UK's Edward Heath would have been quizzed on child sex abuse claims

Marsha Scott
October 6, 2017

A controversial investigation by Wiltshire Police found that there would be evidence to question the senior Tory over claims he raped an 11-year-old and assaulted several other children if he were still alive now.

Lord Hunt of Wirral, chairman of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, said: "The Wiltshire Police report is profoundly unsatisfactory because it neither justifies nor dispels the cloud of suspicion".

Claim: Heath allegedly indecently assaulted a 15-year-old boy during three paid sexual encounters.

Then again in 1964, Heath allegedly indecently assaulted another boy during three paid sexual encounters while he was secretary of state for industry.

In a statement, supporters of Heath criticised the police report.

A lifelong bachelor, he has been dogged by allegations about his private life, specifically questions about his sexuality and the claims of sexual abuse.

"(He) was an extremely prominent, influential and high-profile person, arguably one of the most powerful people in the world", he said.

Mark Watts, former editor of Exaro News, a website which first reported the claims against Sir Edward, said the allegations against him spanned an "extraordinary period of time" between 1961 and 1992.

That is the conclusion of Operation Conifer, an inquiry by Wiltshire Police, whose results were announced this morning. A statement earlier this year said: "A panel of independent experts outside of policing are providing ongoing scrutiny of the investigation to ensure its proportionality and justification". The alleged offences are said to have occurred when he was a serving MP.

Dr Hoskins said the woman had made claims under hypnosis that dredged up "false memories" and her allegations were the result of an "over-active imagination".

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"Furthermore, in line with recognised best practice, Wiltshire Police recently commissioned Operation Hydrant to undertake an independent review of the investigation to ensure its ongoing proportionality and justification".

Sir Edward Heath was a former leader of the Conservative Party who served as British prime minister from 1970 to 1974.

The most notable included a woman referred to as Lucy X, who had previously made claims of satanic abuse in Tidworth in 1989 which were later dismissed as "nonsense".

An NSPCC spokesman said: "We urge anyone who has been abused in childhood to report it, however long ago it took place".

'In the meantime, a fundamental, time-honoured principle should be respected, namely that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty.

He added, however, that police had reached no conclusion as to the guilt of Sir Edward, who died in 2005, and it would be inappropriate to do so.

Operation Conifer sparked controversy nearly from the start, after a senior police officer made a television appeal outside Sir Edward's former home in Salisbury urging victims to come forward.

Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo, his former colleagues said.

Operation Midland was based on the testimony of one source, known as "Nick", who was later discredited and the operation dropped, before an independent report by retired judge Sir Richard Henriques found 43 separate police failings.

Sir Edward was born in Kent in 1916 and studied at Balliol College Oxford, becoming president of the Oxford Union.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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