Plea over Lesley's murder

18 October 1997
Yorkshire Post
Nicola Megson
Schoolgirl's mother seeks inquiry after book 'names real killer' in false jailing case

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Lesley Molseed yesterday called on Home Secretary Jack Straw to open a new inquiry into her daughter's death. April Garrett spoke out for the first time in 22 years following the publication of a book which names a convicted paedophile aged 52 as the killer. (Blogger note: refers to Raymond Hewlett)  Eleven-year-old Lesley's body was found in a lay-by at Ripponden, near Halifax, in October 1975.

In one of Britain's most infamous miscarriages of justice Stefan Kiszko was convicted of her murder and spent 16 years in jail before the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction in February 1992. He died a broken man within a year of his release.

The new book, Innocents, names a man now living in Ireland as the murderer. He was questioned during the original investigation about his ownership of a Morris van like that seen by 14 people at the murder scene.

At her home at Littleborough, Greater Manchester, Mrs Garrett said: "We want the Home Secretary to reopen the investigation. "We want the results of the internal investigation into the original police inquiry and we want action to be taken against the man named in the book. For 16 years Stefan Kiszko was in jail and the man who really killed Lesley was free."

Stains on Lesley's outer clothing containing sperm heads proved Kiszko's innocence. Kiszko, who had an unusual medical condition of severe sexual underdevelopment, had never been able to produce sperm heads. But the discrepancy had never come to the attention of Kiszko's defence lawyers. A campaign led by his mother, Charlotte, led to his freedom but he never recovered from his jail ordeal and died aged 41. His mother died five months later.

Mrs Garrett said: "We want to know why the forensic evidence which freed him was not produced at the original trial and why the man named as Lesley's killer was not properly investigated. "The evidence which cleared Stefan Kiszko was available at the first trial and yet it was hidden while the killer was allowed to walk the streets. There have been so many mistakes and there are so many questions which need answering."

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said last night: "We have no reason to believe that there is anything come to light that was not uncovered during the re-investigation. But we will carefully consider the contents of this book."

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