Geoffrey Dickens, the doctor, and the vicar
In 1981, Geoffrey Dickens announced that he was going to name a paedophile diplomat in parliament using parliamentary privilege. He was warned against doing this by a senior minister from Thatcher’s cabinet and the Attorney General Sir Michael Havers, but went ahead regardless and named Sir Peter Hayman as the paedophile.
After naming Hayman in parliament, Dickens called a press conference, but found that the spotlight had been turned on him and he was forced to admit an extra-marital affair with a 41 year old woman. News of Sir Peter Hayman’s double life was overshadowed in the next day’s papers by Dickens’ own fall from grace. This was despite the fact that Hayman had been carrying on a correspondence with a paedophile ring that were obessed with the systematic sexual torture and murder of children. Establishment figures queued up to chastise Dickens for naming Hayman. Sir Michael Havers said his piece, the DPP Sir Thomas Hetherington also got involved, and Liberal leader David Steel said the incident “set a dubious precedent”.
It later emerged that Dickens’ flat had been bugged during a burglary, and he was given police protection after his name and address were found in a dangerous fugitive’s notebook.
Despite these attacks, Dickens carried on campaigning against child abuse, and in November 1983 he gave the Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, a dossier containing information connecting the Royal Household with the Paedophile Information Exchange. In January 1984 he gave another dossier to Brittan with allegations of sexual assaults in a children’s home, which also named prominent paedophiles including a television executive. No action was taken by Brittan and he now claims he cannot recollect these events.
In 1986 Geoffrey Dickens made fresh allegations about an Essex doctor and a Humberside vicar, and said he was going to name them using parliamentary privilege.
The doctor was alleged to have raped an 8 year old girl. The girl’s mother had originally gone to Norman St John-Stevas, the Conservative MP for Chelmsford, for help. He consulted the police and the DPP, who ruled that the case should be dropped due to “lack of corroboration”. In layman’s terms, this means they would not accept the evidence of an 8 year old girl to prosecute a paedophile, the rape would have had to have been witnessed by a third party to secure a conviction. The man was not the girl’s doctor, but had been ‘looking after’ the girl at his home for a few days when the attack took place.
A medical examination by the girl’s doctor concluded that she had been raped. She suffered “horrific internal injuries” and continued to suffer from pychological damage a year after the rape. The doctor was interviewed by police for 12 hours but refused to answer their questions.
Dickens named the doctor in a Commons written question tabled to Sir Michael Havers, and said “The DPP has been wrong in the past and has taken over cases which they though would not succeed and they have succeeded. Children might not tell the truth but adults in the witness box don’t always tell the truth. I don’t see why a child is less likely to tell the truth about a thing like this and I don’t see why the child should not be heard. Someone raped the child’.
Dickens tabled another parliamentary question which asked how many cases in the past five years involving sexual offences against children had been considered by the DPP and how many had been dropped for lack of witnesses.
He was then attacked by MPs from all parties, including St John-Stevas, who said “Mr Dickens has behaved quite disgracefully”, and warned that he would be making an official complaint.
The Sun newspaper agreed to pay for the girl’s mother to bring a private prosecution against the doctor. Later that year the case came to court. The girl, by then 9 years old, gave evidence to the jury which graphically described the rape. The doctor’s lawyers said she had made the allegations “to draw attention to herself”, and suggested that she was an unreliable witness because there was evidence she used to bang her against walls, and that the trauma of her parents splitting up caused her to make the allegations. The doctor, who was a consultant anaesthetist to a group of private hospitals in the south-east, was unanimously cleared of rape by the jury.
“As the verdict was read out the girl’s father broke down in tears and leapt to his feet shouting “No! Oh No! God – I can’t believe it! He staggered towards the dock where the doctor stood but was grabbed by a relative and led to the back of the court. He banged his head against the court-room wall, sobbing: “He should have been condemned to hell.”
The father was then ordered to leave. He crashed into a nearby witness room and slumped over a table, breaking a glass. The doctor remained expressionless at the outburst.”
The vicar was alleged to have sexually assaulted an 11 year boy. Dickens then attempted to name the vicar in a written parliamentary question to the Attorney General, but was banned from doing so by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Bernard Weatherill, who said naming the vicar was “unnecessary and invidious”. MPs from all parties then came forward to attack Dickens, including the Labour MP for Hull North, Kevin McNamara, who said that as a result of Dickens’ actions, the press had camped out at a particular church in his constituency, and the vicar had been “tried by media and subjected to a form of parliamentary lynch-law” . Dickens told MPs that it was five years since he last named someone in the House, he was not misusing parliamentary privilege, but children were being abused and cases were not coming before the courts because the DPP had decided otherwise.
Earlier attempts by Dickens to name the vicar in Parliament during Question Time had been frustrated “by an apparent alliance of MPs on both sides to stop his question being reached”.
Geoffrey Dickens then announced that a private prosecution was to be brought against the vicar by The Campaign for Law and Order, chaired by a headmaster called Charles Oxley, who had previously infiltrated the Paedophile Information Exchange and passed information on them to the police. The parents of 11 other children were prepared to give evidence about the vicar’s sexual assaults at a Humberside Sunday school.
As a result of this pressure the vicar resigned from his post. It was revealed that the Archbishop of York, Dr John Habgood, had known about the vicar’s behaviour and had asked him to resign in 1985, but the vicar had refused.
The vicar was facing 28 charges of indecent assault against boys and girls aged 10 to 14, and was on remand at Hull Prison. In October 1986, a week before his trial was due to start, he was found dead in his cell.
His name was the Reverend Jan Knos, a Swede who had lived in South Africa for many years before moving to Hull. “To the depressed council estate parish he displayed a remarkably wealthy lifestyle. At one stage he owned two ocean-going yachts, a barge moored on a nearby beck, a caravan, a jeep, two cars, a video shop which included soft porn films amongst its stock, and an interest in a butchers business.”
Where did his money come from? Geoffrey Dickens had previously said “big sums of money were involved where evil people wanted sexual relations with children”. The ocean-going yachts is also another theme that keeps cropping up with network paedophiles, as is the vow of silence in the form of committing suicide before standing trial.
The Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, and the DPP, Sir Thomas Hetherington, spent a lot of time and energy protecting the vicar and doctor, just as they had protected Sir Peter Hayman and the Elm Guest House paedophiles. How many more Establishment figures were being protected?
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