UK

Carl Beech: VIP abuse accuser thought claims were true, a court hears

Carl Beech Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Carl Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud

A man accused of inventing a murderous VIP paedophile ring believed his claims to be true, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, 51, is on trial over claims he was a victim of the alleged network, which supposedly included MPs and members of the Army and intelligence services, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Defending Mr Beech, Collingwood Thompson QC said his client "genuinely believed" what he had told detectives.

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

His allegations - including that he had witnessed three child murders at the hands of the group - prompted the Metropolitan Police to launch a £2m investigation known as Operation Midland.

The investigation, which ran between 2014 and 2016, ended without an arrest being made.

During his closing speech at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday, Mr Thompson said: "Mr Beech's case is that the allegations he made in his ABE (achieving best evidence) interviews are true."

Mr Thompson added that, even if jurors doubt the accuracy of the allegations, "the defence case is that this man genuinely believed to be true what he was describing to the police".

He added: "We know that the Metropolitan Police, under the guise of Operation Midland, looked into the allegations made by Mr Beech and ultimately, in March 2016, took no further action on them because they took the view that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

"It simply does not follow that just because the Metropolitan Police thought there was insufficient evidence, Mr Beech is guilty."

'Sophisticated paedophile'

On Tuesday, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC told the jury Mr Beech found telling falsehoods "as easy as starting the day with a cup of tea might be to some of you".

He added: "The defendant Carl Beech is a sophisticated paedophile. I make no apology for saying it, the evidence proves it.

"At some stage Carl Beech appears to have convinced himself that such behaviour is acceptable for whatever purpose he had.

"Spying on children, covertly filming [a child], gathering literally hundreds of images of the rape and abuse of children, each of them a criminal offence."

The court heard in May that Mr Beech has convictions for voyeurism and making and possessing indecent images of children.

The trial continues.