Edward Heath 'would have been investigated' into allegations of abuse, investigation reveals

Edward Heath 'would have been investigated' into allegations of abuse, investigation reveals

Edward Heath 'would have been investigated' into allegations of abuse, investigation reveals

The police report into claims Sir Edward Heath sexually abused children says that seven allegations of rape and sexual assault would have merited his interview under criminal caution had he still been alive. Police have not found any evidence to suggest "opportunities were missed" to investigate him while alive.

"In the case of seven individual disclosures, if Sir Edward Heath had been alive today, it has been concluded that he would have been interviewed under caution in order to obtain his account in relation to the allegations made against him", police said, in one of the conclusions of their investigation.

Heath, who died in 2005 aged 89, was alleged to have raped an 11-year-old during a paid sexual encounter, and separately indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy, officers revealed. He was one of the shorter-lived prime ministers of the 20th century, serving for three years and eight months, and his time in office was characterised by gloom and industrial chaos.

"This could be in the form of an independent review by a retired judge, with unrestricted access to all the evidence collected by the Wiltshire Police".

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.

The report marks the official end of the probe, which was launched in 2015 after Sir Edward was named as a suspect in an investigation into historical child sex abuse.

"My suspicion is that we will learn nothing from the report except innuendo and that really takes nobody any further forward, except it leaves a dark stain over a man who can't defend himself", he said earlier this week.

In it, he said the decision to undertake the "incredibly complex and challenging investigation" was "not taken lightly", but added he would not be "buckling under pressure not to investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely".

Heath's friends Lord Armstrong - the former head of the Civil Service - and ex-minister Lord Hunt blasted Wiltshire Police's investigation and cause for a full investigation led by a judge.

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The first two assaults allegedly took place in 1961 and 1962 while Heath served as MP (Member of Parliament) for Bexley and Lord Privy Seal.

Sir Edward Garnier said the conclusions related to seven outstanding matters were an attempt to justify the police inquiry.

Dr Hoskins said the woman had made claims under hypnosis that dredged up "false memories" and her allegations were the result of an "over-active imagination". "I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do".

The announcement by Wiltshire police was immediately criticised by Heath's family and supporters, who accused the force of "covering their backs at the expense of a dead man".

Sir Edward Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo.

Sir Edward has been described as "completely asexual" and Mr Seligman described sex as something that "was not on his radar".

"The report makes it very clear that this does not constitute proof of Sir Edward's guilt".

A spokeswoman for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said it would consider Wiltshire Police's report.

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