Mother 'knows identity of daughter's murderer'

12 November 1997
Yorkshire Post
Joanne Ginley

April Garrett, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, is certain that someone somewhere holds vital clues that can put her daughter's killer behind bars. But for Mrs Garrett this is no ordinary search for information about a faceless murderer. Twenty-two years after 11-year-old Lesley was slain on moorland above Rochdale, she is now certain she knows who took her child's life. So sure is Mrs Garrett that she and other members of her family are to start an inquiry of their own.

Their campaign will start at Todmorden market today, when Mrs Garrett will hand out leaflets bearing pictures of Lesley and the man she believes robbed her daughter of life. Also taking part in the campaign will be Lesley's sisters and brother, Janet, Frederick and Laura Anderson, and Lesley's father Freddy Molseed.

The man spent several years living in Todmorden and until recently was known to be living in Ireland. Mrs Garrett no longer knows where he is but, by tracing his footsteps, the family hope they can dig up their own evidence and secure a conviction that will end their 22-year ordeal.

Mrs Garrett, who lives in Littleborough, near Rochdale, said: "After all these years we still have not got justice. "My daughter's murderer is still walking the streets. "We are trying to nudge someone's memory and we are asking anyone with any information that could help bring him to justice to contact the police."

The family are are even willing to travel to Ireland if it will turn up new leads.

Mrs Garrett's comments follow the publication of a book, Innocents, which named a 52-year-old convicted paedophile as Lesley's 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. Mrs Garrett said: "I have never spoken about Lesley's death. "But I was so incensed by what I read in that book." (Blogger note: refers to Raymond Hewlett)

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 at the age of 41, a year after his release. His mother Charlotte, who campaigned tirelessly for his release, died five months later.

Mrs Garrett has called on Home Secretary Jack Straw to open a new inquiry into her daughter's death. She says mistakes were made in the way the investigation was handled, leaving many unanswered questions.

West Yorkshire Police have promised to look closely at the contents of the book but have said they have no reason to believe that it has brought forward any information that has not been covered in previous investigations.

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