Met drops case against former head of armed forces because of ‘insufficient evidence’

By Mark Watts | 18 January 2016

Lord Bramall demands apology from police over investigationFormer head of the armed forces Lord Bramall wants the police to apologise for their investigation into him over allegations of child sex abuse.

The 92-year-old former general is due to meet his solicitor today to discuss whether to press the Metropolitan Police Service for an apology after it dropped its investigation into him on Friday because it found “insufficient evidence” to proceed.

The Met delivered a letter to Bramall’s solicitor on Friday to say that it was taking no further action against him. It issued a statement on Friday night, saying: “Officers have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to request the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider charging the man with any offences.”

Bramall, speaking to the BBC, said that there was “not one grain of truth” to the allegations against him. He was pleased to be “in the clear”, but added that the police “had not behaved very well”.

Bramall also said of the Met’s letter: “I was hoping for rather more than that. I don’t know if I will get an apology. But I am going to see my lawyer on Monday and talk about whether we’ll go back to the police and say, ‘Can’t you do a bit better than that?’”

The retired field marshal was one of several senior figures under investigation by ‘Operation Midland’ over historical allegations of child sex abuse. A witness, known as ‘Nick’ to protect his identity, made the claims.

Detectives raided Bramall’s home in Surrey in March 2015, and interviewed him under caution the following month.

The peer was not arrested, and always denied the allegations.

Scotland Yard’s statement on Friday did not name Bramall, but referred to “a man in his 90’s from Farnham”.

The Met did not name him at the time of the raid, although Bramall complained: “They had 20 police for 10 hours in the middle of the village, and the police had lunch in the pub five minutes away. If that is not making sure the public knows about it, I do not know what is.

Exaro broke news of the raid, which was widely followed up by the rest of the media.

The Met statement added: “Operation Midland will continue to investigate allegations of historic child sexual abuse and homicide, which involves a number of potential locations over a period of several years. It is right that such grave allegations are thoroughly investigated.

“Whilst officers continue to expedite enquiries, there remain lines of further enquiry which are complex.”

Update 19 January 2016: Lord Bramall’s solicitor, Drew Pettifer, today told LBC’s James O’Brien that his client had decided against “actively seeking an apology” from the Met, but added: “I am not going to say that an apology would be unwelcome.”

Related Stories : Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread

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