Elm Guest House: Child abuse charges to be reinstated

A very important decision has been taken by the Crown Prosecution Service to reinstate charges against John Stingemore,the former deputy manager, of Grafton Close children’s home in Richmond.

Stingemore and Father Tony McSweeney,already face  a trial next February on a series of child sex abuse charges and have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.

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.

Exaro revealed last December that the CPS had withdrawn four charges based on accusations by one witness, but had made a serious mistake about the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit under Operation Fernbridge. It led to an adverse view of the witness’s credibility.

 

While it would be wrong to reveal the full details of the circumstances of the case in order not to prejudice the trial, the decision is important for two reasons.

First it shows that survivors accounts should not be brushed aside and second it suggests that the pressure the police and the CPS are under to handle so many child sexual abuse cases at the moment that they may not have had the time to examine all the details.

If it was not for active MPs like Simon and Tom who are prepared to take up cases like this, we would still be facing the danger of further cover ups and evidence not being tested by the courts.

The last thing we want is anything else not properly investigated when people have waited so long for justice.

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Elm Guest House : Crown Prosecution Service handling leads to MP’s complaint

A second MP, Simon Danczuk,,has complained to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the handling of  Met’s Operation Fernbridge investigation into Elm Guest House.

This time the complaint is against the Crown Prosecution Service who have told a victim who says he was sexually abused there he is the only case where this has happened.

The official reply from the CPS is patently untrue since the Met Police themselves have admitted to Channel Four’s Dispatches that Sir Cyril Smith visited the house and was involved with rent boys there. And the person who says he was assaulted there was not involved with Cyril Smith.

The full story by my colleague Mark Conrad is on the Exaro website. It comes after Tom Watson complained to the DPP about the way the Met Police handled a rape claim from a woman against a former Tory minister which was also investigated by Fernbridge.

All this suggest that part of the  Fernbridge investigation is not going well. And it strengthens the case for an overarching inquiry into historic child sex abuse investigations now demanded by 135 MPs of all parties.

Operation Fernbridge: A worrying failure over a rape case

Before Operation Fernbridge was  launched I received a high level promise from the police that whoever participated in the Richmond child sex abuse scandal – however high and mighty – would be prosecuted if the police could get the evidence.

 This ” no holds barred” approach gave me confidence that despite three failed attempts to get to the bottom of the scandal at Richmond’s Grafton Close children’s home and the notorious Elm Guest House that we would get a result.

 My belief is now being severely tested following a series of events – including the fresh disclosures from  the Labour MP for Rochdale Simon Danzcuk about how the police never took any action against Sir Cyril Smith, despite ample examples of his connections to paedophile activity..

 What has particularly shaken me are the revelations meticulously put together by my colleague Mark Conrad and disclosed in a series of articles in Exaro News this week and in the Sunday People about the principal suspect in more than one historic paedophile scandal- A former Tory Cabinet minister.

 The  detailed allegations this time from a woman about events when she was just 19 and the man was at the beginning of his career make chilling and dramatic reading – and under today’s standards very few people would doubt she was sexually assaulted without her consent. I need not repeat the full circumstances – you can read  them in a series of articles in Exaro News if you want a blow-by-blow account.

The good news is that Tom Watson – the MP who first raised the issue of  leading political figures being involved  in historic paedophile rings – has written to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, demanding a review of the police’s handling of the case and he is very critical of the way the police have handled it. I hope she takes notice.

The Met Police have of course said little about this. However the nearest explanation for their non action is on The Needleblog  .

My concern about this is three-fold. First of all it appears that there has been a serious failure by the Met police to take seriously a claim from a credible witness at a time when people are being encouraged to report historic rape and sexual abuse cases. This provides little confidence for others to come forward.

Second it appears that the allegations are far stronger than many of allegations being put to celebrities facing trial at the moment.

Third it is not clear that Crown Prosecution Service was presented with a full file by the Met Police who never even put such strong allegations to the perpetrator.

All this is worrying. The most worrying aspect of it all is that the police appear to be losing their appetite to pursue this high profile figure – suggesting there is one rule for celebrities and another for anybody with real power like a politician. The failure to pursue this is not an isolated incident in  Operation Fernbridge. On the contrary other allegations when they refer to the notorious Elm Guest House appear to be dropped or ignored as well.

 

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…

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