Jailed fantasist Carl Beech will have to hand over his assets of £23,960 to his only living victim, the former MP Harvey Proctor, a judge has ruled.
Beech – known as “Nick” during the high-profile police investigation he triggered – was jailed for 18 years last year for what a judge called his “cruel and callous” lies about the existence of a murderous VIP paedophile ring.
On Friday, the trial judge Mr Justice Goss heard that an extensive investigation had revealed Beech had assets consisting of a dilapidated property in Sweden, £16,560 of cash in a bank account and a £1,000 watch.
The judge ruled that £23,960 – the amount he is assessed to have defrauded the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) of – should be confiscated and the cash paid to Mr Proctor.
After the hearing, Mr Proctor said: “It is full vindication.”
The former Tory MP was one of three men who had their houses raided by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland – the £2 million inquiry launched in reaction to Beech’s allegations which closed without a single arrest.
Mr Proctor has described the investigation as a “truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing” and has already received £500,000 from the Met in compensation plus another £400,000 to cover legal costs.
In a virtual Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Sheffield Crown Court, Peter Ratliff, prosecuting, said that investigators had found that Beech had £16,560 in a Santander account, a £1,000 watch and a property in Sweden initially valued at just over £13,000.
But Mr Ratliff said that the property was in a bad state and, once the costs of realising its value had been taken into account, the amount it would realise would be considerably less.
The judge ordered that the £23,960 sum is confiscated following Beech’s conviction for defrauding the CICA after he made a false claim.
The divorced father of one, from Gloucester, was also convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice at Newcastle Crown Court last year.
The judge said Mr Proctor was the only victim of Beech named in the prosecution who is still alive.
He said: “I have considered this matter and I’m satisfied that it is appropriate to make an order for compensation in favour of Mr Harvey Proctor.
“And that compensation be paid out of the confiscation order of £23,960 in the circumstances.”
The judge also ordered that Beech should face a further 12 months in jail if the sum is not paid within three months.
Others Beech falsely named as supposed “abusers”, now all dead, included former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, former Labour MP Greville Janner and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley and Sir Maurice Oldfield.
Also wrongly accused by Beech were Normandy veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall, who has died since Beech was jailed, and the late Lord Brittan, both of whom also had their homes searched during Operation Midland.
In a victim impact statement that was read in court last year, Mr Proctor said he had only a “feeling of icy contempt” for Beech, and that his lies had caused “ordinary people to revile and despise me”.
Lord Bramall said at the time of Beech’s conviction, when he was 95 years old: “In service of my Queen and country, I have done all that has been required of me.”
After the hearing, Adrian Phillips, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The compensation money given to Beech was meant to support him following the extensive, sustained torture by high-profile people that he made up and described to police.
“Causing unimaginable distress to the men he falsely accused and the families caught up in his deception, he gladly took money from the authorities knowing he had fabricated the entire tale.
“Confiscating this money will not undo the harm of his lies, but it is the final step in making sure that Beech does not profit from the shameful false allegations he made.”