‘Elm Guest House – Child sexual abuse – ONE BIG cover-up’
Elm guest house – Gay brothel or paedophile paradise?
Police revisit the grim mystery of Elm Guest House – Child sexual abuse and much more …..
A guest house where paedo VIPs are feared to have abused vulnerable underage boys for years is being probed by cops
A ring of rich and powerful people are said to have used it as a sordid playhouse – and were allegedly snapped and videoed with kids lured from a children’s home. One boy has alleged he was tied up, forced to perform a sex act and made to watch men having sex. A politician, top cop, judge, bishop and household names off the radio and TV are among those said to have been part of the ring between 1979 and 1982.
At these parties , young boys , specially brought over from several childrens homes would be plied with drugs and alcohol.
A party at the Elm Guest House was raided by police in 1982, following which 12 boys gave evidence that they had been abused by men. German born Carole Kasir was convicted for running a gay brothel disorderly house. Following the sudden death of 47-year-old Kasir in 1990 from an insulin overdose, two social worker friends of hers gave some worrying evidence to the inquest. Mary Moss and Christopher Fay made allegations of the sexual abuse of children at the Elm Guest House. However, the allegations of sexual abuse against children by the rich and powerful were not pursued.
23 July 1982, as advertised in Capital Gay, Elm Guest House is ready to take your bookings:
There is no more ordinary-looking row of suburban Edwardian houses in the country than Rocks Lane, south-west London. But nowhere has given rise to such an outlandish series of allegations than the one formerly known as Elm Guest House. The claims are now being re-investigated by the Metropolitan Police, decades after they were first made. Attempts have been made by care workers to lay bare the secrets of Rocks Lane but to no avail. Whatever the outcome of their investigations in the past, the police seem convinced that a number of serious wrongs need to be righted.
Boys were allegedly plied with alcohol before being told to wear girls’ clothes
Barnes, London, guest house said to have been frequented by pop stars and MPs
A victim of an alleged establishment paedophile ring told yesterday how he was ordered to wear a fairy costume before being abused.
The orphan was 13 when he and his 12-year-old brother were sent by staff at their children’s home to the Elm Guest House for ‘a treat’, it is claimed.
He said boys were plied with alcohol before being told to pose for pictures wearing girls’ clothing. The men at the guest house – said to include MPs and pop stars – would then abuse the children after pretending to play hide-and-seek, the victim said.
More than a decade after leaving care, the victim’s brother, Peter, killed himself six days after his 28th birthday.
A line in his suicide note which appeared to refer to his ordeal read: ‘I will get those b*******.’
The former guest house in Barnes, south-west London, is now the centre of a police investigation into an alleged child sex abuse ring in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Police are examining claims that children from the Grafton Close Children’s Home were taken to the guest house to have sex with men.
During a police raid on a property in central London last month detectives seized a list of names of high profile alleged visitors to the guest house. (we have listed all the names below)
Yesterday the victim, known only as Dave, said: ‘The people responsible have blood on their hands. I shouldn’t think my brother is the only one to have taken his life because of this. I’m speaking out now because I want justice done for me and for my brother. What went on was absolutely disgusting.
‘When we told the staff at the care home what was happening at Elm they used to say: “They are friends, they are good people”. No one was listening to us. It’s taken 30 years for anyone to listen.’
Dave, who now has young children of his own, told how he and his younger brother were taken into care after their widowed mother killed herself following years of depression. They were sent to Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hanworth, west London, in 1978.
Dave was 13 when minibus outings to the Elm Guest House began. ‘We were told we were going to the “good house” for a party,’ he told a newspaper.
‘It wouldn’t be more than a handful of us at a time. When we got there it was a huge house.’
He said the children would be escorted through reception without signing the guest book and taken to a back room where parties were held. ‘There would be easy-listening music playing, sort of mellow stuff, and loads to drink,’ Dave said. ‘Sometimes there would be two adults there, other times more. They laid on tables with beer and cider. We would have races to see who could drink it first.
‘They used to make us dress up, make us put on outfits like fairy costumes meant for girls, then play games of hide-and-seek with the adults looking for the kids.’
When the children were ‘found’, they were forced to take part in appalling sex abuse.
Dave added: ‘There would be flash bulbs going off when someone was taking pictures.
‘I can remember all the adults had posh accents. They used to say things like “He’s cute, he’s nice”. They would pick out the pretty boys, especially the ones who looked young for their age.’
Last week Dave was visited by two officers from Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating the case.
Dave’s testimony echoes that of former child protection worker Chris Fay, who says he was shown photos of children dressed up at ‘Kings and Queens parties’ at the guest house. One photograph is said to show a former Tory Cabinet minister in a sauna with a naked 14-year-old boy
Operation Fairbank is a police investigation into alleged sexual abuse, predominantly the abuse of children, by British politicians in the 1980s. The investigation, led by the Metropolitan Police Service, started in late 2012. The investigation is currently a “scoping exercise” aimed at a “preliminary assessment of the evidence rather than a formal inquiry”. The existence of the operation was confirmed on 12 December 2012, after operating in secret for several weeks. Five officers are currently working on the inquiry
Claims by Tom Watson MP
Operation Fairbank was set up following claims by Labour Party politician Tom Watson in the House of Commons that the police should look afresh at claims of a “powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10”. Watson raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on 24 October 2012. He suggested that such a network may have existed in the past at a high level, protected by connections to Parliament and involving a close aide to a former Prime Minister; neither the aide nor the former Prime Minister were named. Watson referred to Peter Righton, a former consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, who was convicted of importing and possessing illegal homosexual pornographic material in 1992. Watson said that files on Peter Righton contained “clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring…One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.”
Reported scope of investigation
The investigation was first set up under conditions of secrecy. The Independent reported that it focused on claims of sexual abuse and the grooming of children, involving parties for gay men at the former Elm Guest House in Rocks Lane, close to Barnes Common in south west London, during the late 1970s.
The guest house was run and managed by Carole Kasir between 1979-1982, who died in 1990 at the age of 47. A party was raided by the police in 1982, following which 12 boys gave evidence that they had been abused by men at the house. Kasir was convicted of the charge of running a disorderly house, but allegations of abuse against children, and a subsequent reported investigation in 2003, were apparently not pursued. Two friends of Kasir gave astonishing evidence to the inquest of her death about alleged sexual abuse of children at the guest house
Nine officers raided the North London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss after she initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.
Documents and a laptop were seized. Ms Moss later handed over a further 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour’s shed.
The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London.
Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers and four other senior Tories.
There is also a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.
Others on the handwritten note are two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.
One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse.
The list was taken at meetings in 1988 between the guest house’s manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials.
Other documents seized are believed to identify 16 boys who were allegedly trafficked to the guest house from local care homes. Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time.
Officers will also be examining copies of cash receipts and the guest house’s visitor records.
Operation Fernbridge is investigating claims that boys who were in council care were brought to the Elm to be sexually abused by bigwigs and VIPs.
Police have allegedly taken boxes of documents from the London home of Mary Moss, who worked as an advocate for abused children at the now defunct National Association for Young People in Care.
Mary Moss said the documents contained evidence that senior figures from a number of political parties had abused children at Elm Guest House and elsewhere.
Carol Kazir – guest house owner
X A top person in charge of MI5.
Y MI5 officer
The documents allegedly identify:
Two former Conservative cabinet ministers.
7 Further MPs – 4 Other Tories 2 Labour 1 Liberal
Several figures with links to the right wing Conservative Monday Club
A leading figure in the National Front, now dead
A Sinn Fein member
2 Buckingham Palace Officials
2 Pop Stars
Anthony Blunt said to have used the name ‘Antony Goldstein’.
A series of reversed photographs which show someone holding hand written notes and photocopied images. More than 130 of these pictures have now been flipped and appear to reveal details of some of the rich and powerful men that were alleged to have frequented the Elm Guest House between 1979 and 1982.
The papers also suggest that two men persuaded Carole Kasir to change it into a place for homosexual men in 1982.
According to the files, they then introduced her to Peter G, one of whose roles was to create a network of venues for Spartacus members.
Subsequently adverts appeared in the gay press, including Capital Gay magazine, promoting Elm for its sauna and video room and featuring the coded “discount” to Spartacus members message.
Spartacus International, a gay guide, identified Peter G as its commercial manager. It was the mechanism through which the Spartacus Club attracted members.
A German company has since taken over Spartacus International and transformed it into a respectable publisher of gay guides.
But in the early 1980s Spartacus Club and Spartacus International were run from Amsterdam by John Stamford, a former Roman Catholic priest from Lancashire, who moved to Holland after being convicted in England of sending pornographic material through the post. It was reported to have 25,000 British members.
The group was named after the leader of the Roman slave revolt, who has long been a gay icon, especially after the scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film in which the character of Crassus, a senator, is helped to bathe by his young slave, Antoninus.
Stamford masqueraded as a libertarian gay, but championed the Paedophile Information Exchange, a network that promoted sex with children.
Between 1979 and 1985, Stamford also published PAN, or Paedo Alert News, which described itself as a “magazine about boy-love.”
Spartacus was exposed by The Sunday Times in 1986. Undercover reporters were offered two boys in Manila, aged 8 and 14. Stamford was quoted as saying: “If you are discreet, I can guarantee you will get as many boys as you want in the Philippines.
“Our chaps there will fix it up, and all it will cost you is a meal for the guides, and just the equivalent of a pound or so for the kid per night.”
Stamford died in prison of a heart attack aged 56 in Belgium in 1995 just before he was due to stand trial on child sex charges.
Leon Brittan has no recollection of being given dossier – Is that because it names YOU?
Leon Brittan (pictured above) – Is he bothered about children being sexually abused? No, not really….
Leon Brittan, the senior minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet was handed a dossier containing allegations of paedophilia in Buckingham Palace and the diplomatic and civil services says he cannot remember receiving the file.
In November 1983 Sir Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, was given the dossier by the late Geoffrey Dickens, as part of his campaign and one million strong petition against the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Asked by The Independent last year what the dossier alleged and what action, if any, he took, Sir Leon, a QC and later European Commissioner, replied by email: “I have no recollection of these matters. Sorry!”
The 50 pages of research of Dickens dossier contained information about suspected paedophile rings, police misconduct and multiple abuse of young boys in care homes
In 1984 he revealed he had called for Mr Leon Brittan, the then home secretary to investigate the allegations in his dossier. But there is no evidence Mr Dickens’ findings were ever followed up and the Home Office admits it has no idea where the file is now
Geoffrey Dickens personally delivered a separate file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Thomas Hetherington, in August 1983. The file contained details of eight prominent public figures who were paedophiles that Dickens had separated out from the later dossiers.
Dickens stated: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament.”
Dickens received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at his London home. Then, more seriously, his name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list, but he never gave up his fight to protect children
New information also shows that the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group Dickens tried to expose who wanted the age of consent lowered to four years old, were directly funded by the Home Office.
A guesthouse where 30 years ago the rich and powerful are feared to have abused young boys is under police scrutiny again
Rocks Lane is a conspiracy theorist’s dream, taking in allegations of the grooming of young boys in care for sex, elaborate gay parties involving senior public figures including members of the Conservative Party, charges of a police cover-up and even the suggestion of murder. The police believe that in the context of the Jimmy Savile scandal and renewed claims over the treatment of boys in care in North Wales, there is every reason to look again at an extremely murky saga.
What is known is that in the late 1970s, the Elm Guest House on Rocks Lane was a safe, unthreatening meeting place for homosexual men free from the stigma of a sexual orientation legalised barely a decade earlier. According to a former friend of Carole Kasir, the guest house’s German-born manager, she initially regarded herself as offering gay men an opportunity to “be themselves” without fear. Rocks Lane, which overlooks a playing field, was known to homosexual men as it is close to Barnes Common, itself popular with gay men for cruising.
But Elm Guest House’s willingness to accommodate a small industry (“It became a convenient place for rent boys to take their clients,” says one person familiar with the place), began to attract the attentions of the local police force. One neighbour remembers a months-long police stakeout: “They were there all the time. Police hiding behind the trees to look at the property was a running joke with the neighbours.”
In 1982, the police learned that one of the guest house’s parties was to take place, and the Met’s notorious Special Patrol Group, the precursor of the Territorial Support Group, duly raided the property, resulting in a number of charges being brought against Kasir. The fact that two police officers were in the house at the time of the raid has fed the speculation. The IoS has established that, according to an officer closely involved at the time, two officers were embedded as guests in the property for two or three days, one even pretending to have a broken arm, hiding a police radio in a plaster cast to make secret recordings. If there was a cover-up, it appears not to have involved the local police force, who seem to have been assiduous in seeking to have the place closed down.
As many as 12 boys gave evidence to the police to the effect that they had been abused by men at the house, The IoS has established, but the only conviction was the comparatively minor one of running a disorderly house (ie, a brothel). “Abused boys do not always make the most impressive of witnesses once they get into the witness box,” someone involved in the case said. “The real unlawful activity was underage sex. The police should have been able to make the other charges stick, but the boys were only ever interviewed with a view to them being witnesses against Carole, not as kids who were abused themselves.”
The place continued to attract speculation. Who was at that party has never been established, but as time went on, more and more allegations began to emerge about Rocks Lane. The local police paved the way for the raid, but at some stage Special Branch felt the need to get involved. Why was that, some have asked, unless there was something even murkier going on? Child-protection campaigners alleged that boys had been taken from a local council-run home and abused, a line of investigation that police are now pursuing.
What makes the Rocks Lane story so tantalising for the media is the list of alleged attendees at the parties. One source suggested that Anthony Blunt, former keeper of the Queen’s pictures and an exposed Soviet mole, used to go the parties, but then Blunt’s notoriety made him a magnet for any number of fanciful theories. Those who knew him say the idea is absurd, and that his sexual tastes were far more conventional. Others have spoken of two High Court judges and a Foreign Office official attending. Chris Fay, a social worker who worked for a small charity, the National Association for Young People in Care (Naypic), has alleged that a terrified Kasir had shown him about 20 photographs of middle-aged men with young boys, taken at what he said were kings and queens fancy-dress parties, attended by a number of powerful and well-known people. One, Mr Fay alleged, featured a well-known public figure wearing nothing but a French maid’s apron alongside a young boy nude apart from a tiara.
In 1990, at the age of 47, Kasir was found dead in her flat. The coroner’s inquest concluded that, a diabetic, she had suffered an insulin overdose. Two Naypic employees told the coroner they believed that because she seemingly had not had an insulin injection for three days, she had been murdered, the victim of powerful people who feared she knew too much. Nonetheless, she was found to have committed suicide, worn down by an eight-year battle to have her son, who was taken into care after her conviction, returned to her.
The alleged presence of household names adds to the intrigue, but in a celeb-obsessed age, there is a danger that, should such names not materialise, Rocks Lane will be seen as “just another” child abuse case. Yet police sources fear that dozens of boys were either taken or on the run from care homes to be abused. By any standards, that should be a big story.
A interesting extract from a Jilly Cooper book – Angels Rush In
Here’s the full passage in Angels Rush In / The Common Years:
In 1982 the police even told the council that they were planning a raid on the guest house because of allegations that boys were being sexually abused there.
From the start the Saturday night raid did not go to plan. After an elaborate surveillance exercise, four police officers infiltrated the Edwardian house by posing as homosexuals when a party of 30 men was expected. One officer pretended to have a broken arm, and a radio transmitter was concealed in the plaster cast to call in the raid. However, it is understood that the transmitter triggered early and the raid was called in prematurely. And Mr Earland confirmed the force found no boys at the guest house who were in care
A Roman Catholic priest from West Sussex has been charged in relation to alleged historic sexual abuse at a children’s home, police said.
Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child following an investigation into abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, the Metropolitan Police said.
A second man, John Stingemore, 71, was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one count of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.
The charges relate to seven victims, all of whom were aged between nine and 15 when the offences are alleged to have taken place during the 1970s and 80s.
McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, and Stingemore, of Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 4.
A third man arrested in connection with Operation Fernbridge remains on police bail.
Scotland Yard detectives investigating allegations that MPs belonged to an establishment paedophile ring in the 1980s today arrested two men on suspicion of sexual offences.
A former deputy head of Grafton Close, John Stingemore, 70, was detained during a dawn raid at his housing association flat in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, over claims he sexually abused several boys in his care three decades ago.
Police are looking into allegations that figures from politics, diplomacy and other spheres of public life abused children at a guest house in Barnes, south-west London. Children from the local Grafton Close children’s home are said to have been supplied to Elm Guest House.
A Roman Catholic priest from Norfolk – Father Tony McSweeney, 66 – was also arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting boys at Grafton Close. McSweeney officiated at the 1990 wedding of boxer Frank Bruno and his former wife Laura, and was the ‘part-time’ chaplain at Norwich City Football Club.
Dark secrets: The former Elm Guest House was raided by the 1980s and the owners charged with running a disorderly house
Police have reopened investigation after new information emerged that suggests the hotel was a venue for a paedophile ring of VIPs
Former co-owner Carole Kasir said to have list of high-profile visitors
Could this be the biggest Establishment cover-up yet?
Peter Hatton-Bornshin killed himself six days after his 28th birthday. He had taken an overdose of codeine and choked to death. ‘The tragic end to a tragic life,’ is how the coroner summed up the stark facts presented to the inquest.
And who at the time would disagree? Peter was only a baby when his father died in an accident. He was orphaned at 13 when his mother threw herself in front of a train. His stepfather then handed Peter and his older brother to social services.
And that is how Peter ended up at the Grafton Close Children’s Home, which was run by Richmond borough council in South-West London. Truly, he was a lost soul.
When his life finally came to an end in a Kingston-upon-Thames bedsit, he left a note which explained that he feared he would be unable to control his violent fantasies against women if he remained alive.
This personality disorder had caused him briefly to be a patient at Broadmoor mental hospital. His case worker said that while he did not consider Peter to be a danger to society, his mental problems were partly a result of the abuse he had suffered while in local authority care. One line in his suicide note seemed to refer to this. It read: ‘I will get those bastards.’
But while it was the ‘tragic end to a tragic life’, his story does not finish there.
Eighteen years after his death, the police are again looking at the Peter Hatton-Bornshin case, as part of a wider investigation, launched last month, into allegations that in the early Eighties a paedophile ring of VIPs preyed on boys from the Grafton Close Children’s Home
If the historic allegations at the heart of Operation Fernbridge are proved, they would represent one of the more sensational and disturbing Establishment sex scandals of the modern era.
Long-existing allegations of a cover-up would again have to be aired.
During a police raid on a property in central London last month, detectives seized a list of names of high-profile alleged visitors to the Elm Guest House in Barnes, South-West London — a gay-friendly establishment, and one where under-age rent boys and children from the Grafton Close home were reportedly brought to have sex with adult men.
The list includes a number of senior MPs, a high-ranking policeman, a leading tycoon, figures from the National Front and Sinn Fein, an official of the Royal Household, an MI5 officer, two pop stars and the traitorous Soviet spy Anthony Blunt.
Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP for Rochdale, has already been named as a regular at the guest house, where he allegedly met teenage rent boys when the homosexual age of consent was 21.
The guest house has also been linked to a now-defunct Tory fringe group that promoted homosexual rights.
Operation Fernbridge detectives are also believed to be on the trail of almost two dozen photographs that are supposed to have been taken by the guest-house owner — which place a number of these figures from the worlds of politics, showbusiness and national security at her establishment.
Some pictures are said to show these men in the company of under-age boys.
New police interest in the Elm Guest House allegations stems from October last year, when the campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson called for an investigation into the political links of one Peter Righton, a notorious paedophile who had first been exposed 20 years before.
In September 1992, Righton pleaded guilty to three charges of importing or possessing obscene material — paedophile gay porn — after customs officers at Dover intercepted two packages addressed to him.
It was a squalid case that in other circumstances might have warranted only local interest.
But Righton, then aged 66, was no ordinary child sex offender. He had been a very senior and respected figure in the field of residential child care, and a former consultant to the charity the National Children’s Bureau, whose patrons included the then Health Minister, Virginia Bottomley.
After his conviction, it emerged that Righton was a founder member of the Paedophile Information Exchange — a contact group for men interested in sex with children. He is now believed to be dead.
Westminster sources say that following his intervention in the House, Mr Watson received more than 200 phone calls, many of them from alleged victims of paedophile abuse by public figures unconnected with Righton. The MP passed the information on to the police.
Righton’s links to figures in the Thatcher government are still being assessed by detectives.
The Mail understands that no formal decision has been taken yet on whether Watson’s allegations will be formally probed.
However, one person who contacted Mr Watson had specific information about boys from Grafton Close Children’s Home being abused at the Elm Guest House.
In 1982, Britain was a very different place for gay males than it is today. Only 15 years had passed since homosexual acts between consenting adults had been decriminalised.
Gay public figures did not come out of the closet voluntarily and places where they met were still necessarily discreet. Apparently one such rendezvous was the Elm Guest House in Rocks Lane, Barnes.
It was only yards from Barnes Common, which was, and still is, a well-known gay cruising ground.
Run by Indian-born Haroon Kasir and his German wife Carole, the guest house was openly advertised in the gay press of the time as nothing more sinister than a place where homosexual men could meet.
On the list: Soviet spy Anthony Blunt is one of a number of high-profile figures alleged to have visited Elm Guest House
There was a sauna with ‘video facilities’ and a solarium.
One publication to ‘strongly recommend’ the guest house to its readers was the newsletter of the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality. There is a review of it in a June 1982 edition.
The CGHE campaigned for the lowering of the gay age of consent to 16.
One of its chairmen was Ian Harvey, a junior foreign office minister who was forced to quit government in 1958 after being caught having sex with a Coldstream guardsman in a London park.
Other residents of Rocks Lane were aware that the Elm Guest House was unlike the other small hotels in what was then a ‘scruffy’ area. Some understood it to be a brothel.
Yesterday, another long-time resident told us: ‘It had a reputation. Somebody told me that their daughter had come home and saw a lot of naked men in the front room as she walked past.
‘She was very shocked. I don’t know if she made a complaint to police about it. I just assumed it was a male brothel.’
The woman, who did not wish to be named, witnessed a 1982 police raid which saw Mr and Mrs Kasir and two others arrested. One of those detained was a 17-year-old rent boy who acted as ‘in-house masseur’.
We understand he was a teenage actor who had appeared on television in Doctor Who, as well as on stage at a Royal Command performance.
The youth — paid more than £100 a night when working at Elm Guest House — was initially charged with assisting in running the brothel.
The charge was later dropped. This week, he declined to comment when approached by the Mail.
Undercover police officers had been inside the property for a number of days posing as clients, while watching sex parties that took place there.
A planned police raid had to be brought forward after a hidden police radio was activated by accident. Officers had hoped to catch several dozen clients — and who knows how many public figures — but there were fewer than ten customers there when the operation was compromised.
The Kasirs were subsequently charged with running a disorderly house. At the Old Bailey the following year they were convicted, fined and given suspended sentences.
All other charges in relation to the raid had been dropped by then.
We understand that the police had become interested in the guest house not simply because it was a male brothel, but because of concerns for an under-age boy at the address.
At the time of the raid, the child was removed from the premises and placed in local authority care.
So where was the child ‘safely’ accommodated following his rescue? At the Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, some eight miles away . . .
Several figures at the centre of these allegations are no longer alive. One of them is Carole Kasir, a diabetic, who died of an insulin overdose aged 48, in 1990.
Shortly after her death, a child protection campaigner from the National Association Of Young People In Care (NAYPIC) called for a criminal investigation into events at Elm Guest House.
The campaigner claimed that he had been told by Mrs Kasir that boys had been brought in from a children’s home for sex. She had told him she had photographs or video of many establishment figures at her hotel, including a bishop.
One photograph allegedly showed a former cabinet minister in a sauna with a naked boy.
The same campaigner told us this week that he could not speak at length because the police wanted to interview him.
However, he claimed he knew of 11 boys from Grafton Close Children’s Home who had been abused at the Elm Guest House.
He added: ‘Carole Kasir had logbooks, names, times, dates, even pictures of people who went in and out of Elm Guest House. Her house was raided in the Eighties.
‘The police say it was done by a local force, but I know it was done by Special Branch. That evidence — of who visited Elm Guest House — no longer exists.
‘I’ll leave people to draw their own conclusions, but Carole Kasir was held without charge for three days, and you don’t do that on a run-of-the-mill vice raid. There was more to it than that.’
He added: ‘There were boys found in the home, but they were only ever interviewed as witnesses to the brothel, never as victims of abuse.
‘I won’t say any more as I don’t want to risk prejudicing this inquiry, because finally it seems the police are doing the right thing.’
The same allegations were pursued for several years by Mary Moss, a former colleague of the campaigner at NAYPIC (which is now defunct).
Ms Moss is clearly a troubled soul, who on her blog website claims that she, too, was abused as a child.
In another online posting, apparently written by her, she described meeting Carole Kasir. ‘She told me she was running a hotel and had some fab parties.
‘Yes, there were prominent people there but, hey, this was a nice suburb and [the guest house] was her business . . . but it was only on that night the police raided, when she stupidly thought it was just gay-bashing, that her eyes were peeled open for years to come about what was going on under her nose.’
Ms Moss believes Carole Kasir was murdered to cover up for the famous people who had used her brothel.
Detectives now investigating the allegations of paedophilia at Rocks Lane have been in a protracted dialogue with Ms Moss, which led to them executing a search warrant on her home in central London last month. There is no suggestion that she was involved in any offences.
What, then, is the truth about Elm Guest House and Grafton Close Children’s Home, which have both long since closed?
The acid test for the Operation Fernbridge detectives is whether or not — as happened in the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse inquiry — there is now an ‘avalanche’ of credible witnesses and victims, encouraged by this new investigation to unburden themselves after years of nursing horrible secrets.
The police need several victims telling the same stories in order to make a case.
The fallout from the Savile revelations means there is renewed interest in historic child abuse allegations against famous figures. And the police do not want to be accused of doing nothing again.
We have seen in the case of Lord McAlpine what can happen when an apparently politically-motivated witchhunt latches onto an innocent man.
But there is the other, longer-term human cost. The abused can become abusers in a perpetual cycle. Such might have been the case with the tragic figure of Peter Hatton-Bornshin.
At his inquest, the coroner paid tribute to him by saying: ‘It is clear he had decided to avoid causing any distress or grief to other people by taking his own life.’
But were Peter’s traumatic ‘fantasies’ really about women?
A child protection campaigner told us this week: ‘Peter was a victim at Elm Guest House in the Seventies — but by the time I knew of him in the Eighties, he was an abuser.
‘He had been groomed as a child, but he crossed the line at some stage: as an adult, he was organising the abuse of kids. By the mid-1980s we were pushing for his arrest. We weren’t treating him as a victim any more.’
Anthony Milsom, a paedophile from Hull, who is alleged to have stayed at the property, later moved to Newtown, Powys, where he was convicted of a string of sex offences dating back to the 1990s, including 21 counts of making indecent photographs of children and five counts of indecent assault on a girl when she was aged between 4 and eight. He was jailed indefinitely at Mold Crown Court in March 2011, but six months later appeal court judges reduced his sentence to three-and-a-half years. Another alleged visitor was Colin Peters, a Foreign Office barrister, who was jailed in 1989 for being part of a network which molested hundreds of boys. Reports at the time said the ring “was used by highly placed civil servants and well-known public officials”.
The most infamous alleged visitor to Elm Guest House was Warwick Spinks, a violent paedophile who in 1995 was jailed for a series of sexual offences on boys, including serious sexual assault at knifepoint, taking a child without lawful authority and taking indecent images of children. Lewes Crown Court heard that he had he drugged a 14-year-old boy and “sold him” to a gay brothel in Amsterdam.
According to documents kept by a former children’s worker, visitors to the property included the Soviet spy Sir Anthony Blunt and the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who is now thought by Manchester police to have assaulted teenage boys.
Another was Sir Peter Hayman, Britain’s former High Commissioner in Canada.