Jackie Malton, a former detective sergeant who investigated the death of an 8-year-old Vishal Mehrotra in 1981, has told The Telegraph she believes the crime may have been covered up to protect senior Westminster political figures.
The press has been rife with headlines in the last few days because a man identified only as “Nick” alleged to the Exaro investigative news site that a Conservative MP killed a boy at a paedophile sex party in the early 1980s and that, separately, a Conservative cabinet member watched as another boy was murdered at a different party.
Following that, the father of Vishal Mehrotra has claimed that he passed to the police a tape recording of a phone call he received after his 8-year-old son was killed in which a male prostitute said the boy might have been abducted and murdered near the notorious Elm Guest House, a building nearby where Vishal went missing. Elm Guest House has been the focus of a police investigation into whether it was a base for child sex abusers. The late liberal MP Cyril Smith has been named by police as someone they believe abused children in connection with the home.
There is no concrete connection between the death of Vishal and the claims by “Nick”.
But Malton’s interview with The Telegraph adds a new layer to the mystery. She claims that it was possible that police were brushed off the investigation into Vishal’s death by senior politicians. She told The Telegraph:
“During my time in the police there was a feeling of misuse of power,” she told The Telegraph. “There were a lot of powerful people saying, ‘Don’t you know who I am?'”
Miss Malton, now aged 63 and living in Surrey, worked on Vishal’s disappearance for about four months in 1981 before being seconded to another investigation, weeks before his father’s tape was handed in. She said the culture of policing at the time meant it was possible the recording was ignored and the murder covered up due to the alleged involvement of senior figures at Westminster.
“There is clear evidence that something was happening at that guesthouse,” she said. “If nothing has been done about it in retrospect, then Mr Mehrotra is right. Either the police disbelieved it, or they covered it up one way or another.
“I do remember that the officers were highly passionate about the Mehrotra case, but for some reason we never managed to get anywhere.”
Malton adds that she has no specific evidence of a coverup, and that she did not work on the Elm House probe.
Part of Vishal’s body was found in a West Sussex woodland in 1982. A second boy, Martin Allen, 15, was lost in 1979 and never found. Police raided Elm House, and the Allen death was linked to the house at the time.
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