The Paedophile Doctor Spotlight


The Paedophile Doctor

Chris Moore investigates why child psychiatrist Dr Morris Fraser, a convicted paedophile, was not struck off by the General Medical Council.


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Transcript


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I formed the impression at first that children were fairly resilient

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and didn't suffer very much.

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The caring side of child

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psychiatrist Dr Morris Fraser hides a sexual predator.

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He had been abused?

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Yes.

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By Morris Fraser?

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By Morris Fraser.

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But even after being convicted, the paedophile doctor was not struck

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off by the General Medical Council.

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Why was he not struck off?

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I don't know.

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He should have been.

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He absolutely should have been struck off.

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Tonight, the face of a dangerous doctor.

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A paedophile allowed to continue practising medicine for decades

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in spite of four convictions and two spells behind bars.

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As the Northern Ireland conflict gathered momentum in 1971

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a celebrity doctor emerged to champion the cause

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of the children of the troubles.

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The truth is that a lot of children in these areas, the vast

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majority of them have had symptoms of some kind.

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Psychiatrist Dr Morris Fraser witnessed children in conflict

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first-hand where he worked at the Royal Belfast Hospital

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for Sick Children on the Falls Road.

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He soon became the expert on how the growing street disorder

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affected young lives.

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His seminal book, Children in Conflict, was lauded

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here and in the United States.

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His celebrity status grew on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Evidence was published in a recent issue of the British Journal

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of Psychiatry by Dr Morris Fraser, a 29-year-old psychiatrist who sees

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about 30 young of patients a week in his Belfast clinic.

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Children who have been seriously emotionally disturbed as a result

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Children who have been seriously emotionally disturbed as a result

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of a first-hand experience of violence.

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This facade of concern masked Morris Fraser's real reasons

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for his interest in children.

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Publicly, Fraser wanted to use a Scout troop he'd set up in north

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Belfast in 1966 to help young boys escape street violence.

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Privately, he had other intentions.

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In 1971, Dr Morris Fraser arrived at this block of apartments

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in London for the weekend.

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With him, he brought a 13-year-old schoolboy from Belfast whose parents

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were told he was on a scouting trip in County Down.

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What happened to the boy inside these apartments

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eventually led a year later to Dr Fraser appearing

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at Bow Street Magistrates Court where he admitted charges

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of sexually assaulting the boy.

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Fraser's guilty plea meant the full facts of the case

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were not revealed in court.

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But Spotlight has spoken to the RUC officer who was part

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of the investigation.

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For security reasons, he didn't want his face to be seen.

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The boy was quite disturbed, that's the best way to describe,

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it and his father described to me that he had been away

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with the scouts for a weekend.

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He returned with pains in his rectum and his father was a bit perturbed

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about this and wanted to involve the police.

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Medical evidence confirmed the sexual assault.

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My recollection was that it was was described as a funnel shaped rectum.

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Certainly penetration by a penis or something of that nature had

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certainly taken place.

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Maybe more than one.

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On more than one occasion.

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You got from the boy that he had intercourse?

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Yes, he had been abused yes.

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By Morris Fraser?

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By Morris Fraser.

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And he told you that in his statement?

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Oh, he did, yes That was in his statement.

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Yes.

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Fraser pleaded guilty and was fined ?50.

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The Scout Movement took swift action and banished Fraser for life

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immediately he was arrested and before he was convicted.

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By contrast however, even after Fraser was convicted,

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the body meant to regulate doctors and protect the public -

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the General Medical Council, the GMC, allowed him to carry

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on as a child psychiatrist.

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Peter Walsh fights for patients' rights.

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It would seem in this instance, they quite woefully failed

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to protect patients, failed to take action against this

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doctor to ensure that he wasn't going to be in the position

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where he could prey on vulnerable patients.

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Neil Anderson, chief executive of the children's charity

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the NSPCC is horrified by the GMC's lack of action.

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One of the most glaring failures is in the dealing

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with his offences under the General Medical Council's

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disciplinary committee.

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Because his continued professional registration, as a result of that

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failure, allowed him to continue to have access to children.

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The current chief executive of the GMC is Niall Dickson.

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He was convicted of an offence against a 13-year-old boy in 1972.

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Why was he not struck off?

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I don't know.

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He should have been.

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He absolutely should have been struck off.

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It's very difficult to get into the mindsets of those

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who took that decision.

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There were different procedures at that time.

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There were different attitudes at that time.

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There were undoubtedly different approaches.

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But none of that, none of that excuses the fact that this

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organisation allowed that doctor to go on practising

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after that conviction.

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After Fraser's first conviction, he still had access to children.

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Like Richard Kerr.

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He remembers when he 10-years-old in 1972 being taken to see Dr Fraser

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at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

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He was there to discuss his disruptive behaviour

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at his care home.

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I was sitting on the chair.

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I remember having sandals on and shorts on.

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I just remember being asked to remove them down.

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He took I think some kind of photograph.

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I was shocked.

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He said he was a doctor and not to worry.

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But there was plenty to worry about.

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A convicted paedophile was still free to treat up to 30

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children a week.

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According to Richard Kerr, Dr Fraser came to visit him

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at his Children's Home Williamson House.

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He would just call out my name and I would be down on the floor

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He would just call out my name and I would be down on the floor

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playing with my toys.

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And in the play room there was a table and it was about five

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feet from the floor.

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And I remember him getting me under the table and there was a wall

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and he would wrestle with me.

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He would tickle my belly, make me laugh and while he was doing that,

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he would start to move his hands kind of around my

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private areas.

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Yes.

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Just as his conviction didn't prevent him having access

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to children, his public profile didn't appear to be affected.

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Here he is in February 1973 appearing on BBC television

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with David Dimbleby.

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Do you think that there is long term damage being done that will prevent

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the next generation being a moderate generation in the way that everyone

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here would them to be?

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It's inevitable as well as utterly deplorable that they are going to be

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affected by what they see around them by living in guerrilla warfare.

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Three months after this television interview,

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Morris Fraser was again arrested - this time in New York

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as part of an international paedophile network.

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Newspaper reports here and in the United States revealed

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that Dr Fraser's arrest along with seven other men concluded a two

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year police investigation.

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A court heard that on 19 different occasions the eight defendants

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were observed gathering at a house at Long Island,

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New York State.

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There, the court was told, they engaged in acts of sexual

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abuse of 15 children in the 10-15 age group.

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The indictment specified one count of conspiracy,

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19 counts of sodomy and seven of sexual abuse

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against each defendant.

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At the time, Dr Fraser told newspapers: "My innocence

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is beyond question.

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I want to assure the parents of children that I have treated

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about that." Fraser was released on bail and returned

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to Northern Ireland to face the first of a series of GMC

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disciplinary hearings related to his 1972 London conviction.

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Despite reports of his arrest in America leading to his sacking

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by the NI Hospitals Authority, the GMC did not remove him

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from their medical register.

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He remained a celebrity doctor, with the publication of his book

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serialised by the Sunday Times.

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Niall Meehan is head of the journalism faculty

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at Griffith College in Dublin.

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He became fascinated by the Fraser story and the apparent

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leniency of the GMC.

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He learned from a Freedom of Information request that

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Fraser had been allowed to give his evidence to the GMC

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in camera, that is in secret.

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And that effectively the proceedings had been turned into

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a trial of the victim.

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It appeared as though the tables were turned and that the innocent

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doctor clinically trained psychiatrist had been corrupted

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by a 13-year-old boy.

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In fact, the boy appeared to be the author of the doctor's

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depravity, which seems to me to be a grave charge against the GMC that

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instead of protecting the public against this child abusing doctor,

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they protected the doctor against his victim.

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This is how his defence was reported in the British Medical

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Journal at the time.

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The boy came from a broken home and apparently he had problems

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with drugs and had had some homosexual experiences.

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It was one isolated incident with a sophisticated boy - a boy not

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corrupted by the doctor.

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To describe victims of child abuse in that way,

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is just completely unacceptable.

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Completely unacceptable.

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There is no excuse for it.

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Of course social mores would have been different at that time,

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people behaved in different ways, people looked at things

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in different ways.

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But that doesn't excuse it.

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They didn't strike Fraser off, but by the end of that first

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disciplinary hearing the GMC had at least reached a judgement.

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The committee have accordingly judged you to have been guilty

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of serious professional misconduct in relation to the facts proved

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against you in the charge.

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But did the GMC strike Dr Fraser off the medical register?

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No.

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Instead they sent him to a psychiatrist for treatment

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and deferred any judgement for at least eight months.

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Morris Fraser had built up a public profile since the outset

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of the troubles, becoming a regular on television and radio

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here and in the United States, offering insights into children

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traumatised by the conflict.

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Here's one picture, for example, by a boy from a republican area,

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in which he depicts himself as a soldier in

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traditional Irish garb.

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And on the other side of the coin we have a picture

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by a Protestant boy.

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He has drawn a picture of his street and large streaks of red running

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down between the houses.

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And he says that this red is Catholic blood.

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Niall Meehan believes Fraser was protected because his public

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statements about the conflict suited the authorities.

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There was a suggestion that children were being used actively by those

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who were opposing the British government and the British army

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and that seemed to be part of the propaganda to paint those

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against whom the British army was fighting in as negative a manner

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as possible and in a sophisticated manner as possible and what was more

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sophisticated than getting a child psychiatrist to talk

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about the testimony that was delivered by his child clients.

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But is there another simpler explanation as to why Fraser

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was treated so leniently?

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Psychiatrist Dr Alex Lyons was a contemporary of Dr Fraser

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and had worked with him.

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In the medical world there was a system known

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as the three wise men, when three very senior doctors

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would meet and discuss the future of any doctor that got into any type

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of difficulties and the outcome was very often that they were

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advised to leave the country, that there wouldn't be any future

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for them in the country and I would think that that's

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probably what happened to Morris Fraser.

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What motivation would there be for anyone in the medical

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profession to cover up?

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Yes, well, there's two reasons, one is to be, to be kind

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to the person themselves and try to save them from some

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exposure and the second reason would be to save the image

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of your profession.

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In July 1974, Fraser returned to America to plead guilty to three

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counts of attempted sodomy.

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Again, the guilty plea prevented details of his offences

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coming out in open court.

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He was deported back to the United Kingdom.

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Just in time to attend his third disciplinary GMC hearing

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to review his psychiatric treatment.

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The GMC's disciplinary committee didn't consider offences

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that he was convicted for in the United States,

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in New York.

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They only considered the London conviction.

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So, it wasn't an isolated incident.

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There appears to have been a deference to Morris Fraser's

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celebrity and status as a practitioner and an author

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and also through his increasing media profile.

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And still the GMC could not decide what to do.

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The July 1974 meeting was adjourned for a year.

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"You will be asked to furnish the Council with the names

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of professional colleagues and other persons of standing

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to whom the Council may apply for information, to be

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given confidentially, as to your conduct in the interval."

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They said that Dr Fraser had received testimonials, they never

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stated who the testimonials were from, but it seems

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in all cases, that the GMC was part of a kind of railroad,

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to railroad Dr Fraser to a position whereby he could practice medicine

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again without anybody paying too much attention.

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Finally, in 1975, the GMC reached a conclusion.

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And it was a stunning one.

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Even though they were aware of the American conviction,

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they ruled that Fraser could carry on as a doctor in child psychiatry.

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"The evidence as to your continued response to treatment since July

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1974 which has enabled the committee to feel satisfied that it will now

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be proper to discharge your case.

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Your case is accordingly concluded." As he left the hearing Fraser told

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reporters he was free to carry on working as a psychiatrist.

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Without restriction.

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Fraser's lawyer is quoted in one newspaper as saying: "...if his name

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was erased from the register, the people of Northern Ireland

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would lose someone who was doing a lot of good at a critical time."

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Sacked by the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority in 1973,

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Fraser was having to find work outside NI.

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But where exactly?

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We asked the GMC.

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They said they have no idea which hospitals he worked in

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or if he had worked with children.

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We know Fraser had moved to London and he seemed happy

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to have a public profile.

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I was totally surprised.

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I saw him maybe five years later on the BBC Songs of Praise

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and he was playing the organ in St Martin in the Fields Church.

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I was totally and absolutely shocked to see him sitting playing the organ

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in a place of worship.

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In 1992, Fraser's secret life in London as a paedophile

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was uncovered by police during a search at the home

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of Fraser's close friend Peter Righton.

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Peter McKelvie - a child protection officer -

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was working with the police.

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He found incriminating documents showing that Righton, a child care

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expert who was an adviser to the government, was a paedophile.

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He led a double life, he was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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Yes, he had a very, very influential role

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within the social work profession, but in his private life

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he was an active paedophile.

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He had worked as a government advisor, he was seen as perhaps one

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of, if not the expert on residential childcare the UK.

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The Police and Customs Search uncovered six suitcases full

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of letters and documents that revealed a paedophile network.

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There were letters from key paedophiles, to Peter Righton

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from people that were on the Paedophile

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Information Exchange list.

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They were known paedophiles, not necessarily convicted,

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people like Morris Fraser, people like Charles Napier.

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Paedophile Information Exchange was set up in 1974 and for 10 years

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openly campaigned to have the law changed to allow adult sex

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with children as young as two.

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Fraser and Righton were founding members.

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Teacher Charles Napier was the Treasurer.

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Napier was banned from teaching in the UK from as early as 1972

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for child sex offences.

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But Peter McKelvie found disturbing evidence of how members

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of the paedophile ring used positions of power and influence

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to protect and support each other.

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Peter Righton had written to the Department of Education,

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saying that he'd counselled a paedophile by the name of

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Charles Napier and that he was now a reformed character and was no

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longer a risk to children and could return to teaching

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from which he'd been banned after a conviction in 1972.

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And what Peter Righton did was said 'Well, to be absolutely certain,

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don't just go on my opinion, I recommend a consultant child

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psychiatrist who will give you a second opinion' and that child

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psychiatrist was Morris Fraser.

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Napier was jailed for 13 years in 2014 for raping young boys.

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So, it would appear Morris Fraser who should have been struck off

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as a doctor was using his position to support a fellow paedophile.

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But Fraser had connections with other paedophile networks.

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One involving this man, Michael Johnson - a teacher

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and youth leader who would later be convicted and jailed for sex

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offences against boys.

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From his base in London in 1988 Fraser began regularly making

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the long trek to Cornwall.

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His destination?

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The picture postcard harbour at Fowey.

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Together, Johnson and Fraser set up a charity sailing club for deprived

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and vulnerable children, the Azimuth Trust.

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What they kept hidden from three other trustees was their sinister

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ploy to use the trust as a front for yet another paedophile network.

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Janek Gwizdala was sexually abused by Johnson and photographed

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naked by Fraser.

0:22:450:22:49

I was 10 years old, I was almost 11 maybe and it was an adventure you

0:22:510:22:55

know, it was billed as an adventure.

0:22:550:22:57

It started off as an adventure, it was very exciting,

0:22:570:23:00

it was something that I would imagine most 10 or 11 year

0:23:000:23:03

olds don't get to see in their entire lives.

0:23:030:23:05

At sea, Janek says the boys were urged to remove

0:23:050:23:08

all their clothes.

0:23:080:23:12

One was encouraged to be a nudist, so there was ample opportunity

0:23:120:23:15

for anyone to take photographs of plenty of naked children.

0:23:150:23:20

Janek says Fraser used these photographs for an Azimuth

0:23:200:23:24

newsletter called Sea Born which Fraser then distributed.

0:23:240:23:30

It's obviously a very simple and incredibly effective way

0:23:300:23:32

to distribute child pornography to what I imagine is quite a vast

0:23:320:23:35

mailing list of paedophiles.

0:23:350:23:40

Another of the boys on the boat skippered by Michael Johnson

0:23:430:23:46

was Peter Lambert from Penzance.

0:23:460:23:49

Fraser took a special interest in Peter who had learning

0:23:490:23:52

difficulties caused by Aspergers - at that stage undiagnosed.

0:23:520:23:58

At the time Peter's mum Gay appreciated Fraser's

0:23:580:24:00

interest and offer of help.

0:24:000:24:06

We assumed because as he was a psychiatrist,

0:24:060:24:08

we thought he was, you know, what certainly, if anybody

0:24:080:24:10

should know that, he had to have a good idea.

0:24:100:24:13

What were your thoughts when you first met Morris Fraser?

0:24:180:24:23

Well, because there were problems at home, well, I liked him.

0:24:230:24:26

I liked Morris.

0:24:260:24:30

He was interested in me and I did not have any

0:24:300:24:33

friends and he took me out for lunch and...

0:24:330:24:39

He was kind?

0:24:390:24:41

He was kind, yeah, I thought so at the time.

0:24:410:24:44

In fact, Fraser was taking Peter to meet other paedophiles

0:24:450:24:48

in the UK and Europe.

0:24:480:24:52

One of them was Fraser's close friend from the 70's -

0:24:520:24:54

Charles Napier - the convicted sex offender for whom Fraser had

0:24:540:24:57

written a reference.

0:24:570:25:05

This was a day out, Morris took me to meet his friend Charles Napier,

0:25:050:25:08

and this was a boat of Charles'.

0:25:080:25:14

And I was to launch the boat, so he gave me a bottle of champagne

0:25:140:25:18

to pour over the boat.

0:25:180:25:19

So, this is you with the champagne?

0:25:240:25:25

I think we must have, well, it looks like we've already drunk

0:25:250:25:28

it, I don't know.

0:25:280:25:30

I think that may have happened.

0:25:300:25:31

So...

0:25:310:25:32

Well, what age would you have been in this?

0:25:320:25:34

I think I was thirteen.

0:25:340:25:36

For Peter's mum, the truth about Fraser only emerged

0:25:360:25:38

when the police arrived at her home.

0:25:380:25:42

They'd found naked photos of Peter in Fraser's possession.

0:25:420:25:46

Fraser had been taking Peter to other paedophiles

0:25:460:25:48

to be photographed.

0:25:480:25:53

They had come across some pictures, some photographs of Peter

0:25:530:25:55

and that is when it started.

0:25:550:26:00

They came to see us and then of course I realised

0:26:000:26:03

what had been going on.

0:26:030:26:08

Peter kept a diary and noted one particular visit with Morris Fraser

0:26:080:26:10

to the home of a sculptor.

0:26:100:26:14

There was a photographer present as well.

0:26:140:26:16

Peter's diary notes that 75 pictures were taken.

0:26:160:26:21

He was told he had a good figure and he was paid ?5.

0:26:210:26:28

Some of the pictures had been taken in, while he was in Spain,

0:26:280:26:34

so there were a few from there and then these other ones

0:26:340:26:37

were pictures which were taken when Morris visited these

0:26:370:26:42

particular people around sort of the London area.

0:26:420:26:48

Peter Lambert's family was unaware that Fraser has just served

0:26:480:26:51

a one-year jail sentence in 1992 for having another series of child

0:26:510:26:54

pornographic images.

0:26:540:27:04

In November 1995 Fraser was convicted of allowing

0:27:040:27:06

a paedophile to take indecent pictures of Peter Lambert,

0:27:060:27:08

a child in his care.

0:27:080:27:14

It was his fourth conviction for child sex offences.

0:27:140:27:18

A month later Dr Fraser applied to the GMC to have his name removed

0:27:180:27:21

from the medical register.

0:27:210:27:24

This time, the GMC acted swiftly, immediately accepting

0:27:240:27:26

his application.

0:27:260:27:32

I think the ultimate slap in the face for any

0:27:320:27:34

victims of Dr Morris Fraser is that he was left himself

0:27:340:27:37

to decide to de-register himself from the General Medical Council.

0:27:370:27:41

Since then, Fraser moved to Europe, keeping a low profile.

0:27:420:27:46

However, he did respond by email to our questions.

0:27:460:27:52

He told us: "I only say that I have never heard of any Richard Kerr,

0:27:520:27:55

nor of any Williamson House.

0:27:550:27:59

It is certainly somewhere I have never been.

0:27:590:28:02

Further, I never had an RVH office." In recent years,

0:28:020:28:06

Fraser has written a couple of opinion pieces for

0:28:060:28:09

the British Medical Journal signing himself as psychiatrist on one

0:28:090:28:11

and a retired consultant psychiatrist on another.

0:28:110:28:18

But he hasn't confined his writing to medical topics.

0:28:180:28:25

Fraser has been secretly writing child erotica stories.

0:28:250:28:29

We have discovered 17 online articles written

0:28:290:28:31

as recently as August 2015 about his sexual fantasies.

0:28:310:28:38

They involve 13-year-old boys being stripped,

0:28:380:28:41

spanked and sexually assaulted and some stories feature

0:28:410:28:43

boys from Cornwall.

0:28:430:28:48

We asked Fraser if these were fantasies based on fact.

0:28:480:28:51

He has not responded.

0:28:510:28:54

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge will be given

0:28:540:28:58

evidence about the failure to strike off Morris Fraser

0:28:580:29:00

from the medical register.

0:29:000:29:04

It will come in a report from the GMC itself.

0:29:040:29:10

What we will be doing, is passing all this information over

0:29:100:29:12

to the historical inquires work that's going on in Northern Ireland.

0:29:120:29:17

I mean, I think we can simply say that we believe

0:29:170:29:19

that the actions that were taken, at that time, were inexcusable.

0:29:190:29:25

The real culpability lies with Morris Fraser.

0:29:250:29:28

We asked him if he was sorry for the abuse he had

0:29:280:29:31

inflicted on young boys.

0:29:310:29:33

He did not reply.

0:29:330:29:37

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