Paedophile killer 'was murdered': Post-mortem examination confirms child rapist was strangled in jail cell

LESLIE BAILEY, a convicted paedophile killer, was murdered in his cell at Whitemoor Prison despite being kept in a wing apart from other prisoners, it was confirmed yesterday.

An inquest in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was told that post-mortem examinations had established Bailey was strangled with a ligature, which was found near his body, on 7 October. Police originally said they were not ruling out the possibility he had killed himself.

Detective Superintendent Bob Wordsworth, who is leading the inquiry, said afterwards: 'I can confirm that, as far as we are concerned, we are now treating the matter as a murder inquiry. This is based on medical evidence and other examinations by Dr Nat Carey, a Home Office pathologist.

'We will be concentrating within the prison. We have had superb co- operation from the governor and his staff as well as co-operation from the inmates. I hope we will be successful.' Mr Wordsworth said that although there were reports that Bailey had received threats, there was no evidence that he was generally hated within the prison.

Yesterday's inquest was adjourned after hearing evidence of identity from a prison officer, and of the cause of death.

Bailey was one of about 100 'Rule 43' prisoners at Whitemoor, segregated from other inmates because they could be subjected to violence. Rule 43 prisoners - so called because of the prison rules which provide for their segregation - include child murderers and abusers, paedophiles, other sex offenders and, in some prisons, informers.

Bailey's body was discovered during a 'free association' period when inmates were allowed to move around the wing and visit each other in their cells. The wing is entirely separate from the rest of the prison, which is a modern, high security establishment housing mainly Category A inmates.

Police will now continue to question all the inmates who were on the wing at the time of the murder but are likely to come up against a wall of silence which will make it difficult to establish the truth. There have been four other murders in prisons in England and Wales in the last five years.

Bailey was serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1989 of the manslaughter of a male prostitute Jason Swift, 14, and admitting the murder of Barry Lewis, aged six. Both boys were kidnapped and subjected to gang rapes by a group of east London paedophiles, who police believe may have been involved in several more child murders.

In October last year, Bailey was given two additional life sentences after pleading guilty to the manslaughter in June 1984 of Mark Tildesley, from Wokingham, Berkshire. The boy's body has never been found. The three other men convicted with Bailey are being held in Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight. One of them, Sidney Cook, 66, was assaulted in his cell last week. Security at the jail is believed to have been increased.

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