Fury as police give jailed paedophile ‘victim’ status in ex-PM Ted Heath rape case
The man, who is currently serving time for a string of convictions relating to child sex abuse, has made a claim against the former Tory leader, which forms part of evidence gathered by Wiltshire Police.
His case is among the most serious identified by police in the £1.5-million ($2-million), two-year inquiry, which is taking place more than a decade after Heath’s death.
He alleges that he was walking down the A2 highway in Kent when he was offered a lift by Heath, who took him back to a flat and raped him.
Now aged 68, the man claims that Heath attacked him when he was aged 11, in 1961.
No police interview took place at the time and his three siblings cannot remember the incident, according to an investigation by the Telegraph.
Campaigners have heaped scorn on the police for affording “victim” status to the man without an investigation.
The status means that he cannot be named in the British press under media laws.
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), condemned police for allowing the paedophile to remain anonymous.
“It is not helpful to confer victim status on somebody with such an appalling record of hurting children whatever the circumstances and whatever the background,” Saunders said.
Saunders, a senior adviser to the Government’s national child sex abuse inquiry, said it was a “disturbing” decision.
Friends and family of Ted Heath maintain his innocence and police have been accused of trying to scrabble together a case after an appeal for "victims" was made outside his home.
There are calls for Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale to quit as a result.
However, police maintain that there is a strong case, and alleged victims believe decades of abuse and attacks by one of the most powerful men in Britain are about to be made public.
Yet the police investigation is receiving high criticism.
“When people commit that level of abuse they ought to be legitimately stripped of all their human rights. They have ruined lives. It is misguided for the police to give this man victimhood status. I don’t understand it at all,” Saunders added.
The prisoner’s sister, now aged 74, was 17 at the time of the alleged attack.
She said she is alarmed that the police have presented the case as evidence – yet have not asked a single family member about their memories of that time.
“I would know if this had happened. If he had been kidnapped and raped I was old enough to know if he had gone missing and would have known if he had come back disturbed. He was a normal boy and I helped to bring him up,” she said.
“It is absolute nonsense. If he had been abducted the whole village would have been out looking for him.”
Heath died in 2005.