Page updated on Thursday 17th July 2014 at 1855hrs
uPSD were primarily responsible for unmasking West Yorkshire Police paedophile, DC Michael Vause. Working with the Yorkshire Post‘s Rob Waugh we were able to propagate this nationwide news story. Without that publicity, Vause would have disappeared into retirement with his vile tendencies unknown to the wider public. Indeed, it became apparent only very recently that residents in the tiny village of Wentbridge, Pontefract where Vause lived, at the time of his conviction, were blissfully unaware they had a child abuser in their midst. Mainly due to the local Pontefract & Castleford Express newspaper steadfastly refusing to cover the story of the second convicted Pontefract police paedophile in the past few years. uPSD are also piecing together accounts of a child sex/pornography ring that operated in Knottingley and Pontefract during Vause’s time serving as an officer there. We have the names of two more police officers in the town who, allegedly, were having sex with underage girls. Like Vause, they were engaged with Pontefract CID.
A CID detective for most of his career and a seriously bent one at that, according to one very reliable account, Vause ended up in the police Professional Standards Department investigating other suspected paedophiles, would you believe? One of those West Yorkshire Police officers he investigated, former Police Band member PS David Oldroyd, was alleged to have abused his own child. The accusations were made by the suspect’s own wife, but he was cleared by Vause. That same Band playing officer also perjured himself at Crown Court in Bradford but has faced no action yet from his own Force. That may well change, in the near future, as an outside police force investigation is now under way that will highlight that criminality.
During a Section 18 search of a fellow police officer’s home, the paedophile Michael Thomas Vause removed a CD containing images of young children. Those were nephews and nieces of the officer under suspicion. Despite strenuous requests for an audit trail of the precise movements of that CD whilst in Vause’s possession, his PSD protectors have steadfastly refused to provide comfort that Vause still does not hold a copy of that CD. They were aided and abetted in that deceit both by West Yorkshire Police Authority’s Fraser Sampson, to whom the officer turned to for help, and Force Solicitor and Police Band member, Mike Percival. The latter-named will also feature in the Rogue Solicitors area of our site.
A third suspected West Yorkshire Police paedophile was arrested after child images were found on his computer. A criminal file was prepared for the CPS but no charges were preferred and the inspector (a former custody sergeant in Wakefield) was allowed to retire on medical grounds. uPSD are aware of the identity of this individual and our enquiries continue. Particularly in respect of the proposition that he was not the owner of the computer hard drive when the indecent images were made/downloaded. This was the reason tendered by DC Vause’s solicitor for non-prosecution in respect of the more seriouscategory 4 images which should have sent him to jail.
The fourth and fifth West Yorkshire Police paedophiles are named as ex-PC’s Christopher Snow and Michael Conlon.
Snow of Headingley, Leeds was jailed in 2011. He was sent down for 3 years and nine months, for a string of sex offences against children, including inciting a child into sexual activity. He was already the subject of a child sexual offences restraining order. He had resigned from the police after the first set of offences came to light in 2006. Judge Christopher Batty described Snow as ‘devious in his grooming of teenage girls’. The children were aged between 13 and 15.
Conlon was sent down for making and possessing indecent child images, grooming and attempting sexual activity with a child. Jailing Conlon for two-and -a-half years, The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told him: “It’s aggravated because you used the fact you were a police officer to build some measure of trust.” Conlon served five years with West Yorkshire Police, ending in 2009.
Conlon was based at Killingbeck police station, the same location as ‘Inspector 5’ Mick Starkey (see Jimmy Savile paedophile news page here). We cannot let the mention of Starkey pass without mentioning Sergeant Matt Appleyard, another close Savile friend according to the Yorkshire Evening Post- and founder of the Friday Morning Club run by the notorious paedophile and rapist. Appleyard is still a serving officer at Wetherby NPT and introduced Starkey (then his sergeant at Chapeltown police station) to Savile and used to take other police officers to Savile’s apartment when he was on early duties on a Friday.
Killingbeck was also where one of the the infamous and illicit trysts between Rogue Officers DCI Elizabeth Belton and C/Supt Ian Whitehouse took place and the base of most of the bent West Yorkshire Police officers involved in the huge, and now notorious, Operation Douglas corruption scandal.
Some of those cases on West Yorkshire Police’s roll of paedophile shame are historic but, nonetheless, significant as they involve former police officers who did not have their names listed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
A disgraced Halifax police officer, who was stationed at Richmond Close Police Station, sexually abused a young girl and was jailed for four years at Leeds Crown Court in Febuary 2004. Peter Newton had served with West Yorkshire Police for more than 29 years admitted six offences of indecent assault against the girl who was aged 11 when the offences began.
Newton was not put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and his name will be removed next year unless the decision is challenged. He had abused the girl over a period of four years. When Newton first groped and kissed the girl, she was too frightened to tell anyone. The nature of the offending got progressively worse including touching the girl’s private parts and simulating a sex act with her. Newton’s offending came to light when the abused girl confided in a teacher. Passing sentence, Mr Justice Wakerley said the case represented an enormous breach of trust.
West Yorkshire Police probationary officer, Simon Dagger, downloaded pictures of naked children from an American pornography site and was snared by police in the Operation Ore crackdown on internet child pornography. Appearing at Leeds Crown Court in April 2003, 24-year-old Dagger, from Pontefract, wept when he was told he would not be jailed for having around 45 indecent images of children stored on his computer. DC Mick Vause (see above) was also from Pontefract and, like Vause, Dagger received a three-year Community Rehabilitation Order with a condition of attendance on a sex-offender treatment programme.
The Court was told that Dagger accessed the child images from a ‘library’ of around 8,000 photographs stored on the computer. The vast majority were legal adult material with a handful of images involving children falling into the most serious category. He admitted five sample charges of possessing indecent images of children and was ordered to sign the sex-offender register for five years (ending 2008).
Dagger was adamant that he didn’t get any sexual gratification from these images and it was his curiosity which spiralled out of control. Paedophile Vause also produced the same excuse with his famous line to the Judge: ‘Curiosity killed the cat, Ma’am’
Now we uncover, in March 2013, yet another pervert that is running loose in the community who formerly worked for a significant period of his police career at Killingbeck, the same police station as PC Michael Conlon (see above). PC 3917 Gary Simpson, aged 41, was convicted in March 2010 on 20 charges of making and possessing indecent images under the Protection of Children Act 1978. He was also made the subject of a Sex Prevention Order under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. His computer was also confiscated which is a concern as it is known that at least one paedophile was operating at the time in the Professional Standards Department of West Yorkshire Police. DC Michael Vause has since been convicted of child pornography offences.
A jail term indicates that the images discovered on Simpson’s hard drive were of a serious nature as only Level 4 or Level 5 images would normally attract a custodial sentence. Simpson was unmasked as a paedophile only when he showed the images to a fellow officer, who reported his concerns to supervisors.
Around the same time as the Vause conviction another West Yorkshire Police paedophile came to light. Christopher Whiteoak was sentenced in September 2012 to two years in prison after it was discovered he had persistently engaged in a sexual affair with a 15 year old girl and got her pregnant.
Jailing Whiteoak, Judge Roger Ibbotson told him custody was inevitable. “I bear in mind such a sentence will be difficult for you having regard to the nature of the offences and your previous occupation,” he added. “An aggravating feature of your case is that there was a degree of persistence. You pursued this relationship despite being warned off and despite knowing the victim was vulnerable.”
He ordered Whiteoak to register as a sex offender for 10 years and under a sexual offences prevention order barred him for five years from unsupervised contact with any female under 16 or employment with access to children.
The latest two West Yorkshire Police officers to be arrested on sex offences by their own Professional Standards officers are PCSO Liam Austerfield, a Wakefield Division NPT officer who was suspended in early April 2013 pending the outcome of criminal enquiries and then resigned just one week later. Austerfield was involved at the Brick House Youth Club in Ossett and uPSD understand that some of the alleged offences are connected to those duties. He was subsequently re-arrested for possession of indecent material shortly after the first arrest which, uPSD understands, followed a search of his home and siezing of Austerfield’s property, including his computer. Austerfield appeared at Barnsley Magistrates on Friday 24th May, 2013 charged with indecent image offences and inciting a child to have sex offences. He was committed to Sheffield Crown Court for a plea hearing on 31st May 2013. He was bailed with conditions that include no unsupervised access to children under 16 years old. At the trial which concluded on 19th September 2013 Austerfield was jailed for 15 months. Judge Roger Keen QC said: ‘Instead of behaving properly, you abused the trust the community placed in you in order to gain sexual satisfaction. You have brought a great deal of distress to your own family but more importantly your actions have had a profound effect on your victim and her family. Your position if further aggravated because of your work at the time and takes this well outside the appropriate guidelines. You corrupted this girl and as a consequence her life has been greatly affected’. Austerfield had been found to have been grooming a local 14-year-old schoolgirl online and begging her to send him explicit pictures. Austerfield had over 300 exchanges with the child by text and Facebook when police seized his mobile phone, laptop and computer and, during one exchange, he sent an indecent picture of himself and told her: ‘If you want to see more you have to show more’.
Response officer, PC Kevin Ellis from Castleford was arrested in mid-April after child porn images were found on his computer. He committed suicide the day after he was released on bail. For full story on the background to the arrest of Ellis click here. Once again, Ellis’s local newspaper, the aforementioned Pontefract & Castleford Express, are happy to ignore the potential connection with the other two police officer paedophiles in a relatively small circulation area but gave substantial coverage to the jailing of a 75 year old paedophile member of the public in the same week.
This takes the West Yorkshire Police paedophile count to ten, if Austerfield is convicted, and uPSD fully expect more police paedophiles to be unmasked in the coming weeks, as our network of informants/investigators grows. We have a very strong lead concerning another Pontefract CID colleagues of Vause’s, with a predeliction for under-age girls, who also lived in a village close to Vause’s Wentbridge home.
The former Metropolitan Police officer has now died and will never face his accusers.A third Pontefract detective has also been named by an informant also in connection with sex with under-age girls.
Throughout this process of exposing West Yorkshire Police child abusers we have been obstructed at every turn by West Yorkshire Police, and their devious co-conspirators at the Police Authority, but this is an issue of massive public interest and importance, particularly in the light of Jimmy Savile operating unfettered in Leeds for over 40 years by his local police force. Police & Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, occupied the Chairman’s seat at the now defunct and disgraced West Yorkshire Police Authority during the entire period when these paedophiles have been exposed and has, on the face of it, chosen to look the other way. Burns Williamson also lives in Castleford, significantly enough.
Burns-Williamson’s Vice Chair was dodgy long-term Leeds City Councillor and ex-Mayor of Leeds, Les Carter. What did he know about Jimmy Savile’s rape and paedophile activities over the entire 40 years he has been a Councillor. Nothing at all, Mr Carter? Well, not quite. We do know that you put forward Savile to be the face of a crime prevention campaign in 2008 called Talking Signs in your role as Chairman of Safer Leeds Board (read here). The police officer running the campaign in his role as Community Safety Officer was none other than serial flasher, Sgt Ian Poskitt. Is it a coincidence that the police and Police Authority went to extraordinary lengths to conceal Poskitt’s first two offences from public view?
Finally, why would Mr Vause be attending the Authority’s last ever meeting in November 2012, which you chaired, when he was a convicted paedophile – and then belatedly give apologies almost as the meeting started when it was realised that investigative journalist, Neil Wilby, was present at the same meeting?
What a tangled web we weave.