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So, who was Malcolm Fairley?
A quiet, soft-spoken northerner, Fairley alias the Fox, was born in 1952 at Silksworth, near Sunderland, the youngest of nine children described as ‘shy and introvert’. As a teenager he was in trouble with the police for theft and burglary. He was married at 19, but his wife left the man who had seemed gentle but turned out to be violent. He married again, and lived near Peterlee; there were three children of the marriage.
For ten more years Fairley was in and out of jail. Then, in 1983, he moved to the Leighton Buzzard area and took a number of labouring jobs in a number of companies from Berkhamsted to Milton Keynes. Burglary, theft and car crime, he was a persistent offender in all of these, but not sexual crime to which he would turn, spurred on it seems by the chance theft of a shotgun and the power it gave.
Ultimately he moved to London, but used his knowledge of the ‘triangle’ to commit his despicable crimes. His soft, ‘Geordie’ accent led to false suspicion of others. He earned the title ‘Fox’ after his habit of making ‘camps’ from blankets in victims’ houses. Yet, when he was captured, he was so quiet and open with his confessions ‘Mouse’ might have been more appropriate.