Molseed family tries for private prosecution

20 March 1999
Yorkshire Post
Andrew Vine, Chief Reporter

The family of murdered child Lesley Molseed are to launch a private prosecution against the convicted paedophile they believe killed her - 24 years after her body was found and six years after the man wrongfully jailed for the crime died.

Relatives of Lesley - found stabbed on moors near Halifax in 1975 three days after she disappeared from her Rochdale home - have instructed solicitors to bring an action against Raymond Hewlett, 54, who is now living in Ireland.

Hewlett was living in Rochdale at the time of Lesley's murder and has a string of convictions for violent offences against children. He was questioned about the murder twice, and offered an alibi in which he claimed to have been with a 15-year-old girl at the time Lesley was killed. The girl later said he had been lying. In 1992, the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Lesley's family are determined that Hewlett faces a court, especially since the death six years ago of Stefan Kiszko, the man wrongfully jailed for the murder, who spent 16 years behind bars.

Lesley's parents, April Garrett and Fred Anderson, her sister Julie Anderson and brother Fred junior have instructed Manchester solicitor Robert Lizar to start a private prosecution.

Mr Lizar, who specialises in miscarriages of justice, is seeking access to West Yorkshire Police files on the murder inquiry.

He said: "I am not sure why the Crown Prosecution never decided to go ahead with the case against Hewlett as we have not yet had access to all the information they had."

Julie Anderson said: "Nobody else is doing anything for us and no one seems likely to bring Hewlett to trial. We thought that something had to be done."

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police said the file on Lesley's murder was still open.

A book on the case which named Hewlett as a prime suspect had offered no new evidence, she added.

Hewlett left Rochdale for Ireland the day after Lesley disappeared. When he returned a month later, police questioned him about her murder during a trawl of known child abusers. He said he had been in Todmorden with a 15-year-old girl. Twenty years later, that girl was tracked down by police in Australia, and she told them Hewlett had not been with her.

Three years after Lesley was killed, Hewlett was jailed for four years for forcing a 14-year-old girl to undress at gunpoint in her Todmorden home. He served 16 months of the sentence before he escaped and fled to Ireland. In 1989, after kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint, he was captured and sentenced to six years.

Stefan Kiszko was jailed for the murder of Lesley after confessing to the crime while under arrest. He later withdrew that confession. He died aged 41 just 18 months after being cleared of the murder and freed from jail.

0 Responses to "Molseed family tries for private prosecution"
Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors