Ex-NI Secretary of State present at disciplinary hearing into paedo doctor
A former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was present at the General Medical Council's disciplinary hearing of convicted paedophile and child psychiatrist Dr Morris Fraser.
Lord Patrick Mayhew, who was Secretary of State between 1992 and 1997, is listed as a panel member at one session of the hearing by the GMC's disciplinary committee, during March 11 to 13, 1974.
His role is listed as 'Legal Accessor', although the GMC could not clarify what this role specifically entailed.
The committee heard evidence for and against Fraser over two years across four sessions, from 1973 to 1975.
Other luminaries present on the panel during this period included Sir Donald Macleod Douglas, surgeon to the Queen in Scotland.
The revelations were contained in minutes of Fraser's hearing released by the GMC. They were initially disclosed in a report on Fraser by Dublin-based academic Niall Meehan.
The month before Fraser's March 1974 hearing, Lord Mayhew had been elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Tunbridge Wells constituency, then called Royal Tunbridge Wells. He later held the posts of Minister of State (Home Office) and Attorney General.
Dr Fraser was appearing before the committee after admitting to indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy from Belfast at an address in London in August 1971. He pleaded guilty to the charge at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in May 1972. Fury erupted recently after Meehan's report revealed that the GMC allowed Fraser to continue practising as a child psychiatrist despite having two convictions for abusing children. He went on to assault many other youngsters.
During one session of the hearing, it was acknowledged by the disciplinary committee's chairperson that the 1971 charge against Fraser had been proven.
At the session at which Lord Mayhew was present, the disciplinary committee ruled that it would not "yet be proper for them to conclude your case. They have accordingly determined that judgement should be further postponed for a period of four months until their meeting in July, 1974."
During this time, Fraser was convicted of abusing children in the United States. "Those who were present at the GMC hearing, including Patrick Mayhew, need to explain why they did not consider the US conviction as well," said Meehan. "It's interesting that so many important people were present at his hearings."
Colin Wallace, an ex-Army intelligence officer based at Army HQ in Lisburn during the 1970s, told the Belfast Telegraph last week he believed the Army had known Fraser was a paedophile.
He also said that he believed a senior officer had intelligence indicating that Fraser had links to Kincora Boys Home or associations with the home's carers who were later jailed themselves for sexual offences against children.
A recent BBC report said that Fraser had been involved in allocating boys to the home.
Lord Mayhew, now retired and believed to be battling with ill-health, faced controversy in the early 1990s when he was accused by Sir Hilary Miller, once the Tory MP for Bromsgrove, of attempting to pervert the course of justice during the Iraq supergun affair.
Sir Hilary said Mayhew had attempted to dissuade him, in court, from producing documents which showed the businessmen arrested in connection with the scandal were innocent.
Such a revelation, reported The Independent newspaper at the time, would have proven deeply embarrassing for the government.
Questions have been raised about how Fraser was allowed to practice for so long without being struck off by the GMC.
Large portions of his GMC hearing were held 'in camera' - meaning the public were excluded from the proceedings.
Fraser's abuse of children, spanning from the UK to New York, is well documented. Yet little is known about his time in Northern Ireland.
Responding to the allegations, a spokeswoman for the Conservative Party insisted that the matter was a personal one.
Calls to Lord Mayhew's home went unanswered.