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Tragic tale of boy, 7, who vanished at funfair & how his murder was linked to evil paedo ring known as the ‘dirty dozen’

CHANGE rattling in his pocket, seven-year-old Mark Tildesley excitedly hurried to the funfair unaware of the horror that awaited him.

The hard-working youngster had scrimped and saved to visit the half-term attraction by returning discarded trolleys to his local Tesco.

Mark Tildesley was dragged from a fair, gang raped then murdered

Mark set off for the fairground in Wokingham, Berkshire, in June 1984 on his bicycle – promising his parents he would be home at 7.30pm.

But the youngster never made it back after being abducted, raped and murdered by a notorious paedo gang known as the “dirty dozen”.

Chillingly, 40 years on from the horror, Mark’s body has never been found.

The disturbing tale began on June 1, 1984, when the youngster met a man outside a local shop, who gave him 50p to buy sweets.

He also promised Mark a ride on the dodgems – the boy’s favourite – at the Frank Ayers Fun Fair later that night.

At around 5.30pm, Mark left his home and made the half-a-mile journey to the fair where he met two pals along the way.

They told him they were going home first, with Mark deciding to continue on his way alone.

At 8pm after their son failed to return home, Mark’s worried parents John and Lavinia Tildesley, went to the fair and discovered his bicycle chained to railings near the entrance.

They reported him missing and a huge search was launched for the youngster involving both police officers and the Army.

Posters of Mark were displayed in every police station in the country and his disappearance featured in the first-ever episode of Crimewatch.

Officers quizzed each worker and stall-holder at the funfair and carried out door-to-door enquiries at 960 shops, businesses, and houses in Wokingham in a bid to find the youngster.

Several witnesses then came forward to reveal they saw a boy matching Mark’s description being forcefully dragged away from the fairground by a “stooping man”.

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Mark’s parents found his bike chained a fence at the fun fair[/caption]
News Group Newspapers Ltd
The youngster was last seen talking to a ‘stooping man’[/caption]

Despite the lead, Detective Superintendent Roger Nicklin admitted baffled police still had “absolutely no idea about Mark’s disappearance”.

This remained the case for five years until the Met Police launched Operation Orchid into the disappearance of a number of children.

Officers interviewed convicted paedophile Leslie Bailey, who at the time had been charged with the murders of 14-year-old Jason Swift and six-year-old Barry Lewis.

The fiend had apparently been handed a chilling letter while in jail that was addressed to fellow inmate Sidney Cooke.

It showed where Mark had been killed – leading Bailey to claim that Cooke’s paedo gang was behind the gruesome murder.

The predator said he had gone to the fair with his lover when he saw stall worker Cooke dragging a small boy by the hand.

The depraved trio then went to a caravan where a fourth man – known as Odd Bod – was waiting for them.

Once inside, the monsters forced Mark to drink milk laced with muscle relaxant before raping him.

At one stage, the youngster was held down down by the throat as he was made to drink more of the drug before being raped again.

During the course of the sickening evening, Bailey realised Mark was dead.

He claimed Cooke told his paedo accomplices he would take the boy home but he instead dumped his body in an unknown location.

Despite the evidence, Cooke denied ever having a role in Mark’s horrific death.

Inside chilling 'Dirty Dozen' paedo ring who used children as their 'meat'

THE feared gang is believed to be behind the killings of at least 25 children in the 1980s.

Led by Sidney Cooke, the ‘Dirty Dozen’ traded in the abuse of young boys, who sickeningly became their ‘meat’.

The sick fiend, nicknamed Hissing Sid, was convicted of manslaughter for his involvement in the horrifying sex-fuelled killing of schoolboy Jason Swift in 1989.

The 14-year-old vanished from his East London home and it was later revealed gang members had paid £5 to rape the teen.

Jason’s naked body was then found buried on a farm in Essex in November 1985.

He is also suspected of murdering six-year-old Barry Lewis, who was snatched from the street as he played with pals.

Leslie Bailey was convicted of murdering Barry in 1991.

The gang have also been linked to the disappearances of two boys, Martin Allen and Vishal Mehrotra, who were abducted from London in 1979 and 1981.

Cooke, now aged 97, is currently serving two life sentences.

The sex beast never stood trial for the killing after prosecutors found there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

But in October 1992, Bailey pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court to manslaughter and was handed two life sentences.

He was strangled to death a year later by two other inmates at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire.

Tragically, Mark’s parents kept his bedroom exactly how it was on the day he disappeared.

His dad John died in 2005, followed by mum Lavinia in 2011, after decades of fighting for answers.

Sadly both went to their graves without ever being able to say a proper goodbye to their son.

Sidney Cooke was accused of taking part in Mark’s killing
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Leslie Bailey confessed to raping and killing the youngster[/caption]
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