July 26 (UPI) -- A British court on Friday sentenced a man to 18 years in prison for concocting a phony story about a pedophile ring that involved high profile figures, and prompting authorities to spend millions to investigate.
Carl Beech was convicted this week on a dozen counts of perverting the course of justice for the ruse. Prosecutors said he lied about having information on a pedophile gang that kidnapped, abused, tortured and killed boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He claimed the group included former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, World War II veteran Lord Bramall, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan and former Conservative lawmaker Harvey Proctor. Scotland Yard conducted a major investigation but it ultimately ended without an arrest.
"Your actions traduced reputations by maliciously making lurid and the most serious false allegations against distinguished former public servants no longer alive, and accused living persons of the highest integrity and decency of committing vile acts including rape, torture and child murder," judge James Goss of the Newcastle Crown Court told Beech Friday.
Goss said Beech's bogus claims could discourage real victims to remain quiet and not report abuse.
"You acted out of motives of financial gain, personal pleasure, malice and attention-seeking," Goss said. "You have no remorse."
Prosecutors said Beech, a pediatric nurse, carefully researched the persons he accused in 2012.
"The evidence shows [Beech] derived sexual pleasure from graphically describing the violent sexual abuse of young boys," prosecutor Tony Badenoch said. "He enjoyed the attention and celebrity. [It] amounted to the cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system on an unprecedented scale."