The Malta Independent 23 May 2024, Thursday
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Evidence of ‘organised abuse’ and ‘trade’ of young boys in Gozo resurfaces

Malta Independent Sunday, 17 August 2014, 11:21 Last update: about 11 years ago

Evidence of what was branded by a British social services department as “the organised abuse of young boys” and the “trade” of young victims in Malta and Gozo has resurfaced after more than two decades following a whistleblower’s recent allegations into an ‘elite paedophile ring’ that is alleged to have included over 20 prominent members of the British parliament, the judiciary and even religious figures.

The evidence of the organised abuse of and the trade in young boys in Gozo and possibly Malta as well, deeds that were most likely perpetrated between the 1970s and the early 1990s, resurfaced recently in the form of a leaked 1993 ‘strictly confidential’ report drawn up by the Hereford and Worcester Social Services Department – a report that had been mysteriously buried at the time presumably by unknown people in positions of authority in the UK.

Back in 1992, a certain Peter Righton had been charged with and was later found guilty of the possession of what was described as “obscene literature” pertaining to children and young boys under the age of 16. The ‘literature’, in fact, consisted of photographs of nude young boys.

During the investigation, the police and Customs department carried out a raid on Righton’s home, where they confiscated a “very substantial amount of material” including letters, diaries, photographs, magazines and videos”.

According to the report, “Righton was a great hoarder of letters and documents and there are several boxes of letters which spell out in chronological detail how Righton and a number of associates have kept in contact for many years and how they clearly show an interest in the abuse of boys.”

Among the correspondence uncovered during the investigation is damning evidence of organised paedophilia in Gozo and possibly in Malta as well.


Written evidence of abuse and trade of young boys in Malta

According to the leaked 1993 ‘strictly confidential’ report: “There is also written evidence amongst Righton’s belongings of links with P.I.E.s in Sweden and Norway, as well as the organised abuse of young boys in Gozo, Malta, and both Righton and … (name redacted) feature as being involved in the ‘trade’ of young victims in the latter country.”

‘P.I.E.s’ refer to members of the Paedophile Information Exchange, which had campaigned to legalise sex with children as young as four years of age.  Righton was known as P.I.E. member 51.

The redacted name is believed to be that of Righton’s former partner, who can only be named as Richard for legal reasons. 

A BBC Inside Story documentary, The Secret Life of a Paedophile, features the sordid story of Righton’s multiple crimes against childhood. In the documentary, the link to which is provided below, it is documented how: “Together they spent regular holidays in the Mediterranean, where they sought the company of local boys.”

At the time the social services report was penned, the written evidence of abuse in Gozo and Malta must have struck a chord with the Hereford and Worcester Social Services Department, which gave the Malta abuse pride of place as the first mention of tangible abuse to have emerged from the vast collection of correspondence.

That evidence of the abuse carried out in Gozo and Malta are reported as being stored at the West Mercia Police to this day and as such, the Maltese police should have good reason to request access to them. There are seven boxes of potential evidence of a powerful paedophile network, including letters between Righton and other paedophiles that were confiscated from Righton’s home at the time.


The cover-up and the new impetus

Whistleblower Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager with the Hereford and Worcester Social Services Department and was the one who had written the 1993 ‘strictly confidential’ report, triggered a police investigation in 2012 when he revealed there were seven boxes of potential evidence of a powerful paedophile network, including letters between Righton and other paedophiles, being stored by the West Mercia Police.

And Righton was no run of the mill child sex offender. He had been a very senior and respected figure in the field of residential child care, and a former consultant to the charity the National Children’s Bureau, whose patrons included the then Health Minister Virginia Bottomley.

After Righton’s home was raided in 1992, then British Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley was reported to have been “shocked” and demanded a full report. That, however, was last time Bottomley spoke about the matter and no report was ever published.

Mr McKelvie made his concerns known to Labour MP Tom Watson, who then raised the matter in Parliament in 2012.

According to Mr McKelvie, who has spent many years trying to see the truth uncovered: “We still don’t know who gave the order to shut down the original police investigation. In my opinion that person is just as guilty as Peter Righton and his network of child abusers. The decision to shut it down is likely to have been taken by Michael Howard and/or Virginia Bottomley. Howard was Home Secretary at the time, with overall responsibility for policing, and Bottomley was Health Secretary, with overall responsibility for children’s homes and social work.”

Mr McKelvie was in fact the source for Mr Watson’s parliamentary question and he was also involved in a BBC Inside Story documentary which exposed Righton 20 years ago.

Mr McKelvie said recently, “At the time of his arrest in 1992 for possession of indecent images of children, Peter Righton was about to undertake work for the Department of Health as an expert in child care.

“He had long been at the very top of the social work profession and his positions included consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, Director of Education at the National Institute of Social Work and a lecturer on social work practice at the Open University.

“A BBC (Inside Story) documentary The Secret Life of a Paedophile aired in 1994 laid bare the truth about Righton, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a dangerous and well connected predatory paedophile who in his lifetime sexually abused boys in the UK, Sweden, Malta, Denmark and Holland.”


20 establishment well known people ‘in elite paedophile ring’

Renewed calls for investigations came once again last month after Mr McKelvie alleged that there are up to 20 prominent British public figures in an alleged paedophile ring.

Judges, peers and MPs are among 20 prominent public figures who abused children for decades, a former child protection manager has said.

He told the British press last month that there is evidence linking the former politicians to an alleged paedophile network, and Lord Warner, the former health minister, said the allegations were credible.

The former child protection manager in Hereford and Worcestershire said: “I believe there is a lot of strong evidence, and information that can be converted into evidence if it is investigated properly, that there has been an extremely powerful elite, among the highest levels of the political classes, for as long as I have been alive.

“There has been sufficient reason to investigate it over and over again certainly for the past 30 years, and there has always been a block, and the cover-up and collusion, to prevent that happening.

“We are looking at the Lords, the Commons, the judiciary – all institutions where there will be a small percentage of paedophiles, and a slightly larger percentage of people who have known about it but have felt in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons, it has been safer to cover it up rather than deal with it,” he told the BBC.

“I would say we are looking at upwards of 20 and a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it,” he said.

“Righton died without facing a criminal trial for the abuse of dozens of boys, whose abuse he recorded in sickening detail in his diaries, entitled ‘Some Boys’.

”Today, many questions remain over how Righton managed to escape justice during his lifetime. The same questions are being asked about Savile, Sir Cyril Smith and Sir Peter Morrison, which is why survivors and campaigners are seeking an urgent independent inquiry into organised networks of abuse by powerful individuals of the most vulnerable children in our society. “

The extent of Righton’s child abuse allegedly involved rapes, beatings and young boys being moved between paedophiles “like a lump of meat”, according to Mr McKelvie.

Children’s homes provided “supply lines” for child abuse and were targeted by “people in power” during the 1980s, he said. “Sexual abuse of children is a power drive, that’s what a lot of it is about.

“What I am suggesting is that it’s possible that people who were authoritative, powerful, in particular communities did sometimes have access to children’s homes. I had to fire two managers of children’s homes... for abusing children in their care.”

British Home Affairs Secretary Theresa May has announced two new inquiries. Political parties and MI5 will have their files examined in a probe into allegations of child sex abuse by politicians, while the BBC and religious organisations would fall under the remit of a major new inquiry into whether those in power turned a blind eye to abuse claims.

Lord Warner said the Home Secretary must “clean the Aegean stables” in order to maintain public trust in the establishment.

Righton died in 2007 at the age of 81 but many of his victims, in Malta, Gozo, possibly elsewhere in the Mediterranean and in the UK live on with their traumatic memories.


The BBC Inside Story documentary on Peter Righton can be viewed at:

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