Martin Walkerdine’s Correspondence with Ian Bell

The BBC Northern Ireland programme Spotlight excellent programme on Morris Fraser – Morris Fraser, the Paedophile Doctor was on recently [see below] Since then, the indefatigable Martin Walkerdine [@mwalkerdine] has been investigating more about Morris Fraser.

Fraser was organist at Parish Church of St John-at-Hackney, where church authorities are now trying to ascertain when he was there and if he committed abuse whilst there.

Martin Walkerdine’s has also corresponded with Ian Bell, co-defendant with Morris Fraser in 1971 trial. Here is his correspondence.

Hello Mr Ian Bell

I am hoping you will go on the record concerning what happened at Bow
Street Mag Court in 1971 over allegations that you and Mr Roderick Morrison
Fraser were abusing boys from Northern Ireland and sending them to London
at the address belonging to Mr Geoffrey Roger Mitchell for which you at Bow
Street pleaded not guilty for which your case file went to Crown Court to
face the charges you were accused of at that time.

How did you know Dr Morris Fraser born in Inverness but worked mainly in
Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Have you been a member of P.I.E for which Dr Morris Fraser was member of.

Did you ever go to Northern Ireland to meet Dr Morris Fraser.

What happened at Crown Court where you found guilty or not guilty.

Have you been questioned in the last 4 years by any police force in the
United Kingdom over historical child abuse investigations.

Are you still in contact with Dr Morris Fraser.

Have you ever been to apartment block called Dolphin Square in London.

Was Geoffrey Roger Mitchell questioned by police as witness or even suspect
during Dr Morris Fraser court trial and this includes your own court trial.

How did Geoffrey Roger Mitchell know Dr Morris Fraser to allow him to use
his London address to abuse boys from Northern Ireland.

Have you or Geoffrey Roger Mitchell been asked to attend The Hart Inquiry
that is dealing with child abuse in Northern Ireland.

I would like if you will answer these questions and go on the record and I
might ask some follow up questions on this subject matter.

Best Regards
Mr Martin Walkerdine

Dear Mr Walkerdine –

Thank you for your curious email. The public record is, as you suggest the
public record – but beyond that you are, as far as my knowledge goes of
what was by the standards of those times an unremarkable and brief if
grubby misdemeanour, you are allowing your imagination to run riot, fuelled
by some basic errors of fact, or certainly some suggestions about the man
Fraser which, neither at the time nor since, I would never have been in a
position to be able to confirm or deny, nor be interested in.

These points include:

1. I have never been resident in Northern Ireland, and have no connection
there.

2. I had and have no knowledge of Morris Fraser’s birth or background – I
think I assumed him to be born in N.Ireland and he certainly had an accent
that at the time I must have accepted as such, though more than that I
cannot recall, nor indeed exactly how or on what premise he originally
approached me. My recall of the period, the best part of 50 years ago, is
hazy – partly because like so many young gay men at the time, I spent a
good deal of my spare time over-indulging in alcohol and what we would now
call ‘controlled substances’, and had lots of passing acquaintances on the
London gay scene, many probably now long dead, who in turn knew many
others. I would guess – but am not sure – that Fraser surfaced as one such,
though precisely what his sexual appetites were was at first unclear –
perhaps even to him. Nor can I recall even vaguely how I became aware of
him.

3. I think he claimed to be a psychiatrist, and that his claimed – perhaps
real – doctorate was therefore medical. I think he also claimed to be
married or living with a woman, though I may be mistaken and I neither have
nor had any first-hand knowledge of that or any other aspect of his
professional or private life. I say that because it seemed to become clear
that he was a complicated person and something of a fantasist, or at the
least a manipulator of the facts – but how much of that was conscious and
deliberate, or involuntary, I could not say, and I did not know him long
enough to discover more, even had I been interested to do so.

4. My recollection is that Fraser said he was involved in helping young
people from tough areas of Belfast via youth organisations or other means,
theoretically to give them a break from what I guess were chaotic
circumstances (though my hazy knowledge of N.I. history is insufficient for
me to be sure at what point in the development of ‘the troubles’ this was).
The incident in question happened soon after my becoming aware of Fraser,
and was floated as being a weekend holiday somewhere they would never have
had chance to visit. I was at that time one of a shifting group of people
of my age who – like may others in London then, and perhaps still – shared
the costs of living in large Victorian flats.

This one was in Pimlico, and the lessee was GR Mitchell, who was frequently
absent working elsewhere. There were often spare rooms, especially in the
summer, and in agreeing to Fraser’s suggested visit I am not sure I even
sought Mr Mitchell’s permission – the trip only involved two or three days.
As it turned out this was decidedly unfair to him since his name got
dragged into the brief publicity about the affair as lessee of the flat,
even though he had no personal involvement in organising it, nor became
accused of or implicated in any charges or accusations that followed. Your
suggestion that anyone ‘sent boys to London’ to that address sounds
dramatic but has no foundation in fact – Fraser came over with them on this
brief one-off holiday visit and they all went back together, and neither I
nor, certainly, Mr Mitchell, took any role in organising the details of
their travel over. It was a disaster, and an eye-opener – they spent much
of the time shouting slogans at passers-by about the Pope and other
religious references, about which nobody in London had the least knowledge
or interest. The result was that to make it tolerable the whole party –
including me – spent altogether too much time drunk. Fraser refused to try
and exert any control over them, implying that it was precisely to allow
them freedom from their unhappy lives that he had organised the trip – and
as soon as they were gone I wrote telling him exactly what I thought, and
that if this was his interpretation of psychiatry, it was world of which I
needed no further knowledge or involvement.

5. We fell out badly, and I heard no more until many months later, when it
became a court case. We never met again either during the case or later,
and I have no knowledge of what happened other than – via my solicitor –
that he pleaded guilty at a magistrates court and was summarily dealt with
without fuss, whereas my plea – supported by my lawyers – of not guilty
meant that it had to go to the Crown Court.

Some while later – perhaps months, perhaps a year or more – I can’t recall
– I was taken aback to get a letter or postcard or call from Fraser, saying
that he was now working in or near London, and would I like to meet to
shake hands and ‘clear the air’? I said absolutely not – and am relieved
that I have never heard anything either from him, or about him in the 45
years since.

6. I have no knowledge, now or at any time, about any of the other
questions you raise, which seem more relevant to the scare stories of 2016,
which the newspapers seemed to be telling us are fantasy, than to the real
world of London almost 50 years ago.
Yours

I. Bell

 

Martin has also pointed out that there is an Ian Bell on the Albany Trusts minutes, though it is not certain it is the same one. [1]

For more information on Fraser and others that Martin is researching, check out his twitter feed @mwalkerdine. He is a whizz on finding out addresses.

For my posts on Morris Fraser [5]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness[G]  and Meditation[H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma[J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area

Links

[1] 2015 May 18 Bits of Books Blog 1976: Albany Trust’s PIE & PAL minutes of meetings and was ‘John’ of the drafting committee from BBCR3? https://bitsofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/1976-albany-trusts-pie-pal-minutes-of-meetings-and-was-john-of-the-drafting-committee-from-bbcr3/

[2] 1973 BBC  https://t.co/9frG4syDHh Dr Fraser on the BBC in 1973 two years after his conviction

[3] Cathy Fox Blog The Times 12th October 1974 The Times Child Care Officer is Jailed for Assaults https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/12th-october-1974-the-times-child-care-officer-is-jailed-for-assaults/

[4] BBC i player http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07g3mc3/spotlight-the-paedophile-doctor

[4a] 2016 Jun 9 Needleblog BBC Morris Fraser the Paedophile Doctor https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/dr-morris-fraser-the-paedophile-doctor/

[5] cathy fox posts on Morris Fraser https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/?s=morris+fraser

[6] AIOA       … Expert Advice on New Organs and Organ Restoration Ian Bell https://t.co/YwfONX8B9T

 

Advertisements

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in #OpDeathEaters, cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Northern Ireland and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Martin Walkerdine’s Correspondence with Ian Bell

  1. Pingback: Dr Morris Fraser – Paedophile Doctor. | L8in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s