New inquest to be held into death of schoolgirl believed to have been killed by South Yorkshire man

A fresh inquest is to be held into the death of a schoolgirl believed to have been killed by a South Yorkshire man.

By Claire Lewis
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 07:11
Elsie Frost

Elise Frost, aged 14, was killed in October 1965 but nobody was ever successfully prosecuted over the death.

She was stabbed as she walked home from her sister's house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and her family has spent decades fighting for justice.

Her family won an appeal to have a new inquest after the High Court ruled in April that ‘fresh evidence’ necessitated one.

At that time, barrister Anna Morris told the court that without the new hearing ‘the full facts about the tragic death of Elsie Frost will never be recorded and the truth never known’.

An inquest held in 1966 implicated local man Ian Bernard Spencer, but a criminal trial against him was thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence.

Detectives re-opened the case in 2016 and were preparing to charge South Yorkshire man Peter Pickering, who was a convicted child killer and rapist.

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Pickering, who was known as the ‘Beast of Wombwell,’ was serving time behind bars for the murder of 14-year-old Shirley Boldy in Barnsley in 1972 when he died.

He was also due to have been sentenced for the rape of an 18-year-old Sheffield woman after spending the last few weeks of his life on trial for the historic offence - committed three or four weeks before he killed Shirley.

Shirley was abducted, raped and stabbed to death by Pickering as she was walking to Wombwell High School and detectives 'strongly suspect' that he was responsible for killing Wakefield teenager Elsie.

He was arrested and interviewed over the death before he died and West Yorkshire Police said he was expected to have been charged.

During the last few weeks of his life, Pickering went on trial and was convicted of the rape of a Sheffield woman in the Stocksbridge area in 1972 - three or four weeks before he killed Shirley.

The woman, now in her 60s, was walking to work when Pickering stopped, asked for directions and then attacked her.

The offence came to light when detectives looking into Elsie's death examined records of Pickering's conversations with psychiatrists and found a storage garage he rented in Owlerton, Sheffield, containing possessions including handcuffs and exercise books filled with his rantings.

The inquest into Elsie Frost’s death is to be opened at Wakefield Coroner’s Court at 11am today.