Family of teenage girl believed to have been killed by South Yorkshire man set to apply for new inquest

Have your say

The Attorney General has given the family a teenage girl believed to have been killed by a South Yorkshire man the go-ahead to apply for a new inquest into the death.

Geoffrey Cox QC granted approval for the family of Elsie Frost to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into the circumstances surrounding her death.

Peter Pickering

Peter Pickering

COURT: Sheffield couple banned from owning dogs after their cross-breed was found in ‘appalling condition’

Elsie was 14 when she was stabbed to death in Wakefield in 1965.

CRIME: Key suspects wanted over shooting of Sheffield men remain on run – four years later

An inquest took place the following year a verdict was recorded that the teenager had died of multiple stab wounds and had been murdered by Ian Bernard Spencer.

Elsie Frost

Elsie Frost

TRIAL: Sheffield woman jailed over fatal stabbing had boiling water thrown in her face, court hears

Since then new evidence has emerged and it is believed that she was killed by South Yorkshire man Peter Pickering, who was known as the ‘Beast of Wombwell’.

He died last year at the age of 80.

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

He 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 Attorney General said: “Having considered the application, I have given consent to the family of Elsie Frost to apply to the High Court for a new inquest into her death.

“I am satisfied that there is new evidence available that was not put before the previous inquest, and I believe that it is in the interests of justice for the application for a new inquest to be heard by the High Court.”

The Attorney General has the authority to decide whether an application can be made to the High Court for a new inquest to be opened.

He has no power to order a new coronial inquest himself.