Paedophile ring accuser ‘sought help for issues linked to childhood abuse’

A man accused of lying to detectives over the existence of a VIP paedophile ring approached a counsellor about “issues that stem from my childhood abuse”, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, 51, is accused by prosecutors of inventing stories about how a powerful group of politicians and high-profile figures abused him and other boys decades ago, when he was a child.

The defendant, of Gloucester, is also alleged to have made up claims that the group was responsible for the murders of three children.

Newcastle Crown Court heard on Thursday how Beech approached counsellor Vicki Paterson in 2012 with problems associated with “relationship and intimacy issues”.

Jurors have previously heard it was in this year that he first approached police officers with his account of the abuse he said he suffered.

Speaking on Thursday, Ms Paterson told the court she had acted as Beech’s counsellor between February 2012 and October 2016, seeing him for 121 different sessions between those dates.

The court heard how, when the defendant first approached her online for counselling, he told her: “Not really sure where to start, but I had counselling years ago and it seemed to help, but feel I need to talk with someone again with issues that stem from my childhood abuse.”

Ms Paterson said that off the back of this message, they arranged to have a “first assessment meeting” at her home.

She told jurors Beech “did not mention very much about the abuse in the past, other than that he had been abused”.

When asked what the defendant had told her during the session, she said: “That he was in the process of being divorced, or getting a divorce. He had a child.”

Earlier on Thursday, the court heard how Beech broke down in tears when he was taken by police on a tour of London addresses deemed by an analyst to be relevant to his account of the “paedophile ring”.

James Low, a former officer with the Metropolitan Police, took him on the tour with Detective Sergeant James Townly on April 21 2015, the court was told.

Jurors heard Beech was not told where the addresses were, and he was instructed to tell officers to stop whenever he felt they had reached a building or a street relevant to his account.

Jurors heard how Beech recognised three of the 18 locations picked out by the analyst, and did not react when driven past properties related to the former head of MI5 Sir Michael Hanley, politician Greville Janner, or Lieutenant General Hugh Beach – all people he is said to have accused of being members of the ring.

Mr Low said that at one stage during the tour, which lasted more than seven hours, Beech asked to stop officers at Eccleston Square, Pimlico, before breaking down in tears.

Describing how the defendant had left the vehicle to look round the street, the witness said: “He was silent when he got back to the car.”

Telling jurors how Beech remained silent when asked questions about the location, Mr Low added: “At that point he was sobbing.”

Mr Low, who was with the Metropolitan Police at that time, told jurors the defendant asked to return to Eccleston Square a short time later, saying: “Again, he remained silent and started to cry.”

The witness said Beech had also asked officers to stop when they went through Ponsonby Terrace in Westminster, an area deemed by the analyst to be associated with the now-deceased politician Lord Brittan – whom Beech also accused.

When asked what may have taken place there, Beech is said to have responded: “The usual.”

Further along the journey, Mr Low said Beech had wanted to have a look at properties on Wilton Street, Belgravia, an area believed by the analyst to be related to former PM Sir Edward Heath.

He told officers he felt the area had been associated with Mr Heath and former MP Harvey Proctor.

Beech is also said to have told officers to stop on Dolphin Square, Pimlico, and the Carlton Club – both locations which were not among the 18 but which the defendant highlighted as being locations where abuse took place, the court heard.

Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

The trial continues.