The brother of murdered schoolgirl Elsie Frost says they are now “one step closer” to finding out what details the police knew about her suspected killer after a date was finally set for her new inquest.
Officers are alleged to have turned down a key tip-off about her suspected killer just days after the 14-year-old was stabbed to death near Horbury Lagoon in October 1965.
Nobody was ever convicted of her killing.
It was only after a 2015 cold-case review into her death did officers name prime suspect Peter Pickering, who was already behind bars for stabbing and killing a girl near in Barnsley in 1972.
Shockingly, it was also revealed that the Metropolitan Police had sent a memo to police in Wakefield, naming Pickering as a potential suspect in the days after Elsie’s death.
On the basis of fresh evidence, a new inquest into her death was granted this year by the High Court and a pre-inquest review hearing was held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court this morning.
Kevin McLoughlin, Wakefield’s senior coroner, told the hearing that despite inquests primarily focusing on the deceased rather than any potential perpetrator, he would have to “delve into the evidence to what the police knew” to gain a full understanding.
With Pickering dying in custody in March 2018 before he could be brought to court, Elsie’s younger brother, Colin Frost, sees the inquest as the family’s best hope of finding out exactly what the police knew.
Speaking after the hearing on Thursday, Mr Frost said: “We know how Elsie died, but Mr McLoughlin is going to go further, he will be looking at the information that the police had, which to us is the most important part of this inquest.
“We are one step nearer to finding out what happened, putting the record right.”
Mr McLoughlin said the hearing would not be a jury inquest and that it would take approximately two days to complete, starting on Monday, November 18.
Elsie Frost was attacked from behind and stabbed in the neck and head as she walked through a railway tunnel off a canal towpath in Horbury.