Peter Mandelson pictured with Jeffrey Epstein: Labour ex-minister who’s friends with Prince Andrew shops with paedophile financier in 2005 after being introduced by Ghislane Maxwell
- EXCLUSIVE: Pictured Peter Mandelson, former British Cabinet minister holidays with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein on the luxury resort island of St Barts
- Photo was taken in 2005 as Mandelson took time off from his work as the European Union’s Trade Commissioner
- The shopping trip took place six months before Epstein was arrested in Florida and charged with a string of child sex offences
Two middle-aged holidaymakers walk into a fashion boutique in one of those exotic millionaire’s playgrounds where the sun always shines and endless palm trees sway in the afternoon breeze.
One is Jeffrey Epstein, a mysterious financier fond of very young girls, many of whom have for years been systematically exploited and sexually abused in his various luxury homes.
The other is Peter Mandelson, the former British Cabinet minister and long-term friend of Epstein’s closest chum Ghislaine Maxwell, who was staying on the luxury resort island of St Barts.
Peter Mandelson shopping with Jeffrey Epstein on December 27, 2005, in St. Barts
His journey through public life has already twice been interrupted by scandals involving stupendously wealthy men.
The year is 2005 and Mandelson is taking time off from his work as the European Union’s Trade Commissioner, for which taxpayers are paying him a salary in excess of £200,000 a year.
Epstein (unbeknownst to the world at this point) is under police investigation for numerous ghastly sex offences. Meanwhile, he is doing what he does best: pursuing a Gatsby-esque friendship with a famous and powerful man.
Cosy trip: Peter Mandelson tries on leather belt in a Caribbean boutique as paedophile Jeffrey Epstein looks on
Guests who have spent time on his nearby private island Little St James, a stunning, 72-acre patch of the U.S. Virgin Islands, have included a virtual Who’s Who of celebrities — from Bill Clinton to Naomi Campbell, Stephen Hawking and, perhaps most notoriously, our very own Prince Andrew. On various trips to Chateau Epstein, they’ve spent days or even weeks sunbathing on his private beaches, swimming in his pools or playing tennis on his personal court.
When things start to feel claustrophobic, Epstein’s guests enjoy still more of the high life, taking one of his yachts or helicopters for island-hopping jaunts where they dine in upscale restaurants, or indulge in a bit of retail therapy in a Caribbean tax haven’s smart if somewhat overpriced shopping mall.
All of which brings us back to Mandelson. He’s known the generous host in these pictures for several years, having previously once visited his Caribbean island for a holiday — when neither Epstein nor any of the girls were there — and, on another occasion, dined with various celebrities at his $77 million New York townhouse, filled with erotic art and lurid photographs of young women.
Both men share a love of flashy designer clobber. To this end, Mandelson, sporting a Patek Philippe watch worth £21,000 (almost two months of his post-tax income) can be seen in a Caribbean boutique trying on a swanky white leather belt.
It’s the perfect accessory to complete his nautical Man From Del Monte-style holiday ensemble, which includes a natty white bracelet, white linen shorts, and blue short-sleeved shirt. Epstein looks on with a sort of proprietorial glee. As well he might. For this man has devoted years to building cosy (and, as a financier, potentially very profitable) relationships with the world’s most powerful men.
…and on ‘paedo is land, Mandelson’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell (right) cuddles Epstein’s notorious fixer, Jean-Luc Brunel (left)
Mandelson and Epstein’s hitherto unknown shopping trip took place on December 27, 2005, six months before the now-notorious Epstein was arrested in Florida and charged with a string of child sex offences.
Details have emerged, and can now be reported, thanks to two of the extraordinary photographs that are featured on these pages.
They form part of a remarkable and never-before-seen cache that provide a visual record of daily life in the high-octane (and somewhat seedy) orbit of the morally-bankrupt billionaire, who killed himself in prison this month while facing prosecution on multiple counts of paedophilia and child sex trafficking.
Obtained by the Mail via a source with detailed knowledge of events on Little St James — now nicknamed ‘paedophile island’ and ‘orgy island’ — the photographs raise tricky questions for Mandelson as well as a number of Epstein’s closest associates.
There are multiple images of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who orchestrated the billionaire’s social life, introduced him to Prince Andrew and has been widely accused (in multiple lawsuits, and in court in New York this week) of recruiting teenage girls to Epstein’s child prostitution ring.
Sordid: Epstein used a quad bike to transport teenage girls. Jeffrey Epstein on holiday
Maxwell, the daughter of crooked newspaper tycoon Robert, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, features in several striking images, including one on these pages which shows her inside Epstein’s main residence on Little St James. It was taken shortly after Christmas 2006.
That date is significant. It was just six months after Epstein had been charged with abusing a large number of teenage girls. He was in the process of assembling a superstar legal team which pulled strings to prevent him serving a substantial prison sentence.
Yet he seems to have barely a care in the world. Indeed, with extraordinary chutzpah, he and Maxwell can be seen larking around with several alleged ‘sex slaves’ who had been flown to the island for the New Year holidays.
Most of the girls, whose pictures cannot be printed (as victims, they must not be identified), appear to be in their late teens. Equally damning for Maxwell is the fact that she can be seen embracing Jean-Luc Brunel, a French model agency boss accused (again in multiple lawsuits, and in a New York court this week) of helping traffic teenage girls.
Brunel, now 72, was alleged in recently unsealed court documents to have used his fashion business to provide the billionaire with a steady supply of impressionable young women who were then sexually assaulted. In return, Epstein is said to have invested in his businesses. Now under investigation, he has also denied wrongdoing.
Then European External Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York
‘As you can see from the photos, Jean-Luc and Ghislaine were best of friends and worked very closely together with the girls they brought to Jeffrey,’ says the aforementioned source. Any time they were on the island, they managed groups of girls, told them what to do, how to do it, how to please Jeffrey, and instructed them how to behave in front of his guests.’
To this end — while it must again be stressed that Maxwell and Brunel have always denied criminality — they have been accused of committing hair-raising misdemeanours in a series of lawsuits and witness statements filed in the U.S. in recent months.
Most notably, Brunel (who was further accused of sexual assault by three women interviewed by The Guardian last month) appears in recently unsealed court documents, which claim he once flew three 12-year-old girls from France to the U.S. to provide erotic massages for Epstein, by way of a sordid birthday present.
A fourth photo from the cache obtained by the Mail shows Epstein, then in his 50s, touring his island on a quad bike. He regularly used the machine to transport topless teenagers to and from the beach, and to visit an outdoor temple he built near a corner of the island where he’s believed to have committed several sex crimes.
Other images provide further insights into life on Little St James, revealing, for example, that Perspex boxes filled with condoms were kept in guest bedrooms.
‘You hear so many people who were there, or who knew and spent time with Epstein, now saying, “Oh, we never suspected anything bad was happening,” or “We never thought the girls were being exploited,”’ adds the source.
‘The pictures show just how absurd those claims are. Epstein, a man in his 50s, was surrounding himself with teenagers.
The European External Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson (back) welcomes Prince Andrew, Duke of York prior to their bilateral meeting 07 June 2007 at the EU Commission’s Headquarters in Brussels
‘If you were sitting there, having a glass of champagne at sundown, or eating crab cakes at lunch, and you saw the young girls being made to parade around and asked to give people massages, you’d have to have been blind to think something wasn’t wrong.
‘There’s no way a right-thinking person could have spent time with Epstein on Little St James and thought some of the things going on were remotely OK.’
This island was a place where some of the world’s most famous and powerful men and women have seen fit to accept freebie holidays.
Cathy Alexander, who worked as a housekeeper there, told the Mail On Sunday in a 2011 interview that Andrew turned up on one visit in the early 2000s with a tall, busty, blonde woman who shared his room. Alexander recalled that the prince’s consort ‘was a brain surgeon’.
She further told reporters that Mandelson’s visit saw his partner, Reinaldo, suffer serious sunburn. All of which begs a few questions about character. Among them: what on Earth possessed Mandelson and the duke (high-profile public figures on the payroll of the taxpayer,) to accept hospitality from a mysterious foreign billionaire whose wealth was of unknown provenance? What did they think Epstein was gaining from the transaction?
Epstein, pictured in a prison mugshot in 2017
The duke has never properly explained, choosing instead to issue a series of self-serving PR statements about his friendship with the convicted paedophile, which continued even after Epstein had emerged from prison.
Mandelson, who these days earns a crust in the well-renumerated world of lobbying, is similarly quiet: he declined to answer questions the Mail submitted regarding his dealings with the convicted paedophile.
Andrew and Mandelson happen to be long-standing friends, having become acquainted soon after New Labour took office in the late 1990s. Interestingly, it seems that in the years that followed, the duo often socialised with each other. They also have in common friendships with a number of foreign billionaires.
Mandelson and the prince’s chumminess first made headlines in 1999, when Mandelson was reported to be dining regularly at Sunninghill, the prince’s home. He then agreed to join Andrew’s ‘full stop’ NSPCC campaign against child abuse, showing up to a series of fundraisers which the duke attended.
In 2000, both Mandelson and Andrew were, in another overlapping social connection, said to be not just guests but also two of the witnesses at the wedding of merchant banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild to Lynn Forester. She is an American entrepreneur who was a long-standing friend of Epstein.
Importantly, the next year the prince was appointed British trade ambassador.
At the time, Mandelson was reported by The Guardian, the Mail and the French news agency AFP to have been a key figure in lobbying for the duke, who had recently left the Royal Navy, to get the job. (Friends of Mandelson now deny this was the case.)
By this stage, both were on Epstein’s radar, having seemingly been introduced to his decadent world via Maxwell. Andrew was busy inviting the dubious financier (and his female companions) to Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral.
Mandelson was meanwhile accepting Epstein’s hospitality at glamorous dinners in Manhattan.
A 2002 report in New York magazine stated that the ‘British Cabinet minister’ had attended an intimate dinner party at Epstein’s New York home alongside a motley collection of guests including Donald Trump, magician David Blaine and Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google. It added that food had been cooked by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, at a cost to Epstein of $50,000.
Strangely, Mandelson — then a serving MP — did not see fit to declare the expensive hospitality he received in the Commons register of interests — though he did register other events he attended during a 2002 visit to New York.
Mandelson did not comment when asked for an explanation about the matter this week. However, speaking more broadly, an acquaintance said that the Labour politician met Epstein on a total of ‘no more than five or six occasions’ in the years they were acquainted, adding that, ‘Peter only knows him because of a friendship with Ghislaine, who he met in the 1980s and has known ever since.
‘It was Ghislaine, not Epstein, who invited him to Little St James, when he stayed on the island with Reinaldo. Epstein wasn’t there during that stay, and neither were any girls or what have you.
‘So however bad it might now look, there was nothing about the visit that could have led him to believe anything untoward went on there.’
The photograph of the shopping trip also came about because of Ghislaine, the acquaintance added. ‘Peter was staying on St Barts that Christmas, and it’s pretty close to the U.S. Virgin Islands, so she thought it would be fun to fly Jeffrey out to see him in a helicopter for the day. Obviously the picture was taken, and in the current climate it looks bad, but it’s more poor choreography than anything sinister.’
Be that as it may, both Mandelson and Andrew feature heavily in the now-notorious ‘little black book’ of contacts that Epstein kept at his home around the time they were visiting his various homes.
Currently in the possession of the FBI, it contains ten numbers for the politician, including ones marked ‘home’, ‘country’ and ‘Peter’s direct line’, and no fewer than 16 for the Duke of York, including personal contact details at Sandringham and other royal residences.
Only a small portion of the individuals in that book are listed with more than one or two contact numbers.
Like Andrew, Mandelson also met Virginia Roberts, a victim of Epstein who was photographed with the duke and claims to have been paid to have sex with him on three occasions in the early 2000s (allegations Andrew disputes). ‘I never heard of Jeffrey knowing Tony Blair, but he did know Peter Mandelson,’ Roberts told an interviewer in 2011.
‘I remember him [Mandelson] being at the house in New York and I was introduced to him at a dinner party.
‘He and Jeffrey talked business. I assumed they were in business together. I was never asked to give him [Mandelson] a massage.’
Later in the 2000s, when Mandelson was European Trade Commissioner and Andrew his British counterpart, the duo became familiar with the turbo-charged world that Epstein and other ‘masters of the universe’ inhabited.
They were regularly photographed together at Davos and events such as the Russian Economic Forum, a London conference which in 2005 boasted Andrew as guest of honour and Mandelson as keynote speaker.
They also built somewhat murkier links to other rich men of — shall we say — colourful provenance.
Take, for example, the government of Kazakhstan. Both Mandelson and Andrew for some reason agreed in 2009 to attend the 30th birthday party of Goga Ashkenazi, socialite mistress of despotic president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Timur Kulibayev.
Kulibayev had famously purchased the aforementioned Sunninghill from Prince Andrew in 2007, paying £3 million over the £12 million asking price in a deal which has never been properly explained. In 2010, he added Mandelson to his payroll, paying him to speak at an event organised by Samruk-Kazyna, the central Asian country’s private wealth fund.
In another controversial connection with oil-rich foreigners, both Mandelson and the prince forged links with Saif Gaddafi, the hugely wealthy son of the late Libyan despot who was attempting to funnel vast amounts of cash into New Labour’s Britain.
It is, however, revelations regarding their relationships with Epstein which now have the potential to generate the ugliest headlines — not least since investigations by the Mail reveal both men encountered the disgraced financier after he served a jail sentence for child sex offences (albeit in very different circumstances.)
Andrew, famously, stayed at the convicted paedophile’s New York town house in 2010, where he hosted a dinner party and was photographed walking with Epstein in Central Park.
Mandelson ended up meeting the court-certified sex offender a year later.
‘Peter was invited to a meeting by Ghislaine in 2011,’ says a friend. ‘She is a very old friend, so he went along. But when he turned up, Epstein was there. It was a complete accident, and very unfortunate, but for obvious reasons he’s very concerned about how it might now look.’
Despite the incident, Mandelson in 2014 agreed to become one of the ‘founding citizens’ of TerraMar, a now-defunct ocean charity set up by Maxwell with Epstein’s financial support.
In an endorsement published on its website, he declared: ‘The oceans and the politics of water generally will be one of the defining issues of the 21st century…that’s why I am supporting the new TerraMar initiative.’
Sources close to the peer now say he did that ‘as a favour to Ghislaine, because they were old friends’.
They further deny that there was anything untoward in his decision to secretly accept hospitality from the financier in the years when he was on the public payroll running European trade.
‘He was trade commissioner, which is dealing with things like manufacturing, and nothing to do with the financial markets, which is where Epstein operated. There’s nothing legally wrong with what he did, and it’s a result of bad luck, rather than bad character.
‘And obviously he’s a gay man, so one saving grace is that no one can suspect him of having slept with any of Epstein’s girls.
‘The problem for Peter is that Epstein is so utterly toxic that everyone who had anything to do with him is being caught in the fall-out. This is now becoming a witch hunt.’
Similar claims have, in recent days, been made (with less justification) by supporters of Prince Andrew. So it’s interesting to note that, in 2015, Mandelson was present at a reception during the World Economic Forum in Davos when the duke used a speech to deny allegations that he’d slept with the aforementioned Roberts.
As the world’s media looked on, Andrew’s comments seeking to deny wrongdoing consisted of 46 words and lasted only 37 seconds.
Doubtless he hoped that the uncomfortable occasion would bring an end to undignified reporting of his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. But that isn’t how it played out.
As the ensuing four years have shown, this is an affair that gets more damaging with every new revelation about the life, times, and bizarre connections of the billionaire paedophile with friends in high places.
Daniel “shatterboys” Wolstencroft is one of the IICSA Core Participants. (Daniel claims to have been abused by his grandfather who was the WARBURTONS patriarch.)
Whilst in his role as a Core Participant, Daniel took photos of some of the private IICSA information he was privvy too & then…
SHARED THEM WI HIS MATES!!
The following screenshots I have had for months but I wasn’t willing to publish JUST IN CASE it effected the inquiry negatively. (nae hope i was willing to take any blame for that!)
But i’ve been told by a very reliable source… THE IICSA KNOWS.
Oh… & this is THE SAME DANIEL WOLSTENCROFTthat I called out nearly two years ago
& THE SAME DANIEL WOLSTENCROFT that Hoaxtead Research Cult of trolls & Jimmy “the outlaw” have & are protecting!!
Gee, I wonder why……………….
29th JULY 2019
31st JULY 2019
FROM THE HORSES MOUTH…
In the video he states he only shared the Rochdale confidential information the night before it was due to be released anyway. THAT IS A LIE.
On Twitter he confirms it was the Rochdale report.. ( he is Empower The Invisible Project)
As can be seen below, we received copies of the info he shared on March the 13th 2018. It clearly states on the bottom left (in bright red) it is a CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT.
But the Rochdale report didn’t get released until April 2018..
So there goes his bullshite excuses!!
I am very very sorry to say that Robert died at about midnight last night.
His daughter Catherine has told me that he was in a very good mental place having enjoyed her visit and those of other close friends and having discussed some matters that he was keen to see done.
We have lost a great man and we must remember his last request which is for all his friends and supporters to fight injustice wherever it is to be found.
I am sure Robert would like us all to remember the good times and I am also sure that nothing would please him more than for us to continue with the baton to stand up against child abuse and the cover-up of this terrible crime.
Kindest Regards Brian G
More to follow….. no other posts today
For Robert our brother
Revealed: Police launch probe into what Clement Freud knew about Maddie as we uncover new details about ex-MP’s disturbing relationship with the McCanns
- Another astonishing twist in case of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance
- Freud befriended the McCanns in Praia da Luz, in the western Algarve
- With laid-back security the area became a hive of paedophile activity
- Freud invited McCanns around for lunch two months after disappearance
Every last, tenuous lead had been followed to its conclusion, every unlikely theory had been explored. Witnesses were re-examined, morsels of evidence painstakingly re-evaluated. Yet still there was nothing.
So, by the end of this summer, the last rites in Operation Grange — the Metropolitan Police’s five-year, £12 million investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann — were expected to have been played out.
Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned that the end was approaching in a radio interview two months ago. The team of detectives working on the case had been cut from more than 30 to two or three, he said, and when they had followed one remaining line of inquiry, the plug would have to be pulled.
This week, however, there has been yet another astonishing twist — one that has given the dying inquiry fresh impetus
The late broadcaster, humorist, politician and chef Sir Clement Freud at a party given by the publishing executive Victor Lowndes
Police are investigating what Freud knew about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Last Wednesday, I can reveal, two detectives from Operation Grange were quietly dispatched to Somerset to pursue a new avenue of inquiry. They spent 90 minutes interviewing Vicky Haynes, the 64-year-old grandmother who, in a haunting Daily Mail interview last week, told how she had been sexually abused as a 14-year-old girl by the late broadcaster, humorist, politician and chef Sir Clement Freud.
For Mrs Haynes suspects that Freud — who owned a secluded villa in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, a few hundred yards from the Ocean Club holiday complex from which Madeleine vanished in May 2007 — harboured crucial information about her fate.
And she fears that when the celebrated former Liberal MP died, aged 84, in 2009, he may have taken this grisly secret to his grave. Indeed, her son, Mason, told me he first emailed the Operation Grange team, to alert them to this disturbing suspicion, some three years ago, after they learned that Freud not only kept a holiday home in Praia da Luz, but that he invited Gerry and Kate McCann to lunch there, just two months after Madeleine went missing.
Mason is one of the world’s most respected close-protection guards.
Yet he says the Grange team either ignored or forgot about his message, and ‘apologetically’ retrieved it only this week after his mother told her story to the Mail.
‘When I heard about the connection between Clement Freud and the McCanns, a light-bulb was switched on in my head,’ he told me. ‘It makes no sense for a man we now know to have been a predatory paedophile to have invited them into his life, at that time, unless he had some ulterior motive.
‘My theory is that if you live somewhere for 25 years [the length of time Freud owned his Algarve villa] as a paedophile, you become part of the paedophile ring that exists in that area. You share information and stories; that’s how it works.
‘I think the abduction was carried out by that ring, and Freud knew something about what happened to the child. Either he invited Madeleine’s parents to his house to get some sick turn-on out of their visit, or he was trying to get information about where the police had got to with the investigation.
‘It is well-known by psychologists that paedophiles like to go back to the scene of their crimes. Perhaps this was his way of doing it.
‘Freud was 83 at the time. I’m not suggesting he went to that flat and abducted Madeleine himself. But you never stop being a paedophile, no matter how old you are, and I think he knew something.’
With those words in mind, it is chilling to recall that Kate McCann once described a nightmare in which she dreamt Madeleine was buried on a hillside on the outskirts of Praia da Luz . . . close to Clement Freud’s villa.
Many years ago, before the rugged western tip of Portugal morphed into a package-holiday destination favoured by middle-class families such as the McCanns, it attracted a very different type of Briton.
With its donkey-paced ambience, rustic villas that were as ridiculously cheap as the delicious local wine and fish, and a relaxed moral code (described by one long-time expat as ‘anything goes, as long as nobody knows’), it was then a magnet for Bohemian celebrities and minor aristocrats.
Among those lured to this furthermost tip of the Continent was Freud, whose diverse talents — including being the hangdog face of the nation’s favourite pet-food commercial (juxtaposed with his lookalike bloodhound, Henry) — had made him a national treasure.
The father-of-five also wrote children’s books and became a fixture for a time on the much-loved after-school programme Jackanory.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Clement Freud was a friend of the paedophile entertainer Rolf Harris, too, having given the Australian his entrée into the London club scene when he managed a West End nightspot. And after being elected as the maverick Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely, in 1973, he shared a Commons office with another serial child abuser, Cyril Smith.
Freud had homes in St John’s Wood and Suffolk. In 1987, after losing his parliamentary seat and acquiring a knighthood, he also bought a white-washed villa on the promontory overlooking Praia da Luz bay.
Sir Clement Freud’s villa in Praia da Luz
This cliff was later one of the places where Kate and Gerry McCann went jogging to ease their angst as they waited for news of Madeleine.
Freud often chronicled his summer exploits in Praia da Luz in his weekly column for The Times; and given how he chose to befriend the McCanns, we might find these jottings quite pertinent. While he waxed lyrical about his herb garden and citrus groves, which provided ingredients for his favourite Mediterranean recipes, and we learnt that he played golf and boules, he wrote little about the company he kept.
In fact, the only people he mentioned were his Portuguese ‘Maria’ — the maid who came each day to wash, clean and iron — and his secateurs-wielding gardener, Alfredo.
Was this perhaps because Freud didn’t want anyone to know about the dark company he kept?
After all, as the Madeleine inquiry revealed, the western Algarve, with its bucket-and-spade resorts, wide-open verandas and patios, and laid-back security, had become a teeming hive of paedophile activity.
One investigator said he knew of 38 child sex abusers living in the area; and between 2005 and 2009, the children of seven holidaying families were reportedly subjected to sex attacks — five before three-year-old Madeleine was taken from Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club, and two afterwards.
The names of paedophiles and suspected paedophiles based in Praia da Luz or nearby towns when Freud was a regular visitor are too many to mention. They include serial sex offender Raymond Hewlett, a Briton who was living on the Algarve with his wife and six children in May 2007, and became a prime suspect shortly before dying of throat cancer, aged 64, four years ago.
Another Briton, Chris Ridout, worked as a DJ in his parents’ pub, the Plough and Harrow, 200 yards from the Ocean Club. He was forced to flee the resort shortly before Madeleine disappeared, after he was alleged to be bombarding a 12-year-old local girl with lewd texts and indecent images. He is now thought to be living in the United States.
Ridout doesn’t have any convictions and says he was unfairly hounded after death threats.
Freud is said to have drunk on occasion in the Ridouts’ pub, which locals dubbed ‘The Plough and Paedo’ (daubing its new name in huge letters on the wall). Could it be that the knight of the realm (Clement Freud) was secretly consorting with loathsome men such as Hewlett?
Of course, Mrs Haynes and the three other women who have come forward in recent days to describe being assaulted by Freud were far older than Madeleine when he forced himself on them, and paedophiles typically choose their victims from a narrow age bracket.
Yet, as one expert told me, they also tend to gravitate towards others who share their proclivities, regardless of the type of victims they prefer.
Freud retained the five-bedroom villa, Casa da Colina, with its shaded pool, sunken terrace and pastoral tiles, until 2002, when he sold it to the current owner, Andrew Wright.
However, Mr Wright, from Devon, who now rents the property for £2,470 a week in high season, continued to make it available to Freud until he died. Intriguingly, he revealed that he had been contacted by Operation Grange detectives ‘about two years ago’, when he confirmed ownership of the villa.
This could suggest the Met squad hadn’t completely ignored the email sent by Mason Haynes after all.
The case is also being reviewed by a fresh team of Portuguese police officers based in Porto, in the north of the country. Yesterday, a source in the unit said they would look into the possible involvement of Freud — who was not mentioned once in the original 11,000-page case file.
‘This person [Freud] was never under investigation during the case, not even under British formal request,’ said the source. ‘This new information will be considered in the review we are now undertaking.’
And so to Madeleine’s disappearance. What evidence is there to suggest Freud might have been involved, however tangentially?
Thus far, the Freud family’s only comment has come from his son Matthew, a high-powered PR. Between expletives, he told a Mail reporter his father had been in Britain on May 3, 2007, the night she was abducted from her bed as her parents ate a tapas supper with friends in a nearby restaurant.
His assertion appears to be supported by the fact that Freud’s horse-racing column for the Sun was published two days later, on May 5.
By early July he was once again installed in Praia da Luz. As Kate McCann recalls in her book, at the beginning of that month they received a cryptic letter at their lodgings near the Ocean Club.
‘Dear McCanns,’ it began. ‘I have a house in P da L, been ashamed of the intrusion into your lives by our media . . . and if you would care to come to lunch/dinner at any time before Wednesday next, do ring and let me know.’
Doubtless sure of his culinary renown, he signed off with a droll aside: ‘I cook decent meals.’ Ironically, however, Kate and Gerry could barely remember who he was, and had to be reminded. Even so, they were touched by Freud’s gesture of ‘kindness and friendship’ (it came at a time when the tide of public opinion was turning against them, and they were falling under the unwarranted suspicion of the Portuguese police) and duly accepted his invitation.
Yet this week, when I asked several key players in the McCann saga what they made of Freud’s decision to place himself at the centre of the circus surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance, they said they found it odd, to say the least.
For Freud was an obsessively private man who always kept himself apart from the English ex-pats in the resort, and he is not remembered for his neighbourly gestures.
Residents described him as ‘reclusive’ and ‘aloof’, but most could barely recall seeing him at all. Was this frigid man really so moved by the McCanns’ plight? Or, as Mason Haynes ponders, was his gesture motivated by sinister self-interest?
‘I’d like to know what he had to gain by the meeting,’ he said.
The McCanns attended the luncheon accompanied by Gerry’s sister, Trisha Cameron, and her husband Sandy, and their then PR adviser Justine McGuinness, a former Liberal-Democrat parliamentary candidate. Though McGuinness and Freud had a political affinity, I am assured that the pair had never previously met and she did not fix the meeting.
McCann watchers suggest, however, that some part might have been played by Clarence Mitchell, who briefly handled the couple’s PR before McGuinness and would become their mouthpiece after she quit the role.
This is because Mitchell entered into a consultancy contract with Matthew Freud’s company a few months later. From his office in Brighton this week, Mitchell insisted this was a coincidence.
As Kate describes colourfully in her book, the lunch was an odd affair. Freud’s opening gambit was to offer his guests shots of strawberry vodka, though it was only just midday. He then prepared them, as Kate recalled, a ‘bloody marvellous’ watercress salad followed by mushroom risotto — ‘the best we’ve ever tasted’ — and regaled them with his trademark wit.
It might easily be construed as an innocuous occasion — until we remember that Freud took pleasure in cooking an elaborate meal for at least one of his victims (for whom he prepared a gourmet omelette) before thrusting himself on her.
Shortly after the lunch, eaten alfresco on the terrace, Freud returned to Britain but remained in touch with the McCanns by email, as Kate recounts. The Operation Grange team will no doubt wish to examine these exchanges, which might with hindsight prove telling.
He returned to Portugal on August 31, whereupon — again weirdly, we might think — he phoned Gerry McCann. Freud cracked a lame joke which compared what he said was his ‘poor circulation’ to that of the ailing Daily Express.
A few days later, when Kate and Gerry were in turmoil after being made arguidos, or suspects, by the Portuguese police, Freud invited them to his home again; this time at 9.50pm. Greeting them in his nightshirt, he offered them brandy and made another dry quip.
‘So, Kate, which of the devout Catholic, alcoholic, depressed, nymphomaniac parts is correct?’ he inquired, referring to the plethora of newspaper stories speculating on her character and parlous state of mind.
When the couple told Freud how sniffer dogs were supposed to have detected signs that someone had died in their apartment, he replied laconically: ‘So what are they going to do? Put them on the stand? One bark for yes, two for no?’
To Kate, who could have no idea about the kind of man they were consorting with, this was just the tonic she needed: Freud’s ‘way of making everything seem a little less terrible’.
According to Clarence Mitchell, she and her husband were ‘shocked and appalled’ when they learnt the truth about him a few days ago. Yet, on the basis of all they know so far, he says they ‘can see no reason to believe’ he may have had knowledge of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Those who remember Freud not as an avuncular shoulder to lean on but as a callous predator hold a different opinion. Now it is for the depleted Operation Grange squad to determine whether the clue they desperately need lies buried in the vile past of a great English eccentric.
SHEREE DODD (PR Spokesperson)
First to arrive in Portugal was a former Mirror journalist and long-term government spokesperson called Sheree Dodd. In an unprecedented move, the Government took over news-handling on behalf of the McCanns. Sheree Dodd, a former Daily Mirror journalist and long-serving senior spokeswoman for the Government, was dispatched to Portugal. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that she was being deployed as “press officer responsible to act as media liaison officer for the McCann family”. Sheree Dodd was formerly Director of Communications at the Department for Trade and Industry where she had responsibility for media handling, stakeholder relations, marketing and e-communications. Prior to that post she led the news and media relations operations at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Northern Ireland Office. Before joining government communications she enjoyed an extensive career as a political and industrial correspondent on The Mirror newspaper. Sheree is Managing Director of which provides advice and delivers communication solutions to a wide range of public and private sector clients. But Dodd was swiftly replaced by the more senior and bombastic figure of Clarence Mitchell, who took a pro-active role, orchestrating a visit to meet the Pope and a tour which took in Spain, Germany and Morocco.
Andrea maria preston@Andreamariapre2
Kate McCann in her book “Madeleine”
“Thank god for people like Clement who kept us smiling”
Clement Freud Emails between ‘paedophile’ Clement Freud and Madeleine McCann’s parents to be probed for child sex abuse inquiry
20 Jun 2016
Kate wrote of the meeting: “He gave me one of his looks and a giant glass of brandy, and managed to get a smile out of me with his greeting: ‘So, Kate, which of the devout Catholic, alcoholic, depressed, nymphomaniac parts is correct?’
“Clement cheered us up with his lugubrious wit…”
Vicount Ian Kerr CGC@IanKerr
Go back to your constituencies, and prepare to deny everything about paedophilia in UK politics.
“Be careful what you say about Cyril Smith because nothing has been proved against him at all, it’s all been scurrilous hearsay and so far we are waiting for the final outcome of the inquiry” – former Liberal leader David Steel on the allegations against Cyril Smith
A man is known by the company he keeps.
It was just ‘tittle-tattle’ and the
#mccann are very nice people.
Jason Sinclair @jlsinc
David Steel, working in a small parliamentary party with Jeremy Thorpe, Clement Freud and Cyril Smith, must have been the most unobservant man in the world.
The views of current and former Police Officers and experts on the McCanns
David Steel hairdresser Stephen August is director of company that Colin Peters is also director off Mr August other clients are Michael Heseltine and Julian Fellowes
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo
You couldn’t make it up: ‘With Thorpe forced to stand down, Freud backed David Steel to succeed him; Steel improbably made him spokesman on Northern Ireland’. Time for a closer look at NI ministers, spokesmen and SPADs …
David Steel/NI/Clement Freud/Colin Wallace/Closed file
David Steel correspondence on Kincora, Wallace and sexual abuse – closed:
|Description||Correspondence and statements regarding disciplinary action taken against Colin Wallace in the 1970s for allegations he made regarding the Clockwork Orange project and sexual abuse at the Kincora boys home. Includes references to the BBC Two Programme ‘Private Eye’ and discussions in the House of Commons. Includes correspondence from
|Access Status||Closed; for further information on closed files see http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/accessingMaterials/readingRoomAccess/freedomOfInformation.aspx|
David Steel and paedophile PIE member – Peter Hayman
David Steel criticised whistle-blower Geoffrey Dickens MP for exposing Sir Peter Hayman -,,,
Does Anyone here have Gordon Brown phone number? no other parents seem to have it the
#McCanns do though cause they rang him the night Madeleine #McCann vanished in to thin air. he was Prime minister at the time.
Gordon Brown joins mourners at funeral of Clement Freud
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, joined U2 frontman Bono and comedian Stephen Fry and David Steel for the funeral of Sir Clement Freud, the writer, broadcaster and former Liberal MP .
Mr Brown paid tribute to his friend during the service at a church just off Fleet Street in central London.
“He was not only a national treasure but became within his own right a national institution,” he said.
He said that he had first met Sir Clement in 1974 when both were rectors of Scottish universities – Mr Brown at the University of Edinburgh and Sir Clement at Dundee University.
1968 In Aid of the Albany Trust – Clement Freud will speak during the evening on the Trust’s work…
- In 1978 Peter Righton and PIE Manifesto author Micky Burbidge team up to exert control over grassroots gay youth groups, establishing the umbrella Joint Council for Gay Teenagers (‘JCGT’)
- Righton & Burbidge take control of the London Gay Teenage Group (‘LGTG’) liaising with the Greater London Council and ILEA for official recognition and relocating the LGTG to Islington, Manor Gardens Community Centre
- In 1980 Chair Edward Heath and his Youth Affairs Lobby (‘YAL’) meet with Burbidge and the LGTG
- With the assistance of YAL Liaison member the British Youth Council (‘BYC’) and its Chair Peter Mandelson, Burbidge gets to take a group of gay teenagers to lobby a group of cross-party MPs directly with Clement Freud MP (Lib), Charles Irving MP (Con) attending with 4 Labour MPs
- By 1982 JCGT and PIE’s Micky Burbidge have been invited to meet with Islington Councillors Bob Crossman, Sandy Marks, Derek Hines and Keith Veness at a Gay Groups meeting – the access to Councillors lobbying groups had was later deplored by Council Chief Executive Leisha Fullick in her report Modernising Islington
- JCGT teamed up with the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) to form GYM (Gay Youth Movement) in time for GYM to campaign for the defendants of the second PIE trial during September-October 1983
Clement Freud (Lib: Isle of Ely) In June 2016 it was revealed that Freud’s name had been given to Operation Yewtree in 2012 and that at least three women had come forward to report rapes and sexual assaults by Freud against them as children during the 50s, 60s and 70s. As a heterosexual ebephile sexually interested in grooming and molesting females aged 10+ Freud was particularly susceptible to pressure had it been known he’d moved a young girl he was sexually abusing from the age of 10 into his house as an au pair to his children. Telegraph
Does she think Freud was part of a ring?
‘Of course,‘ she says.
‘He was great friends with Rolf Harris, shared an office with Cyril Smith and had a villa right there for 25 years – an area where a number of paedophiles were living and where Madeleine disappeared.
Praia da Luz – “Lots of important people are linked to Praia da Luz and its neighbourhood.
Spotlighted: Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine on the album cover with (l-r) Michael Parkinson, Kenny Lynch, James Coburn, Clement Freud, Christopher Lee and John Conteh
Paul McCartney & friends:
Hollywood ReporterVerified account @THR
Paul McCartney says he masturbated with John Lennon: “It was good harmless fun” http://thr.cm/w8erIN
Paul McCartney with paedophile Jimmy Savile
Paul McCartney & paedophile Wilfred Brambell
Elton John, Cliff Richard and Tom Jones have all been accused of abuse.
Praia da Luz – “Lots of important people are linked to Praia da Luz and its neighbourhood.
“Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Clement Freud, Robert Murat, Hunter Davies,Paul McCartney, Philip Edmonds…
at 72 hopefully we will not be burdened for much longer
Operation Hydrant: an Inquisition for the 21st century
Police trawling for child-abuse cases is an affront to justice.
Since the Jimmy Savile scandal exploded into public consciousness in October 2012, the number of celebrities suspected of child abuse has grown almost exponentially. This is not surprising given officialdom’s obsession with unmasking celebrity paedophiles. Indeed, a dedicated national police team was assembled last summer, under the name Operation Hydrant, to investigate the link between child sex abuse and ‘prominent public figures’. Last week, Operation Hydrant officers revealed that they are investigating 1,400 suspects, including 261 high-profile figures. And that is just the beginning. Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on child abuse, insisted that by the time Operation Hydrant gets into its stride, it will have ‘discovered’ hundreds of thousands of hitherto unknown victims of child sex abuse.
It seems that the number of reports of child sexual abuse is likely to continue increasing into the indefinite future. That’s because the Operation Hydrant style of policing – which relies on inviting the public to come forward and report child abusers – creates a constantly rising number of abuse allegations. As Bailey said, ‘what we are seeing is an absolutely unprecedented increase in the number of reports [being made]’. Moral crusaders linked to Operation Hydrant and the child-protection industry insist that the sheer scale of the accusations made against public figures and others shows that child abuse is becoming a pandemic. ‘The scale and scope of sexual abuse of children committed in the past can often seem overwhelming’, noted Gabrielle Shaw, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood.
It seems, then, that there is an expectation that more and more people will be investigated as potential child-abuse suspects. And little wonder. The imperative of an investigation like Operation Hydrant is actively to search for allegations. The traditional role of the police – to solve crimes brought to the police’s attention – has been transformed. This new inquisitorial form of policing is oriented towards the discovery of crimes not yet reported. So by regularly calling for people to come forth as victims of abuse, the police are indulging in a form of crime construction. Moreover, they have sought to inflate the number of victims by using the attention generated by the naming of particular celebrity suspects to appeal for more of their victims to come forward. Such publicity, therefore, encourages more and more denunciations of the suspect.
In the case of inquisitorial policing, the solving of a crime is a relatively minor issue. Inquisitorial policing is all about getting evidence against the targets of an accusation. And what is important is not the quality, but the quantity of evidence – the greater the number of denunciations of a suspect, the greater the likelihood of a successful conviction. Increasing the number of denunciations, therefore, is integral to inquisitorial policing because corroborative statements provide the evidence used to charge and convict the accused.
The dramatic reorientation of policing, from solving reported crimes to searching for ones that have not been reported, is rarely noted. Yet large trawling operations, such as Operation Hydrant, are an exercise in crime construction. It is likely, of course, that such operations may from time to time uncover genuine cases of horrific criminal behaviour. But they will do so at a very high cost to the system of justice.
Trawling for victims and searching for retrospective allegations represent a disturbing development in criminal justice. Instead of solving crime, trawling attempts to uncover a crime’s existence in order to reinforce and strengthen evidence against a particular target. A trawling operation is not a response to an allegation of abuse voluntarily made by an individual. It is an invitation to people to reinterpret their experience of the past as an experience of victimisation. And it is an invitation that is likely to encourage many to interpret past events through the prism of abuse.
‘I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up’: Gary Speed’s widow reveals new letter showing the Wales manager battled depression from age of 17 until he took his own life
- Louise Speed, 48, found letter he sent her when they were dating as teenagers
- Aged 17, the welshman said he was depressed and implied had suicidal thoughts
- Finding the letter was ‘a lightbulb moment’ for Louise in realising Gary’s struggle
Gary Speed’s widow has found a letter suggesting the troubled football icon struggled with mental health problems since he was a teenager.
Louise Speed, 48, said ‘nobody had seen it coming’ when she found the father-of-two hanged in their Cheshire garage in 2011.
Now, she has revealed she stumbled on a handwritten note he sent her when he was 17 playing for Leeds United where he speaks of ‘wanting to never wake up’.
Gary Speed with wife Louise at a 2011 event in Manchester
Gary Speed playing for Leeds United. He played for their youth team from 1984-1998 before graduating to their first team, where he played until 1996
In the letter, the Welshman wrote: ‘I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up. I love you so much.’
Gary, aged 18, in a Leeds United team picture
Gary had written the letter to Louise when the pair were dating as teenagers after meeting at Hawarden High School in north Wales.
She has no recollection of receiving the letter, but said it that confirms the ex-Welsh manager was battling with depression from a young age.
She said: ‘Seeing that was a lightbulb moment for me. It answers an awful lot about why he did what he did. It’s not something a normal 17-year-old would write, is it? Or not a well one. It seems to say it all really, when you consider how he ended his life.
‘If he had a mental illness then he probably had it from an early age.
‘Maybe Gary’s problems were a time-bomb waiting to explode.’
Recalling the hours before Gary took his own life, Louise said it had been a ‘normal day’.
The couple’s sons, Ed, 14, and Tom, 13, had played football.
Gary, then-42, had recorded an episode of BBC’s Football Focus and was in ‘high spirits’ and went to a party at a friend’s house.
She adds: ‘There’s never a day goes by that the memory of it doesn’t take my breath away. That scene was like a horror film. I wish there was an operation which could take your memory out and obliterate it from my mind.
Gary’s letter to Louise
I don’t really know what to say. I have been thinking about finishing at Leeds, I’ve also been thinking of other things which I won’t say. I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up. I love you so much, I will always love you. I don’t know what else to say except you might see me sooner than you think, or otherwise. You never leave my mind, nothing else seems to matter anymore, I love you more than you can imagine.
‘It’s something I will find hard to forgive Gary for. We were the ones who had to pick up the pieces and what he’d done was grotesque.
‘Everyone asks why he did it but I have no answers. That’s why I’ll never have any closure.
‘The letter has made me realise dark thoughts were there from a young age.
‘Very dark thoughts which he wasn’t able to talk about. Maybe something had happened early on which he had kept to himself.’
His widow found the note while helping Gary’s journalist friend John Richardson write new book Gary Speed Unspoken: The Family’s Untold Story, which is on sale from Thursday.
Gary Speed with his wife Loiuise shortly before his death in 2011
Pictured: A 14-year-old Gary Speed as a junior footballer in Manchester
Gary Speed, making his debut for Sheffield United in Wolverhampton in 2001
Gary Speed said he was ‘depressed’ and ‘never wanted to wake up’, in a letter he wrote aged 17
The former Wales manager was one of four men who went on to take their own lives after being coached by convicted paedophile Barry Bennell.
Although Gary was questioned by police and made no allegations against Bennell, Louise told the Mirror he ‘may have been masking things’ and ‘was obviously struggling from 17’.
In a documentary aired in February, another of Bennell’s victims said he is ‘99.9 per cent certain’ the ex-Everton star suffered the same abuse as he did.
A fan holds up a ‘There’s only one Gary Speed’ shirt in tribute to the late footballer
He played for Crewe’s youth team at the same time Bennell was in charge, but told police he hadn’t suffered any abuse.
Speaking of the late midfielder, Louise said: ‘There was so much love out there for him and that’s why the impact it has left is almost indescribable. It rips apart a large part of you which you can never replace because what happened was unnatural.
‘Sometimes when I see homeless guys on the street I think, “What is it that keeps them going?” They have nothing. Gary had everything.
How much can cost a coverup of child sexual abuse and who pays the bill? Robert Green, a victim of the satanists himself was imprisoned twice but isn’t afraid to give his view.
Big Brother is Watching You… and now it gets really scary
I HAVE just read the most disturbing news item I have come across in a long time.
I am beyond shocked… I am frightened for my children and my grandchildren
I cough and allow my mind to drift to a peaceful place sitting in the summer sunshine on the north side of the Isle of Jura watching the sea wash white horses on the rocks below me.
Less than 300 yards to the south of where I am sitting is the isolated cottage known as Barnhill… this was the rented home of writer George Orwell, who lived there intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1950. Orwell completed his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four while living there.
It was a place I visited often during my two years living and working as a newspaper editor in the wilds of Argyll, in western Scotland, some 28 years ago.
Barnhill always held a fascination for me, because Nineteen Eighty-Four had remained my favourite novel since I was first mesmerised by Orwell’s vision of a future dystopian world as a raw 14-year-old. And I loved to imagine the views he must have taken in while writing that classic of English literature.
First published in 1948, yet set 36 years later, Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party.
Winston works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and distorting history, under the dictator Big Brother.
But Winston is determined to remain human under inhuman circumstances and begins a diary. Yet telescreens are placed everywhere — in his home, in his cubicle at work, in the cafeteria where he eats, even in the bathroom stalls. His every move is watched. No place is safe.
One day, while at the mandatory Two Minutes Hate, Winston catches the eye of an Inner Party Member, O’Brien, whom he believes to be an ally. He also catches the eye of a dark-haired girl named Julia from the Fiction Department.
A few days later Julia secretly hands him a note that reads: “I love you.” Winston takes pains to meet her, and when they finally do, Julia draws up a plan whereby they can be alone.
Once alone in the countryside, Winston and Julia make love and begin their allegiance against the Party and Big Brother. They fall in love, and, while they know that they will someday be caught, they believe that the love and loyalty they feel for each other can never be taken from them.
Eventually, Winston and Julia confess to O’Brien, whom they believe to be a member of the Brotherhood (an underground organization aimed at bringing down the Party), their hatred of the Party.
O’Brien welcomes them into the Brotherhood with an array of questions and arranges for Winston to be given a copy of “the book,” the underground’s treasonous volume written by their leader, Emmanuel Goldstein.
Winston gets the book and takes it to the secure room where he reads it with Julia napping by his side. The two are disturbed by a noise behind a painting in the room and discover a telescreen. They are quickly dragged away and separated.
Winston finds himself deep inside the Ministry of Love, a prison with no windows, where he sits for days alone. Finally, O’Brien comes. Initially Winston believes that O’Brien has also been caught, but he soon realizes that O’Brien is there to torture him and break his spirit.
O’Brien spends the next few months torturing Winston in order to change his way of thinking — to employ the concept of doublethink, or the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas in one’s mind and believe in them both.
Finally, O’Brien takes Winston to Room 101, the most dreaded room of all in the Ministry of Love, the place where prisoners meet their greatest fear. Winston’s greatest fear is rats. O’Brien places over Winston’s head a mask made of wire mesh and threatens to open the door to release rats on Winston’s face.
When Winston screams, “Do it to Julia!” he relinquishes his last vestige of humanity.
Winston is a changed man. He sits in the Chestnut Tree Café, watching the telescreens and agonizing over the results of daily battles on the front lines. He has seen Julia again. She, too, is changed, seeming older and less attractive. She admits that she also betrayed him. In the end, there is no doubt, Winston loves Big Brother.
Today, the year 1984 has long passed, but Orwell’s futuristic vision of hell on Earth remains.
Big Brother is now everywhere
Mainstream newspapers and TV channels feed us daily propaganda – the “facts” the Establishment wish us to believe
CCTV cameras are on every street corner and inside every store – yet we never know who is monitoring them
Number Plate Recognition cameras are installed at almost every filling station and car park
Sat Nav satellites pick-up every move of our car, van or truck
Cookies and spyware follow every finger click we make on our PC or tablet
Police DNA and fingerprint databases have more than 30% of adults logged on their files
MSN, Messenger text messages and private phone calls are harvested by government snoopers at GCHQ
Our employment, financial and residential history is catalogued in the finest detail by so-called credit reference agencies such as Equifax and Experian
Our lives are no longer secret… Big Brother knows all of us.
Which brings me back to beginning…
I stare again at the news item and in something which can only be described as Nineteen Eighty-Four meets Black Mirror the headline reads: Implanting Microchips for Convenience.
The article explains how plans are already being rolled out to implant a tiny microchip in people’s hand which could eventually replace the need for credit cards, car keys and much more.
And this dystopian world is almost upon us right now.
Micro-chipping is almost routine at the Swedish start-up hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and start-up members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.
The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter.
As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it.
“It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys,” he explains.
The technology in itself is not new.
Such chips are used as virtual collar plates for pets. Companies use them to track deliveries. It’s just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before.
Epicenter and a handful of other companies are the first to make chip implants broadly available.
While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.
“Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first,” said Mr Mesterton, remembering how he initially had had doubts.
“But then on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart,” he said. “That’s a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices.”
Epicenter, which is home to more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers, began implanting workers in January 2015. Now, about 150 workers have them.
A company based in Belgium also offers its employees such implants.
And last year a company in Wisconsin has become the first in the USA to roll out microchip implants for all its employees.
The initiative, which is optional for employees at snack stall supplier Three Square Market (32M), implants radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips in staff members’ hands in between their thumb and forefinger.
Once tagged with the implant 32M says its employees will be able to perform a range of common office tasks with an effortless wave of their hand.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals,” says 32M CEO, Todd Westby.
The chips make use of near-field communication (NFC), and are similar to ones already in use in things like contactless credit cards, mobile payment systems, and animal tag implants.
“It will happen to everybody,” says Noelle Chesley, 49, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“But not this year, maybe not my generation, but certainly that of my kids.”
But Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, thinks embedded chips in human bodies is 50 years away.
“The idea of being chipped has too “much negative connotation today,” he says, but by 2067 “we will have been desensitized by the social stigma.”
So the next time your child has to stand in-line for an eye recognition device to pay for their school dinner, or the next time you use your finger print to log into your iPhone, remember the Isle of Jura and George Orwell’s words of warning.
Big Brother is watching you.
The dark web, a section of the internet that can only be accessed via a Tor browser, is designed to protect users’ tracks online and obscure digital footprints.Jeroen Jumelet / EPA-EFE
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors have filed multiple charges against a 23-year-old South Korean man accused of running what they call the world’s “largest dark web child porn marketplace.”
The now-shuttered English-language site, called “Welcome to Video,” contained more than 200,000 unique videos or almost 8 terabytes of data showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants, according to the 18-page criminal indictment unsealed here Wednesday, and processed 7,300 Bitcoin transactions worth more than $730,000.
According to prosecutors, the vast online store was run by Jong Woo Son, a South Korean citizen currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in his home country after his conviction on charges related to child pornography. The site operated from June 2015 until it was seized and shut down by U.S. authorities in March 2018.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, U.S. officials said 337 suspected users of the site had been arrested worldwide to date.
“You may try to hide behind technology,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu said, ” but we will find you and arrest you and prosecute you.
Almost half of the videos seized were not previously known to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Downing said. “There are many children depicted in these videos that have not been identified.”
“The scale of this crime is eye-popping and sickening,” John D. Fort, chief of IRS criminal investigations, said.
The site allegedly rewarded its members with “points” in relation to the amount of illegal material they uploaded, authorities announced Wednesday.
One user of the site, a former federal U.S. law enforcement agent, even downloaded more than 50 hours worth of videos.
Son was indicted on federal child porn charges in August 2018, which remained sealed until Wednesday.
In addition to Son, more than 300 other suspects have been arrested in South Korea as of Wednesday, while still more suspects were identified in other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, including a Washington, D.C., man who was caught with the equivalent of 50 years worth of video footage he had downloaded.
The website ran solely on the dark web, a section of the internet that can only be accessed via a Tor browser, which is designed to protect users’ tracks online and obscure digital footprints. Users could purchase videos using cryptocurrency and an annual membership was priced at 0.03 bitcoins (at current exchange rates, around $300).
Members earned points by uploading new and popular videos to the site or by inviting new members. The site sought only child sexual abuse imagery, according to prosecutors — its landing page stated in red bold type: “Do not upload adult porn.” Prosecutors have also filed a related civil forfeiture case, seeking to seize Bitcoin assets held across 24 different accounts.
A notable moment in the investigation came in September 2017 when an Internal Revenue Service agent who was assisting with the probe noticed that the site’s administrator had misconfigured his site, which revealed his South Korean IP address, and then ultimately revealed the identity of its owner. During the criminal probe, authorities conducted controlled buys of child porn videos from the site and eventually worked closely with the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. on the investigation.
Ultimately, the site was seized in March 2018, when Son was arrested by South Korean authorities. The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) announced the arrest of a “Mr. A” from Danjin, roughly two hours southwest of Seoul, on May 2, 2018. They later confirmed to NBC News that this was Jong Woo Son.
Liu said Wednesday she could not comment on “what may be happening with respect to extradition.”
Five U.S. defendants identified
NBC News has been able to identify five defendants in the U.S. who have faced criminal charges related to the site.
One user, Nicholas Stengel, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to child porn charges late last year and was sentenced to 15 years in prison: prosecutors said that he alone downloaded more than 50 years worth of abuse videos.
In April 2019, Mark Rohrer, a man from West Hartford, Connecticut, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty in September 2018 to similar charges.
Other defendants include Richard Gratkowski, a former Homeland Security Investigations agent, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 70 months in prison back in May 2019. According to the FBI, Gratkowski used Coinbase, a well-known online wallet company, with his own government passport as identification.
Also in May 2019, across the country in Rhode Island, an Army veteran named Stephen P. Langlois was sentenced to 42 months in prison for downloading 114 videos from the site.
A Texas defendant, Michael Ezeagbor, pleaded guilty earlier this year to downloading 42 videos and uploading 10 videos. His sentencing is scheduled for Friday. The government has asked for at least seven years and 10 years of supervised release.
When they announced the arrest of “Mr. A” in 2018, the South Korean police also said they had arrested a total of 156 South Koreans for either uploading or downloading child porn materials, which was unusual given that the site operated entirely in English.
“Most of the users were in their 20s, unmarried and white-collar office workers and first-time offenders, although some were ex-convicts of sexual crimes, including juvenile sex offenders. One possessed as many as 48,634 child porn [files],” the KNPA said.
Paul Henkins, head of the Americas region for the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, said at the Wednesday press conference that 18 investigations of alleged site users had yielded seven convictions, with one defendant sentenced to 22 years.
The case, Henkins said, demonstrates the “increase in the scale, severity and complexity of child sexual abuse offending.”
Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles. Stella Kim contributed reporting from Seoul.
‘Whistleblowing’ judge wins landmark appeal at Supreme Court
A judge, who says she was bullied and had a breakdown after speaking out about government cuts, has won a landmark appeal at the Supreme Court.
The court ruled Warrington District Judge Claire Gilham could be classified as a “worker” and was therefore entitled to whistleblowing protection.
This means she can now have her case heard at an employment tribunal.
Five Supreme Court justices ruled unanimously in her favour, in contrary to a Court of Appeal ruling from 2017.
Speaking after the ruling, Judge Gilham said: “Winning is a great relief after these seven long years.
“Ethically I always knew that my point was right: that judges should have human rights protections.
“You can’t have justice without independent and unafraid judges, and if judges can’t speak out to protect the court system, then justice suffers and the people caught up in the system suffer too.”
She had raised several matters with her senior court staff. They included a lack of secure court rooms, a severely increased workload and administrative failures following major cuts to the Ministry of Justice budget from 2010.
The judge, who sat at Warrington County Court in Cheshire, claimed that as a result of her complaints, she was seriously bullied, ignored and undermined.
She was informed that her workload and concerns were simply a “personal working style choice” and inadequate steps were taken to support her return to work, she said.
She also said her health severely deteriorated leading to mental health problems and she was signed off work due to stress from the end of January 2013 but has recently returned.
By Clive Colman, BBC legal correspondent
By tradition and because of their non-political constitutional role none but the most senior judges have sought to publicly voice their concerns about shortcomings in the justice system.
And over the years some junior judges have let me know, off the record, that doing so internally may not be the best way to climb the judicial ladder.
But the public may see it as odd that the judges have not, until now, been afforded protection from suffering a disadvantage if they blew the whistle on genuine concerns about the workings of the courts – when those concerns are raised in the public interest.
With deep cuts to legal aid, police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice budgets in recent years, frustration among the judiciary about a system under intense strain has undoubtedly increased.
While we should not expect a torrent of judges blowing the whistle on shortcomings in the system, many will feel more confident in doing so with the protection of this ruling.
In 2015, she made a claim in an employment tribunal, which depended on her being a “worker” under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
But the tribunal determined that she was not a worker under the act for the purposes of whistleblowing protection.
In Wednesday’s judgment, President of the Supreme Court Lady Hale said: “I can reach no other conclusion than that the Employment Rights Act should be read and given effect so as to extend its whistleblowing protection to the holders of judicial office.”
The court ruled that bullying, victimisation and failure to take complaints seriously would be an interference with a judge’s right to freedom of speech under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act.
Emilie Cole from law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented Judge Gilham in the case, said the ruling also has “far reaching consequences” for people in non-contractual positions such as trustees or company board members, adding: “This is a massive step forward in equality law and will have wide implications for the greater good.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the government accepted the court’s judgment and was considering how to implement it.
A Dudley woman found with nearly 2,000 indecent images, many of children, has been found guilty following a trial.
Jasmine Rowbottom, aged 24, was arrested after officers from the Online Child Exploitation Team executed a warrant at her home on 6 June 2016.
A painstaking investigation followed and over 50 pieces of computer equipment examined.
She denied the offences and claimed the images must have been caused by a virus on her computer or via a USB stick given to her years before.
Specialist forensic examiners were able to prove this was not the case and Rowbottom was found guilty following a trial last month of making indecent images and movies of children and possession of extreme pornography.
On Monday (7 October) she was given 21 month prison sentence suspended for two years.
She was also given a two-year supervision order, was placed on the sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and the sex offenders register for 10 years.
‘s party email account rather than her gov. account; and that party account is overseen by
who isn’t in gov., but potentially able to access those emails. Hmm.. security breach?
One of the founding purposes of our Parliament, established 751 years ago, was for the redress of grievances.* Let me say from the outset that where people, particularly the young and the vulnerable, have been abused by others, however high you are you are not above the law, an assertion of the late Lord Denning which is not in dispute.*
Justice for Hollie Greig
Remembering Mr. George Robert Green RIP