Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Monday, 12 November 2007

Second victim of Molseed inquiry

Stefan Kiszko
Stefan Kiszko spent 16 years in jail

It is one of Britain's most notorious miscarriages of justice.

Stefan Kiszko served 16 years in prison for the murder and sexual assault of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed - a crime he did not commit.

He was freed on appeal in 1992, when new evidence proved he could not have killed her. He died the following year from a heart attack, aged 41.

His mother Charlotte, who campaigned relentlessly to prove his innocence, died just months after him.

On 5 October 1975, 11-year-old Lesley left her home in Rochdale, on an errand. Three days later her body was discovered on moors in Ripponden, West Yorkshire.

Now her real killer, Ronald Castree, has been brought to justice.

Exposure lies

Mr Kiszko, a tax clerk from Rochdale, was arrested after three young girls told police he had indecently exposed himself to them just days before Lesley was murdered.

Mr Kiszko, who had never been in trouble with the law, also had an unusual hobby of writing down registration numbers of cars that annoyed him.

This contributed to his wrongful conviction - he had noted down the number of a car later seen near the crime scene.

Mr Kiszko confessed to Lesley's murder after two days of police questioning, without a solicitor present.

Lesley Molseed
Lesley Molseed was stabbed 12 times and sexually assaulted

He later complained the confession had been bullied out of him, but he was convicted of murder and jailed for life.

But in March 1991, after a long campaign by his mother, a police investigation into the conduct of the original trial began.

The investigation found that semen discovered on Lesley's clothing contained heads of sperm. Mr Kiszko, however, was infertile.

And the three girls who told Mr Kiszko's trial he had indecently exposed himself to them admitted they had lied.

Mr Kiszko was cleared and released from prison in February 1992.

Dr David Wilson, a former prison governor, told the BBC that he had tried to persuade Mr Kiszko to admit the murder and discuss the reasons for his offence, so he could be granted eligibility for parole.

Officers charged

"Of course he refused - it was absurd, " said Dr Wilson.

In 1994 Det Ch Insp Dick Holland, Ch Supt Jack Dibb and forensic scientist Dr Ronald Outteridge were formally charged with suppressing evidence which could have proved Mr Kiszko's innocence.

But the following year the case was halted, after a magistrate decided that because of the death of Jack Dibb the two remaining defendants, who blamed Mr Dibb for any wrongdoing, could not receive a fair trial.

Dick Holland was also one of the senior detectives who led the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry in the 1970s. He died in February.

Stefan Kiszko and his mother Charlotte after his release from prison
Mr Kiszko died before he received his compensation in full

In prison, as a convicted sex offender, Mr Kiszko was beaten by fellow inmates several times and had to be isolated for his own safety.

Speaking to the BBC after his release, he said he was enjoying "sleeping in in the mornings" and catching up with old friends.

He and his mother had received hundreds of letters and cards from well-wishers from all over the world.

Mr Kiszko was told he would receive 500,000 in compensation for the years he spent in prison.

He said he wanted to make up for all those years by "going to Australia to enjoy myself, and maybe America as well, and have a good time".

But he died of a massive heart attack the following year and his mother passed away a few months later, before they could receive the compensation in full.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific