UK

VIP abuse accuser Carl Beech 'confided in counsellor' before police report

Carl Beech in a police interview video Image copyright CPS
Image caption Videos of police interviews with Carl Beech have been shown to the jury

A man accused of lying to police about an alleged VIP paedophile ring had earlier told a counsellor that he had been sexually abused by prominent men, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, 51, began seeing counsellor Victoria Paterson in 2012 for the first of 121 sessions to help with issues stemming from alleged childhood abuse.

In 2013, he told her he had been abused by a gang that included a Saudi prince.

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

Given the name "Nick" when his claims were first reported in the press, Mr Beech is accused of lying about rapes, kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual abuse by well-known names from politics, the military and intelligence during the 1970s and 1980s.

Among the people he accused were former prime minister Sir Edward Heath and former home secretary Lord Brittan.

His claims led to the Metropolitan Police's Operation Midland, which cost £2m and ended without any charges.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Beech had initially told Ms Paterson that he and a friend had been abused by a group of men, which included his step-father.

Ms Paterson said that in February 2013, he told her he had been abused by a "Saudi prince" and "members of a foreign royal family".

She told the court she was "extremely shocked" when he sent her an email in May 2013 with a colour-coded body map showing injuries he said he had suffered at the hands of the gang, including electric shocks, wasp stings and snake bites.

Nightmares and flashbacks

Mr Beech also sent his counsellor a poem he had written about the abuse he claimed to have suffered.

"I was a frightened and lonely boy, nobody cared," it said. "They came in the night, they came in the day. Myself and my friend were always their prey."

Ms Paterson said Mr Beech had first approached her after experiencing issues related to intimacy within relationships, and said he had been suffering nightmares and flashbacks.

The court also heard that Mr Beech had displayed a fear of helicopters in his counselling sessions, getting anxious when one flew overhead. Ms Paterson said he had explained that he was often taken away in a helicopter to be abused.

Mr Beech first reported his claims about the prominent men to police in 2014. During earlier police interviews in 2012, he did not mention them, the court heard.

Jurors also heard how, in April 2015, police took him on a tour of London addresses connected to his alleged "paedophile ring".

The court was told that he said he recognised three of the 18 locations, including Eccleston Square in Pimlico, where he broke down in tears.

But police said he did not react when driven past properties belonging to MI5 Director-General Sir Michael Hanley, politician Greville Janner, or General Sir Hugh Beach - all people he accused.

The trial continues.