained by the police criminal investigation Operation Fernbridge also refer to civil proceedings and a payment.

A statement from Richmond Council said: “Richmond Council considers the safeguarding of all children and young people as an utmost priority and we take any allegations of abuse very seriously.

“As such, we are offering our full support and co-operation to the police during their investigation. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

What I find inexplicable and disturbing  is that if this is true -rather than report this to the police in the aftermath of the Elm House scandal- the council secretly paid out taxpayers money to an alleged child abuser victim. I am sure the home owners and tenants of the London borough would be sick to think their money was spent on what was essentially a  sex abuse cover up.

This disclosure also calls into question the extraordinary complacent statement from Sir David Williams, former Liberal Democrat leader of the council:

 “It is all specious rumour as far as I am concerned until someone gives me some hard facts. It is idle speculation as far as I am aware.
If it did involve children I didn’t know. I doubt if it did. I doubt if there is much in this at all.”
 Really, Sir David. You were leader of the council for 18 years and you know nothing about this.