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Why I am claiming £10million from police for wrongly being accused of child sex abuse: JOHN HEMMING

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The nightmare of being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child lives with you for ever. The finger of blame is pointed and soon comes the whispering of ‘no smoke without fire’.

I am just emerging from nearly five years of such hell. In my case, I had never met my female accuser, a bookie’s clerk from Liverpool then in her early-30s.

Yet what she told police about me at the time of growing national hysteria over a later-disproved Westminster VIP paedophile ring still casts a shadow over me and my family.

John Hemming, 59, served as a Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardly from 2005 to 2015. Pictured with his partner Emily Cox

John Hemming, 59, served as a Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardly from 2005 to 2015. Pictured with his partner Emily Cox

John Hemming, 59, served as a Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardly from 2005 to 2015. Pictured with his partner Emily Cox 

My career in the political world is on hold, for the time being at least. Last weekend, I was on the doorsteps of my old Birmingham constituency, Yardley, campaigning with the Lib Dem candidate hoping to win my former seat at the Christmas election. I was recognised by many constituents who greeted me with delight and steadfastly believe in my innocence.

Thank goodness for them.

The friends and family who have stuck by me are a godsend, too.

I cannot say the same for Staffordshire Police force which ignored evidence that the preposterous accusations about me by this woman were impossible. They sent the file to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider if I should face charges of child sex abuse.

The accuser: Esther Baker

The accuser: Esther Baker

Backing: Labour’s Tom Watson

Backing: Labour’s Tom Watson

The accuser: Esther Baker (left). Labour’s Tom Watson (right) who was then deputy leader who backed John Hemming’s accuser

My ordeal, with some key Labour Party figures (including then deputy leader Tom Watson) backing my accuser, went on until last week when I glimpsed a light at the tunnel’s end. Last Tuesday, the High Court ruled that I can receive libel damages from this woman because she made unsubstantiated rape claims against me.

I can reveal today that I have also started a £10 million legal action against Staffordshire Police over their conduct and investigations into me. My complaints file has been passed to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to investigate any wrongdoing. It, in turn, has asked Staffordshire Police to look into what I believe has been the unfair treatment of me by the officers of their force.

That is a huge relief for me.

My emotional ordeal began with an email I received out of the blue on January 17, 2015, from someone called Esther Baker.

For years, I have campaigned for families caught up in the secretive family courts and this may be how she found my name and contact details on the internet.

Whatever the truth, Ms Baker told me (and later said the same to police) that on her sixth birthday she had been raped by her father. She added in the email: ‘I was introduced to a faith-related paedophile ring and on Christmas Eve, still at the age of six, was subjected to the first of many multiple rapes.’

Such a story, if true, was heart-wrenching.

How could such a terrible thing, I thought, have happened to her?

Ms Baker told me that she had also emailed the then Home Secretary Theresa May about her childhood abuse.

I replied by email on the same day suggesting, with some sympathy, that Ms Baker should report the terrible matter to the police. And there the matter might have rested.

At the time, I was a Lib Dem MP with a busy constituency and running a software business with an annual turnover of £20 million.

That did not mean I was not listening. I felt, and do still, that I gave her the right advice about her very serious claims of paedophilia.

It was four months later that I next heard the name Esther Baker.

Sky News, on May 25, 2015, broadcast a report saying that uniformed police officers had stood guard as several men had sexually assaulted Esther Baker from the age of six in Cannock Chase in Staffordshire and at various other properties around the country.

In the televised interview, Ms Baker spoke out publicly, forgoing her right to anonymity as a ‘rape victim’. She claimed officers would ‘sort of join in’ and that her abusers had included lords and a judge.

The broadcast said Ms Baker had given video interviews to detectives detailing her abuse. It added that she had named ‘one particular politician’ in accounts of her ordeal.

Today I know I was that named politician. I know now, too, that she told police she had seen my entire naked body and later identified me to them as having a large birthmark on my back and a distinctive peculiarity to my private parts.

I possess neither feature. However, I have a different feature that my accuser did not mention.

I think, and have said so in my £10 million action against Staffordshire Police, that detectives probing her allegations should have smelt a rat. How could they suspect me of raping Esther Baker when two of the physical marks on my body she mentioned did not exist, while a third obviously did and was overlooked by her?

She also accused a peer (now dead but 74 at the time and suffering from debilitating prostate cancer) and other prominent public figures of ritualistic group-rape involving her in Cannock Chase and other places.

They included Dolphin Square, a block of flats near the Houses of Parliament used by politicians and named by the jailed fantasist ‘Nick’ — Carl Beech — as a hotspot for [he alleged] paedophilia and murder during the now discredited Westminster VIP scandal.

In the Sky News broadcast, British newspaper articles, and TV interviews overseas, she described situations akin to a horror film.

They were extravagant in everything but detail.

One such event involved a room full of naked under-age girls to which she claimed to have been taken in a foreign country. Yet she said that none of the girls she met there spoke a word, so she had no idea of their nationalities. Still the police didn’t call a halt, however preposterous her claims. They took statements from 30 people, but found no corroborating evidence against me (or indeed the late peer).

In all, Ms Baker was interviewed by 11 officers for over nearly 100 hours. There are more than 1,000 pages from those interviews and other material running to 7,000 more.

What a waste of time and money!

I have never been charged with any offence. But certainly Ms Baker set the hare running.

I warned police that she was perverting the course of justice but was told I could not take legal action to stop the process until all her allegations as a ‘victim’ had been resolved.

I think this was malicious behaviour by Staffordshire detectives.

So imagine my shock when, in early 2016, my case was referred to the CPS.

This was very serious. I should have already been eliminated as a suspect.

Only a few weeks before going to the police about the Cannock Chase allegations, Ms Baker had denied on Twitter that she had ever met a politician or an MP.

No wonder I am seeking compensation from Staffordshire Police for abusing their public power, acting perversely by referring me for possible prosecution, and harming me and my family.

I believe some of their officers were caught up in the post-Jimmy Savile frenzy over historical child abuse. They did not use their common sense but, unthinkingly, powered on parroting the now-discredited principle of ‘believe the victim’ in sex abuse cases and blow the evidence. Incredibly, even when the CPS ruled out charges against me, one of the Staffordshire detectives issued a public statement about Esther Baker, saying the police would ‘continue to support her as we do with all victims of crime’.

This was dishonest because the force knew that I was innocent.

If Esther Baker’s allegations of rape as a child are true, they did not involve me. In my demand for damages, I point out that I was harassed by her.

She approached, as I say in the documents, Liberal Democrat councillors face-to-face and accused me of rape. She tweeted the same allegations.

Tom Watson, then Labour deputy leader, was in the mix. He backed Ms Baker, saying publicly: ‘Esther has made very serious allegations. They concern a politician who is in the public eye today and is therefore different from allegations from previous eras. I hope the police will resource a comprehensive investigation’.

Worryingly, it was not only Watson. Jess Phillips MP, my successful Labour Party opponent in the last two General Elections, has invested considerable time in promoting the allegations, causing more disquiet to my family. I have said this publicly before now and I have copies of a series of tweets from Ms Phillips dating back to 2015 which show her friendship and support for Esther Baker.

Some of these Labourites have, in my view, armed the villagers with torches and pitchforks to set off a lynching.

I repeatedly complained to police about this. I gave them a letter dated July 9 last year from my daughter’s school headmistress.

She asked Staffordshire to prevent the harassment of my daughter caused by Esther Baker’s allegations against me.

For years, my child has dreaded someone turning round at school and calling her father a paedophile.

Sadly, some people have pulled away from us. Not all the children who came to stay overnight kept coming. It was not because they don’t like my daughter, but because they don’t like me, her dad, for something I haven’t done.

I have even received threats of violence and murder because of my accuser’s allegations, which were copied on social media. And one man was recently convicted for threatening to kill me.

The irony was that while Ms Baker chose to be identified, I was thrown to the wolves by the campaigners and the police who publicly confirmed my age (55 at the time), that I was a Liberal Democrat MP and a jazz pianist.

By jigsaw identification, they in effect named me and enabled the resulting vigilante harassment to grow. My file to the police shows I was put at risk by Esther Baker’s fantastical allegations against me.

I have lived in fear as a result. Yet there has been no action to date against Ms Baker.

In the 1990s, I was a world leader on e-commerce. My business was thriving and I am still a multi-millionaire developing tax software. Yet since these allegations, I have been unable to go to the City for funding to expand my business because investors would have been scared off.

I was prevented from helping at my son’s school because I would now fail, although I am innocent, a criminal records check, as I have been questioned over paedophilia.

As the keyboard player in a jazz band, I have had to withdraw from weekly performances, as the venue might be targeted if I were known to be performing there.

I am not standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the forthcoming election for fear it would invite more harassment of my family and partner, Emily.

Our fear of a vigilante attack has compelled us to move to a secret address and put in a top-quality CCTV system.

Embarrassingly, I have had to discuss the most intimate details of this saga with the Liberal Democrat top-brass (as I explained my decision to stand down at this election).

My voluntary legal adviser, Sam Collingwood Smith, has also been harassed on social media for criticising Ms Baker and, even last week, continued to be so. Although I am an Oxford-educated physicist and good at making money, wealth is not my God.

I am claiming £10 million compensation not for financial rewards, but because the insurance company who will pay this will make sure that police behave better in the future.

Most importantly, I hope it will be a warning to all police forces to think again before they pursue an innocent person, and their family, without evidence.

I don’t think that is a lot to ask after what we have been through at the hands of a woman who clearly lives in a fantasy world.

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Western Sydney man charged with trying to smother his bedridden elderly mother to death

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Shaun Johnston, 36, allegedly tried to smother his own bedridden mother to death with a pillow when she told him she didn't have any money to give him

Shaun Johnston, 36, allegedly tried to smother his own bedridden mother to death with a pillow when she told him she didn't have any money to give him

Shaun Johnston, 36, allegedly tried to smother his own bedridden mother to death with a pillow when she told him she didn’t have any money to give him

A man allegedly tried to smother his own bedridden mother to death with a pillow when she refused to lend him money.

Shaun Johnston, 36, is accused of trying to suffocate Pamela Gannon, 64, after arriving at her home in Lalor Park, western Sydney at about 11.30pm on Wednesday.

The woman was only saved from the alleged attack because she activated her medical alert bracelet – notifying other family members and emergency services.

Ms Gannon, who suffered extensive bruising and was taken to Blacktown hospital, allegedly had to fight her son off for two hours.

Her daughter-in-law, Beck, called emergency services after allegedly arriving at the home first and discovering Johnston in Ms Gannon’s bedroom. 

‘You could see in him there was something different,’ Beck told 9News.

‘Adrenaline and her will to live is how she is still here. I’m very proud of her.’   

Johnston was formally denied bail at Blacktown Local Court on Friday after being arrested at the scene and charged with attempting to strangle/suffocate with intent to murder.

Neighbours though were none the wiser about what was allegedly unfolding within the suburban home. 

Ms Gannon's daughter-in-law, Beck, called emergency services after arriving at the home first and discovering Johnston in Ms Gannon's bedroom (pictured)

Ms Gannon's daughter-in-law, Beck, called emergency services after arriving at the home first and discovering Johnston in Ms Gannon's bedroom (pictured)

Ms Gannon’s daughter-in-law, Beck, called emergency services after arriving at the home first and discovering Johnston in Ms Gannon’s bedroom (pictured)

Ms Gannon (her arms pictured after alleged incident with medical alert bracelet on the left wrist) allegedly had to fight her son off for two hours

Ms Gannon (her arms pictured after alleged incident with medical alert bracelet on the left wrist) allegedly had to fight her son off for two hours

Ms Gannon (her arms pictured after alleged incident with medical alert bracelet on the left wrist) allegedly had to fight her son off for two hours

‘They had some pretty loud heavy music going on for a couple (of) hours,’ one neighbour told 7News

Assistant NSW Police Commissioner Mark Jones said police will allege Johnston also used a towel to suffocate his mother. 

‘An argument has ensued and during that argument police will allege the offender has taken both a pillow and later a towel and attempted to try to suffocate his mother,’ Mr Jones said. 

He described the alleged attack as ‘incredibly disturbing’ and ‘horrific’.

Neighbours though were none the wiser about what was allegedly unfolding within the suburban home (pictured), with one saying heavy metal music was playing for 'a couple (of) hours'

Neighbours though were none the wiser about what was allegedly unfolding within the suburban home (pictured), with one saying heavy metal music was playing for 'a couple (of) hours'

Neighbours though were none the wiser about what was allegedly unfolding within the suburban home (pictured), with one saying heavy metal music was playing for ‘a couple (of) hours’

 

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Council officials randomly investigate residents’ bins to see if they are recycling properly

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A picture has been posted online of labels attached to recycling bins after council officials randomly checked that residents were recycling correctly. 

A resident in the Moreland Council area of Melbourne posted the picture online on Thursday saying that their street was littered with the labels. 

It is understood the council’s bin inspection program is done at random times throughout the year – with residents getting one of three labels. 

Those who have recycled correctly with no contamination will receive a notice saying ‘Thank you’. 

A resident in the Moreland Council area of Melbourne posted the picture online on Thursday saying that their street was littered with the labels (pictured)

A resident in the Moreland Council area of Melbourne posted the picture online on Thursday saying that their street was littered with the labels (pictured)

A resident in the Moreland Council area of Melbourne posted the picture online on Thursday saying that their street was littered with the labels (pictured) 

Bins that have contamination in them will receive a label that begins with ‘Oh no’ and then either a ‘warning’ or ‘rejected’ box ticked. 

Those bins with the rejected box ticked will not be emptied. 

The bin inspection program has prompted a heated debate online. 

Some have agreed with the bin inspection program while others voiced their issues including that other people can deposit items in bins left on the street. 

‘My neighbour filled my recycling with polystyrene packaging so the bin person refused to collect it,’ said one person. 

‘I live next to a 24 hours McDonald’s and there’s pubs all around. If people aren’t throwing trash in my front yard they’ll definitely put it in the bin,’ another person said. 

Others said they were in favour of the bin inspection program. 

‘These tags are awesome. It’s hard to know how to recycle! It’s not at all instinctive to most people to distinguish between different kinds of plastic,’ one person said. 

‘My neighbour just puts everything in either bin. She just thinks of it all as rubbish and has two different sized bins for it all,’ another agreed. 

The bin inspection program has prompted a heated debate online with some saying there were flaws in the inspection program and others saying it was a good idea

The bin inspection program has prompted a heated debate online with some saying there were flaws in the inspection program and others saying it was a good idea

The bin inspection program has prompted a heated debate online with some saying there were flaws in the inspection program and others saying it was a good idea 

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Grace Millane’s killer: ‘Creepy’ serial fantasist made up tissue of lies to fuel sex obsession

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Grace Millane's killer is described as an 'oddball' and 'loner' by former friends

Grace Millane's killer is described as an 'oddball' and 'loner' by former friends

Grace Millane’s killer is described as an ‘oddball’ and ‘loner’ by former friends

Grace Millane’s killer was a serial fantasist who made up a tissue of lies to feed his obsession of having violent sex with young women, Mail Online can reveal. 

The ‘creepy’ killer told would-be sexual partners that his cousin was an All Black rugby star, that he had cancer and that his parents were dead in bizarre attempts to seduce them.

But in reality the 27-year-old was just a failed salesman who was sacked shortly before he murdered Ms Millane – a former student from Wickford, Essex, on a gap year – in an Auckland hotel room after a Tinder date last December.

Described by teammates on the amateur softball side he played for as an ‘oddball’ and ‘loner’, the good-looking sportsman said he was has a law degree and was a successful businessman.

Indeed his family describe him as a ‘complex character who had fallen out with his father two years ago and doesn’t speak to most of his other relatives.

Ms Millane, from Wickford, Essex, was murdered in an Auckland hotel room last December

Ms Millane, from Wickford, Essex, was murdered in an Auckland hotel room last December

The 22-year-old had been on a gap year after her finishing her studies and gone on a Tinder date

The 22-year-old had been on a gap year after her finishing her studies and gone on a Tinder date

Ms Millane, from Wickford, in Essex, the daughter of a builder, was murdered in a New Zealand hotel room last December by a man she had met just a few hours before

Her killer - a salesman who was sacked from his job on the day he throttled her - was found guilty of murdering today in Auckland

Her killer - a salesman who was sacked from his job on the day he throttled her - was found guilty of murdering today in Auckland

Her killer – a salesman who was sacked from his job on the day he throttled her – was found guilty of murdering today in Auckland

Ms Millane's father David touches his eye outside at Auckland High Court today after the jury retired to consider their verdicts

Ms Millane's father David touches his eye outside at Auckland High Court today after the jury retired to consider their verdicts

Ms Millane’s father David touches his eye outside at Auckland High Court today after the jury retired to consider their verdicts

His grandmother says that he was ‘a very confused young man’ and paints a picture of his chaotic life living with her in Sydney after his parents split up.

His grandfather said that he ‘loved his sport’ but in more recent times he’d been ‘at a bit of a loose end’.

He said: ‘He was a nice kid but he sort of fell out with everybody, which is what happens with broken up marriages.’ 

He added that the killer, who had a child with a woman in Australia, had not spoken to his father for two years because of ‘a difference in opinion on life’. 

A former teammate told Mail Online: ‘He was creepy towards girls. His life revolved around girls, taking to girls.

‘He was always trying to get with younger girls… he was very quiet around the boys.’

They said that he and some other men had intervened once when he tried to spark a relationship with a woman, warning her off spending time with him.

Because he made up so many lies, it’s difficult to unpick the truth about his life. 
What is known is that just weeks before he strangled Ms Millane to death, he posted what seemed to be a soul-searching confession to deep personal flaws on Facebook.
Ms Millane (pictured) was on a round-the-world trip when she died on the eve of her 22nd birthday last December

Ms Millane (pictured) was on a round-the-world trip when she died on the eve of her 22nd birthday last December

Ms Millane (pictured) was on a round-the-world trip when she died on the eve of her 22nd birthday last December

Ms Millane (pictured with her brothers) graduated from the University of Lincoln with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing in September before embarking on a world trip

Ms Millane (pictured with her brothers) graduated from the University of Lincoln with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing in September before embarking on a world trip

Ms Millane (pictured with her brothers) graduated from the University of Lincoln with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing in September before embarking on a world trip

‘I just want anyone who I’ve hurt, let down, to know I’m truly sorry from my heart,’ wrote the then-26-year-old as he owned up to ‘arrogance and selfishness’ that had damaged his close relationships. 

‘But with that being said,’ he wrote, ‘we can change how we treat each other and over time I’ve learnt how much compassion we all have as people. 

‘When we grow up, we make mistakes. That’s how we improve.’ 

Online, at least, his efforts to turn his life around appeared convincing. 

But in real life, he was on the brink, compulsively turning to Tinder and weaving fantastic tales of wealth and success to lure girls to motels or his £190 a week studio apartment in an inner city hotel. 

Ms Millane was seen on CCTV on a date with her killer just hours before he strangled her

Ms Millane was seen on CCTV on a date with her killer just hours before he strangled her

Ms Millane was seen on CCTV on a date with her killer just hours before he strangled her 

He had moved there after a fallout with female housemates, increasingly concerned about his mood swings, attempted womanising and threatening behaviour. 

He boasted of being a businessman and of plans to buy a glamorous restaurant on Auckland’s waterfront. 

It was all lies, and, in fact, what was not revealed in court was that he had been sacked from his job as a salesman the very day he and Grace began messaging each other on Tinder; Friday, November 30. 

The reasons remain unknown, but may well have affected the killer’s frame of mind the next day when he set out to meet Grace with a hug beside the Christmas tree at the SkyCity casino.  

Disturbingly, just 11 minutes before she was last seen alive, the killer again used social media to call his date ‘beautiful’ and ‘radiant’.

He was then seen on CCTV rooting through her handbag while she went to the toilet as they drank cocktails together on the date. 

Certainly, there was no compassion for the young graduate as he squeezed the life out of her during sex, took appalling pictures of her body, watched horrific porn and crammed her into a suitcase which he buried in the woods. 

Last night, his own stepbrother said the family were divided over the verdict and he doubted whether the powerfully built man set out to kill. 

Ms Millane's killer played for an amateur softball team in Auckland. He told would-be sexual partners that his cousin was a rugby star for the All Blacks and that he was suffering cancer

Ms Millane's killer played for an amateur softball team in Auckland. He told would-be sexual partners that his cousin was a rugby star for the All Blacks and that he was suffering cancer

Ms Millane’s killer played for an amateur softball team in Auckland. He told would-be sexual partners that his cousin was a rugby star for the All Blacks and that he was suffering cancer

Friends of the 'oddball', seen on CCTV with Ms Millane going back to his hotel room, say he had an obsession with having violent sex with young women and pursued them on social media

Friends of the 'oddball', seen on CCTV with Ms Millane going back to his hotel room, say he had an obsession with having violent sex with young women and pursued them on social media

Friends of the ‘oddball’, seen on CCTV with Ms Millane going back to his hotel room, say he had an obsession with having violent sex with young women and pursued them on social media 

Family of the killer, seen here taking a suitcase containing her body out of the hotel in a lift, say he was a 'complicated young man' who lived with his grandparents when his parents split

Family of the killer, seen here taking a suitcase containing her body out of the hotel in a lift, say he was a 'complicated young man' who lived with his grandparents when his parents split

Family of the killer, seen here taking a suitcase containing her body out of the hotel in a lift, say he was a ‘complicated young man’ who lived with his grandparents when his parents split  

‘It’s in the moment,’ he told TVNZ. ‘He had the opportunity and he kept going and he took Grace’s life. I don’t think it was a violence thing, to me I think it was power. It was in a split moment he enjoyed the power and kept going. 

But the man unequivocally condemned his stepbrother as a ‘pathological liar that lies over pointless things and continues to lie until the point where he has got no out, absolutely no out, and then he just breaks down and cries and runs away. 

‘But he can’t do that any more thankfully. It’s just absolutely terrible that a life had to be lost because of that.’

 The killer’s tears in a police interview in which he lied over and over again about how Grace had died were ‘more tears for himself.’ 

And the family, he said, wanted Grace’s loved ones to know how deeply they felt for them. ‘I’m just so incredibly sorry for their loss, to know it’s one of our family members, even though it’s not our actions, it’s very difficult and I can’t imagine the pain and hurt and what they have had to go through in court to hear all the stuff about BDSM and all the actions (the killer) took.

‘It’s all because he does not have any shred of a decent human being inside of him and could not just confess to the fact that he murdered her.’

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