A man who stands accused of lying about the alleged Westminster VIP ring of child abusers and killers is himself a “committed and manipulative paedophile”, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, known by the pseudonym Nick, hid his sexual interest in young boys behind a secret app on his iPad, tried to frame someone else and only later admitted a series of charges, jurors were told.

Mr Beech told police in 2016 that he and other children had been sexually abused by powerful figures – including the former prime minister Ted Heath, the head of the army and security chiefs – during the 1970s.

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Others he named included the former MP Harvey Proctor and the late Leon Brittan along with other army generals.

He claimed three children were murdered by the ring.

Mr Beech also admitted making and possessing indecent images of children and voyeurism at a previous hearing, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Northumbria Police was tasked with investigating the 51-year-old after the £2m Operation Midland run by London’s Metropolitan Police ended without making a single arrest.

Officers raided his rented Gloucester home and seized electronic devices on which they found indecent images of young boys, covert images of schoolboys taken by him and recordings.

Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, said: “These child sex offences were committed while he was speaking to investigating police officers. At the same time as he perpetuated these lies about Harvey Proctor and so many others, he was also viewing indecent images of the gravest kind and spying on small boys.

“He had installed on his own iPad a secret app. It was an app which looked to all and intents and purposes like a calculator. Only it wasn’t. Two codes were required to look at the content stored behind the calculator image. What was that? Indecent images of young boys of the most serious kind and a covert recording.”

Mr Beech was prosecuted and tried to frame someone else until he pleaded guilty, after a jury had been sworn in, Mr Badenoch said.

That took 18 months, and included the former nurse and Care Quality Commission employee fleeing the country, the prosecutor added.

He said: “The evidence demonstrates that Carl Beech is a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation when required. The sort of individual concerned only for himself, unconcerned with the impact upon others; whether it is falsely accusing them of heinous crimes.”

“It also demonstrates that Carl Beech has an interest in child pornography. Not something which is learnt behaviour from something which happened, but the reverse.”

Earlier, the court was told Mr Beech craved attention, made money from his claims and intended to become an international speaker on “survivors”.

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Jurors heard how Mr Beech had also set up an encrypted email account, which he used to pose as another victim, known as “Fred”, in order to corroborate his own story.

However, his story fell apart when investigators contacted the email provider, who helped them to determine the account had been created by Mr Beech himself.

The father-of-one, from Gloucester, denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud – relating to a payment in 2013 of £22,000 for criminal injuries.

Mr Badenoch said the defendant used the criminal injuries pay out as a deposit on his Ford Mustang convertible.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association