Northern Ireland news

Call for probe into paedophile psychiatrist by inquiries in Britain and north

Morris Fraser was a child psychiatrist in Belfast
Brendan Hughes

THE author of a recent study examining state failures over a paedophile psychiatrist in Belfast has called for the case to be probed by abuse inquiries in both Britain and Northern Ireland.

The academic report highlighted that Dr Morris Fraser was allowed to continue working with children after being convicted of child abuse in the 1970s.

Fraser was a senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance clinic, and a published author on the impact of the Troubles on children.

The report, released in April, examined a catalogue of alleged failures by authorities that enabled Fraser to keep working with children.

It claimed the RUC, Metropolitan Police and General Medical Council (GMC) withheld important information about the child abuser from the public.

The author, Dublin academic Dr Niall Meehan, has now made a submission to the north's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry chaired by Sir Anthony Hart.

The submission has also been sent to an abuse inquiry for England and Wales headed by Justice Lowell Goddard.

Dr Meehan, head of the journalism and media communications faculty at Griffith College Dublin, has called for both inquiries to work together to investigate.

"The police failed to inform the Royal hospital Belfast about Fraser's conviction in London on May 17 1972 for abusing a 13-year-old Belfast boy," he said.

"Police effectively allowed Dr Morris Fraser, a convicted child abuser with a prominent public profile, to examine up to 30 children a week in the hospital."

Dr Meehan's study highlighted multiple failures that enabled Fraser to remain on the medical register despite being convicted of child abuse twice – in 1972 in London and in 1974 in New York.

It meant that he continued to have access to vulnerable children for a period of about 20 years.

Until 1973 Fraser allocated children to homes including Kincora in east Belfast where dozens of boys were abused.

Abuse victim Richard Kerr has previously claimed he was abused by Fraser in his office.

Lawyers acting on behalf of victims, including Mr Kerr, have said they plan to take legal action following the fresh claims about Fraser.

Fraser was jailed for a year in 1992 after being convicted of possessing child pornography.

He 'voluntarily' ceased to be a doctor in 1995, and is thought to live in Amsterdam.

Dr Meehan claimed failings by the authorities "allowed a criminal child abuser to continue to see children in his Falls Road clinic".

"The Hart and the Goddard inquires need to examine why this was so," he said.

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