Northern Ireland

Dr Morris Fraser: Paedophile psychiatrist worked with children after abuse conviction, study finds

Royal Victoria Hospital Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Dr Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance clinic

A new study has found that a doctor in Belfast was able to continue working with children after he had been convicted for child abuse in the 1970s.

Dr Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance clinic in Belfast.

He also wrote the book Children in Conflict, about how the Troubles in Northern Ireland affected children.

The study into Fraser's activities was produced by academic Dr Niall Meehan.

It highlights a catalogue of failures by the authorities that enabled Fraser to remain on the medical register despite being convicted twice - in 1972 in London and in 1974 in New York - for child abuse.

As a result, Fraser continued to have access to vulnerable children and to sexually abuse them for a period of about 20 years.

Services

Dr Meehan said the General Medical Council, London's Metropolitan Police and the Royal Ulster Constabulary did not tell the Royal Victoria Hospital that Fraser had been convicted of child abuse.

He added that Fraser's victims required justice, and the onus is now on the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales to investigate how the authorities' dealt with Fraser.

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Media captionThere are serious concerns over how the authorities dealt with Fraser, Dr Meehan said

"The Goddard inquiry, which is looking into child abuse in Britain, must look at the interaction between abuse in Northern Ireland and abuse in Britain," he said.

"The police should have told the hospital when they detected Fraser's abuse in 1971," he said.

"It must be surely assumed that Fraser was allowed to continue his work in return for providing some form of services to the authorities.

"These are very serious concerns - the point is the authorities must answer for this."

Interaction

It is understood a Freedom of Information request regarding Fraser was turned down in 2015 for reasons of national security.

Dr Meehan said that fuelled the suspicion that "he was working for the authorities in some way".

"People talk about these matters being in the past but the victims of this abuse are alive - these are matters of the present," he added.

"Children were abused while the authorities knew that they were being abused."

Camera

Richard Kerr, who now lives in Texas, was one of Fraser's victims.

He was about 12 years old when he was first taken to the psychiatrist's clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital along with his sister.

Image caption Richard Kerr said he felt embarrassed when Fraser took photos of him in the clinic

On his second visit, he was alone.

"He asked me to stand up and take my shorts down," Mr Kerr said.

"For some reason, within a minute, he had some sort of Polaroid camera. He started taking shots.

"He said not to worry - he's a doctor. But I felt embarrassed."

Exploited

Two years later, Richard was sent to Kincora boys' home, the centre of an abuse scandal between the late 1950s and early 1980s.

Richard, who was abused at the home, felt increasingly isolated and vulnerable.

He said those in positions of power exploited vulnerable children.

"The only people I knew were my abusers and the only thing I had to do was to try and please them, because I had no one else to turn to," he said.

"They used me to go out to other locations and be with different men.

"Back then, no one believed me. I didn't think anyone would believe me.

"They use your troubled past against you."