Operation Stranger: Walter Ballantyne

We have no photograph of Walter Ballantyne – If anyone can find one we’d be grateful

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Under Operation Stranger the following twelve men, who had preyed on runaway boys, were convicted. This network became known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.

Walter Ballantyne, 46; a stallholder at Dalston Market and one of the ringleaders of the network was given 6.5 years
Leonard William Smith, 31, was sentenced to 30 months;
Sidney Charles Cooke, 59, remanded for bail reports / got 2 years
Simon Haeems, 35, was sentenced to 2 years
Colin Byrne, 18, was sentenced to 1 year probation
Daniel Paine, 33, was sentenced to 2 years;
Roy Alan Morris, 26, was sentenced to 30 months,
Alfred Goddard, 58, was sentenced to 2 years;
John Thornton, 36, was sentenced to 8 years
John Stead, 23, was sentenced to 5 years;
Edward Talbot, 47, was sentenced to 1 year;
Brian Turner, was sentenced to 5 years

Walter Ballantyne and Brian Turner appealed.

(Prior to publishing, victims’ names have been redacted).

1988] EWCA Crim J1111-11

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

Friday, 11th November 1988

The Lord Chief Justice of England (Lord Lane)

Regina

v.

Brian Turner

and Walter Ballantyne


(Transcript of the Shorthand Notes of Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd., Pemberton House, East Harding Street, London, EC4A 3AS. Telephone Number: 01-583 7635. Shorthand Writers to the Court.)

MR. D. MARTIN-SPERRY appeared on behalf of the Appellant Turner and the Applicant Ballantyne.

JUDGMENT

(As approved by judge)

MR. JUSTICE FARQUHARSON: We will deal with the case of the appellant Brian Turner and the application of Walter Ballantyne together as they emerge from the same indictment.

They were convicted after an 18-day trial at the Central Criminal Court in May and June of last year, and were sentenced by His Honour Judge Underhill on 4th June 1987. Turner was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit buggery, in respect of which there was imposed a term of two years imprisonment, and on another count of indecent assault on a male, for which he received a further term of three years, expressed as being consecutive to the two years. The total amount was five years in all.

The applicant Ballantyne was also convicted on two, although different, counts. The first of those was one of attempted buggery. For that he received a sentence of four years imprisonment. On a further count of conspiracy to commit an indecent assault upon a male person, he received a consecutive sentence of two years imprisonment. He was at the time subject to a suspended sentence for an earlier offence of indecent assault. Three months of that sentence was implemented, and each of them was expressed to be consecutive, so that he received a total sentence of six and a half years imprisonment.

The facts of the case were quite appalling and involved not only this appellant and this applicant, but a number of other men who were in fact trading in young boys for sexual use. The boy who was involved in the offences for which these two were convicted was called [redacted]. At the time of the offences against him he was some [redacted] years of age.

He frequently had run away from home when he was younger. In September 1985 he ran away to Dalston Market, where Ballantyne was a stall holder. According to the evidence he gave to the Court, [redacted] asked Ballantyne if he could stay at his house. Ballantyne agreed and led him to his flat at Stoke Newington, having instructed the boy to walk behind him in case the police were observing them.

According to the boy, he had no previous experience of sex. On the first night at Ballantyne’s flat he was sleeping on the couch when he felt Ballantyne attempting to bugger him, but the act was not completed. That was the subject of the first count against Ballantyne.

On another occasion, when he went to the market with Ballantyne, he was introduced to a friend of the applicant called Smith. As a result of that introduction he stayed with Smith in Hackney for a week, there being the subject of various sexual practices on the part of Smith, including acts of buggery. It appears from the account given by [redacted] that Ballantyne had mentioned to him that he could earn money from sexual activity.

Smith was not the only person to whom the boy was introduced by Ballantyne. There were several other people. One in particular was the appellant Turner. According to the evidence he gave, which formed admittedly a very small part of his account of the men he was involved with, he had spent the day with the appellant Turner, where he had been the subject of certain indecent acts involving mutual masturbation.

Following on these activities, [redacted] was introduced to what might be described as another circle of homosexuals at the centre of which was a man called Thornton. Thornton lived at Croydon. Not only was [redacted] allowed to live there, but so were other boys, including one named [redacted], who was exactly the same age. Over a period of time these boys were the subject of sexual activities on the part of Thornton and a number of Thornton’s friends. These men appeared with the present appellant and applicant at the Central Criminal Court in the same trial last year. During these activities it appears that when the police were investigating the activities of these men, the boys were hidden, so that these offences went on for much longer than they otherwise would.

Turning to the records of this applicant and this appellant, dealing first with Turner, he has been convicted on a number of occasions, some six in all, of various sexual offences, usually involving male persons. It is right to say as has been urged on his behalf by Mr. Martin-Sperry before us, that the last of those convictions was in September 1975.

Ballantyne has also been convicted of a number of offences, in his case rather more serious ones, including previous convictions for buggery in 1973 at the Central Criminal Court when he received a term of five years imprisonment. I have already mentioned the suspended sentence which was in force at the time of his conviction. That had involved an indecent assault on a 13-year old boy.

The appeal of Turner, and indeed of Thornton and others against conviction was earlier this year before another Division of this Court. Whilst his appeal against conviction was dismissed, Turner was given leave to appeal against sentence.

The first point that is made on his behalf is one of comparison between the sentence passed upon him and that passed upon Thornton.

Thornton was convicted of an offence of buggery and of an indecent assault on a male person. There was no doubt at all that those were specimen counts. For those offences he was sentenced to terms of four years imprisonment and three years imprisonment consecutively. Before the Court of Appeal the second of those sentences was reduced to a term of eighteen months. So instead of serving seven years for these sexual offence convictions, he will only serve five and a half years.

It is undoubtedly the case that Thornton’s abuse of these young people went on for a considerable period of time. It is urged upon us by way of comparison with that sentence that in Turner’s case it was only proved against him that he had offended on a single occasion on one day and therefore the similarity between the five and a half years on Thornton and the five years passed on Turner calls for amendment.

The other matter urged on behalf of Turner was that the boy [redacted] was already corrupted when he came into Turner’s hands. That perhaps is not a very powerful ground.

In all the circumstances, notwithstanding the earlier convictions of Turner, we feel that there is some substance in the complaint made on his behalf. If one compares his one series of acts on one day with the offences committed by Thornton, then there is evidencely not sufficient difference between the two sentences so as properly to reflect the criminality of the two of them. For those reasons we propose to alter the sentences upon Turner.

One argument advanced before us by Mr. Martin-Sperry is that as both the conspiracy and the indecent assault were committed by Turner on the same occasion, both charges involving the same facts, it really would be proper for those sentences to be expressed as concurrent sentences rather than consecutive ones. We think there is force also in that submission.

However we are not persuaded that the total sentence to be passed on Turner should be only three years, which would be the case if his existing sentences were made concurrent. We have come to the conclusion that a sentence of four years imprisonment for the offences which he committed would be right and properly comparable with the other sentences passed. We therefore propose to quash the sentences passed upon him and substitute therefor terms of imprisonment of four years on each of the two counts upon which he was convicted and order that they should be served concurrently.

I turn to the case of Ballantyne, who, it will be recalled, was sentenced to a total term of six and a half years imprisonment. Ballantyne was in a much more serious position than Turner. He it was who first corrupted [redacted] by taking him to his flat and immediately attempting to commit an act of buggery; and he had, if one can use the expression, handed him round to his friends for sexual purposes. Whether that represents an abuse of his position of trust is something which it is not necessary to comment upon, but the very nature of his activities were such as to merit the condemnation of everybody.

Having looked at the full nature of his offences, this Court takes the view that the sentences passed upon him were correct and accordingly his applications both for an extension of time and for leave to appeal against sentence are refused.

Twelve years following this appeal and after he’d served his sentence in 2000 Walter Ballantyne makes the news once again.

Originally from The Sunday People

The Evil Pied Piper

YOUNG boys gather round in delight as the chatty, cuddly older man entertains them with his harmonica… It looks like an innocent family scene at a riverside leisure park.

But we can reveal that the harmonica player is a convicted paedophile who was once a member of Britain’s worst child-sex gang dubbed The Dirty Dozen.

Pot-bellied pervert Walter Ballantyne, 60, booked into the leisure park under a false name. And like an evil pied piper, he used his harmonica and magic tricks to entrap youngsters for sex abuse.

Mums and children at the picnic benches were blissfully unaware the harmless-looking “entertainer” has a long history of molesting young boys and is a deadly accomplice of Britain’s most hated men, child-sex killers Sidney Cooke, Lennie Smith and Robert Oliver.

Ballantyne’s perverted gaze lingered for hours over the half-naked boys at Roydon Mill leisure park and camp site in Hertfordshire.

But the slimeball was unaware that HE was being watched – by Sunday People investigators. He openly admitted to us at the campsite that he was there to hunt child victims, and told us how he’d changed his name to evade police. He also sickenly boasted of getting away with abusing a string of young children over the last 10 years.

But while the rest of Britain agonised over what to do about the paedophile threat, this newspaper took firm action to halt Ballantyne’s disgusting behaviour.

We had him: BOOTED out of the leisure park. WARNED other leisure sites in the area of his evil presence.

TIPPED OFF the police child protection unit in East London, where Ballantyne lives, that this vile sexual predator is on the prowl once more hunting children.Mum-of-two Julie French, 42, who was on a three-day break at Roydon Mill with another single mum and a total of four children, told us: “You can’t imagine how pleased we were when you got rid of him. “Call it a mother’s instinct, but I thought there was something strange about him. “He spent hours just staring at my kids and kept walking past our tent playing a harmonica.

“We warned the kids to stay away from him but he was very persistent and started to turn nasty when we called the kids away from him.” Her friend Julie White, 37, added: “We were getting scared. Whenever we looked around he seemed to be there.” The authorities lost track of serial-offender Ballantyne years ago.

Because his last conviction was before 1997 he is not required to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and police have been powerless to monitor his movements. He has served three jail terms for abusing young boys – the last in 1987 when he got six years as ring-leader of a child-sex network which preyed on runaways. The boys had been hawked around “safe houses” and passed on to other members of the gang which included council porter Alfred Goddard, father of 1980s pop star Adam Ant. Since then Ballantyne, who now calls himself Mark Bailey, appears to have kept out of trouble.

But the Sunday People can reveal that his sickening behaviour has not changed. The vile pervert has been an active paedophile since his release from prison in 1990.

He keeps a low profile but regularly meets other members of the Dirty Dozen paedophile gang who are now free and living in the same area.

Our investigators got on Ballantyne’s trail at a London street market where he runs a stall selling kiddies’ harmonicas and toys. He lives in a grubby bedsit in East London where neighbours are unaware of his squalid history. He told our investigators: “Since getting parole after my last spot of trouble I have changed my name a few times and moved around.”I still like chickens (perverts’ slang for under-age boys) but I don’t get the opportunities I did in the old days.

“I haven’t been caught for years now and I want to keep it that way. “Cruising is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Now they are closing down all the cottages (public toilets) you only have the parks and swimming pools left.” Ballantyne sells his cheap harmonicas at various street markets in London. He bragged: “I have learned to play a few tunes myself to entertain the kids.”I only have to sit down somewhere and start playing and soon they are all around me. “Parents warn them about not approaching strangers but the kids love my music and party tricks.” Frighteningly, the pervert gets young boys to help him at Sunday markets by offering them free toys.

Ballantyne boasted: “I have got this 11-year-old Bengali boy in tow at the moment. “He has worked for me for a year although I haven’t tried anything…yet. “At my time of life I have got plenty of patience and can wait till I make sure the time is right. “He wants to go bike riding with me so one day I’ll take him somewhere quiet.” The pervert added: “I am going away for a few days to another holiday park in Hertfordshire next week and I wish I could take him with me.

“I have been there before and there is a lot of potential. “They have got everything – playground, paddling pool and sandy beach. “I am not on the sex offenders’ register but even so I hope no one drags my name up again.” Unlike other holidaymakers at Roydon Mill, Ballantyne turned up without any fishing tackle, sports or picnic equipment. He pitched his tent within yards of a group of children playing shuttlecock on the riverbank.

He then headed off to watch youngsters swimming and riding boats on the lake and finally settled at a picnic bench in the centre of the crowded artificial beach. Ballantyne sat staring for hours, transfixed by children clambering about on the swings and climbing frames. He decided to try to attract their attention by striking up a tune on one of his harmonicas.

He told our undercover investigator: “This is a great place for kids and sometimes the temptations drive me crazy.

“The last time I was here I met two boys aged 11 and six. “I wanted to see them again but they checked out the next day. “Then there was this l5-year-old from Switzerland who bought a harmonica from me.” Ballantyne added: “I have often fancied going abroad to have a look around.

“I have got a pal who lives in Leytonstone and goes out to Africa all the time. “He has a great time because he says he is much more relaxed. “Here it is difficult when you know you are doing wrong and might get caught.” The disgusting pervert spent time lurking around the park’s shower and toilet unit. He paused to watch a lad in his early teens struggling to put on a pair of bathing shorts behind a bush. Our sickened investigators decided they had enough evidence to have Ballantyne thrown out and we alerted the park management.

The appalled owner of Roydon Mill, Dave Davison, immediately sent staff to escort him away from the children’s beach area and stood watching him pack up and leave. He was refunded his money for the planned three-night stay and told in no uncertain terms not to return.

His description and a warning were then circulated to other holiday camp sites within the Lea Valley Regional Park.

The Sunday People dossier on Ballantyne’s sordid activities is available to Scotland Yard’s Paedophile Unit and Tower Hamlets borough council which grants him the licence to run his market stall.

The Free Library

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5 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News, Police Operations

5 responses to “Operation Stranger: Walter Ballantyne

  1. Pingback: Operation Stranger: Walter BallantyneAlternative News Network | Alternative News Network

  2. tdf

    Don’t have a photo of Ballantyne, but given the possible Swiss link, is there any evidence Beat Meier knew any of the ‘Dirty Dozen’?

  3. tdf

    Also ‘Uncle’ Donald Smith, who allegedly played a significant but ‘shadowy role’ in the operations of the pack.

  4. tdf

    As a memory jogger for possible witnesses, people that might have something to say or record that they haven’t felt comfortable before

    (trigger warning) :

  5. Please correct this piece. You use the name Brian Taylor instead of Turner early on. Given the ambiguous role of the former in PIE accuracy is important here.