‘Operation Midland’ prepares photo test as they investigate murders by VIP paedophiles
By Mark Conrad | 20 December 2014
They are preparing to show photographs of a selection of missing boys to the key witness known as ‘Nick’ in an attempt to identify three alleged victims of murder by a network of powerful paedophiles.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit along with homicide detectives, working under ‘Operation Midland’ are trying to eliminate as many of the 200 cases of missing boys from their enquiries as possible before carrying out an identification exercise with Nick in the New Year.
It comes after police held a briefing for journalists on Thursday to confirm that they are treating Nick’s account, first reported on Exaro, as “credible”.
Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, who is leading the investigation, said: “Nick has been spoken to by experienced officers from child-abuse teams and experienced officers from murder investigations. They and I believe what Nick is saying to be credible and true.”
Nick agreed to talk to the police after he first gave an account to Exaro, along with another abuse survivor, of sexual abuse of children at Dolphin Square, an apartment complex favoured by MPs near Parliament.
Steve Rodhouse, deputy assistant commissioner at the Met, stressed at the media briefing the difficulties that face the operation, saying: “These are unique and complex investigations.”
They made a request to police forces across the UK for files on boys who disappeared and never turned up between 1977 and 1983.
Nick dates the three murders at between 1979 and 1982. In one, according to his account, a then-serving Conservative MP murdered a boy during a sexual assault at a town house in central London around 1980.
Police are hampered in their enquiries because the files are in disarray, but they are eliminating some cases from their enquiries.
Exaro understands that police are making progress in identifying victims described by Nick, and are hopeful that they will eventually be able to identify at least one if not all three.
While we are not revealing what progress has been made at this stage for fear of disrupting the criminal investigation, it is one factor behind detectives making public that they believe Nick’s extraordinary claims.
The picture test aimed at identifying the boys allegedly murdered by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’ is the key next step.
McDonald pleaded with the media last week to refrain from publishing pictures of high-profile cases of missing boys in order to prevent any possibility of contaminating potential evidence.
Police also complained last week that a journalist had shown a single picture of a possible victim to Nick.
Detectives were furious about the incident because this uncontrolled approach has the potential to contaminate evidence.
The journalist concerned was not from Exaro.
On advice from both Exaro and the police, Nick was this weekend trying to avoid the welter of media coverage of his case.
Although he is pleased that the police are taking his allegations so seriously, the coverage inevitably brings the horrors of what he experienced and witnessed when he was a boy back to him.
While the coverage is difficult for Nick, he has always made clear to Exaro that he wants other people to come forward. Like the police, he wants abuse survivors and others, such as residents or staff at Dolphin Square, to come forward.
He was also pleased that the police publicly stated that they believe his allegations, although he already knew their view. He said that he did not want to make any comment at this stage.
The Met issued a statement on Friday to say that it had already received calls and information as a result of Thursday’s appeal for witnesses.
The developments come as Exaro exclusively revealed tonight that Theresa May, home secretary is to scrap the panel for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse.
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