Police have said that, “Sir Edward Heath would have been questioned over sexual abuse claims if he was alive when they came to light.”
Wiltshire Police launched Operation Conifer in 2015 when Sir Edward Heath was accused of child abuse. The allegations include 2 indecent assaults on a male over 16 years, 4 indecent assaults on a male under 14 years, 3 indecent assaults on a male under 16 years and 1 rape of a male under 16 years.
Sir Edward Heath died in 2005 aged 89. He was Prime Minister from 1970 -1974. Operation Conifer included 14 police forces. It has said that it has investigated 42 claims relating to 40 individuals who make allegations dating back to the period of 1956 to 1992 while Heath was an elected MP. There was enough information to meet the threshold to interview 19 of the claims.
From these, 2 cases caused the Police to suspect that the individuals, “intentionally misled” them with their allegations and in a further 3 cases people were, “genuinely mistaken “in naming Heath as the perpetrator.
Three people unconnected to Heath were arrested for offences relating to child abuse, one of whom is still being investigated.
Whilst the Police have stressed that no inference of guilt should be drawn from their statement, Heath would have been interviewed under caution about 7 of the claims made, including the rape of a male under 16 years.
The allegation of rape dates back to 1961 when Heath was Lord Privy Seal. The victim an 11 year old boy alleges that he was raped and indecently assaulted in London, “during a paid sexual encounter in private in a dwelling.”
The Sir Edward Heath Foundation has said that the report is, “profoundly unsatisfactory” and ex- colleagues have stated, “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 Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has made the following statement, “In regard to the allegations concerning Sir Edward Heath, the inquiry will investigate whether there was any knowledge within Westminster institutions, and if so, what actions were taken.”
If you are affected by anything in this article, please contact a child abuse lawyer. Jordans represent victims who have suffered abuse as children. We can provide expert support and advice on pursuing a civil claim for compensation.