Application to raid Lord Brittan's homes shows police falsehoods

Application to raid Lord Brittan's homes shows police falsehoods

February 10, 2021

Warrant of untruth: Application to raid Lord Brittan’s homes shows devastating falsehoods from police… leaving his widow ‘speechless’ with shock

  • Application to search widow of Leon Brittan’s homes rested on police claims 
  • Detectives used the infamous words ‘credible’ and ‘true’ to persuade judge 
  • Cressida Dick has insisted one of her officers ‘mistakenly’ used the phrase 
  • But document shows the words were in search warrant application
  • Lord Brittan’s widow was left ‘speechless’ on seeing the secret court document 

Lord Brittan’s widow was left ‘speechless’ on seeing the secret court document that persuaded a judge to grant search warrants for her two homes.

She expressed her astonishment at the information provided by police to justify the raids and at the fact no officers faced misconduct charges.

The document, which the Mail can reveal today, shows that the decision to seek a warrant had been ‘considered at DAC [deputy assistant commissioner] level’. 

This is a reference to Steve Rodhouse, ‘gold commander’ of the bungled VIP sex abuse inquiry into high-profile figures, including Lady Brittan’s husband, the former home secretary.

Lord Brittan’s widow, Lady Diana, was left ‘speechless’ on seeing the secret court document that persuaded a judge to grant search warrants for her two homes 

The application makes clear that police sought the warrants because they believed she would not allow them entry when they arrived at her homes in London and North Yorkshire in March 2015.

In yesterday’s Mail, Lady Brittan said the raids were a ‘violation’ that left her feeling like a criminal.

Authorised by Detective Inspector Alison Hepworth, the warrant states: ‘Given the status of the individuals involved in these applications, it is not felt that the occupants would allow search of their premises on a voluntary basis.

‘Given the nature of the material sought, any delay or pre-warning of an intention to search would allow the removal or destruction of such material with minimal effort.’

She expressed her astonishment at the information (pictured) provided by police to justify the raids and at the fact no officers faced misconduct charges 

Steve Rodhouse, was ‘gold commander’ of the bungled VIP sex abuse inquiry into high-profile figures, including Lady Brittan’s husband, the former home secretary (pictured)

Critically the document includes the wholly incorrect claim that ‘Nick’, the fantasist Carl Beech, was ‘credible’ and ‘telling the truth’.

It states: ‘The victim in this matter has been interviewed at length by experienced officers from the child abuse investigation team. 

His account has remained consistent and he is felt to be a credible witness who is telling the truth.’

That sentence helped persuade District Judge Howard Riddle to grant the warrants at the centre of the Operation Midland scandal.

The Daily Mail has now obtained a copy of the search warrant application used to justify the raids on Lady Brittan’s homes

Lady Brittan, 80, a former long-serving magistrate, said: ‘This is the most extraordinary search warrant I have ever seen. The information that might support the application is not there.

‘Judge Riddle presumably believed the fact that the application had been signed off at a very senior level. 

‘And he would have taken, I suppose, some comfort in that. And he had no reason, I suppose at the time, to believe that he was not being told the entire story.’

The secret court document obtained by the Mail was part of a two-stage process that gave police permission to raid the homes of Lady Brittan, six weeks after her husband died.

Pictures of police vehicles during two-day search at Lord Brittan’s North Yorkshire home in March 2015

The first involved a detective completing a confidential form and the second involved three murder squad officers going before court to get official permission to storm her houses.

The document also shows that when asked if there was anything that might undermine their request, the Metropolitan Police simply answered ‘N/A’ – not applicable.

In fact, police were aware of several factors that raised questions about the claims made by Beech.

In an article for the Mail in July 2019, former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques, who wrote a scathing report about Operation Midland, insisted Beech had ‘not been consistent’, dating back to when the liar had first made claims of child sex abuse.

Sir Richard said: ‘His allegations made to the Wiltshire Police in 2012 were fundamentally inconsistent with those made to the Metropolitan Police in 2014 and with Beech’s blogs also published in 2014.

‘The identities of subsequent named alleged rapists were inconsistent. The alleged locations were inconsistent, persons allegedly present were inconsistent, the alleged accompanying acts of violence were inconsistent.’

Judge Riddle, now retired, has said he was misled over warrants for raids on the homes of Lady Brittan, former Armed Forces chief Lord Bramall and Tory ex-MP Harvey Proctor.

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