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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster Investigation Report

Contents

D.7: Allegations connected to Elm Guest House

68. Elm Guest House was a hotel in Rocks Lane near Barnes Common in south-west London. In the early 1980s it was run by husband and wife Haroon and Carole Kasir, and was advertised as a gay guest house. In June 1982, Elm Guest House was raided by police.

69. Elm Guest House has featured in many well-publicised allegations of child sexual abuse. It has been alleged that a host of politicians and other prominent individuals visited Elm Guest House, and that children were abused at sex parties held there. Allegations have also been made of possible misconduct on the part of the Metropolitan Police in the way in which investigations into alleged events at Elm Guest House were conducted, and also allegations that the results of those investigations were covered up. The allegations include the suggestion that evidence relating to Leon Brittan’s presence at or involvement with Elm Guest House was suppressed.

70. The Metropolitan Police and the IOPC[1] have conducted a series of investigations into allegations of police misconduct connected with Elm Guest House. The Inquiry has not reinvestigated any of these matters, but Commander Neil Jerome, a senior Metropolitan Police officer, described to us the investigations that had taken place and their outcome.[2]

The June 1982 raid and following investigations

71. Commander Jerome explained that Elm Guest House had first come to the notice of the police towards the end of 1981, when an individual came into Richmond Police Station and reported concerns about a 10-year-old boy at the premises. A police surveillance operation was launched, which involved both external observations and also two undercover officers entering Elm Guest House on a number of occasions purporting to be members of the public. It seems that, whilst there was no direct evidence that the boy was being abused, the police remained concerned about his safety.[3] As a result, the police raided Elm Guest House on the night of 19 June 1982. Twenty people were arrested, including Mr and Mrs Kasir, who were subsequently convicted of running a disorderly house.[4]

72. There are four significant elements of the evidence that Commander Jerome gave about the initial surveillance operation, the raid and its aftermath, bearing in mind the public concern relating to Elm Guest House that had arisen in recent years.

72.1. The police investigation only identified evidence that a single child had been sexually abused at Elm Guest House. That was the 10-year-old boy about whom concerns had initially been expressed. The boy’s own account, together with a medical examination, provided evidence that the boy had been the subject of extensive sexual abuse.[5] There was no evidence that any other children had been abused.[6]

72.2. Commander Jerome stated that “no individuals of prominence or … that could be described as being well known” were either observed at Elm Guest House by the police during the initial surveillance operation or found there on the night of the raid.[7]

72.3. There has been a detailed investigation into an allegation that when interviewed on the night of the raid the 10-year-old boy referred to one of his abusers as “Uncle Leon” who may have been a politician and came from “the big house”. This allegation was made by Andrew Keir, a social worker who was present at the interview with the boy on the night of the raid, his suggestion apparently being either that this detail was deliberately omitted from the contemporaneous manuscript notes of the interview or that it was removed when the typed version was subsequently prepared. The IOPC investigation into this allegation was Operation Helena.[8] In summary, Commander Jerome informed us, having regard to some of the contemporaneous documentation, the records of an earlier inquiry, and the evidence of the officers involved, the investigation concluded that “there was no substance … at all” to the allegation that Mr Keir had made.[9]

72.4. Commander Jerome also explained the IOPC Operation Yvonne, which investigated allegations made by an individual who had been a 17-year-old masseur at Elm Guest House at the time of the surveillance operation and raid in 1982.[10] He made a number of allegations, the most serious of which was that the undercover policemen had sex with him prior to the raid, and that he was sexually abused whilst in police custody following the raid. Commander Jerome explained the detail of the investigation,[11] the conclusion of which was that there was no evidence to support the allegations that had been made.[12]

The ‘Elm Guest House List’

73. Commander Jerome also gave evidence about investigations that the police have conducted into the so-called ‘Elm Guest House List’, which can be found on the internet. He said it has “zero evidential value”.

I don’t think it is clear as to the origin and who the author or authors of that list are, but it’s certainly very clear that evidentially that list has no value, and how it’s been created is certainly dubious.[13]

74. In giving his evidence Commander Jerome expressed doubts, on occasions serious doubts, as to the reliability of the two individuals who have promoted the list, Chris Fay and Mary Moss.

74.1. He said Mr Fay has a conviction for money laundering and had repeatedly failed to provide the police with documentary evidence in support of the claims that he made about famous people attending Elm Guest House.[14] Commander Jerome also pointed to significant inconsistencies and other difficulties with the evidence that Mr Fay had given to an IOPC investigation named Operation Meryta, and suggested that these matters were also relevant to his general credibility.[15]

74.2. Mary Moss published an ‘Elm Guest House list’ of prominent persons on the internet in 2013. Commander Jerome stated that Ms Moss had refused to provide police with documentation supporting her claims. He said that when the police obtained a search warrant and searched her property they found a quantity of documents, the provenance of which Commander Jerome described as “dubious”. Interviews were conducted with all of those whose names appeared on the documents, but all those interviewed denied ever having been to Elm Guest House.[16]

75. For the reasons set out above, we considered that it would be proportionate to hear evidence about the Metropolitan Police and IOPC investigations into Elm Guest House allegations. Commander Jerome’s conclusions were clear and forthrightly stated and should do much to allay public concern relating to Elm Guest House.

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