Westminster abuse ring accuser repeats claims about British Army’s former chief

A former children’s nurse accused of making up lies about a VIP paedophile ring who he said had murdered three boys has repeated his claims in court that he was raped by a former head of the British Army.

Carl Beech, 51, named 95-year-old Field Marshal Edwin Bramall as he gave evidence from the witness box at Newcastle Crown Court, where he denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

During the seven-week trial, the jury has seen a video of Lord Bramall, a Normandy veteran, thumping the desk as he told detectives he had no sexual interest in children, that he was “absolutely astonished, amazed and bemused” by the claims.

Lord Bramall
Lord Bramall

The video from his police interview in 2016 showed him forcefully demanding that detectives clear his reputation.

Beech, from Gloucester, told the court he was physically and sexually abused by his stepfather Major Ray Beech, immediately upon he and his mother Charmian moving in to the officer’s Wiltshire home.

He said the late Major, who had a drink problem, raped him in the toilets on a trip to a wildlife park.

Beech then repeated claims Major Beech took him to Erskine Barracks where he was asked to strip naked in an office while he was inspected by Lord Bramall – who was then a general in charge of the UK Land Forces.

He told the jury he recalled a separate time in which he said he was raped by General Bramall at a house party which was also attended by men he later discovered were General Roland Gibbs and General Hugh Beach.

The jury has previously heard evidence via a videolink from retired General Sir Hugh Beach, now 96, who described the allegations against him as “beyond grotesque” and “inconceivable”.

Having been taken to the empty home by his step-father, the defendant said: “I was asked to undress and turn around, for want of a better word, and then dress again.”

Jurors heard how another man was there taking pictures, and at one stage General Bramall asked everyone else to leave the room, he claimed.

When asked what happened next, Beech said: “He undressed me and it ended up with him doing what Ray had done to me, what my step-father had done to me, raping me.”

He added that further abuse took place at Imber, a British Army training site in Wiltshire, and the Larkhill Barracks.

Beech told the jury that men dressed in suits were at Imber – a derelict village on Salisbury Plain – and that the boys were split into different groups, telling court: “On this first occasion I was undressed and tied to the wall.

“I don’t remember much other than the pain from what they were inflicting. They were, for want of a better word, stabbing something into my foot and hand, and later put a lighter to my feet.

“I can remember screaming and I can remember crying. The crying they don’t like.”

He said: “The pain was different from what I had felt before, and that’s my main memory of that time, other than humiliating things like wetting yourself.”

Beech told the Metropolitan Police he was one of several children to be sadistically sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s by a group of powerful politicians and Army figures.

Prosecutors say that the allegations, which prompted the Metropolitan Police to launch the £2 million Operation Midland inquiry, were completely made up by the father-of-one.

Jurors have been told Beech has admitted charges of making indecent images of children and voyeurism.