Child sex pervert’s sordid confessions (14.05.89)

Sunday Mirror, 14th May 1989

SMirror140589

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  1. Kate MacDonald said:

    Transcript:

    CHILD SEX PERVERT’S SORDID CONFESSIONS (Sunday Mirror, 14th May 1989)

    Child sex pervert Leonard Smith cuddled a little girl as he talked about the murder trial of rent boy Jason Swift.
    The shy teenager’s four killers were convicted on Friday of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit buggery.
    Smith was charged with murdering slim Jason. The charge was dropped because of lack of evidence.
    It was alleged in court Smith organised the homosexual orgy which ended up with Jason, 14, being strangled.
    But 34-year-old Smith, who has a string of sex convictions, said: “It wasn’t me who organised the orgy, I just knew one or two of the blokes involved.
    “I was interviewed by the cops because someone in Wormwood Scrubs told a pack of lies.”
    Smith was found by the Sunday Mirror at a seedy flat in Hackney, East London.
    He was surrounded by four children, but their two mothers seemed unconcerned as he cuddled the youngsters while talking about his past.
    He once lived with Robert Oliver, one of the gang which killed Jason. But he said: “Because I shared a flat with Rob doesn’t mean I had anything to do with Jason.
    “No one could pin anything on me. I’d heard of Jason because people spoke of him being a rent boy around Hackney, but I never got involved. What happened to him was sick.”
    Homosexual Smith used to live on the same Hackney housing estate as the four killers. The terrible orgy happened yards from the home he shared with Oliver.
    “They were a sick bunch of blokes and it’s pathetic that I was mentioned as the one who set everything up,” he said.
    Drugged Jason was slowly strangled to death. His naked body was dumped in a copse at Stapleford Tawney, Essex.
    Unemployed Smith admits he was in a child vice ring with Adam Ant’s father Leslie Goddard.
    The two were part of a gang which drugged and sexually assaulted a runaway 13-year-old boy who was hawked around homosexuals in London.
    Smith was sentenced to 30 months’ jail in 1987 after admitting indecent assault and Goddard to two years for attempted buggery.
    He and Goddard shared a cell in Wormwood Scrubs for a time. “I got really fed up with him wingeing all the time,” said Smith.
    Adam, who had a string of top 10 hits, installed his father in a luxury flat in London’s Belgravia.
    The 10-strong sex-ring hawked youngsters around “safe houses” to avoid the police or social services.
    Smith said: “Les liked his booze and some of his mates were a bit dodgy. They fleeced him out of his money and even tried to pinch Adam’s gold record discs off the walls.”
    Chain-smoking Smith claims he has left his perverted crimes behind him.
    “I like children, but there’s nothing funny going on. I would never harm them,” he said.
    But he added: “I admitted sex assault with Leslie, but now I’m a bit wiser and I would get myself a good solicitor who could help me get off.”
    Smith has now been given a council flat in London’s Finsbury Park – where Jason lived.
    Leslie Bailey, 35, and Robert Oliver, 34, both of Frampton Park Estate, Hackney, Sydney Cooke, 61, of Kingsmead Estate, Hackney, and Stephen Barrell, 28, of Arnold Road, Dagenham, will be sentenced this week for the charges connected with Jason.
    Bailey was also found guilty of attempting to choke Jason. And he and Cooke were convicted of committing acts tending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of his body.

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