Man who sparked VIP abuse ring inquiry is paedophile, court told

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Carl Beech, known as ???Nick???, was offending at same time as he was making claims, jury told

Carl Beech
Court sketch shows Carl Beech, right, who is accused of falsely claiming he was a victim of a VIP abuse ring that included senior politicians. Photograph: Elizabeth Cook/PA

The man known as ???Nick???, whose claims prompted a multimillion-pound Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP abuse ring in Westminster, is a ???committed and manipulative paedophile???, a court has heard.

Carl Beech is accused of falsely alleging he was among victims of a group of politicians and senior figures in the military and intelligence services that he claimed raped and murdered boys in the 1970s and 80s.

Now it has emerged in court that Beech is a convicted paedophile who, at the same time as he was claiming to police to be a victim of abuse, viewed indecent images of young boys and covertly recorded a child using the toilet.

The 51-year-old former nurse ??? referred to as ???Nick??? during the investigation ??? concealed the material on a secret calculator app on his iPad, Newcastle crown court heard. When questioned by police about the images and footage, Beech lied to investigators and sought to frame his teenage son for the crime, jurors were told.

Beech initially pleaded not guilty to the indecent image offences before switching his plea and accepting he was responsible.

Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, told the jury: ???The evidence ??? demonstrates that Carl Beech is a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation when required, including if necessary, framing his own son.???

The previous conviction surfaced on Wednesday in court, where the prosecution was continuing to outline its opening case. Beech faces 12 counts of perverting the course of justice from December 2012 to March 2016 and one count of fraud over a ??22,000 criminal compensation payout.

The charges, which he denies, include that he made a false allegation of witnessing the murder of a child by the former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor. Beech is also alleged to have lied about claiming to have witnessed the murder of two other children. Others he accused of abuse included the former prime minister Edward Heath, the former home secretary Leon Brittan, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and Jimmy Savile. Bramall???s wife died without knowing her husband was to face no further action, the court has been told.

Northumbria police, brought in as an outside force to investigate Beech, searched his house and found indecent images of young boys and ???covert??? images and recordings on electronic devices, the court heard.

Badenoch said: ???He committed the criminal offences of making and possessing indecent images of children and of voyeurism. These child sex offences were committed whilst he was speaking to investigating officers.???

He added: ???Those matters were something for which he was prosecuted quite separately ??? He pleaded not guilty initially, he placed reliance upon the lying account he???d given police officers. Amongst other things he sought to point the finger of blame elsewhere: to his own teenage son.

???Before, ultimately on day two of his trial when the jury had been sworn, he changed his pleas to guilty thereby accepting he was responsible all along. That process took around 18 months and also had to accommodate the defendant absenting himself from both his court bail and the jurisdiction by leaving the country.???

The jury heard that Beech ??? a former Care Quality Commission inspector and NHS worker ??? was charged with the indecent image offences, fled to Sweden and purchased a ??17,000 property in a remote forested area.

He received ??60,000 from an early retirement pension and travelled to Sweden via Calais in February 2018. Beech also grew a beard as a ???rudimentary disguise???, as well as assuming a new identity and travelling around the country using false names and payment cards that were hard to trace, the court was told.

Badenoch said Beech had sought to evade justice, prompting an international manhunt. He was eventually arrested by Swedish authorities on a train in Gothenburg in October 2018.

The court also heard that, despite Beech telling police officers that he had not done any internet research before making his allegations in 2014, investigators later found evidence to the contrary.

Among others, he searched on his computer for the Carlton Club and Dolphin Square, locations where he claimed abuse occurred. Individuals he searched for who he accused of abuse included diplomat Peter Hayman and Bramall.

It was also revealed to jurors that Beech had viewed an article reporting that newspaper advertisements had been published telling people who claimed to have been abused by Jimmy Savile how they could claim compensation.

Badenoch told the court that the evidence demonstrated Beech was an ???individual concerned only for himself, unconcerned with the impact upon others; whether it is falsely accusing them of heinous crimes ??? or seeking to attribute blame elsewhere to his own son for child pornography???.

He said: ???It also demonstrates that Carl Beech has an interest in child pornography. Not something which is learned behaviour from something which has happened, but quite the reverse. He watches child pornography concerning boys, possesses it, records young boys covertly, and writes about it.???

Badenoch added: ???The fact that Carl Beech is a paedophile may help to explain how he was quite so able and willing to conceive of, and then relay to the audience, such detailed and graphic stories of the sadistic sexual abuse of young boys at the hands of much older men. Finally, it also provides assistance in determining whether he is capable of seeking to deceive the court, entering a plea of not guilty in the face of incontrovertible evidence.???

When challenged about the findings by Northumbria police in July 2017, Beech offered no comment over hours of interviews, the court heard.

The trial, which is expected to last up to three months, continues.