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'No evidence' for paedophile claims

A secret file about the sexual "proclivities" of a retired diplomat reveal that there was "no evidence" he had any sexual activity with children.

The file, released by the Cabinet Office to the National Archives in Kew, south west London, outlines official investigations into Sir Peter Hayman, who was accused of being a paedophile in Parliament by MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983.

The 34-page file, which was prepared for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and pre-dates Mr Dickens' allegations, confirms that Sir Peter was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) group.

But papers reveal the only activities that he was involved in took place with consenting adults.

A background note from the Law Officers' Department on March 17 1981, marked secret, said "it appeared that (Sir Peter) had been a member of PIE for the purpose of making contact with adults with whom he could exchange obscene material."

It added: "There was no evidence of his having sought to approach any child for sexual purposes or of his seeking to incite others to do so."

Sir Peter, who was Minister for West Berlin and worked in the Foreign Office in the 1960s, and was High Commissioner to Ottawa from 1970 to 1974, was investigated after a parcel containing "obscene materials" was found on a London bus in 1978.

Pornographic materials and personal diaries were also found at his London flat, but Sir Peter was not prosecuted following an investigation into his activities.

The file also reveals concerns that his activities could have compromised national security.

An investigation by the Security Service found there was "no prejudice to security".

Sir Peter died in 1992.

Papers from the file, entitled "PREM 19/588. Security. Sir Peter Hayman", show he came to the notice of the then Director of Public Prosecutions in 1978 following a police report into the discovery of the bus parcel.

The matter was brought to Mrs Thatcher's attention in a document marked "secret" on October 27 1980 by Sir Robert Armstrong, then the secretary of the cabinet, following an expose in the satirical magazine Private Eye, an article later described in official papers as "generally accurate".

The magazine alleged that Sir Peter was a "sexual deviant" who wrote detailed accounts of his activities and fantasies in diaries which were found along with female clothing and pornographic photos at his Notting Hill flat in 1978.

It also suggested police later found the bus package was addressed to a "Mr Henderson", which was in fact Sir Peter, and that officers discovered he entertained prostitutes at his flat.

In a briefing to Mrs Thatcher, Sir Robert wrote: "The police report showed that Sir Peter Hayman kept explicit and detailed records of his sexual activities and fantasies and that he was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

"But the only activities which could be shown to have occurred were with consenting adults (of both sexes); the material in the records relating to children appeared all to be fantasy, and there was - and is - no evidence for actual activities with children.

"The only offence for which he could have been charged was that of sending obscene material through the post; and I am advised that it was and is the policy of the Director of Public Prosecutions not to prosecute for this offence except if there has been a complaint from the recipient or the object of committing the offence was commercial gain."

The dossier suggests Sir Peter had been engaged in "sexual perversion" since as far back as 1966, "and it must be presumed he was doing so before that time".

The papers outline security concerns that his sexual activities during his time overseas could have opened him up to blackmail, but no security breach was uncovered.

The papers also fail to explain why no action was taken between his arrest in 1978 and the appearance of the Private Eye story in 1980.

The decision not to prosecute was based on the policies of the day, and Sir Peter's offence was decided to be not serious enough to warrant charging.

The papers also suggest there was no evidence of a cover-up of child abuse by the government.

Sir Robert wrote to Mrs Thatcher: "The fact is that none of us - neither the Cabinet Office, nor the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, nor the Security Service knew anything about the affair until the article was published, and I doubt whether there is any point in trying to conceal the fact."

He added that it was a "difficult question" why no one was told about the investigation into Sir Peter, and warned Mrs Thatcher: "It would be better not to be drawn on this aspect in a way which could lead to the need for a further statement."

A memo from the Law Officers' Department in March 1981 added: "His former position was not a factor taken into consideration in reaching these decisions (not to charge) and no attempt was made to cover up the facts to save either him or the Government embarrassment."

The police investigation following the 1978 parcel discovery revealed correspondence "of an obscene nature" between Sir Peter and a number of other people, nine in total.

One of these - not Sir Peter - was corresponding with a tenth person over a shared "obsession about the systematic killing by sexual torture of young people and children".

But the papers continued: "There is no evidence that Sir Peter Hayman has ever sent or received material of this kind through the post."

Documents also revealed that during his time in Canada, obscene correspondence began arriving at the High Commission in Ottawa, "apparently as a result of advertisements placed in a pornographic magazine".

A member of the domestic staff was blamed, but "the latest report raises the question whether it should have been laid at Sir Peter's door."


From Belfast Telegraph