How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring, Leon Brittan and the Westminster child abuse scandal: ‘his fingerprints were over everything’, Raids on 4 homes in MP child sex ring scandal
March 10, 2015 Comments Off on How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring, Leon Brittan and the Westminster child abuse scandal: ‘his fingerprints were over everything’, Raids on 4 homes in MP child sex ring scandal
Leon Brittan and the Westminster child abuse scandal: ‘his fingerprints were over everything’
Tomas Hirst Mar. 6, 2015
Don Hale, former editor of the Bury Messenger, has alleged that former Home Secretary Leon Brittan was actively involved in a cover up of child abuse by a paedophile ring including prominent Westminster MPs.
In an interview with the Daily Beast Hale alleges that a dossier on the abuse handed to him by Labour peer and then Cabinet Minister Barbara Castle, and later seized by Special Branch officers, was suppressed by Brittan. He says the then Home Secretary “was mentioned in everything you picked up, his fingerprints were over everything, he was the instigator”.
Brittan passed away in January following a long battle with cancer. Over the past few years he had faced growing questions over what he knew about allegations that a network of paedophiles had operated in Westminster during the 1980s.
He admitted receiving a file from Geoffrey Dickens, then a Conservative MP, regarding the allegations but insisted that he had acted properly in passing the documents over to officials for examination. A review in 2013 supported his claims.
However, Hale’s allegations put the spotlight back on Westminster as the scandal continues to gather pace. Days after Brittan’s death, Labour MP Tom Watson who has been pivotal in bringing the case back into the public domain said he spoke to several people who allege they were raped by the late politician. One male victim was a child when he was allegedly raped by Brittan….
Liz Davies, a former social worker who was employed in Islington during the 1980s, told the Daily Beast that she had collected evidence suggesting that as many as 61 boys had been victims of a network of sexual predators “that stretched from Westminster to Northern Ireland, Wales, and the island of Jersey in the Channel”….
How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring
Now that most of the major figures are dead, the truth is emerging about the systematic sexual abuse of children by members of the British government. 03.06.15 Nico Hines
LONDON — A newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.
Less than 24 hours after starting to inquire about the dossier presented to him by a senior Labour Party politician, the editor was confronted in his office by a furious member of parliament who threatened him and demanded the documents. “He was frothing at the mouth and really shouting and spitting in my face,” Don Hale told The Daily Beast. “He was straight at me like a raging lion; he was ready to knock me through the wall.”
Despite the MP’s explosive intervention, Hale refused to hand over the papers which appeared to show that Leon Brittan, Margaret Thatcher’s Home Secretary, was fully aware of a pedophile network that included top politicians.
The editor’s resistance was futile; the following morning, police officers from the counter-terror and intelligence unit known as Special Branch burst into the newspaper office, seized the material and threatened to have Hale arrested if he ever reported what had been found.
More than 30 years later, an inquiry into allegations of child sex abuse rings, murder, and cover-ups has been launched by the British government after Scotland Yard detectives said they believed statements by victims who claimed they were systematically abused as young boys at sex abuse parties attended by judges, politicians, intelligence officers, and staff at the royal palaces.
In 1983, a controversial MP, Geoffrey Dickens, had made a series of incendiary claims about active pedophiles in the corridors of power. He handed a file containing the names of alleged perpetrators to Leon Brittan; publicly the authorities shrugged off the claims and no trial or prosecution would follow. The dossier mysteriously disappeared….
Baroness Castle, then Barbara Castle, a Labour member of the European parliament, told Hale she did not trust Brittan to investigate the allegations thoroughly….
Worried about the integrity of the Home Office investigation, Castle had tried to interest the major newspapers in the classified documents but she turned to Hale when they rejected her overtures. “She was saying, ‘I’ve been everywhere else, I’ve been to the nationals, nobody would touch it with a barge pole, but what do you think?’” Hale recalled. “As a journalist of course I was interested.”
Great Britain’s notoriously tough libel laws insured that obviously he couldn’t repeat the allegations included in the Home Office papers that about 16 MPs and members of the House of Lords, and 30 high-profile figures from the Church of England, private schools, and big business, were members of, and advocates for, the Paedophile Information Exchange. The shadowy group, which operated partly in the open, campaigned for the age of consent to be abolished and incest to be legalized. It also allowed pedophiles to send each other secure mail and to meet in person….
There is growing evidence that MI5 and MI6, Britain’s security services, took a similar view. MI5 is alleged to have repeatedly blocked investigations into a sex abuse ring at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland in order to protect its intelligence-gathering operation.
The longtime deputy director of MI6, and former High Commissioner in Canada, Peter Hayman was himself allegedly a pedophile, and was ultimately named as such in parliament by Geoffrey Dickens. Hayman had been caught with explicit material in 1978 but no charge was brought. Secret files discovered at the National Archives this year revealed that the attorney general at the time believed it wasn’t in the public interest for Hayman to be prosecuted. Prime Minister Thatcher ordered his depravity to be concealed from the public….
Raids on 4 homes in MP child sex ring scandal
Ollie McAteer for Metro.co.uk Sunday 8 Mar 2015
Police have searched two homes belonging to the late Lord Brittan as part of an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse.
In a highly secretive exercise, detectives from the Met’s Operation Midland raided houses in Pimlico, Westminster, and in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, which belonged to the former home secretary….
Leon Brittan was home secretary, and later trade secretary, under Margaret Thatcher. He died at his Pimlico home in January, aged 75….
Former British Home Secretary Leon Brittan Death and Child Abuse Allegations, Gary Glitter trial and child abuse images
January 29, 2015 Comments Off on Former British Home Secretary Leon Brittan Death and Child Abuse Allegations, Gary Glitter trial and child abuse images
New Allegations Of Child Abuse Emerge After Former British Home Secretary Leon Brittan’s Death Dina Spector Jan. 26, 2015
Leon Brittan’s death last week has reignited claims that the former home secretary was involved in the cover-up of a secret Westminster paedophile ring that operated in the 1970s and 1980s.
Days after Brittan’s death, Labour MP Tom Watson said he spoke to several people who allege they were raped by the late politician. One male victim was a child when he was allegedly raped by Brittan.
“Many have urged me over the past two years to reveal allegations against Brittan using parliamentary privilege,” Watson told the Mirror. “This allows MPs to say things that are not subject to libel laws. Some will ask why I’ve waited until his death to speak out. The reason is simple. I didn’t want to prejudice any jury trial he might one day face.”
Brittan’s death also underlines how slowly and ineffectually the British police are moving in their investigation of the Westminster child-abuse ring. The prime suspects are literally dying. Former MP Cyril Smith — another accused child abuser — died in 2010. Peter Hayman, the former deputy director of MI6 who was convicted of gross indecency, died in 1992….
Brittan remains the subject of an investigation into the disappearance of a 40-page dossier naming eight senior civil servants and politicians who were allegedly involved in a secret paedophile ring.
In 1983, Brittan was handed a dossier written by conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens while serving as home secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government. Dickens died in 1995. In July last year, Brittan was surrounded by allegations that he failed to properly investigate the claims. Brittan maintained that he handled the documents correctly.
Last year, he told the Daily Mail that he gave the names to the Director of Public Prosecutions…. http://www.businessinsider.com/leon-brittan-death-and-child-abuse-allegations-2015-1
Gary Glitter breaks down in tears over child abuse images 28 January 2015
Gary Glitter broke down in tears as he explained to jurors why he had been in possession of child abuse images.
Sobbing uncontrollably, the 70-year-old said he had been in a bad place in his life, and was struggling financially, with alcohol and with drugs.
He issued a tearful apology to his fans, saying: “I lost my own dignity, and I am so sorry. I am very sorry.”
Glitter, on trial under his real name Paul Gadd, denies 10 charges relating to three girls between 1975 and 1980.
In November 1997, when he went to pick up a Toshiba laptop he had handed to a PC World branch in Bristol, he was arrested, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.
The engineer who examined the machine had discovered images on it related to child abuse.
Mr Gadd subsequently admitted responsibility for a “large number” of images – depicting a full range of sexual activity taking place between men and very young children – being on his computer.
He was jailed for four months in 1999 for the collection of 4,000 images….
I did not try to rape her or any other child.”….
He is also charged with four counts of indecent assault on a fan in 1977 at hotels in Leicester and Birmingham when she was aged 12 and 13; plying the same girl with alcohol, and having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
Two further charges allege he indecently assaulted a girl of 13 on a date between October 1979 and December 1980, in his dressing room at a venue in Watford where he was performing. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31015347
Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’, Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims, NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
January 23, 2015 Comments Off on Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’, Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims, NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’
Secret document suggests claims against ‘public figures’ were taken to the PM at height of alleged paedophile scandal Adam Withnal Wednesday 21 January 2015
A UK academic has uncovered a file which he claims could contain allegations of “unnatural” sexual activities against public figures at the height of the Westminster child abuse scandal.
Dr Chris Murphy, a security and intelligence lecturer at the University of Salford, found the classified document while searching the National Archives in Kew.
While its contents have not been made public, Dr Murphy said he was immediately alerted by the title showing it had been taken to the then-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
The title read: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”
According to Sky News, the Cabinet Office has been made aware of the file and it will be made available to the ongoing panel inquiry into the alleged existence of a paedophile ring involving senior Westminster figures….
‘Unnatural Sex’ File Given To Abuse Inquiry The secret document was not handed over to a review into child abuse, the chief executive of the NSPCC tells Sky News. UK, Wednesday 21 January 2015
By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent
A secret file on “unnatural” sexual behaviour was not handed over to a Government backed review that looked for official documents linked to child abuse.
The file prepared for then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s was found recently at the National Archives in Kew and is entitled: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20”.
The Cabinet Office still holds the file. Thirty-five years after it was prepared it remains closed on grounds of national security….
It is highly likely Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.
Dr Murphy added: “The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest.”….
Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, told Sky News he could not recall the file.
He did, though, confirm that both he and Mrs Thatcher were aware of allegations against a Government minister in the early 1980s.
Sir Bernard would not name the individual, but said: “I asked him about it and he denied it, so no, I didn’t do anything else. What was the alternative?”….
Officials at the Cabinet Office have previously attempted to block requests for information relating to Cyril Smith, the late Liberal politician who is now known to have abused youngsters….
NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has shown survivors do not disclose or act on their experience until decades after abuse
Attorney general Brad Hazzard: under the NSW Statute of Limitations people abused as children generally have three to 12 years from the time of the offence to launch a civil claim.
Australian Associated Press Thursday 22 January 2015
The NSW government is considering lifting the time limit in which survivors of child sexual abuse can sue for damages.
The NSW attorney general Brad Hazzard said the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse had uncovered widespread claims about abuse and the legal barriers survivors face in pursuing justice many years after the crime.
“It is well documented that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not disclose their experiences or act on them until decades after the abuse, well after the time period has ended,” Hazzard said on Friday.
The government has released a discussion paper on whether to amend the Limitation Act 1969 and wants to hear from the public.
Under the NSW Statute of Limitations people abused as children generally have between three and 12 years from the time of the offence to launch a civil claim.
“People who have suffered at the hands of others sometimes take 20, 30 years just to build up the courage to be able to say anything … it’s a bit strange that there’s a limitation in the law that says you can’t bring proceedings,” Hazzard told ABC radio on Friday….
Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims
By Laura Smith-Spark and Lindsay Isaac, CNN January 22, 2015
(CNN)In his first public remarks since being accused of having sex with an underage American woman, Britain Prince Andrews briefly addressed the allegation before a crowd in Davos, Switzerland.
“Firstly, I think I must, want, for the record to refer to the events that have taken place in the last three weeks. And I just wish to reiterate and to reaffirm the statements which have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace,” he said Thursday at the World Economic Forum.
Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace issued a statement which said, “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York [Andrew] had any form of sexual contact or relationship” with the woman. “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Andrew is a son of Queen Elizabeth II and a brother of Prince Charles, the next in line for the British throne….
The woman, identified by Buckingham Palace as Virginia Roberts, first named the prince in a civil motion filed December 30 in the U.S. District Court in southern Florida in which she claims she was forced to have sex with several men. She is referred to as Jane Doe No. 3 in the legal filings.
In the letter the woman’s lawyers sent to Buckingham Palace, attorneys Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards asked to interview Prince Andrew “under oath regarding interactions that you had with Jane Doe No. 3 beginning in approximately early 2001. Jane Doe No. 3 was then 17 years old.”
The letter includes a picture of the woman and Andrew which was taken around that time, they say. The lawyers also want to discuss subsequent interactions with their client in New York City later that year, the letter says….
Five Westminster paedophile rings probed by Scotland Yard, Three Current MPs And Three Lords Named In Westminster Paedophile Ring Dossier Handed To Police
December 23, 2014 Comments Off on Five Westminster paedophile rings probed by Scotland Yard, Three Current MPs And Three Lords Named In Westminster Paedophile Ring Dossier Handed To Police
Five Westminster paedophile rings probed by Scotland Yard
Claims emerge of a complex web of child abuse at the heart of government, as leading MP in campaign for justice hands list of 22 names to police
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent 21 Dec 2014
Police are investigating claims that up to five paedophile rings operated at the heart of Westminster with the involvement of “highly influential” politicians.
A Labour MP who has handed a dossier of evidence to Scotland Yard said he now believed the complexity of child abuse networks at the heart of government in the Seventies and Eighties had been seriously underestimated.
John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said it was “inconceivable” that police would not now arrest and interview some of the politicians he has named in a list handed to detectives earlier this month.
Mr Mann, who has spent months sifting evidence from members of the public, met Scotland Yard and handed over evidence on 22 politicians, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords….
“I think the 22 names are all worthy of investigation by the police,” Mr Mann told The Telegraph.
“In my opinion the evidence against approximately half of them is very compelling….
Three Current MPs And Three Lords Named In Westminster Paedophile Ring Dossier Handed To Police
Lara O’Reilly Dec. 22, 2014
Scotland Yard has been handed a document that contains names of 22 high profile figures, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords, alleged to be involved in the suspected Westminster paedophile ring during the 1970s and 1980s, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Labour MP John Mann has spent months sifting through hundreds of reports from the public about the historic sex abuse cases and has now handed a dossier to the police that suggests up to five paedophile rings were operating at the heart of UK government, each them involving at least one MP.
Of the total number involved — some of whom are now dead and some who are still alive, but not active in Westminster — 14 are Conservative politicians, five are from Labour and three were from other parties. Overall, 13 former ministers are named on the list.
Mann told The Sunday Times he also received allegations that an organised criminal gang and a celebrity were involved in the trafficking of young boys to abusers at Dophin Square in London, the block of flats prominent figures allegedly used as a venue for child abuse. He added that he is receiving new information all the time and that there could be many more names added to that list….
Westminster child abuse claims: “Watson said “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”., Sasha Wass QC to lead island sex abuse inquiry, head investigation into alleged cover-up on St Helena and Ascension
November 21, 2014 Comments Off on Westminster child abuse claims: “Watson said “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”., Sasha Wass QC to lead island sex abuse inquiry, head investigation into alleged cover-up on St Helena and Ascension
Westminster child abuse claims: what do we know?
Police are investigating possible murders linked to Elm Guest House in south-west London after claims of a cover-up
Matthew Weaver Wednesday 19 November 2014
What do we know about politicians and child abuse at Westminster?
A number of allegations have been made. So far the only politician to have been implicated is the Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, but other unnamed politicians were also alleged to have been involved in a Westminster paedophile ring. Smith is alleged to have abused boys at Knowl View residential school in Rochdale and at Elm Guest House, in Barnes in south-west London, in the 1970s and 80s. Greater Manchester police are investigating allegations of abuse by Smith at Knowl View, where Smith was a governor. Other MPs were said to have attended the Elm Guest House. After claims made by the Labour MP Tom Watson in 2012, the Metropolitan police launched Operation Fairbank into child abuse at the guesthouse. Watson said there was “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”.
A dossier of evidence of an alleged paedophile ring, involving several MPs, including Smith, and other public figures, was handed to the Home Office in 1983, by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, who died in 1995. The 40-page dossier has since been destroyed or lost, according to a Home Office review. The Crown Prosecution Service has conceded that Smith should have been prosecuted after rejecting claims against him in 1970, 1998 and 1999.
What happened at Elm Guest House?
At least three MPs were reported to have been questioned in 1982 after a police raid on the guesthouse. It was reported at the time that it was being used as a brothel where children as young as 10 were abused. Two children living in the house were taken into care. The guesthouse was reported to have been used as a brothel for two years before it was raided. Officers found whips, chains and ropes. “They catered for every kind of perversion,” an officer told the News of World at the time. The owners of Elm Guest House, Haroon and Carol Kasir, were subsequently convicted of running a brothel….
Sasha Wass QC, prosecutor in Rolf Harris trial, to lead island sex abuse inquiry
Sasha Wass QC, has been brought into to head an investigation into an alleged cover-up on St Helena and Ascension Paul Peachey crime correspondent Thursday 20 November 2014
….Sasha Wass QC, has been brought in after a review of child safety on St Helena and Ascension – two tiny and remote islands in the South Atlantic with a combined population of some 5,500 – revealed that a number of paedophiles had escaped prosecution amid claims of police incompetence and corruption.
The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that Ms Wass would travel to the island to investigate a series of claims by whistleblowers against senior police, some brought over from Britain to run the tiny force.
Social workers said they raised concerns about a paedophile officer but were snubbed and told not to rock the boat and “enjoy the view” on St Helena, famous as the island prison of Napoleon.
The announcement by Mr Hammond came a week before the start of what could be a protracted employment tribunal starting in London brought by two of the whistleblowers who say they were hounded off the island. One of them had her home searched by police and was threatened with prosecution for perjury.
They have said that entrenched abuse on the island was worse than the scandal on Pitcairn, another isolated and tiny British territory, where six men jailed for child sex abuse in 2004.
….Experts from the child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said in a report there had been a “malaise” in the upper ranks of the police force. It criticised its handling of child sex abuse allegations and highlighted how victims were often castigated when coming forward to make claims. It said there were “a number of ‘serial’ offenders, a number of ‘serial’ victims, and a number of women whose children were very much at risk of repeat victimisation.”
Westminster child abuse gang ‘linked to boy’s murder’, UK Police Open Murder Inquiry in Establishment Child Sex Abuse Investigation, Police: 5 children abused by 5 adults
November 15, 2014 Comments Off on Westminster child abuse gang ‘linked to boy’s murder’, UK Police Open Murder Inquiry in Establishment Child Sex Abuse Investigation, Police: 5 children abused by 5 adults
Westminster child abuse gang ‘linked to boy’s murder’
Detectives looking at historical sex assault claims are now working with homicide officers
Paul Gallagher Nigel Morris Friday 14 November 2014
Detectives investigating allegations of an organised paedophile ring involving former government ministers and senior police officers are examining links to a possible murder, Scotland Yard confirmed today.
The Met said detectives from its Operation Fairbank historic child abuse investigation command were now working with homicide officers in a new investigation called Operation Midland.
The Independent understands the victim is a boy and the person alleged to be responsible for his death in the 1980s is not a politician.
….A victim of the alleged paedophile ring said that “former senior military and political figures” as well as “law enforcement” were involved. He claims he was abused for almost a decade after his father handed him over to the group.
He told the BBC: “They controlled my life for the next nine years. They created fear that penetrated every part of me. That was part of my life day in and day out. You didn’t question what they wanted; you didn’t hesitate to do what they asked you to do.
“You did what you were told without question or the punishments were very severe. They had no hesitation in doing what they wanted to do. Some of them were quite open about who they were. They had no fear at all of being caught, it didn’t even cross their mind. They could do anything they wanted without question and we were told that.”
….Tom Watson, the Labour MP who used parliamentary privilege in 2012 to raise claims of a paedophile ring linked to Downing Street, said: “This is obviously a very significant allegation. We must give the police the time, space and resources to investigate it fully.”….
UK Police Open Murder Inquiry in Establishment Child Sex Abuse Investigation
By Reuters 11/14/14
Police looking into accusations that powerful figures at the heart of the British establishment were involved in child sex abuse in the 1970s and 1980s said on Friday they were now investigating murder allegations.
London detectives launched an inquiry two years ago into allegations about paedophile rings involving politicians, officials and other senior public figures.
“Our inquiries into this, over subsequent weeks, have revealed further information regarding possible homicide,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
….a review into the disappearance of a dossier handed to the government 30 years ago which is believed to have implicated public figures in child abuse found there was no evidence it had been deliberately destroyed or kept from police.
Police: 5 children abused by 5 adults in Darby, Pa.
DARBY, Pa. (WPVI) —
Authorities say five children were subjected to horrible abuse – both physical and sexual – at the hands of five adults inside a home in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
….are facing a number of charges, including endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, simple assault, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
….The victim’s ages range from 1 year old to 10 years old. Jackson is the mother of four of the children, while the 1-year-old is Hammond’s child.
….According to the affidavit, the children were shot with BB guns, punched and slapped, thrown over a banister, and had sex acts performed in front of them….
Chilling day Special Branch swooped to seize ANOTHER dossier on VIP abusers: 16 MPs’ names mentioned in 1984 report on paedophile lobby’s influence in Westminster
July 23, 2014 Comments Off on Chilling day Special Branch swooped to seize ANOTHER dossier on VIP abusers: 16 MPs’ names mentioned in 1984 report on paedophile lobby’s influence in Westminster
Chilling day Special Branch swooped to seize ANOTHER dossier on VIP abusers: 16 MPs’ names mentioned in 1984 report on paedophile lobby’s influence in Westminster
Police raided newspaper offices of Don Hale, editor of Bury Messenger
He’d recently been given sensitive files by Labour politician Barbara Castle
Documents included typewritten minutes of meetings that had been held at Westminster in support of paedophile agenda
Included details of a host of Establishment figures who had apparently pledged support to their cause
Also mentioned multiple times was Tory minister Sir Rhodes Boyson, a well-known enthusiast for corporal punishment, and Education Secretary Sir Keith Joseph
By Guy Adams 18 July 2014
The knock on the door came early one day in the famously dry summer of 1984. It was just after 8 am, and Don Hale, the young editor of the Bury Messenger, was reading the daily papers at his desk as his reporters were beginning to arrive at the office.
As Hale, then 31, answered the door, a trio of plain-clothes detectives barged in, followed by a dozen police officers in uniform.
What happened next was, in Hale’s words, ‘like something out of totalitarian East Germany rather than Margaret Thatcher’s supposedly free Britain’.
The detectives identified themselves as Special Branch, the division of the police responsible for matters of national security.
‘They began to flash warrant cards and bark questions,’ says Hale. ‘It was as if they were interviewing a potential criminal rather than a law-abiding newspaper man.
‘The officers told me that I should abandon plans to print a story that was scheduled to run in our next edition. If I didn’t, they told me to expect a long jail sentence.’
Initially bewildered by their threatening tone, Hale soon worked out the purpose of the police visit.
The focus of their attention was an incendiary dossier he had been handed a few days earlier by long-serving Labour politician Barbara Castle. A powerful feminist and stalwart of the traditional Left, who served in Harold Wilson’s Cabinet, she was for years the MP for nearby Blackburn.
One of her lifelong interests, as a principled advocate for the vulnerable and powerless, was child protection. To that end, she had become concerned at the rising influence of the paedophile lobby, which was then infiltrating the political Establishment, developing links with senior public figures, including MPs, peers, civil servants and police officers….
At this point, the officer produced a document, signed by a judge. It showed that his previous remark about not printing the story had not been a request, but an order. The document handed to Hale was a D-notice — a relic of wartime censorship that could be served on newspaper editors, allowing the Government to block any story that threatened national security.
‘If you don’t comply with this notice, we will arrest you for perverting the course of justice,’ the detective barked. ‘You will be liable for up to ten years in prison.’
At this point, Hale’s resistance collapsed. He had been plunged into a situation for which he had little experience.
In his first editorship and married with two children, he says he couldn’t afford to casually put his family and career at risk.
The papers from Mrs Castle were swiftly confiscated, as were Hale’s notes and even his typewriter….
WATCH: The prison threat that stopped high profile child abusers being revealed
An investigative journalist claims he was threatened by the former MP Cyril Smith, and then raided by police, to stop him revealing the names of politicians who were trying to legalise sex with children.
Don Hale was editor of the Bury Messenger in the 1980s.
He says he was told he’d go to prison if he printed a story based on a dossier of Westminster documents.
He’s given his first broadcast interview on the revelations to Ashley Derricott: