Ted Heath ‘abused boys young as 11′

Simon Walters, Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin — Daily Mail Oct 1, 2017

Sir Edward Heath. Click to enlarge

Sir Edward Heath. Click to enlarge

The controversial report into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath includes claims that he sexually assaulted boys as young as 11, it emerged last night.

Some of the most serious allegations, which include at least one rape and span his five decades as an MP, are linked to the sailing world. The former Prime Minister was a skilled yachtsman.

The report will say that seven of the allegations are sufficiently credible to justify questioning Sir Edward under caution were he alive today. One of the seven is said to involve the rape of an underage boy. Two were linked to his interest in sailing and allegedly occurred in Guernsey and Jersey.

It is thought that at least two of the other seven most serious allegations occurred in Wiltshire, where Sir Edward lived at Arundells, a mansion in Salisbury. It is not known if the alleged crimes happened there.

Two separate allegations are said to have been made by individuals in ‘prominent’ positions today. It is thought they were reporting the alleged abuse of others.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that at least one allegation relates to a boy younger than 11 but we have been unable to confirm this.

And according to one unconfirmed report, some claims refer to the music world – Heath was known as an orchestra conductor.

The astonishing disclosures come just four days before the findings of Operation Conifer – a two-year, £1.5 million investigation into Sir Edward – are made public by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale.

Mr Veale has faced fierce criticism from those who claim the allegations are fantasy.

Crucially, the inquiry does not prove Sir Edward’s guilt: its remit was limited to saying if the claims justified questioning him.

It is understood that the report rejects three of the main arguments used by Sir Edward’s friends to combat the allegations: that he would have few opportunities to commit such crimes because he couldn’t drive and never owned a car; that for most of his long career he had round-the-clock police protection; and that he was asexual.

Jimmy Savile and former prime minister Ted Heath share a joke at BBC rehearsals in 1980. Click to enlarge

Jimmy Savile and former prime minister Ted Heath share a joke at BBC rehearsals in 1980. Click to enlarge

The report says Sir Edward’s former police bodyguards said they did not watch him 24 hours a day and that for much of his political life he had no protection at all.

It says he could drive – though bizarrely there is no record of him having had a driving licence – and at various times owned a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

And it says former aides said they were certain he did have consenting sexual relationships with adults.

Furthermore, the report says:

  • 42 claims of child sex abuse include at least one rape of an underage boy. Most alleged victims were boys aged 11 to 15;
  • Some were rent boys or from ‘low-life’ backgrounds. Others were boys he encountered elsewhere. Nine of the 42 claims were already on police files, in some cases for decades, but had been dismissed;
  • Allegations date from the mid- 1950s when he was Chief Whip to the 1990s when he was in his 70s;
  • Places where alleged crimes occurred are generally referred to as ‘public places’. At least one is said to have happened in a hotel. Two allegations were made by ‘senior professionals’. Mr Veale is expected to say that he went to great lengths to avoid errors made by other police investigations into historic sex abuse allegations, such as being taken in by ‘fantasists’.

One accuser is said to have made three bogus claims and faces being prosecuted.

Nor has Mr Veale shied away from examining his own force’s record. The inquiry was told by a retired Wiltshire policeman that plans to prosecute an individual in the 1990s were dropped when the person threatened to claim in court that they had procured rent boys for Sir Edward.

One accuser is said to have made three bogus claims and faces being prosecuted.

Nor has Mr Veale shied away from examining his own force’s record. The inquiry was told by a retired Wiltshire policeman that plans to prosecute an individual in the 1990s were dropped when the person threatened to claim in court that they had procured rent boys for Sir Edward.

KEY QUESTIONS FACED BY THE POLICE INQUIRY

Q Why haven’t the 42 allegations come to police attention before?

A Several did but were dismissed as bogus. Mr Veale reopened complaints buried in police files. The report says some did not complain at the time because they feared they would be ignored in an age when such complaints against VIPs were rarely investigated.

Q If only seven ‘victims’ would warrant police action, are the others bogus?

A Not necessarily. Police erred on the side of caution, and at least two were left out of the top category at the last minute.

Q Since Heath had police protection for much of his life, how could he abuse young boys without police knowing?

A Police who guarded Heath said that they did not always watch him 24 hours a day. There were lengthy spells when he had no protection.

Q Some of Heath’s friends said he never owned a car.

A Heath owned two cars – a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

Q Does the report prove Sir Edward was guilty of anything?

A No. The inquiry did not have the power to do that and would need more evidence even to consider recommending prosecution.

Q What happens now?

A The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said last month it is to study whether the report has any relevance to claims of an historic Westminster child sex ring and allegations of a cover-up involving Government Whips

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