THE MISSING MASONIC CHILD ABUSER

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A CHILD abuser is on the loose in North Wales.

He’s a freemason.

A retired police detective is the man who says so.

The former policeman is also an abuser who was caught and gaoled.

Both men were members of a child abuse ring organised by a man who had previously attacked and seriously injured two women and had nearly got away with murdering another.

The full story of what happened has never been told.

Rebecca Television asks if the police – and the masons – have done enough to track down the missing masonic child abuser.

LLANDULAS BEACH One of the North Wales beaches where a paedophile ring sexually exploited a young girl.  Photo: Barry Davies

LLANDDULAS BEACH
One of the North Wales beaches where a paedophile ring sexually exploited a young girl. Photo: Barry Davies / Rebecca Television

WHEN FORMER Birmingham police officer Raymond Ketland parked his car on a North Wales beach in 2005 a group of men walked by.

One of the group saw 66-year-old Ketland and walked over to him.

At his trial, prosecution barrister Andrew Thomas said Ketland told police he recognised this man as a member of the masonic lodge he belonged to.

The mason asked: “do you want to have a bit of fun?”

He pointed to a girl who was with the group.

Ketland decided to join in the “fun”.

The group sex was organised by Fred Lawlor from Abergele.

He had gained control of the young girl when she was 13.

She was 14 when police rescued her: she told them Lawlor instructed her to have sex with 50 men.

North Wales Police began investigating after a member of the public saw sexual activity and reported it.

Police launched Operation Furley and began to carry out surveillance on beaches between Llandudno and Rhyl.

On one occasion officers saw Lawlor with the young girl.

They considered that she wasn’t dressed appropriately.

He responded by writing to the Chief Constable complaining of harassment.

Eventually police raided Lawlor’s flat and discovered videos of the girl having sex with scores of men.

As well as having sex with the girl himself, Lawlor filmed encounters with other men, sometimes using a hidden camera.

When the videos were examined, police found 17 men who could be identified.

One of these was retired Midlands detective Raymond Ketland.

He was charged with two counts of having sex with a child, taking an indecent image and facilitating a child sex offence.

He was gaoled for two and a half years.

Th

RAYMOND KETLAND
The retired detective sergeant claims he was invited to join the ring by a fellow freemason. Photo: Barry Davies / Rebecca Television

Ketland refused to name the freemason who had invited him to join in the abuse.

A bishop from Liberal Catholic Church, Gerard Crane, appeared as a character witness for Ketland.

The Liberal Catholic Church is not connected to the Church of Rome.

Bishop Crane said he’d known Ketland for several years.

“I don’t know why he did what he did,” Bishop Crane told a reporter.

“He confessed to me and told me it was a moment of madness. He asked for forgiveness.”

“We have prayed together for the unfortunate girl. He is full of remorse and is distressed for any hurt he has caused.”

In December 2009 Rebecca Television asked Bishop Crane if he was a freemason like Ketland.

Bishop Crane said: “I have never denied my membership of freemasonry but it is a personal matter that is no concern of anybody else.”

“I joined many years before I came to live in North Wales, and I am not a member of any Masonic Craft Lodge in the Province of North Wales.”

“Nor have I ever been a member of the same Craft Lodge as Mr Raymond Ketland. I met him socially some seven years ago and regard him as a friend.”

“As such I was able to accede to his request to appear as a ‘character witness’ at his trial, and also to minister to him as a Priest.”

“At the time of the trial, when I heard about the ‘missing child abuser’, I implored Mr Ketland to reveal that person’s name to the authorities, if he knew who it was.”

“I repeatedly begged him to accede to my request if he had any information, but, for whatever reason, he would never do so.”

“In consequence, I never knew and still do not know, the identity of the man in question.”

“I did telephone the Provincial Secretary and asked him to investigate the allegation that one of his officers was the ‘missing child abuser’ but I was never informed as to the outcome of any such investigation which might subsequently have taken place.”

♦♦♦

DESPITE HER ordeal, the girl who was at the mercy of the paedophile ring is fortunate.

She had been manipulated by a violent woman-hater.

If he had not been caught she might have lost her life.

For Fred Lawlor has a lawless past.

In 1982 he was convicted of actual bodily harm after he repeatedly punched his then girlfriend and then jumped on her stomach.

She was seven months pregnant.

Five years later he attacked another girlfriend.

He first tried to electrocute her by putting the flex from an electric fire into her bath.

When that failed, he picked up a knife and stabbed her repeatedly.

She needed five operations to repair the damage and had to use a colostomy bag for five months due to the lacerations on her bowel.

Lawlor was gaoled for seven years for this offence.

Later another partner, Dorothy Carre, was twice reported missing by her family who described Lawlor as a “cruel, manipulative bully”.

She was last seen in 1999.

But it wasn’t until the paedophile ring case in 2006 that her fate was finally revealed.

Police used the BBC Crimewatch programme to appeal for public assistance to help identify the abusers they had not caught.

A member of Dorothy Carre’s family saw Lawlor on Crimewatch and rang the police to remind them she was still missing.

This time Greater Manchester Police carried out a more thorough investigation.

They found Dorothy Carre’s body in a shallow grave in the cellar of the house she had shared with Lawlor in Rochdale.

The skeleton revealed stab wounds to the spine.

The body had been wrapped in a duvet and buried under flagstones in the cellar of the rented house.

In October 2007 a jury at Manchester Crown Court decided, by a 10-2 majority, that Lawlor had stabbed Dorothy Carre to death.

FRED LAWLOR Psychopath, murderer and child abuser. Photo: Manchester Evening News

FRED LAWLOR
Psychopath, murderer, child abuser…   Photo: Manchester Evening News

He was gaoled for life.

Dorothy Carre’s daughter said: “Since 1995 Frederick Lawlor has taken our mother from us, initially by manipulating her into staying away from us and finally by committing the worst crime by taking her life in such a cruel, callous, heartless and premeditated way, ensuring she would never return to her family.”

By that time he was already in prison for organising the sex ring in North Wales.

At Caernarfon Crown Court in April 2006 he had admitted 18 sex charges against the young girl – four specimen counts of sexual activity with a child, seven of taking indecent images and seven of causing a child to engage in sexual activity with another adult.

The court was told he’d abused her at least 75 times.

Most of the men did not pay for sex with the girl.

The only one who did was Lawlor’s neighbour Gary Owen, 55, who had already served a six year sentence for sex offences against a 12-year-old girl.

This time around he was gaoled for another six years.

Sentencing Lawlor to an indefinite prison sentence to be reviewed in 15 years, Judge Merfyn Hughes told him “the full extent of psychological damage you have inflicted on this young girl won’t be known for many years.”

“You have completely ruined any immediate chance she may have had of leading a full life. She must have believed sexual promiscuity was the norm.”

“You carried on despite being investigated by police, and even had the affront to write to the chief constable claiming that officers were harassing you.”

He praised the police operation headed by Detective Inspector Wayne Jones for ridding the area of a large number of sex offenders.

“This would not have been possible without the observations carried out by police officers on the ground who visited the beaches.”

“It became a much larger inquiry that anybody had initially, perhaps, expected.”

♦♦♦

ONLY TWO of the men featured in the films remain at large.

Pictures of both have been shown on the BBC Crimewatch programme but they have never been identified.

MISSING ABUSER No 1 This image of an unknown man watching other men having sex with the young girl was taken by Fred Lawlor. Photo: North Wales Police

MISSING ABUSER No 1
This image of an unknown man watching other men having sex with the young girl was taken by Fred Lawlor. Photo: North Wales Police

Male 2

MISSING ABUSER No 2
The second man police were unable to identify. Photo: North Wales Police

Ketland has never identified either of these men as the mason who introduced him to the ring.

That means the missing freemason is a different man.

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said: “Ketland would not co-operate with the police therefore it is not possible to say whether there was a masonic connection.”

In November 2009 Rebecca Television asked the North Wales Province of freemasonry if the North Wales Police had asked them for their assistance in identifying the missing masonic abuser.

Provincial secretary Peter Sorahan replied.

“We do not know and were never told who else was involved.”

“Furthermore we are completely unaware as to what action was taken by the Police against any other person and would certainly not support any person who was in any way involved; neither would we tolerate them in freemasonry.”

He said that Ketland was a “joiner” of a North Wales lodge.

In other words, the original lodge he entered – known as his “mother lodge” – is in another province.

He added that Ketland is no longer a freemason.

Sorahan also declined to give details of the lodges that Ketland belonged to.

“As I’m sure you are aware,” he said, “under the requirements of the Data Protection Act we can not disclose the names and personal details of members and their Lodges.”

(The Information Commissioner’s Office says provincial yearbooks are not covered by the Data Protection Act.)

At the time Sorahan was answering these questions, Rebecca Television had not yet been told by Bishop Crane that he had contacted Sorahan’s predecessor as provincial secretary, Leonard Ellis.

We asked Sorahan to confirm that Bishop Crane had contacted Leonard Ellis and, if so, what was the outcome.

Sorahan did not reply.

Chris Connop at United Grand Lodge headquarters in London said: “if the police were to contact us, we would do our best to give any information they requested if we were able to do so. The same is true of the Freemasons in North Wales.”

“They have not been in contact in this case.”

Also in November 2009 Rebecca Television e-mailed North Wales Police and asked if they had been in touch with the masons in North Wales.

It took a month and several reminders before a spokeswoman came back with a statement.

“The Masons have been approached by officers and are unable to assist further with identifying the outstanding offenders.”

Rebecca Television asked provincial masonic secretary Peter Sorahan to confirm that police had been to see him and that their visit had taken place only after we started asking questions.

He e-mailed to say “your assumptions are correct.”

A film crew finally caught up with Ketland in February 2010 as he stopped at a garage to buy a newspaper.

(This encounter can be seen in the video Brothers in the Shadows.)

WHEN KETLAND was doorstepped for the Brothers in the Shadows programme, he complained to the North Wales Police. The force chose to believe a convicted child abuser — and sent the caution above to RTV editor Paddy French. Photo: Rebecca Television

CAUTION
After Ketland was doorstepped for the Brothers in the Shadows programme, he complained to the North Wales Police that he was being harassed. The force didn’t ask Rebecca Television for its side of the story: it chose to accept the word of a convicted child abuser and sent this caution to editor Paddy French.

He had not answered our letters and wasn’t in when we called at his home in Llandudno.

He told us that the prosecution case at his trial was wrong.

The missing mason was not a member of his lodge.

He was a man he had seen only briefly and at a distance at a masonic social function – he did not know his name.

He said that he believed the man was a member of a provincial grand lodge because, when he first asked him to join the child abuse ring, he was wearing provincial cufflinks.

Rebecca Television has asked the Crown Prosecution Service if it had made a mistake in claiming that Ketland told police that the missing mason was a member of his masonic lodge.

They said they were not in a position to help.

We also asked North Wales Police what Ketland had said in his statement to police.

The force didn’t reply.

♦♦♦

Rebecca Television now knows Ketland’s masonic history.

He resigned from freemasonry in April 2006 after his conviction.

Before then he was a member of the Lodge of St Hilary which meets at Llandudno’s Freemasons Hall.

KETLAND'S MASONRY When he retired to the North Wales coast, Raymond Ketland joined the local St Hilary Lodge in Llandudno. This is the entry for the year

KETLAND’S MASONRY
When he retired to the North Wales coast, Raymond Ketland joined the local St Hilary Lodge in Llandudno. This is the entry in the 2008 Provincial Yearbook. Ketland insists that the freemason who introduced him to the child abuse ring is not a member of this lodge.

He was also a member of the Gogarth chapter of Royal Arch Masonry.

His original lodge is Hilbre which meets in Neston in Cheshire.

♦♦♦

NOTES
1  A version of this article was first published in 2010 along with the video Brothers in the Shadows.
2  There is no report which brings together the full list of those convicted in Operation Furley.
Police obtained 17 pictures of abusers from the material seized from Lawlor and 15 were eventually caught.
The combined sentences added up to 56 years in gaol.
The following alphabetical list is based on press reports.
Neither the Crown Prosecution Service nor the North Wales Police would fill in the gaps.

ALAN COLCLOUGH, 51, Rhyl
Charge: admitted 1 charge of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 2 years 9 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

ERIC (MARK) CRAVEN, 47, Penmaenmawr
Charges: admitted 4 charges of sexual activity with a child, 2 charges of taking indecent photographs and 1 charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
Sentence: 4 years
Sex offenders register: life.

RONALD (ALBERT) FARRINGTON, 45, Birkenhead
Charges: admitted 2 charges of sexual activity with a child and 2 charges of taking indecent photographs
Sentence: 3 years
Sex offenders register: life.

DAVID FORSHAW, 41, Rhyl,
Charges: admitted 1 charge of sexual activity with a child and 1 charge of taking indecent photographs
Sentence: 1 year and 9 months
Sex offenders register: life.

RAYMOND (AUSTIN) FOULKES, 51, Colwyn Bay
Charges: admitted 1 charge of sexual activity with a child and 1 charge of taking indecent photographs
Sentence: 2 years 9 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

MICHAEL KENNY, 54, Prestatyn
Charges: admitted 1 charge of sexual activity with a child and 1 charge of taking indecent photographs
Sentence: 1 year 9 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

RAYMOND KETLAND, 66, Glan Conwy
Charges: admitted 2 charges of sexual activity with a minor, 1 charge of taking indecent photographs and 1 charge of facilitating a child sex offence
Sentence: 2 years 6 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

FREDERICK LAWLOR, 52, Abergele
Charges: pleaded guilty to a series of specimen charges: 4 of sexual activity with a child, 7 of taking indecent photographs and 7 of causing a child to engage in sexual activity with others
Sentence: indefinite, to be reviewed after 15 years
(Already serving life for the murder of former partner Dorothy Carre, several other convictions for violent assault)
Sex offenders register: details not known but probably for life.

GARETH VAUGHAN LLOYD, 47, Wrexham
Charges: admitted 2 charges of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 3 years 3 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

JOHN (EDWARD) McCOY, Abergele
Charges: admitted 2 charges of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 3 years
Sex offenders register: life.

GARY McILROY, 50, Ellesmere Port
Charge: admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 1 year 9 months
Sex offenders register: details not known.

JAMES MARLAND, 22, Abergele
Charge: admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 2 years 9 months
Sex offenders register: life.

GARY OWEN, 55,
Charges: admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child
Sentence: 6 years
Sex offenders register: details not known.

RONALD (WILLIAM) ROCHE, 49, Abergele
Charges: admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child and 1 of taking indecent photographs.
(Previously gaoled for 9 years for robbery)
Sentence: 2 years 3 months
Sex offenders register: 10 years.

RICHARD (ALAN) WHITE, 58, Old Colwyn
Charges: admitted 3 charges of sexual activity with a child and 1 of taking indecent photographs.
(Previous conviction for indecency in public)
Sentence: 3 years 6 months
Sex offenders register: life.

© Rebecca Television 2010 & 2013

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