Report released into Sir Edward Heath investigation

Police investigated sex abuse claims against Edward Heath made by dead people

Police investigated sex abuse claims against Edward Heath made by dead people

"The publication of the report today is therefore helpful in precisely outlining the allegations made against the former Prime Minister".

Nineteen allegations were dismissed on the basis of "undermining information", the police said, while a further three were thrown out due to individuals mis-identifying Heath.

The report said that in seven cases, allegations received led to Heath's suspected involvement.

"All those who knew Sir Edward Heath or worked with him are, without exception, convinced that the allegations of child abuse will all be found to be groundless".

The officer "expressed concerns" that a crown court trial in Wiltshire had been "discontinued" in 1994, to prevent the defendant publicly claiming the former Tory prime minister had been involved in child sex abuse, implying Wiltshire Police was "complicit" in covering up alleged paedophilia.

The investigation dealt with 42 claims in total.

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"In the case of three disclosures, the persons reporting alleged abuse have subsequently concluded that they were genuinely mistaken in naming Sir Edward Heath as the perpetrator".

The following month, the chief constable of Wiltshire Police, Mike Veale, wrote a public letter to "set the record straight" about the £1.5m investigation, saying it was "complex and multi-stranded" and was "not a fishing trip or witch hunt".

The report reveals that most of the alleged victims were boys aged 11 to 15 and the allegations date from 1961, when Sir Edward was in the Macmillan government, to 1992, when he was in his 70s.


He added: "I hope people will understand that it would be an indefensible dereliction of my public duty as a chief constable not to have investigated such serious allegations against a former prime minister, even though he is deceased".

1962 While Heath was still Lord Privy Seal, he allegedly indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy during a chance encounter in a public place while in the company of an unknown adult male.

The next assault allegedly occurred while Heath was the leader of the opposition in 1967. Police did not receive any complaints of alleged sexual abuse by Sir Edward during his lifetime.

The report did not apportion guilt, suggest or conclude guilt, and no such conclusion should be drawn.

The findings will be passed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, and which will likely consider the report as part of its efforts to see whether powerful people have been spared criminal investigation.

Sir Edward had a reputation of being cold and indifferent towards women.

'I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do, but I appreciate that every case needs to be judged on its own merits.

Wiltshire police said in a statement: "Wiltshire Police carried out an impartial and thorough investigation in line with national guidance from the College of Policing".

"The safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people will continue to be out primary reasons for conducting this investigation". There is, for example, a discrepancy over whether Sir Edward ever drove himself, denied by friends but affirmed in the police report.

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