Tim Tates submission to IICSA – Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry

The text I have reproduced below of Tim Tates submission has lost its formatting whilst copying to this blog. I do not have time to  reformat but there is a link to the  pdf itself which is easier to read which  is available here 2016 Jul 30 Tim Tate [1] Submission to the IICSA – redacted version. It makes for very interesting reading.

It is also available on Tim Tates webpage and blog [2] but you might have to scroll down to find it.

I have featured some of Tim Tates other work previously on my blog [3] Suffice for me to say, he gets my respect for the quality and quantity of his work against child abuse.

If you would rather read his submission below then I should explain that there are numbers accompanying some text, which refer to the notes at the bottom of each page. There are also page numbers at the bottom of each page, and of course numbered sections, which all means it is difficult to read here, without adjusting the formatting. It is worth leaving in however, as search engines can pick up the text, which they cannot do in a pdf.

Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Tim Tate
Investigative journalist, author & documentary film-maker.
July 30, 2016
Introduction Pages 1 – 2
Background Pages 2 – 5
Child pornography investigation 1986 – 1987 Pages 5 – 10
Child Sexual Abuse Investigations 1987 – 1998 Pages 11 – 14
Historic Child Sexual Abuse Investigations 2013 -2016 Pages 15 -30
Police intelligence: paedophiles & child pornographers 2013-16 Pages 31 – 34
Conclusions & Recommendations Pages 34 – 37
Appendix 1: Relevant Tim Tate books & films
Appendix 2: Sexual Offences, Consent and Sentencing”; Roy Walmsley & Karen White.
Home Office Research Study No. 54.
Appendix 3: “The Tim Tate Lists”
Appendix 4: PIE Membership List: 1983 – 84
Appendix 5: Transcript of Maganlal Solanki ‘doorstep’ interview
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
1. Introduction
My name is Tim Tate. For almost 40 years I have worked as a journalist,
documentary film maker and author.
I do not claim to be an expert on child sexual abuse. However, many of my books
and films1 have investigated the problem, and have brought me into extended working
contact with police and prosecutors (both in the UK and internationally) victims and
paedophiles, social workers and therapists. As a result I believe I have first-hand
information which may be useful to the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse.
This submission contains only information of which I have direct knowledge.
I should stress that my work was never motivated by direct personal experience. I
was not abused as a child and until I was asked to look at the problem as journalist I
had given little thought to the issues of child sexual abuse, paedophilia and child
In the early 1980s I was working for the BBC radio (later television) investigative
programme, Checkpoint. I was asked to look at complaints from children in care that
they were being badly treated. I made two programmes – one radio, one television –
about their plight and, in particular, about the use of behaviour modification
techniques and drugs to control or restrain them2.
Thereafter, several of the social workers and former police officers who I met while
those programmes suggested I should investigate the worldwide trade in child
pornography and its relationship with (loosely) organized groups of paedophiles.
When I moved to the ITV franchise, Central Television, in 1985 (as part of the launch
team for what would become The Cook Report), I began working on this suggestion.
1 A full list of my relevant films and books – and the awards my work has been given – is attached as
2 Children In Care: Checkpoint, BBC Radio 4, 1983 & The Mindbenders, Checkpoint, BBC1, 1984
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
For the next two years I met and formed close working relationships with the only
specialist police unit attempting to combat child pornography, and with the most
important specialist in enabling paedophiles understand – and control – their sexual
attraction to children.
Both of those working relationships (detailed in later pages) would provide me with
the first-hand knowledge contained in this submission.
2 (a). Background: The Law in the mid 1980s
In the mid 1980s it was illegal England and Wales to have sexual contact with girls
or boys under the age of consent. The age of consent for girls was 16; for boys it was
It was also illegal, under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, to publish in England
and Wales – whether for profit or not – something which:
“is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who
are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear he
matter contained or embodied in it.”3
However, there was no law prohibiting the possession of pornography (whether adult
or child) and no specific legislation covering indecent or obscene film or video
images of children.
2 (b). Background: the societal and political background
The late 1970s and early 1980s experienced the emergence of a paedophile liberation
movement, and a largely-simultaneous seismic change in technology. Together, these
created societal and political pressures on governments and the police service: both
were slow to react and, as a result, policy and practice for the protection of children
lagged behind the reality of the situation.
3 The decisive case of DPP v Whyte (1972) established that it was not enough for one person to be
depraved or corrupted: it had to be proved that a significant number of persons likely to have come into
contact with the photograph, film or sound recording would be corrupted.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The paedophile liberation movement began in 1974 as a small sub-committee within
the Scottish Minorities Group4 in Edinburgh. Within a year, this migrated to London,
joined forces with a recently-established group in the capital, Paedophile Action
Liberation (PAL) and then announced itself publicly as a new campaigning group, the
Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE)5.
PIE (and its precursor groups) argued that adult-child sexual contact was both natural
and, in general, either harmless or positively beneficial. It justified these claims by
referencing the 1948 Kinsey report6: one chapter (Chapter 5) of this worldwide bestseller
had purported to show – using tables and graphs detailing apparent scientific
experiments – that children as young as four months old were capable of experiencing
multiple orgasms (and, therefore, pleasure) when stimulated by adults.7
In 1975 PIE submitted a paper to the Criminal Law Revision Committee. It proposed
lowering the age of consent to four, with children above this age presumed to be able
to give their assent to sexual contact with an adult.8 PIE also inserted itself into the
National Council For Civil Liberties (NCCL).
Whilst PIE’s proposals were not adopted, there is evidence to suggest that the overall
message it sought to put forward was receiving consideration within the UK
government. A 1979 Home Office Study Document9 floated the idea of reducing the
de-facto age of consent for heterosexual acts to 13. It cited the 1948 Kinsey report as
a key source document. (The suggestion was not adopted.)
4 This later changed its name to the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group.
5 The problems posed by PIE are explored more fully later in this submission.
6 Sexuality in The Human Male; Kinsey et al; University of Indiana, 1948.
7 These so-called scientific experiments were, in reality, no more than ‘reports’ sent by individual
paedophiles which described their (unsupervised) abuse of children. A full investigation of was made
in my Channel 4 documentary, Kinsey’s Paedophiles. This film can be viewed on my website:
http://www.timtate.co.uk/films. There is no password protection.
8 ‘Evidence on the law relating to, and penalties for, certain sexual offences involving children’. Keith
Hose, PIE, November 1975.
9 “Sexual Offences, Consent and Sentencing”; Roy Walmsley & Karen White. Home Office Research
Study No. 54. Copy attached in the Appendices to this submission.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
2 (c). Background: the policing of child abuse in the mid 1980s
Contact abuse of children by adults was then dealt with, reactively, by local or
regional police forces and social services department. There was no nationallycoordinated
specific register of men (or women) who had been convicted of sexual
offences against children. Nor was there any pro-active policing aimed at intervening
to protect known or future victims.
Child pornography – indecent images of children, as we now term this – was illunderstood
and even more badly policed. The only force which maintained a
dedicated unit investigating IIOC was the Metropolitan Police. Its Obscene
Publications Branch – then designated T013 – was based inside New Scotland Yard
and, in addition to handling investigations in the Greater London area, had become
the only law enforcement department which maintained any sort of intelligence on
providers and consumers of IIOC throughout the United Kingdom.
TO13 was a uniformed, rather than detective, branch. This had been Metropolitan
Police policy since the exposure of corruption in its precursor squad during the 1970s,
which Mr. Justice Mars-Jones described as being “on a scale which beggars
description”. A decade later the legacy of this scandal was a lingering (if unfounded)
suspicion of, and hostility towards, TO13. Its officers reported a belief within the
Metropolitan Police that “what we do is not important. We get treated as woodentops
… and when it comes to handing out extra money to fund operations, it usually goes
to the glory squads”10.
3. Child Pornography investigation 1986-87
When I began researching the Cook Report documentary investigating child
pornography in 1986 I established contact with the then senior officer in TO13,
Superintendent Iain Donaldson. He described himself deeply troubled by the
problem of indecent images of children, and by the paucity of resources at his
disposal for pursuing those who traded them.
10 Obscene Publications Branch sergeant, quoted in Child Pornography; An Investigation’. Tim Tate,
Methuen, 1990.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Prior to 1983, child pornography (IIOC) had been primarily a sub-genre within the
commercial adult pornography market. In 1969 Denmark had legalized the
production and sale of all forms of pornography – adult and child.11 For the next ten
years, commercial Danish pornography companies produced at least 36 separate 8mm
films (each duplicated a large – if unquantified – number of times for worldwide
distribution), and a much greater number of magazine series, showing the sexual
abuse of children. Many were barely out of infancy: all were pre-pubertal.
The titles of these commercially-produced child pornography films and magazines –
Child Love, Sucking Daddy, Lolita, Pre-teen Trio and Fucking Children are
representative examples – became familiar to law enforcement officials throughout
the world. They were distributed professionally by registered companies and were
frequently recovered in police raids on contact sex abusers across three continents12.
By 1983 the child pornography market was changing. Three years earlier Denmark
had abandoned its ‘liberalisation’ experiment and commercial production had ceased.
Increasing efforts by US Customs and Postals services, conducted internationally,
were making commercial distribution of the films and magazines less attractive to
mainstream adult pornography wholesalers and retailers. Instead, the films and
magazines were increasingly traded – often without payment – between paedophiles
and/or loosely-formed groups or ‘rings’ of those with a sexual attraction to children.
This posed challenges for traditional police efforts to interdict the material.
This challenge increased when, in 1983, Sony and JVC released the first domestic
video camcorders. This technology revolutionized the creation of IIOC. Films and
photographs no longer needed developing; copying videos could easily and cheaply
be carried out at home, rather than requiring expensive tele-cine equipment.
11 It remained an offence, however, to show obscene material to anyone under the age of 18.
12 These films and magazines, primarily produced by Rodox Color Climax Corporation of
Copenhagen, were not unique: other Danish, Swiss and American pornographers produced rival series.
But Rodox-CCC’s material was the most widely distributed – and seized.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The advent of camcorders and video-cassette recorders re-booted child pornography
as a cottage industry largely run by and for paedophiles themselves. This made
policing it much more difficult.
By 1986 TO13 had a staffing complement of Donaldson, five sergeants and five
constables. However, of this working team of 10 (Donaldson was the supervising
administrator) only two were tasked with investigating child pornography.
Metropolitan Police policy required the other eight to police adult pornography – both
‘hard’ and ‘soft’. Donaldson was attempting to change this; but his superiors refused
his requests to prioritize IIOC.
It was for this reason that Donaldson agreed to co-operate with the Cook Report. Two
officers – a sergeant and a constable – were assigned as liaison between the
production team and TO13.
I and a colleague conducted three separate undercover operations. The first was
aimed at testing the extent to which IIOC was being traded semi-openly via top-shelf
softcore pornography magazines. With the agreement of TO13 (which was not then
permitted to conduct such sting operations) adverts were placed in several
publications, used generic code-words to solicit IIOC.
The second targeted commercial sex shops in Amsterdam. TO13 believed (correctly)
that Holland was the main wholesale global ‘staging post’ for all pornography,
including IIOC. Using hidden cameras we asked sex shop vendors in the Red Light
District if they could sell us child pornography.
The third focused on what was then a new phenomenon: computer bulletin boards.
US law enforcement had identified these pre-world wide web, internet-based groups
as a growing medium by which paedophiles exchanged or traded IIOC.
Simultaneously, I arranged to meet with and seek assistance from the two primary
American law enforcement agencies working to police the global market in child
pornography: US Customs Child Pornography and Protection Unit and US Postals’
Prohibited Mailings Division (both based in Washington DC).
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
It was agreed that the results of all these co-ordinated investigations would be turned
over to TO13, as well as being included in the Cook Report documentary13.
The UK stings – both via top-shelf magazines and bulletin boards – produced a
handful of responses which offered copies of (mostly) commercial child pornography
magazines or films, together with one offer to ‘share’ privately-made still obscene
photos of children being penetrated by adult men. This latter led to a filmed
‘doorstep’ interview of the man, a self-confessed paedophile, who was subsequently
charged and convicted.
The Amsterdam sting caught a sex shop proprietor willing to sell child pornography:
in covertly-shot footage, he demonstrated how he would evade British law
enforcement by dismantling the videocassette and sending only the tape inside. This
spool duly arrived at the Cook Report offices less than a week later: it showed a prepubescent
girl being molested and sexually abused. Subsequent technical analysis (by
US Customs) showed it to have been shot on a camcorder, in Germany, within the
previous two years.
The liaison with US Customs and US Postals yielded two lists of known British
consumers of child pornography. Each of the men on these lists had purchased IIOC
from a US-based individual or (in one case) business, who had all been prosecuted for
commercial distribution of child pornography by one or other of the two agencies.
The senior officer from Customs, John Sullivan, and his counterpart at Postals, Dan
Mihalko, confirmed that they had previously sent these names to the UK government.
(Neither were clear on the mechanics of this, but both understood that the lists had
been sent to the Home Office by the US State Department and/or the US Treasury
Department.) Both expressed mild surprise that they had not received any follow up
or request for supporting evidence.
13 The film was transmitted in the summer of 1987, reaching an audience in excess of 12 million
viewers. It can be viewed at the following site: [REDACTED] Because of the changed data protection
position pertaining today, it is password protected. For the IICSA’s use only, the password is
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
I took these two lists (as well as the list of those who had responded to our UK stings)
to Supt. Donaldson at TO13. He had seen neither of the US lists before; none of the
names of those British child pornography customers were listed as IIOC consumers
on TO13’s hand-written card index.
Donaldson believed that this evidence – coupled with the fact that it had not been sent
to him by the Home Office and/or his superiors at New Scotland Yard – provided him
with ammunition for his struggle to prioritize child pornography investigations within
TO13. It was agreed that we would subsequently film an interview with him, during
which Roger Cook would show him the lists and ask if he had ever seen them before.
Donaldson undertook to play dumb and appear surprised by them, believing that the
resulting embarrassment when the documentary was broadcast would strengthen his
hand with Metropolitan Police management.
Within two years of the programme, new legislation was introduced making
possession of child pornography illegal. The prioritizing of child pornography within
TO13 took several more years to achieve. In the interim, it appears that little or no
work was done to investigate the names of the British consumers provided by US
Customs and US Postals.
I understand that Counsel to your Inquiry has been given copies of these lists, which
have been labelled (not by me) “The Tim Tate Lists”.14 A copy is provided in the
confidential appendices to this submission.
An examination of these lists shows that several men identified on them were
subsequently convicted of a series of serious offences including the possession and
distribution of IIOC, as well as contact offences against children. However, these
prosecutions did not take place until several years after the lists were given to TO13,
thus leaving the men free to commit offences in the interim.
14 By Peter McKelvie, to Ben Emerson QC.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
• Charles Napier (No. 39 on US Customs List).
A former official of PIE, Napier was convicted in 1995 on two counts of
sexually assaulting an underage boy. In 2015 he was further convicted of
sexually abusing 23 boys between 1967 and 1983.
The first prosecution took place eight years after the US Customs list
including his name was given to TO13.
• Graham R. Wake (No. 50 on US Customs List)
In 1993 Wake was convicted of sexually abusing boys throughout the 1980s.
He was also found to have hundred of IIOC in his home. Police also found
evidence that he had been corresponding with two other men who had
responded positively to the Cook Report sting.
This prosecution took place six years after the US Customs list including
his name was given to TO13
• Terence James Waters (No. 52 on US Customs List)
A former member of PIE, in 2009 Waters – an art teacher – was convicted of
possessing several thousand IIOC, including drawings of children being raped.
The court heard that Waters met regularly with other paedophiles and shared
more than 14,000 images (photographic and video) showing the sexual abuse
of children. In 2011 he was further charged with (and admitted) seven counts
of indecent assault and five of indecency with a child. The court heard
evidence that Waters had built a “secret room” in the school loft above his art
room: during the 1970s and 1980s he took boys there to abuse them.
These prosecutions took place twenty-two and twenty-four years
(respectively) after the US Customs list including his name was given to
Had Supt. Donaldson been permitted by Metropolitan Police management to
assign adequate resources to investigating these men in 1987, many children
could have been protected from the sexual abuse they subsequently suffered.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
4. Child Sexual Abuse Investigations 1987 – 1998
Following the broadcast, and by agreement with Supt. Donaldson I remained in
working contact with the two TO13 officers he had assigned as liaison. I did so
because I was then working on a book about child pornography15, and because I was
undertaking new investigations for it as well as for further documentaries on the issue
of child sexual abuse.
To further these I worked closely with the leading UK expert on paedophiles and
sexual offending. Ray Wyre, a former probation officer, ran a court-approved
programme to work with paedophiles with the aim of preventing future offending. He
was also a consultant to a number of police forces and social services departments on
the issue.
In 1994 we jointly produced a documentary and a book investigating the crimes of the
serial child killer Robert Black1617. While serving a life sentence for abducting and
almost killing a child, Black had asked Wyre to work with him so that he (Black)
could understand what drove him to offend. The sessions were tape recorded, with
Black’s permission.
As well as demonstrating a succession of historic failures by police and courts (and
the importance of child pornography in sustaining Black’s paedophilia), the
documentary also exposed a very serious and continuing problem in the collation and
distribution of intelligence about paedophiles.
The National Criminal Intelligence Service was established in 1992, with funding
from the Home Office. It was tasked with gathering intelligence on a series of crime
priorities, and with disseminating that to police forces in the areas where the criminals
operated. Child pornography and organized child sexual abuse formed one of the
stand-alone branches within NCIS.
15 Child Pornography – An Investigation; op cit.
16 The Murder of Childhood; “Dispatches” (Channel 4, 1994): The documentary can be viewed at
http://www.timtate.co.uk/films. There is no password protection.
17 The Murder of Childhood; Ray Wyre & Tim Tate, Penguin Books, 1995.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Prior to the formation of NCIS, details of criminal offences were held on either or
both the Police National Computer or the Criminal records Office database. Both
recorded this information by name of offender, rather than by type of offending, thus
making intelligence co-ordination more cumbersome.
The only unique database of adults known to have involvement with IIOC and/or
organized paedophilia was a manual card index maintained by a civilian co-ordinator
in TO13. This index contained approximately 3,000 names, including vital crossreferencing:
it also included several hundred names and addresses of those who had
been members of the Paedophile Information Exchange (and its precursor group,
Paedophile Action Liberation). These names had been found on PIE membership lists
seized in or around 1978.
In early 1994 I was informed by one of TO13’s officers that NCIS had insisted on
taking possession of, as well as the responsibility to maintain in future, the card index
database. I contacted the then head of TO13, Supt. Mike Hames. He confirmed
that, despite his strenuous objections, the card index was being handed over to NCIS.
No back up copy was made.
I sought (and was granted) a filmed interview with NCIS for use within the Robert
Black documentary. During this, it emerged that despite being convicted of the
sexually-motivated abduction and attempted murder of a child four years earlier (as
well as previous contact offences against children) and the fact that he was awaiting
trial on charges of three other sexually motivated murders of pre-pubescent girls,
Robert Black’s name was not included on the NCIS database. The explanation given,
on camera, by NCIS was that “he has never come to our notice, and the information
that is available on him has never been submitted to our office.”18
There were two reasons Britain’s most dangerous paedophile was not listed on the
country’s now sole dedicated database of child sex offenders, fully two years after
NCIS was established.
18 The documentary, including this on-camera statement, can be viewed at http://www.timtate.co.uk/films.
There is no password protection.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The first was that NCIS system was not compatible with any other police computers:
it could not access the CRO, the PNC or even feed into HOLMES, the database
created as a result of the disasters of the manually-based Yorkshire Ripper
The second was that the NCIS paedophile unit was grossly understaffed. For the first
two years it had a full time staff of just one officer (with one occasional part-time
assistant). In late 1993 this was increased to two officers (with part time help), but
staffing was not intended ever to grow larger than three full time members. By
contrast the NCIS football hooligan unit, housed in the next door office, had a fulltime
complement of between 11 and 12 officers.
What became of the 3,000 names hand-written on the TO13 card index and which
was, by the end of 1994 held by NICIS ? There has never been an official answer to
this. But within a year I obtained evidence that these names had not been entered on
to the NCIS computers.
In 1995 I made a film for ITV which investigated the problem of British (and
American) paedophiles travelling to the Philippines to sexually abuse children there19.
With the assistance of the Philippines police and government, I obtained the files on a
number of British and US citizens who had been charged, prosecuted or deported for
contact offences involving pre-pubescent boys and girls. These files had been sent to
NCIS in 1992.
In America, the FBI used the Philippines’ documents to mount undercover operations
which proved the men were also committing paedophilic offences in the US. Also at
the time, several western governments had passed laws which enabled them to
prosecute their own nationals for contact offences committed in foreign countries.
19 Defender of The Children; “Network First”. Viewable at https://vimeo.com/88078950. There is no
password protection.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
In Britain, the Home Office refused to put forward similar legislation. Instead, a
Conservative Home Office minister (in an on camera interview) assured us that NCIS
was across the information, and that he had confidence in its ability to deal with the
intelligence gained from its counterparts in the Philippines.20
However, when presented with the files on known British paedophiles (which had
been provided to it three years earlier) the then head of NICIS’ paedophile unit,
denied ever having seen them. When asked, on camera, why we had been able to
obtain this information but he had not, Chief Inspector Bryan Drew said “presumably
because you asked for it”.
One of the men identified in the Philippines files – and who was also shown, in covert
filming in the documentary, boasting how he would pay off either the prosecutor or
the victims of his abuse – was Douglas Slade. Slade had been a founding member of
Paedophile Action Liberation (PAL); his name was on the old TO13 card index. By
1995 it had apparently still not been entered on to the NCIS database.
Twenty one years later, in July 2016, Douglas Slade was convicted of a series of
contact sexual offences a Bristol Crown Court. These had taken place in the late
1970s and early 1980s.
The PIE membership lists which included Slade’s name and address were seized
in 1978. Had action been taken against him then, many of those British victims
could have been spared the abuse he inflicted on them.
Further: had the Home Office adopted – and used – extra-territorial legislation,
much of Slade’s abuse in the Philippines might have been prevented. Nor was
Douglas Slade an isolated example.
20 This policy was reversed following the election of the Labour government in 1997. The Sexual
Offences Act 1997 created extra-territorial legislation, allowing for the prosecution in UK courts of
men alleged to have abused children abroad. However, research published in 2014 suggested that in
the intervening years only five such prosecutions had taken place (https://www.theguardian.com/socialcare-
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
5. Historic Child Sexual Abuse Investigations 2013 – 2016
In 2012, following the revelations about Jimmy Saville, Peter McKelvie, a senior
former child protection professional, contacted Tom Watson MP with information
indicating that prominent figures in politics had historically been involved in abusing
children. In the early 1990s Mr. McKelvie had been a central figure in exposing the
activities of Peter Righton; documents he had discovered during this investigation
suggested the existence of a well-connected network of highly-placed paedophiles.
Mr. Watson raised the matter in the House of Commons.
As a result, the Metropolitan Police established a ‘scoping exercise’ – Operation
Fernbank – to examine the strength (or otherwise) of evidence. This subsequently
became a full-fledged criminal investigation under the title Operation Fernbridge. At
the same time, other politicians and parts of the media began their own enquiries and
went on to publish a succession of stories about a VIP paedophile ring21.
In the Spring of 2014 I was asked to meet with Tom Watson MP in his office at
Westminster to discuss my knowledge of alleged historic offences. Several weeks
earlier I had also had the first of two meetings with senior officers from Operation
Fairbank/Fernbridge: these took place at Empress State Building, the Metropolitan
Police station from which Fairbank/Fernbridge operated. The subjects of these
meetings were as follows:
21 The “investigative website” Exaro News took the lead in these stories and has claimed credit for
causing, among other police enquiries, Operation Midland. I have been, and remain, extremely critical
of Exaro News because its stories relied on the sole and uncorroborated testimony of single individuals.
This is bad – and irresponsible – journalism: however, because I have no direct knowledge of the
allegations which were the subject of Operation Midland, this submission does not address them.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
(i) PIE
I had investigated the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) for my book on
child pornography.22 Using the organization’s own (published) documents I had
shown that during the 1970s it had acted, inter alia, as a means for paedophiles to
share or trade child pornography. The ‘Contacts’ section of its magazine, Magpie,
contained advertisements soliciting IIOC: advert no. 373 was typical.
Doctor, male. Poet and author, interested [in] photos little girls in white pants
and little boys out of white pants …
There was also evidence which suggested that PIE’s leadership had managed to
run the organization from inside the Home Office building in Queen Anne’s Gate
In 1979, Stephen Adrian Smith (also known as Stephen Freeman) began working
for an electrical company contracted to undertake work at the Home Office. In
1986 he published a book in which he claimed to have stored PIE material in an
office in the basement between 1979 and 1982, and to have had PIE’s telephone
line directed to a phone in that office.
In the summer of 1984, Smith and two other PIE – David Joy and Peter Bremner –
officials were arrested and charged with sending indecent material through the
post. Joy and Bremner were tried and convicted, but Smith fled to Holland. The
Home Office initially sought his extradition but subsequently abandoned the
attempt. No explanation was given.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Home Office had come under public
pressure to proscribe PIE as an organization. It declined to do so, apparently on
legal grounds. The legal advice which would – presumably – have been provided
by the Attorney General’s office to the Home Secretary has never been published.
22 Child Pornography – An Investigation (op. cit)
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
In 1981 the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens had named Sir Peter Hayman, a
senior diplomat, as a member; he subsequently submitted to the Home Secretary,
Leon Brittan, a dossier which, according to newspaper reports, identified up to
eight other high profile paedophiles. (In 2014 Lord Brittan told newspapers he
had no recollection of this dossier.)
In July 2013, in response to a Freedom of Information request from a journalist,
the Home Office published the results of an internal review (“Executive Summary
of review of Home Office organised child sex abuse files”) which showed that it
could not locate the so-called Dickens dossier, but which did disclose the
existence of 11 empty files. The contents of these files had, according to the
review, been correctly destroyed in line with contemporary “applicable document
retention policies”; their titles, however, had survived and these indicated the files
had related to PIE.23
I submitted an FOI request for those 11 titles, and for a copy of the “applicable
document retention policies”. The Home Office repeatedly refused to provide
either, before claiming that it never had the information in the first place.
In the meantime, however, questioning of the Home Office Permanent Secretary,
Mark Sedwill, by the Home Affairs Select Committee24 led to the disclosure that
rather than 11 relevant files, the Home Office had now discovered a total of 114.
Mr. Sedwill was asked by committee chair, Keith Vaz MP, to provide the file
titles. He initially refused, but subsequently complied. Throughout this episode,
and even after Mr. Sedwill sent the file titles to the Home Affairs Select
Committee, the Home Office continued to refuse my request for exactly the same
23 The report stated: “the recorded title files, together with media reports of events at the time, give
some indication of the probable contents of these files”.
24 July 8, 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
In early June, 2014 I was put in contact with Tim Hulbert, a retired social services
manager. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Mr. Hulbert, had been a paid
consultant to the Voluntary Services Unit. This was an interdepartmental
organization, based inside the Home Office: its role was to co-ordinate
government action across different departments and ensure there was no conflict
between the aims and actions supported. Mr. Hulbert’s salary was paid by the
Home Office.
Mr. Hulbert told me that during the first year of the Thatcher government in 1979
he was working at his desk in the Home Office when he saw a document which
suggested that PIE had received funding from the Home Office.
The document was a request for renewal of funding worth £35,000 (thus
indicating that previous funding had been granted). Mr. Hulbert said he was
concerned by this – both because of PIE’s public campaigning to abolish the age
of consent and because he thought that the grant of funding conflicted with the
aims and policies of another department – DHSS – which was responsible for
child protection. He said that he raised the matter with his immediate manager,
Mr. Clifford Hindley.
According to Mr. Hulbert, Mr. Hindley instructed him to drop his objections
because (inter alia), PIE “was being funded at the request of Special Branch,
which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles”25.
Mr. Hulbert told me that he decided not pursue his concerns because “at that time
questioning anything to do with Special Branch – especially within the Home
Office – was a ‘no-no’”. He did not discover whether the renewal of funding
application had ever been sanctioned.
25 This is a verbatim quote from my interview with Mr. Hulbert, who was recalling, to the best of his
ability, the words used by Mr. Hindley. The interview took place by phone on June 18, 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
In 2013, Mr. Hulbert had approached Tom Watson MP. He told him exactly the
same story as he told me, and Mr. Watson arranged for Mr. Hulbert to speak with
officers from Operation Fernbridge. He was subsequently interviewed by, and
gave a formal statement to, Fernbridge’s senior officer, Chief Inspector Paul
The Home Office subsequently set up an enquiry. An experienced investigator
was seconded from his regular duties at H.M. Customs and Excise. This
investigator has not publicly been named, ostensibly to protect the sensitivity of
his investigations. Given Mr. Hulbert’s account of what ensued, I believe the
IICSA should know that his name was [REDACTED], and that (according to
allegations by other journalists) he worked regularly with the intelligence services.
If true, this would appear to be a significant potential conflict of interest.
According to Mr. Hulbert, Mr. [REDACTED] telephoned him and asked him to
come in to the Home Office for a formal interview. Because of the tone and
content of this conversation, Mr. Hulbert was nervous. He wrote to the Home
Office requesting details of Mr. [REDACTED]’s rank in the civil service and
asking for express permission from the Metropolitan Police (under whose aegis
Operation Fernbridge was being conducted) to appear before Mr. [REDACTED].
Mr. Hulbert told me that he did not receive agreement to these requests and the
proposed meeting “fell through”. He subsequently received a second telephone
call from Mr. [REDACTED]: the contents of this conversation suggested to Mr.
Hulbert that rather than conducting an investigation into the alleged Home Office
funding of PIE, Mr. [REDACTED] might be seeking to hold a disciplinary
hearing. Mr. Hulbert feared that this could find him in breach of the Official
Secrets Act and could jeopardize government pension.
He thereafter asked Operation Fernbridge for a formal assurance that any answers
he gave to Mr. [REDACTED]’s enquiries would not be used against him. He said
that did not receive any such assurance.
26 I confirmed this with Mr. Watson and with Operation Fernbridge.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
As a result Mr. Hulbert did not meet with Mr. [REDACTED], preferring instead
to submit a formal statement along the lines of that which he had already given to
Operation Fernbridge. He told me that he subsequently made several phone calls
and sent several e-mails to Mr. [REDACTED], to ensure that his statement had
arrived. However, he said that he never received any response.
I agreed with Mr. Hulbert that I should write a piece for the Sunday Express,
outlining his allegations but without identifying him. After this appeared, I
arranged for Mr. Hulbert to be interviewed – and identified – by ITV News27. To
the best of my knowledge, Mr. Hulbert received no financial benefit of any kind
for giving these two interviews.
In November 2014, the Home Office published the report of a review into Mr.
Hulbert’s allegations, as well as into the Home Office’s knowledge of organised
child sexual abuse allegations from 1979 – 1999. The Wanless Report (named for
its head, Peter Wanless, chief executive of NSPCC) met Mr. Hulbert; he also
spoke to Mr. [REDACTED]. The Report concluded:-
“7.5. It is the reasonable conclusion of the senior investigator, taking all facts
into account; including information both seen and heard, that on the balance
of probabilities and in the absence of supporting evidence or a
corroborative account, the alleged funding from VSU to PIE did not take
“7.6. There is clear evidence that VSU provided funding to organisations who
were connected to PIE, namely Albany Trust and Princedale Trust. It is
impossible to determine whether VSU funding provided to either of these
organisations was indirectly used to support the work of PIE, but no evidence
was found to conclude that it did.28”
27 Transmitted: ITV Network, July 15, 2014.
28 An Independent Review of Two Home Office Commissioned Reviews Looking At Information held In
Connection with Child Abuse from 1979 – 1999. Wanless & Whittam, HMSO, Novermber 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
However, the Report also indicated that there was no firm – let alone
documentary – evidence to disprove Mr. Hulbert’s account and that therefore it
could not be ruled out entirely.
“Review 2 concluded that on the balance of probabilities, the alleged funding
of PIE did not take place. While this represents the judgement of the original
reviewer it is not a fully satisfactory answer to whether the Home Office ever
directly or indirectly funded PIE.
“We cannot offer categorical assurance one way or the other. It is possible
that a Special Branch inspired payment might have taken place – the official
records offer no direct evidence to suggest it did, and no other civil servant we
have had contact with has corroborated Mr Hulbert’s memory, but the records
are insufficiently complete to rule it out entirely”29.
In relation to the missing files and what the Home Office knew (and did with)
allegations of organised child sexual abuse, Wanless concluded:
“ … it is not possible at this remove of time on the information that has been
made available to us to say precisely what was given to the Home Office
throughout this period, or what action the Home Office took in relation to
each allegation that was referred to it.
“No system of routinely recording such referrals existed then, or now. In those
circumstances, on the material at the Home Office it is not possible to
consider or comment with any confidence on how the police and prosecution
authorities handled any material that was handed to them at the time30”
One document which was noticeable by its absence from the Home Office files
and enquiry reports was PIE’s membership list. This had originally been seized
by the Metropolitan Police in the late 1970s.
29 Wanless: Page 33 (op. cit)
30 Wanless: Page 7 (op. cit)
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Contemporary press reports, quoting Charles Oxley, a Scottish headmaster who
had infiltrated the organization, put the number of members at around 1,000.
However, the list itself had never been made public; and if the Home Office’s
internal reviews of its files were accurate, neither had it been passed on by the
Metropolitan Police.
In 2013 I learned the whereabouts of a copy of the list. I spent several months
tracking down and then interviewing the person who held it. I ascertained that this
person had come into possession of it while he was a serving police officer in the
1970s and 1980s. I was also able to discover where it had been kept in the
intervening years: a full chain of custody, in other words. I was also assured that
it had been sent to IICSA.
In 2015 a copy of the list was sent to me31. I analyzed it carefully and found strong
evidence that in the 1970s and 1980s both the Metropolitan Police and the Home
Office had failed to assign sufficient importance to membership of PIE, and that
children were subsequently sexually abused as a result.
The list I received is dated 1983 – 1984 (though there are handwritten annotations
made, evidently by police officers, in 1985). These dates are important: they
coincide with the period in which Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, was under
pressure to ban PIE.
There are 307 individuals listed as members. Four of the members were women.
Most – though not all – of the 307 have a membership number beside their name.
There are no recognizable politicians’ names on the list, although Sir Peter
Hayman, the diplomat outed as a PIE member by Geoffrey Dickens MP in 1981 is
included (his name, without any address, has been handwritten in pen).
31 Whilst I believe this copy to be identical to that previously provided to IICSA, I have included a
copy of the list I received in the Appendices to this submission.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
This number of members is lower than the widely reported figure of 1,000. I
queried this with the former police officer who had held the list. He told me that
the copy he had was only one version of what had been, originally, a much
lengthier document. The original full list of members was, in those pre-computer
days, physically photocopied, cut up and parceled out to several police forces.
This copy of the list – the only one, to the best of my knowledge, still in existence
– was the result of that process.)
The document I received shows that some effort had been made to establish the
accuracy of the PIE membership records. 254 of the names were listed as UK
residents: of these, addresses were shown and/or confirmed for 213 of them. Of
the remaining 41, just one was found to be an assumed name; 11 addresses were
“unknown” and 4 others were shown as no longer in existence. 16 individuals
were found to be unknown at the address given for them, with a final nine showing
no street address at all. Of the 53 foreign members, there was one each in
Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, Canada and Iran; 2 each in the Republic of Ireland
and West Germany (as it was then); 5 in Australia, 13 in France and 24 in the
United States.
There were few overt cross-references to criminal convictions. Of the UK
residents listed, three (all men) were recorded as having criminal records: CRO
numbers have been written, in pen, beside their names – but with no details of
what offences were committed. Additionally, one other member was listed as
being in prison – again with no offence details shown. These men with criminal
records were rank and file members. The criminal convictions of PIE’s Executive
Committee – a matter of public record – are not shown.
I do not have access to the Criminal Records Office database (maintained since
2006 by the Association of Chief Police Officers) or the former Criminal Records
Bureau (now part of the Home Office Disclosure and Barring Service). Nor do I
have access to the Police National Computer which also maintains a database of
criminal records. It is therefore impossible to know how many of the 254 UKresident
PIE members on the 1983-84 list might subsequently have been convicted
of child sexual abuse.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
But I was able to consult some publicly available records which showed that
several prominent PIE members on the list – notably Peter Bremner, Charles
Napier, Leo Adamson and Terence Waters – were subsequently convicted of
contact offences and IIOC.
There is also little or no indication in the list of an understanding that each of these
PIE members posed a potential threat to children; nor of the relevance of their jobs.
Of the two clergymen listed, one was a senior army chaplain. Research in publicly
available records indicates that this man appears later to have resigned his
commission but also to have had a history of involvement with the Christian youth
organization, the Boys’ Brigade.
Similarly, there were members whose address were those of a school. Member
No. 132, for example, was a teacher at an independent prep school for boys.
Publicly available records show that he quit teaching unexpectedly early, but
continued – according to his obituary – to help young pupils by taking them to
sports fixtures in his car and buying them equipment.
In none of these instances, involving highly sensitive professions involving
regular access to children, is there any publicly-available record which
suggests these PIE members were monitored by police or that their employers
were warned that they posed a potential risk to children.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
(ii) Leon Brittan & Operation Fernbridge
I first met senior officers from Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge on December 11,
2013. Four days earlier the investigative website Exaro News had published a
story alleging that officers from Operation Fairbank had “seized a video that
places a former Conservative cabinet minister at one of several parties where
boys were sexually abused by men … Exaro has also learned that police have
‘talked to’ the ex-minister about his attendance at the ‘sex party’”32.
The story was picked up and subsequently reported by mainstream newspapers.
Although Exaro did not name the ex-minister, it was common knowledge amongst
journalists that this was Leon Brittan (now Lord Brittan), the former Home
I questioned the Fairbank/Fernbridge officers about this allegation. They denied it
unequivocally and angrily. They insisted that no such video had been seized; nor
had they “talked to” any ex-cabinet minister. According to the senior detective,
the story had been invented and then given to Exaro by a man claiming to be a
survivor of historic sexual abuse.
This man had been interviewed at length by Fairbank/Fernbridge: they believed
that he had very probably been abused as a child, but that he was extremely
vulnerable and suggestible; and that some of his key allegations had been wrong.
In particular, the dates he gave for having been transported to Holland and
sexually abused there showed him to have been an adult, not a child, when the
abuse was alleged to have taken place.33
32 Met’s paedophile unit seizes video of ex-minister at sex party: Exaro News, December 7, 2013.
33 This man would become a key early “witness” for several Exaro News stories. In 2015 he retracted
or denounced some of these articles, claiming that Exaro either tricked or pressured him into naming
Lord Brittan. I have since spoken to him and have confirmed his unhappiness at the way he says Exaro
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The ‘sex party’ which the ex-cabinet minister was supposed to have attended was
subsequently alleged to have taken place at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south
west London. This was a guest house catering for gay men: it closed down in
1982 after a raid by the Metropolitan Police. Twelve boys gave statements to the
police, alleging that they had been abused at EGH, but these were not pursued at
the time and the owner, Haorun Kasir, was convicted of a single count of the
minor offence of running a disorderly house, or brothel.
Between 1982 and 2013, a series of allegations had appeared on websites which
alleged (variously) that underage sex parties had been held at EGH, attended by
politicians (including Sir Cyril Smith), spies (Sir Anthony Blunt) and prominent
entertainers. One website contained photographs of what it claimed were pages
from EGH’s guest book, showing the names of politicians and celebrities.
Some of the young boys alleged to have been abused at these parties had,
according to the websites, been taken there from care homes in the local area.
The senior Fairbank/Fernbridge officer told me that his unit had discovered
evidence of abuse within these homes and that two men were to be charged. But
although interviews were on-going, there was no evidence implicating ‘VIP
On March 29, 2014, Exaro News and the Sunday Express published new
allegations. These claimed that in 1982 H.M Customs & Excise had seized a video
cassette which showed “child abuse in the presence of a former cabinet
minister”35; and further that the retired Customs officer involved had been told by
his former employers not to speak about the incident.
34 The men he named were Anthony McSweeney, a Catholic priest and John Stingemore, a care home
manager. In March 2015, McSweeney was convicted of sexual assaults on a 15 year boy in the
Grafton Close Children’s Home, and of making IIOC. Stingemore died before the case came to trial.
35 Customs seized video of child sex abuse and ex-cabinet minister. Exaro News, 29 March 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Once again the article did not name the ex-cabinet minister (though it did name
the former Customs officer): however, it was common knowledge amongst
journalists that the politician referred to was Leon Brittan.
The basis for the story was a notice of seizure of indecent or obscene articles by
Customs & Excise, published in the London Gazette in 1982. It detailed the
confiscation of “three untitled 8mm films, 1 video cassette entitled GB 10”, 1
video cassette entitled “Amsterdam Tramway Museum” 1 video cassette entitled
“LB” and 1 order form imported into the United Kingdom and found at the
Eastern Car Terminal, Dover Kent, England, on or about 18th January 1982”.
The owner of these items, at whom the seizure notice was aimed, was shown to be
“R.H. Tricker36” with an address in Amsterdam. The seizing officer, named in the
London Gazette notice, was a Mr. Maganlal Solanki.
In March 2014, a journalist for the Sunday Express tracked down Mr. Solanki,
now retired, to his home address in Birmingham. The journalist went there and
attempted to interview Mr. Solanki, covertly recording the encounter. A tape of
the ‘interview’ was passed to Exaro; it was also passed on to three MPs.
The Exaro story alleged that “the retired Customs officer identified the former
cabinet minister, but is so scared about the sensitive nature of the video that he
refuses to say what the ex-minister is doing exactly.”
By chance I had a previously-arranged meeting with the senior officer from
Operation Fernbridge scheduled for four days after the Exaro story appeared. On
April 2, 2014 I met him at Empress State Building.
36 Russell H. Tricker was a convicted British paedophile who had emigrated to Amsterdam in the late
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Over a two hour interview, conducted in the building’s canteen/restaurant, this
officer gave me what he said was the truth about the 1982 Customs seizure, Mr.
Solanki, Elm Guest House and Leon Brittan.
I have no means of independently verifying the most important parts of his
account (though I was able to obtain a copy of the Solanki recording which
confirmed that part of the officer’s story. See below). However, his allegations are
so serious that I believe it is important they be examined formally. Since Lord
Brittan died in January 2015 no criminal proceedings can be brought; IICSA is
therefore the only forum for these claims to be tested.
The senior officer stated that detectives from Operation Fernbridge had also
interviewed Mr. Solanki, now in his 80s and somewhat infirm as a result of a
series of strokes. Mr. Solanki had denied the Exaro/Express allegations. He had
told Operation Fernbridge that he couldn’t remember anything about the 1982
seizure – and certainly not having viewed the Tricker tapes and films, thereby
“identifying” the ex-cabinet minister.
But he went on to state that he did recall stopping Leon Brittan on another
occasion – he could not recall the year – when the politician came into the port of
Dover from Europe. Inside the politician’s car Mr. Solanki said he had found
video tapes: he viewed these and saw that they were child pornography. The
Fernbridge officer told me he asked Mr. Solanki what exactly was on the tapes:
the retired Customs officer was embarrassed, but said they depicted boys and
girls, clearly under 12, having sex with each other.
How, the detective asked, did he know the man he stopped was Leon Brittan ?
Mr. Solanki said he had asked to see the man’s passport. Additionally, Brittan
had described himself as “an MEP”.
This posed a problem. Leon Brittan was never an MEP. He went from being an
MP and government minister to being a European Commissioner. The detective
eventually decided that since Mr. Solanki was very evidently telling the truth as
he recalled it, he had most likely misheard the phrase “MEP”.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
Mr. Solanki told the detective that after he had seized the tapes, he sent Mr.
Brittan on his way and referred the incident to his superiors. He also indicated
that the seizure would have been recorded in the log book kept by Customs
officers at Dover. The Fernbridge officer told me he was then making plans to
look for these.
Nor, according to the senior officer, was this the only line of enquiry Operation
Fernbridge was pursuing into Leon Brittan. A second and active strand involved
Elm Guest House.
When the Metropolitan Police officers had raided Elm Guest House in 1982, they
believed – correctly – that it was being used for (adult) male prostitution.
However, the officer in charge of the raid had alerted the local social services
department that there was a possibility at least one child might be on the premises
and that, if so, a social worker and a place of safety would be needed.
The police did indeed find one child – a boy of around eight years old – in the
guest house. He was taken to a local children’s home and, according to a
document the Fernbridge detective found in council archives, was jointly
interviewed by a detective constable and a social worker on the night of the raid.
Operation Fernbridge tracked down the (now-retired) constable in question. He
was interviewed and described the boy as being the most sexualised child he had
ever seen. He also said that the boy described being sodomised by nine adult men
at the guest house, but seemed somewhat surprised that the police were interested.
He told his interviewers that “Uncle Leon” would take care of the problem, and
that “Uncle Leon” worked up at “the big house”. The constable said he had
understood this to be a reference to Parliament and had realised that Uncle Leon
was probably Leon Brittan.
All of this should have been recorded in a statement. But the Fernbridge team was
surprised to discover that although a statement of sorts did exist, it was not signed
by the boy; nor did it make any mention of “Uncle Leon”.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
They questioned the retired constable: he explained that it was late at night when
the boy was questioned and he had taken a joint decision with the social worker
that the statement could be signed after the boy had got some sleep. But next
morning the boy had “acted out” and refused to sign.
The Fernbridge officers also questioned the retired constable about why he hadn’t
recorded the “Uncle Leon” information in the (unsigned) statement: he became
uncooperative, giving them the distinct impression that he was concerned about
either disciplinary proceedings or a potential threat to his police pension.
Fernbridge went on to track down the boy – now a man in his early 40s. Although
he initially seemed willing to speak, he then refused to do so. Despite this, the
senior officer concluded our meeting by saying that he was convinced that Leon
Brittan had had an active sexual interest in children – but that he was unsure
whether he would ever be able to bring any charges.
I followed up the meeting by obtaining a copy of the Solanki recording and
transcribing it37. This showed very clearly that the retired Customs officer had
repeatedly declined to answer the journalist’s questions; had made no comments
which could – even at a stretch – be interpreted as confirming that he had viewed
the Tricker tapes nor had he identified Leon Brittan’s presence in them. Instead it
is the journalist who repeatedly uses Brittan’s name, without any meaningful
response from Mr. Solanki. To that extent, the senior Fernbridge officer’s account
seemed to be accurate.
I then made FOI requests to HMRC (the successor organization to H.M. Customs
& Excise) for information relating to the Tricker tapes seizure. These requests
were rejected on the ground that HMRC owed a duty of confidentiality to a
British taxpayer (Mr. Tricker). These refusals ignored the fact that Mr. Tricker
was not at the time of seizure (or any other material time) a British taxpayer.
37 Attached in the Appendices to this submission
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
I have no means of knowing whether the story told by the senior officer from
Operation Fernbridge is true (though I can see no benefit for him to have
lied). Shortly after our interview he was removed from the investigation. I
have not spoken with him since.
6. Police intelligence on paedophiles and child pornographers: 2013 – 2016
The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) ceased to exist in April 2006
when it was merged into the newly-created Serious Organised Crime Agency
(SOCA). In October 2013 SOCA was itself dissolved and its operations merged into
the new National Crime Agency (NCA). Intelligence on organized paedophiles and
those sharing or trading IIOC became part of the remit of a sub-command, CEOP
(Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command).
In 2014 I was contacted anonymously by someone who claimed to work for CEOP.
This person claimed that CEOP was severely under-resourced, having a full time
complement of just seven officers; their workload was so overwhelming that,
according to this informant, untrained staff were being brought in from other sections.
It was impossible to ascertain whether these allegations were factually correct.
Although CEOP publishes an annual report, this does not break down staffing levels.
Further, The National Crime Agency (and, thereby, its sub-commands) is specifically
excluded from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. FOI requests are not
accepted, and CEOPS has a policy of not commenting on specifics38.
However, in the spring of 2014 I found anecdotal evidence which suggested that the
CEOPS-operated system for collating and distributing intelligence about those
producing IIOC was not functioning. The evidence emerged from a raid on the
home of a 22-year-old Latvian man living in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, in February
38 Interview with CEOPS press officer May 8, 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The raid followed a tip-off by the Russian interior ministry. It had discovered that a
child pornography video file had been uploaded to a website based in the Russian
Federation from an IP address in Britain. The information was passed to CEOPS: it
identified the IP address as a private home in Skelmersdale and tasked the Lancashire
force with carrying out a raid on the premises.
The home was owned by a Latvian-origin man and his wife who had two young
children; however they shared the house with the man’s brother, a 22-year old factory
worker called Andreas Bauminis. When confronted by Lancashire police, Andreas
Bauminis admitted downloading child pornography involving girls as young as 11
from a Russian-based internet file sharing site. He refused, however, to discuss the
file which, according to the Russian Interior Ministry, he had uploaded.
Officers seized and checked his computer. On it they found IIOC images and films
showing the sexual abuse of pre-pubescent girls.. However one film was what
appeared to be a 20-minute ‘snuff’ video: this showed a girl, approximately 15-yearsold,
being raped, then strangled with wire until she appeared lifeless.
During her ordeal the girl was seen to be foaming at the mouth with her eyes rolling
back into her head. At the end she did not appear to be blinking or breathing, and her
abuser was seen to wrap the body in a plastic sheet and drag it out of the room.
When the case came to court in 2014, police officers and the Crown Prosecution
Service lawyers told the judge that they were convinced the girl had been killed on
camera. Judge Denis Watson QC ruled that whilst it was difficult to say whether the
girl in the video had died, “all the evidence points to the fact that she almost certainly
I interviewed the Lancashire Police officer who had seized and viewed the video file.
He said:
39 R. v Bauminis; Liverpool Crown Court, March 18, 2014
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
“The girl was white, with blond hair and a slim build. It was apparent that the
man was either her father or step-father.
“The man began to shout obscenities at the girl. Then he sexually abused her
before strangling her and sexually abusing her again. After that he laid out a
clear plastic sheet – like a dustsheet for decorating and laid the body in this. He
then wrapped the body tightly all over in this.
“It took about 2 or 3 minutes for this laying out and wrapping up to take place. I
was convinced that this was not acting and that the girl was dead. If she had
been play-acting when the plastic was wrapped around her face she could not
have been able to keep so still and not react.
“If it was acting – and I do not believe it was – it was better than an Oscarwinning
performance. You could see the girl’s face and eyes: they didn’t blink or
move at all.
“The dialogue – of the man and the girl – was American. I believed, therefore
that this abuse and killing took place in America. I also estimated – from the
quality of the images – that it was fairly recent: no more than 2 or 3 years old40.”
According to Mike Hames the former head of the Metropolitan Police Obscene
Publications Squad (TO13)41, this video was the first “snuff” child pornography to
ever be seized. It should have been the start of a major international investigation.
Instead, nothing was done with it for at least 14 months.
The Bauminis videos should have been passed to CEOP almost immediately after
they were seized. CEOP is part of an international law enforcement organisation –
The Virtual Global Assistance Taskforce. Member bodies like CEOPS are required to
share evidence like that found in Bauminis’ flat.
40 Interview (verbatim) with Det. Constable Edward Wenham, Lancashire Constabulary; May 7, 2014
41 Interview with retired Supt. Mike Hames, May 2014.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The particular reason for this is that the lead agencies of the Task Force – the US
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the US Customs Service
“Operation Predator” – maintain a powerful “Child Victim Identification Program”.
This is the world’s most exhaustive computer database of images of individual
children used in child pornography. It is used to identify – and often rescue – these
victims, as well as to prosecute their abusers.
But by May 2014 –14 months after the raid on Bauminis’ home – Lancashire Police
admitted that it had not sent his videos and photographs to CEOPS. Instead there
remained in the force’s evidence rooms42. As a result, CEOPS had not passed them
on to the Virtual Task Force, and no action had been taken to attempt to identify
either the murdered girl or the victims shown in the other seized IIOC. That, in turn,
meant the abuser in the ‘snuff’ video, whose face was clearly visible, may have been
free to abuse other children.
It is possible that the Bauminis case is an isolated glitch in the system of UK and
international intelligence gathering on organized paedophiles and child
pornographers. But because CEOP is insulated from scrutiny by FOI requests, it is
impossible to be sure of this.
Twenty-six years ago I called for “a full and detailed enquiry into the incidents and
effects” of child sexual abuse, organized paedophilia and the trading or sharing of
child pornography (IIOC)43.
It is, in my view, greatly to the credit of former Home Secretary Theresa May that the
IICSA was established in 2015, and that it has a sufficiently broad (and well-funded)
remit to fulfill this task.
42 Interviews with Lancashire Constabulary and CEOP press officers; May 2014. The files were sent to
CEOP after I published this story in the Sunday Express.
43 “Ten Specific proposals” [in] Child Pornography – An Investigation (Op. cit)
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
The information presented in this submission raises disturbing questions about the
priority and resources assigned to the investigation of organized paedophilia and the
trade in child pornography from the 1970s forward. Those questions need answers.
The information also raises very difficult questions about the evidence gathered by
Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge concerning alleged VIP, or politically important, child
abusers. Those questions, too, need to be examined and answered.
IICSA has the powers to summon witnesses and to compel testimony under oath. It
should use them.
I believe that the following individuals should be called to give evidence: it is
important that they do so to provide clear and unequivocal answers about the
information set out in this submission.
But it is just as important that they do so under oath: there have been repeated
allegations (though often with no evidence cited) that pressure to remain silent has
been brought to bear on police officers and other public officials. A summons to
testify, backed by the fear of committing perjury, is an appropriate and effective way
to break through this alleged intimidation.
Recommended Witnesses
(i) Supt. Iain Donaldson (Retired); Former head of TO13, the
Metropolitan Police Obscene Publications Squad.
Supt. Donaldson will be able to explain which of his superior officers
obstructed his efforts to re-focus TO13 from adult pornography to IIOC.
He will also be able to explain what happened to the information contained
in the so-called “Tim Tate Lists” (derived from US Customs, US Postals
and the Cook Report investigations) and why no prosecutions derived from
them. Similarly, Supt. Donaldson can explain what was done with the
information contained in the PIE Membership lists.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
(ii) Supt. Mike Hames (Retired). Former head of TO13, the Metropolitan
Police Obscene Publications Squad.
Supt. Hames will be able to clarify how and why TO13’s manual card
index database was removed from it, and what effect this had on the
investigation of organized paedophile activity and the distribution of IIOC.
(iii) Det. Chief Insp. Bryan Drew. Former head of the paedophile unit at
Chief. Insp. Drew will be able to explain why so few staff were assigned
to his unit (in contrast to other NCIS teams). He will also be able to
explain what happened to TO13’s manual card index. Finally, he should
be able to offer clarification as to NCIS’ inability to obtain and/or
disseminate data on British paedophiles travelling to (or living in) foreign
countries for the purposes of sexually abusing children.
(iv) Tim Hulbert, former VSO employee.
Mr. Hulbert will be able to give – free of the intimidation he perceived – a
full account of the PIE funding application he says he saw inside the Home
(v) Mr. [REDACTED], ‘Customs & Excise Investigator’ assigned to
enquire into Mr. Hulbert’s allegations
Mr. [REDACTED] will be able to clarify what he said to Mr. Hulbert and
why this should have caused Mr. Hulbert to fear reprisals. Mr.
[REDACTED] will also be able to answer (uncorroborated) claims that he
has – or has had – a working relationship with the intelligence services.
(vi) Det. Chief Insp. Paul Settle. Former head of Operation
DCI Settle will be able to confirm (or deny) the information put forward in
this submission about his team’s investigation of the late Lord Brittan.
Specifically, he will be able to confirm (or deny) that former Customs
officer Maganlal Solanki told Operation Fernbridge that he had stopped
Mr. Brittan at Dover and had seized child pornography from him.
Submission to IICSA
Tim Tate: investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker
July 30, 2016
DCI Settle will also be able to clarify the results of Operation Fernbridge’s
investigations into the alleged abuse at Elm Guest House and the role
played (or otherwise) in it by Leon Brittan.
(vii) Maganlal Solanki. Former Customs & Excise officer
Mr. Solanki will be able to confirm (or deny) giving to operation
Fernbridge the account of the alleged seizure at Dover contained in this
(viii) Mark Sedwill. Permanent Secretary, the Home Office
Mr. Sedwill should be able to provide evidence concerning legal advice
received by the Home Office in the 1970s and 1980s and which –
allegedly – persuaded the Home Secretary not to proscribe the Paedophile
Liberation Exchange organization.
(ix) The current head of CEOP
The head of CEOP should be required to provide data on the number of
full-time officers working under his command (as opposed to the number
of police officers under warrant available to him on request); of the
numbers of cases currently under investigation, and of those which are
either waiting to be assigned or have not been accepted by CEOP due to a
lack of resources.
The head of CEOP should also be able to provide evidence as to the
number of instances when it has provided IIOC images to the Global task
Force; and how many of those have resulted in the identification of either
an abuse victim or a perpetrator.
I am grateful to the IICSA for allowing this submission and for reading it. I am
happy to answer any questions which may arise.
E-mail: tim@timtate.co.uk
Website: http://www.timtate.co.uk


Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area


[1] 2016 Jul 30 Tim Tate Submission to the IICSA – redacted version https://cathyfox.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/tim-tate-submission-to-the-iicsa-redacted-version.pdf

[2] Tim Tate blog and webpage http://timtate.co.uk/category/blog/#_ftn1 – Might have to scroll down for the IICSA submission

[3] Cathy Fox Blog Search for Tim Tate https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/?s=tim+tate


About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathyfoxblog, Child sexual abuse, IICSA Goddard / Jay child sexual abuse Inquiry, IICSA Independent panel inquiry into child sexual abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tim Tates submission to IICSA – Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry

  1. l8in says:

    Reblogged this on L8in.

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