THE Met police chief at the centre of a botched investigation into a non-existent VIP child abuse inquiry also closed the Scotland Yard inquiry into Jeffrey Epstein because of a lack of evidence.
Steve Rodhouse is the Director General (Operations) of the National Crime Agency and was a former deputy assistant commissioner (DAC) at the Metropolitan police.
He has faced criticism after the release of Richard Henriques’s review into the VIP sex abuse inquiry revealed allegations of police misconduct.
The investigation was sparked following court action earlier that year in the US after one of the Epstein’s alleged victims Virginia Roberts claimed she was “trafficked” to London to sleep with the Duke of York.
She claimed Epstein turned her into a “sex slave” and that she slept with the prince three times when she was 17- which Prince Andrew has denied.
Roberts has also alleged that one of those times was at the house of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of acting as Epstein’s madam.
Maxwell has repeatedly denied any involvement in Epstein’s crimes.
The prince has strongly denied any wrongdoing during his friendship with Epstein.
Robert’s claims are now being investigated by the FBI, along with Epstein’s links to the prince and Maxwell, but at the time Rodhouse’s team was not convinced by the “available evidence”.
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A senior Met source familiar with the investigation told the Sunday Times: “The investigation by Scotland Yard would not have been stopped without Steve Rodhouse’s approval.
“As the DAC overseeing the serious crime directorate at the time, he would have made the final call on all the investigations.”
The Met added that Mr Rodhouse was not involved in the “decision-making procession”, even though he ran the department, and that the investigation was stopped because there wasn’t enough evidence.
Mr Rodhouse recently been met with intense criticism over the Met’s handling of the VIP sex ring scandal.
Retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques produced a report in 2016.
At the time it was produced, vital sections that included the shortcomings of individual detectives were redacted.
The largely uncensored version was published yesterday, revealing allegations of poor leadership, misleading public statements and lack of empathy for those falsely accused.
It criticised Mr Rodhouse’s decision-making and professionalism which ultimately resulted in £2.5million of public money being spent on the words of a single “source” – the now convicted fantasist Carl Beech, aka Nick.
The judge explained in the report it appeared there was “no sufficient consideration to the plight of suspects,” while giving “every possible consideration” to Nick.
The Sun Online contacted the Met Police for a comment.
He previously released a statement condemning his former pal, saying: “It is apparent to me since the suicide of Mr Epstein that there has been an immense amount of media speculation about so much in his life.
“This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr Epstein. Therefore I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation.
“I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. I have stayed in a number of his residences.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
The prince has come under fire for visiting him after he was released from prison for child prostitution offences.
The convicted child sex offender was found hanged in his cell in August, weeks after being charged with child-trafficking offences.
The Duke was last pictured with Epstein in New York in 2010 after the hedge fund manager had been released from prison and was a registered sex offender.
At least five women who say they were abused by Epstein have filed lawsuits against his £458million estate after the paedo killed himself.
All said Epstein used a “vast enterprise” of associates to recruit them, subject them to unwanted sex acts and keep them under his control.
He was arrested on July 6 over claims he was involved in the sex-trafficking of dozens of girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 until 2005.
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Epstein had denied the charges and was being held in prison until his trial where he was facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
A previous Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.
“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
Prince Andrew, pictured with Jeffrey Epstein in New York in 2010[/caption]
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