Elm guest house scandal: First victim of paedo guest house breaks his silence
A victim of the VIP paedophile guest house has told the Sunday People of the horrors that went on there.
The former care home orphan says he and his 12-year-old brother were sent by staff to the Elm Guest House for “a treat”.
There they were lured into cider and beer-drinking races to get them drunk and ordered to dress in girls’ fairy costumes while their pictures were taken.
Finally they were forced to take part in vile sex acts after phoney games of hide-and-seek.
The victim, now a family man, broke down in tears as he told the Sunday People of his nightmare at the Elm – and how his tormented brother killed himself a decade after leaving care.
He 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.”
The former guest house in upmarket Barnes, south-west London, is now the centre of a major police probe into an alleged child sex abuse ring in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
It is said to have involved senior politicians, showbiz celebrities and members of the royal household.
The first victim to speak publicly has waived his legal right to anonymity but the Sunday People has chosen to identify him only as Dave.
Speaking at his smartly-decorated home, surrounded by photos of his own young children, Dave told how he and his one-year-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, south-west London, in 1978.
Dave was 13 when minibus outings to the Elm eight miles away began.
He said: “We were told we were going to the ‘good house’ for a party.
“It wouldn’t be more than a handful of us at a time.
“When we got there it was a huge house. It was so big I felt like I was a kid in a doll’s house.”
The children were escorted through reception without signing the guest book and taken to a back room where a warped party was soon in full swing.
Dave said: “There would be easy-listening type music playing, sort of mellow stuff, and loads to drink.
“Sometimes there would be as few as two adults there, other times more.
“They laid on tables with Party Seven beer – a big tin with seven pints in it – and cider.
“We were given plastic cups and would have sort of 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 said: “There would be flash bulbs going off when someone was going round taking pictures. All this took place during the day, whatever day of the week they fancied.
“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.”
Dave’s testimony echoes that of former child protection worker Chris Fay, who says he was shown photos of children dressed up at so-called “Kings and Queens” parties at the Elm.
One photograph is said to show a former Tory Cabinet minister in a sauna with a naked 14-year-old boy.
Dave claims one man he met at the guest house arranged for him to visit his flat where he was groomed into performing sex acts, then handed a couple of pounds “pocket money” to keep him coming back.
Dave said: “I can still see the guy’s face now. He was posh and I have since seen him on television.
“He was very fat. He said he didn’t live far away and told me ‘If you’re passing by that way come and see me’.
“He would give me money. We got no – pocket money at the home and I wanted some.
“That makes it sound like I made a choice but it was abuse.”
Dave added: “I had lost my mum and dad, and when I went to school I’d had the mickey taken out of me.
“So at the time, to start with, it was like ‘finally someone is taking notice of us’. But we were vulnerable, they were meant to be looking after us.”
Dave said he thought “this is what you have to do to get on in life, if I don’t do this I’m going to end up a misfit”.
Dave’s brother Peter took a fatal drug overdose in 1994 six days after his 28th birthday after years of torment stemming from the abuse he too suffered.
It is believed he himself had become an abuser.
He left a note saying he feared he would be unable to control his violent fantasies against women if he remained alive.
Peter had treatment at Broadmoor secure hospital and his case worker said 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.”
Dave claimed Peter got a pay-off from Richmond council – which oversaw the Grafton home – after he complained about his treatment there.
He believes it is evidence of an official attempt to cover up the abuse.
Dave fled less than two years after being sent to the Grafton.
He said: “In the end it just got too much for me. No one ever came to find me. I was sleeping rough and I ended up in prison.”
Last week Dave was visited by two officers from the Met Police’s Operation Fernbridge.
The unit is investigating claims of a VIP paedophile ring at the Elm, first raised in the Commons by MP Tom Watson. Arrests are expected within weeks.
Dave, one of around a dozen victims who have been interviewed, spent more than half an hour discussing his time in care and later spoke to the officers about the Elm by telephone.
Dave, who lives in a seaside town over 100 miles from the guest house, went on: “When I saw a picture of the place on the internet I nearly jumped out of my chair.
“It was the same house I had been taken all those years ago. It’s brought it all back. It’s turned my world upside down.
“I’m a family man now, I’ve got kids of my own, and I never thought all this would come out again. I’ve not been able to sleep since the police turned up at my house.
“People are telling me to stay strong but it’s not that easy.”
In a final insult Dave says he wrote to Richmond council asking for paperwork about him and his brother but was told he would have to pay £10 to be sent any information.
He said: “I just couldn’t believe it. Even now this is their attitude. It says it all.”
Two VIPs named as regular users of the Elm are MI5 traitor Anthony Blunt who died in 1983 and Cyril Smith, the former Liberal MP for Rochdale who died in 2010.
On Friday, after studying a picture of Smith, Dave said the overweight politician was not the “fat man” who had abused him.
Yesterday Richmond council refused to comment on claims it had paid settlements to abuse victims. It also would not comment on Dave and his brother.
But a spokesman said: “We take any allegations of abuse very seriously. We are offering our full support and cooperation to the police.
“As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The owners of the Elm at the time of the alleged VIP cover-up, Haroon and Carole Kasir……..