LENNIE SMITH’S ORIGINAL PAEDOPHILE RING
Unlike my usual in-depth posts, this one is rather brief and slapdash in comparison but I hope the information can assist others with their research. It links together members of the Dirty Dozen as well as those involved in Bovver Boots, which was covered in the hard hitting documentary, The Boy Business and also the seedy world of the Shoeburyness ring amongst others. In fact, I’m convinced the conviction would have bought one member under direct scrutiny of the security services yet he seemingly went on to become involved in some of the most shocking crimes of our time.
In 1977 a paedophile ring was convicted of abusing a 13-year old runaway boy shortly after he arrived in London. Two of those convicted would go on to become two of the most prolific and most dangerous offenders of the eighties so when I stumbled across the news article yesterday, I had no idea it would open a can of worms. It also gives an insight into how the rings worked and how young boys were moved around for the entertainment of the most depraved in society, and seemingly in plain sight as I will explain.
Those involved in the ring:
- BRUCE CHAPMAN: 38, Borehamwood
- WALTER INGS: 72, Southampton
- ANTHONY SEYMOUR: 32, station foreman, Kentish Town
- FRANCIS OLIVER: 22, shop assistant, Camden
- JAMES CHALKEY: 47, lorry driver, Whitechapel
- BRENDAN GALLAGHER: 33, security officer, Hackney
- LEONARD WILLIAM SMITH: 22, Belgravia
We will look at these men in more detail, but first let’s look at the conviction in 1977.
In 1977 seven men were convicted at the Inner London Crown Court after a young runaway boy was hawked around by members of a paedophile ring in a case with similarities to that of Jason Swift. Thankfully the boy in this particular case managed to escape, but it gives an insight into what poor Jason (and countless other victims) went through over the following decade.
In 1976 a 13-year old boy ran away from home and ended up sleeping in a derelict house in Kentish Town. It was here that he was initially befriended by OLIVER.
OLIVER eventually took the boy to CHALKLEY’S flat in Whitechapel, where he stayed for three nights during which time he was abused by two men. CHALKLEY, a lorry driver, then had to head up to Scotland.
OLIVER picked up the boy and took him to another flat for one night before then taking him to a flat in Tufnell Park where he stayed with SEYMOUR for a few weeks.
During this time the boy was abused by both CHAPMAN and SMITH together overnight.
The boy was then contacted by GALLAGHER and given directions to meet him at Ealing Broadway station. From here GALLAGHER took him to the office where he worked and abused him.
The following day, SEYMOUR decided that it was getting to risky to have the boy in his flat any longer so he took him to a flat in ISLINGTON. It was the (unnamed) occupier of this flat who alerted police to the plight of the child.
The boy gave statements to the police and subsequently all the men were rounded up and eventually pleaded guilty.
OLIVER claimed the boy was gay and admitted taking him to various flats. He had a number of previous convictions for burglary and was imprisoned for five years with the judge holding him responsible overall for the boy’s treatment.
CHALKLEY claimed to be bisexual with an attraction to women and boys, and admitted paying OLIVER £1 for each boy he would procure for him and despite having no previous convictions was jailed for 15 months after admitting paying OLIVER for boys.
SEYMOUR was sentenced to five years in light of the fact he had the boy in his flat for a number of weeks.
GALLAGHER and SMITH were both imprisoned for 12 months. Neither apparently had a conviction by this point.
The judge held OLIVER responsible overall for the way the boy was treated.
The boy was placed into care and Judge David West-Russell concluded that the boy had already been ‘engaged in homosexual activities’ prior to meeting the members of this gang and stated: ‘I am satisfied that the boy was a willing party and he had already been corrupted.’ A shocking statement to make because that boy was just 13-years old when Oliver befriended him.
Detective Sergeant Peter Knight oversaw the investigation.
BRUCE CHAPMAN: 38-years old at the time of conviction. He lived in Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Herts.
WALTER MELVIN INGS: 72, who was born on 22 May 1905 and who lived at 71 Prince of Wales Drive, Shirley, Southampton for most of his life. He died in 1984 leaving a substantial amount of money in his will.
ANTHONY SEYMOUR: 32, station foreman, 12 Bramshill Gardens, Kentish Town had an initial indecency charge in 1968, followed by another at Hampstead Court in May 1973, at which point he resigned from his position as a station foreman with British Transport – a job that would have no doubt been ideal for spotting young runaways who headed to the capital. It is unknown which station he worked at.
FRANCIS OLIVER: 22, shop assistant, Camden Road, Camden is actually ROBERT FRANCIS OLIVER, who went on to be convicted of the murder of Jason Swift. I believe Oliver worked in Holt’s shoe shop in Mare Street, Hackney, a notorious meeting place for undesirables like him. Oliver was described as a ‘pathetic’ individual by one of the detectives involved in Operation Orchid. The notorious Oliver is still alive and was last known to be living in Northampton. Known to use the surname ‘Cooke’ after Sidney Cooke.
JAMES CHALKEY: 47, lorry driver, Parfitt Street, Whitechapel is actually JAMES H CHALKLEY, who was exposed in the documentary The Boy Business. He had been an extra in Eastenders and had used this to lure kids to the home of Harry Jeffries, who groomed boys and just like CHALKLEY, took their photographs on the premise they would be given acting jobs. CHALKLEY was born in Stepney alongside his twin brother, George T Chalkley in 1929. The boys ended up in a children’s home and James became a talented speedway rider aged 15. After relative early success he headed over to Australia to continue speedway but returned to the UK in 1970 and became a lorry driver. Later in life he moved to Amsterdam before settling in Fuengirola, Spain, with his twin brother who he ended up dying alongside in their flat in 2013 in a bizarre set of circumstances involving carrier bags over their heads. Although it was stated as being a suicide, many believe the brothers were the victims of murder.
Another name connected to Jeffries is the equally repugnant Warwick Spinks, whose depravity was explained in The Boy Business. It is believed Spinks has been involved in snuff movies, and d he has a conviction for taking a young boy over to Amsterdam to be used in the sex industry. Spinks is known to frequent Thailand.)
BRENDAN GALLAGHER: 33, a night security officer for an office in Ealing, he lived in Dalston Lane, Hackney
LEONARD WILLIAM SMITH: 22, Eaton Place, Belgravia, also known as LENNIE (William Gilchrist) SMITH, died of an AIDS related disease. Smith had spent his early life in care before eventually becoming a rent boy and then a procurer of youngsters. He shared a cell with Leslie Goddard, father of Adam Ant, at Wormwood Scrubs after they were both jailed as part of the Dirty Dozen.
THE UPPER ECHELONS OF SOCIETY
The most shocking aspect of this case comes from Smith’s address – you’ll see he lived in the prestigious Eaton Place in Belgravia at the time of this conviction. Obviously he wasn’t the owner. No, he lived with Roddam Twiss the son of the then parliamentary Black Rod. Twiss himself has numerous convictions, including that for child abuse, and his name came up during the Westminster strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
It was revealed during the IICSA inquiry that Twiss was subsequently banned from entering the Palace of Westminster where his father, Frank Twiss, held the noble position of Black Rod. Therefore Twiss and his live-in partner, Smith, would have been known to security services because they were obviously known to police and the courts whilst living together in 1977.
Twiss still lives in London under the name Raymond Gibson – the same name he used whilst a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange. He was initially a teacher until his first conviction for child abuse. He eventually went on to run a company called Manheims Properties which then changed to Trebgreen which dealt in the sales of premises such as clubs, both in London and as far as Amsterdam and Spain. This is where it becomes even more interesting…
THE INFAMOUS ELM GUEST HOUSE
Elm Guest House, the place that people love to dismiss as just a guest house for homosexuals during the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties when it was raided by police.
IICSA also dismissed any relevance of Elm Guest House, but I have spent years researching it. EGH and it’s existence deserves its own blog post in due course because there’s a lot of information about it, but for now I will concentrate on how it fits into this story.
Trebgreen was a business run by the partner of Lennie Smith, Roddam Twiss. But how did Twiss get hold of the company? Well, that’s where EGH comes in…
There remains great mystery surrounding the actual ownership of EGH in Rocks Lane, but records show that prior to the Kasir’s taking over the guest house, a woman named Kathleen M A Hayward lived there. During the time of the Kasir’s at EGH Hayward disappears, but following the police raid on EGH in June 1982, who returns to live in the property? Yes, that’s right, Kathleen Hayward.
And who is Kathleen Hayward, and what has she got to do with this, you may well ask? Hayward originated from Islington and ran Manheims/Trebgreen prior to Twiss.
Do you believe in coincidences? I know the police don’t. Do I believe Elm Guest House was nothing but a concoction of whispers? No, and there is far more evidence to prove that claim, but that’s for another blog post.
So you can see how the seedy world of Lennie Smith spanned different rings, society and decades, and how it all eventually links up together, from the Shoeburyness paedophile ring in Essex, to the murders of poor Jason Swift, Barry Lewis and Mark Tildsley, his conviction alongside one member of the Bovver Boots ring, as well as his relationship with Twiss, a man who holds the information for most of this but who continues to maintain his silence. Why he was never compelled to give evidence to IICSA I will never understand, but perhaps too much information wasn’t welcome? What is certain is that Twiss (and indeed, Smith as his live-in partner) would have been under the watchful eye of security services because of Twiss’s father and yet Smith was still able to go on and become involved in some of the most notorious crimes of the 20th century. Is it possible Smith was a police informant, like Dennis King of the Shoeburyness ring? I don’t know. However, it’s a scandal that we only know a little about, but hopefully this helps to add a bit more flesh to the bones and shows how the web of depravity connected and stretched from Shoesburyness to Hackney to Barnes to Islington to Westminster to Warwick Spinks and Amsterdam, and I hope helps assist those researching these prolific gangs.
I will add the references I’ve used for this post in due course.