Wednesday, 29 February 2012


"I say to you, one of you shall betray Me.(John 13: 21)

"Sean was always very reluctant to discuss the Highgate Vampire case at group dinners et cetera, but I do remember that often, just when the conversation was being diverted away, he would find some reason to slip in one of his favourite Goebbels quotes; that is: "If you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." I never had much interest in the vampire business by which Sean made his name, but I do recall that whenever he used this phrase, even in unrelated contexts, he and Eggmanne would smile and exchange knowing looks, which made the rest of the party feel rather left out and uncomfortable through their ignorance." Kevin Chesham (February 2012)

Though I have might have used that phrase in the context of David Farrant repeating his falsehoods in the hope that if he repeated them often enough folk would believe him, the quote about telling "a big enough lie" was one actually made by Kevin Chesham in correspondence, dated 10 December 2001, to Keith Maclean:

Furthermore, Tony Hill (aka "Eggman") was only ever in the company of Kevin and Beverley once at my home. This would have been in July 2007 when the topic of Highgate was not raised by anyone. I have no recollection of Tony and Kevin speaking to one another, and it is unlikely they did. Furthermore, Tony and I could not have "smiled and exchanged knowing looks" because Tony Hill had no involvement in the Highgate case; though he was all too aware of Farrant's attempts in early 1970 to hoax a ghost story in the press. Tony can be seen on the far right of the photograph of some of the guests at that occasion (at the top of the page). Kevin can be seen in the middle at the far end of the table, seated with three guests either side.

The Highgate case was never raised and certainly never discussed with Kevin, not even after he had received "The Highgate Vampire" in the 1990s. Nor did his wife, Beverley, ask any questions about the case, but on their last visit as guests at my coastal retreat in 2007 she did ask my wife questions about David Farrant when they were alone together in the kitchen. These included such as "Have you ever met him?" and "What caused the vendetta?" etc. My wife has not met Farrant despite him sending her and her family his malicious pamphlets about me and, to a lesser extent, about herself. It was significant, however, that Beverley did not seek to ask questions of this kind of me. The cause of Farrant's vendetta, as anyone who has an interest in the case will know, was my unwillingness to be exploited in Farrant's bid to attract attention to himself in 1970. I distanced myself from such stratagems, and felt obliged to publicly refute Farrant's fraudulent association with the research society investigating the case and, of course, distance myself from him.

David Farrant (pictured above) was not part of the Highgate investigation, but attempted to interlope what he perceived to be a publicity bandwagon by making false and sometimes bewildering claims. These led to arrests, court cases and a four years and eight months prison sentence that only served to intensify his vendetta which had been made worse in my view by Farrant flirting with diabolism to the extent of possibly becoming demonically possessed in 1971 and again in 1973. These were occasions when he executed mock satanic rituals at Highgate Cemetery in September 1971 and at a derelict house in December 1973 at a time when both locations were seething with demonic contagion.

In a strange sort of way, it was indirectly the Highgate case, or rather Farrant's fabricated, self-promotional claims about it, which brought about the present situation. In the latter part of 2009, Kevin Chesham began to receive unsolicited mail through the post from Farrant comprising hate-filled pamphlets about me.

Kevin wrote to Keith Maclean about it on 14 December 2009:
"Do you remember David Farrant had found my address from the excommunicated Illtyd Thomas? At the time I was concerned as dear Sean and his wife had suffered years of abuse from him. Well, I started to receive self-produced booklets from this person. The first was on its own without anything accompanying it. It was a book of lies about Sean who has suffered the slings and arrows of this man for so long. But why send it to me? He has been sending me things for months while I have been abroad. Then I started to receive emails from the 'British Psychic and Occult Society' which turns out to be David Farrant again."

I proffered my advice (and by no means for the first time), which was to ignore David Farrant at all costs, and I did so again at a later stage on my blog where the full version can be read:

"My immediate advice, provided the law has not been broken and lives are not put at risk, would be to ignore this person and anyone he might use in the ruthless pursuit of his vendetta. Our enemies should not be the people of this world, but rather the spirits of evil that have entered this world. He is a lost soul who has very likely attracted something spiritually malevolent early in his life which has ever since influenced him and darkened his thoughts. I first met him almost forty years ago when he contacted his local newspaper after making certain claims about an apparition he had sighted. It soon became clear he was more interested in the limelight than anything genuinely paranormal. He also developed a fascination with me which quickly turned into an obsession. By which time he had taken to emulating me to no small degree. When I distanced myself a few months later, he turned unpleasant and court cases ensued. This was followed by his fraudulent adoption of my title and the name of the research society I then presided over. Things began to spiral downwards at an alarming rate as he turned to what ostensibly appeared to be diabolism, but in truth was just further attention-seeking for the sake of the media. ... I prefer to deny him the oxygen of publicity where I am concerned and ask others to do the same. So my advice to those who feel enraged by his behaviour and personally want to confront him is to remember he is still one of God's creatures and to pray for him. Pray for his state of mind and endangered soul. If you are unable to do that, just ignore him."

Readers letters to the Hampstead & Highgate Express in early 1970 included reports of a ghost wearing a top hat that had been seen in Swains Lane and just inside the gates at Highgate Cemetery. With the benefit of hindsight we now know that some of these letters bore the names and addresses of acquaintances of David Farrant (pictured above at Highgate Cemetery in early 1970). Fraudulent letters were sent to the Hampstead & Highgate Express, 13 February 1970, using the names and addresses of Farrant's friends Audrey Connely and Kenneth Frewin. Farrant wrote those letters in order to give his hoax some credibility. He used the names and addresses of friends with their consent. He used his close friend Nava Grunberg's address in Hampstead Lane, but her name was changed to a pseudonym. He also used Nava Grunberg, now adopting the nom de plume "Nava Arieli," when she used an address in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, belonging to a friend. Others might have witnessed Farrant in his familiar black mackintosh pretending to be a ghost. It has since been confirmed that he wore an old grey topper and ghostly make-up to convince local people that the cemetery was haunted. Then Farrant heard tales of the legendary vampire in pubs he frequented and decided to board what he perceived to be a publicity bandwagon. The rest is history. The vampire sightings and experiences by others were genuine enough. Farrant was not. His part in the saga was utterly fraudulent. He pretended to be a "vampire hunter" for the next few months before turning his attention to malefic pseudo-occultism which guaranteed a far bigger return in the publicity stakes. This quickly led to criminal convictions which included indecency in Monken Hadley churchyard under the Ecclesiastic Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860. Victoria Jervis was also found guilty. Her revelations under oath when called as a witness during Farrant's Old Bailey trials two years later are damning, to say the least. This is what she said:

"I have tried to put most of what happened out of my mind. The false letters I wrote to a local paper were to stimulate publicity for the accused. I saw him almost every weekend in the second half of 1972 and I went to Spain with him for a fortnight at the end of June that same year. I was arrested with him in Monken Hadley Churchyard. That incident upset me very much. Afterwards, my doctor prescribed tranquilisers for me."

Facing David Farrant in court to address him, Victoria Jervis added:

"You have photographed me a number of times in your flat with no clothes on. One photograph was published in 1972 with a false caption claiming I was a member of your Society, which I never was."

On another occasion, she recalled, how she had written psuedonymously to a local newspaper at Farrant's request "to stimulate publicity for the accused."

Back in 1972 during the indecency case, "Mr P J Bucknell, prosecuting, said Mr Farrant had painted circles on the ground, lit with candles, and had told reporters and possibly the police of what he was doing. 'This appears to be a sordid attempt to obtain publicity,' he said." (Hampstead & Highgate Express, 24 November 1972).

Speaking at the April 1996 Fortean Times Convention, Maureen Speller commented: "The programme came up with ‘His investigations had far reaching and disturbing consequences’ which I said meant he’d been arrested a lot. Strangely enough, this is more or less what he said. God, I felt old being the only member of [my] group who could remember this nutter being arrested every few weeks.” 

“The wife of self-styled occult priest David Farrant told yesterday of giggles in the graveyard when the pubs had closed. ‘We would go in, frighten ourselves to death and come out again,’ she told an Old Bailey jury. Attractive Mary Farrant — she is separated from her husband and lives in Southampton — said they had often gone to London’s Highgate Cemetery with friends ‘for a bit of a laugh.’ But they never caused any damage. ‘It was just a silly sort of thing that you do after the pubs shut,’ she said. Mrs Farrant added that her husband’s friends who joined in the late night jaunts were not involved in witchcraft or the occult. She had been called as a defence witness by her 28-year-old husband. They have not lived together for three years.” (The Sun, 21 June 1974).

“All he talked about was his witchcraft. He was very vain.” (Julia Batsford, an ex-girlfriend of Farrant quoted in the Daily Mail, 26 June 1974).

"Au pair Martine de Sacy has exposed the fantasy world of David Farrant, self-styled high priest of British witchcraft, for whom she posed nude in front of a tomb. Farrant was convicted last week by a jury who heard stories of Satanic rites, vampires and death-worship with girls dancing in a cemetery. Afterwards, 23-year-old Martine said: 'He was a failure as a lover. In fact, I think his trouble was that he was seeking compensation for this. He was always after publicity and he felt that having all these girls around helped. I'm sure the night he took me to the cemetery had less to do with occultism than his craving to be the centre of something.' ... While Martine told her story in Paris, customers at Farrant's local — the Prince of Wales in Highgate, London — chuckled over the man they called 'Birdman.' One regular said: 'He used to come in with a parrot on his shoulder. One night he came in with photos of Martine in the nude. We pinched one, and when she next came in, we told her he was selling them at 5p a time. She went through the ceiling.' ... Farrant called his estranged wife Mary, in his defence. She said: 'We would go in the cemetery with my husband's friends when the pubs had closed. We would frighten ourselves to death and come out again. It was just a silly sort of thing that you do after the pubs close. Nobody was involved in witchcraft or the occult'." (News of the World, 30 June 1974).

“I cannot believe for one moment that he is a serious student of the occult. In fact I believe him to be evil and entirely to be deplored.” (Dennis Wheatley, Daily Express, 26 June 1974).

“I think he’s crazy.” (Canon John Pearce Higgins, Daily Express, 26 June 1974).

“But for the results of his actions, this scruffy little witch could be laughed at. But no one can laugh at a man who admits slitting the throat of a live cat before launching a blood-smeared orgy. Or at a man who has helped reduce at least two women to frightened misery.” (Sue Kentish, News of the World, 23 September 1973).

“The jury were shown folders of pictures of naked girls and corpses, and told about a black-clothed altar in Farrant's flat with a large drawing of a vampire's face. When questioned, Farrant said: 'A corpse was needed to talk to spirits of another world'.” (George Hunter & Richard Wright, Daily Express, 26 June 1974).

“The judge said any interference with a corpse during black magic rituals could properly be regarded as a ‘great scandal and a disgrace to religion, decency and morality’.” (The Sun, 26 June 1974).

“Judge Michael Argyle QC passed sentence after reading medical and mental reports. He said that Farrant had acted ‘quite regardless of the feelings of ordinary people,’ by messing about at Highgate Cemetery.” (Hornsey Journal, 19 July 1974).


In the summer of 1974, David Robert Donovan Farrant was convicted of malicious damage in Highgate Cemetery by inscribing black magic symbols on the floor of a mausoleum, and offering indignities to remains of the dead via black magic rites in Highgate Cemetery where photographs were taken of a naked female accomplice amidst tombs. Threatening police witnesses in a separate case where his black magic associate John Pope was subsequently found guilty of indecent sexual assault on a young boy. Pope, on his current website, describes himself as a “master of the black arts.” Farrant was also convicted of theft of items from Barnet Hospital where he worked briefly as a porter upon his release from Brixton Prison where he had been on remand in August 1970. He was further convicted of possession of a handgun and ammunition kept at his address, which also contained a black magic altar beneath a massive mural of a vampiric face of a horned devil that had featured in various newspapers, not least full front page coverage of the Hornsey Journal, 28 September 1973.

David Farrant received a prison sentence of four years and eight months. Two libel suits brought by him resulted in the News of the World (who had quoted his girlfriend's claims that his publicity-seeking antics were compensation for him being a failure as a lover) failing to produce their principal defence witness due to Farrant making sure she remained in her native France, and him losing against the Daily Express (who had accused him of being a black magician and also of being insane) where £20,000 court costs were awarded against him. He had also brought suits against Canon Pierce Higgins and Dennis Wheatley (who sadly died prior to the court case) that failed. In the News of the World action, which he won on a technicality, he was awarded the derisory sum of £50 and ordered to pay costs. The newspaper’s star witness who failed to appear for their defence was Martine de Sacy, his ex-girlfriend who had been identified as the naked female in the infamous “nude rituals trial” at the Old Bailey in June 1974. Farrant persuaded her not to appear, causing the News of the World to lose their star witness. 

Farrant's blatant bandwagoneering was a perverse parody aimed at garnering maximum publicity. It fooled nobody, but, unfortunately, his concoted claims gave the press something sensational, ie "naked virgins," to write about. This is what an article in the Hampstead & Highgate Express, 15 October 1971, recorded:

"Despite a warning from police that he could be prosecuted, occultist David Farrant said this week he might return to Highgate Cemetery to 'exorcise a vampire' and fight a black magic sect. In the early hours of last Friday Mr Farrant ... performed an exorcism ceremony involving six other young men and two naked girls at a chapel in the cemetery. After the ceremony, one of the girls claimed she saw a shadowy figure which Mr Farrant said was the cemetery's vampire, 'the king of the undead.' ... Armed with a crucifix, a bible, herbs such as camomile, dill and garlic, and holy water taken from St Joseph's Church in Highgate Hill, and accompanied by six other society members, he had climbed over the cemetery wall just before midnight ... etc."

Later in the article one of the alleged naked females is identified as Farrant's girlfriend Martine de Sacy. The newspaper reported: "He denied the ceremony involved sexual practices." Then it quoted Farrant explaining: "That's black magic, which involves getting your rewards before you die — wealth, prosperity, sex. Christian belief is that you get your reward after death. The elaborate things involved in the exorcism were purely symbolic, the most important thing was to have people present who believed in God and the bible. The girls were naked as symbols of purity — they were virgins."

This, at least, is what he had told the Hampstead & Highgate Express in October 1971. Four years later, however, he told readers of New Witchcraft magazine, issue #4, something far removed from the supposed exorcism with naked girls which did not involve sexual practices, as had been fed by him to the Hampstead & Highgate Express. When describing the same ceremony is an unedited article penned at the behest of the magazine's editor from his prison cell, David Farrant now claimed:

"The intrinsic details regarding this part of the ceremony however, must remain secret; suffice it is to say here that the entity (in its now omniscient form) was to be magically induced by the ritual act of blood-letting, then brought to visible appearance through the use of the sex act. ... I disrobed the Priestess and myself and, with the consecrated blood, made the secret sigils of the Deity on her mouth, breast, and all the openings of her body. We then lay in the Pentagram and began love-making, all the time visualizing the Satanic Force so that it could — temporarily — take possession of our bodies."

On his 1975 article, Farrant later recalled (to his friend and collaborator Kevin Demant): "When I had time to spare I wrote a few articles. I sent one to New Witchcraft which was used, and I mean, every single word was used. It was written on old scraps of paper, anything I could get together because obviously, they wouldn't have given me official writing paper to do that, apart from which, it would have been stopped anyway. That was smuggled out and used. I also wrote one for Penthouse, because ... they'd played up the sex angle in court and all the papers were implying ... I thought, well, it's a magazine, they could be half-serious. I mean, bloody hell, it was sold in W H Smiths!"

Farrant had turned to what ostensibly appeared to be diabolism in 1971, but in truth was just further attention-seeking for the sake of the media. He nonetheless engaged in theatrical stunts of an occult nature in churchyards, cemeteries, woods and derelict houses which took on an increasingly satanic appearance. This led to him being charged, tried and convicted for what the media called black magic offences. By which time I decided to get to know him properly for the purpose of discovering exactly what was going on and try to and resolve whatever lay behind the exceptional enmity he evinced toward me. This occurred some time after Farrant had invited what he describes as a "satanic force" to enter him in a nocturnal necromantic ritual he claims to have staged at Highgate Cemetery in 1971 with a naked female. The ritual is described at length by Farrant in an article he wrote while serving his prison sentence. It was published in the fourth issue of New Witchcraft magazine. The person I investigated was transparently a fraud who believed only in the amount of newsprint his manufactured stunts might achieve. So, rather than resolve anything, my getting to know Farrant only made matters worse because he understood that I was now aware of his insincerity and hoaxing. He might very well have attracted something demonic in the process, especially when going through the motions of a satanic evocation where blood was drawn in Highgate Cemetery, but he was total a fraud.

In an article called "Witch Report," (Penthouse magazine [UK], Vol. 8, No. 8, 1973, page 19), he mentions helping a man of diminutive stature — "a midget" — who was being evicted from a controlled tenancy and allegedly suffered harassment as a consequence. Furthermore, the man's wife was apparently pregnant and not coping with the stress of the situation. Farrant "wrote to the landlady saying politely but bluntly that if she didn't stop we would deal with her our own way." She was sent an amulet "consecrated" by Farrant along with a rhyme intended to convey that "once she'd touched it we'd have power over her, and we performed a ceremony in which we cast forces on her wishing her all she wished on the midgets."  Two days later, according to Farrant"she went into the hospital and lost her baby." 

In that Penthouse article, Farrant states: "Satanists worship Lucifer, the supreme power of evil, whereas witchcraft is a neutral thing — it's only evil if practised for an evil purpose." Like several of his Luciferian acquaintances, Jean-Paul Bourre amongst them, David Farrant, who publicly stated that he abandoned witchcraft in 1982, describes himself as someone who “accepts Lucifer as an important deity” and that he “worships Lucifer.” His words are heard on The Devil’s Fool CD (Gothic Press) which comprises thirty-two interview extracts from as many years of his infamous publicity-seeking career.

A video made by and featuring David Farrant at Christmas 2011 culminates with the decapitation of my head in effigy. It can be viewed at tis link:

David Farrant has always attempted to contrive an infamous persona where necromantic diabolism quickly overshadowed his earlier attempts in 1970 to mimic me as an exorcist. He adopted a phoney form of witchcraft where he manufactured quasi-satanic stunts for the benefit of the press. These cost him his liberty and he ended up being sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Though similar publicity stunts ensued upon his release from prison, he would never again catch the attention of the media in the same way as he did prior to and during his notorious "witchcraft" trials at the Old Bailey in 1974.

Kevin Chesham's correspondence of December 2009, which proved to be his last to Keith Maclean, ended with these fortuitous words:

Unknown to the rest of us at the time, Kevin's "struggle" had long since taken a different and more sinister direction  one that took him into the clutches of David Robert Donovan Farrant.
Keith Maclean's observations in a letter to my wife and I about the collusion between Farrant and his new found friends follows:

Nota Bene: "B.K." stands for "Brother Kevin" who would address Keith Maclean as "Brother Keith" in personal correspondence (see below). "K.C." (also employed by Keith Maclean above) are the initials of Kevin's first and last name. The portrait mentioned in the above correspondence is an oil on canvas painting of Kevin finished shortly after his last last meeting with my wife and I in December 2007.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Kevin Chesham was born at Enfield Lock on 15 August 1953. I first met him in May 1973 when he came to work as a lifeguard for a summer season at a salubrious open air swimming pool in tree-shrouded North Finchley. I was already established from previous seasons as a lifeguard and had arrived in the previous month to Kevin to assist along with a couple of other guards in the preparation before the pool opened to the public. Kevin arrived in May and left the pool at Finchley in September when he found employment at Hornsey Road indoor pool where he made the unfortuante acquaintance of a locker attendant by the name of Robert Black (pictured below), who was later revealed to be a child serial killer, one of the worst our country has known.

Robert Black died aged sixty-eight from natural causes in Maghaberry prison in January 2016. Black was serving multiple life sentences for the brutal abductions and murders of four girls in the early 1980s. Who knows how many other children he killed? He was this country's worst serial child murderer and if anyone deserved to be hanged by the neck until dead it was him. Instead he died of natural causes without having revealed who else he killed. For example, Genette Louise Tate disappeared on 19 August 1978 at the age of thirteen from her home town of Aylesbeare in Devon, while she was delivering newspapers. Investigators tried to link her disappearance to Black in 2005 but they did not find sufficient evidence to charge him. There are many missing children around the period Black was on the loose. He kept tight-lipped and revealed no details about any of these victims.

Robert Black was born on 21 April 1947 in Grangemouth, Stirlinghshire, to Jessie Hunter Black, who immediately had him fostered. In 1963, he received his first conviction for luring a seven-year-old girl from a play park to a disused air raid shelter after promising to show her a box of kittens. He choked her until she fell unconscious and then molested her. He then left her for dead. Remarkably, he was not jailed for the crime after being found guilty of only "lewd and libidinous" behaviour.

His reign of terror finally ended in 1990 when he was caught red-handed with a six-year-girl hooded, bound, gagged and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his van. The paedophile was serving a total of twelve life sentences for murder and kidnap when he died of natural causes.

The coverage of Robert Black's life invariably always omits the crucial period spent by him during the mid-1970s in north London as an employee of Islington Borough Council. The fact that he was employed as a locker attendant by Islington Borough Council run indoor swimming pool at Hornsey Road (where he openely preyed on small children) is not covered in any biography I am aware of.

In September 1973, Kevin found employment at Hornsey Road indoor swimming pool where one of his work colleagues was Robert Black. I had the misfortune to witness Black myself when visiting Kevin, though we never spoke. I was later told by the staff that Black was extremely nervous of my presence and wanted to keep well away from me. I sensed something evil about the man. I have only sensed that degree of evil within two other people in my life. I was brought into Black's company solely by accident while visiting Kevin at Hornsey Road swimming pool. Kevin and I very occasionally went on mid to long distance runs with others over Hampstead Heath during the mid to late 1970s. We were connected by such athletic pursuits, but had very little else in common.

Though indications of Black's perverse interest in children was known to all the members of the staff at the Hornsey Road establishment, and indeed was reported to its manager (a Freemason by the name of Godfrey) and — at least, according to Kevin — also to the nearby Hornsey Road Police Station, no action was taken which might have prevented the terrible crimes that lay ahead. The fact that Kevin knew in advance of this psychotic pervert's propensity (and clearly nobody in authority was willing to do anything which might have averted the murderous killing spree to follow) had a disturbing effect on the twenty-year-old lifeguard who often mentioned Black's interest in young children in mixed company. It troubled me then and it troubles me now that absolutely nothing was done by those in authority to apprehend Black. How many children's lives could have been saved?

Everyone who worked alongside Black was aware of what he was doing. I believe Kevin remains troubled by it to this day. Kevin was still talking about Black to guests at one of my reunion dinners in 2007, as we afterwards strolled along the sea front. I only mention this to put everything in some sort of context.

Kevin's fascination with the Third Reich was known to most of the lifeguards he worked alongside in the summer of 1973 at Finchley. At that stage and for three decades more, I understood this interest in Fascism to be no more than that — an interest and nothing more,; indeed, one I had found many people share. There were no indications prior to him emigrating to New Zealand in the closing decade of the twentieth century that he was anything more than drawn to the spectacle and symbolism of Nazi Germany whose 1936 Olympics he openly admired. The main pool at Finchley, of course, was used during the 1948 Olympics.

At the end of the 1973 season I was made head lifeguard for most of the remaining seasons of the 1970s until more creative work took over and eclipsed my time at Finchley, making it impossible to devote an entire summer to the care of those who patronised the leisure complex. Though I was now the person who hired and fired staff, it was made clear from the outset that I would not be permitted to re-employ Kevin following his summer stint in 1973. He had arrived with others being taken on as lifeguards a few weeks after I had begun to help prepare the pool, but straight away he had altercations with senior staff and in particular the supervisor of the engineering plant (for chlorination) which arguments came close to turning violent. Kevin was given to hand-stands and walking along the poolside on his hands. This was his way of showing off before the staff who tended to have nothing to do with him. I did not particularly like the man who took against him for this sort of behaviour, but he was Kevin's superior and consequently Kevin's term at Finchley (Borough of Barnet) was brief and he was not allowed to return the following year. Instead, he worked for Hornsey Road indoor pool during the winters and in the summers a lido either at the Borough of Enfield or the Borough of Waltham Forest. I stayed in touch owing to him requesting I take some photographs of him training at one of these lidos. At this point he had in his sights a future Olympics.

Long distance running and nunchaku training.

Freelance wing chun kung fu training on Hampstead Heath.

When Kevin joined the Army (Royal Electrical Engineers) on 21 April 1975 to facilitate his desire to train as a modern pentathlete which involved  pistol shooting, épée fencing, 216 yards (200 metres) freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3 280.8399 yards (3 kilometres) cross-country run, I saw very little of him. In August of that year he became a novice modern pentathlete, and was based at the Army training camp in Berlin from April 1980. Kevin told people who knew him, including me, that he joined the Army on the proviso that he would not have to fight — claiming to his commanding officer, Major Gordon Lyons, that he was a pacifist and a Buddhist — and that he would need to be served a special diet of strictly vegetarian food for which he was apparently given an allowance. He expected everyone to believe that the British Army accepted him on these conditions. The very idea that the Army would sign up someone who would not to fight is risible, but Kevin insisted to those he knew that this was a price the Army paid in order to get him as a full-time athlete on their modern pentathlon team. My problem with his story is that he is not a pacifist, and, moreover, in my experrience never has been one. I know something about Buddhism and have friends who are Buddhists. Everything I know about about Kevin over the last four decades informs me that he could not possibly be in practical terms a Buddhist. He left the Army on 21 April 1981.

It was during his Army career that he met and married his first wife, Cyrena, a Roman Catholic whose priest, I was told by them both, refused to provide a church ceremony due to Kevin not being a Christian. I met Cyrena, seen above wearing spectacles with me, my wife and Kevin, on three occasions, the last of which when she came to our wedding reception. I certainly found her pleasant enough. She can also be seen in the picture below at that wedding reception she attended with Kevin on 8 August 1987, having not turned up for the ceremony itself. By this point, Kevin was practically unrecognisable (see above photograph where his normally small frame had gained considerable bulk) due to increasing his weight massively with the probable help of what many suspected at the time to be anabolic steriods. Alongside his flashy American car with its personalised number plates (which registration identity bearing his initials cost him two thousand pounds extra) can be seen my wife and I next to Cyrena with my mother on the far left. The young boy leaning on Kevin's expensive vehicle is the son of my dear friend Diana who resided in Highgate. Sadly, she is now deceased. Kevin was one of those who attended her funeral, held in Finchley on 16 January 2004, which I conducted in tandem with Fr Hubert Condron, a Roman Catholic priest from St Joseph's Church, Highgate.

Kevin was and still is a self-proclaimed vegetarian who lived on powdered protein drinks and cereal bars. I sensed in him a man committed to a regimen of discipline and determination that I empathised with and understood. He was an outsider with no real friends, and I have always gone out of my way to befriend the friendless wherever and whenever I can. Though appearing to be introverted and unnoticed within a group of people, he nonetheless enjoyed the limelight if the opportunity presented itself and on occasions was prone to showing off, but these occasions grew less frequent as the years rolled by and he felt overshadowed by those he came into contact with in north London. When I first knew him, however, he was always ready for a photo-opportunity which might bring him his fifteen minutes' worth of fame, but it never did come along. In those early days, he was part of a team of runners that included myself. He also had a strong interest in martial arts and on some occasions we trained together in freestyle wing chun kung fu, sometimes using weapons, eg nunchaku; though his personal preference was Kyokushin karate, and in March 1975 he attained his black belt in that discipline.

Above is what Kevin normally looks like. On the surface, I found him ostensibly loyal and hardworking, but quiet waters run deep and there was another side to Kevin which was not quite so appealing, as I and others would eventually discover. I never really felt I knew him. Nobody did, and some would say as much.

Kevin possessed a cold, detached and insensitive side which could have devastating consequences on those effected. There are so many anecdotes I could draw upon, but I shall content myself with just a couple. There was the occasion when he visited Finchley open air swimming pool years after having worked there and spoke out loud in a totally inappropriate, jocular and hurtful manner about his former boss, Alan Hime, who had been the area supervisor of every pool in the borough until he died of a heart attack a week prior to Kevin's visit. The deceased man's daughter, a swimmer for the national team, was standing nearby as we chatted at the entrance to the large leisure area and its fifty metres Olympic pool surrounded by trees. She obviously heard every word and I could not believe Kevin's incredible insensitivity. Her father had been an athlete in the 1948 Olympics and it was him I had to thank for putting me in charge of the lifeguards and sundry staff. We sometimes had our differences, which is to be expected, but fundamentally we respected each other and patrons said for years afterwards that the open air swimming pool was never run better that the time I was its head lifeguard. I had no fatalities during the years I was in charge. Soon after I departed there were drownings which was put down to a general lowering of standards. Both Alan Hime and myself were disciplinarians who realised that lives were at risk and we did not believe in making allowances in such circumstances. The lifeguards were trained to supreme standards, and the public expected to enjoy a safe and peaceful time at the establishment. They were not disappointed. When I heard what Kevin had blurted out about Hime I really did not know where to put my face, but he just shrugged it off. I wanted to apologise to the daughter, Jane, for having to suffer such callous and unimaginably inconsiderate remarks, but felt it might make matters worse and walked away in disgust and somewhat rather ashamed of Kevin.

Another occasion was around the time of my mother's funeral in 1992 when Kevin visited unannounced and was taken into a room full of funerary blooms and wreaths. Anyone could tell that I was really out of sorts and down, which is out of character for me, but Kevin joked and laughed as if nothing had happened and everything was normal. He did not bother to enquire about the floral tributes and sympathy cards strewn about the place. I daresay he did not care. It was as if his emotions and sensitivity were completely shut off and that, had it been spelled out for him, he still would not have acted any differently because his own agenda always predominated and at that time he was seeking my help. This usually meant my signature on something, eg a reference for a job he was seeking etc. After some refreshment and what passed for him as "normal conversation," he eventually departed without offering any condolences either then or later.

I had noticed long before — in the 1970s, in fact — that Kevin would appear to be listening attentively, but contribute almost nothing when a group of people were in conversation. Yet when alone with him, or perhaps with just one or two other people present, he would talk inappropriately behind people's backs, always with cold detachment. He seemed to take pleasure in what struck me as being unkind and sometimes cruel behaviour. Perhaps I should have noticed the warning signs earlier on, but I was seeing next to nothing of him in the latter part of the 1970s and probably no more than three or four times throughout the whole of the next decade. The period when I was most in contact was when we trained as part of a team of distance runners from 1973 to 1975 on Hampstead Heath and the surrounding area. He was quite aggresive and competitive, always wanting to be at the head of the field even though it was not a race. These were training sessions, which I was doing it for fitness, as were most of the others. He has recently claimed that I was the coach, but I was not. I was just a member of the running team, and he was by far the best runner we all struggled to keep up with. When we returned from a marathon or half-marathon to a member of the team's home in Highgate, after recovering and freshening up, we ate a roast dinner with all the trimmings. Kevin, the so-called vegan/vegetarian, always consumed what was on offer, which invariably included meat or fowl. He did not drink alcohol, however, because he dislikes the taste, but he would clean his plate containing massive amounts of of meat and then he would ask for a second helping. This, of course, was transparently hypocritical.

My seasonal work as head lifeguard at the open air pool suited me because it occupied only five months, the establishment closing down for the remainder of the year. I was also still working on both sides of the camera and towards the end of the 1970s my involvement in film projects and other commitments predominated to such an extent that I could not continue as head lifeguard and do the job justice. I caught sight of Kevin only once every so often, and during the 1980s hardly at all. When I did see him in the late summer of 1984, however, I was barely able to recognise him. Others, who knew him less well, didn't recognise him at all. Kevin had ballooned from a thin, small-boned figure of a man to a body-building hulk almost weighing twice as much as before. His usually gaunt features were now puffed into a round face as he waddled with bloated legs chaffing together as he walked. He had also taken to eating forty eggs and half a dozen chickens per day. That notwithstanding, he now seemed less depressed than I had known him in the past, but this could have been due to his financial situation improving drastically. Still working for local government pools, he was now also employed at night as a club bouncer with excellent remuneration. This entailed some rather unsavoury and violent behaviour on his part, which he admitted he was not proud of when we discussed his bouncing career, but the increase in income allowed him to buy a house, start a body-building franchise with a shop in Wembley, and, of course, run an expensive American car with personalised number plates and own the largest plasma screen television on the market. It was all about making an impression with material acquisitions and a physique to match, and he was never friendlier toward me and my wife than at this time. It was an illusion, however, that almost predictably would dissolve.

Kevin's fortunes changed soon after Cyrena told him on 24 May 1992 that "during the course of working at the shop she had met someone and had formed a relationship" which had been "ongoing for some three months." She departed the next day (May 25th) after they had been together sixteen years. The business was divided equally between them, and it was not long before his side of the enterprise failed.

It was also not too long before he met and married Beverley Mason who insisted on retaining her maiden name "Mason" after they were wed. Just like the marriage to Cyrena, I was not invited to this second marriage. From this point things gradually went from bad to worse and every decision they took proved disastrous over the following years. They possessed most of the books I had written — though instinctively I did not offer From Satan To Christ (in which warning references are made to a connection between some Nazis and the occult) — which decision proved fortuitous. Yet I somehow doubt Kevin managed to read The Highgate Vampire because years later, after seeing a television documentary I had made about the Highgate case for the Discovery Channel, his nose was clearly put out of joint because Keith Maclean was included. At a reunion dinner party he asked: "What was he doing in it?" It was quite implicit that Kevin wished he had been in the documentary himself, and, moreover, had also been paid an appearance fee. We had to explain to him that Keith and his girlfriend at the time were heavily involved in the case at its inception whereas Kevin had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I did not even know Kevin when the incidents were occurring at Highgate Cemetery, and certainly did not discuss anything with him years later because he showed no interest. My helping Keith's girlfriend is how I came to know Keith from a time when Kevin would have only been around sixteen-years-old. These signs of resentment over matters that did not merit any resentment would increase over the last handful of years I remained in contact with Kevin.

Kevin and Beverley asked to visit Glastonbury with me and my wife, and we all drove down to this most sacred Christian shrine in England on a beautiful summer's day on 20 June 1993. A regular visitor to the small Somerset town, I was looking to purchase a suitable base in view of my pending episcopal appointment, making Glastonbury the seat of my ecclesial jurisdiction. Kevin and Beverley were shown the Abbey ruins, but when it came to the High Street where people and pilgrims were in evidence he grew extremely irritable and wanted to leave as soon as possible. He was fine while he was not in contact with other people, but the moment he was among the throng he turned ugly. He became irritated again when we stopped at a petrol station for fuel on the way home to the outskirts of London where my wife and I resided, and Basildon in Essex where Kevin and Beverley lived. We thought Kevin's unprovoked irritability was a side effect of him using anabolic steriods. I should stress that he was always all right with me and mine and only evinced hostility toward strangers. Below is a picture of Kevin taken at the foot of a gigantic cross in the Abbey ruins on the only occasion we have visited Glastonbury with him. What struck me most about that day was his "Jekyll and Hyde" personality. 

Five months later on 17 November 1993, whilst training at his body-building gym in Essex, Kevin had a stroke and was incapicitated for some considerable time. At first he could not walk or talk and was unconscious for a week. It took him twelve months to recover his speech and ability to walk. If he had been using anabolic steriods before, he now ceased and shrunk back to the size I remembered him from the 1970s. A period of introspection followed while his appearance fluctuated and sometimes he seemed like an old man while at other times he appeared in good shape. Occasionally the conversation would turn to growth hormones. I cannot say he ever used these, but he changed radically from one visit to the next, and his stroke had caused a personality change which was not fully realised for some time due to him emigrating. The person who eventually returned to these shores was not the same person who left them.

His second wife, Beverley, was a teacher and I was often asked to write references for her and Kevin when either of them applied for new employment. She relied on my reference when she became a head teacher, but these positions never seemed to last long before another job was being sought somewhere else. I would receive telephone calls from prospective employers asking for character references after they had received my written one. She would take highly paid jobs in Arab counties, eg Kuwait, where she worked as a private teacher. They lived for a while in Cairo, Egypt, due to the high income her teaching attracted, but these places were ultimately undesirable and they next opted to emigrate to New Zealand because for them it most resembled how Great Britain used to be before it became a multi-racial, multicultural country with fast growing immigation. One of Beverley's main topics of conversation was the predominance of non-white faces in most classes she taught in England, and how this was unacceptable in her's and Kevin's view.

They sold their house in Basildon and left these shores for the other side of the world where life was not exactly as they had hoped and imagined. They did not like the New Zealanders' sense of humour and felt they would never fit in, or be accepted. While in that country, however, Kevin made the acquaintance of Satanist and neo-Nazi Kerry Bolton with whom he would remain thereafter in correspondence. He read Bolton's works and was clearly impressed by them. I made it absolutely clear to Kevin when he informed me about this that I regarded Kerry Bolton to be an agent of darkness who should be avoided at all costs.

Kevin and Beverley (pictured above) returned to an England where property prices had soared, and where they could only eventually afford a small terrace dwelling with a one hundred percent mortgage which, after the worst recession in history, plummeted in value, swiftly rendering them into such negative equity that they were obliged to rent their property out to tenants and live in something much less salubrious themselves. Kevin found it difficult to get employment, believing his age to be the barrier, and this added one more topic to his conversation, which was usually about his sporting activities or his distaste for a certain person living in London's Muswell Hill whom on occasion I had to constrain Kevin from wanting to physically attack. This person was the same man they would nevertheless join forces with to cause me and my wife harm after a poisonous brew of envy, resentment and paranioa reached fever pitch in their increasingly disturbed minds. It became obvious from halfway through the first decade of the twenty-first century that undue suspicion, distrust and fear were now manifest in them. We did not enjoy their company from this point, but they were also in touch with Keith Maclean who kept them informed of reunion dinner parties and they just seemed to invite themselves along. Nobody else was bothered about whether they were present or not.

Kevin and Beverley were always willing to take a gamble, but they were not willing to accept the consequences when their recklessness resulted in disaster. I have never been a gambler and have worked hard to get to where I am now. Yet I detected no small degree of resentment from them, and this would evince itself in their detachment from the group, early departure and failure to interact in conversation.

They were also having problems in their marriage which was a curious one from the start. They each held at least two jobs and at times worked in separate countries. Consequently, they saw next to nothing of each other. Kevin worked shifts while Beverley taught privately, having previously been a regular teacher. Her work nowadays concentrates on sporting activities in Brentford. When not in Spain allegedly coaching triathletes, Kevin works as a pool attendant at the Gloucester Park Stadium, Basildon, Essex. Beverley even takes holidays abroad without Kevin. It is all very curious and not how most people would envisage an ideal marriage. On various occasions when visiting us, they each confirmed to me and my wife that they were members of the BNP and had attended BNP functions in Essex. Whether this precluded Beverley remaining in formal teaching I do not know, but their membership of a far right political party probably effected their employment prospects when that organisation's membership list was published on the internet after it had been hacked.

Kevin and Beverley had professed a dislike of children, and would leave early when children were present at one of our reunion dinner parties, as seen in the above picture showing my wife (left), a friend of ours with her infant and Beverley at the rear of the group. Something happened, however, to change Beverley's mind about children and latterly she decided she wanted to have a baby of her own, as told by her to my wife. Kevin clearly still did not. The very idea was anathema to him. Hence, according to what was said to my wife, this caused some friction in their relationship which was always a curious one from the beginning. When they looked for a scapegoat for their troubles, however, I seemed to fit the bill.

On every occasion they visited us, my wife and I went out of our way to give them a good time in familiar company from the past and vegan food specially purchased and cooked for them by my wife. They were often given some of this cuisine to take home with them, as none of the other guests were interested in vegan or vegetarian food. They were always treated with consideration and generosity. Yet on their last three visits something had clearly changed about them. They lacked humour, acted suspiciously, and were nervous.

I thought the trigger for their odd behaviour might be a gift — a novel I wrote in 2000 titled Carmel — which they received along with other presents when they visited on Boxing Day 2006, a year before the last occasion we saw them. It was obviously a mistake, as far as they were concerned. They never made reference to my book until I asked whether they had read it on their last visit. They confirmed they had with an expression of marked disapproval. My novel views vampires and the Nazi leaders as analogous in its subtext. It also draws upon the idea that the hunter and hunted are interchangeable. They did not like it one bit. There is also the strong possibility that Kerry Bolton (with whom Kevin was still corresponding) was now issuing instructions to my detriment which contributed to the change I was now witnessing in Kevin and Beverley. Though invited again in the following year they found excuses not to accept, and we never saw either again. Needless to say, none of our mutual acquaintances have seen them. Nor do they want to see them.

The Essex couple executed their plan in the fullness of time — after they had entered into collusion with a pusillanimous character with criminal convictions for threatening people with black magic for which he was jailed for two years, and malicious vandalism plus grave desecration for which he was further sentenced to another two years imprisonment; a man, moreover, who has waged a vendetta against me and mine for over four decades. His name is David Robert Donovan Farrant (born 23 January 1946) who can be seen seated next to Kevin at Farrant's Muswell Hil attic bedsitting room in the picture below.

Kevin often reminded people just how much he really disliked people who smoke cigarettes, drink copious amounts of alcohol, choose unhealthy lifestyles and lazy individuals who live off benefits. Yet here was Farrant, a man who chain-smoked, drank dangerously high levels of alcohol, had a lazy, indolent lifestyle, and had subsisted on state benefits throughout his entire life with whom Kevin entered into collusion to do me personal harm whilst betraying at least a dozen other people who were our mutual friends.

Keith Maclean, a member of my Church (who knew Kevin as well as anyone can know such a devious character), wrote: "What he does not realise is that you were always his friend, moreover it is somewhat doubtful how serious his friendship ever was towards you. Maybe he just wanted position, status, importance."

I have no idea what Kevin wanted, but as for friendship it is a fact that despite the many times he was a guest in our home where he was looked after with specially prepared vegetarian cuisine, which only he and his wife required, he did not once reciprocate. In all the years I have known him I have not been invited once to any place where he has resided. He was an invited guest to my wedding. Yet I was not invited to either of his weddings, which tells me that he probably never did regard me as his friend despite my willingness to always help him and his wife. What is less easy to comprehend is the unprovoked way in which he turned his back on a convivial acquaintanceship stretching back to 1973 and entered into a pact with someone whom journalists, police, magistrates, judges and juries branded as an incorrigible liar.

Kevin Chesham started off as an angry young man, and has continued throughout his life in the same way, becoming today an angry old man. It is all very sad.

The Dalai Lama said:
"When reason ends, then anger begins.
Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness."
Is anger or hatred ever justified? A direct answer from Allan Wallace in Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground up:
"'Righteous hatred' is in the same category as 'righteous cancer'or 'righteous tuberculosis'. All of them are absurd concepts."
This does not mean that one should never take action against aggression or injustice! Instead, one should try to develop an inner calmness and insight to deal with these situations in an appropriate way. We all know that anger and aggression give rise to anger and aggression. One could say that there are three ways to get rid of anger: kill the opponent, kill yourself or kill the anger - which one makes most sense to you?"
Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche mentioned:
"Some people feel patience is showing weakness or pessimism. But, actually, patience shows the strength and clarity of mind, which are based on wisdom and compassion. Without proper wisdom and compassion, one cannot practice patience."
Not only Buddhism, of course, recognises the shortcomings of anger. In the Bible, for example, Psalm 37 (14-16) informs us of the futility of being angry:
"The angry ones draw their swords, the angry ones aim their bows
To put down the poor and the weakened and to kill those who walk on the path of righteousness. But their sword hits their own heart, their bows will be broken.
With his poverty, the righteous one is richer than all the angry ones in their abundance."
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
The Buddha:
"If subconscious anger had a parallel in Buddhist writings, it would have to do with what is called mental unhappiness or dissatisfaction. This is regarded as the source of anger and hostility. We can see subconscious anger in terms of a lack of awarness, as well as an active misconstruing of reality."
The Dalai Lama:
"If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need to use violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus, using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness. Even in daily human contact, if we talk seriously, using reasons, there is no need to feel anger. We can argue the points. When we fail to prove with reason, then anger comes. When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings by and About the Dalai Lama.

Monday, 27 February 2012



This page provides examples of military memorabilia and associated curios collected and traded for their historical interest. Antique flintlock and percussion pistols do not require certification in England because of their age. Other weapons, eg First and Second World War guns etc, all possessed legal deactivation certificates, as do any remaining in the collection. Militaria is not my first interest as a collector, but it is nonetheless a fascinating one that I refer to here only in the context of parts of my collection being seriously misrepresented by Kevin Chesham whose devious motives for so doing are regrettable in the extreme. 

I am a collector of antiques, artifacts, militaria, paintings, religious relics and sundry items from bygone ages. Mostly I collect objects up to and including the Edwardian period. Items from the First World War and Second World War I have kept in a storeroom on display. These include pictures and books. They are traded with a fast turnover. German militaria is by far the most popular and most expensive. There are, however, certain items from World War Two that were given me by folk I knew when I was very young (who brought them back from Europe) on the proviso that I did not sell them on. I shall honour that request.

My Napoleonic militaria and my Byronian artefacts (about which I regularly receive enquiries), including an inherited pair of duelling pistols, I shall not part with under any circumstances. Indeed, it is chiefly militaria from the two world wars that I trade, and much of what I had five years ago has now gone to be replaced with items, including signed original prints from more than a century ago and curiosities under the general heading of Victoriana, which do not linger and are very much in demand. In the interim I did have some American Civil War items come my way, including an unissued military rifle in perfect condition and a selection of Confederate flags.

Some antiques and militaria that belong to the house are not for sale  mostly originating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with a small number older still. Some of these have been inherited and I regard myself their custodian.

A selection of British Snider-Enfield breech loading rifles. 

The highly efficient German Mauser rifle (currently displayed in a reception room at my house) used in both world wars and barely modified throughout its deployment since 1898 when this version first appeared.

Visitors invariably enjoy the many antiques, collectables, curios and other items about the house.

I have many duelling pistols and antique swords. These I seldom trade. Twentieth century items I will trade along with almost anything that is post-Edwardian unless there is a particular reason not to do so.

I have in the past displayed my twentieth century militaria, largely but not exclusively Second World War, in a place where they could be viewed by visitors for inspection. Most of that modest collection has now been sold. My living quarters are restricted to nineteenth century and earlier material. Books for sale are kept in a bookcase in the room exhibiting collectables and militaria for trade. Some material, eg supernatural titles, are duplicates of those books already held in my private library. The majority of these collectors' items have also now been sold, but new material is always unexpectedly coming my way.

An area of collecting about which I am most enthusiastic is reliquaries and relics (see below).

Relic of Saint Teresa of Avila housed within its silver container.

Reliquary containing Vatican authenticated relic of Saint Teresa of Avila.

Nota Bene:  I do not sell relics, and only accept relics with certification.