Sunday, December 11, 2011

#Fettesgate : The Magic Circle -"FETTES THIEF CONS GAY JUDGES PROBE QC"


I now took a passing interest in the case of Ian McFarlane Walker and his firm was soon in the news when the Law Society of Scotland launched an investigation into their activities.
From subsequent press reports when Old Fettesian, Colin Tucker-now living in the Mansion House, London-was charged with embezzlement from Burnett Walker clients it transpired that Ian Walker was living a double life. The respectable family man and businessman I met was in fact a closet homosexual who with his lover an colleague Colin Tucker was stealing millions from clients, and when the impending revelation of theft was about to come to light he took his life by hanging himself in his garage.

Edinburgh lawyers were much in the news at this time as the so called "gay judges and rent boys scandal" was breaking. Perhaps the most high profile event at this time was the resignation of Lord Dervaird in 1989. The whole of the media was buzzing with these stories but I did not associate Ian McFarlane Walker or Colin Tucker with these stories at the time, though it turned out they were pivotal in these events.

Having sex with children is a serious offence against the law, and in the late 1980's having homosexual sex with anyone under the age of 21 was an offence. So when it was suggested in the press that there was serious concern that a select group of people nicknamed the "Magic Circle" because of their knowledge of criminality in this regard among judges were able to threaten blackmailing them in order to gain court verdicts in their favour Tam Dalyell MP demanded a police investigation.
An investigation was ordered by the Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, Sir William Sutherland who tasked Detective Chief Inspector Roger Orr and a team including his brother Detective Sergeant Charlie Orr to carry it out. The inquiry and resulting Orr Report were kept secret and securely locked up in the Fettes Police HQ. That is until July 19 1992 when the Fettes HQ was sensationally burgled in what became known as "Fettesgate" and the Orr Report along with other top secret papers were stolen!

The Fettes burglar was eventually identified as a homosexual criminal called Derek William Donaldson who first sold the report to a newspaper and then offered to return the report on condition of immunity from prosecution, an offer the highly embarrassed Edinburgh police force were happy to accept.

Once the terms of the Orr Report was in the public domain the press ran with details of its findings-reflecting disquiet and the belief among police officers generally-which concluded that in 5 cases there was reason to believe that persons of positions of influence in the judiciary, Crown Office, and legal establishment, linked by common homosexual relationships were perverting the course of justice in having court cases or potential offences decided in their favour.

The first of the 5 cases the Orr Report dealt with concerned Colin Tucker and the firm of Burnett Walker. Tucker featured in another case together with Gordon May which was abandoned at the High Court in Dunfermline after the intervention of the Lord Advocate.

The litany of legal discrepancies involving the great and good in the Scottish legal establishment was such that the Westminster Parliament became involved and the Prime Minister, John Major ordered the Lord Advocate to hold an inquiry. Her Majesty's Advocate, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, appointed two senior members of the legal profession to hold an inquiry into the allegations of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in Scotland which the secret Orr Report had concluded existed.

So it was that William Austen Nimmo-Smith, QC and James D Friel, Regional Procurator Fiscal of North Strathclyde began their inquiry which would conclude in a report to the Honourable the House of Commons. The terms of reference for this enquiry were unusual in that they were not in accordance with any statute.

So Nimmo-Smith, aided by his junior partner Friel could take evidence from whomsoever they wished but they had no power to order anyone to give evidence. However before the members of the Westminster Parliament could hear a synopsis of the findings of the report read out to them, and before the House of Commons could vote on whether or not the report be published the findings of Nimmo-Smith were published in the Sun newspaper for the world to see!

The headline "FETTES THIEF CONS GAY JUDGES PROBE QC" caused a sensation partly because the man who, posing as a reporter and armed with a tape recorder had spent several hours in Nimmo Smith's home was none other than the gay con man, Derek William Donaldson who had burgled the Fettes police HQ and stolen top secret files on the "Magic Circle".

It was hardly surprising when the following morning The Scottish Sun published a further article entitled "NIMMO THE DIMMO" it was reported that a distressed Nimmo-Smith had sought psychiatric treatment at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. The now First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MP agreed with the Sun that the story was in the public interest, as its claims undermined the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Inquiry.

The Scottish establishment however rallied to the aid of Nimmo-Smith and his fellow Old-Etonian the editor of The Scotsman newspaper Magnus Linklater wrote a strong condemnation of The Scottish Sun's unethical use of information obtained by deception from the crooked Donaldson.

The Scottish Sun was not about to take lectures on journalism from Nimmo-Smith's establishment chums who might well wish to close ranks on a scandal that showed up the Scottish legal system in the worst possible light, and they defended their position strongly in a hard hitting Editorial piece entitled: "
Never mind the quality".
Politicians of all parties including the man whose actions had set off the Orr inquiry which predicated the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Inquiry, Tam Dalyell MP believed that the Sun had acted in the public interest and their article was of such significance that it should be placed in the library of the House of Commons.

 The Solicitor General for Scotland, Sir Nicholas Fairbairn QC, stated that the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Inquiry should be scrapped and a new "Magic Circle" inquiry be set up.

However it came as no surprise when some months later on 26th January 1993 "The Report on an Inquiry into an Allegation of a Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice in Scotland" was published, revealing-what Derek Donaldson had already told the Sun-that Nimmo-Smith and Friel had found there was no evidence to support allegations that a "Magic Circle" operated within the Scottish legal establishment.  

The establishment circled the wagons and backed the report on a vote in Westminster.

In essence the Nimmo-Smith Friel Report found all the lawyers linked to the Magic Circle clique innocent of any wrongdoing and all of the policemen who investigated this affair guilty of homophobia.

Oh, and all the rent boys and others who supported the Orr findings were liars and crooks.

The two group's poweres of recall was also found by Nimmo-Smith/Friel to be perfect among the lawyers, and wanting among the others.

I lost interest in the goings on with my old lawyers until recently when stories began drifting back from Thailand telling of the goings on of a group known as the Gay McMafia led by Colin Tucker's old pal Gordon May.

This was interesting because at the time the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Report also concluded that those involved in the Magic Circle rumours and Thailand were strangers.

The Report stated in this regard:  "The part of Orr's report which relates to the case against May and Tucker refers to Tucker's homosexuality, states that May is a practising homosexual, and alleges that May was involved in the running of an hotel and nightclub in Thailand. According to the report this place "is openly engaged in providing services for homosexuals particularly in the procurement of young male prostitutes or rent boys for the sexual gratification of visitors. The complex is thought to have been frequented by several persons popular on the Edinburgh gay scene, including the gay element of the legal fraternity." We are in possession of no evidence which would support this latter allegation."

I have never been to Thailand in my life but I know a regular visitor to the country-a truthful man of integrity-who told me that in the 1980's/90's he was on a flight from Scotland to Thailand which was forced by bad weather to land at a military base and according to him the passengers were terrified that the emergency would attract the attention of the press as half of the Scottish legal establishment were on the plane. High jinks in Thailand were the order of the day when the High Court was in recess apparently.

Now this anecdotal evidence, given voluntarily, in passing and doesn't mean a thing, but there are other pointers that suggest to me that maybe just maybe there was something to the rumours of ill gotten gains by a crooked clique of Scots being invested in Thailand.

In 2003 a piece of investigative journalism published in the Sunday Herald by award-winning journalist Neil McKay which dealt with Gordon May-Tucker's old partner-and a Thai gay-sex tourist hotel murder/scandal.

More recently another key player in the Magic Circle affair died in Thailand.

Edinburgh's Martin Frutin contradicted the allegations of the rent boys and his evidence was accepted by Nimmo Smith. Frutin was subsequently convicted of gay porn offences, fled Scotland and took up residence in Thailand where he became a prominent member of the local Masonic Lodge, Pattaya West Winds, as well as the gay scene. His death was reported recently as "Flamboyant Scot On Yard Child Sex Abuse Watch List Dies In Thailand".

Despite the fact that Foreign Travel Orders were introduced in 2007 to stop paedophiles visiting countries plagued by child sex tourism, such as Cambodia, Thailand and India, Frutin was able to travel between Scotland and Thailand freely. This highlights the failure of the Scottish Courts to grant a single order banning travel by paedophiles, a sad fact highlighted by the Daily Express.The latest development is the clearing by a Thai court (judgement included in article link below) of the investigative journalist Andrew Drummond who faced jail after writing articles that dealt with Gordon May, and among other things, his trial in the Teague Homes case at Dunfermline where he was-with co-defendant Colin Tucker-sensationally cleared of embezzlement.

Something dealt with in detail in the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Report. However the Thai court came to different conclusions regarding the £243,438.00 embezzled from Teague about which they said:  "However, the income of Teague Homes Co., Ltd. was spent to open of the biggest gay sex bar in Asia. The Court saw that it presented the fact of the case. Such article was just information which is public information."

Now it may be just coincidence that some of those who featured in the Magic Circle affair did end up in the very situations that the rumours suggested, but then again maybe the rumours were true?