I’ve just finished reading Stephen Bentley’s book ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story’. Stephen Bentley was one of the undercover police officers who worked on Operation Julie the celebrated undercover police investigation which ran between 1976-78. Operation Julie resulted in a huge drugs bust in 1977 and was followed in March 1978 by the sentencing of 15 people at Bristol Crown Court who were jailed in total for 124 years. The trial at Bristol was presided over by Mr Justice Park aka Sir Hugh Park, but there were numerous other associated trials in lower courts as well which dealt with more than 100 defendents, as well as a raid in the Dordogne in the south of France. Operation Julie was an investigation which spanned much of the UK and involved 11 police forces, but most of the action took place in rural mid-Wales.
Numerous myths surround Operation Julie – many of them have been denounced as being untrue even by the officers who worked on the case and others have been denounced as being untrue by friends of the people who were prosecuted. Some things that have been accepted as ‘fact’ by everyone are highly improbable if one just thinks a little bit about what was alleged to have happened. One thing that everybody agrees on – including Stephen Bentley – is that Operation Julie cost a huge amount of money, was hampered by police corruption and did nothing at all to impede the tide of hard drugs that had begun pouring into the UK as a result of organised crime.
The stars of Operation Julie were a group of hippies who were living in mid-Wales in the mid-1970s and who had allegedly set up an LSD factory with the intention of manufacturing enormous quantities of the drug in order to spike the reservoirs supplying water to Birmingham with the aim of enablling the Brummies to receive the beneficial effects of getting off their heads. The spiking of the reservoirs story is the one thing that many people think that they know about Operation Julie, but that is also something for which there doesn’t seem to be much evidence. Some of the people from mid-Wales who were convicted did subscribe to the idea that taking LSD was a good idea – they took LSD themselves and had no doubt made a bit of it, but that’s about where the truth ends. As the years have passed, there has been increasing disquiet expressed about what happened during Operation Julie, the lies that the police fed to the media – that the media then obediently and very successfully promulgated – and regarding the fact at least one of those imprisoned did no more than make sandwiches for her boyfriend who was alleged to be making the LSD. Bentley himself claims that during the course of Operation Julie the undercover officers uncovered far more serious crime which was ‘handed over’ to others to deal with.
Operation Julie was conducted whilst business was booming for John Allen and his associates’ empire of child prostitution, porn and hard drugs in north Wales. Allen’s children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, were receiving children from local authorities across England and Wales and Allen also had a villa in the south of France where he was taking children for ‘holidays’. Operation Julie could not have failed to have stumbled across Allen’s criminal empire.
The principal ‘LSD factory’ which was placed under observation by Operation Julie was located in a house at Tregaron, the home of Richard Kemp and his girlfriend Christine Bott. Another house, Plas Llysyn, owned by American Paul Arnaboldi – Kemp’s friend – in another part of mid-Wales, Carno near Llanidloes, was also observed. Bentley and another undercover officer infiltrated a village called Llandewi Brefi whilst disguised as hippies. Llandewi Brefi was targeted because a man called Alston Hughes aka ‘Smiles’ lived there. Alston was English and had connections in London and Birmingham and was alleged to be the distributor of the vast quantities of LSD produced nearby – he received an eight year prison sentence. All this surveillance and infiltration was happening on the patch of the Dyfed-Powys police force.
At that time, there was abuse of children in care happening in Dyfed and Pembrokeshire (Dyfed-Powys Police cover Pembrokeshire). Ioan Bowen Rees, the County Secretary of Dyfed County Council, moved to Gwynedd County Council to take up the post of Chief Exec in 1980, where he remained until 1991. It was on Ioan Bowen Rees’s watch that organised child abuse in the children’s homes in Gwynedd reached dizzy heights, with children being trafficked to London and Brighton (see posts ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ and ‘Are You Local?’). Alison Taylor, a social worker from Gwynedd, blew the whistle on the child abuse loudly and clearly to Bowen Rees and his Director of Social Services Lucille Hughes – Alison was sacked and the abuse continued. Bowen Rees’s idea of investigating Alison’s concerns was to invite his former colleagues from Dyfed County Council up to ‘review’ the children’s homes in Gwynedd. Under Bowen Rees the chaos, corruption and fuckwittery in Gwynedd Social Services reached new highs (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’). Gwynedd was a by-word for a Council that was a law unto itself, founded upon nepotism and cronyism. Operation Julie could not have missed the stories emanating out of Gwynedd – Gwynedd is only a few miles north of Aberystwyth Police Station, the venue for the meeting of the Operation Julie team for briefing and it borders Machynlleth, where it was claimed the crucial evidence was found that led to the establishment of the whole enormous police operation. At the time there was serious institutionalised corruption in the North Wales Constabulary/Police and in the legal system across Wales. The drug squad based in Gwynedd in particular were totally bent and I personally know people whom they framed and who ended up in prison (see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). One man who was fitted up by the drug squad in Gwynedd and then violently assaulted by a police officer in Bangor Police Station ended up in Risley Remand Centre and was then transferred to the ‘care’ of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh for a year after Dafydd diagnosed him with ‘cannabis psychosis’. There was never an investigation into what happened to him – or his wife who also had cocaine planted on her – at the hands of the police. The Chief Constable of North Wales throughout the paedophile and serious corruption years who presided over some truly extraordinary events was Sir Philip Myers (see post ‘Top Of The Cops’).
I suspect that as with the prosecutions of paedophiles in north Wales, Operation Julie made a great display of prosecuting and imprisoning the small fry – and very likely a number of people who were completely innocent – whilst ignoring some very serious criminals. In his book Bentley mentions uncovering links to the CIA.
Although the publicity in the wake of the Operation Julie painted a terrible picture of the hippies on trial who were running the ‘biggest LSD factory in the world, supplying 90% of the world’s LSD’, there is plenty of evidence that they weren’t quite the people portrayed in the media. In mid-Wales their neighbours actually liked them – yes they were hippies, but they were friendly and well-educated (two of those involved were medical doctors and one had a PhD in chemistry). When the undercover police first infiltrated mid-Wales, their cover was nearly blown because their behaviour was so much worse than the people whom they had placed under surveillance. Bentley’s own account of himself in his book isn’t too flattering – he stresses that he was never a corrupt officer, but he seems to have known many people who were. I can understand the difficulty that he and his colleagues encountered when they tried to pass themselves off as hippies…
After Operation Julie, Stephen Bentley left the police force and in 1997 he became a barrister – he mentions that the recreational drug of choice for barristers is cocaine…
Stephen Bentley is now living in the Philippines.
Dr Christine Bott – who ended up being sentenced to nine years in prison for daring to be the girlfriend of Richard Kemp (the ‘drug chemist’) and for making meals for the ‘gang’ – had read medicine at Liverpool University and then worked as a GP. What she really liked doing was keeping and breeding goats and she was well-known in mid-Wales for this. Richard Kemp had done his PhD at Liverpool University, which was where he had met Christine – Richard was sentenced to 13 yrs.
Christine and Richard were students at Liverpool in the 1960s. Liverpool University produced graduates who did very much worse things than Christine and Richard. Whilst Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was at Liverpool University in the early 60s he was visiting IRA activists in order to pick up a bit of advice to use in activist activities back home in Wales (see post ‘A Network Stretching Back Decades’). The security services will have known about Dafydd – they had all the Welsh nationalist activists under observation, because of their links to the IRA and the Gov’ts fears that Welsh activism might become very violent. Stephen Bentley talks about the FWA (Free Wales Army) in his book – one of the leaders of the FWA was Julian Cayo-Evans, who was based in Lampeter and Bentley and his colleagues used to bump into supporters of the FWA. The Welsh political blog Jac O The North is written by Royston Jones who was a member of the FWA and a friend of Cayo – at one point (I think during the investiture) Jac went into hiding in Ireland because he was surrounded by the security services wherever he went in Wales. Of course the security services knew about Dafydd – but the security services helped conceal the Westminster Paedophile Ring, which was being supplied with child prostitutes by the paedophile gang who Dafydd was assisting.
Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman for Wales who concealed Dafydd’s wrongdoing (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’), was Professor of Surgery at Liverpool Medical School. North Wales was/is packed with Top Doctors and other professionals who had been educated at Liverpool University who were among the paedophiles’ friends. None of them were ever arrested. Yet a well-liked GP who kept goats and lived quietly in deepest mid-Wales ended up being sentenced to nine years in prison on the basis of the alleged activities of her boyfriend.
Dr Christine Bott had also worked at Charing Cross Hospital. We know that the paedophiles’ friends enjoy the support of their colleagues in the London teaching hospitals. I wonder what Christine knew about who. We can’t ask her, because she is dead now, as is Richard and a number of the others who were sentenced. When Christine and Richard came out of prison they kept a low profile, so no-one ever heard their side of the story. They were welcomed back to mid-Wales, so people there couldn’t have had much of a problem with them. What we did hear much about were the over-blown fantasies of dodgy coppers in terms of the activities of hippies – the police revealed that a rat ‘which had died from an overdose of LSD’ had been found at one property. At Plas Llysyn at Carno, samples of water from the cellar were taken which incredibly enough contained LSD ‘which matched LSD samples’ in the possession of the police. A frog and a mole were also taken away for testing – it was revealed that they’d been on acid as well. But beyond ‘traces’ of LSD, nothing was discovered after the police had broken into the Plas in the belief that it was a constituent part of the biggest LSD factory in the world. The police knew why they didn’t find anything though – it was because the hippies had abandoned the Plas! So how did the hippies manage to make their getaway along with all the equipment and goodies whilst the police were watching the place?
As is often the case with raids by the drug squad, by the time that the Operation Julie cases came to trial, the police boasted of having discovered a wonderland of goodies worth an absolute fortune – when the police didn’t actually produce the mountains of LSD, allegations of a huge stash of LSD buried somewhere in woodland in mid-Wales were bandied about. Likewise, the value of the LSD that the police claimed to have recovered didn’t equate to what was actually recovered by the police (the situation conjures up the old favourite which made an outing on one of Mel Smith and Gruff Rhys Jones’s programmes years ago – ‘that means the police are paying three times as much for their drugs as the rest of us’). The event which actually precipitated the establishment of Operation Julie and which sounded even more like the fantasy of a dodgy copper was a lot more worrying than stories about rats, frogs and moles overdosing on hallucinogens, as we shall see.
In the mid-70s, a number of senior police officers – including some of those who led Operation Julie – were trying to persuade the Home Office to set up a national police force and a national drug squad. My post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’ describes the serious corruption at the top of the Home Office’s drugs branch at this time, which went hand in hand with the corruption on the part of some of the Top Doctors holding Home Office drugs licences and treating addicts, including Dafydd.
Prior to Operation Julie, Detective Chief Inspector Dick Lee of the Thames Valley Police Drug Squad maintained that he had noticed a huge increase in the amount of LSD ‘arriving into the UK’ whilst he policed pop festivals in the south of England. Dick Lee was someone who wanted a national drug squad created which operated independently of the rest of the force. The international suppliers of LSD in mid-Wales were only ever brought to the attention of Dick Lee after Gerry Thomas, an associate of David Solomon – a Californian who was associated with Timothy Leary and who had been introduced to Richard Kemp in 1968 by a university colleague – was caught trying to smuggle cannabis into Canada. Thomas had known Richard Kemp and Kemp’s friends and Thomas gave information to the authorities in Canada in return for a shorter sentence. The information that he supplied was that the ‘biggest acid lab in the world’ was being run in mid-Wales. Thomas named Richard Kemp, Christine Bott, David Solomon and ‘a man called Henry’. This ‘intelligence’ was passed across the Atlantic and reached the ears of Dick Lee. Richard Kemp ‘was known’ to be living in Wales and ‘driving a red Range Rover’ – well of course this was ‘known’, he and Christine weren’t trying to hide, they lived in Tregaron with their goats and Christine even appeared in the local press with her prize-winning goats. Dick Lee alerted the Dyfed-Powys Police and Detective Sergeant Richie Parry – who was in charge of the Dyfed-Powys Drug Squad pre-Operation Julie – contacted his old drug squad colleague Dai Rees who was now a traffic inspector in Dyfed-Powys Police and told him to get in touch in the event of any ‘incidents’ involving a red Range Rover.
As so often happened in matters involving the drug squad in those days, within weeks – in April 1975 – ‘by pure coincidence’ the control room heard about a serious car crash near Machynlleth involving a red Range Rover. It was of course Richard Kemp’s car and he and Christine were in it at the time. The accident was a serious one – Kemp’s Range Rover had hit another car head on which contained a Minister and his pregnant wife. The Minister’s wife was killed and the Minister was seriously injured, although Kemp and Christine ‘escaped with their lives’. Kemp’s Range Rover was impounded by the police and searched.
During the search, the police found six strips of paper in the car which when ‘reconstructed’ into one piece was found to have the words ‘hydrazine hydrate’ written on it,a key ingredient in the manufacture of LSD. The police therefore had the evidence that they needed against Richard Kemp – whom Dick Lee already ‘knew’ was part of an enormous drugs ring – the evidence needed to set up a huge national police operation involving those senior officers who had been so keen to do this but needed to persuade the Home Office and ACPO that there was justification for it. Why a man with a PhD in chemistry who was allegedly mass-producing LSD – indeed 90% of the global LSD supply – would need to write the name of the main ingredient on a piece of paper and cut it into small pieces which were then strewn around his car was never explained. This ‘evidence’ is as implausible as the physiologically impossible ‘evidence’ on which the Rev Emyr Owen from Tywyn was convicted in 1985, after he was accused of chopping penises off corpses and eliciting erections in the severed penises – penises which were never actually found (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’).
So it must have been most convenient when Richard Kemp crashed his car in Machynlleth – just after the police had been told to look out for any incidents involving that car – killing a pregnant Minister’s wife in the process (the local people liked Richard and Christine remember which could have caused the police difficulties), whilst those scraps of paper with ‘hydrazine hydrate’ written on them were in the car belonging to Mr Big. The only thing that the police seemed to have forgotten to mention was that the writing on the paper was in lemon juice and that they read it by warming the paper up, a la Fatty in the ‘Five Find-Outers’ as conjured up by the imagination of Enid Blyton. Although I seem to remember that Fatty’s nemesis was actually a foul incompetent policeman called Mr Goon – one wonders how Fatty never found himself fitted up for dealing to the ‘Secret Seven’.
The bits of paper constituted the solid evidence needed for Dick Lee and his mates such as Detective Inspector Derek Godfrey from Scotland Yard to convince the Home Office and ACPO that a massive police operation across the UK was needed. Not that ACPO will have needed that much convincing – the President was Sir Philip Myers the Chief Constable of North Wales. In Feb 1976 a meeting was held at Brecon between a number of Chief Constables and senior drug squad officers and a multiforce operation was arranged which evolved into Operation Julie. In May 1976 officers from Operation Julie had moved into the house overlooking Richard Kemp’s cottage and had placed him and Christine under constant surveillance. After Operation Julie concluded, other police officers revealed their concerns that not only had Operation Julie been the preserve of some not very competent senior officers with massive egos who liked to think of themselves as supercops, but that the whole Operation had been conducted in secrecy without the knowledge of or scrutiny of anyone else. Dick Lee had created exactly what he and his mates had dreamed of – an ‘elite’ squad independent of the rest of the force, answerable to no-one.
In 1976 a man working with children was found guilty by Talgarth Magistrates Court (Talgarth is near Brecon) of two counts of indecent assault on boys from the Bryn Alyn Community.
Although in Dick Lee’s opinion Richard Kemp was Mr Big, even after the police put him and his friends at Plas Llysyn under intense surveillance they didn’t find the sort of evidence that one would have expected to find in world leading LSD factories, although Neville Dunnett, a Home Office scientist and forensics expert, believed that the Plas was an LSD factory. Obviously the police found the animals who had all been tripping and the water from the cellar which was obliging enough to match samples of LSD in the possession of the police, but they didn’t find much else – until on the day of the big swoop in March 1977 when they did dig up some LSD making equipment from a well at Plas Llysyn. The police didn’t actually manage to even find much LSD in their first raid on Kemp’s house in March 1977, the date on which Julie conducted simultaneous raids on 87 homes across England, Wales and the Dordogne. It was only when they raided Kemp and Christine’s house again in Dec 1977 that they found £1000 cash in a package and a plastic box containing the mind-blowing quantity of LSD that confirmed that the biggest LSD factory in the world was down at Tregaron run by the boyfriend of a doctor who bred goats.
The biggest LSD factory in the world certainly took some detecting. The surveillance equipment used to maintain a 24 hour watch on Richard Kemp and Christine Bott was top of the range stuff and had been supplied by the security services at Whitehall.
The centre of the action may have been in mid-Wales dangerously near to all those corrupt professionals who had a thing about hippies – whilst the corrupt professionals within spitting distance were afforded protection by the security services and the Home Office as they facilitated a paedophile ring with links to organised crime dealing in child prostitution, porn, drugs and trafficking – but the identities and backgrounds of some of the senior officers involved in Operation Julie is more than enough to ring alarm bells.
Stephen Bentley was plucked from the Hampshire Drug Squad to work on Operation Julie. He had grown up on Merseyside and before joining the Hampshire Drug Squad he had worked as a police officer in the Merseyside/Lancashire area. Bentley’s book mentions the most extraordinary situation involving the South West Lancashire CID Task Force before he went south – they had set up their temporary HQ in Knowsley Hall, a stately home near Liverpool, the family seat of the Earl of Derby. Bentley explains that allowing the police to use Knowsley Hall as their HQ assisted the 18th Earl of Derby with the financial strain of the upkeep of his house. Earl Derby aka Lord Edward Stanley soon found a longer term solution to his financial problems – in 1971 he created Knowsley Zoo and Wildlife Park in the grounds of the house. Bentley does not tell us whether anyone questioned whether it was right and proper for the police to be camping out in someone’s stately home whilst they conducted enquiries.
Lord Edward Stanley was Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, 1946-51 and Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, 1951-68. He was Pro-Chancellor of Lancaster University, 1964-71. Lord Stanley was Director of Martin’s Bank – as well as a Director of Granada Television.
There was a TV documentary made about Operation Julie, ‘from the police perspective’. It was made by Bob Mahoney for Tyne Tees TV.
So Dick Lee from Scotland Yard persuaded the Home Office and the ACPO to set up Operation Julie after the discovery of those scraps of paper in Kemp’s car. Bentley admits that in the mid-70s ‘corruption was rife in certain departments and squads’ of the Metropolitan Police. After Operation Julie, Lee left the police force and became a freelance journalist. Well after all that glowing publicity surrounding the hefty sentences handed down to those who were about to poison the country’s drinking water and addle the brains of our youth, Dick Lee was far too famous to waste his time being a policeman. Other members of the police force were critical of his published work, suggesting that the content compromised police operations.
In 1977 one of the venues used to hold the briefings regarding the Operation Julie raids was the fifth floor of Tintagel House at Lambeth, a building which housed some departments of the Met. The Flying Squad and other CID departments were excluded from the Tintagel House briefings, although Stephen Bentley mentions that the SPG (Special Control Group) attended ‘in force’. The SPG were the contingent from the Met who took advantage of their position to violently assault ethnic minorities and lefties. In 1979 one of the officers from the SPG succeeding in killing Blair Peach, a teacher who was on an anti-NF march. The officer was did this was never publicly named let alone charged although other members of the SPG admitted that they knew his identity.
The ‘nerve centre’ of Operation Julie was established at Devizes, in the HQ of the Wiltshire Constabulary – the hub of the operation later moved to Swindon. It has now been admitted by his Tory colleagues that Sir Peter Morrison, Tory MP for Chester, 1974-92 and an aide to Margaret Thatcher, was abusing children. Morrison was known to have abused children in children’s homes in north Wales. Peter Morrison’s father was John Morrison, the 1st Baron Margadale, Conservative MP for Salisbury, 1942-65, whose family seat and estates were in Wiltshire. John Morrison was Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, 1969-81. Lord Lieutenants tend to spend time with Chief Constables among other people. Peter Morrison’s elder brother Charles managed the family estates and in 1964 was elected as Tory MP for Devizes. He remained MP for Devizes until 1992 and was a friend and supporter of Ted Heath. Charles had been influential in Wiltshire before he became their MP – in 1958 he became a member of Wiltshire County Council and he Chaired the Education Committee, 1963-64. Charles Morrison’s wife was related to Ian Fleming by marriage and an article that Ian Fleming wrote entitled ‘To Westminster With Love’ opened with the words ‘Charles Morrison – Licensed To Kill’. Well somebody certainly was and it wasn’t a bunch of hippies in mid-Wales. Charles and Peter’s sister, Mary Morrison, has been Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II for over fifty years.
Detective Superintendent Dennis Greenslade was drafted into Operation Julie from the Regional Crime Squad based in Bristol – Bentley remembers that Greenslade too was very unpopular – and Greenslade’s colleague from Avon and Somerset Police, Detective Chief Inspector Herbert also worked on Operation Julie. Greenslade was another officer who supported the creation of a national drug squad. The drug squad in the West Country during the 70s and 80s conducted themselves pretty much as the drug squad in North Wales did – dope smoking hippies and teenagers were pursued by the police and treated as serious criminals whilst far more serious crime was ignored. I knew of corruption in the drug squad in both Bristol and Taunton at the time of Operation Julie. Two corrupt drug squad detectives in Taunton were demoted and ordered to go back into uniform as plods on the beat, but they still managed to have the family of a local school girl who had been wrongly accused as a result of a school teacher’s idiocy threatened at gunpoint – whilst the man with the gun did this, he made a reference to the unsolved murder of a housewife from Bath, Mrs Beryl Culverwell. I also knew of a police constable from Bristol who was thrown out of the force for dealing in heroin but was quite miffed about this because he maintained that the other officers who had been doing it with him had all remained in the force. I knew of someone else who was arrested for the possession of cannabis, taken to Bridgwater Police Station where he was assaulted and then had his own cannabis sold back to him by the police. The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, 1974-79 was Kenneth Steele.
Whilst Kenneth Steele and his officers were pursuing school children and threatening to murder members of their families, they accused Norman Scott of shooting his own dog as a publicity stunt after John Newton – the hit man who told the Old Bailey in 1979 that he had been paid by Jeremy Thorpe to kill Norman – killed Norman’s dog and then tried to kill Norman but was prevented from doing so when his gun jammed (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’).
There is a further link with Jeremy Thorpe mentioned by Stephen Bentley. Bentley talks about a lady called Pam who owned a house in the locality under observation and rented it out to some of the Operation Julie officers. Pam also had a home in Bayswater in London at Orme Square – Jeremy Thorpe was Pam’s neighbour. Pam had celeb connections by marriage – she was the ex of John Mayall who had been in a band with Eric Clapton. My post ’95 Glorious Years!’ explains how a great many very unpleasant things happened to Francis Ormsby-Gore in a way that leads me to suspect that he may have been targeted by the paedophiles’ friends. Francis’s sister Alice died from a heroin overdose – she was the former partner of Eric Clapton. Clapton has admitted that he treated her appallingly, as well as introducing her to the joys of heroin addiction, only to give it up himself leaving her in a mess.
Bentley mentions connections to other celebrities that I have previously heard had used those abused and trafficked by the paedophile gang in north Wales and he also mentions meeting Michael Wilding junior, the son of Elizabeth Taylor, at a party near Devil’s Bridge a few miles away from Aberystwyth. The interesting thing about rural Wales is that although it was and is sneered at by those who imagine themselves to be metropolitan sophisticates a cut above the sheepshaggers, Wales is quite nice really and the people who make derogatory comments about its permanent inhabitants do nonetheless like to make visits to Wales or to even acquire a second home there. Among those people there was always a cohort who liked taking drugs and having sex with much younger people who were poor and not in the least bit famous.
Whilst dealing with Pam, Bentley discovered a few things familiar to anyone who has had been on the receiving end of the paedophiles’ friends: that the police in Wales are very strongly influenced by Freemasonry and that this exerts a corrupting force upon them; that police business is openly gossiped about and discussed with other people who are not police officers in a way that it shouldn’t be; and that often the wives of police officers know almost as much about police business as their husbands do. Bentley also discovered that Pam was very friendly with a police officer based at Lampeter Police Station whom Bentley felt could not be trusted and thus the Operation Julie team had no dealings with the police at Lampeter.
The biggest acid lab in the world in mid-Wales was alleged to be connected to another acid lab in Hampton Wick, Greater London, which was placed under surveillance by a police team from RAF Hendon in Oct 1976. The police maintained that these ‘two drug rings’ had begun as one organisation. They maintained that a Henry Todd – remember ‘a man called Henry’ whom Gerry Thomas had mentioned to the authorities in Canada? – had been the person handling the sales of the LSD produced in mid-Wales because the mid-Wales cohort were producing so much LSD that they couldn’t handle the sales by themselves. The police alleged that Todd and the ‘organisation’ had been based in Cambridge but had then set up one ‘ring’ in mid-Wales and had recruited an Andy Munro to work as a chemist in a house at Hampton Wick. Henry Todd was imprisoned for eight years.
David Solomon received a ten year prison sentence, despite there being very little evidence to link him with the LSD factory at all – he had actually been in New York throughout most of Operation Julie. It was Solomon’s conviction that enabled the police to tell the world that Kemp and Chrstine had connections with Timothy Leary – Dick Lee had actually spent a great deal of time trying to find evidence of this but couldn’t.
Stephen Bentley’s book mentions that Operation Julie also utilised the services of Detective Superintendent Gerry Squires from the City of London Police Fraud Squad in tracing the assets of those running the biggest acid factory in the history of the world. Assets did play a role in the trial at Bristol, but Bentley mentions links to profits in Vancouver from a heroin business and a group of doctors and lawyers who were providing the money to buy $3 million worth of heroin. I can’t find any mention of them being put on trial.
All branches of Operation Julie was either working directly in the locations where the paedophile gang based in north Wales and their friends were running their enormous well-oiled machine or very close by. Not only was Operation Julie involved in a surveillance operation in Wales, the heart of the paedophiles’ friends territory, but they were holding briefing meetings in Lambeth whilst Lambeth Borough Council’s social services dept had been infiltrated with paedophiles and whilst Lambeth were also sending children in their care into the clutches of John Allen ‘on placement’. Rob Evans, who was one of the managers of Gwynedd Social Services children’s homes under the regime of Ioan Bowen Rees in the 80s, had been recruited from the West Country where he had been a ‘team leader’. Talgarth Magistrates Court, where a man had been found guilty of indecently assaulting boys from John Allen’s empire, was a short drive down the road from Brecon , the meeting point of the ‘supercops’ where they agreed to establish Operation Julie – the case at Talgarth happened in the same year as the discussions in Brecon.
I cannot understand how Operation Julie did not stumble across the paedophile gang that was operating in Wales – which dealt in drugs as well as in child sex – which only continued business unhindered throughout Operation Julie, but expanded their business. Perhaps Stephen Bentley and his colleagues did know about John Allen, Dafydd et al but Bentley just didn’t mention them in his book.
So who was Home Secretary whilst the police and the criminal justice system concerned themselves with wild animals who had taken LSD, whilst an absolute fortune was squandered on an investigation that imprisoned eccentric young people who at most were users of drugs themselves and small time dealers, whilst highly implausible evidence was found at convenient times and whilst clairvoyant police officers also seemed to know that there would soon be an incident involving Richard Kemp’s car in west or mid-Wales – an incident which when it happened involved the death of a young woman – yet ordered their officers on the ground not to go near a gang of very serious criminals who had colonised much of Wales?
The Home Secretary who agreed to set up Operation Julie on the basis of animals with a penchant for hallucinogens and Dick Lee’s psychic abilities was Roy Jenkins. Roy has starred on this blog recently and did a great many favours for the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I) – Jenkins had also been Home Secretary at an earlier time in the 60s under Harold Wilson when Bryn Estyn, one of the children’s homes in north Wales with some of the highest levels of child abuse, had been directly managed by the Home Office. The Home Secretary who was in office during most of the investigation whilst gangsters who killed some of their victims as well as some witnesses but were allowed to go about their business unhindered and while the flimsiest evidence – some of which was very obviously fabricated – was deemed sufficient to imprison people for years was Merlyn Rees. Merlyn was another man who was a loyal paedophiles’ friend (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’). Roy Jenkins was appointed by Harold Wilson and Merlyn Rees was appointed by Jim Callaghan.
Who was the DPP who approved the prosecution of people on the basis of the fantasies of some bent coppers? The DPP who was in place during the earlier fit-ups of the suspects will have been Sir Norman Skelhorn. Skelhorn was DPP 1964-77 and before he retired there was huge concern expressed in many quarters regarding the practices of the police and the sheer number of miscarriages of justice that seemed to be occurring. In 1972 Skelhorn had granted the bank robber Bertie Smalls, Britain’s first supergrass, immunity from prosecution in a deal described by the Law Lords as ‘unholy’. The criticism constantly levelled at supergrasses is that they may be tempted to tell a pack of lies and name innocent people in return for lenient treatment. Skelhorn has also found his place in history as a result of admitting that whilst he was DPP terrorist suspects in N Ireland had been tortured and told a meeting of Harvard Law School Forum – after it had been agreed by Heath that torture should not happen under any circumstances – that when dealing with ‘Irish terrorists’, any methods were justified. In April 1976 after Young Liberal Peter Hain was cleared of robbery at a branch of Barclays Bank, six Liberal MPs led by David Steel demanded Skelhorn’s resignation. I don’t suppose Steel et al could dish too much dirt on Skelhorn though – because there was the matter of the doings of Cyril Smith and Jeremy Thorpe to consider.
Sir Norman Skelhorn was an active Freemason.
Upon Skelhorn’s retirement, Merlyn Rees appointed Sir Thomas ‘Tony’ Hetherington as DPP and it will have been Hetherington who was in office when the later Operation Julie prosecutions were prepared. Hetherington remained as DPP until 1987 and became the first head of the CPS when it was formed in 1986. The CPS that subsequently refused to prosecute in so many cases connected to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal or those child abuse cases involving Cyril Smith, Greville Janner and others. Hetherington did make the decision to prosecute Jeremy Thorpe however, although after that trial he might as well have not bothered (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’). Hetherington lied to two newspapers about never receiving police information concerning Cyril Smith. During his later years as DPP he oversaw a number of major changes introduced in the wake of concerns raised during Skelhorn’s incumbency eg. the introduction of PACE in 1984 and the creation of the CPS.
Hetherington was the son of a Top Doctor who was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford and was called to the Bar in 1952. He was the first DPP who was a career civil servant. He became part of the team supporting the Attorney-General and Solicitor General in 1962 and was head of the permanent legal staff supporting the Law Officers (A-G and SG), 1966-76. So Hetherington was the man behind Normal Skelhorn. He was appointed Deputy Treasury Solicitor in 1975. Which was when the Treasury Solicitor’s office was in the process of ruining Mary Wynch and illegally divesting her of her property (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). As part of his mission to shine a light on the organs of the DPP, Hetherington allowed BBC Panorama’s team to film the DPP’s office at work. It was considered a very daring move, but I suspect that the BBC were happy to do their Lord Haw-Haw bit.
Hetherington was knighted in 1979. Which was the year that Thorpe was acquitted of conspiracy and incitement to murder. It was Hetherington who failed to prosecute any SPG officers after the death of Blair Peach.
The Attorney General, 1974-79, was Samuel Silkin. Silkin was a barrister from a well-known Labour family (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I’). His father Lewis Silkin was the Labour MP for Peckham and a Minister in Attlee’s Cabinet, 1945-50 and his brother John Silkin was also a Labour MP and Cabinet Minister. John Silkin was very influential and at one point looked as though he would become leader of the Labour Party. Samuel Silkin retired in 1983 and was given a peerage in 1985. He Chaired the Society of Labour Lawyers.
The Solicitor General, 1974-79, was Peter Archer, a Labour MP for the West Midlands. Between 1967-70 Archer had been PPS to that good friend of the paedophiles Sir Elwyn-Jones whilst Elwyn-Jones was Attorney-General. In 1969 Archer was Britain’s representative on the UN’s ‘third committee’ on Human Rights. He was a founder member of the Amnesty International Committee in 1961 and Chairman of Amnesty International’s UK section, 1971-74, as well as being a member in the Anti-Slavery Society. Archer was an extremely active member of the Fabian Society – he sat on the executive committee, 1974-86, was Chairman, 1980-81 and from 1993 until his death in 2012 he was President. He was also a leading figure in the Society of Labour Lawyers.
In his capacity as Solicitor General Archer authorised prosecutions in N Ireland.
Archer was close to Samuel Silkin when Labour were in opposition. When Silkin retired after Labour’s defeat in 1979, Archer was passed over for the role of Shadow A-G by one of the best friends that the paedophiles have ever had, former Secretary of State for Wales Lord John Morris. Peter Archer was Chief Legal Spokesman in Michael Foot’s Shadow Cabinet in 1981. In 1982 Archer became a Crown Court Recorder – he concentrated on his career at the criminal Bar after Labour’s defeat in 1970.
Archer was Shadow Secretary of State for N Ireland under Neil Kinnock, 1983-87. In 1986 he urged the reconsideration of the case of the Birmingham Six and in 1987 was not returned to the Shadow Cabinet.
Archer was a Christian Socialist and was always used as the living embodiment of ‘the Labour Party owes more to Methodism than to Marxism’ – Archer was very active in the Methodist Church in the Black Country and worked as a lay preacher.
In 1992, that excellent year for the paedophiles’ friends when so many good things happened for them including the murder of five witnesses by a petrol bomb just a few days after the General Election (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’), Archer picked up a peerage.
In 1998 Blair appointed Archer to make recommendations concerning the claims from the families of Holocaust victims whose assets in Britain were seized – Archer Chaired the £25 million compensation fund. Archer also led the 2007 ‘Tainted Blood’ Inquiry.
There has been huge quantities written about Operation Julie, but because so much was written by journalists who had close connections with the police I haven’t spent time reading much of it. It is established that the police had a hotline to many media outlets and were able to ensure that the story that reached the general public was one of heroic cops sending down dangerous criminals who presented a threat to western civilisation. Stephen Bentley mentions going out boozing with Colin Willis, the showbiz editor no less of the Daily Mirror and the evening ending in a huge punch-up between Bentley and some other folk – imagine the headlines if the ‘hippies’ had done that and it had been witnessed by a journalist. The Earl of Derby who obviously had a very cosy relationship with the police in the north west of England was a Director of Granada TV. Lawrence Byford, the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire at the time of Operation Julie, had a son – Mark – who worked for the BBC and who eventually reached the very top of that organisation.
Most of the people who were convicted have since died without their stories being told, although Lief Fielding did write a book.
So I have no idea why the police and full forces of the Home Office descended upon Richard Kemp and Christine Bott in 1975. I remember that in the case of the Macguire Seven, the reason why someone named Annie Macguire as an IRA bomb-maker after being duffed up by the police was that it was such a ludicrous notion that they were sure that the police would never make anything stick and Annie would be safe. In the event the police convinced themselves and a Court that this respectable middle-aged woman who was a member of the Tory Party and had nothing to do with Republican activism or politics, was indeed running a bomb factory from her kitchen and employed members of her family, including a 15 year old boy, to assist her. Oh and Annie Macguire was sexually assaulted in custody as well. At the time the British press ran lurid headlines about Aunt Annie’s bomb kitchen. When Annie Macguire was released from prison – after years – the running theme of her story was that she had no idea that such things could actually happen in Britain. The Macguire Seven were convicted in 1976 – the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six were convicted in 1975. Perhaps Gerry Thomas named Richard and Christine in an attempt to give some information, any information, to the authorities in Canada, thinking that it was such a ludicrous notion that they were supplying the whole world with LSD that charges would never stick. Or perhaps Gerry Thomas was unscrupulous, knew how daft the authorities were, told them a load of poppycock in order to get himself a lighter sentence and didn’t care what the consequences were for anyone else.
At the trial in Bristol, Sir Henry Park lavished praise on the officers of Operation Julie and complimented them on their ‘intelligent handling’ of the material. Including presumably the evidence of the mole, the rat and the frog who had all been tripping. Between 1970-74 Henry Park was the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit – he was very well known in the West Country and almost certainly knew the senior officers in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
My post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron’ describes how Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was actually given the remit to provide ‘substance abuse services’ in north Wales via his charity CAIS, upon whose Board sits some of the people named in the Waterhouse Report as failing to respond to the presence of a paedophile ring in north Wales, although they were senior managers in the social services.
Dafydd set up CAIS in 1977. In the 1972 the Chief Constable of North Wales Sir Philip Myers was the police’s representative on the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs.