Thursday 12 December 2019

Video: 'My father was as much of a paedophile as Jimmy Savile' - woman believes father murdered missing girl

THE daughter of a man linked to the disappearance of a schoolgirl more than 50 years ago has reportedly told how her father was "every bit as much of a paedophile as Jimmy Savile".

Moira Anderson, 11, went missing from her home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, in February 1957 while running an errand for her grandmother.

It is widely believed that she was abducted and murdered, but her body has never been found.

The case remains unsolved, but Sandra Brown believes her late father, convicted paedophile Alexander Gartshore, murdered Moira and dumped her body in a grave at Old Monkland Cemetery.

At the graveyard, forensic experts have started exhuming the family plot of Sinclair Upton, said to be an acquaintance of Gartshore, in a bid to find Moira's remains.

Bus driver Gartshore died in 2006.

Mrs Brown told BBC Scotland: "My father was every bit as much of a paedophile as Jimmy Savile ever was.

"My sad conclusion is that Moira is not the only child in the central belt of Scotland who suffered this fate. Whether we find her or not, we know we've looked. I hope to see results in the next few days."

She said it was her belief that there was a "paedophile ring" operating in the area at the time the schoolgirl went missing.

"Given recent events with Mr Savile, people are now realising that this is not a modern phenomenon. It has gone on for a long time," Mrs Brown said.

Mrs Brown previously blamed Gartshore for Moira's murder in her book Where There Is Evil.

The excavation is being led by Professor Sue Black and a team from the forensic anthropology department at Dundee University.

Police believe the burial plot has three layers with up to eight people interred there and experts are exploring the possibility that Moira's body may have been dumped under a coffin in the grave, which was thought to have been open around the time of her disappearance.

The operation comes after a sheriff gave police the go-ahead last month following a petition at Airdrie Sheriff Court from the Moira Anderson Foundation.

The foundation, started in 2000 by Mrs Brown to support children and adults affected by sexual abuse, campaigned for further investigations into Moira's disappearance and last year Scotland's Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland ordered cold case detectives to reopen the case as a murder.

A large section of the cemetery has been cordoned off with police tape, with a large black tent and a series of smaller blue tents erected around the excavation site.

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