Mother of murdered girl believes daughter's killer is living in Cork

18 October 1997
Irish Times
Catherine Cleary

The mother of a schoolgirl murdered in Britain 22 years ago has said she believes her daughter's killer is living in Ireland. Lesley Molseed (11) was sexually assaulted and stabbed 12 times in October 1975. Her body was found in West Yorkshire three days after she went missing when she went to buy a loaf of bread.

The murder led to one of Britain's most infamous miscarriages of justices when Stefan Kiszko was convicted and served 16 years in jail. His conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in February 1992. He died a year later. Ms April Garrett, Lesley's mother, said the family has just learned that another man was believed by police to be a prime suspect at the time of the murder. The 52-year-old man, a convicted paeodophile, is believed by the family to be living in Cork with a younger woman.  (Blogger note: refers to Raymond Hewlett)

A Garda spokesman said they had no information on the man, and gardai in Cork said they were not aware of the man, either by name or description. British police are not seeking the man in connection with the murder, Ms Garrett said, as the case would have to be reopened first.

The family has called on the British Home Secretary, Mr Jack Straw, to open a new inquiry into the murder. A new book, Innocents, written by a journalist with the Manchester Evening News, names the man and says his Morris van was seen in the area at the time of the murder. Ms Garrett said the family was "aghast" at the information in the book. "He first fled to Ireland on the day the body was found. Then he came back to his wife." The man was arrested in 1992 after serving four years of a six-year sentence in Britain for the abduction and assault of a 14-year-old girl, she said.

"They had to let him go because the police said they couldn't prosecute him." The police carried out a second murder investigation after the acquittal and also an internal investigation into the handling of the original case. "We are convinced that the investigation into the first murder inquiry is so damning that they don't want to let the public see it," Ms Garrett said. She added that the man had used Ireland as a "bolthole", returning to live here between prison sentences.

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