For decades, vulnerable children from care homes and other institutions were booked to order by rich and powerful men, for sex. This is the allegation put forward in ‘Nightmares at Elm Guest House’, in an interview with Chris Fay of the National Association for Young People in Care. As another significant member of the Conservative party is about to be outed this weekend, we take a closer look at these allegations and ask: how much longer can the UK establishment keep this story suppressed?
Child Sex Abuse and the UK Establishment
In 1974, a group of child sex abusers launched the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). This group was legal at the time, and sought to promote the rights of ‘paedophiles’. The group espoused the view that children had the right to indulge in their sexual feelings with adults, and argued the age of consent should be lowered to four years old, or abolished altogether.
This was not some fringe group, hidden away. They had thousands of members, many from senior positions in the media, the security services, politics and other establishment positions.
The members were public and built affiliations with the Gay Liberation Front, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, mental health charity Mind, and even human rights organisation Liberty (previously named The National Council for Civil Liberties). The leaders of PIE shared platforms with Harriet Harman, Patricia Hewitt, and others.
PIE members had been using the ‘Contact’ page of their magazine The Magpie, to connect and network with each other. They also used it to introduce consumers of child pornography to suppliers. In 1978, the homes of PIE members were raided and they faced charges of conspiracy against public morality. One person however, was not tried. He was referred to as “Mr Henderson” until the Private Eye outed him as Sir Peter Hayman, a senior diplomat and former British High Commissioner to Canada. While other PIE members who indulged in the same activity as Hayman were sent for trial at the Old Bailey, Hayman was sent home by the Attorney General and carried on regardless.
PIE was dissolved in 1984, but not before it had allowed for the creation of a powerful network of paedophiles within the most senior ranks of the UK establishment.
In the documentary Nightmares at Elm Guest House, former National Adult Advisor of the National Association for Young People in Care (NAYPIC) Chris Fay, attests that this paedophile ring was widely known, but that the membership of such senior figures had a double lock effect. Firstly, the members were in positions of such seniority that they had the political and financial power to keep stories suppressed, close down police investigations and keep members out of jail. Secondly, the members were such significant establishment faces that the potential impact of their exposure incentivised those around them who knew to keep quiet.
The Elm Guest House
The Elm Guest House was a B&B in Barnes, West London, run by Harood and Carol Kasir. The guest house pitched itself as gay-friendly, but such a description does a great dis-service to the gay community. On or around the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, it began to host ‘Kings and Queens’ parties for paedophiles, whereby members of PIE and another group promoting the sexual abuse of children, The Spartacus Club, could fulfil their desires.
It is alleged that from 1977 onward, rich and powerful men were provided with a menu of children’s photographs and school reports, by members of Richmond Social Services. Once chosen, the child would be sourced from their children’s home (most commonly Grafton Close, just 8 miles away), and taken to Elm Guest House. On arrival, the children would be drugged and abused, sometimes on camera in the ‘video facilities room’, sometimes in the sauna, sometimes at sex parties in a back room.
Carol Kasir claimed to have kept names from the guest register of Elm Guest House, pictured above, which include major establishment figures. The full list is below:
- Anthony Blunt, Royal Connections, MI5, traitor, Russian spy deceased.
- Harvey Proctor, Monday Club, well known convicted paedophile.
- Sir Peter Bottomley. Worthing MP and Monday Club
- Charles Irving
- Leon Britton, Lord, ex Thatcher Minister (likely the Tory ex minister referred to anonymously in recent newpaper reports)
- Peter Brooke, Life Peer
- John Rowe, MI5, former MP
- Cyril Smith, deceased, ex Rochdale MP
- Ron Brown
- Colin Jordan, ex National Front Leader
- George Tremlett, Former GLC Leader
- Peter Campbell, Monday Club
- Gary Walker, Sinn Fein
- Cliff Richard,aged Pop Star, known at Elm Guest House as ‘Kitty’
- Jess Conrad, aged ex Pop Star.
- Ron Wells, aged Musician, aka ‘Gladys’ at Elm Guest House.
- Richard Miles, Monday Club
- Chris Denning, ex BBC DJ, convicted paedophile.
- R Langley, Buckingham Palace Equerry
- Terry Dwyer
- Patrick Puddles
- Louis Minster, Head of Richmond Social Services
- Colin Peters, QC – a convicted paedophile sentenced to 8 years in 1989
- Steve Everett, Senior Westminster Social worker
- Ray Wire, so called expert on Paedophile therapy
- Peter Glencross, editor of Monday Club newsletter
- Guy Hamilton Blackwell, son of Westland Helicopters Chairman
The plight of one particular boy illustrates the horrific nature of this network of abuse.
Peter Hatton-Bornshin (pictured) and his brother David were put into care after their mother committed suicide in the 1970’s. They were 12 and 13. One day, they were told by senior workers at Grafton Close Children’s Home that they were going ‘a treat’. Their treat was a visit to Elm Guest House.
Peter, his brother and other boys were made to dress up as fairies, encouraged to become drunk, and invited to play a game of hide and seek. The boys were told to hide, and when caught by the adult men, would be sexually abused by their captor. Some of the men who raped, tortured and sexually abused Peter and David have been named as Liberal MP Cyril Smith, Catholic Priest Father Tony McSweeney(who officiated at the wedding of Frank Bruno), and Deputy Manager of Grafton Close Children’s Home John Stingemore (who also supplied the boys).
Peter never got over the abuse he received at the hands of these men. He later complained about his treatment and received compensation from Richmond Council, while the story remained suppressed. He fell into poor mental health, and was treated at Broadmoor. In 1994, just days after his 28th birthday, he killed himself with a fatal drug overdose. His suicide note included the words “I will get those bastards.”
The Elm Guest House was raided in 1982. Police found five pornographic videos of children, evidence of the Kasir’s neglect of their son Eric, and other vice charges. Over the next year, all charges related to the Elm Guest House were dropped and only the Kasirs faced charges of running a brothel, for which they received a suspended sentence. The Elm Guest House closed shortly thereafter.
In 1990, with her husband dead and son Eric removed from her custody, it is alleged that Carole Kasir invited NAYPIC’s Chris Fay to view the contents of a box, which he claims contained a photograph of Leon Brittan (while he was a minister of government) dressed as a nurse, with a naked 14 year old boy on his lap. Kasir had many other pictures of senior members of the UK establishment at the ‘Kings and Queens’ parties. Kasir refused to give Fay the box, but agreed for him to return a few days later and take photograph the items. Kasir was found dead on 17th June 1990, aged 47, before this meeting could take place.
It was claimed she killed herself with an insulin overdose. Chris Fay and his colleague Mary Moss believe she was murdered. They argue:
- the last injection found on her body was 72 hours old, and it is unheard of for a person to receive an insulin overdose and live for 72 hours.
- The syringe mark was also on her posterior, when she normally injected into the arm.
- The only person to corroborate Kasir’s handwriting in the suicide note, was David Issit (a known paedophile with links to PIE and the Spartacus Club).
- Kasir had received threatening phone call and intimidation from the police prior to her death
The Open Secret of a Generation
(one example of earlier efforts to expose the network)
Even if not complicit, the child sexual abuse ring around Elm Guest House, Grafton Close and the UK establishment must have breathed a collective sigh of relief at Kasir’s death.
They had survived the police raid on PIE in 1978, which took out non-establishment members of PIE but left the wider network and establishment figures untouched.
Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens repeatedly raised the issue of a London based network of sexual abusers of children between 1981 and 1985. Dickens believed he had uncovered an establishment network with what he described as ‘big, big names’. He held a 30 minute meeting with the Home Secretary in 1984, handing over a dossier of his evidence. The meeting is captured in both Hansard and the media at the time, with Dickens describing himself as ‘encouraged’ following the meeting. The Home Secretary of the day however, was none other than Leon Brittan – himself named as a frequenter of Elm Guest House on the registers in Kasir’s possession. The dossier never surfaced, no action was taken, Brittan claims no recollection of this publicly recorded meeting, and the Home Office say they have found no trace of the dossier.
With both Carol and Harood Kasir dead, the Elm Guest House closed, and PIE disbanded – only the children and their alleged abusers remained to tell the story. It seemed the establishment had won and the secrets would die with those who held them.
Key figures from the period were also starting to reach the natural end of their lives before the truth of the network could be uncovered. MI5 and Special branch helped maintain the cover of Cyril Smith until his death in 2010. Jimmy Savile had also been protected from prosecution for rampant rape and sexual abuse of children, from when rumours first began circulating in 1964, to his death in 2011, which meant another key name and holder of secrets had left the scene. But immediately after his death (a sign of how open his secret must have been), BBC Newsnight began an investigation into the allegations….and the whole network began to blow up, by tracing Savile’s movements and interactions.
The latest series of press interest and police investigations was triggered by Labour MP Tom Watson, who timed judiciously a question to PM David Cameron at the height of the furore over Jimmy Savile. Tom Watson requested a full investigation of allegations of a “powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10” at Prime Minister’s Questions on 24th October 2012.
The Metropolitan Police launched Operation Fairbank shortly thereafter, and repeatedly denied such an investigation was underway when challenged by interested parties. Since that time, Operation Fernbridge has undertaken to investigate and prosecute those associated with Elm Guest House.
The actions of Tom Watson MP have helped raise awareness, while NAYPIC’s Chris Fay and Mary Moss, reporters at ExaroNews and film makers such as Bill Maloney have investigated over decades and provided the necessary evidence to maintain the case in the face of overwhelming pressure to suppress it.
It’s Time to End the Networks
(Grafton Close Children’s Home celebrate the Royal Wedding in 1981, with alleged child supplier Neil Kier on BBQ duty)
I have long left this subject to others to write about. I had a sense that I should remain quiet on the matter until the legal process had concluded. I changed my mind after watching Nightmares at Elm Guest House and reviewing the litany of prior police investigations, court cases and media scandals on the matter. It appears that however close it has seemed, justice has failed to be done for many decades. The establishment has circled the wagons each time, sacrificed a pawn or two to sate the appetites of public and press, then carried on business as usual.
When one looks closer, we are facing the unfolding nightmare that politicians, pop stars and media figures have been supplied vulnerable children to rape and abuse, by members of the social services, over decades. It is beginning to appear quite certain, that a significant number of children’s homes and institutions for young people, have been complicit in abuse on an industrial scale. It is also apparent that a persistent cover up has meant people have been silenced, threatened and perhaps even killed to maintain the silence, and the networks of abuse. The list is growing:
- Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey
- A network of six children’s homes in and around Nottingham
- Long term and extensive abuse at a network of children’s homes in North Wales
- The abuse at a church run Edinburgh children’s home
- A series of allegations against staff at Cranbourne children’s home in Kent
- The Duncroft Approved School for Girls which provided Jimmy Savile with children with whom to engage in sex acts.
These are but a few of the scandals to emerge in recent years. The reason for us all to pay attention and for independent journalists and parties to maintain the pressure on this story – is simple. It is likely that the networks and foul individuals involved have been allowed to fester, largely unchallenged, by the institutions intended to hold them to account. The police, parliament, the press – all compromised and capitulated. When members of these institutions were brave enough to come forward, they faced the full force of the establishment. So it’s on us to stand up and be counted, so that this time, justice is firmly and finally done – in honour of each of the children abused repeatedly by the so called great and good of the UK establishment. We do not know the guilt of any of those suspected, but we must ensure claims are fully investigated and where guilt is found, appropriate consequences are delivered.