New evidence on child murder

6 October 1997
Yorkshire Post
Andrew Robinson
Police to examine claims made in book on killing of Lesley Molseed 22 years ago

Police are to examine new evidence relating to the unsolved murder of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed 22 years ago, for which an innocent man was jailed. A new book claims to name a prime suspect for the murder of the 11-year-old Rochdale girl, whose stabbed body was found on moorland above Ripponden, near Halifax, in October 1975.  (Blogger note: refers to Raymond Hewlett)

Stefan Kiszko, a clerk from Rochdale, was convicted of the murder but was released in 1992, after 16 years in jail, when the Court of Appeal declared he was innocent. Mr Kisko died less than a year after being freed. The case was reopened and a police team led by Det Supt Trevor Wilkinson made a fresh appeal for information.

In 1992 a 48-year-old man was arrested outside Armley jail, Leeds, but was released after four days in custody. A file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service but no one was charged. The book, Innocents, co-written by former detective Mr Wilkinson, names a 52-year-old man now living in Ireland as the suspect.

Yesterday a West Yorkshire Police spokesman was unable to say whether the man named in the book was the same man arrested but not charged in 1992. The spokesman said the book would be studied: "We will obviously be looking at the information and any new evidence will be examined. "However, the case was re-investigated and in 1993 we reported that during the inquiries a man was arrested and interviewed and a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service." The CPS decided that "there was not enough evidence for a reasonable prospect of prosecution. If any further information comes to light relating to the case, it will be referred to the CPS."

The solicitor who fought to have Stefan Kiszko released, Campbell Malone, said last night he understood that the man named in the book was the man arrested in 1992. "If this is the case, it looks as though there are yet more victims of this miscarriage of justice. There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered, such as who was responsible for the murder and how was it allowed to happen. "I would have assumed if there is any new information it will have been passed to West Yorkshire Police."

Mr Kiszko, 23 at the time of the murder, was convicted but crucial police evidence which would have shown him to be innocent never came to the attention of lawyers. A campaign led to his freedom after 16 years behind bars but he never recovered from his prison ordeal and he died within a year, aged 41. His mother Charlotte died five months later.

The new book, written by barrister Jonathan Rose, crime reporter Steve Panter and Mr Wilkinson, highlights six links between the murder and a Blackpool-born man living with a much younger woman in Ireland. According to the book the same man was convicted at Leeds Crown Court in 1973 of a sex offence committed the year before and jailed for 18 months.

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