Paedophile acted out evil fantasy by killing schoolboy
Twisted Paul Corrigan was obsessed with acting out his perverted fantasy of kidnapping, raping and ultimately killing a young boy.
Twisted pervert Paul Corrigan was obsessed with acting out his perverted fantasy of kidnapping, raping and ultimately killing a young boy.
During long days lying in his bunk at Maidstone Prison, he wrote a chilling 250-page manuscript about the abduction and killer of a teenager.
To the predator, though, this was no horror story – but a meticulous plan he was determined to act out down to the final letter.
The victim could have been any Birmingham schoolboy, but it was the grave misfortune of 13-year-old John Haddon that he should cross paths with a career paedophile who had sex and death on his mind.
Nothing marked him out as any different to other lads his age at Bishop Vesey Grammar School – except for perhaps the way he travelled to school.
Photographs from the family album taken not long before his killing show John smiling as he sits astride a shining new bike.
He would ride the Raleigh Record each day on the 20-minute journey to and from school from his home in Streetly.
The route took him along the quiet and secluded roads of Sutton Park where he was safe from traffic.
Corrigan had been released from prison in late 1980 after serving four years of a seven-year term for abducting a young boy.
After being freed, he obsessed with carrying out such a crime from his home in the Kingstanding district, while he worked at a local chip shop. Prison authorities were aware of the document he had written and passed round to cell mates, but had still cleared him for release.
He recruited Coventry teenager Derek McInnes – later said to have become totally dominated by his older accomplice – to help him.
For weeks, the pair stalked schools and children’s homes and even carried out a “dress rehearsal” of the abduction before they struck on a Friday afternoon as John was heading home after lessons.
What actually happened in the park will only be known by the victim and his two attackers.
By early evening, the fair-haired boy who was waved off by his parents and returned home every day for his tea like clockwork had simply vanished. His father, also called John, began to worry immediately, such was the reliable nature of his son.
He rang the school and later headed down there only to be told by headmaster John Harvey that he was not there.
Perhaps he could have been at a neighbouring school where a chess match was taking place.
Again, there was no trace. Mr. Haddon later said that he feared that John might have been knocked off his bike and could be lying injured in a hospital bed or the huge park, which would have been dark by about 5pm in the late autumn.
A call to the park keeper meant the gates could be unlocked and a search of the 2,400-acre park began.
Police and volunteers from the local Round Table began in torchlight and lasted until 1am when it was called off until first light.
After Mr. Haddon and wife Diane spent the night despairing, the hunt resumed but was brought to a shuddering halt by a sudden and devastating announcement.
The naked body of a boy had been found in Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, and the search became a murder inquiry.
The same day, his bike was found in undergrowth near Bedworth, near Coventry.
Detectives were certain that they were hunting a dangerous paedophile and set about examining the pasts of known perverts in the area as well carrying out forensic tests on John’s body and the bike.
It was not long until they had their breakthrough.
Former police officer Alan Meakin found a depressed Corrigan in the grounds of a children’s home on Chester Road in Sutton Coldfield the day after John’s body had been found. Corrigan had failed to kill himself by connecting mains electricity to a bath full of water and began to pour his heart out to Mr Meakin, who was working as a superintendent at the home.
When Corrigan confessed that he had previous convictions for sex offences, the ex-officer’s instincts told him that he was the man who was wanted for John’s death.
He also remembered that had seen Corrigan, along with his young apprentice, a few weeks earlier trying to peer through the home’s windows at a swimming lesson.
Mr Meakin managed to detain Corrigan, who was wearing nothing but a soaking anorak, until police arrived.
During his ninth interview by detectives Corrigan said: “I did it because I have wanted to for years. I have read about it, thought about it and written about it.”
McInnes was quickly implicated and horrifying details of the ordeal that John endured in his final hours began to unfold: He had been repeatedly stabbed with a hunting knife in what was described as a “Satanic fury”.
Police made a sinister discovery at the home of Corrigan – an oil painting portrait of a schoolboy wearing almost exactly the same uniform that John was dressed in when he was snatched.
Hundreds of other photographs and newspaper clippings featuring young boys adorned the walls of the property.
On June 16, 1982, 31-year-old Corrigan appeared alongside McInnes, then aged just 16, in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court.
His guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility was accepted and he was jailed for life, although the judge declined to set a maximum term.
McInnes also denied murder but admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in detention.
The pair had robbed a boy of his future, and left his perfectly happy family with nothing but memories.
While his father said that he wanted to see Corrigan hang for his crime, a senior detective on the case summed the killer up: “There is no doubt, and others share my view, that Corrigan is the most evil man I have ever met.”