Case File #0224
The Elm Guest House
The Paedophile Palace
"there were two little boys being used as child prostitutes"
A three-storey Edwardian building situated in a residential area in Barnes, south-west London, the Elm Guest House was operated in the 1970's and 80's by proprietors Carole and Harry Kasir and boasted eight guest bedrooms, a video studio, solarium and sauna. From the outside nothing seemed untoward, however in 1982 police raided the premises and the guest house soon became associated with lurid details of male prostitution, child exploitation, pornography and sex orgies involving influential members of the British establishment. Since the closure of the Guest House in 1983, it has continued to feature in the press and would eventually become the focus of several police investigations into child sexual abuse perpetrated by members of Parliament which would surface after allegations were made a man who would eventually be exposed and convicted as a fraudster, casting doubt on some of the stories associated with the notorious Elm Guest House.
Carole and Haroon "Harry" Kasir were the co-owners of the Elm Guest which they opened in Rocks Lane, close to Barnes Common in south-west London. The couple met in 1971 and not long after their wedding they had a son. Carole was born Carole Linda Jones in July 1942 and grew up in Clapham, Battersea and Streatham in south-west London, which would be close to where she would later open up the Guest House. When her parents separated, Carole moved to America at the age of 12 to live with her mother, whilst her father, a Jazz musician stayed in the UK. However, her life in America was unhappy and she often feuded with her mother, prompting Carole to move back home when she was 15-years-old. She spent some of time back in London living with her sister, whilst her family attempted to find her gainful employment, but she often disappeared from home for long periods. Age the age of 17 she became pregnant and decided to marry the father who was from a wealthy immigrant family from India.
The man's family moved to the UK in the 1930's where they bought up cheap bombed out properties after World War II, making a significant fortune. By all accounts her husband, a member of the RAF, was besotted with Carole but his family disapproved of the mixed-race coupling. Carole, her husband and their baby daughter briefly moved onto an RAF base and although the marriage was fraught with arguments and she often left the family, she would always return and tried her best to continue with the relationship. By the age of 20 she gave birth to two more daughters, but soon after the birth of her youngest she finally left the family home for good.
Her daughters spent their childhood living between their father and foster homes, with the two eldest eventually placed into care. At this time in her life, Carole began using the surname "Weichmann", something that would cause considerable confusion that she was of German origin. She became convinced her father was not her real biological father and she claimed to friends that her mother had an affair with a German man. She began a fresh start, and met a Chinese man by the name of "George", with whom she had another daughter. But this relationship did not last either and by 1971 she met Haroon Kasir, known as Harry, who was born in India.

Carole Kasir

The Elm Guest House (1979-1982)

Carole and Haroon had a son a year after their wedding and together with Carole's daughter by "George", they opened up the Elm Guest House. In the 1970's the couple had allowed male prostitutes to bring their clients to use the faciltities, however in 1979 Carole was approached by Peter Glencross, a Dutch-based South African, who was associated with an underground paedophile group known as "The Spartacus Club", who persuaded her to open up the Elm Guest to his associates for use in their own nefarious activities.
As a result, the Club, which boasted 25,000 British members, would recommend the Guest House to it's rank and file. Enticed by the profits involved in such an arrangement, the Kasir's offered a 10% discount on the usual rates. Carole's apparent motivation for the venture was greed, as friends of the couple would later reveal, Carole was obsessed with money. In later revelations it was claimed that the Kasir's were acquaintances of Jimmy Saville, who was later exposed as a predatory paedophile and the two would often take tea together, but fell out for some unknown reason. Carole allegedly told a friend, "Oh, we know him," she said on one occasion about Saville, "He is a right old pervert".

The Elm Guest House

The Kasir's would often confide in friends about some of the things that went on at the Guest House. She once told a friend that a regular guest known as "Gladys", who was a confidant of Carole, had boasted to her about his homosexual relationship with a famous pop star. Both Haroon and Carole often told friends that several famous musicians would visit the Elm Guest House. During one particular drink-fuelled afternoon, Carole told shocked guests that a well-known pop star had taken part in a violent paedophile orgy whilst abroad, which resulted in the death of a young boy. She was well known for her heavy drinking and troubled lifestyle and in 1981 she suffered burns when she poured meth onto her neck and set herself alight.
The Disappearance of Vishal Mehrotra (29 July 1981)

The Elm Guest House first came to the attention of the British public when a young boy disappeared in London. 8-year-old Indian-born Vishal Mehrotra vanished on the night of the royal wedding whilst walking home through the streets of Putney. He was last seen crossing the road at Carlton Drive. After several lines of inquiry were exhausted and an extensive search of common land in and around the surrounding areas including the River Thames failed to find the boy, police were at a loss to explain his whereabouts.
Several months after his son disappeared, Vishamber Mehrotra informed police that he had been contacted by an unidentified man, he believed to be in his twenties, who made claims that Vishal had been abducted, and there might be a connection to the Elm Guest House and a group of influential paedophiles who attended the establishment. Vishamber passed onto officers a recording of a telephone conversation, however, investigators dismissed the claims as a crank call and the matter was not followed up further, even though Vishal's last known location prior to his disappearance was less than a mile from the Elm Guest House.
On 25 February 1982, two men discovered skeletal remains at Alder Copse, Durleigh Marsh Farm, Rogate near Chichester. The men had been shooting pigeons when they discovered a skull, sections of vertebrae and seven rib bones, all of which had been buried in a bog. The shallow grave was only two feet in depth and appeared to have been recently disturbed by foxes. Detectives then launched a large scale excavation of the isolated farm in Sussex, which involved around 30 officers that eventually recovered more bones, which were taken to London for forensic analysis. It was initially believed the partial remains had been buried around 29 July 1981, and after a series of forensic tests the body was formally identified as that of Vishal Mehrotra. Because no clothing had been found with the body it was strongly suspected Vishal had been abducted and murdered, his body buried at the site it was found. Police now took the claims made by the unidentified man who spoke with Vishamber Mehrotra more seriously and the Elm Guest House became the focus of an investigation.
The 1982 Police Raid (August 1982)

In the years since it was first opened, the Guest House had gained an unsavoury reputation as a well-known homosexual cruising spot during a time when the legal age of homosexual consent was still 21 years of age. However, the subsequent police raid, which took place in August 1982 was planned in connection with a Scotland Yard enquiry into the disappearance and murder of Vishal Mehrotra as well as the disappearance of 15-year-old Martin Allen, who went missing on 5 November 1979 near the Picadilly line platform and was possibly last seen in the company of an unknown man near Earl's Court Station. There were also unconfirmed rumours that young boys were being brought to the Guest House from the nearby Grafton Close Children’s Home and sexually abused there. Police placed the house under surveillance, observing parties being held there and attended by numerous groups of men. One Saturday evening four police officers infiltrated the guest house and posed as homosexual partygoers when they learned of a large group of thirty men were expected to attend.

Vishal Mehrotra

Martin Allen with Suspect

One of the officers pretended to have a broken arm, and a radio transmitter was hidden in the plaster to notify other officers when to begin the raid. But the expected party of men did not show and the officer accidentally triggered the transmitter earlier than planned, inadvertently starting the raid prematurely. Up to 60 officers stormed the guest house where they arrested nine men on the premises, five of whom were caught watching, whilst naked, a video which would later be described in court as "thoroughly obscene", however none were charged. A 17-year-old boy found working as a masseur was also arrested, but was also not charged, however the owners were not so lucky, and Carole and Harry Kasir were arrested and charged with keeping a "disorderly house", meaning a brothel.
The investigation did not, as anticipated, find any boys from the Grafton Close children’s home being used or exploited, nor did they come across anything that linked the Guest House to the murder of Vishal Mehrotra, or the disappearance of Martin Allen. Over the next ten days, often lurid details emerged in almost every national newspaper which referred to the guest house as the "paedophile palace". According to press reports, officers found a "huge store of pornographic material, including video tapes... there were also whips, chains and ropes... there were two little boys being used as child prostitutes".
As a result of the bad publicity, pending criminal charges and possibly the stress of the police investigation, the Kasir's separated and Carole attempted a reconciliation with her family, the daughters of her first marriage. But she was told to stay away, with relatives warning her daughters that she was "highly manipulative, obsessed with money and vicious and nasty". Suffering from ill health and diabetes which she had since 1965, Carole continued to entertain visitors at the Guest House for a short period of time, and was, as acquaintances would later attest, often quite drunk by mid-afternoon. Owing to both her marital and legal problems, she made what would be her first of two suicide attempts and was also seen by a psychiatrist. Whilst both parents were under investigation, their two children were taken into care as they awaited trial.

Carole and Haroon Kasir

The 1983 Trial

The Kasir's were trial at the Old Bailey in 1983 and both denied the charges. The prosecutor, David Paget told the jury: "Whatever one’s feelings may be, either in favour of homosexuality or against it, there is nothing against the law in advertising what I have just outlined, and in conducting a guest house offering those facilities. But the allegation is that in reality this guest house was being run as a disorderly house." The jury acquitted the Kasir's of the charge of living off the earnings of a male prostitute who acted as a masseur in the solarium. The court was unable to agree on a charge of the ill-treatment of a boy found at the house, and the prosecution did not seek a re-trial on that charge. Upon sentencing, Judge Tudor-Price made reference to "unwholesome activities" at the guest house and commented that, "Those disgusting films were harmful to the people who saw them and led to the acts of gross indecency."
The couple were convicted of running a disorderly house and each were fined £1,000, plus £500 legal costs and given suspended prison sentences of nine months. The Judge took into account Carole's ill-health in suspending the sentences, and stipulated the fines and costs must be paid within six months or both will go to prison for a three months period. In the aftermath of the trial more details emerged of Carole's involvement at the Guest House. One visitor told the press how on one occasion she whipped a middle-aged male guest with a riding crop whilst he referred to her as "Mistress" several times, all in-front of her shocked friends. The identity of the guests who used the Elm Guest House was the source of much speculation and it was suggested that Carole was in possession of a secret list of her clients, which allegedly contained the names of influential politicians and celebrities. Shortly after the trial in 1983 she was admitted to Long Grove mental hospital in Epson, Surrey. In order to pay the legal costs and fines which amounted to £3,000, the Kasir's were forced to sell the Elm Guest House.
The Death of the Elm Guest House Madam (June 1990)

Her problems continued and in 1984 she took an overdose of two insulin injections plus tablets and was hospitalised. She would confide in her GP David Walker that in November 1989 she was mugged outside her flat, which resulted in a fractured cheekbone. She failed to say who was responsible. Walker later testified that by this time she was often drinking heavily. On Sunday 17 June 1990, Dr. Walker was called to 47-year-old Carole's flat where she was found dead. In attendance was a neighbourhood policeman who knew Carole well. She was wearing make-up and her fully clothed body was lying on her bed under a layer of blankets, and she had been dead for over 6 hours, with rigor mortis having begun.
On a chest of drawers was a half empty bottle of insulin and a syringe. There was also a handwritten note which was shown to Dr. Walker, but he could not confirm if it was written by Carole as he was not familiar with her handwriting. A post-mortem was conducted at Guy's Hospital by Dr. Richard Shepherd, who found that Carole was suffering from "hypoglycaemia", or low blood sugar and "insulin overdosage". He requested a toxicology test and the report proved that her blood had extremely low levels of glucose. Carole's GP Dr. Walker told the inquest that he did not expect her to take her own life, despite two previous attempts. At Kingston coroners court, Dr. John Burton recorded a verdict of suicide by overdose.
Towards the end of her life, Carole Kasir was smoking and drinking heavily, suffering from depression and coupled with the previous suicide attempts, the verdict was generally accepted as the correct cause of death. However, there was rampant speculation that she had been murdered to prevent her from talking openly about what she knew of her clients proclivities and possible crimes. If Carole's death was the result of an overdose of insulin, then who injected her?. Chris Fay, an adviser to the National Association for Young People in Care (NAYPIC) testified at the inquest that Carole was apparently in possession of the Guest House register and showed him photographs which she kept hidden. He said she claimed she was being followed and received telephone calls which frightened her.
Fay's organisation had been approached by Carole in 1988 when she sought to gain custody of her two children who had been taken into care, claiming she had been unaware of the illegal activities at the guest house. Fay had become convince that she had been murdered to stop her revealing what she knew. Carole left two letters upon her death, described as suicide notes, one of which was addressed to her former boyfriend David Issett, and was confirmed as her handwriting by her former husband Haroon. There was also a second longer letter, the contents of which are unknown.
Paedophiles at Westminster (1970's-1980's)

Carole Kasir hired Clive Godden, a Private Investigator to clear her name in February 1990 and she told him that she knew of MP's who were involved in child pornography. Despite her dealings with Peter Glencross and his Spartacus Group, Carole always denied any knowledge of child abuse which might have occurred at the Elm Guest House, but she did admit that she knew of certain politicians involved in child exploitation. The knowledge that paedophile politicians at Westminster, who were using their diplomatic privileges to gain access to vulnerable children, has been alluded to since the early 1970's and later came under public scrutiny when some of these revelations were exposed.
Previously in October 1978, British diplomat Sir Peter Hayman left a package on a London bus that was found to contain paedophilia-related material. The package was traced back to Hayman who used the pseudonym "Peter Henderson" and rented an apartment in Bayswater, London, to send and receive obscene correspondence. During a raid on the apartment, police found 45 personal diaries which described six years of Hayman's sexual fantasies involving children, as as well as his activities with prostitutes. Other assorted obscene literature was also found along with female clothing. Hayman was investigated and arrested but later released without charge on the condition that he stop all obscene correspondence through post. This incident was later revealed by Private Eye magazine in November 1980 and the following year MP Geoffrey Dickens used his parliamentary privilege to enquire in the house of commons as to why Hayman had not been prosecuted, citing that he was at risk of potential blackmail because of his secret perversions.
Hayman was never prosecuted over his possession of child pornography and in 1981, the Attorney General Sir Michael Havers agreed with Sir Thomas Chalmers Hetherington, the then Director of Public Prosecutions who decided not to pursue any criminal charges because, as Havers claimed, the material was not of an extreme nature, was in a sealed envelope, was non-commercial and so the incident did not warrant prosecution. Hayman was also a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, but was not prosecuted as other members were because he was not part of the executive committee. Hayman would go on to be convicted and fined for committing an act of gross indecency with another adult in a public lavatory. He was given a stern warning from then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that if he repeated the offence he would be stripped of his honours and lose his parliamentary position.
As a result of naming Hayman in the House of Commons, Dickens would later complain on 29 November 1985 to the House that he had been the subject of repeated harassment. "The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House. Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began. First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer's hit list." Dickens claims have never been independently verified.

Peter Hayman

Cyril Smith

In May 1979 Private Eye magazine made several allegations against Liberal MP Cyril Smith, namely that he had attended a hostel he co-founded in the 1960's where he spanked and sexually abused teen-aged boys. These same allegations were also revealed in a local underground magazine, the Rochdale Alternative Press. Smith had never publicly denied the accusations, nor did he ever bring legal action against those who made the claims. David Steel, the Liberal Party press officer commented that, "All he seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms". Smith died on 3 September 2010, aged 82, and was never brought to justice over his involvement in child sexual abuse.
In November 2012 the Labour MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk called for an inquiry into the alleged abuse claims. Numerous adult men came forward to say Smith had sexually abused them when they were young boys. That same month a former Special Branch officer with Lancashire Police in the 1970s, Tony Robinson, came forward and claimed he was once in possession of a "thick" dossier on child sexual abuse allegations against Smith from boys claiming they had been abused by the MP, and that it had been requested and sent to London but was instead intercepted by MI5 and was now "lost".
An investigation was launched in 2012 by the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit into historical claims that Westminster politicians and other influential members of the British establishment had sexually abused boys at the Elm Guest House, who had been taken from the nearby Grafton Close children’s home. The investigation, known as "Operation Fernbridge" resulted in the arrests of several former workers at the children's home, including priest Tony McSweeney, who was jailed for three years in 2015 for a specimen charge of sexually abusing a boy at the children’s home and three charges of making indecent images of children. Another member of staff there, the former manager of Grafton Close, John Stingemore had previously died the month before he was due to go on trial with McSweeny. As part of Operation Fernbridge police also conducted a raid on the home of Haroon Kasir which was situated close to where the Elm Guest House was once operated, although Kasir was not arrested as part of the investigation.
In January 2013 it was reported that police were investigating claims that Smith had abused young boys at a London Guest House. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that former MP Cyril Smith had been actively involved in the sexual abuse of young children and was a predatory paedophile who would have been prosecuted had he still been alive. It was also confirmed that the former MP had been a regular visitor to the Elm Guest House where a 16-year-old boy was allegedly sexually abused by Smith. He was also known to have visited Cambridge House hostel and the Knowl View residential school in Rochdale, where Smith was a governor.
The Westminster Claims of Carl Beech (2014-2019)

In July 2014, claims were published by Exaro that were made by a man using the pseudonym "Nick". These claims accused prominent members of British society of having abused him when he was younger. Four months later Operation Fernbridge officers questioned the man, who made statements that a gang of VIP paedophiles abused him over a ten year period at locations such as Dolphin Square and the Elm Guest House. He also claimed that he had witnessed the murder of three boys by the same group.
Operation Ferbridge was superseded by Operation Midland in November 2014 and police began an investigation in the murders of Vishal Mehrotra, Martin Allen and a third boy as part of these claims. "Nick" also provided detectives with information that several notable British politicians, amongst them Leon Brittan, Edward Heath, Harvey Proctor, Edwin Bramall and others had been party to these offences. A subsequent inquiry into these allegations conducted by retired Judge Sir Richard Henriques in 2016, found that those accused had all been victims of false allegations. Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner subsequently made a public apology to those suspects still living (Bramall and Proctor), and to Brittan's widow for the pain and anguish caused by the investigation.
Carl Beech, the man who made the false claims under the pseudonym "Nick" was then arrested and charged with fraud. Before the start of his trial Beech confessed and pleaded guilty to child pornography offences. He admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography, as well as creating child abuse images at the same time he was lying to detectives about his false Westminster claims. In May 2019 he was placed on trial and charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, all of which he denied. He was found guilty on 22 July 2019, and four days later was jailed for a total of 18 years. Although Beech had invented the Westminster VIP paedophile ring, there were undoubtedly British politicians who committed serious child abuse offences and some, such as Cyril Smith were strongly associated with the Elm Guest House.

Written by Nucleus