Last modified on May 20, 2019, at 02:40

Peter Righton

Peter Righton (known as Paul Pelham; 1926–2007) homosexual, "gay rights" campaigner, founder member of UK Pedophile Information Exchange, convicted on pedophile offences. From 1974–1982, Righton was Director of Education for the National Council of Social Work and he was a top UK government adviser on child protection.[1]

His career demonstrates the close, inextricable links between homosexuality and pedophilia.

Early life

Righton was born in June 1926 and christened Paul Pelham. He later changed his name to Peter but used "Paul Pelham" as an alias. He was sent to an expensive private school, Ardingly College, West Sussex, where he said he was a ‘favourite’ of one of the masters, Denis H. d’A Williams. This provides an example of the classic pattern of CSA > homosexuality > CSA > homosexuality etc.

From 1944 to 1948, Righton served in the Royal Artillery,[2] reaching the rank of Lieutenant. In 1948, aged 22, Righton went to Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1951 (with a second class degree). [3]

Righton trained in the probation service from 1951 to 1952 and served as a Probation Officer in Gray's, Essex from 1952 to 1955, where he also ran a project to develop reading skills for children with learning difficulties. [This looks like his first attempt to get access to children.] In January 1956 he began teaching at Gaveston Hall, near Horsham in West Sussex, In Righton's diaries, he lists boys he abused at Gaveston Hall. After six months he left the school for reasons not recorded and retreated for six months to the Society of Saint Francis, a monastery. In January 1957 Righton started teaching at Cuddesdon College near Oxford. After a few months, he moved to teach English at Redhill, a school for disturbed boys in Maidstone, Kent. Righton was deliberately targeting vulnerable pupils, one of whom Mark Thewliss claims he was abused by Righton there from the age of 12. Righton's diaries list boys he abused at both Cuddesdon and Redhill. He resigned from Redhill on April 8, 1963, and in July, a police investigation began into complaints against Righton. However, with his well-bred manner and Oxford education, he was able to talk the police into dropping the investigation.

In 1963-65 Righton worked as a tutor and organizer for the Workers’ Educational Association in Wiltshire, then from 1965-68 became a tutor in charge of a two-year course for child care officers at Keele University although his qualifications in this field remain a complete mystery.

Senior Position in Social Work Profession

Qualified or not, Righton rapidly rose to the top in the Social Work profession. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Social Work, a government-funded institution. In 1968, as Paul Pelham Righton, he gave a talk at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, entitled "A New Deal for Children: Thoughts on the White Paper 'Children in Trouble.'"[4] He also published other articles on similar subjects.[5]

In the late 1960s until 1970 Righton taught at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University). In 1970, Righton was acting as an adviser to government and credited as giving ‘considerable assistance’ to a Home Office report.[6]

In October 1971, Righton was described as a ‘lecturer in residential care’ for the National Institute for Social Work, and ‘director-designate of the centre to be established by the National Children’s Bureau later this year’. In these exalted capacities, he addressed social services conferences. In 1972, Righton published ‘Parental and other roles in residential care’,[7]

In 1972 Righton wrote a reference for his friend Charles Napier, whom he knew to be a fellow-pedophile, to enable him to continue working as a teacher despite having been convicted for molesting a boy. He corresponded with Napier for many years about their pederast tastes and plan for a network of schools, national and international, where their pederast activities could go on undetected. He visited Napier in Sweden and was filmed with boys there.[8]

In 1973 Righton led an official inquiry into maltreatment of children in care and he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse.[9] In 1974 he gave the annual Barnardo's lecture [10] In his professional capacity, Righton always recommended policies that would exclude parents from the care of their own children, placing them in institutions where they would nevertheless be accessed by other people - potential predators. By 1977, Righton sat on the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work. From 1976 to 1985 he published regular articles in Social Work Today.

Campaigner for Homosexual Rights

Righton was an active member of the UK Campaign for Homosexual Equality(CHE). In 1975, he took over running "London Friend" the counselling wing of CHE.[11]

On June 29, 1972, Righton had a letter published in The Listener, expressing his fierce opposition to Lord Hailsham's disapproval of homosexuality.[12] In later years, Righton would use claims of homophobia to cover up his exploitation of young boys. This is always the strategy of the LGBT movement.

In the same year, Righton took part in a published debate with Antony Grey (of the Sexual Law Reform Society and Albany Trust), who would later fund PIE and Kevin O’Dowd over the role of therapy for homosexuals.

Righton frequently confided to other homosexuals that he had molested large numbers of young boys in schools and care-homes, but none of the men or women he told ever informed the police. They followed an ethos of secrecy about pedophilia within the homosexual community.[13]

Righton lived with a male partner called Richard Alston. He was a close friend of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Michael Davidson and Charles Napier.

Masterplan for Pedophile Schools

In the 1970s, Righton used his professional position to set up a school for emotionally disturbed children, called New Barns School, in Toddington, Gloucestershire, which he used to get access to boys. If they complained, they could be easily branded liars as they were already classified as “troubled”. Righton's homosexual partner, Richard Alston, was head teacher and Righton was one of the governors. Pupils later made allegations about abuse of children under 12. In Operation Fairbank, police questioned a man who was one of Righton's victims. He was taken out of New Barns school, and molested systematically. “The victim, now in his 40s, told how Righton and members of PIE groomed him and sexually abused him in London from the age of 11 in 1977 until he was 16.” Righton boasted to him that he had friends and contacts high up in the Establishment and the government. The victim says he once saw Righton in the company of Cyril Smith, MP.


In 1975, Righton took part in founding PIE and was for a time on its Executive Committee. He was member number 51 and worked closely with Keith Hose and Charles Napier.[14] serving as ‘Organiser of prison-hospital visits/general correspondence/PIE befriending’; Later he served as PIE's ‘Community Liaison Officer’ [15]

PIE got the backing of the NCCL but was closed down when some of its members were convicted of crimes against children. It was officially disbanded in 1984.

Perspectives on Paedophilia

In 1981, Righton was a contributor to the book Perspectives on Paedophilia, edited by Brian Taylor. The authors were all male homosexuals, and mostly members of PIE. The book argued for normalization and legalization of pedophilia using exactly the same arguments and phraseology used by LGBT movement. It claimed that pedo0philes were misunderstood, victims of society's prejudice, that their tastes had been tolerated in earlier societies and that it was time to adopt as more tolerant approach as this would be “progress”.

Righton's chapter "The Adult" made it clear that he was writing from personal experience and not in a detached academic fashion. He brushed aside any idea that pedophilia was harmful and compared an attraction to children to “a penchant for redheads”. This charming analogy seems to have been suggested by a poem by A. E. Housman, which compares homosexuality to having red hair, an equally absurd comparison in its way.

Despite this book, and being publicly identified as a member of PIE, Righton continued to hold his professional posts and be a respected "expert". In 1984, he was one of the major speakers at a conference on Child Sexual Abuse and until at least 1985 Righton and other PIE members such as Keith Hose were frequently invited to speak on child protection or prestigious conferences. In 1991 Righton was invited to give "expert" evidence to the Pindown inquiry into sexual and physical abuse in Staffordshire.[16]

In the 1990s Righton became a senior tutor with the Open University which published his book Working with Children and Young People in 1990. (The same post had been held by PIE chair Tom O’Carroll.) The OU employed him on a project concerning children in residential care.

Criminal Conviction

In 1992, police raided Righton's home and found child porn videos, many hard-core, shot in Amsterdam, and correspondence with pedophiles around the world, proving that had exploited, raped and prostituted children. He got off with a £900 fine (a couple of weeks' salary). [17]

In 1993 and 1994 Righton was again questioned by police investigating allegations of child abuse, but each time he was released without charge.[18]

Righton retired and went to live in a cottage on the estate of his friend Lord Henniker, in Thornham Magna, North Suffolk, where he kept up his connections with social services, and arranged special “holidays” on the estate for vulnerable children from Islington (now notorious for the organized abuse of children in care-homes there). The Chief Constable of Suffolk visited Henniker personally to warn him that Righton was a convicted pedophile, but he ignored this advice, and Righton was able to continue hosting children on the estate until his death in 2007.[19]

Righton occupied himself by helping many biographers and musicologists studying the life of his close friend Benjamin Britten.

Later Life and Death

Righton died in 2007 and was never actually prosecuted for abusing boys or jailed for any of his crimes, despite police having found his diaries, which chronicled his molestation of hundreds of boys during his lifetime. These diaries are thought to still be in police possession. [20]

In September 2013, Richard Alston, Righton's homosexual partner, and head teacher of New Barns School, was arrested, charged and later convicted of systematic, long-term molestation of boys. By this time Righton was dead. [21]

The fact that Righton (like Jimmy Savile) avoided justice has led to much speculation about pedophile networks in high places, influential homosexuals in government, corruption in the police and corruption in social services.

In May 2014, a victim came forward and recalled how he was repeatedly raped and molested by Righton and others while in the care of a foster-parent in Suffolk. He witnessed this happening to other boys. Allegations that Righton sadistically assaulted and killed one boy while living in Suffolk were investigated by police in Suffolk in 2015 but no charges could be brought as the perpetrators were by then dead. The accuser says that Righton not only repeatedly raped him but also made him and another boy dig six holes the size and shape of graves. The Metropolitan police investigation into their network was called Operation Fairbank. [22] [23]

A lot of valuable investigation into Righton's career and criminal activities has been carried out by Peter McKelvie, NAPAC, the authors of the website "Spotlight on Abuse" and Ian Pace.[24]

See also


  1. ‘In Residence’, Social Work Today, February 4th, 1985
  2. Righton, ‘Working with the ‘misfits”, Social Work Today, May 6th, 1985
  3. Information from Peter McKelvie, child protection officer who researched him during Operation Fairbank.
  4. Paul Pelham Righton, A new deal for children Reflections on the White Paper ‘Children in trouble’ a paper given at Shotton Hall on 11th October 1968 (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall Publications, 1968)
  5. ‘The Need for Training’, F.G. Lennhoff and J.C. Lampen (eds), Learning to Live: A Sketchbook of Residential Work with Children (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall, 1968), 13-16, reproduced on the Online Journal of the International Child and Youth Care Network, Issue 95 (December 2006).‘Social work and scientific concepts’ in Social Work, 1969, Vol. 26:3.
  6. Advisory Council on Child Care: Research and Development Committee; Community Homes Project, Second Report (London: Home Office Children’s Department, April 1970). Mentioned in BBC Today program 20th August 2014.
  7. The Parental Role: Conference Papers (London: National Children’s Bureau, 1972),13-17
  9. ‘Notorious paedophile headed Scottish care home inquiry’, Sunday Herald, August 24th, 2014.
  10. Edward Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’, The Guardian, June 1st, 1994
  11. Rosemary Auchmuty, ‘London’, in George E. Haggerty, John Beynon and Douglas Eisner (eds), Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000), 477 (London Friend, ‘LGB&T milestones – a timeline’
  12. Research of Daniel de Simone
  13. Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic. Payne and Fairweather, ‘Silence that cloaked child sex conspiracy’, Evening Standard, May 27th, 1994.
  14. ‘It’s the Magnificent Six’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol. 1, No. 2 (June–July 1976),7)
  15. ‘Stop Press – Stop Press’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol.1, No.4 (1977),12.
  16. ‘Britain’s top kiddies home expert is evil child-sex perv’, The Sun, September 17th, 1992
  17. Daily Mail, May 28th, 1992 and Daily Mail, September 17th, 1992.
  18. Evening Standard, May 19th, 1993. ‘Two quizzed over child abuse case’. CHILDREN’S homes expert Peter Righton has been arrested and questioned over alleged child abuse. AND
  19. (Stewart Payne and Eileen Fairweather, ‘Country house hideaway of disgraced care chief’, Evening Standard, May 6th, 1993).
  24. AND AND