In the Media

Paedophile ring run from house of death

PUBLISHED August 10, 2006

THE man who wrote a letter that triggered a hunt for human remains at a convicted paedophile?s home said yesterday that three child abusers had operated from the house.

Forensic archaeologists are preparing to dig up the garden at the semi-detached property in Croydon, South London, after Paul Dedman revealed that he feared that the bodies of two children had been buried there 30 years ago.

Mr Dedman, 41, had been brought up by his parents, Shirley and Stephen Dedman, an alleged paedophile, at 107 Walton Green. When his father died of cancer in 1985, Mrs Dedman married Leslie Ford-Thrussell, a paedophile and friend of the family, who moved into the property.

Mr Dedman claimed that his father, Ford-Thrussell and a third man ran a paedophile ring from the house. His own daughter, Stacey Dedman, 19, waived her right to anonymity and said yesterday that for four years she had been abused by Ford-Thrussell. He was jailed in June 2004 for 12 years for abusing nine girls aged 6 to 13.

Miss Dedman said: ?When I heard police were digging for remains I wasn?t shocked.? She said that Ford-Thrussell, 72, had lured children to the garden with the promise of sweets and the chance to see a wishing well. ?Grandpa Leslie would make me do things that you wouldn?t believe,? she added.

It is now feared that more than a dozen children were raped or abused at the house on the New Addington estate. Mr Dedman said that the history of abuse at the house had devastated his family.

He wrote to the current occupants of the council home, who are not connected to any of the allegations, after he and his brother raised concerns about what they believed had been happening at the house. The letter, sent a year ago, triggered the police investigation.

Mr Dedman said: ?I was forced to write the letter and blow the whistle on this whole sick business after having discussions with my older brother, who had to keep secrets of many of these vile things for many years. Keeping those secrets eventually led to him having a breakdown.

?There was so much abuse and I?m sure he knows more than he is letting on. He suggested that the garden should be dug up. I remember, when we were children me and my brother buried a rabbit at the back of the garden behind the shed and my father gave us the worst hiding we ever received from him.

?I was shocked when my mum married Ford-Thrussell so quickly and moved him into the house where she had lived since it was built, but I did not know at that time that Ford-Thrussell was abusing my own daughter.?

Forensic science teams were carrying out a fingertip search of the rear garden yesterday. A police spokesman said: ?They will dig if they need to.?