A FANTASIST former nurse who worked at a Hereford hospital has lost an appeal to have his 18-year prison sentence reduced.

Carl Beech, who made false claims about a VIP paedophile ring, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court in July 2019 after he was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Beech, who had a management-type role at a hospital in Hereford before becoming an inspector for the Care Quality Commission in 2012, falsely claimed that he had been sadistically raped and abused by famous Westminster figures in the 1970s and 1980s.

In a bid to get the 52-year-old's sentence cut, his barrister, Collingwood Thompson QC, told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that no-one was charged or faced court proceedings as a result of his actions.

Mr Thompson said the “limited nature” of the appeal focused on the part of Beech’s sentence for the specific charges of perverting the course of justice.

He said: “If you look at this case, it lacks one aggravating factor, which is that as a result of the false allegations someone was charged.”

But Tony Badenoch QC, who was the prosecutor at Beech’s trial, told the court the defendant “traduced reputations” of his victims by making “the most lurid accusations”.

Among those falsely accused by Beech were Normandy veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall, who has since died aged 95, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

Those he named as supposed “abusers” also included former prime minister Sir Edward Heath, late Labour MP Greville Janner, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile, and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley and Sir Maurice Oldfield, who were the heads of MI5 and MI6 respectively.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith said the reputations of the victims were “traduced” on a national and global scale.

He said victim impact statements showed the “devastating impact” the accusations had, not just on the victims, but on their friends and family.

Dismissing the appeal, he said the factors of the case “fully justify” the sentence imposed by the trial judge, adding that it “cannot be argued” that the sentence was excessive.

He said the term imposed was “fully justified on the facts of this case”.

Along with perverting the course of justice and fraud, Beech was also originally sentenced for voyeurism and possession of indecent images, which he had previously admitted.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Proctor said: “The decision of the court is excellent and it draws attention to the damage that false accusers can make and is a deterrent to further false accusers in the future.”