VIP 'paedophile ring' accuser to face trial in March

Image caption,
The allegations follow a Scotland Yard inquiry into claims of a VIP paedophile ring

A 50-year-old man who claimed to be the victim of an alleged VIP paedophile ring in the 1970s and 1980s is to stand trial in March next year.

He is not being named for legal reasons but is known by the pseudonym Nick.

He appeared by video link for a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Defence barrister Raymond Tully said it was anticipated the case would be fully contested.

The defendant made allegations against the ex-chief of the defence staff, Lord Bramall, and the politicians Sir Edward Heath, Lord Brittan and Harvey Proctor.

His claims led to a £2.5m inquiry by Scotland Yard but no action followed.

Northumbria Police then carried out an investigation.

The trial at Newcastle Crown Court will begin on 5 March and last for between six and eight weeks.