Ex-Tory MP: Police taken for a ride over abuse and child murder claims

A former Tory MP named as a child murderer and violent paedophile by a man later charged with lying about the horrific allegations has told jurors he had tried to persuade investigating detectives “they were being taken for a ride”.

Harvey Proctor broke down in tears in the witness box when he described how he felt when he saw his face on TV the morning after police raided his home.

The former politician faced defendant Carl Beech at Newcastle Crown Court, where he was appearing as a witness, and described the accusations that he was a killer and sadistic sexual abuser as “wrong, malicious, false, horrendous”.

Beech, 51, from Gloucester, denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Jurors have previously been shown a police video interview in which the defendant told detectives he saw Mr Proctor rape and murder a boy by stabbing him in the arm and choking him in 1980.

Beech, a father-of-one, also said Mr Proctor had been involved in the murder of another unknown child.

Mr Proctor told police in a six-hour interview how they had got it wrong, telling jurors: “It was tiring answering questions for such a lengthy period of time in a subject which was extremely unpleasant and distasteful.

“I believed I had a duty to myself to try to persuade the police they were being taken for a ride.”

He told jurors he felt it was “extraordinary” that a detective had described the allegations made by Beech – then only called “Nick” in the media – were “credible and true”, even before he realised the accusations would be made against him.

He said: “I did not think it was referring to me, and when I realised it was referring to me, I realised it was completely balderdash and the most extraordinary thing.”

Harvey Proctor
Harvey Proctor

When Mr Proctor was asked by Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, about being named as a murderer of children and sadistic sex offender, he replied: “The allegations are wrong, malicious, false, horrendous.”

He became emotional when he recalled in March 2015 seeing his face on the BBC news the morning after his home in the grounds of Belvoir Castle was raided by murder squad detectives from the Metropolitan Police.

He said he had hardly slept the night after the police conducted the lengthy search and that he had inadvertently left his television on as he went to bed.

He told jurors: “I looked up at the television screen to see my face looking back at me, and a story ran on the head of the BBC news television programme that my property had been searched in connection with historic sexual abuse, including child murders.”

He said he had been determined to face the allegations and went on the Today radio programme, where he said the allegations were a “horrendous, irrational nightmare”.

He later lost the job he enjoyed, working for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

He said detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s murder squad searched his property in connection with “historic child sexual abuse” for 15 hours.

The witness said he was fearful of the press reporting the incident, given that he had admitted four counts of gross indecency in 1987.

He had been effectively outed as a homosexual by a newspaper, and said that his beloved role as an MP for Billericay was no longer possible.

When asked how this felt, he said: “I thought my life had come to an end, really.

“Something which I thought I would do for the rest of my life, subject to the wishes of the electorate, was torn away from me.”

Earlier, he outlined how his political views were at odds with former prime minister Ted Heath – also named by Beech as one of the powerful paedophile ring, along with Army generals and security chiefs.

Describing how he first met Mr Heath in 1966, the witness said: “He had a wet, limp handshake. It rather reflected his character.”

He added they were later the “antithesis of friends” and neither was welcome at the other’s home.