A man who made false allegations of murder and child sexual abuse against public figures has been jailed for 18 years.
Carl Beech, 51, from Gloucester, was sentenced for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice, one of fraud, and for several child sexual offences.
Mr Justice Goss said Beech had “no remorse” for his claims, which were “all a fabrication”.
Beech’s lies led to a £2m Metropolitan Police investigation.
The judge told Newcastle Crown Court that Beech was “an intelligent, resourceful, manipulative and devious person” who “accused living persons of the highest integrity and decency of vile acts”.
People falsely accused by Beech and the relatives of some who have died since the investigation began said they were the victims of “a totally unjustified witch hunt” and criticised those who had spread the allegations.
Known as “Nick” in initial media reports, Beech accused senior politicians, army and security chiefs of sadistic sexual abuse and claimed to have witnessed boys being murdered in the 1970s and 1980s.
The former NSPCC volunteer’s claims led to a two-year Met Police investigation, Operation Midland, which closed in March 2016 with no arrests or charges made.
Beech was then referred for investigation by Northumbria Police, and it was discovered that he was himself a paedophile. He pleaded guilty in January to possessing hundreds of indecent images of children and to covertly filming a teenage boy.
Prosecutor Tony Badenoch said the evidence showed that Beech “derived sexual pleasure from graphically describing the violent sexual abuse of young boys” and “enjoyed the attention and celebrity”.
Among the establishment figures Beech wrongly accused of sexual abuse were former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, former Labour MP Lord Janner and ex-MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield.