Appeal for anyone with information about sex attacks by top politician to come forward

By Mark WattsFiona O’Cleirigh and Mark Conrad | 21 May 2014

Anyone who recognises the circumstances surrounding an alleged rape of a young woman by a former cabinet minister is being urged to come forward.

The woman – known as “Jane” to protect her identity – told Exaro how the ex-minister, before he became an MP, tricked her into his flat, locked her in, then raped her. She was a 19-year-old student at the time.

Jane believes that his modus operandi was well practised, and is convinced that she is not his only victim.

We are identifying neither the former Conservative cabinet minister nor the alleged victim for legal reasons. Jane gave a detailed account of the alleged attack, and of how the Metropolitan Police Service decided against proceeding with the case. We ran her story last weekend with the Sunday People, which devoted the splash and four pages inside to it.

The Met’s paedophile unit investigated the case under ‘Operation Fernbridge’, which was already looking into claims that the same ex-minister had sexually abused boys.

Jane came to Exaro’s studio in our offices in Fleet Street to record a 16-minute video interview, with her identity concealed, in a further attempt to encourage any other victim of the ex-minister to come forward.

She said: “I hope that this investigation by Exaro will help to make the police conduct these investigations in a different way.”

Although she is bitterly disappointed by the police’s treatment of the case, Jane urged anyone with useful information to contact Exaro.

In the video interview, she talks about the lead up to the alleged attack in 1967. She said: “He lured me to his flat, and locked me in. I was unable to get out.”

He set up a blind date through a flatmate. They were to meet outside a tube station, and go on to dinner.

She said: “He said that he wanted to collect some records to take to a friend’s after we’d had dinner. And so I agreed to go with him to his flat to collect those records.”

They travelled one stop on the tube, then walked to his flat. But it was a ruse.

“He came through the doorway, and he pointed to something on top of the fridge, which I looked at, and then, as I looked back towards him, he’d locked the door, and he was putting the keys into his pocket.”

She ran to the toilet, and locked the door in an attempt to escape from him. But she was unable to escape, and eventually came out of the toilet.

“He was waiting outside of the door. I- my brain had seized up, and I couldn’t move. And he pointed me towards the bedroom, and pushed me towards the back of the flat. It was very dark there, and I just did as I was expected.”

“I couldn’t see him, it was too dark. But he just got on with it without any prevarication. He just raped me.”

She said that the attack lasted a few minutes. “And then, I was just lying there, stunned. And he brought a glass of water, and said, ‘Here, you might need this.’ And I drank it, and I fell asleep straightaway.”

“Looking back from today’s perspective, I think, yes, there must have been something in it, for me to fall asleep like that, and to stay asleep all night until he woke me in the morning to leave.”

He shook her awake the next morning. “He just said that it was time to leave.”

But the police, she said, told told her that it “did not meet the criteria for rape” because she had not used the word, “no”.

Tom Watson, Labour MP, names the ex-minister who allegedly raped Jane in an explosive letter to the director of public prosecutions, and suggested that the police are unwilling to investigate him properly because of his status.

Interviewer: Mark Watts
Camera and lighting: Fiona O’Cleirigh
Sound: Adam Laschinger
Production team: Mark ConradFrederika Whitehead and Alex Varley-Winter

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

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