Sir Edward Heath abuse claims

Michele Moreno
October 6, 2017

'All those who knew Sir Edward Heath or worked with him are, without exception, convinced that the allegations of child abuse will all be found to be groundless'. Operation Conifer has also led to the investigation of other suspects.

But police chief Mike Veale today defended his force's report, saying that officers had a duty to take the allegations seriously.

The report does not address the question of Sir Edward's guilt or innocence because the remit of the two-year £1.5million inquiry was to see whether there was enough evidence to interview the former MP for Bexley, who died at home in Salisbury in July 2005, aged 89.

None of the allegations for which Sir Edward would have been questioned relate to when he was prime minister.

Heath became leader of the Conservative party in 1965.

But a probe launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the alleged historical corruption found no evidence that the retired officer's claims were true.

1964 While secretary of state for industry, Heath allegedly indecently assaulted a 15-year-old boy during three paid sexual encounters.

The investigation into Heath over claims of child sexual abuse started in August 2015.

Heath's godson Lincoln Seligman told Sky News: The police have acted as judge and jury and have convicted Heath, as it were, in his absence - but in his absence because he is not here - he is dead.

In it, he said the decision to undertake the "incredibly complex and challenging investigation" was "not taken lightly", but added he would not be "buckling under pressure not to investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely".

Claim: Heath, in the company of an unknown adult male, allegedly indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy during a chance encounter in a public place.

In their concluding report, released on Thursday, they said that in relation to seven of the alleged victims, the evidence they gathered would have warranted Sir Edward's interview under caution. This, again, was said to have been during a paid encounter.

Heath's friends Lord Armstrong - the former head of the Civil Service - and ex-minister Lord Hunt blasted Wiltshire Police's investigation and cause for a full investigation led by a judge. "I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do".

AN INDEPENDENT scrutiny panel has today "commended" Wiltshire Police for their involvement in Operation Conifer.

Garnier said that police forces were embarking upon unnecessary inquiries into high profile abuse as they struggle to recover their reputations following the failure to prosecute the former BBC personality Jimmy Savile.

The allegations made to and the evidence collected by the police should be independently reviewed and an independent conclusion arrived at.

"The report makes it very clear that this does not constitute proof of Sir Edward's guilt".

The disclosures made against Sir Edward related to alleged offences of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse against an adult.

It was announced a year ago that the probe had found no evidence the prosecution of brothel keeper Myra Ling-Ling Forde was dropped because of threats to publicly link Sir Edward to sex abuse.

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