In another twist to a major investigation into a 1980s child sex abuse scandal, in which it alleged that senior establishment figures were involved, it has been revealed that documents relating to the 1981 murder of a boy – who was believed to have been abducted at or not far from the Elm Guest House, notorious for paedophile parties – have ‘disappeared’ or have been destroyed.
The murdered boy, Vishal Mehrota, was last seen in the Putney area of London, less than a mile from Elm House. Mr Mehrota, a retired magistrate and the father of the boy, later received a phone call from a man who stated that his son had been abducted by those involved with paedophile activities at the guest house. Mr Mehrota taped the call and passed it on to the police. However, the police told Mr Mehrota that the call was probably from a crank and no further action was taken. The man who called Mr Mehrota also told him that he had called the police with names of high-profile establishment figures – judges and at least three MPs, including the late Cyril Smith – who frequented the sex parties at the guest house. The upper torso of Mr. Mehrota’s son was later found in a wooded area in West Sussex.
At the time twelve children were murdered and another four were abducted but their bodies were never found. These are still unsolved cases. Mr Sidney Cooke organised a paedophile ring around the time of the Elm House sex parties and was eventually found guilty and imprisoned for rape and the murder of three boys – Jason Swift, 14, Barry Lewis, six, and Mark Tildesley, seven.
In 1998 a police review was ordered into the evidence available, but the files, including those relating to other child sex offenders across London, were found to have gone missing.
A week ago police revealed they are now re-opening some of the cases and that they are examining the possible murder of up to 20 children linked to the guest house, as well as to another property in London, at Dolphin Square, that was frequented by politicians.
Timeline of events:
September and October 2012: Jimmy Savile abuse scandal breaks.
October 2012: Labour MP Tom Watson claims at Prime Minister’s Questions there is ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10’ and that a ‘senior aide to a former prime minister’ had links to a child sex gang member.
November 2012: Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk uses parliamentary privilege to claim Cyril Smith, right, sexually abused boys.
November 2012: The CPS reveals it considered Smith allegations in 1970, 1998 and 1999. It admits Smith should have been prosecuted.
December 2012: Operation Fairbank set up to examine allegations that VIPs, including politicians, abused young men at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, in the 1970s and 1980s .
February 2013: Operation Fernbridge begins investigating the alleged paedophile ring linked to Elm Guest House. The Mail reveals Peter Hatton-Bornshin – allegedly abused there as a teenager – killed himself in 1994, aged 28.
December 2013: Ex-Labour MP Lord Janner’s home searched by police investigating historical child sex abuse. He is not arrested.
June 2014: Lord Janner’s Westminster offices searched by police. Again, he is not arrested.
July 3, 2014: It emerges Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens’ dossier on suspected Establishment paedophiles – sent to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983 – disappeared. But the Home Office could find no record of it, fuelling claims of a cover-up. Lord Brittan amends his story twice over his dealings with the original document.
July 5, 2014: More than ten current and former politicians reported to be on list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating Westminster paedophile ring claims. The Mail reveals the Establishment protected diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, when police found child porn at his flat in 1978.
July 6, 2014: Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill reveals 114 files relating to historical allegations of child sex abuse, 1979 to 1999, have disappeared from the department.
July 7, 2014: Home Secretary Theresa May asks NSPCC’s Peter Wanless to head inquiry into Home Office handling of historical sex abuse cases. She also announces overarching inquiry. Chairman Baroness Butler-Sloss is forced to step down amid questions over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the 1980s.
October 2014: Replacement Fiona Woolf resigns amid criticism over her ‘Establishment links’, most notably in relation to Lord Brittan.