The sins of the father

August 06, 2008
Oldham Advertiser
Simon Coyle

The son of a convicted murderer has welcomed the decision by Court of Appeal judges to refuse his father leave to appeal against his conviction – and spoken of how his parent’s sins are destroying his own future. Shaw man Ronald Castree, 55, also lost his fight to reduce the length of his jail sentence – a minimum of 30 years – imposed last year after he was found guilty of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed’s murder in 1975.

Following the appeal ruling at Leeds Crown Court last Tuesday, Castree’s son Nick Tighe said: "It is the right thing. I have said from day one that I knew it was him and that he was capable of doing it. I am just glad that he is being kept in prison where he belongs. He has never shown any remorse, so why should he be given the chance to be released?"

However, Nick also spoke of his heartbreak at the way the sins of his father – a former taxi driver from Brandon Crescent – continue to plague his own life. For the 29-year-old has been told that his application to become either a PCSO or a detention officer with Greater Manchester Police will not be processed any further. Nick, who works supporting people with mental health issues, says that the police have admitted that it is his father’s crimes that stand in his way.

He said:
"How can I change my life when I am being restricted in this way? My whole life has been turned upside down because of that man."

Nick, who has formally complained to GMP, added:
"The murder happened four years before I was born. Why should I be penalised for it? He may be my biological father, but I have not seen him for 10 years. You can’t choose who your father is. "I hate him and I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison."

Now Nick is urging others in a similar situation to speak. He said: "We shouldn’t have to be ashamed of who we are or what we are. Why should we be punished for what a relative has done? I think it is totally unfair. I helped the police with their case to convict this man and this is the thanks I get. How can they know what sort of relationship I had with him? I am on good terms with the Molseeds and Lesley’s sister recently told me that my nightmare was only just beginning; she was right."

A GMP spokesman said the force had a duty to carry out thorough security checks on anyone applying for a job. He said:
"Criminality involving close family members is clearly an issue that has to be considered. Applicants whose close family have criminal convictions are not automatically barred from joining GMP. However, issues including the seriousness of the crime and the relationship between the applicant and the family member are amongst the considerations before a final decision is made. We have received a letter of complaint from Mr Tighe and will contact him in due course with the outcome."

Lesley Molseed went missing in October 1975. She was found dead having been stabbed 12 times and sexually assaulted. Nick’s dad Ronald was able to live the life of a free man for more than 30 years after "gentle giant" Stefan Kiszko was wrongly convicted of the murder.

Nick, who lives in Rossendale, has approached his MP, Janet Anderson, about the matter and she has pledged to raise the issue with the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith. Mrs Anderson said: "I don’t think it is fair for him to be discriminated against for something his father did."

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