Freed child abuser linked to paedophile `Catweazle’ (30.11.94)

Freed child abuser linked to paedophile `Catweazle’ – Leslie Bailey
Times, The (London, England)-November 30, 1994
Author: Michael Horsnell

A CONVICTED child abuser who walked free from court after a judge ruled he would not get a fair trial was a close associate of one of Britain’s most notorious paedophiles, inquiries by The Times have disclosed.

The 41-year-old man, who was facing allegations by his four stepchildren of abuse over more than a decade, was related by marriage to Leslie “Catweazle” Bailey, who was convicted of the torture, sexual abuse and murder of at least three children. Bailey was a regular visitor to the family’s home in east London during the period that the man was sexually abusing his stepchildren, offences for which he served two terms in prison.

Bailey, 40, was murdered in his cell last year at Whitemoor Prison, Cambridgeshire, where he was serving life for the killing of Jason Swift, 14, Barry Lewis, 6, and Mark Tildesley, 7. Both paedophiles worked at a toy factory in east London.

The unnamed man, aged 41, walked free on Monday after the judge ruled that his previous convictions would prevent a fair trial. He was in hiding yesterday as details of his past were revealed by his angry stepchildren, who had come forward to give evidence against him.

One stepson, aged 25, said: “Sexual abuse is like a drug to him. Now he has been released he is free to do it again and he will.”

The man’s five stepchildren, three sisters and two brothers now aged between 22 and 34, were constantly abused during the 16 years between 1974 and 1990 when he was married to their mother. The only release from their torture came when he was serving a total of three and a half years in prison for serious offences against two of them.

On his release, in 1982 and again in 1986, after two sets of convictions for unlawful sexual intercourse and buggery, Hackney social workers allowed him home.

He is still married to the children’s mother but left the family home four years ago to live with another woman. They have three small children aged six, three and one, two of them by him. All were taken into care recently.

It was after they discovered this relationship, and fearing the children were at risk, that the stepchildren made lengthy statements to the police.

As police and child protection officers expressed shock at the decision by Judge Richardson, QC, to discharge the man, the stepson said that legal advice would be taken over the launch of civil action against their abuser if financial support was forthcoming. An action for negligence against the Borough of Hackney was also being considered.

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