A ‘fantasist’ who accused Lord Brittan of child sex abuse sparking a 12-month police investigation is now being prosecuted over false claims he was kidnapped and shot at.
The man was charged after making a series of hoax emergency phone calls to police alleging he was under attack on at least three different occasions from gun-toting gangs.
The accused, known as ‘Darren’ but whose real name cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, had previously claimed he had witnessed two murders committed by a VIP paedophile ring, prompting a police inquiry.
Darren falsely claimed Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, was part of the ring that abused children in a flat at Dolphin Square.
The investigation was closed in September 2015 after detectives could find no evidence to support the lurid claims.
But Darren went on to lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that personal and sensitive details surrounding the case had been leaked to the media, including The Telegraph.
The watchdog launched an investigation into Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle, the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s paedophile unit, which remains ongoing after more than 15 months - and despite the fact Darren has now been charged over the hoax calls.
A source said Darren had telephoned police on a number of occasions, claiming he had been kidnapped; attacked by gunmen; ambushed by an armed gang; and also shot at.
A friend of DCI Settle, an experienced detective who had warned against the 'baseless witch hunt' of VIPs such as Lord Brittan, told The Telegraph: “It is disgraceful that Paul Settle is under investigation by the IPCC when the police themselves have charged Darren with effectively being a fantasist for making hoax calls. It is utter madness.”
Harvey Proctor, a former Conservative MP whose life was destroyed after being falsely accused of being a member of the VIP paedophile gang, said: “It is utterly preposterous that Paul Settle is investigated over claims made by the man who has now been charged with being a fantasist.”
Darren had told detectives that he had been present at two possible murders – one of a 15-year-old girl at a flat in Dolphin Square used by senior politicians close to the Palace of Westminster and of a man with Down’s syndrome killed on a private estate in Suffolk with links to the Establishment.
He also alleged the man with Down’s syndrome was tortured to death on the estate when he was tied to two cars. “Both vehicles then slowly reversed and I heard a scream. I think he must have passed out because he made no more sound,” Darren told a now discredited news website Exaro in February 2015. His claims led to six people being interviewed by police under caution.
A Telegraph investigation in September 2015 showed how Darren was a deeply troubled witness, who had been jailed for two years in the 1990s for making hoax bomb calls and threats to neighbours. A judge accused him of telling “some pretty whopping lies” while Darren also falsely confessed to the murder of a prostitute in the midst of a high profile police manhunt.
Darren had a troubled youth and had been in foster care for about six months when he was abused by his foster carer. He subsequently won a claim for Government compensation as a victim of crime.
The abuse sparked a bout of heavy drinking that led to him calling police and confessing to crimes he did not commit including the murder of a prostitute in what was seen at the time as a possible 'cry for help’.
Darren’s now discredited allegations about the VIP paedophile gang helped to bolster claims by another apparent fantasist, who can be identified only as Nick, who claimed he had witnessed three other murders.
An IPCC spokesman said of the inquiry into DCI Settle as a result of allegations made by Darren: “The investigation is progressing well.”