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Back once again at Newcastle Crown Court for the trial of Carl Beech - today DS Mark Lewis of Wiltshire Police is set to continue his evidence. Yesterday closed with DS Lewis explaining that he had opened enquiries into finding “Aubrey” the boy Carl said was also abused.
On the 19 April 2013 DS Lewis received an email from Beech asking to discuss what info was found in military records concerning his step father. DS Lewis said there were few remaining lines of enquiry and that he was satisfied that Major Raymond Beech was deceased
21 April 2013 DS Lewis emailed Mr Beech asking if he wanted an update on the case. He had been unable to identify any people in “the group”.
3 May 2013 Beech and DS Lewis arranged to meet. They met and DS Lewis told Mr Beech that the case was “undetected” there was no evidence of Mr Beech’s sexual abuse in his step-father’s military records.
“Undetected” means when lines of enquiries have been exhausted and the police haven’t been able to identify the offenders
DS Lewis says he had read all the relevant military records before telling Mr Beech there was no evidence of his sexual abuse in those records.
He adds that’s Carl’s mum mentioned there was a threat of sexual assault from Major Beech against her but that it didn’t happen. He says he doesn’t recall when the threat was made to Carl’s mum.
Carl’s mum told DS Lewis that Major Beech was “angry and drunk” when he made the threat. DS Lewis did not make a note of that as background for Beech’s investigation - it was more a domestic threat to cause her harm. He did not find it related to Carl Beech at all.
DS Lewis confirms he had that information before he met with Carl on the 3 May 2013.
At the meeting on 3 May 2013 DS Lewis says Mr Beech was quiet during the meeting. The one thing that he did say was that he was receiving counselling and thanked DS Lewis for investigating the matters.
DS Lewis says the meeting lasted about an hour. On the 7th May 2013 DS Lewis fed back the results to Operation Yewtree and suggested this was suitable for closure as “undetected”
On 28 May 2013 DS Michael Standing, DS Lewis’s senior, made a note in the police log, confirming DS Lewis’s decision in this log.
21 Sep 2013 DS Lewis received an email from Mr Beech, he was asking for a crime reference number. He explained he wanted to make a claim for compensation via the CICA. DS Lewis replies on the 24th Sep with the crime number. He did not detail how Mr Beech would fill out the form
15 Oct 2013 CICA claim forms were received, DS Lewis completes the police sections on the form, giving them the information from his investigation. He produced copies when required.
During his investigation DS Lewis did not visit any military base or any other location to try and identify the location of any alleged offences. He did not suggest any military locations where this may have occurred, adding, “I was careful not to suggest that kind of thing”
During the course of DS Lewis’s investigation Mr Beech did not produce any diary nor any journal. He also never gave him any specific details to identify a living suspect.
Mr Beech did tell DS Lewis that there were people who might still be alive. He concluded that he was unable to identify any living suspects.
Collingwood Thompson QC rises for the defence
Thompson QC asks whether it is common in cases of historic sexual abuse that there is rarely evidence and that it often comes down to one persons word against another? DS Lewis confirms this is so, adding that this often leads to no further action or being undetected.
Thompson QC adds that there was added difficulty because the abuse is purported to have happened on a military base and so DS Lewis had to go through the MoD. DS Lewis confirms this. DS Lewis confirms he was only shown Major Beech’s personal file.
Thompson QC refers to an email Beech sent to DS Lewis on 23 Nov 2012 where he asked a number of questions referring to needing to take breaks, the location of the interview, how much detail was needed about what they did, progress of the investigation (1/2)
Continuing to ask if and when DS Lewis spike with his mother, would he tell he what they discussed. The email ends with discussing how he was still scared about the people who may still be alive. DS Lewis does not have a record or replying via email but is confident he answered
Thompson QC turns to the subject of Major Beech - DS Lewis wanted to try and identify any living suspects from those records. But because everyone associated at Wilton was an officer, there was a large pool of candidates - DS Lewis agrees that’s why the exercise was fruitless
There were too many officers to identify, suggests Thompson QC. DS Lewis agrees. The reports suggest that Major Beech had a drinking problem and got violent when he was. In the records the Major assaulted his first wife but the army noted “mitigating circumstances”
The circumstance being that he had just served in Ireland and his wife had just told him she was leaving
In April 1976 Major Beech married Carl’s mother - Major Beech was advised to seek psychiatric help. Things peaked when the family went on holiday in Wales, during that holiday he assaulted his wife in front of his children, including Carl.
According to the military reports, he left the family on holiday, got drunk and ripped up Mrs Beech’s possessions and wrecked the house. When the police arrived at the house he was violent towards them, ordering them out of the house.
Following this incident he was admitted to a military hospital and was subject to tests to see if he was fit enough to continue to serve as a military officer - it concluded he had a personality disorder that led to him becoming “dangerously explosive” - by his actions.
And so he was discharged in April 1977. According to the divorce petition there was a further incident in 1976, the allegation that Major Beech assaulted Mrs Beech, ripping up her clothes and bruising her arms and chest. This was at the time when there was a non-molestation order
DS Lewis has details of Carl Beech’s schools but at the time of DS Lewis’s investigation no records could be found from the schools. Mr Beech provided two photos of himself as a child that DS Lewis did not retain.
DS Lewis confirms his clear conclusion in May 2013 was that there was insufficient evidence to identify anyone. He told Carl Beech so. DS Lewis cannot recall whether he told Carl Beech that the fact the investigation was closing doesn’t mean he can’t claim compensation.
Carl Beech was seeking compensation for fees for counselling. DS Lewis filled in the forms, the info he filled in is not shown to Carl Beech.
Tony Badenoch QC rises for the prosecution. DS Lewis confirms its not impossible to find supporting evidence in these kinds of crime. Confirms it is reliant on the compliance of the complainant as well.
DS Lewis confirms it is not always the case that these crimes often come down to one persons word against the other. He confirms he was given another name, Aubrey. So it wasn’t one word against the other.
DS Lewis says he thought Aubrey could be a potential witness, from what Mr Beech had said. DS Lewis says Aubrey could have been another complainant.
23 Nov 2012 email - DS Lewis remembers Mr Beech saying he was scared of repercussions from people “if they were even alive”. 31
Jan 2013 police log entry - phone call with Mr Beech, in which he said there were people alive. He had not mentioned that people were alive between this and the email in Nov 2012.
Turning to the military records of Major Beech - DS Lewis is now looking at the records, confirms they are the records of Major Beech.
Turning to the record dated 29 Nov 1969 - the record confirms that Major Beech has been consistently below average as a pilot since his training and that it was hoped that he would improve with experience but that he hadn’t done so.
Record also shows that his aptitude and ability is below standard. And that following a crash that was not his fault, he crashed another aircraft which he was wholey to blame.
When interviewed he confirmed he was in a constant state of apprehension when he was flying and that if he continued to do so a serious accident would occur. And that he was unsafe to fly - he agreed. He was retained in their service on non flying duties.
That record is dated 26 Nov 1969 - judge sums up, that’s a record that ascertained that Major Beech didn’t like flying, was afraid of flying and so should have flown. Judge asks, but I thought he was in the army? Clarification, he was transferred to the army.
The remaining records on 21 March 1972 there was recorded injuries against Major Beech’s first wife, including bruises and scratches to her body. 4 years later in 1976 he married Carl’s mother
The records include domestic details about Carl’s mother - there was no complaint about sexual assault or abuse in these records, confirms DS Lewis.
Turning to school records, DS Lewis seized two school reports from Carl’s mother.
DS Lewis made no note of speaking about compensation to Carl Beech at the closure meeting they had in 2013.
And so concludes the evidence of DS Mark Lewis
We expect the remainder of the day to be spent addressing further agreed facts of the case.
A USB device contained a document entitled “army commands 1900 - 2011” - was found at Carl Beech’s property. It was created on 26 Dec 2012, it was deleted, it was 271 pages long. The first page was headed “senior army appointments”.
In that document was a list of the Chief of General staff from 1964 - Field Marshall Nicholson and the first highlight (by police) is Field Marshal Sir Edwin Bramall and the dates he held that position. Another name above him, Field Marshal Sir Roland Gibbs and the dates
And further, on the next page, details of commander and chief of Homeland forces - General Sir Roland Gibbs and General Sir Edwin Bramall. Next page details of Commander of British forces Hong Kong, Sir Edwin Bramall.
General Officer Commanding the first army division - Edwin Bramall and the dates he held this position. Those who commanded the fifth brigade - Brigadier Edwin Bramall and the dates he held that position.
Chief of Imperial General Staff - Field Marshal Sir Roland Gibbs name is highlighted again.
The names of Sir Roland Gibbs and Sir Edwin Bramall are highlighted throughout the documents and the positions they held and their dates. Lieutenant General Beech is also highlighted.
*Lieutenant General Hugh Beach is referenced in this document.
25 July 2013 Carl Beech’s work computer visited Dreamcars.co.uk and Americancars.uk.com and on 21 Aug 2013 images recovered from USB drive entitled “Imber” images of Imber barracks and the village.
There is also an image of the interior of a military building. There was also an image captured from the device where the MoD is advertising an open day at Imber barracks
April 2014 Carl’s work computer visited Evening Standard article about how victims of Jimmy Savile could claim compensation. 22 April 2014 this page was visited. “Waybackmachine and 6 captures” highlighted at the top.
The police looked to find the next nearest capture of this website, the nearest one that Carl Beech would have looked at. Mr Ratliff explaining to the jury what WayBackMachine is.
Mr Ratliff explains the Evening Standard article discussed the adverts that had been placed in a number of papers urging victims to come forward to claim compensation.
Google searches for “History of Hilton parkland” - Mr Ratliff suggests this could have meant “Hilton Park Lane” there was a search for “Hilton hotel London”. These searches were conducted the same day as the Jimmy Savile article was consulted.
Mr Beech then searched on his work computer “Where do Saudi’s stay in London” and then a BBC News website visited that contained a story about a Saudi prince who had been found guilty of murder of a servant in a hotel in Feb 2010 in the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone.
There was a later search the same day “Where do Saudis stay in london” and “Where do Saudi royals stay in London” and “Saudi owned hotels in London” then “Boodles Club” and then the Wikipedia page of the “Carlton Club”
The next website visited on Mr Beech’s work computer was the Carlton Club’s website itself.
These were all searched in April 2014 on Carl Beech’s work computer. Mr Beech specifically searched the Carlton Club’s accommodation. The next website was the Wikipedia page for “Gentleman’s Club”
The page shows a history of Gentleman’s Clubs in London. The next website is a list of Gentleman’s Clubs on London on Wikipedia.
The next page searched was the “Naval and Military Club” - also know as the “In and Out Club”. There was also a search for the “Special Forces Club”.
The next searches were the “Cavalry and Guards Club” Wikipedia page - the same morning in April 2014. The next website was the Cavalry and Guards own website. A series of pages including its accommodation page were visited.
The Wikipedia page for the “Naval and Military Club” was then searched. A minute and a half later The Special Forces Club Wikipedia page was searched.
Returning the the agreed facts - the next google search was for “Queen’s Ice Rink” this location appeared on the defendants list of locations he’d been abused at. There was then a search for “Sidney Cooke”.
Sidney Cooke, a man “described as British most notorious paedophile” the page then goes on to describe the actions of the “dirty dozen”. Mr Ratliff then reads out the brief history of the Dirty Dozen.
Following the search for Sidney Cooke in May 2014 there was then a search for “Peter Hayman” and “Lord Bramall”.
15 May 2014 Carl Beech’s work computer used to search for “Operation Fernbridge” investigation into allegations of abuse to children at the Elm Guesthouse in the early 1980s and then was used to search for an organisation called “Exaro News”
23 May 2014 searches for “Dolphin Square” and the website visited was DolphinSquare.co.uk
From that website the page that dealt with apartments of the square was then searched. This page showed what the apartments look like and the square’s history.
Also looked at was the part of the website that deals with “House Names” of Dolphin Square. The page sets out the different names of the houses within the square.
Finally the page that specifically deals with the architecture of the Square was visited. There was also a page that deals with famous residents of Dolphin Square visited.
The image gallery for Dolphin Square was also visited. There was then a search for Dolphin Square on google maps that day and then a google maps website visited for “Dolphin Square”.
The jury are now looking at a picture of what that search would have shown - the wrong Dolphin Square, not the one in Belgravia but an address in Chiswick.
An image recovered from Carl Beech’s USB drive dated 25 May 2014 shows the front of Elm Guesthouse.
This image was physically on the defendant’s USB drive, says Mr Ratliff and adds that it is an image available on the internet.
11 June 2014 - on that day, Beech’s work computer was used to search for “General Hugh Beach” on google and a search for “General Roland Gibbs” and for “General Aedwin Bramall” and “Leon Britton MP” “Jeremy Thorpe”
He then searched “John Louis US Ambassador” and “John Lewis US” ambassador to UK” there was then a search for “Michael Hanley” and “Harvey Proct”
There was then further searches for “Sir Roland Gibbs” and his military career.
Next website visited the same day was the National Portrait Gallery and specifically the page concerning General a Bramall. Then another google search for “John Jeffry Louis Jr Diplomat” and then the wiki entry for “John Jeffry Louis Jr”
14 July 2014 the defendants computer was used to search for “Exaro” and then visited a page from Exaro News that discussed “Dolphin Square” and “Sexual abuse of children”
Mr Beech’s computer was then used on 24 July 2014 to search for the Hilton London.
And so concludes court for today. The jury will return next Wednesday at 1030.
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