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Ex-Tory MP condemns VIP abuse ring accusations as ‘ravings of a fantasist’

Harvey Proctor was giving evidence in the trial of Carl Beech, who denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor arrives at Newcastle Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of Carl Beech (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor arrives at Newcastle Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of Carl Beech (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A former Tory MP named as a child murderer and violent paedophile by a man later charged with lying told jurors the horrific allegations were the “ravings of a fantasist” and came from “a polluted imagination”.

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 investigating claims he was a key member of a high-powered paedophile ring.

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

The 72-year-old witness told the court: “There was no Westminster paedophile ring.”

The allegations are horrendous, dreadful. I had nothing to do with them. I don't believe they took place Harvey Proctor

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

Jurors have previously seen 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 claimed Mr Proctor was involved in the murder of another unknown child in a London townhouse.

Asked by Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, to respond to the allegation that he strangled a child, Mr Proctor said: “The allegation is false. It emanates from a polluted imagination.

“The allegations are horrendous, dreadful.

“I had nothing to do with them. I don’t believe they took place.”

Asked about the townhouse murder allegation, Mr Proctor said: “Not true, I had nothing to do with that, I do not believe that took place, these are more ravings of a fantasist.”

When he was interviewed by police for the first time over six hours in 2015, Mr Proctor told police they had got it wrong, explaining to the jury: “It was tiring answering questions for such a lengthy period of time in a subject which was extremely unpleasant and distasteful.

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Carl Beech while being interviewed by police in 2016 (CPS/PA)

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

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

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 police conducted the 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.”

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Mr Proctor broke down in tears while giving evidence (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He said he had been determined to face the allegations and went on the Today radio programme, where he said he knew little about the claims against him and it was a “Kafkaesque situation, 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 which ended his political career as MP for Billericay.

Beech claimed Sir Edward Heath was among his tormentors – who also included Army top brass and security chiefs – and said the former prime minister had intervened to stop Mr Proctor from cutting his genitals with a penknife.

Mr Proctor told the court he and Mr Heath were the “antithesis of friends”, disagreed on politics and disliked each other.

The case was adjourned until Friday.

PA

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