“My opinion on Kenneth Clarke apart from what is in the media is based on stuff that’s been brought to us at protests. Unfortunately at protests you had different people come to us who said Kenneth Clarke used to take a minibus from children’s homes down to London and, they used to stay in a flat over the weekend, be abused and, come back. And they’d be totally messed up from the drugs that had been forced upon them. Then, I actually got one that said to me where Kenneth Clarke took them was a block of flats behind Pimlico Station, he said there was a big square court yard in the middle. That square courtyard I can positively identify as being Dolphin Square. Dolphin Square is at the heart of the Westminster investigations. I gave this information to Operation Daybreak the, the lot that are looking into Nottingham’s sexual abuse allegations. Not content that Nottingham police would do anything with it, because we have a cover-up situation here in Nottingham between the councils and the police, I contacted Operation Midland at the Metropolitan Police and they in turn will hopefully be contacting the National, National Crime Agency” (Child abuse victim Mickey Summers).
Actor found not guilty of perverting the course of justice over claims he was groped by former chancellor Ken Clarke 20 years ago
- Actor told police the Tory politician groped him during a TV investigtion
- Mr Clarke completely denied the allegations, calling them ‘preposterous’
- Police arrested accuser and he has stood trial at the Old Bailey this month
- Jury finds him not guilty of perverting the course of justice today
An actor has been cleared of perverting the course of justice by making up a story that he was molested by former chancellor Kenneth Clarke during a cash-for-questions TV sting 20 years ago.
Ben Fellows, 40, from Birmingham, alleged that the leading politician had plied him with alcohol and carried out the sexual assault while he was working undercover for ITV’s Cook Report in 1994.
Mr Clarke insisted he had never in his life ‘had the compulsion’ to grope another man as he dismissed the claim as ‘preposterous’, ‘off the Richter scale’ and ‘like Martians landing’.
After eight hours of deliberations the jury at the Old Bailey found Fellows not guilty of perverting the course of justice between November 14 2012 and December 1 2012.
Ben Fellows has been found not guilty of perverting the course of justice over claims he made that politician Kenneth Clarke groped in 1994
Mr Fellows celebrates outside court after the jury’s verdict. He said he now intends the rebuild his life
There was cheering and waving from his group of supporters as Fellows left the court building.
Speaking outside, he thanked his ‘friends, family and supporters’ who he said ‘kept me going throughout the ordeal of the last two years’.
He described his trial at the Old Bailey as an ‘intense and terrifying experience’, and added that he was ‘completely out of my depth’.
He added: ‘As far as I’m concerned the next few weeks and months are about rebuilding my life and moving on. I shall make no further comment now or in the future about Mr Clarke and the events of 1994.’
The court had heard how in the autumn of 2012, Fellows told national news reporters about the alleged assault when he was 19 years old and stories were published in print and in his own blog.
He went on to make a statement to police officers from Operation Fairbank – the high profile investigation into Westminster historic child sex abuse.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said: ‘In that witness statement, the defendant said that in 1994, when he was 19 years old, he had been employed as an undercover actor by an investigative journalism programme on ITV, the Cook Report, during a sting operation against Ian Greer, the political lobbyist.
‘The focus of that sting operation was a suggested role by Greer in arranging for politicians to ask questions in Parliament in return for money – or cash-for-questions as it was known at the time.
‘The defendant said in a witness statement that whilst engaged in that capacity he had been sexually assaulted in Greer’s London office by Kenneth Clarke MP.’
Fellows (left) insisted the claims were true by Mr Clarke (right) said the allegations were ‘preposterous’
When officers investigated his version of events, they concluded they were false and began treating him as a suspect rather than a victim.
The former child actor had also claimed he had been abused by a number of people in the entertainment industry, including a senior female executive at the BBC whom he claimed seduced him when he was aged between 14 and 16.
Fellows, who was described as ‘an inventive and sometimes persuasive fantasist’, claimed he had been invited to a cocaine-fuelled party on BBC premises hosted by two of Britain’s biggest stars of the day.
Giving evidence in his defence, Fellows stood by his allegation against Mr Clarke.
Asked how he felt about it afterwards, he said: ‘It was not upsetting at all. It was weird but not upsetting. To put this in context – this was no more than a minor groping you would get in a nightclub on a Saturday night.’
Clarke, pictured leaving the Old Bailey, strongly refuted the claims from the witness box this week
Fellows told the jury he was upset when police told him that abuse in the showbiz world was just about Jimmy Savile and limited to the BBC.
Asked if he had anything personal against Mr Clarke, he said: ‘No, nothing whatsoever, apart from what happened in that office. I did not take it personally. I was part of the team.’
However, veteran broadcaster Roger Cook told the trial that he had never even heard of Fellows until someone pointed out his blog claiming to have worked on the Cook Report in 1990.
He told the court that particular show was never aired and if there had been any allegations around at the time, it would have been ‘an enormous story’.
Fellows’ defence team suggested that he had been pressured by the police into making a statement and charges followed after his allegations were made public.
Ben Fellows cleared of attempting to pervert course of justice
Jury finds actor not guilty over complaint to police of indecent assault by Ken Clarke
By Tim Wood and Mark Conrad | 30 July 2015
Actor Benjamin Fellows was today cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice by falsely claiming that ex-chancellor Kenneth Clarke indecently assaulted him.
A jury of nine women and three men found Fellows not guilty as charged following an eight-day trial at the Old Bailey. They deliberated on their verdict for just under eight hours.
The verdict was greeted with cheers from the public gallery.
Mr Justice Peregrine Simon immediately discharged Fellows.
As he left the court room, Fellows told Exaro: “I am just so relieved, I am just so relieved. This has been my life for the last two years.” He said that he would be having a drink to celebrate.
Benjamin Matthew Fellows, 40, of Olton in Birmingham, claimed to police that Clarke plied him with alcohol and “groped” him in the office of a political lobbyist, Ian Greer, while working undercover in 1994 for ITV’s The Cook Report. Fellows was 19 at the time, but said that he was posing as a 15-year-old, and that the assault was filmed by a covert camera.
Fellows made a formal statement about the alleged sexual assault to the Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Operation Fairbank’, which launched in 2012 to investigate claims mostly against senior political figures of sexual abuse against children.
Exaro saw off a prosecution attempt to bar reporting of Clarke’s name in the case.
Fellows was cleared of a charge of “doing acts tending or intended to pervert the course of justice” by falsely alleging to police “that he had been indecently assaulted by Kenneth Clarke.”
Roger Cook, who presented The Cook Report, Exaro’s David Hencke and other journalists who worked on the programme’s investigation into political lobbyists – as well as Clarke himself – were lined up as witnesses for the trial.
Clarke described the claim against him as “bizarre” and “preposterous”. He told the Old Bailey: “My reaction to all of this was that it was rather like Martians landing.”
“I think that I was chosen because I was something of a B-list celebrity because I was chancellor.”
The jury also heard how Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle, then head of the Met’s paedophile unit and of Operation Fairbank, told Fellows in a meeting that Joanna Lumley, the actor, had taken part in pornographic films.
Bernard Richmond, defending Fellows, asked Settle’s then deputy, Detective Inspector Keith Braithwaite, whether anything surprised him about that meeting.
“Yes, he [Settle] made a reference to Joanna Lumley, that she had been involved in pornographic films.”
Richmond later asked Settle: “Would you have liked to have thought twice about what you said about Joanna Lumley?”
Settle replied: “Yes, it was regrettable,” adding, “I was trying to build rapport with him so he would have confidence in our team.”
Richmond told the jury: “DCI Paul Settle pressured the defendant into making a statement.”
“Settle was saying do not worry, it is not going to have much effect. But it led my client into the dock of the Old Bailey.”
Ben Fellows said that he stood by his allegations against Clarke.
Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, asked him: “Does it remain your evidence that Ken Clarke groped you?”
Fellows replied: “It does, yeah.”
Atkinson told the court that Fellows was an “inventive and sometimes persuasive fantasist.”
But the jury only had to decide whether Fellows had attempted to pervert the course of justice. It concluded that he had not.
As Fellows left the Old Bailey amid cheering supporters, he read out a statement. “First and foremost,” he said, “my love and thanks to friends and family and supporters. Your support has kept me going through the ordeal of the last two years.
“It was an intense and terrifying experience being at the Old Bailey, and I felt completely out of my depth, and would never have been able to cope without the dedicated and hard working legal team paid for by legal aid.”
He added: “As far as I am concerned, the next few weeks and months are about rebuilding my life and moving on. I shall make no further comment – now or in the future – about Mr Clarke or the events of 1994. I ask everyone to respect this decision and allow these matters to rest.”
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