William Malcolm: Freed paedophile `still a threat to children’ (3.12.94)

Times, The (London, England)-December 3, 1994
Author: Michael Horsnell and Simon de Bruxelles

A CONVICTED paedophile freed from the Old Bailey without trial on child abuse charges because of a legal technicality had been condemned as a high risk offender by two experts who assessed him only nine months ago.

His former probation officer and therapist both told The Times that William Malcolm, who has served two previous prison sentences, should not be allowed access to children, and spoke of their despair at the decision to release him.

As Mr Malcolm, 41, remained in the community yesterday it was disclosed that he was questioned by police investigating a paedophile ring which tortured and murdered at least three young boys. He was interviewed over the murders of Jason Swift, 14, Mark Tildesley, 7, and Barry Lewis, 6, because of his known relationship with Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey, one of the ringleaders. He admitted that he knew Bailey but denied taking part in any sadistic activities and was eliminated from the inquiry.

Ray Wyre, his former probation officer at Albany Prison and now principal adviser to a centre for the assessment and treatment of child-sex offenders, the Faithfull Foundation, and Jenny Roxburgh, principal therapist there, said he had merely bragged to his victims that he had been present at Jason’s murder in order to frighten and control them. At his home in east London, Mr Malcolm, unemployed, said earlier this week: “I knew Bailey from my marriage. He came up to my house a few times. I never associated with him. I am not a threat to any children.”

There was uproar at the Old Bailey on Monday after Judge Richardson, QC, said that “to his regret” Mr Malcolm would have to be released without trial on 13 charges of rape and indecent assault against children. He said it would be impossible for Mr Malcolm to receive a fair trial because his defence counsel would be unable to cross-examine witnesses without them revealing that he had served two prison sentences for previous offences.

Mr Wyre said: “I find this unbelievable. To throw the case out on this ground in the light of what we know about this offender is leading us in favour of offenders and I despair. Children are not getting justice.”

Mr Malcolm and Bailey, 40, who was murdered last year in Whitemoor Prison, Cambridgeshire, while serving life sentences for his part in the killings, were related by marriage and worked together for a minicab firm.

Since his release in 1986 from a sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse and buggery, Mr Malcolm claims to have become a reformed character. He said: “I became a Christian earlier this year and have come to terms with what I did.” This view is not shared by experts who assessed his condition at a residential centre earlier this year. In a disturbing portrait of him by Ms Roxburgh for the Faithfull Foundation, she wrote: “In my opinion his risk of reoffending is too high for him to remain … with children at this stage.”

Ms Roxburgh concluded that Mr Malcolm was on the “sadistic end of the spectrum” of child abusers, aggressively and overtly intimidating children. The report added: “This is an offender aroused by inflicting pain.” She told The Times: “The ruling by the judge has major implications for deterring survivors of sexual abuse from coming forward.”

Last night, Mr Malcolm, at home in his council flat, refused to comment. He said: “My solicitor and barrister have told me not to say nothing to no one.”

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