FRED West was a “fantasist” whose crimes are part of a “dreadful, wicked, murky episode” in Britain’s history, Rose West’s former solicitor has said.

Leo Goatley's comments come after Gloucestershire Police descended on a cafe as part of a search for a missing schoolgirl, but he said it was unlikely she was killed there.

Police said they had received possible evidence to suggest that the body of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm could be buried within the Clean Plate cafe in Southgate Street, Glocester.

The force said it was called to the cafe on Friday by a TV production company filming a documentary.

Mary went missing on her way to catch a bus to visit her boyfriend in Gloucester in January 1968.

Ledbury Reporter: The scene outside the Clean Plate Cafe in Southgate Street on Tuesday. Picture; SWNSThe scene outside the Clean Plate Cafe in Southgate Street on Tuesday. Picture; SWNS

Serial killer West, who was born and raised in Much Marcle near Ledbury and died in prison in 1995 aged 53, was previously suspected over Mary’s disappearance.

Along with his wife Rose, West tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a 20-year period. At least two bodies were found near Fred West's childhood home between Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye.


Rose West's former solictor told Sky News: “One of the difficulties the police had was that Fred West was such a fantasist they had to try and work their way through the blatant lies and fantasies to get some of the facts and reality.

“He did at times make admissions but he certainly did not make an admission about Mary Bastholm, although it is said that he told his son on a prison visit that he did kill Mary Bastholm and he would use it as a bargaining chip later on to get privileges whilst he was in prison.”

Mr Goatley said West may well have offered his services to the cafe while he worked doing odd jobs.

Ledbury Reporter: Police officers were seen taking bags of items out of the cafe on Tuesday. Picture: SWNSPolice officers were seen taking bags of items out of the cafe on Tuesday. Picture: SWNS

He told the programme: “There is a suggestion he was laying a floor there in 1968.

“I would think it very unlikely that Mary Bastholm was actually murdered or dismembered at the pop-in cafe.

“My concern is that she was abducted in a car, sexually abused and then killed and dismembered somewhere else.”


A white tent was erected outside the Gloucester cafe on Tuesday afternoon, with police officers stationed outside the building and a police van parked nearby.

Officers were seen carrying evidence bags out of the cafe at about 2pm on Tuesday.

It is understood that a film crew working for ITV at the location contacted police and is offering officers full co-operation.

The production team, who have been in contact with Mary’s family, are looking into claims that Fred and Rose West had more victims beyond those they were charged and convicted over.

Gloucestershire Police said its Major Crime Investigation Team has deemed that further assessments are required at the premises in order to determine whether an excavation is necessary, with officers expected to be at the scene for a number of weeks.