Sex assault Tory MP visited Kincora boys’ home, claim retired detectives

Sex assault Tory MP visited Kincora boys’ home, claim retired detectives

At least one Tory MP visited Kincora during the 1970s when it was riven with sexual abuse by staff of boys in their care, it has been claimed.

The allegation was made by two retired detectives who were part of a team which investigated the east Belfast boys’ home in the 1980s and successfully prosecuted three members of staff for sexual abuse.

The names of the police officers are being withheld for security reasons. They are instead referred to as officers Smith and Jones.

Both are known to the Belfast Telegraph and we have established that they conducted the inquiry. Both are also willing to help any inquiry into Kincora either here or in England. They revealed that the MP died before they could arrange to interview him.

Officer Jones was the more senior of the two and did most of the interviews, while Officer Smith prepared files and conducted some interviews. They both said that none of the former Kincora residents they interviewed were taken out of the home for sex parties as has sometimes been claimed.

Officer Jones revealed that he had also interviewed Joshua “Joss” Cardwell, a unionist politician who was chairman of the committee responsible for children’s homes.

The former detective said: “Mr Cardwell answered the door a happy man. ‘Well Inspector, how can I help you?’ he asked and I told him I was here about the Kincora investigation because he had visited the home. He said it was something to do with his work and he was entitled to inspect it. He turned from a happy man to an absolute nervous wreck and I was arranging for him to come to the station.”

Mr Cardwell took his own life before this could take place.

The officer added: “A Conservative MP was coming over to the Northern Ireland Office quite regularly and has since died. We were told by criminal records in Scotland Yard London that he had a conviction many years ago for indecent behaviour or something in a gents’ loo against another boy but his death meant we never got a chance to question him.”

Both men also interviewed Colin Wallace, the army whistleblower who raised the alarm about Kincora when he worked here in the 70s. The RUC officers said he had been unwilling to tell them anything.

Mr Wallace produced papers to show that he had been threatened with prosecution if he said too much.

Judge Anthony Hart, who is conducting an inquiry into Historical and Institutional Abuse here, has requested all relevant government documents on Kincora by the end of this month.


In the 80s three staff at Kincora Boys home in east Belfast were jailed for a catalogue of sex abuse. Colin Wallace, an army information officer with access to intelligence, tried to make this public in the 70s but was subsequently wrongly imprisoned. He alleged that MI5 warned him off. The suspicion is that an intelligence agency was using the scandal to recruit and protect agents. Abuse at the home is to be investigated by the Historical and Institutional Abuse Inquiry


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