Two developments have put back progress on two of the Met Police’s investigations – Operation Fernbridge and Operation Cayacos.
Southwark Crown Court earlier this month postponed a hearing to decide whether John Stingemore was fit enough to stand trail. It will now be heard on June 27 – this Friday.
Both Stingemore and Tony McSweeney, a Roman Catholic priest, have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. No date has been set for a trial until the matter is resolved.
And in Operation Cayacos, the police investigation set up after Tom Watson , raised the issue of new information on a paedophile ring run by the late Peter Righton in the Commons, no decision has been made whether to charge Charles Napier, the half brother of Tory MP John Whittingdale.
Instead he has been rebailed until early August pending further police investigations. Another man, Richard Alston, a former headmaster of a now closed independent boarding school in Gloucestershire has been rebailed as part of the investigation. Police originally arrested Napier in November 2012 and Alston in A\ugust 2013.
The police have arrested a second person in Operation Cayacos – the investigation sparked off by Tom Watson MP – into historic child sexual abuse, it emerged yesterday
The People reported that Richard Alston, now 69, has been arrested on August 20 at his home in Bury St Edmunds.
The arrest follows 68-year-old Charles Napier’s arrest at his home in Sherborne, Dorset, last November.
Mr Alston a former headmaster of New Barns School in Toddington, Gloucestershire, an independent school for children aged six to 12 with emotional and behavioural problems. The school closed in 1992.
This investigation is separate to the current investigation into historic child sexual abuse in the London borough of Richmond which has seen two people charged and appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court last week and a third person, Harry Kasir, who ran Elm Guest House in Barnes in the early 1980s arrested.
The home of the Tory MP’s mum where this morning’s arrest took place. Pic courtesy: Exaro
The Met police this morning arrested Charles Napier, the half brother of a prominent Conservative MP in a substantial stepping of their investigation into historic child sexual abuse.
The full story of the arrest of John Whittingdale ‘s half brother in the Dorset town of Sherborne is on the Exaro News website ( see http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5021/met-s-operation-fairbank-arrests-half-brother-of-top-tory-mp ). The arrest took place at the £500.000 home of the Mp’s 92 year old mother.
The arrest is the first as a result of inquiries by Operation Fairbank set up after Labour MP Tom Watson passed allegations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1980s to the Met Police.It follows two arrests under Operation Fernbridge, which is looking into child abuse in the London borough of Richmond and at Elm Guest House in Barnes where it is alleged that prominent VIPS abused boys.
However unlike reports today in the Telegraph and Mail on line today the arrest has NOTHING to do with events at the Elm Guest House, please see Exaro for an accurate account.
The Met police said: “This arrest is part of a new strand of Operation Fairbank entitled Operation Cayacos, which has now reached the criminal threshold.”
Tom Watson said :” I am extremely grateful for the dedicated team of officers of the Met Police who are investigating a number of allegations regarding child abuse. I am sure people will appreciate that we should let them continue with their forensic and comprehensive inquiries into this area.”
John Whittingdale said :‘I’m obviously aware that he was convicted of offences some twenty years ago, that is a matter that is in the public domain anyway. But I am not aware that he has committed any offence since that time. But if allegations have been made then I accept that they have to be investigated.”
For those sceptics who have said the Met Police would never dare arrest anybody connected to a prominent person in this investigation – they should think again. To my mind it fits in what I have been assured by the highest levelof the Met’s Paedophile Unit – that the police would follow without fear or favour wherever credible evidence took them.