Kincora And British Intelligence – Part Three – DCS George Caskey

[NOTE – Following my criticism of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry’s (HIAI) website for publishing indecipherable PDF’s of testimony, help arrived from the Iberian peninsula in the form of ‘The Catalunya Kid’ who has kindly translated all the relevant intelligence-related testimony into readable English. Normal coverage can now be supplied. Many thanks CK!]

Former Kincora residents demand a probe into MI5 and the boys home

Former Kincora residents demand a probe into MI5 and the boys home

When the Kincora scandal broke in late 1981, the RUC appointed George Caskey, then a Detective Chief Inspector in the force, to investigate the claims of sexual abuse at the home, claims that would soon expand to include, at one end of the spectrum, allegations of British intelligence knowledge of the abuse and at the other, assertions that a vice ring existed at the home which even served members of the British Royal family.

To insiders, the choice of Caskey was significant. A skilled, thorough and persistent investigator, George Caskey had also built up a reputation as a safe pair of hands when politically sensitive matters were involved.

He had, for instance, been put in charge of probing a notorious shooting incident at Ian Paisley’s Martyr’s Memorial church in south Belfast back in the 1970’s. Paisley had claimed that the IRA had fired the shots, meaning to kill him or one of his flock, but there were also suggestions that Paisley’s own people had staged the incident for propaganda purposes (not the first time, incidentally, that Paisley was suspected by the RUC of staging ‘IRA attacks’ on his home or church).

George Caskey was also brought in to investigate allegations of security force collusion with Loyalist killer gangs in the mid-1970’s made by Fred Holroyd, a former British soldier who claimed to have been working for a shady, MI6-linked undercover group in the Mid-Ulster area.

Holroyd’s claims embraced the accusation that Captain Robert Nairac, an SAS soldier – and British hero – who was later abducted and disappeared by the IRA, had personally assisted or even set up some of the UVF’s most notorious killings, not least the Miami showband massacre. No prosecutions resulted from Caskey’s probe, the results of which were never made public.

It was to George Caskey that the RUC top brass turned when news of Kincora broke and not a few observers remarked on the fact that prime amongst those accused of sexual misconduct at the home was William McGrath, an evangelical preacher, the founder and leader of the shady semi-paramilitary group Tara and a Loyalist whose connections ranged from the top to the bottom of the Orange Order, the DUP, the Official Unionists, the UVF and other Protestant activists. McGrath was on first name terms with Ian Paisley, Jim Molyneaux, Bo McClelland and the Rev Martin Smyth.

George Caskey appears from the testimony below to have given a lengthy witness statement to the HIAI inquiry which provides the basis of the cross-examination  that is recorded on the historical inquiry’s website and reprinted here. This statement is not, however, available to the public or media, as far as can be ascertained.

However to call George Caskey’s brief encounter with the inquiry’s junior counsel Joseph Aiken a cross-examination might be regarded by some as generous use of the English language, and by others as a travesty.

Here, for example, are retired Chief Superintendent Caskey’s first dozen or so answers to Mr Aiken’s interrogation, each one evidence not that the former detective was asked searching questions but rather that he was requested to assent to what will inevitably be the inquiry’s received wisdom: “I do”, “Yes”, “I do, sir”, “I do, sir”, “Yes”, “Yes”, “That’s correct, sir”, “That is true, sir”, “Yes”, “Mooney” (correcting an Aiken mistake), “Yes, that’s true”, “Yes, sir”, “Yes, that’s true”.

And so on.

In truth, Mr Aiken’s cross-examination could be summed up in this simple, single exchange: Q – ‘All this stuff about Kincora, George, it’s a crock of shit, yes?’; A – ‘Yes, that is true, sir’.

The problem for those of us who still harbour questions about Kincora and have next to no faith in the established order’s willingness to explore them properly, is that an awful lot of the Kincora story IS a crock of shit. And I have had personal experience of just how shitty the crock is.

The decision by Colin Wallace, for instance, to weave a vast conspiracy around events at the home, some of which, like the best conspiracies, contained grains of truth, must have been regarded as a godsend by the authorities.

Many years ago I interviewed Colin Wallace at length about Kincora and his ‘Clockwork Orange’ claims and I found the whole experience outlandish, a bit like trying to lift mercury with a fork. Many others who followed in my footsteps came to the same conclusion – not just that his story was not credible but that he had attached himself to the story for reasons of convenience.

His decision, first to boycott Caskey’s RUC inquiry in 1981-1983 and now the Historical Inquiry’s ‘deliberations’ must have been met with grins of satisfaction in all sorts on interesting places.

Later, after the experience with Wallace, I had a verbally violent confrontation with the late Frank Doherty, a journalist whose shameless dishonesty has, in my view, no match or equal in the annals of Irish journalism.

Frank, who I first met at Queen’s where he was a mature student, had the conman’s greatest gift, an ability to sell the most implausible proposal to the most sceptical, as evidenced by the legions of news editors and editors he deceived with outlandish stories (an IRA missile downing an RAF Chinook full of British spies in 1994 being one that leaps to mind).

In those days Frank was a regular, albeit anonymous contributor to Phoenix magazine in Dublin, and he had just published a story in its columns saying that Lord Mountbatten (conveniently dead and unable to sue) had used the services of boys at Kincora, as had other members of the British establishment.

We met by chance in Pat’s Bar in the Docks district and I got stuck into him, my anger equaled only by contempt. His story about Mountbatten was nonsense. He had no evidence for the story and he knew it; he’d made it up and all he was doing was undermining the wider story with far-fetched fiction whose only effect was to discredit those trying to establish the truth and to strengthen those who wanted to keep it hidden.

He replied with a unblushing grin: “Well, he (Mountbatten) could have been there”.

There are so many Frank Doherty-type stories and characters associated with Kincora that the task of pouring discredit and doubt on to the genuine areas of concern is not a difficult one. And so it is likely to be with the part of the HIAI inquiry dealing with that unfortunate boys’ hostel.

However one aspect of the sorry saga will not be so easy to dispose of and that is the allegation from former British Army officer, Brian Gemmell that MI5’s man at Thiepval barracks in the mid-1970’s, Ian Cameron, warned him off investigating Tara and William McGrath on the grounds – hardly conceivable in a trade at a time when honey traps were a regular tool – that MI5 did not bother itself with homosexuality.

Northern journalist, Chris Moore, in his book ‘The Kincora Scandal’, wrote that MI5 blocked George Caskey’s efforts to interview Ian Cameron about the Brian Gemmel allegation and in Caskey’s evidence at the HIAI inquiry comes perhaps the most significant revelation yet at the HIAI hearings, confirmation that this was indeed the case, that the intervention even of the RUC Chief Constable and the UK Attorney-General failed to move MI5 in its determination that Caskey would not get to speak to Ian Cameron (who is now dead, incidentally).

I have written before that it is difficult to read the transcripts of evidence given at the HIAI inquiry and not conclude that its outcome will be to absolve those in authority of any responsibility for events at the Kincora home. Except for MI5’s refusal to allow Ian Cameron to be interviewed by the RUC back in 1981-83.

In that refusal lies the stubborn suspicion that the denial was motivated by an unwillingness to discuss matters dealing with an MI5 source, and that someone at Kincora, or in Tara or in McGrath’s circle was working for the Security Service and had been recruited – or blackmailed? – into such employment by virtue of their sexual misbehaviour. Either that or Mr Cameron himself had something embarrassing to hide.

How will the HIAI deal with that?

June 27th, 2016 – Day 217

DCS GEORGE CASKEY (retired) (called)

CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Aiken?

MR AIKEN: Chairman, the witness today is now retired Detective Chief Superintendent George Caskey and he is aware, Chairman, that you are going to ask him to take the oath.

DCS GEORGE CASKEY (sworn)

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Please sit down.

Questions from COUNSEL TO THE INQUIRY

MR AIKEN: I was explaining to you earlier, George, that we call everybody by their first name. So don’t be alarmed at that. Coming up on the screen, George, in front of you will be what I hope is the first page of your witness statement, which is at KIN1908. Can you just have a look at it and see that it matches –you recognise the statement as yours?

A. I do.

Q. And if we go to the last page, please, which is at
KIN1918 –

A. Yes.

Q. –and you recognise the last page, and you can confirm that’s your signature on the document, George?

A. I do, sir.

Q. And you want to adopt the content of your witness
statement as part of your evidence to the Inquiry today?

A. I do, sir.

Q. Now, George, you explain at the start of your statement, if we go back to 1908, please, that you served for 39 years in the RUC and you retired in December 1996 as a detective chief superintendent.

A. Yes.

Q. And during the 1980s, which is the period of the
investigations that we are going to look at, you were
initially a detective chief inspector investigating
serious crime in Belfast in CID.

A. Yes.

Q. And during the investigations that are the subject of this Inquiry’s analysis you became a detective
superintendent, and I think that occurred between the – what we call the Phase One Inquiry, which saw Mains, Semple and McGrath convicted, and then the Phase Two Inquiry, which was sparked off by various media reports in the early part of 1982 after the convictions.

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. And between 1980 then, when The Irish Independent wrote their article on I think it was 24th January 1980, and the period culminating in the Hughes Inquiry in 1985 you led a series of major police investigations into Kincora Boys’ Hostel and other matters that sprang out of your investigation into Kincora Boys’ Hostel.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. And you acknowledge in your statement that The Police Service have explained to you that they have provided the Inquiry with all of the material that it holds presently in respect of the investigations.

A. Yes.

Q. And it may not surprise you or it may surprise you to know that culminated in twenty-six boxes of material being provided to the Inquiry, and just I’m going to summarise it in this way, George, and you can tell me that I’m right about this, because obviously there’s a vast swathe of material and you could spend literally weeks giving evidence about the content of your investigations, which isn’t how we’re going to go about this and wouldn’t be of assistance to you or the Inquiry, but the voluminous papers break down into various phases.

The Phase One Inquiry was started by you being
tasked at the time by, if I have understood this
correctly, Assistant Chief Constable Bill Meharg, who
was the Head of Crime in the RUC, Head of CID, and you were given through him and I think was it Detective Chief Superintendent Monaghan the responsibility –or Mooney. Sorry.

A. Mooney.

Q. –the responsibility of, “You’re to investigate this” and you were basically given a newspaper article –

A. Yes, that’s true.

Q. –and you were to select your team and then begin the inquiry.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And the –that was the Phase One Inquiry, which
resulted ultimately –it operated from January 1980.
Your report to the DPP was in August 1980, and in the end it ended with Mains, Semple and McGrath, but not just them, three other men working in two other children’s homes being convicted before the then Chief Justice in December 1981.

A. Yes, that’s true.

Q. And then the Phase Two Inquiry again involved you being asked to investigate matters that were arising in media articles that were being carried about all manner of different issues spawning from Kincora, including allegations that there was an establishment, whatever one means by that term, police officers, judiciary, Justices of the Peace, businessmen, all involved in some form of paedophile ring connected to Kincora, and you were asked then to investigate that, and that formed part of the Phase Two Inquiry, which ran during 1982 and resulted in you providing another report to the DPP.

A. Yes.

Q. And as part of that –we call it Phase Two –sorry –
Phase Three, but really it was a secret part of Phase
Two, if I can call it that. You were also as part of
that work examining what the military intelligence knew about Kincora.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And we have called that Phase Three. Phase Two and Phase Three were overseen by an outside police force. Sir George Terry was called in and brought some of his Sussex officers to oversee your ongoing investigation and to look back at the Phase One investigation.

A. That is correct.

Q. And I am not going to go to the pages, George, but the Sussex superintendents, who I presume were the two individuals Harrison and Flenley that you had most contact with, acknowledge in their report that they were given by you and acknowledged receiving full cooperation not just in the letter but in the spirit. That’s the words that Superintendent Harrison uses in his report.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. Those two parts, if you like, Phase Two, Phase Three, or both part of the one investigation, you were able to submit your open report to the DPP earlier than your closed report, if I can put it that way, or the secret investigation into military intelligence, because there was a loose end that you were trying to get closed off in respect of the secret investigation.

A. That is correct, sir.

Q. And we will come back to look at that.
Then there’s one more major limb, George, to the work that you did, although, as you explain in your
Phase Two report, as you turned over a stone in the main Phase Two Inquiry, that tended to lead off to
an investigation into an offshoot, as it were, and you
had various officers who conducted investigations into specific matters that were raised, which really in the end had nothing whatever to do with Kincora, even though media articles linked them to Kincora.

A. Yes.

Q. And then if we scroll down, you had come across Colin Wallace during your initial secret investigation into military intelligence, and I will come back to that, but the Phase Four investigation in 1984/’85 was specifically about a document that was put into the public domain in a rather circuitous manner in 1984, dated 8th November 1974, said to be authored by Colin Wallace, and if that is correct that it was written at that date, contained a whole series of serious allegations that would have entirely changed the complexion of what you had discovered up to that point in time.

A. Yes.

Q. I will come back to talk about him shortly.
We have mentioned the smaller investigations that
were offshoots. I was asking you –you I think did start to give evidence to the McGonagle Inquiry in 1982 and then it came to an end, but you didn’t have to give evidence to the Hughes Inquiry, although you were present on occasions when that was being dealt with, but you have agreed even in retirement to come and give evidence to this Inquiry.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You explain a series of key points in your witness
statement that I just want to highlight, George, and
give you the opportunity to comment on if there’s anything further you want to augment to them.
You have made the point to the Inquiry that you are
satisfied that the reports you provided –and in
fairness to you they are all of considerable length –
that they are an accurate record of the investigations and the conclusions that you reached on foot of your
investigations.

A. That’s true.

Q. There are some specific points you wanted to draw to the Inquiry’s attention in respect of them. You explain that the Phase One investigation –this all began with you effectively being handed a newspaper article, but it ended up with six men, three of whom worked in other children’s homes not connected to Kincora, being convicted of and imprisoned for sexual offences against multiple victims dating back many years prior to the
date of the article in January 1980.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you explain in your statement, if we just scroll
down so it can be seen on the screen, that the direction that you were given, including at the start, because, as you know, George, there ends up being a major issue connected to Assistant Chief Constable Bill Meharg, but the direction you were given, if we scroll down so we can see 6(b) please, from the Chief Constable, at that stage Sir John Hermon, and your superiors –by that I take you to mean Bill Meharg and Chief Superintendent Monaghan and ultimately –

A. Mooney.

Q. Mooney. Sorry. I keep saying “Monaghan”. Forgive me

–and then later Assistant Chief Constable John
Whiteside –

A. Yes.

Q. –and throughout all of those investigations the
position you were to adopt was there was to be no stone left unturned.

A. Those were the words of the Chief Constable at the time, sir.

Q. And-

A. A direction down to me, yes.

Q. And the reality, if I can put it this way, George: the materials that are available to the Inquiry demonstrate that there wasn’t –whoever came up whose name came up in whatever way, whether they be a leading politician, Orange Order members, churchmen, in an entirely different direction men engaged in homosexual activity in Belfast, men said to be interested in children, whatever, whoever’s name came up, they were traced and spoken to.

A. That’s true.

Q. And the –I think I’ve lost the –there were many
hundreds, if I can put it that way, of witnesses spoken to both in the first inquiry and then in the second inquiry and then in the secret inquiry you pursued military figures, including some who would not normally want to be engaged in police inquiries because of their own roles, that would give statements to you as part of those investigations.

A. Yes.

Q. You make the point that many prominent people in public life were spoken to where it was believed that they could either assist with getting to the bottom of what was being said or investigated where they themselves faced allegations.

A. Yes.

Q. I will just give one example that the Panel is aware of. In your Phase Two Inquiry, George, you may remember this, but as a result of one of the media articles linking a particular man who was acquitted of offending in 1970, which was a man called KIN 357 I think, if I’ve got the name right, you went back and reinvestigated what occurred in 1970 that resulted in his acquittal, which included chasing down retired resident magistrates and court clerks and working out who signed the register at a given point in time. I am raising that because the Panel are aware of that case as an example of the point you are making that you turned over every stone regardless of who was sitting on it.

A. That is so.

Q. The point you make, if we scroll on then, please, to (d), certainly, George, when we come to especially the Phase Two Inquiry, which was largely driven by articles that were written or reported in the media –

A. Yes.

Q. –that involved you chasing down lots of avenues that were increasingly distant from allegations of sexual abuse in Kincora.

A. That is true.

Q. You make the point that you weren’t always assisted by people who were writing articles but not then sharing with you the sources of the information that were said to be evidence for these articles.

A. That is so.

Q. And is it fair, George, if I put it like this: unless
you can trace where the information is said to come from as a police officer conducting an investigation into serious crime, you are in a rather difficult position starting off?

A. Yes, that would be true.

Q. And the point you make in paragraph (d) that’s on the screen is that many of the media allegations that were made or published turned out to have no evidential basis.

A. That is so, sir.

Q. If I can try and hone that down a little, George, it is not that there was some truth to them that just you
couldn’t get any evidence to prosecute with. It was
when you examined the claims, it was that there was no evidence for them.

A. That is correct, sir.

Q. Now I am not talking about all of the claims and neither R2316 are you, but many of the claims you investigated that result –that arose from media allegations were simply groundless.

A. I think that is fair comment, sir.

Q. You give two examples in paragraph (d), George, I want to just ask you about. Part of what sparked the Phase Two Inquiry was the case, and the suggestion of a paedophile ring through him connected to Kincora.

A. That’s so.

Q. What you spend many pages in your Phase Two Inquiry setting out, having gathered all of the evidence, and if I can boil it down to this, that particular boy, R23 R23, who was abused by his uncle and two of his friends, made the point to you when you traced him that he was never actually in Kincora.

A. That is so, sir.

Q. Didn’t know anybody who lived there and didn’t himself regard himself as involved in a paedophile ring other than being involved with his uncle and his two friends.

A. That is correct.

Q. Now that’s not, as you know, to minimise what happened to him, but it’s an example, if I understand you correctly, of the difficulty that you were faced with, that you were having serious allegations being linked to dreadful events that had happened that were sensationalising them, if I can put it that way, and then when you examined them, they were found to be without foundation.

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. The other example that you give was the –relates to the horrific murder of Brian McDermott in the early ’70s. During your Phase Two Inquiry a journalist linked that murder to Kincora –

A. Yes.

Q. –and individuals said to be associated with Kincora, and as a result of that you had to effectively reopen that investigation to see was there any basis for the claim that was being made to you.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That resulted by the time you’d done the work and
gathered the evidence that it’s not that there was some evidence of that which wouldn’t amount to a prosecution, but simply there was no evidence whatever of anyone involved with Kincora and your inquiry into Kincora being involved in any way with Brian McDermott or anyone connected to him or his murder.

A. That is true.

Q. But the point you make is it didn’t matter ultimately whether or not they were right. They were investigated as far as you could investigate them and the reality of
the situation as you describe it in your statement is
that took you far and wide –

A. Yes, sir.

Q. –well beyond the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

A. Yes.

Q. You then cover, George, at paragraph (e) of your statement that obviously there were issues that arose
for the RUC in –when you conducted your investigation, because you yourself identified in your report, and then the Sussex investigators carried them on, two particular occasions which we have been looking at before the Inquiry. One related to Superintendent John Graham and information he had been given and the other related to
information that arose from Detective Constable Cullen and his communications with the Assistant Chief Constable Bill Meharg.

A. Yes.

Q. You set those out in your report. Those were different matters, as it were, from –that’s a failure to act potentially on relevant information, different from what you were being asked to do in Phase One, which was to catch the people responsible for abusing children in Kincora.

A. Yes.

Q. But the materials in your Phase One report –and you were explaining to me that, in fact, you had
conversations that it was appropriate that an outside
force come in and look at these matters because of what you had found as part of your Phase One work.

A. Yes.

Q. What I wanted to ask you, George, as you look back on what was effectively five years of investigating all sorts of matters around Kincora, you make the point that no-one in the RUC ever interfered in the investigations you were conducting.

A. That is so.

Q. So whatever might have been the case about failures to act previously, you weren’t put under pressure not to look at something, or not to investigate something, or not to speak to someone at any stage during your work?

A. That is so.

Q. You make the point, often said by police officers
pursuing serious crime, “I went wherever the evidence took me”.

A. That would be fair comment.

Q. A point you make in paragraph (f), George, is that quite early on in your Phase One report you make the point that you could see that there were boys in Kincora effectively themselves victims but who, as the law stood at the time, were telling you about homosexual activity they were engaged in, which on the face of it could lead to them being prosecuted as well as those they were involved with.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You felt it was appropriate, so that they could be free to tell you what the position was, that you would go to the then DPP, which was Sir Barry Shaw, and obtain from him an immunity for what began as a particular group of residents who disclosed things in the initial phases of the first inquiry, but then a general immunity as you completed and provided your first report that any resident or ex-resident who was said to engage in homosexual activity shouldn’t face prosecution, that they should have immunity, and that was your way of ensuring that those individuals were free to tell you exactly what had gone on.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. Now part of –the point you make is –lest it be said of your investigation that that was some form of cover-up, you make the point that you in addition to
having a newspaper article and ending with six people in prison, but you genuinely believe that your team couldn’t have done more to ensure that the victims of abuse in Kincora were able to speak freely and fully to your team about what had occurred.

A. That is fair comment, sir.

Q. Now one of the consequences –and I think you were explaining this to me when we spoke previously, George, and you can maybe explain it to the Panel as to what you mean by this –but where an individual who was living in Kincora, you then are quite often speaking to them as an adult, many of them continued to engage in homosexual activity –

A. Yes.

Q. –and many of them disclosed to you other individuals not connected to them necessarily during their time in Kincora who they were engaging in homosexuality with – having homosexual relations with. Your investigation, if you like, went to the next step of tracing those individuals who themselves were never said to be in or involved in Kincora or having –engaging in sexual offences connected to Kincora, but because at the time their activity was criminal behaviour, you pursued them and obtained in many cases confession statements from adults who were engaging in homosexual activity with
other adults –

A. Yes.

Q. –or in some cases boys or young men under 18, and all of those matters were reported to the DPP, and you recommended they be prosecuted, and it was then a matter for the DPP to decide whether they should be prosecuted or not.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. In the end the Panel are aware from the DPP direction that they elected not to prosecute the significant number of individuals that had disclosed homosexual activity to you as part of the investigation.

A. Yes.

Q. But you make the point in your statement, George, that this process of moving to the next ripple, if I can put it that way, was your way of ensuring that you chased down any potential for there being rings and
prostitution or anything of that nature connected to
Kincora, because each time someone was named, you went and found them, and if they named someone else, you went and found the third person and so on until everybody who had been named had been spoken to –

A. Yes, sir.

Q. –where they could be found.

A. Where they could be found.

Q. In paragraph 8 –and we have covered this already, George –you make the point about the cooperation you gave to the outside investigators when they came in –

A. Yes.

Q. –which they refer to. You make the point in
paragraph (i) that when it was apparent that Assistant Chief Constable William Meharg had been previously involved to some extent in allegations relating to William McGrath, your recollection is that Sir John Hermon arranged for you to report directly to Assistant Chief Constable John Whiteside.

A. Yes.

Q. That was the way to avoid any conflict of interest.

A. Yes.

Q. Your recollection is at the start, because he was the Head of Crime, Bill Meharg was involved in effectively setting up the investigation and handing it to you to get on with –

A. Yes.

Q. –but your recollection is that John Whiteside
ultimately would become the main person you would
communicate with –

A. Yes.

Q. –in respect of it.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Then in paragraph 7, George, you make points which may well be obvious to the Panel Members, but –that as part of your investigations into Kincora, but in your general policing investigations over the course of a career of almost forty years, but this applied to the Kincora investigations, as I understand the point you are making, not all the allegations that were made were true.

A. Yes. That’s right.

Q. Some individuals were prepared to and did make
allegations which were untrue.

A. Yes.

Q. Some individuals exaggerated what happened or attempted to minimise their role in what had occurred.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. If we scroll down to (d), some individuals, including responsible adults, as the Panel has looked at over the last number of days, made allegations to the media that had no basis in fact, or which were wildly exaggerated, or so wildly exaggerated that allegations appeared in the media that were entirely unsupported by the
evidence.

A. That is correct, sir.

Q. You have made the point which is in paragraph (e), which

is that journalists by not giving you the identities of
sources made it more difficult for you to investigate.

A. That’s right.

Q. Now you then –if we scroll down, please, at
paragraph 8 you address a number of specific incidents

that you draw to the Panel’s attention and the Inquiry
discussed them with you.  The first related to Joss Cardwell. You have
explained in the statement, as you did in your report,
that Joss Cardwell’s name only came up in your

investigation because a journalist brought it up –

A. That’s right, sir.

Q. –and that at no time, as I understand –and you have
said this I think if we scroll down slightly further –
yes, it is in paragraph 11 –at no time during your

investigation did anyone ever make an allegation against

that man.

A. No-one, sir.

Q. And it doesn’t –to the Inquiry’s knowledge no
allegation has ever been made subsequently. The point you were making is when you carried out the
investigation as a result of his name being raised with you, his name did appear in the visitors’ book in
Kincora, but with good reason –

A. Yes.

Q. –in that part of his role meant he was required at
times to visit.

A. Yes.

Q. Unfortunately, as you point out, you don’t know why, but he subsequently a number of weeks after being interviewed committed suicide.

A. Yes, that’s true.

Q. You go on, George, in paragraph 13, if we scroll down on to the next page, please, to speak about Ian Cameron –

A. Yes.

Q. –the MI5 intelligence officer who was based as the
Assistant Secretary Political with the Army in
Headquarters Northern Ireland in Lisburn in Thiepval in 1975.

A. Yes.

Q. You point out at the start of this passage that the direction and your approach was to leave no stone
unturned, and the one area where that was not achieved to your satisfaction was during the secret investigation or the Phase Three investigation, as we are calling it, into military intelligence.

A. Yes.

Q. That related to Captain Brian Gemmell and what he said to you in his police statement after an interview with –that he had with Roy Garland.

A. Yes.

Q. Now the Inquiry is going to look at, as I explained to you, George, all what was said to you at the time and what has been said subsequently by him and others in relation to it, but what you were dealing with at the time was he had said to you in his police statement that he’d spoken to Roy Garland and that he’d brought information to Ian Cameron.

A. This is Brian Gemmell?

Q. This is Brian Gemmell. He had got his information from Roy Garland, brought it to Ian Cameron and Ian Cameron had given him a direction not to get involved in homosexual matters. Now there’s a major issue about what exactly he was told and what Ian Cameron was answering when he was asked about these matters by Brian Gemmell, and the Inquiry will look at that, but from your perspective as a police officer investigating, Brian Gemmell –Brian Gemmell raised his name with you as someone who had some knowledge that Brian Gemmell had
passed on to him, and he had received a direction from him and as a result you wanted to speak to him.

A. Yes.

Q. I think you –it’s phrased delicately in your
statement, but the result of you wanting to speak to him caused all manner of issues, and if I summarise it this way: your desire to speak to him resulted in your Chief Constable, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney-General of the United Kingdom, the legal adviser for the security service, M15, all engaging in prolonged discussions over many months about your desire to talk to Ian Cameron.

A. Yes.

Q. And the –eventually we got to the point of you writing thirty questions that you wanted a formal response to.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Formal answers were not provided to you.

A. That’s correct.

Q. This ended, as the Inquiry is aware, with Assistant
Chief Constable Whiteside writing a letter in 1983
saying, “Well, this is what we wanted to do. This is
where it’s at.  Now over to you”, and he hands it over to the DPP and the Attorney-General, saying you, as in he and you, stand ready to take the matter any further, but you can’t take it further if you can’t talk to this individual.

A. Yes.

Q. Now you’ll know –if we scroll down so we can see
paragraph 18 –the Inquiry having gained material –
you were coming at it from an RUC senior officer
investigating and from the knowledge that you had, and what the Inquiry has been able to do, as we were
discussing previously, was gather the information from the other angle, as it were, as to what MI5 were doing and then put the two together and allow the Panel to look at that material in the round.

There are documents, as you know, from July to
November 1982 involving discussions, with Special Branch facilitating discussions, where information is being given to you, and one of those, as I was discussing with you, shows a suggestion at any rate that a summary of what Ian Cameron’s position was, which largely agreed with what Brian Gemmell said in his police statement, was communicated to you, but your position was well – if I can summarise it this way, George, but maybe let you put it in your own words –it’s all very well someone telling you what the position is, but as a police officer that’s not enough for you to finish your inquiries.

A. It was not in this case.

Q. You in paragraph 19 address the fact that although there is the document which suggests the gist of Ian Cameron’s answers were provided to you and you are recorded as having said they matched what Brian Gemmell had said, you don’t at this remove –and you were making this point to me when we discussed it –you don’t remember those meetings specifically at this remove, which would have been in fairness thirty –

A. Yes.

Q. –thirty-three, thirty-four years ago.

A. That is true.

Q. But the point you are making is even if the record is entirely accurate that you were conveyed the information and you could see that what was being said broadly matched what Brian Gemmell was saying, you as an investigating police officer wanted a formal response to complete your inquiry –

A. Yes.

Q. –and you did not get that formal response.

A. That’s correct.

Q. Therefore am I right in saying, George, that you always regarded that part as not complete, because you can’t get it as a police officer formally on the record?

A. Yes. I would say it was a loose end.

Q. You can understand, and we were discussing, because the material which you didn’t know then but which you know now coming in the opposite direction, which were the reasons why the Security Service didn’t want one of their personnel being interviewed by police generally as a rule, because they regarded it as not being able to contribute anything and so on, and these discussions are going on at a high level, that’s all very well, but you
wanted the thing closed off?

A. Yes.

Q. The other loose end, if I can put it that way, George, you then talk about from paragraph 21 on in your statement and that related to Colin Wallace. If we – you can see you have said in paragraph 21 that was the other outstanding line of inquiry. In effect you say, to try and summarise it, he refused to cooperate with the investigation –

A. Yes.

Q. –despite claiming he wanted to assist.

A. Yes.

Q. Now if I can try and unpack that a little, the sequence of events tended to be he wanted to assist. You would go and see him. There would be some issue raised. You would go off, try and address the issue, come back and be told what you’d done wasn’t sufficient.

A. That’s correct.

Q. Now I think, if I am not being inaccurate, at one stage in one of your reports you thought you had done enough to call his bluff, having got immunity for him in respect of the matters he said he wanted to tell you about.

A. Yes.

Q. But when that was presented I think –do you want to explain? It was a very short interview when you presented the immunity.

A. Yes, about fifteen minutes I think. It was under
an hour anyway.

Q. The point that you are making in paragraph 22, George, to summarise a long sequence of exchanges, was you wanted to get to the bottom one way or the other of the claims he was making.

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. But by him adopting this course of, on the one hand, telling you he wanted to cooperate, but then giving you reasons why he couldn’t cooperate –

A. Yes. He set down conditions.

Q. –the result of that was that you just couldn’t get to
the bottom of it.

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you form a view eventually, George, in the course of this that did he intend to cooperate, did he want to cooperate, or had you formed a view that well, that was what was being said to you, but that wasn’t really the reality?

A. Well, when I –at my final interview with him I formed the opinion that he was not going to cooperate in any way.

Q. You then make the point in paragraph 23, and the Panel has your two reports, because you deal with Colin Wallace’s claims during your secret investigation Phase Three and then Phase Four was looking specifically at the document that came to light, and I am right in saying, George, that when you were looking at the military intelligence aspect and Colin Wallace in ’82 and ’83, there was no mention of this document?

A. No, not at all.

Q. The document materialised at a later date –

A. Yes.

Q. –which seems to be I think November ’84, and
thereafter you carry out a specific investigation into
it.

A. Yes.

Q. Again the same sequence of events occur.

A. That’s true.

Q. You set out the findings then in your report as far as you could take them.

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. And the point, if we scroll down to paragraph 25, in summary that you make, George, is: “Colin Wallace adopted a very strange approach for
someone who claimed through many media articles” –and indeed is still claiming through many media articles -” that he wanted to speak and assist about Kincora.”

A. That is true, sir.

Q. Now then, George, I want to look at what you say in the conclusion section of your statement. You have
obviously, George, over the years saw many media articles about this place that you spent five years
investigating.

A. Yes.

Q. You are aware of the more sensational, if I can put it that way, of those allegations that have been carried and continue to be carried.

A. Yes.

Q. But the point that you are making to the Inquiry is from your investigations you were satisfied that the RUC identified and had prosecuted those individuals who had sexually abused boys in Kincora.

A. Yes.

Q. That the sexual abuse occurred generally in secret
between the two individuals who were involved at any particular point in time.

A. Yes.

Q. That you did uncover many potential missed opportunities to detect the offences –

A. Yes.

Q. –which you were then uncovering in 1980, but you didn’t find any evidence that an individual had
deliberately tried to cover up the abuse in Kincora, and you explain what you mean by that, because, as you know, the words become more elastic nowadays in reports, but what you are talking about is in the sense that an individual knew boys were being abused and did some positive act to hide it or turned a blind eye to the fact that it was occurring –

A. Yes, that’s true.

Q. –as opposed to different information, which was someone was a homosexual and simply a belief that that, therefore, meant they would be abusing.
The point that I take you to be making here is that
you didn’t –you never found any evidence of an individual who knew boys in Kincora were being abused and did something to try and hide it.

A. That’s fair comment, sir.

Q. Then you make this point, George, in the next
paragraph of your –26(e), and you make the
qualification, just to be clear, it depends what exactly is meant by these phrases, but you were and remain
satisfied there was no evidence of a prostitution ring

A. That is true, sir.

Q. –connected to Kincora; that there wasn’t a paedophile ring as it might be today defined of people coming into Kincora on some sort of organised basis to engage with or take boys out to engage with them in homosexual offences?

A. That is very true, sir.

Q. And the same applies to the concept of a vice ring?

A. Yes.

Q. What you did uncover was three men who abused the trust that was placed in them and took advantage of the boys in their care.

A. Yes.

Q. But you also found evidence of boys in Kincora engaging in homosexual activity with other people.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. But not prostitution ring or paedophile ring in that sort of form that’s envisaged in the allegations.

A. No such evidence or suspicion.

Q. The point that you make then in paragraph (f), and this was the allegation that sparked the second phase inquiry that led into all manner of investigations in various directions, there was no evidence of any prominent establishment figures coming into Kincora to sexually abuse boys or take boys out of Kincora for that purpose.

A. None whatsoever.

Q. So, George, you from your experience as a police officer will be familiar between the difference of there’s some evidence for this, but it’s not going to be sufficient to sustain a prosecution and there’s just no evidence for it, and what I take you to be describing here is not the former. It is not the case that you found some evidence for this, but you weren’t going to get the person convicted of it. It’s you didn’t find any evidence of this at all.

A. That’s why I said “none whatsoever”.

Q. You point to in your statement that the best evidence of this fact is what the boys themselves have to say, and the Panel is aware, because I have gone through what, giving voice to the victims, each of them had to say to you and to subsequent investigations and have said subsequently to the Inquiry.

Now none of this is to say, George –you, of course, prosecuted the men for the offences that they
did commit –

A. Yes.

Q. –on the boys in their care, but the point you’re making is that none of them ever claimed to have been involved in this type of wider activity of paedophile rings or prosecution rings involving prominent or establishment figures, politicians and businessmen and that type of thing. None of them made those claims.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. You make the point there were isolated examples of Kincora residents associating with men outside the home and you investigated those allegations, but they don’t fall into the type of category that you and I are presently discussing.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. You make the point there was no evidence of anyone being blackmailed because of their sexual activity at Kincora. No-one ever claimed to you that that was the case.

A. No-one, sir.

Q. Now then you address at the Inquiry’s request, George, the wider allegation which has continued to run and continued to be reported even to today and that is that there was some State-run operation to promote or facilitate sexual offences in Kincora for some intelligence-gathering or other purpose. So not
a reactive attempt to cover over abuse that was
occurring, but a proactive for a State purpose of some kind operation that saw boys in a care home, a children’s home, sexually abused to gather
information, and the point that you make in this
paragraph is you found no evidence of that whatever. Not again that there was some evidence that wasn’t going to meet the evidential test. There was just no evidence of it.

A. I found no evidence whatsoever, sir, on anything like that.

Q. And no boy or men ever claimed anything like that to you?

A. No.

Q. Then you make the point that follows from that point, George, in paragraph 5. Consequently you didn’t find any evidence of an individual or organisation trying to cover up that sort of scheme, because you didn’t find that sort of scheme in the first place.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. You make this point then, that you remain content with the conclusions that you reached as expressed in the reports at the end of the different phases of the investigation, and you make the point again that there was no paedophile ring or prominent figures involved in abusing boys in Kincora at least to the extent of your police inquiry, which was to trace I think in the end – there was some debate over the figures –but around about –you managed to trace half of approximately the
resident of Kincora that had ever been through it
between ’58 and ’80.

A. Yes. That is true.

Q. The point you make about those wider allegations is they’re not only not made, but they’re entirely
inconsistent with what the victims of Mains, Semple and McGrath and the other former residents of Kincora actually had to say to you.

A. That is true, sir.

Q. George, as you know, I mentioned to you the Inquiry is looking at the RUC failures in ’74, including involving Messrs Cullen and Meharg, and we’re continuing issues around that. I have said to you we will speak to you again about that –

A. Yes.

Q. –if the need arises and you have said you are happy for us to do that.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I, George, am not going to ask you any further questions at this point. The Panel Members may want to ask you something. So if you wouldn’t mind, if you would bear with us for a short while they do that.

Questions from THE PANEL

CHAIRMAN: First of all, Mr Caskey, can I thank you on behalf of myself and my colleagues for coming out of retirement to look again at what on any showing was a vast undertaking or perhaps more accurately series of undertakings that you and your officers engaged in, but before I do that may I ask you perhaps one or two things that may seem obvious? You retired with thirty-nine years’ service. Was the majority of that as a detective?

A. It was thirty-four years, sir.

Q. And during the period we are looking at you were initially a detective chief inspector and then
a detective superintendent.

A. That is so.

Q. Then subsequently you were promoted to and retired as a detective chief superintendent.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So if we may put it this way, in operational terms, as opposed to an ACC, who might oversee matters such as the CID in general, you were one of those who was at the highest rank of operational detective policing in the

RUC. Is that correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And as is evident to us from having looked at the vast quantity of material you and your colleagues drew together, you carried out a great many of the interviews of individuals who were investigated yourself with, as is the standard practice, another officer present, usually of junior rank to yourself.

A. That is so, sir.

Q. And if I might just ask you: with your experience as a detective would you agree that not everybody will be either entirely accurate or entirely truthful in what they say to a police officer?

A. Yes, sir. That can happen.

Q. And they may have difficulty in remembering things that happened?

A. Yes.

Q. They may need to have their memory prompted with a document or a statement made by another witness and then they may either genuinely or perhaps reluctantly agree that their earlier account was inaccurate or perhaps incomplete?

A. Yes. In cases such as these, sir, because some of the
residents we interviewed had –had been married and they didn’t to disclose entirely what actually happened.

So there was an understanding when interviewing people that we had to make sure that there was no embarrassment alluded to them if they were going to make a statement.

Q. And arising out of that in a general way was it the
approach certainly when you came to submit your reports that where someone had been prevailed upon as a young man perhaps or as a teenager to engage in what were then illegal sexual acts, that generally speaking, unless they themselves had breached some form of trust, that it was your view that it would not be in the public interest for them to be prosecuted?

A. That’s true, sir.

Q. And I think it is evident from the documents that we have looked at that apart from the Kincora Boys’ Home, which we are concerned with at this moment, that, in fact, you investigated –when I say you, you and your team investigated quite a number of other homes, such as Williamson House and places of that nature –

A. Yes. That is true.

Q. –because there were three other men who appeared at the same court as Mains, Semple and McGrath for similar offences perpetrated elsewhere.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And in addition to those homes which you were directly responsible for it appears to be the case that at some point when allegations emerged in relation to other homes that you were given the task of perhaps maintaining a watching brief over those investigations or at least being informed of them to ensure that, first of all, they were properly investigated and, secondly, that the whole wider picture, if there was one, was laid before you.

A. Yes, sir. That is so.

Q. One of the things that is perhaps not generally
appreciated is that in the normal way when a police investigation is carried out and the papers are
submitted to the relevant prosecuting authorities, if
there is a prosecution, then it follows, does it not,
that the nature and extent of the investigation will
appear publicly if there’s a trial?

A. Yes, it would, sir.

Q. If the accused pleads not guilty –

A. Not guilty, yes.

Q. –then it is laid out in very considerable detail and
you see the witnesses who are called. If the accused pleads guilty, well, then generally, even if the papers are before the court, a relatively short description of
the salient points but not all of the detail –

A. No.

Q. –will be made before the judge and therefore before the public. Isn’t that right?

A. That’s true.

Q. But if there is a decision that there should be no
prosecution, then the nature and extent in detail of the work that has been done is never brought before the public. Isn’t that so?

A. That’s true.

Q. And even if, as there was in the case of Sir George
Terry’s Inquiry, another force under another Chief
Constable’s direction was brought in, the normal course is only to publish the conclusions. Isn’t that so?

A. That’s true, sir.

Q. But the one exception where there has not been a trial is when there is a public inquiry such as our own or that conducted by the late Judge Hughes, and in those circumstances the nature and extent of any police investigations may well be placed before the public. Isn’t that so?

A. That is true.

Q. When you were conducting your inquiries in 1982 and ’83, that is the second and third, the third being the secret phase, were you aware that, perhaps just from newspapers and public comment, that there were calls for a public inquiry into Kincora and into the way the police had investigated it, that that was a possibility?

A. Oh, yes. It would be, sir.

Q. Yes, and would that knowledge have been in any way an added spur to you to ensure that no stone was left unturned?

A. Well, when you are getting a direction from someone like Sir John Hermon, you left no stone unturned, nor would I even consider leaving any stone unturned in such circumstances.

Q. If we could come then to one or two of the particular things that you have told us about, leaving no stone untold –unturned, you felt that there was a loose end in relation to your attempts to interview Ian Cameron. Isn’t that correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And it will become apparent from documents we will look at later that The Security Service was not very happy with the idea that you would directly speak to Ian Cameron. Isn’t that so?

A. That’s true.

Q. And ultimately you drafted the thirty questions?

A. That’s so.

Q. Can you recall if the idea for the thirty questions was your own idea and adopted and approved by others or did it come from another source and you thought that was a good idea?

A. I wanted to do that, but I did speak with who later became Sir Alasdair Fraser in the Director’s office, who had been appointed by Sir Barry to liaise if there were any difficulties the police investigation encountered, and whilst I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty certain that I discussed this with Sir Alasdair and the questions were formulated or they were maybe changed in some way.

Q. And Sir Alasdair sadly has since died –

A. Yes.

Q. –who later succeeded Sir Barry Shaw –

A. Yes.

Q. –as Director of Public Prosecutions, but in any event, although you may not have been aware of this at the time, your Chief Constable, Sir John Hermon, Sir George Terry, the Attorney-General, the DPP and the legal adviser to the Security Service were all at different times –they weren’t all there on each occasion –but they all appear to have spent a great deal of time discussing how your, if I may say so, very proper insistence that Mr Cameron should at least answer the questions was to be met.

A. I would have thought so, sir.

Q. Yes. Indeed, in 1983, when you finally submitted your report, we will hear I think that Assistant Chief Constable John Whiteside had earlier sent your questions to The Northern Ireland Office in an attempt to through that route get an answer.

A. Yes.

Q. Were you aware of that at the time?

A. I was aware that he submitted them, but –to the
Northern Ireland Office.

Q. Yes. So far as Sir Alasdair Fraser, whom you have
referred to, but Sir Barry Shaw was concerned, you I am sure submitted a great many reports which were
ultimately considered in other cases by Sir Barry, cases of –controversial murder cases or matters of that sort?

A. Yes, that would happen, sir.

Q. Was his reputation as a Director someone who was meticulous in the work that he expected others to
provide for him?

A. That’s my belief, sir.

Q. And was he anxious to ensure that whatever was placed before him was dealt with in a thorough and impartial way by his Department?

A. Very much so.

Q. Would it be unfair to put it this way, that you had to cross all the Is and dot all the Ts –the other way
round –I am sorry –dot all the Is and cross all the

A. Well, I know when I was sending anything to Sir Barry, yes, they were all dotted and stroked.

Q. You have pointed out to us that you interviewed a very large number of people. Would it be fair to say, with very few exceptions, everybody, no doubt with varying degrees of enthusiasm, was prepared to submit to being interviewed and to answer questions?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. But there were two areas in which that does not seem to have been the case from what you said. The first was a number –I should say not all, but a number of journalists would not give you the source from which some form of assertion had come.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. If that happens, is there anything you can do?

A. In these cases it depended on the depth of the
information one was getting, and I never saw any reason to threaten, if I may use that word, any journalist that there could be repercussions for them if they didn’t, because most of them, if not all of them, did give me – not giving the names of their sources or the sources of the information, but were passing on the material, which I found useful.

Q. Yes. So in some instances they might say perhaps,

“Well, I will go back and speak to the person and try and encourage them to change their position and speak to you”?

A. No, I never got that position. I don’t recollect
anything that might have happened, sir, but I don’t recollect that happening.

Q. Yes. Finally, you did make a number of efforts I think to speak to Mr Wallace.

A. Yes.

Q. More than one, if I recall correctly.

A. I spoke with him twice in prison, in the prison in
Sussex, and I sent my Detective Inspector Ted Cooke on one occasion to see him. That was between my first interview and the second interview.

Q. So there were three visits from RUC officers.

A. Yes.

Q. Is that correct? As you said, he was in prison at that time. As will become apparent, he was serving
a sentence for manslaughter and his conviction was
quashed some years later.

A. That’s true, sir.

Q. But he was in prison when you were speaking to him or your officer spoke to him?

A. Yes, he was.

Q. I take it there were quite a number of matters that you would have wished to discuss with him?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. And I think the way you put it was that you felt he
adopted a very strange approach?

A. He did, and he just wasn’t cooperative and wanted
conditions laid down for him to speak with me. One of them I recall was that he said he would need to return to HQNI and it would take him probably six months or more to find the material that he could address me with, and –but then when –when we got the immunity for him from the Director of Public Prosecutions and the – I think he was entitled Inspector General, but a very high-ranking situation within the Army, and when I served the letters on him, he discussed the matters with his solicitor and the solicitor advised him to say nothing more, and that was the end of our contact with Mr Wallace.

Q. I think you may be referring to Major-General Garrett, who gave an authorisation –

A. Garrett, sir. That’s the very name, yes.

Q. –that he was permitted to discuss matters that might be covered by the Official Secrets Act.

A. That’s it. That’s the one.

Q. And of course when Mr Wallace suggested he would need six months in Lisburn, he was a serving prisoner in England at the time.

A. Yes. He was very keen to get out of prison at that
time.

Q. That’s probably a pretty universal view of most
prisoners.

A. Yes.

Q. I think those are all the questions I have for you,
Mr Caskey, unless my colleagues wish to ask you some questions.

MS DOHERTY: Thanks very much, Mr Caskey. I am over here.
Hi! That has been very, very helpful.
I have just one question and I ask it in the
knowledge that this is a long time ago that I’m asking about, but we’re conscious that Mr Semple and Mr Mains knew each other before they actually began to work together in Kincora, and I was just wondering if you ever picked up whether Mr McGrath had relationships with them or knew them or knew of them before he came to join? Was there any –did you pick up any connection between McGrath and those two gentlemen?

A. I don’t recall that indeed. I can’t answer that one.

Q. Okay. Thanks very much.

A. Thank you.

MR LANE: If I might ask one too. You were talking about Colin Wallace just now to the Chairman. Did you feel that whatever solutions you came up with, such as immunity from prosecution, he was going to find other objections and really didn’t want to speak to you?

A. Without a doubt.

Q. Thank you. The second question is that obviously you will have been focusing on looking at the offences and the allegations of offences and so on, but did you form any other views about the way Kincora was run or managed as a hostel?

A. The home itself was very clean. I have to say that’s how I looked upon it, and Mr Mains seemed to be a very competent social worker, if that was his title at the time, in the home, and so much so that he –that the Social Services had every confidence in him, and I just feel he was a man who was able to say “You know, I am on top of all this” and exuded confidence, if you like, to people who would have come into the home.

Q. There were some allegations that boys were beaten and so on on occasion. Did you come across those at all?

A. I have no recollection of that, sir.

Q. You don’t. Fine. One last question. Clearly you made it absolutely clear that there was in your view no ring of any sort that was organised, but how come that three out of three of the staff ended up as being predatory paedophiles? Do you have any view of how that happened?

A. Yes, but when the allegations were made of that, it was that there were other high-ranking individuals coming into the home or boys being rented out to them, and there was no evidence whatsoever of that. Yes. You were saying was it a paedophile ring with Mains, Semple and McGrath?

Q. Yes.

A. We gained the impression that they operated as
individuals. They knew what each other was doing, but there was no question of, say, running a party in the home and ending up with boys being sexually abused. There was nothing like that.

Q. Accepting that there was no ring, it must have been really an incredible coincidence that three people were all recruited with that sort of proclivity.

A. That is something we looked at.

Q. Did you form any view on that?

A. Well, other than it happened, and very difficult to
understand just how it –the three of them had to keep it quiet. That is the one thing, and it did not appear to get out to the Social Services responsible for running the home.

Q. Thank you very much indeed.

CHAIRMAN: I am afraid, Mr Caskey, I have realised
I overlooked two things and I would like to just ask you about them again, but arising out of my colleague’s last questions, Mains was there for many years, Semple was there for a shorter period of time, McGrath was the last to arrive, and when you started to conduct your investigations, Mains and Semple made a number of admissions. They did not admit everything, but they made a number of admissions to very substantial and serious, very grave sexual crimes up to and including buggery. McGrath denied everything and maintained his
plea of not guilty until he was faced with the prospect of the trial getting underway and on that day he pleaded guilty. Isn’t that right?

A. Yes, that’s right.

Q. So far as he was concerned, neither you nor your
colleagues with the mass of evidence you had were able to come to a position where he would admit his guilt no matter what you put to him. He maintained a complete denial. Isn’t that right?

A. That’s so.

Q. Was that the case when Semple was examined or
questioned?

A. No. If I could use probably police language, Semple was the weak link –

Q. Yes.

A. –or the weakest of the three. Mains had more to, if
you want to put it, cover up, because he –he was responsible for the residents coming into the home, and there was a suspicion that when he I believe was
stationed or was based in Williamson House, that others who were passing children on, say, to Bawnmore and then eventually through age coming into Kincora, that Mains knew by then if –what the proclivities of that child –sexual proclivities of that child was to. There was one or two cases of that we looked at quite closely.

Q. And did you find anything to suggest that, as it were, Predator A in one home would pass to Kincora, you know, “Here is a boy that you can exploit”?

A. Well, as I under… –sorry. As I understood it, Mains worked with a fellow who was in Williamson’s House-Williamson House, and that was the suspicion or the information –sorry –that was coming through, that Mains was being advised by a friend of his back either in Bawnmore or Williamson House to –so that he would know whether or not to approach the guy –the resident when he would come in.

Q. Of course, if that were happening, it would be something that would be very difficult to prove without an admission. Isn’t that so?

A. Very much so.

Q. Did you find anything that elevated it perhaps from a mere allegation or not surprising inference to
something more concrete?

A. I have to confess I just could not answer that question now, because of time.

Q. No.

A. I don’t remember.

Q. But I think it’s fair to say there were never any formal charges in relation to anybody procuring children for Kincora?

A. That type of behaviour. You are quite right, sir.
There was not.

Q. And if I might then pose this question to you. If, let
us say, in 1967 or 1971 before McGrath arrived, as he
did, later in 1971, but if in those years the matter had
been reported to the police and Semple was questioned, do you think it is possible or perhaps even more likely or probable that Semple would have immediately confessed and therefore the whole ambit of what had happened up to that date might have been revealed and investigated?

A. I don’t know, but when we interviewed both Mains, Semple and indeed McGrath, the evidence was overwhelming at that time and so it was a pretty strong case against them even at the interviews. Now that other part of it I just could not say if –to what extent –

Q.  I believe, subject to correction, I think Semple did make a number of admissions to matters that had not yet been alleged when he was questioned, but perhaps you can’t remember that degree of detail?

A. I don’t remember that in detail, sir.

Q. Well, I think I can promise this is the last question
I am going to ask you, Mr Caskey, and it relates to
a completely different matter, but you are aware to some degree I am sure of the fact that during the Hughes Inquiry it emerged that Detective Constable Cullen of the Drug Squad at Donegall Pass had made a direct approach to Assistant Chief Constable Meharg, the Head of Crime in the RUC. In other words, he did not go through the normal chain of command. He bypassed it, went straight to an ACC and certainly was given some response. I put it in that neutral way. Were you ever aware of that happening in that time when you were an officer of the RUC, a detective constable by-passing many ranks and going straight to the most senior detective in the police?

A. I would find that extraordinary.

Q. Well, Mr Caskey, thank you again for coming to speak to us, particularly since you are being asked to come out of retirement to do so in relation to matters so long ago. I think I can say without in any way pre-judging what it is we are going to decide that one thing that is clear beyond any doubt is that you and your officers worked extremely hard over a very long period of time to investigate all of these matters, and no doubt when our Inquiry is finished, that will become apparent to the public, even if assertions in the past to that effect have been made and not believed, but thank you very much for coming to speak to us.

A. Thank you.

(Witness withdrew)

 

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