Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dreams

The Friday Night Song

1 Comment

Filed under FNS, Personal

Lord Janner ‘abused children in Parliament’, claims Simon Danczuk MP

This is what Simon Danczuk had to say about the CPS and Lord Janner during the CPS debate in Westminster Hall at 2.42 pm on 23rd June 2015 :

“My involvement with the Crown Prosecution Service in recent years has mainly focused on the failure to prosecute child sex abusers. We know that in the 1960s, 70s and 80s people like Cyril Smith and Victor Montagu were allowed to continue to abuse children because the CPS was unable or unwilling to bring cases against them, even when it had the evidence. It is a legacy that should shame the CPS and the entire justice system, but these failures are not just a thing of the past. The case of Lord Janner is an interesting case study of the workings of the modern day CPS and its attitude towards alleged child abusers. We know that the CPS failed to press for prosecution of Lord Janner in 1991, 2002 and 2006, and the current Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, has admitted that he should have been prosecuted. Now we hear that he cannot face justice because he is too ill…” – Simon Danczuk 23 June 2015

Labour MP Simon Danczuk said police had told him they wanted to bring 22 historical charges against Lord Janner, dating between 1969 and 1988.
The director of public prosecutions (DPP) announced in April that he would not be charged because of his dementia, although that decision is under review.
The ex-MP denies any wrongdoing.
Lord Janner’s family has said that the peer “is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing”.

BBC News

Full text @ Column 213WH 2.42 pm

Click here for the full debate

15 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Box of Frogs : House on Fire

Friday Night Song

8 Comments

Filed under FNS

Yes Rolf, We Can Tell What You Are – You Are a Remorseless Child Abuser

Will Black is a writer and journalist with a background in anthropology and mental health care.

His latest book, Psychopathic Cultures and Toxic Empires, examines the corrupting influence powerful psychopaths have on societies. Examples of psychopathic and toxic cultures addressed include those within paedophile rings, politics, finance, gangs, security services, religious organisations and the media. As well as identifying distinctive characteristics of psychopathic cultures, Black highlights inherent weaknesses of organisations built on deceit and corruption.

Will also writes for the Huffington Post

~

When sex abuser Rolf Harris did his slapdash paintings on TV, surrounded by children, he used the catchphrase “Can you tell what it is yet?” Harris himself was also something of a sketchy cartoon figure then, as erratic and nebulous as his manic paintings and peculiar songs.

Given what we now know about Harris, his catchphrase is quite chilling. He could just as easily have been saying “Can you tell what I am yet?”, in a similar way to how Savile can appear to be taunting society in those hideous photos of him leering smugly, surrounded by children or politicians.

So pleased was Harris with his catchphrase that he used it as the title of his 2001 autobiography. By the time that book was released, one of Harris’ victims had confronted him about abusing her and disclosed the abuse to her parents. Therefore, Harris was well-aware that the cartoon veneer he presented to the world could rapidly be replaced by a stark image of a manipulative abuser. For an offender who abused a child while his daughter slept nearby, it is possible that this knowledge that the cartoon image could melt away and the predator be revealed would have added to his twisted thrill. Nevertheless, he did what he could to protect his image and fortune.

After Harris was confronted by one of his victims, in Norfolk, he sent a letter to her dad containing terms like “atone”, “forgiveness” and “self-loathing”. He also said he was “sickened” by himself. The victim in question was a friend of his daughter, and he reportedly targeted her from the age of 13.

The letter, which was written in 1997, reads: “Since that trip up to Norfolk, I have been in a state of abject self-loathing. How we delude ourselves. I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship – there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.

“When I came to Norfolk, [the victim] told me that she had always been terrified of me and went along with everything that I did out of fear of me. I said ‘Why did you never just say no?’. And [the victim] said how could she say no to the great television star Rolf Harris. Until she told me that, I had no idea that she was scared of me. She laughs in a bitter way and says I must have known that she has always been scared of me. I honestly didn’t know.

“[The victim] keeps saying that this has all been going on since she was 13. She’s told you that and you were justly horrified, and she keeps reiterating that to me, no matter what I said to the contrary.”

Harris goes onto write: “When I see the misery I have caused [the victim] I am sickened by myself. You can’t go back and change things that you have done in this life – I wish to God I could. When I came to Norfolk, spent that time with [the victim] and realised the enormity of what I had done to [the victim], and how I had affected her whole life, I begged her for forgiveness and she said ‘I forgive you’.

“Whether she really meant it or not, I don’t know. I hope she did, but I fear she can never forgive me. I find it hard to like myself in any way, shape or form. And as I do these animal programmes, I see the unconditional love that dogs give to their owners and I wish I could start to love myself again. If there is any way that I could atone for what I have done I would willingly do it. If there is a way I can start to help [the victim] to heal herself, I would willingly do it.”

It would appear now, however, that Harris has got over this fleeting pang of apparent remorse, to the extent that he has written a song in prison attacking his victims. In the song he calls his victims “slimy little woodworm” and “wenches”, and he accuses them of “joining the feeding frenzy” and trying to get their “hooks into his dough”. This is rich coming from an abuser who sent a crocodile tear-splattered letter to a victim’s family, presumably to protect his lucrative career.

The song was included in a letter posted from Stafford Prison. Harris was moved to the Category C prison not long into his sentence for multiple assaults on girls. In the letter Harris says “after eight months inside, the inner rage has come to the fore. I’ve started writing a song about the injustice of it all.” He goes onto say that he plans to record it as soon as he is released in 2017. This suggests Harris assumes he will be granted parole at the earliest opportunity, as he received a five years and nine months sentence in 2014.

Commenting on the letter and song, solicitor Liz Dux, who has represented Harris’ victims, told BBC Radio 4: “I am calling for this letter to be shown to the parole board and for it to be taken into account when deciding when to release him. The whole point of parole is for people to show some sort of remorse and understanding of their actions when they return into society, and here is someone who is clearly behaving as he was before, with complete distain.”

Harris may be released from prison before he dies, but I would suggest his rehabilitation has much further to go if he doesn’t recognise that the public sees him as a child abuser first and foremost. He was never much of an artist anyway and nobody wants to listen to a sex attacker smearing his victims.

79 Comments

Filed under Abuse

Vishal Mehrotra: Putney – Rogate Fairground Connection

The recent LBC investigation into the disappearance and murder of Vishal Mehrotra and the release following a Freedom of Information Request of the report into Operation Mehrotra raises a number of intriguing questions. Not least the revelation that the principle suspects were “all fairground workers”, we were aware that both Sidney Cooke and Lennie Smith had worked at fairgrounds but had others we were unaware of also worked at fairgrounds ?

The Operation Mehrotra report also mentions that there were fairgrounds “in operation at Putney and Wandsworth on the day of Vishal’s disappearance.” Was this significant ?

12

‘Lambs to the Slaughter’ by Ted Oliver and Ramsay Smith, which is primarily focused on the murders of Jason Swift, Barry Lewis, and Mark Tildesley  also makes a reference to fairgrounds in relation to Vishal Mehrotra disappearance and murder but it is a little ambiguous:

“Nine-year-old Vishal had vanished on Royal Wedding Day in July 1981 in Putney High Street after telling his nanny that he was going to walk the short distance home on his own. His naked body was discovered in a shallow grave near Rogate in Surrey in February 1982. A fair had been in that area around the time of his disappearance.”  [p.82]
Does this passage mean that there was a fairground at Putney or at Rogate where Vishal’s remains were found ?
 .
It’s unclear.
 .
However, another passage in another book, ‘Dr. Iain West’s Casebook’ by Chester Stern is clearer. As we can see from the Operation Mehrotra report, Dr. Iain West was the pathologist in the Vishal Mehrotra case.
.
Untitled
 .
But the information that some of the fairground workers that regularly camped for Winter near the spot in Rogate, West Sussex where Vishal Mehrotra’s remains had been found had also worked at the fairground in Putney on the very day Vishal had disappeared had come, as Chester Stern recollects, not from Dr. Iain West but from a senior Metropolitan Police officer.
 .
Perhaps this is what Jackie Malton, a Detective Sergeant in the original investigation into Vishal’s disappearance was referring to when in the LBC’s ‘What Happened to Vishal?’ she said, “Where the body was found… I find quite interesting because Rogate is a beautiful part of West Sussex and he was found in marshland on the edge of some farmland… I don’t think that that is just a random place to put a body.”
 .
Untitled

21 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News

Stand

The Friday Night Song

Comments Off on Stand

Filed under FNS, Personal

Timeline: Sidney Cooke And Associates

1

Click on image to enlarge

8th Apr 1961 Sidney Cooke is fined £20 for indecently assaulting a boy in a cinema. Until convicted in 1987 for the “dirty dozen” offences this was Cooke’s only conviction for a sexual offence.

Capture

Sidney Cooke

1973 Leslie Bailey is accused of the attempted murder and indecent assault of a seven year old girl but confusion over the admissability of evidence meant the charge was reduced to possessing a knife. Bailey was given probation for possessing an offensive weapon and spent three months in a mental hospital in Kent after the incident.

1977  Lennie Smith is convicted for an offence of gross indecency and serves a year in prison.

1977  Robert Oliver receives a four year prison sentence for gross indecency offences.

29th Mar 1979 Leslie Bailey’s trial for burgling a post office near his home in Brooke Road, Stoke Newington, is adjourned until today. Bailey told police he had been out job hunting when he stopped to admire a Rolls outside Harrods. An Arab in flowing robes hurried towards the car and stepped from the pavement into the path of a taxi. “I grabbed him to stop him being run down and pulled him back to safety”. The Arab, wished him a thousand thanks, and took him to the Rolls where he opened a briefcase and handed over bundles of £20 notes. Then the car sped away. The outcome of the trial and date the offence was committed is unknown.

10th Dec 1979 Leslie Bailey is jailed for five years for a serious sexual assault on a woman. On 1st March 1978 the young woman was returning to her flat at the Barbican one night when Bailey – who worked as a security guard on a building site at the Barbican at the time – assaulted her at knifepoint. Bailey was arrested for the offence on 28th June 1978. As a report was submitted by a Prison Governor at Bailey’s trial it is highly probable that Bailey was remanded into prison custody after being charged for the offence. Virtually illiterate, it was revealed at the trial that Bailey had an IQ of 67.
Bailey appealed against his conviction, however his appeal was dismissed on 25th November 1980

1981 Robert Oliver receives a one year prison sentence for a sexual offence.

Early 1980’s Lennie Smith bases himself in Birmingham, and serves a year in prison for burglary, theft and criminal damage offences.

1st June 1984 Mark Tildesley, aged 7, is abducted from the Frank Ayers’ fairground in Wokingham, Berkshire. Leslie Bailey was later to claim that Lennie Smith strangled the boy and Sidney Cooke disposed of the body. Mark’s body has never been found. Known to be present were Cooke, Bailey, Lennie Smith and a relative of Bailey known as “Oddbod”.

tildesleym

Mark Tildesley

7th June 1984 Mark Tildesley’s disappearance was mentioned on the first ever episode of BBC Crimewatch.

7th June 1984 Following two tip offs naming a “strange man”, fairground worker Martin Earley is questioned about Mark’s disappearance. Earley confessed and retracted his confession several times, continually changed his story and was also unable to even describe Mark then finally denied that he had ever seen him. Sent to a psychiatric unit for observation and later released, Earley was tracked by a surveillance team but did nothing to re-arouse suspicion. Forensic scientists examined Earley’s caravan but found nothing. Earley returned to work at the fair. In 1993 Earley and two other fairground workers were convicted of the 1992 buggery of another 17 year old fairground worker.

June 1984  Jason Swift makes a formal complaint to police that he has been sexually assaulted by a “well-to-do” film editor. The man was arrested but Jason later withdrew the complaint without offering a reason. Speaking to this man again after Jason’s death, police were pointed towards London’s West End.

6th July 1984 Leslie Bailey is fined £30 for handling a stolen insurance certificate, an offence for which he had been arrested on 1st June, the night Mark Tildesley disappeared.

16th Aug 1984 Following a call from a fairground worker police visit Sidney Cooke but, as a result of an alibi given by a fair owner Rosie Gray, Cooke remained on file but was eliminated as a suspect.

13th June 1985  Mark Tildesley’s disappearance is featured again on BBC Crimewatch, including a full reconstruction of his last movements. This brought a huge public response, of 1,200 calls and 2,500 potential leads, but little concrete evidence emerged.

download (3)

Jason Swift

6th July 1985 Jason Swift, aged 14, is reported missing by his sister. Jason had been living with her at 28A Edwy House on the Kingsmead estate.

15th Sept 1985 Barry Lewis, aged 6, is abducted from Walworth in South London.

Nov 1985 Hackney police raid 70 Templemead (Lennie Smith’s flat) on the Kingsmead Estate after a tip off (by Sidney Cooke) that a 13 year old was being abused there by Robert Oliver and Lennie Smith

30th Nov 1985 Jason Swift’s body is discovered by a farm worker in Stapleford Tawney, Essex. It was thought that Jason was probably killed on 27th November 1985 and asphyxia was the cause of death, probably as a result of suffocation.

2nd Dec 1985  After trying to entice a 13 year old boy into his blue Jaguar car on this date, Sidney Cooke (living on the Sherrers Wharf estate in Hackney at the time) is arrested a week later. He was released on bail to appear at Hackney Police Station on 8th January. Though his file was sent to the CPS he was never charged in connection with this incident. Questioned too about Jason Swift, Cooke’s home is searched and his car examined, but it was decided not to send the vehicle away for further tests.

Capture

Barry Lewis

5th Dec 1985 Barry Lewis’ body is discovered by a farmer in an Essex field known as Monkham’s Park (10 miles from where Jason’s body was found) The cause of death was given as probably asphyxia.

31st Dec 1985 Sidney Cooke makes an anonymous call to the police a month after Jason’s body was found saying: “I just want to say it shouldn’t have happened like that. I want you to know it was an accident.I’m the man you are all looking for”

Jan 1986 Police in Leeds are sent anonymously a tape recording of a man describing Jason Swift’s murder. The man claimed Jason had been picked up by his killer at Barclays Brothers, a cafe directly opposite the Houses of Parliament. For days officers filmed the cafe but the stake-out was abandoned without result. The man who made the tape was traced, and found to be a hoaxer.

17th Jan 1986 Operation Stranger is launched. This was a joint operation between Essex police and the Met and for the first time in a murder enquiry the HOLMES computer was utilised.
Three strands fell under the operation- the Brent (baby sitting) inquiry, Jason Swift and the “dirty dozen” ring.
In the first twelve months of the inquiry nearly 3,000 questionnaires were completed, 839 statements taken, 400 reports submitted, checked and logged, 1.400 messages from the public evaluated, and countless suspects interviewed. The Jason Swift suspects became the first ever to be officially interviewed on tape in England.

10th February 1986 Having traced the 13 year old boy they had failed to find the previous November, Sidney Cooke and Lennie Smith are arrested and remanded to prison for “dirty dozen” related offences. Smith was released at the committal proceedings relating to the Jason Swift trial in February 1988. Cooke has remained in custody ever since.

unnamed (1)

16th April 1986 Operation Stranger is made public at a press conference when, for the first time, the murders of Jason and Barry are officially linked.

21st April 1986 A special national conference was convened at Scotland Yard, which was attended by the heads of CID in all police forces in the UK. Arranged by Commander Corbett of Scotland Yard’s criminal intelligence unit, its purpose was to discuss child killings and abductions. Of all the (many) cases discussed, three cases in particular attracted the attention of the men from Operation Stranger – Mark Tildesley, Vishal Mehrotra and a Brighton boy who had been viciously assaulted in 1983.

7th May 1986 Second post-mortems are performed by Prof Austin Gresham on the bodies of Jason Swift and Barry Lewis. Prof Gresham’s findings with regards to injuries inflicted on Jason contrasted markedly with the original post-mortem findings and detectives realise they are hunting for a gang of men, not just one.

Summer 1986 Lennie Smith is interviewed in Brixton prison over a sighting of Jason Swift leaving his Templemead flat.

26th Nov 1986  David Bright (accompanied by DS Terry Cook) interviews Sidney Cooke in Brixton prison. Cooke had been bragging in the exercise yard to another prisoner called John Buckle (may not be his true name) about his exploits with children, had also talked about the death of Jason Swift and the inmate was so sickened he had got a message to the police.

c2a3c2a3-sunday-mirror-only-sidney-cooke-17140381

Sidney Cooke

5th June 1987 The “dirty dozen” are convicted. Sidney Cooke receives a two year sentence, and Lennie Smith receives 30 months.

paedophile_robert_oliver

Robert Oliver

24th June 1987 Robert Oliver is arrested and charged with indecency charges related to the Brent baby-sitting inquiry (which had come to light Easter 1987), and Jason Swift. At some point police had been keeping a casual observation on a shoe shop in Mare Street (where Oliver worked on Fridays) and a cafe called Mungo’s in the East End. When arrested both Oliver and Leslie Bailey were staying at the home of Leslie Bailey’s mother. Whilst being interviewed Oliver claims to have known Jason Swift through Lennie Smith and Sidney Cooke, and to have also seen Jason in the shoe shop. Significantly, when Oliver’s room at a flat in Hackney was searched, four empty containers of Diazepam- the drug used to subdue both Jason and Barry- were found.

29th June 1987 Robert Oliver is remanded into custody suspected of grave offences against Jason Swift

21st July 1987 Mulling over Robert Oliver’s story, detectives remember Leslie Bailey, and Bailey and Steven Barrell (now living in Dagenham, and who Bailey was living with in 1985) are arrested and charged on suspicion of murdering Jason Swift. Bailey claims to have met Robert Oliver for the first time in November 1985 and, at the time, Oliver was lodging (along with a mini-cab driver called Dave) at 36 Ashmead with Donald Smith. Bailey names the men present on the day Jason was killed, and tells police that another boy was also present in the room when Jason was killed, and the boy left afterwards with Robert Oliver. This second boy was never traced or identified but the general belief was that he genuinely existed. Bailey is remanded into custody. Barrell, with no previous convictions, is granted bail.

22nd July 1987 Donald Smith, the tenant of 36 Ashmead (since 1980) is arrested and interviewed by Detective Constables Ken Forster and Ernie Carr.

26th July 1987 Donald Smith is charged

28th July 1987 Sidney Cooke is again questioned over two days and confesses to his involvement in the death of Jason Swift. Cooke claims he was invited to a “gang bang” by Robert Oliver, Lennie Smith brought Jason to the flat, and there were six men in total present.

3rd August 1987 Sidney Cooke, having completed his sentence for the Dirty Dozen offences, is released. Immediately arrested outside the prison gates he is charged (along with Robert Oliver) with the murder of Jason Swift and immediately remanded back into custody.

6th Aug 1987 Lennie Smith is again interviewed. he tells police he had been picked up as a rent boy by both Sidney Cooke and Donald Smith but flatly refused to discuss Jason Swift, answering each question with “no comment”.

28th Sept 1987 Robert Oliver pleads guilty to a charge arising out of the Brent inquiry and is given a three months prison sentence.

23rd Oct 1987 Lennie Smith, having completed his sentence for the “dirty dozen” offences, is released from prison. Immediately arrested outside the prison gates he is charged with the murder of Jason Swift on the following day and remanded back into custody until trial.

15th Feb 1988 Committal proceedings commence against Sidney Cooke, Robert Oliver, Leslie Bailey, Lennie Smith and Donald Smith, lasting for three days and then adjourned till April.

PA-808858

Leslie Bailey

April 1988 Leslie Bailey and Robert Oliver are committed for trial on charges of murder, conspiracy to bugger and gross indecency. Donald Smith, Cooke and Barrell are sent for trial on manslaughter charges. Charges against Lennie Smith have already been dropped.

20th Feb 1989 The jury is sworn in and is then immediately discharged, with several weeks of legal argument ensuing. Murder charges against Bailey and Oliver are reduced to that of manslaughter

15th March 1989 The case against Donald Smith is discharged.

12th May 1989 Sidney Cooke, Leslie Bailey, Robert Oliver and Stephen Barrell are convicted of the manslaughter of Jason Swift, receiving sentences totalling 174 years. As all sentences were to run concurrently, they were jailed for 19, 15, 15 and 13.5 years respectively.  It is said at the trial that Cooke and Oliver knew Lennie Smith well, and Bailey and Barrell knew each other well too. It was also stated that Jason had become involved with Lennie Smith, who handed Jason on to Sidney Cooke because he feared police were taking an unhealthy interest in him.

Operation Stranger is wound up.

10th August 1989 The cellmate of Leslie Bailey, Ian Gabb approaches a prison officer, shows him a notebook which details further confessions by Bailey and the officer rings Roger Stoodley.

Capture

Ian Gabb

16th Aug 1989 Disguised as a vicar, DI Bob Brown visits Ian Gabb in Wandsworth prison. Police decide to take Gabb up on his offer of further assistance and he subsequently also shares a cell with Robert Oliver and, very briefly, with Sidney Cooke. At least three other prison informants were also to be utilised in the same way

16th August 1989 Operation Orchid is launched to investigate the murders of other missing boys, including Barry Lewis and Mark Tildesley as a result of the information provided by Ian Gabb. Gabb lists 20 men involved in the same gang, 11 of them he identifies by name, the others by description. Gabb also recorded 8 burial sites described to him by Bailey. Steven aged 13 and Paul aged 11 are mntioned, both buried near a slip road in the West End. The graves of 4 more unnamed boys are given as being in Walthamstow cemetery, beneath Brighton Pier, in the grounds of a disused synagogue school in Hackney and another in the Walthamstow area beside a pub. Bailey later gave another prison informant “Adale” names of boys he said he had murdered – David, Mat, Micky, George, Paul, Gerry, Johnny, Jimmy and “that gypsy kid”. “Adale” made rough sketches of where Bailey said the bodies were buried.

3rd Nov 1989 Gabb shares a cell with Robert Oliver, and until 5th January 1990. To give the Orchid squad the “quality control” that they craved, moves were made to bug the cell, however a senior officer took a different view and plans to bug were abandoned.

Late 1989 Amongst other cases the Orchid squad were checking was Vishal Mehrotra and although a meeting was held with police in Surrey it was said that nothing emerged that could shed any more light on his death. The 1983 Brighton attack was also again looked at after, time and again, Brighton was mentioned in Ian Gabb’s letters.

29th Nov 1989 Gabb alerts police to the fact that Cooke is to apply to regain his diaries. The diaries – which contained details of the fairs Cooke had worked at over a number of years- were tracked down by the Orchid squad.

15th Feb 1990 Gabb shares a cell with Sidney Cooke for 48 hours.

2nd May 1990 Under police surveillance at the time, Lennie Smith is arrested for indecent assault and given a 3 year sentence. Whilst serving the 3 year sentence for indecent assault Smith was interviewed with regards to other offences involving a six year old boy.

1990  Throughout 1990 Roger Stoodley used the tabloids to alert the gang to the extent of Bailey’s confessions, and to sow seeds of suspicion and the fear of future discovery in their minds. Various reporters were fed regular snippets of information, which were “a mixture of truths, half-truths and downright inaccuracies”, deliberately planted to alarm and confuse those suspects both inside and outside prison and press speculation and exaggerations were deliberately not corrected. This disinformation campaign also had the effect of keeping the boys deaths on the front pages many years after they had happened in the hope that some members of the public might suddenly recall a vital piece of information and come forward.

21st May 1990 Leslie Bailey is taken by detectives to a cemetery on Lea Bridge Road. One of “Adale’s” maps referred to this same cemetery that had been detailed as a site in the Ian Gabb notebook however Bailey told detectives they had the wrong site and instead identified a car park at Clapton Common which had been an old graveyard called the Satmar Cemetery. Bailey was too vague at half a dozen other places thought to match Gabb’s description of burial sites but detectives did start digging at the Lea Bridge Road car park on 24th May 1990. Fragments of bone were sent to zoology experts at the University of London but were found to be animal, not human.

5th June 1990 “Adale” tells detectives that Bailey has told him details about Barry Lewis, and Bailey is taken to Stoke Newington police station. Later that month Bailey is questioned again, confesses to the murder of Barry, demonstrates how he killed him and detectives then knew they were talking to Barry’s killer.

12th May 1990 Bailey is taken back to the Kingsmead Estate and tells detectives he knew seven or eight men present at the orgy involving Barry, “but there were more”.

21st July 1990 By then having shaved off his moustache and lightened his hair, no witnesses could pick out Bailey at an identity parade.

30th July 1990 Leslie Bailey is charged with the murder of Barry Lewis at Highbury Magistrates Court and taken straight back to Stoke Newington to be now questioned about Mark Tildesley. Detectives begin re-interviewing Barrell, Cooke and Oliver about the crimes Bailey had said they had been involved with. A man who may have attended the Ashmead parties was traced to Aberdeen but there was no firm proof that he had been there. Men in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Durham and Wales were also visited but, again, their inquiries bore them no fruit.

5th Aug 1990 Bailey is back in Wandsworth for a few days then moved to a secure unit at another police station where detectives began a series of interviews that were to last for almost a year. Gradually Bailey told the full story of Mark Tildesley’s death. Orchid and Thames Valley detectives started operating on the case as a joint squad.

Untitled

Lennie Smith

May 1991 Lennie Smith is released from prison, immediately charged with offences involving the 6 year old boy and remanded back into custody pending trial.

May 1991 The first of a total of sixty four interviews with Sidney Cooke commences. During one interview Cooke describes in the most minute detail what he had done to Barry at 36 Ashmead.

14th June 1991 Leslie Bailey pleads guilty to the murder of Barry Lewis. Bailey’s conviction led to Sidney Cooke, Robert Oliver and Stephen Barrell appealing against the sentences they had received for the killing of Jason Swift.
It was revealed in court that Bailey had identified the names of seven or eight men who had participated in the orgy involving Barry, and that Bailey had been introduced to homosexual orgies by Lennie Smith and Donald Smith, meeting Robert Oliver and Sidney Cooke at a later date. Sometime after admitting to killing Barry, Bailey guided detectives to a thicket beside a cottage in Chipping Ongar where Bailey claimed he had buried another body. Describing this boy as a 13/14 year old “Paki boy” whose name was Hassan, Bailey revealed that Hassan too had been brought to 36 Ashmead for another “party” where about sixteen men were present. Again, the Orchid squad decided to dig up the area but this too proved to be fruitless. Bailey also confessed that another boy – who became known as the “unknown boy” because there was no clue as to his identity – was also killed at 36 Ashmead. His body, Bailey said, was disposed of by one of the gang in Chingford. .

Summer 1991 A man related to Leslie Bailey is interviewed in prison to see if he knows anything about Bailey’s associates, and detectives also visit the man’s family. The man  was to claim that he had seen both Cooke and Lennie Smith carry Jason’s body into the back of Cooke’s Jaguar and had confronted them both in a pub several days later. His evidence was regarded as vital, particularly with regards to Lennie Smith’s involvement, but had to be treated with extreme caution because he too was a convicted sex offender.
Donald Smith admits to detectives that he was present at the Jason Swift orgy and, as well as naming Cooke, Bailey and Oliver – all already in prison for the crime- he also named Lennie Smith and another man who had not been convicted. He also then described the Barry Lewis orgy. Eddie Gough’s name frequently cropping up, Roget Stoodley turned to the CPS for advice on charging him.

3rd Aug 1991 A witness who claimed to have seen Sidney Cooke in a candy shop with Mark Tildesley picks him out in an ID parade. A lorry driver who gave Cooke a lift that day and another witness also pick him out.

31st August 1991 Edward Gough is charged with the manslaughter of Jason Swift. The charge was later amended by the CPS to conspiracy to seriously sexually assault and indecently assault Jason Swift immediately prior to his death in 1985.

10th Oct 1991 Leslie Bailey is formally accused of murdering Mark Tildesley.

1st Nov 1991  Donald Smith, who had previously refused to elaborate, tells police that he wants to talk about Jason Swift because, now dying of cancer, he wants to tell the truth. He is then interviewed over a three day period.

21st Feb 1992  On the basis of Bailey admitting his involvement in the deaths of Barry Lewis and Mark Tildesley, coupled with claims that he was the ringleader of the gang, the Court of Appeal reduces the sentences of Sidney Cooke and Stephen Barrell. Robert Oliver’s appeal is dismissed.

7th Oct 1992 Papers outlining cases against Lennie Smith with regards to Jason Swift, and Sidney Cooke with regards to Mark Tildesley having previously been submitted to the CPS, it decided that, whilst evidence existed, a prosecution against Smith and Cooke would fail because it relied too heavily on Leslie Bailey’s evidence, and Bailey’s confession was not enough to prosecute them. It advised that no more charges were to be brought against them, or anyone else.

22nd October 1992 Leslie Bailey pleads guilty at Reading Crown Court to the manslaughter and buggery of Mark Tildesley and, after instructing his defence counsel to seek the maximum sentence possiible, is given two terms of life imprisonment. Bailey’s counsel went on to say that Bailey could not understand why Lennie Smith and Sidney Cooke were not in the dock with him. Mark was killed during a homosexual orgy in a caravan in Evendens Lane, Wokingham. Police believed the caravan (but not Mark) had been later taken to Hackney. It was said in court that in 1984 when Mark Tildesley was abducted and killed, that Bailey had been having a homosexual relationship with Lennie Smith who, in turn, knew Cooke, and the first time that Bailey met Cooke was on the day that Mark was killed.

October 1992 Following the conviction of Leslie Bailey Operation Orchid was wound down

9th Dec 1992, Lennie Smith is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for a string of vicious sexual assaults eight years earlier against the six year old boy who he had been baby-sitting.

26th/27th Mar 1993 Edward Gough is given two years’ probation for a series of lesser offences. Judge Lawrence Verney ruled that police interviewing Gough when he confessed to being present during the killing of Jason Swift had breached guidelines in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
He said that Gough, who was found to have an IQ of about 76, should have been accompanied by an ”appropriate adult” during questioning

Oct 1993 Leslie Bailey is found strangled to death in his cell in Whitemoor Prison. On 5th July 1995 inmates John Brooks (formerly Cairns) and Michael Cain were convicted of his murder.

oliver

Robert Oliver [AKA Robert Lee]

 Sept 1997 Robert Oliver is released from prison and changes his name to Robert Lee.

24th Mar 1998 David Bright and DCI Dick Madden visit Sidney Cooke unannounced in Wandsworth prison. David Bright’s retirement looming, and Cooke indicating he may move to Southend upon his imminent release, he wanted to find out where Cooke did intend to relocate and for Dick Madden to get a good look at him incase it was indeed to Southend. David Bright was also hopeful of engineering the conversation round to talk about missing children, Mark Tildesley and Mark’s burial site, however David got nothing in the way of information from him.

30th Mar 1998 It was reported that Stephen Barrell was living in Abingdon, Northamptonshire. His current whereabouts are not known.

6th Apr 1998 Sidney Cooke is released from prison and changes his name to Sidney Lomas. Cooke lives in a police station for 9 months at his own request.

29th Jan 1999 Sidney Cooke appears before Newbury Magistrates Court, charged with 14 serious sexual offences. which were said to have taken place in Battersea and Stockwell in south London; Twyford, Berks; Canterbury, Kent; Washington, Tyne and Wear and Hatfield, Berkhamsted and Tring in Herts. Cooke’s arrest was after a Dispatches programme which sought to find links between Cooke and Mark Tildesley’s disappearance led to a man who had been a friend of a man whose family Cooke had once lived with in the 1970’s to tell his friend. This resulted in Thames Valley Police (commanded by Trevor Davies) launching an investigation into Cooke’s offences against this family.

20th Apr 1999 Sidney Cooke is charged with serious sexual offences committed between 1972 and 1980 and remanded into custody.

17th June 1999 Lennie Smith is released from prison, but into a prison housing unit for former sex offenders at his own request

5th Oct 1999 Sidney Cooke’s trial commences at Manchester Crown Court and he pleads guilty to 18 specimen charges involving offences against two brothers, admitting to five counts of indecent assault and five counts of buggery, committed between 1972 and 1978..
David Bright attends the trial in the faint hope Cooke would make a dramatic statement admitting to other crimes.

PA-1232849

Sidney Cooke

17th Dec 1999 This time at Wolverhampton Crown Court (where the sentencing judge, Judge Poole, was then sitting) Sidney Cooke receives two life sentences. Now retired, David Bright attends, and speaks with Thames Valley Police about Cooke.

Cooke is currently in HMP Wakefield.

2006 Lennie Smith dies from AIDS.

12th June 2013  Robert Oliver (who has changed his name to Karl Curtis) pleads guilty before Maidstone magistrates to two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).and is remanded in custody to await sentencing.

se

Robert Oliver

13th July 2013  Robert Oliver receives a three year prison sentence for the above offences, and is released a year later. He was last known to be residing in a bail hostel in Guildford.

Sources: Lambs to the Slaughter by Ted Oliver and Ramsey Smith, Catching Monsters by David Bright, Court of Appeal judgments, available documentary footage, and various press clippings.

72 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Police Operations