Tuesday 25 October 2016

Child sex abuse victim claims he was 'hand-picked, trafficked to London and molested by very powerful people'

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 07/04/2015 | 11:24

Kincora child sex abuse victim Richard Kerr said he was abused by 'powerful people' at locations in London. Image: Channel 4
Kincora child sex abuse victim Richard Kerr said he was abused by 'powerful people' at locations in London. Image: Channel 4

Kincora child sex abuse victim Richard Kerr has claimed he was molested by "very powerful people" at several key locations connected to an alleged VIP paedophile ring.

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Mr Kerr, who was a victim of abuse at Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast, has claimed he was also attacked at the Dolphin Square luxury apartment complex and Elm Guest House, both in London.

It is thought to be the first time that the three places have been linked in relation to claims of historic sex abuse by influential Westminster figures.

Mr Kerr was abused at Kincora in the 1970s and claims he and two other boys were hand-picked to be trafficked to London in 1977 and sexually abused by men.

Both of the other men have since taken their own lives, Mr Kerr told Channel 4 News.

Insisting that the VIP paedophile ring did exist, he claims to have been abused in London by "men who had control and power over others", some of whom he believes were politicians.

His most violent experience allegedly took place at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London, where he claims to have been tied up with his hands behind his back while men took photographs.

When the guest house was raided by police in 1981 it was reported that officers had found whips, chains and ropes.

Mr Kerr also claimed to have been taken to Dolphin Square, a block of apartments near Parliament which is now at the centre of claims of alleged child abuse and murders being investigated by Scotland Yard.

He said: "I could have been 16, 15, 17 ... I remember going in with this guy. He told me to sit down and relax and explained about his glasses.

"He had Waterford Crystal and he wanted me to have a brandy and we had a small one. And then we had a sexual encounter in here."

Asked if he would name his abusers, he said: "I'm still in some fear. Even though I'm willing to take the courage.

"I need to know that I can have faith in our government but right now, when they're not willing to bring Kincora into Westminster, the message that sends to me is that there's some kind of cover-up and there has been."

Last month Richard Kerr also told Channel 4 News that  police had tried to stop him testifying at a trial where three staff were jailed.

In 1981, three senior staff at Kincora - Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath - were jailed for abusing 11 boys. Mr Kerr told Channel 4 News " two plainclothes policemen" visited him before the trial.

He said: "They came to my home and they removed stuff from my drawers, and they put me in a car and they took me to the police station and they interrogated me, put me in a cell for seven hours and as they removed me from my cell, they made it clear to me that I'm not to talk about this and that I'm lying and not to tell lies, and I felt they were giving me a warning. The case was coming up... and they didn't want me to come to the trial".

He added: "First of all, they intimidated me by bringing me to a station and putting me in a cell. They wanted to make it clear that I'm not to say anything. They also said to me that if you tell any lies, if you talk about this, that we can put you away. So at that moment I stopped wanting to volunteer what my experience was in Kincora."

Last July Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced a major public panel inquiry into whether paedophiles were sheltered in government, the NHS, police, the courts and the BBC.

It has since been rocked by the resignations of two people selected to be its chair - Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf - following accusations that they were too close to the establishment to be independent.

In February it was announced that the inquiry would be chaired by Justice Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge.

Earlier this month, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it is looking at 17 allegations of a police cover-up in relation to a VIP child sex abuse ring ranging from the 1970s to 2000s.

There have been allegations that abuse at Kincora, which closed in 1980, was covered up, with the collusion of the intelligence agencies.

The Kincora scandal is currently being investigated by Northern Ireland's historical institutional abuse inquiry.

There has been pressure for it to be considered by the wider judge-led inquiry set up by Theresa May. But despite pressure from MPs and victims of the paedophile ring that operated there, she refused to add Kincora to the inquiry's remit.

For decades there have been claims that the intelligence services allowed the sex abuse of children at Kincora to continue in order to blackmail senior politicians and members of the Establishment as the Troubles raged in the 1970s. Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry chaired by Sir Anthony Hart is investigating the allegations, but does not have the same powers as the Goddard inquiry.

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said not including Kincora in the wider judge-led inquiry was a "missed opportunity".

"By excluding Kincora from the only inquiry which has the power to establish the truth about the role the intelligence services may have played in the paedophile ring, the Home Secretary risks looking like she is now playing her part in a decades-long cover-up," he said.

"The Home Secretary says that child protection is a devolved matter. She is neatly ignoring the fact that the Northern Ireland Assembly unanimously supports the inclusion of Kincora in the Westminster inquiry, because it knows that the local inquiry has no powers to compel evidence from MI5 and the Ministry of Defence and that it does not have the confidence of victims or potentially crucial witnesses. Kincora should be investigated alongside claims of establishment involvement in child abuse rings in other parts of the UK. With new allegations emerging of links between Kincora and paedophile rings elsewhere in the UK, the case for inclusion has never been stronger."

Alliance MP Naomi Long said it looked increasingly likely the Government was unwilling to deal with the child abuse cases in any meaningful way, and described the Home Secretary's statement as "extremely disappointing".

The full interview with Mr Kerr will be shown on Channel 4 News at 7pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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