There was one disturbing thing that Ronald Barton’s wife Theresa didn’t know when she married him. She was unaware that he had been jailed four times for sex offences. Then when her daughter Keighley became eight he sexually abused her.
A year later he was given a suspended sentence for another indecent assault on his stepdaughter. More offences followed, and Theresa left him for another man, obtaining an injunction banning Barton from coming within a quarter of a mile of her home.
Evicted from the house in Forest Gate, London, and banned from returning, Barton faced the prospect of further imprisonment because both Keighley, by now 14, and her mother were determined to bring him to trial.
The solution, he decided, was that Keighley must disappear. He had dreamt of turning his home into a brothel with his wife and stepdaughter as the star attractions he had already had sex with both of them at the same time at gunpoint. If he was to be denied his dream, he would exact his revenge. He had told Theresa that he would put her “ten feet underground” if she testified against him, but she had just laughed at him.
On the morning of AUGUST 10th, 1985, Keighley took her dog for a walk on wasteland near her home. She was not seen again. Barton abducted her and held her captive, forcing her to write two letters one to himself, the other to his wife “confessing” that her allegations of sexual abuse were false. Then he killed her.
Arrested as the obvious suspect and charged with Keighley’s murder, Barton made the mistake of thinking he could not be convicted if no body were found. At his trial at the Old Bailey the court heard that he had told a fellow-prisoner he had put Keighley in a car-crusher in his old Peugeot, watching as she was squashed to death.
Convicted and jailed for life, he later revealed that his car-crusher story was a lie.
He told the police he had buried Keighley at a cemetery in Stoke Newington, north London, and her remains were recovered and given a proper burial.