I didn’t know human beings could do such evil things (09.06.84)

Daily Mirror, 9th June 1984

Mirror060498

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2 comments
  1. Troyhand said:

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/THE+EVIL+PIEDPIPER%3B+While+rest+of+the+world+talks+about+paedophiles,…-a063899413
    The People (London, England) > August 6, 2000

    THE EVIL PIEDPIPER; While rest of the world talks about paedophiles, takes action This is one of the worst child sex beasts in Britain playing harmonica to lure innocent children at a water park. He is not on the sex offenders’ list, he uses a false name. And he says: This is paradise…

    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.

    Do YOU know of a paedophile we should investigate?

    Phone our News Desk on 020 7510 3201. Don’t worry about the cost, we’ll call straight back.

    People HOTlinks r.insall@people.co.uk For victims of abuse: http://www.victimsupport.com

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