Documentary reveals MI5 collusion in paedophile network
Documentary reveals MI5 collusion in paedophile network


Those behind a new film documentary on the role of British military intelligence in the abduction, abuse and murder of children during the conflict in the north of Ireland have said they have evidence of covert British state interference in their work.

The documentary, ‘Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children’ looks at links between five Belfast children who went missing from 1969 to 1974 and a network of paedophiles operating in the city with the full knowledge of British forces.

It combed through thousands of recently released historic documents alongside contributions from criminologists and investigative journalists. No-one was ever arrested in connection with any of the cases, which all occurred within a four-mile radius.

David Leckey (11) and Jonathan Aven (14) disappeared in September 1969 after playing truant from school in east Belfast, while Thomas Spence (11) and John Rodgers (13) were last seen at a bus stop on the Falls Road in November 1974.

Eleven-year-old Brian McDermott was last seen in Ormeau Park on September 2 1973. His mutilated remains were found days later in a sack in the River Lagan.

“What has really got me to completely re-appraise the British part of my identity over the past five years is that we have pretty strong evidence of active interference by the British security services in our film,” English-born producer Ed Stobart told the Irish News.

“We’ve been burgled, we’ve been told that we’ve been hacked and that our scripts have ended up in various places,” added director Des Henderson.

“Amnesty International have advised us to check our phones for bugs. So it’s against that backdrop that we’re trying to tell these stories.”

“That there were four kids who’d gone missing was shocking enough – but that they went missing in pairs was very strange,” says Henderson.

“When we started talking to professional forensic psychology ‘profilers’, they were saying, ‘We have not seen anything like this. If we were investigating this case, the first thing we would do is look for a common offender’.

Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children is premiering this week. It makes a compelling case for the existence of a network of organised, well-connected paedophiles who exploited the conflict as cover for their crimes. The crimes were then covered up by the British intelligence agencies which had recruited the known child sex offenders to inform on the paramilitaries they were aligned with.

There are close ties to the infamous Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast, where children were sourced to supply a British paedophile ring alleged to include Lord Mountbatten and other powerful figures.

The paedophile network includes William McGrath, a prominent loyalist and Orangeman, who was the ‘house master’ at Kincora. Notorious Red Hand Commando leader John McKeague is also named as part of the Belfast ring, as is Alan Campbell, a known associate of McGrath and McKeague. All three are believed to have been British intelligence ‘assets’.

Campbell was apparently the chief suspect in Brian McDermott’s murder, yet was never even questioned about the crime. Recently declassified documents reveal that, in 1970, Campbell abducted a boy he met on a bus in Belfast city centre before abusing him at a flat owned by another known paedophile in Ross House on the Shore Road – not far from where John Rodgers and Thomas Spence went to school.

Although charged, the case collapsed. Indeed, Campbell was never convicted of any paedophile offences and later became a Pentecostal pastor and a Religious Education teacher at a Belfast secondary school. He died in 2017.

“I think the families will be horrified when they find out Alan Campbell was a suspect all along and that he was protected,” said Henderson.

“They would align themselves with loyalist terrorists like Tara [a paramilitary group founded by William McGrath] or the Shankill Defence Association [a loyalist vigilante group] in order to gain protection from the security forces in exchange for information.

“These people were well connected: Morris Fraser – a twice convicted paedophile – was the chief child psychologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He would send boys to Kincora and then go there and abuse them.

“The network is much bigger than the people we name in this film and includes people who worked in government, the RUC and the security services who were all in this together.”

The official Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in 2017 claimed that MI5 had no involvement in a cover-up at Kincora.

However, former British Army intelligence officer Mike Taylor reveals that MI5 faked testimony in his name during the inquiry in order to discredit claims made by Kincora whistleblowers Colin Wallace and Brian Gemmell.

Gemmell (now deceased), another ex-British Army ‘intelligence officer’, advised superiors of the abuse at Kincora in the early 1970s, while former senior British Army ‘information officer’ Wallace – who was in reality involved in psy-ops – using blackmail and other ‘dirty tricks’ to recruit informers – also says his efforts to investigate abuse at Kincora in the early 1970s were thwarted by a conspiracy of silence that “went right to the top” – and that his files on the matter were destroyed.

“We’ve got enough material for at least another 90 [minutes] on just Kincora, but we capped it off, because it’s important that we start to tell this story,” says Stobart.

“Apart from anything else, it’s to protect ourselves, because we are in such murky waters. When you are tangling with the state at this level, there is a certain amount of safety in actually just getting the story out there.”

Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children will screen at the Odeon Belfast on Thursday September 28.

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