Ted Heath indecent assault in Jersey


At the time Heath was MP for Bexley and Lord Privy Seal in Harold Macmillan's government with responsibility for negotiating the UK's first attempt to join the European Economic Community.

Heath, who died in 2005, was prime minister between 1970 and 1974 and led the Conservative party from 1965 until he was ousted by Margaret Thatcher in 1975.

Additionally, it is vital that no inference of guilt be drawn even though he would have been questioned.

Operation Conifer has been arguably the most controversial of all the investigations into alleged historic sex abuse which have taken place in the past few years. Other allegations include one of rape of a male under 16, three of indecent assault on a male under 16, four of indecent assault on a male under 14, and two of indecent assault on a male over 16.

In an open letter in December 2016 - an unusual step for a police chief - Wiltshire chief constable Mike Veale defended the investigation and denied it was a "fishing trip or a witch-hunt".

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.

In two cases, the report reveals, there is evidence to suggest those making the claims "may have attempted to intentionally mislead the police" in naming Sir Edward as their abuser.

"Of the large pool of allegations contained in today's report, six of them would definitively have led the police to interview Sir Edward under caution".

The report made public Thursday is not the full version.

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The allegations made to and the evidence collected by the police should be independently reviewed and an independent conclusion arrived at. Operation Hydrant, the national co-ordinating body carried out two reviews on Operation Conifer, which concluded that a process of continuous review was in place in relation to proportionality and justification, that the national advice was being followed and that the investigation had been conducted in a manner consistent with the application of the principles of legitimacy and proportionality.

The allegations included child sexual abuse and rape and indecent assault, physical abuse and sexual abuse against an adult.

"In line with the constituted powers of the inquiry, Wiltshire Police will, on receipt of further Section 21 notices, make available to IICSA any further material that it deems relevant to its terms of reference".

Heath's godson, Lincoln Seligman, said the police investigation had cast a stain over a man who could not defend himself.

In a further statement, Bishop Holtam said: "The investigation by Wiltshire Police has been very challenging".

"We would like it to be looked at by an objective mind".

The investigation, Operation Conifer, began in August 2015 with a much-criticised launch outside Sir Edward's former home in the cathedral close at Salisbury, where police appealed for any victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

Wiltshire police chief constable Mike Veale said the findings were a "watershed moment" for those who believed that there had been a state cover-up for senior figures involved in child sexual abuse.