Lesley Molseed


Lesley Susan Molseed was an 11-year-old Rochdale girl who left her home in Delamere Road, Rochdale, around noon on 5th October 1975, on an errand to buy a loaf of bread and some air-freshener from a local shop. When she did not return, her 13-year-old sister, Laura, and 12-year-old brother, Frederick, were sent to look for her.

Her body was found 3 days later on moorland known as Windy Hill above the A672 Oldham to Halifax Road in Rishworth. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed 12 times in the head and chest.

In December, Stefan Kiszko of Rochdale was arrested and tried at Leeds, found Guilty and imprisoned for life. His mother campaigned strenuously for his innocence, and the case was reopened in 1990.

In 1992, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction when medical evidence indicated that Kiszko – who was socially and emotionally immature – was infertile and could not have produced the semen stains on Lesley's clothing.

In 1993, Kiszko died from a heart attack after suffering a nervous breakdown and being seriously damaged by his wrongful imprisonment. His mother died in 1994.

The enquiry was reopened, and in March 2001, the police announced that they were seeking a convicted pædophile, Raymond Hewlett, in connection with the murder. Hewlett, from Todmorden, was reported to have left the district a few days after the murder to go to the Republic of Ireland. He has since been living a vagrant's life in Spain.

In February 2003, following the discovery of DNA evidence from the original trial, an item on BBC TV's Crimewatch UK attracted 250 calls and messages and enabled the police to draw up a list of men they wished to interview in connection with the murder. The list named 150 suspects, some of whom they had already interviewed and some whom they had eliminated.

In 2005, 53-year-old Ronald Charles Edward Castree of Shaw, Oldham, was arrested – but never charged – for another sex attack. A DNA sample taken from Castree was a direct match with the sample from the 1975 murder scene. In November 2006, Castree was arrested and charged with abduction and murder and dumping the child's body on Rishworth Moor. He was tried at Bradford Crown Court in September 2007. He was found guilty, and on 12th November 2007, he was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison.

In July 2005, Castree's lawyers challenged the conviction and the length of the sentence

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 02:53 / 22nd February 2023 / 4427

Page Ref: MMM180

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