The Sunday Express has disinterred Mike Hames this morning – the ex-head of the old ‘Obscene Publication Squad’ before it became the keyword friendly and up-to-the-minute ‘Paedophile Information Section’.
They brought him out of retirement to comment on their astounding discovery of a ‘snuff movie’ – his specialist subject. His delight was tangible – he described the seizure of the “snuff” video as “incredibly important” because it appeared to verify long held suspicions such material existed. Long held – by Mike Hames that is. A theory successfully transferred to the a-gog and cheerfully gullible media over many years of backstage briefings.
Unfortunately it is still a theory – although there must now be thousands of readers of the main stream media who are under the impression that snuff movies do exist and that many a policeman is condemned to spend his days watching such material. The truth is that despite the Paedophile Information Section spending many a long day watching porn movies, and viewing images – not one of them has yet confirmed that they have ever found a ‘snuff movie’ in their stash.
The latest case is no exception. A 22 year old Latvian man, Andreas Bauminis, was charged with possession of a deeply unpleasant video depicting the rape of a girl which purported to show her being strangled and dragged from the room wrapped in plastic. Simulated rape, murder and disposing of bodies are standard fare on TV these days, even before the ‘watershed’, but one has to assume that this video didn’t discretely conceal sexual organs from display so comes under the heading of pornographic and would have offended Ofcom even more than the playing of the original 40 year old recording of ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat on’.
The information that led to Andreas Bauminis being jailed came from Russia – they had monitored the upload of suspicious material that was traced to his computer. On the computer was found a quantity of Japanese cartoons, commonly known as Manga, which depict the sexual abuse of children and animals – amongst other subjects. The Coroners and Justice Act of April 2009 brought in by the Labour government after pressure from the NSPCC made possession of such cartoons illegal. Like electronic cigarettes, they are said to persuade onlookers to try the ‘real thing’.
However, amongst the cartoons was a film, which ‘appeared’ to show a teenage girl, and ‘appeared’ to show her being murdered. Nobody knows whether she was teenaged, nor even murdered, because nobody knows who she was. She ‘appeared’ to be American, but nobody knows where the film was made, so not necessarily in America.
All those ‘appeared’ to be factors were sufficient for the detective in charge to say: “If it was acting, it was better than an Oscar-winning performance: her eyes didn’t blink or move at all.”
This in turn led the Judge to say: while it was difficult to be certain that the girl had died on camera “all the evidence points to the fact that she almost certainly did”.
Which led Tom Watson MP to say: “If the view of the judge and the police in this case is true, then Britain’s police have sat on evidence of a child murder for over a year’. (At least he qualified his statement.)
Tom Watson’s appearance in the story brought Mike Hames out of his 20 year retirement as a ‘police officer specialising in child protection’, (the year he left the Obscene Publication Squad was the year it was disbanded and denuded of its ability to chase homosexuals round the west end of London demanding they cease nailing their nipples to bread boards and that its 17 officers concentrate on child porn – a strange time to have retired for a child protection expert) and go on to pursue a career making ‘documentaries about child abuse‘ and commentating on the McCann case for Sky (he was Martin Brunt’s preferred successor to take over in Pria da Luz when Mark Williams Thomas departed) criticising the Portuguese Police as incompetent, and setting up a series of companies carrying out background checks on potential employees for child protection purposes.
Why would Tom Watson have any connection with Mike Hames? That would be because Mike Hames was the metropolitan police officer involved in a ‘raid on a gay brothel’ where ‘one of those interviewed’, when asked who he was, replied ‘I’m a Cabinet Minister’. He passed this information onto Tom Watson…
Mike Hames tenure as head of the Obscene Publications Squad marked an increase in pursuit of illegal homosexual activity from 5 investigations a year to nearer 40. By 1990 the new unit was requesting an average of one new search warrant every week. Paedophilia at that time seemed to mean homosexual activity with an ‘under-age child’ – which meant a man below the age of 21.
An early example of media manipulation is Operation Spanner, which Hames was in charge of, which originally spoke of the ‘Child Protection Act’ (Times, September 16 1989) and listed an array of charges that made it seem as though the 16 men from different countries ‘arrested as a result of a two year investigation’ were part of the fabled ‘paedophile rings’ – but Operation Spanner ended as R v Brown – the afore mentioned four men and a bread board. No children involved, just four consenting homosexual sadomasochists – the only mention of children was in connection with a few indecent images found at one of the premises.
Hames was at one point married to Jackie Hames*, who left the police force to take on the lead role in ‘Crimewatch UK’ – one of the first programmes to use crime as light entertainment by presenting ‘fictionmentaries’. She later went on to figure largely in the ‘Hacked Off’ campaign against phone hacking, complaining that her phone was hacked, a subject close to Tom Watson’s heart.
Hames was to go on to make ‘The Hunt for Britain’s Paedophiles’ – at the end of the first episode, the audience was gravely informed that ‘the Scotland Yard Paedophile Unit had received further information’ as a result of the programme which had ‘led to the discovery of a body’ – the audience were kept on the edge of their seats throughout this subsequent episode by a detective commenting that the flat they were searching (on camera) of a ‘known child sex offender’ had a strange smell, like ‘that of a dead body’. Was a child’s abused body about to be discovered? No. As the credit’s rolled and the nation’s kettles were set to boil, it was revealed that the dead body which had earlier been discovered was that of the ‘prior offender’ who had committed suicide on discovering that he was to be featured in this new ‘crime/fiction/reality show’.
Mike Hames left the Obscene Publication Squad in 1994, just as it was turned into the Paedophile Information Section in 1994 to follow a familiar media career path for ex-policemen. Even 20 years later.
*Mike Hames then went on to marry Caroline Bullen, an actress who interrupted the tedious hours of viewing on line porn by turning up “at Harrow Road as a Polish interpreter, wearing hotpants and thigh-length boots.” (No, I am positively not going there…..)
*Has anybody yet discovered how that ageing ledger from the ‘Paedophile Investigation Unit’ 1961/1981 made its way to the NSPCC and Operation Yewtree?