Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Monday, 5 November 2007

Man named as Molseed 'murderer'

Ronald Castree
Ronald Castree denies murdering Lesley Molseed

The lawyer defending a man accused of killing schoolgirl Lesley Molseed 30 years ago has named another man as the probable killer in the case.

Rodney Jameson QC said it was "overwhelmingly probable" that "a dangerous and violent paedophile" called Raymond Hewlett murdered her.

Mr Jameson made the claim at the start of the defence of Ronald Castree, 54, of Shaw, Oldham, who denies murder.

Hewlett was convicted of sex attacks in the 1970s and is currently at large.

Gunpoint attack

Lesley Molseed's body was found dumped on bleak Pennine moorland in 1975.

The barrister listed some of the crimes Hewlett was convicted of in the 1970s, including two violent sex attacks on young girls.

Mr Jameson said Hewlett was jailed in 1972 following an attack on a girl who was about 12 years old at the time.

In 1978 he was convicted of another sex attack on the girl, this time at gunpoint.

The court heard that when Hewlett was jailed for another attack 10 years later he was asked by officers about the Lesley Molseed murder but he denied the killing.

Mr Jameson told the court: "We say it is overwhelmingly probable that it is Raymond Hewlett who committed this murder."

Jurors had heard how Lesley went missing from her home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, as she was running an errand for her mother on 5 October 1975.

Wrongly convicted

Her body was found three days later on the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester border, on moors near to the A672 Oldham to Ripponden road.

The girl had been stabbed 12 times during a "frenzied attack", the court heard.

An innocent man - tax clerk Stefan Kiszko - was wrongly convicted of Lesley's murder and spent 16 years in prison.

After Mr Kiszko's release a DNA profile of whoever left the semen which was found in Lesley's pants was built up.

Bradford Crown Court was told how a DNA sample taken from Castree when he was arrested on an unrelated matter in 2005 was a direct match with the sample from the 1975 murder scene.

The case continues.

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