The district judge, persuaded to issue search warrants in Scotland Yard’s disastrous Operation Midland investigation, has called for a criminal investigation into the police officers responsible.
Howard Riddle, the former chief magistrate, said detectives who allegedly “misled” him by authorizing house searches of people falsely accused of belonging to a VIP pedophile ring, should be subject to action. ‘an investigation for having perverted the course of justice.
Scotland Yard officers applied for six arrest warrants in February 2015, allowing them to raid the homes of Lord Bramall, the former Chief of the Army, the late Lord Brittan, a former Home Secretary and by Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP. The men had all been falsely accused of child abuse by the fantasy Carl Beech, who was later convicted of lying and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The raids had a devastating impact on those falsely targeted. Lady Brittan was still mourning her husband – who had died a few weeks earlier – when 20 officers showed up at her two homes in London and North Yorkshire in March 2015.
Lord Bramall was subjected to a 10-hour search by 22 officers at a time when his wife was suffering from dementia. Mr. Proctor lost his home and his job due to the publicity surrounding the search.
By requesting the arrest warrants, detectives assured Mr Riddle that Beech’s allegations were credible and true, despite allegedly being aware of numerous inconsistencies in his story.
Mr Riddle accused Met officers of failing to disclose the “compromising factors” in Beech’s story in their request. He said he now believes the police, who have so far evaded punishment, should now be investigated for a potential criminal offense.
He told the Daily mail: “Perverting the course of justice is a serious criminal offense, almost always punishable by imprisonment. Judges and magistrates who issue warrants must be able to rely on the accuracy and integrity of the information sworn before them. They should know that in the rare and exceptional case of being deliberately misled, then action will be taken to deflect the course of justice. “