I missed this, didn't realise those two MI5 paedophile cover up scoundrels had done an article about Steven Messham.
This is the reason I don't buy the Daily Mail any more, I refuse to buy newspapers that employ MI5 paedophile cover up agents.
David Rose and Bob Woffenden have desperatly tried to cover up Pindown systematic child abuse, heaven knows how much they've been paid to smear and persecute Pindown child abuse victims, them and their FUNDSWELL and BFMS cronies.
A victim of his delusions: Astonishing story the BBC DIDN'T tell you about its troubled star witness
He assaulted QC at inquiry and was branded 'unreliable witness'
Triggered £400k libel payout after false sex abuse accusation
Stood trial for £65k fraud at charity for victims of the scandal
Even his lawyer says he may have invented stories
ByDavid Roseand Bob Woffinden
Published: 01:38, 11 November 2012 | Updated: 17:39, 13 November 2012
The former care home resident who falsely claimed he was sexually abused by former Tory party chairman Lord McAlpine was exposed as an ‘unreliable’ witness whom no jury would believe almost 20 years ago, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed.
We can show that those responsible for the controversial Newsnight story based on Steven Messham’s claims misrepresented crucial facts, and either failed to check or wilfully ignored alarming information available in official records. The Mail on Sunday has established:
Newsnight failed to say that Messham triggered a 1994 libel trial by falsely claiming to have been abused by a senior police officer. His story was shown to be riddled with contradictions, costing the publications which reported his claims a total of £375,000 in damages and £1 million costs.
Messham physically attacked a lawyer at the Waterhouse public inquiry into sexual abuse in North Wales. He screamed obscenities at the barrister who was questioning him, leapt out of the witness box, and threw punches at him.
Documents proved some of Messham’s evidence to the inquiry to be false. Although Sir Ronald Waterhouse concluded that Messham had experienced abuse, he described him as ‘an unreliable witness’ who was unlikely to be trusted by any jury – a conclusion also reached by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Even Messham’s lawyer concedes he may be ‘disturbed’ and that he may have made up some of his claims.
In 2004, Angus Stickler, the reporter behind this month’s Newsnight story, was publicly criticised for interviewing Messham on Radio 4 without mentioning he was facing charges of defrauding a charity he ran for alleged abuse victims. Messham was later acquitted.
In 2005, Messham was also cleared of a £33,000 benefits fraud. He admitted concealing savings of £40,000 – a result of compensation for the alleged abuse – when he made claims for income support and housing benefit, but insisted he had not intended to be dishonest.
Newsnight’s key claim that Messham was prevented from naming Lord McAlpine and other supposed paedophiles at the Waterhouse inquiry was clearly untrue. Transcripts show Messham could say whatever he liked about anyone he chose – and that he did so with abandon over his two weeks of testimony, during which time he did allege that a man referred to only as ‘McAlpine’ had abused him.
Errors from the start
Messham’s evidence about abuse at the Bryn Estyn care home in Wrexham has been unreliable from the start. He was even wrong about how long he spent at Bryn Estyn.
According to a police statement in March 1992, he said: ‘I stayed there between three and four years.’ In fact, records show, he was there for 20 months, from September 1977 until May 1979.
After newspapers began to allege that Bryn Estyn was the scene of widespread abuse in 1991, prompting a massive police inquiry, Messham made the first in a series of statements about his time at Bryn Estyn, and alleged abuse that he suffered after he left.
In his first police statement, on March 30, 1992, he said he was physically assaulted by three people, indecently assaulted by two male care workers, Peter Howarth and Stephen Norris, and that two female care workers had sex with him. Both Howarth and Norris subsequently stood trial and were convicted.
Two days after Messham gave his first police statement, his wife committed suicide, leaving him to care for their three-month-old daughter. It was at this period of great vulnerability that he became a major figure in the North Wales inquiry.
Thirteen years after leaving Bryn Estyn, he made further statements in April, August, September and October 1992, in February 1993, and then again regularly until 1997.
His allegations changed from one statement to the next. The Mail on Sunday has examined them, and the number of episodes of abuse he claimed to have suffered rose with each successive statement.
Witness with no credibility
By the time he gave evidence to the Waterhouse inquiry, which ran from 1997 to 2000, he said he had been sexually abused by 49 men and women, and physically abused by a further 26. His claims should have been treated with diminishing credibility. Indeed, there are many allegations against people who were never charged because – as Waterhouse pointed out – his evidence was not considered plausible enough.
Wide-ranging: Inquiry chairman Mr Justice Waterhouse. The inquiry ran from 1997 to 2000
The Waterhouse report stated that, in March 1993, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that ‘reliance ought not to be placed on [his] evidence for the purpose of prosecuting any alleged abuser.’
Thanks in part to Messham’s allegations, Bryn Estyn has become a byword for abuse, with claims resurfacing in the wake of revelations about Jimmy Savile.
But the police method of ‘trawling’ former residents, many of whom had long criminal records, and inviting them to make allegations – has long been recognised as risky. In 2002, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee warned such a process was liable to create miscarriages of justice, and that some people had made false allegations in the hope of being paid large sums in compensation.
Gwen Hurst, a former Bryn Estyn teacher, said the accepted picture of life there was far from the truth. ‘If this abuse was going on, the boys would have had so many opportunities to tell so many people,’ she said. ‘There were council employees, social workers and tradespeople in and out of the school all the time.
‘All this is costing the country millions. And it has exacted a terrible toll on the school staff. Twenty years we’ve had of this.’
Of all the allegations made by Messham and others, it was the heinous accusations against Lord McAlpine that were the most sensational.
Despite Newsnight’s inaccurate assertions, these claims were aired in detail at the Waterhouse inquiry, in which the name ‘McAlpine’ was raised. Messham told the investigation: ‘I was also abused by him sexually’ – but he could not even remember his full name, or how he had come to know who this supposed abuser was.
After trying to attack the barrister at the inquiry, Messham apologised, and when he got to the end of his marathon evidence, he thanked Sir Ronald, saying: ‘This tribunal has been more than worthwhile. There was no one more sceptical about this tribunal at the outset but as time has gone on I believe this tribunal will do the right thing.’
He was also photographed holding the inquiry’s final report, Lost In Care, when it was published in 2000, saying he was delighted with it.
Mr Messham received an undisclosed amount in compensation as part of a class settlement after the report was published, in addition to the £16,000 he received after first making his claims.
He changes his tune...
However, when Messham went on Newsnight earlier this month, all his praise for the inquiry was forgotten. He told the BBC: ‘I don’t understand why on earth we had an inquiry.’
He claimed he had been stopped from naming at least a third of those who had abused him, so allowing Newsnight to claim there had been a cover-up.
The BBC programme claimed the ‘narrow’ terms of reference of the Waterhouse inquiry had prevented it from considering abuse outside care homes. But this was untrue: the inquiry could investigate alleged abuse of care home residents that took place anywhere.
The reason the report did not name some of those supposedly involved in such abuse was that there was only one source for these claims – Messham. But if Newsnight failed to check the facts, the same mistake was made by Downing Street.
In the wake of the Newsnight report, David Cameron has announced two new inquiries. The first, by Mrs Justice Macur, will consider whether the Waterhouse tribunal did its job properly, and whether its terms were indeed ‘narrow’. The second, by the incoming head of the National Crime Agency, Keith Bristow, will re-examine how North Wales police investigated the abuse allegations.
Messham has previously been reluctant to address the contradictions in his stories, as proved by the 1994 libel trial, brought by a former senior police officer he falsely accused of abuse – claims that were reported by Private Eye, The Observer and The Independent on Sunday.
It was put to him in court that just days before he began making claims to reporters, he had approached police to complain he was being harassed by a journalist, who was trying to put words in his mouth.
In a signed statement, he said: ‘At no time did [the officer] ever sexually abuse me,’ adding that a journalist ‘wanted me to say things that were not the truth’.
It also emerged at the trial that before he would give evidence to support the publications, he had insisted that Private Eye pay him £60,000 on the grounds it had previously published an article which had damaged him. Surprisingly, the magazine did agree to pay him £4,500.
Moreover, Messham initially claimed he was indecently assaulted by the officer, but later changed this into a far more serious allegation. When all this was put to him, Messham took an overdose of tranquilisers in court and collapsed in the witness box.
After a short stay in hospital, he had to resume his testimony next morning.
Cross-examined about demanding money from Private Eye as a condition of giving evidence, he said: ‘I was only doing what you lawyers all do and making a threat to get my money, and I got it. I wouldn’t in fact have carried it out... it’s what all you lawyers do.’
The libel trial was not Messham’s only day in court. He was later charged with theft, deception and false accounting involving almost £65,000 from the charity Norwas (North Wales Abuse Survivors), which he set up. But he was acquitted of all charges. Yesterday Mr Messham’s solicitor, Michael Gray, admitted his client may have fabricated some of his allegations of abuse over the years.
Echoing the Waterhouse report – which described Messham as ‘psychologically damaged’ – he said: ‘People who are vulnerable . . . a good part of them is so disturbed that they’re not going to be wholly consistent and reliable. Whether he’s imagined it, made some up, I don’t know.’
He added that Messham – who has last week finally admitted he was wrong about Lord McAlpine – had gone to ground, and would not be giving any more interviews.
Handle this with care
If only Newsnight had heeded the words of Gerard Elias QC, counsel to the Waterhouse inquiry.
In his closing speech, the lawyer said: ‘In certain respects Messham’s evidence was demonstrably untrue and some of his allegations are wholly inconsistent with earlier statements made by him to the police. In these circumstances we submit it is plain that his evidence must be approached with care… the name McAlpine has hung over the rumour of abuse in North Wales by people in high places for as long those rumours have existed.
‘We submit, sir, the picture is no clearer after 200 days of evidence in this respect than it was before. No Christian name has ever been provided for this shadowy figure.’
In his statement this week, Lord McAlpine said: ‘I have every sympathy for Mr Messham and for the many other young people who were sexually abused when they were residents of the children’s home in Wrexham,’ and added: ‘I do not suggest that Mr Messham is malicious in making the allegations of sexual abuse about me’
But the BBC should surely have been more careful about their source of such appalling allegations. Yesterday The Mail on Sunday asked Mr Stickler about all the flaws and omissions in his Newsnight film. He refused to comment
Steven Messham stands with a copy of the damning report into two decades of sexual and physical abuse in children's homes in North Wales
Steven Messham, the former care home resident who has admitted his sex abuse claims against former Tory chairman Lord McAlpine were fabricated, has never been good at dealing with questions about his allegations.
While he was giving evidence in 1997 to the North Wales abuse public inquiry, he was cross-examined by Anthony Jennings QC, a barrister from Northern Ireland.
The QC started to press Messham about a very damaging admission: that parts of a long interview he had given to The Independent on Sunday, were untrue.
First Messham refused to answer his questions. Then, according to the official transcript records, he got out of the witness box and ‘moved towards’ Mr Jennings.
He yelled: ‘Excuse me, I will not have it from you ever, Jennings, right? Because one thing I don’t like is a little b******, right? You don’t push it, right? You are sick just like your client. Don’t push me, don’t f****** push me you little... I’ll tell you now, you b******.’
Then he began throwing punches at the QC. A security officer finally intervened, but not, say witnesses, before Mr Messham had landed several blows.
The inquiry chairman, Sir Ronald Waterhouse, adjourned for the day, but when Messham reappeared the following week, he delivered a stern warning: ‘What happened... was, of course, disgraceful. It amounted to a blatant contempt of court and it also amounted to a criminal offence’ and warned that any repeat would result in criminal charges.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2231212/Steven-Messham-Astonishing-story-BBC-DIDNT-tell-troubled-star-witness.html#ixzz33YoJpXBS
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