Justice for Elsie (Frost)

by Anne and Colin Frost

Justice for Elsie (Frost)

by Anne and Colin Frost
Anne and Colin Frost
Case Owner
We are Anne (Cleave) and Colin Frost, the siblings of Elsie Frost (pictured above with Colin in Trafalgar Square). Elsie would have been 67 but was brutally murdered at just 14.
on 17th July 2018
pledged of £8,000 stretch target from 177 pledges
Anne and Colin Frost
Case Owner
We are Anne (Cleave) and Colin Frost, the siblings of Elsie Frost (pictured above with Colin in Trafalgar Square). Elsie would have been 67 but was brutally murdered at just 14.

Latest: Oct. 31, 2018

Written in Blood

We would like to thank those of you who have continued to donate and also to the new donors who are keeping things, re Justice for Elsie, in the public arena. 

There's a strange feeling of be…

Read more

Who are we?

We are Anne Cleave, nee Frost, and Colin Frost, the siblings of Elsie Frost. Elsie would have been 67 this year (2018) but was brutally murdered, in 1965, at just 14 years old. Anne is her elder sister (71) and Colin, her younger brother (59).

Our Case

The inquest, in 1965, found that Elsie had been ‘unlawfully killed’ but, critically, in the findings of the inquest, the coroner named a suspect: Mr Ian Bernard Spencer. Mr Spencer was charged with Elsie’s murder and remanded in custody. In March 1966 a pre-trial hearing was held in which the magistrate found there was no evidence against Mr Spencer and he was released. Mr Spencer lived with this dreadful shadow at his back until his death earlier in 2018.

Directly resulting from the BBC Radio 4 programme PM’s coverage of Anne and Colin’s efforts to get the case reviewed in 2015, West Yorkshire Police began a new enquiry and found compelling evidence against Peter Pickering. He was a known criminal who had murdered 14-year-old Shirley Ann Boldy in 1972, plus committing kidnap and rape a few weeks before the murder of Shirley Ann.  The kidnap and rape was detected as a direct result of the enquiries into Elsie’s murder and he was convicted and awaiting charge when he died in March 2018. It is likely that he committed many other similar crimes.

Help us to raise £8,000

Our first target is £5,000 and we know we can do it with your help. So many people have taken this journey with us and invested time and energy in supporting us and we will always be immensely grateful for that. 

Now we need to take the next step in this fifty- three- year journey. We are asking you to stay with us and help us get Justice for Elsie. This is not just our journey but yours too. Please help by contributing and sharing this page, now.

How your donations will help us

We have to persuade the Attorney General that it is in the public interest to hold a new inquest. The first target of £5,000 will pay for our legal team to prepare a Memorandum to present to the Attorney General. Once he has agreed to a new inquest we can then approach the Chief Coroner to request the new inquest. This would remove Mr Spencer’s name from the findings of the original inquest, and while Peter Pickering would not be named in the findings of the new inquest, West Yorkshire Police would have the opportunity to reveal all the evidence they found against Pickering resulting from the enquiries of the last three years.

What difference will a new inquest make?

From the day of Elsie’s murder in 1965, to the day they died, her parents lived with the knowledge that her murderer had gone un-apprehended. Her mother died in 1988 and her father in 2003. Anne and Colin have worked hard, since their father’s death, to get the case re-investigated. Since 2015, the Operation Plainlake team of West Yorkshire Police have done remarkable work in establishing a clear case against Peter Pickering.

Ian Bernard Spencer spent the rest of his life with this dreadful shadow at his back, knowing he was totally innocent. Ian died in March 2018 and West Yorkshire Police had visited him to advise him that there was to be a charge against a major suspect and he would be totally exonerated. 

A new inquest would achieve several major outcomes: Anne and Colin would know that they had done everything in their power to bring to light the circumstances leading up to Elsie’s death. It would remove Mr Spencer’s name from the findings of the inquest (since this case, suspects can no longer be named by the coroner)), and it would ensure that the evidence collected by West Yorkshire Police over the past few years is brought into the public domain so that, finally, her family and friends will know exactly what happened to her on the fateful day. For the Spencer family the revelations by the police would finally close the door on the shadow at their father’s back. For the people of Wakefield, who have been so deeply affected by what happened to Elsie, it would mean the closing of a dark chapter when, ‘the murder of Elsie Frost changed Wakefield forever.’

All your donations, ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ will be instrumental in persuading the Attorney General that there must be a new inquest.








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Update 22

Anne and Colin Frost

Oct. 31, 2018

Written in Blood

We would like to thank those of you who have continued to donate and also to the new donors who are keeping things, re Justice for Elsie, in the public arena. 

There's a strange feeling of being in limbo just now. After a bit more than 3 years of intense activity, we are not good at playing the waiting game. The Attorney General has a lot on his plate with regard to our campaign to Get Justice for Elsie but in the meantime neither Colin nor I enjoy inactivity. We both like things to keep moving forward. However, as they say, patience is a virtue. In the meantime you can tune into CBS Reality on Tuesday night (6th) at 10 pm to see the latest Endemol Shine series 'Written in Blood'. Tuesday's episode is about Elsie. We wait with baited breath... Please watch and then let us know what you think (politely, of course) here on Elsie's FB page. 

Thank you again, everyone. 

Update 21

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 30, 2018


I check the Crowd Justice page every morning, first thing. At 6.25 this morning I went on-line a bit nervously as we are so close to the end of the campaign and we still had some way to go to reach the £8,000 target. I was totally overwhelmed to see that we had hit the target with just over 22 hours to go, 

We can't say a big enough thank you to the anonymous donor who gave a massive £1,070 to get us to the target. Thank you is just so inadequate in light of such a generous gift but we are saying it with deep sincerity. 

We'll carry on as far as we can in the hope that we will get Justice for Elsie and comfort for the Spencer family.

This is a good time to say a few more 'thank-yous' and the folk at Crowd Justice deserve it as much as anyone. The way the platform works is well thought out, it protects the anonymity of donors (we only see a first name if the donor chooses to show it) and vets any emails that the campaigners (e.g. me and Colin), send out to our backers. Thank you Crowd Justice.

Colin and I both know how many of our friends and family members have donated as well as keeping us going, through all the angst and stress, our love and thanks to you all. I keep referring to the roller-coaster ride that the last 53 years has been and we know there is more to come, if you can stay with us on the ride, we'd be more than happy to have you along.

There's also an enormous thank you to everyone on the Operation Plainlake team at West Yorkshire Police - it's not over 'til it's over. 

Here is the 'thank you' to everyone who has donated - even if we don't know who you are - you do, so thank you.

Finally, we must acknowledge the part that Eddie Mair (ex BBC) and Jon Manel (BBC) have played in helping us to persuade the powers that be that there was a good reason to revive the case. Thank you Eddie and Jon.

Wish us luck as we carry on with our campaign to get Justice for Elsie. 

Anne and Colin.

Update 20

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 29, 2018

So close!

These are the last hours of our campaign and we have reached 86% of our target - so close to the final figure. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us, both financially and emotionally. The roller-coaster ride goes on as we move towards handing our memorandum to the Attorney General. The date has been fixed and our legal team are putting together all the documents that make up the contents of the memorandum. 

Once the Crowd Justice campaign comes to an end we will continue to update our Justice for Elsie Frost Face Book page which you can find here

Thank you again, without your help  we would never have been able to get as far as we have.

Love and Thanks,

Anne and Colin.

Update 19

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 24, 2018

85% of the way to the target!

Thanks to a very generous donation from Ann, we are now 85% of the way to our target. We have only a few days left in which to raise the last £1,175 - it's a nail-biting time. 

Nevertheless, plans are now going ahead for handing the memorandum to the Attorney General and we hope to be in London, on the day, along with Mary Creagh, MP who has supported us so much and who will conduct the hand-over. Mary came to Elsie's Tribute Service on the 50th Anniversary of her death in October 2015 and has followed our case ever since. 

Once the Crowd Justice campaign comes to and end, at the end of this month, you will still be able to follow our progress on the Face Book page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/180488362656590/ where we have over 200 members. We would be delighted to welcome you, if you request to join. 

Thank you all.

Anne and Colin

Update 18

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 23, 2018

Nearly there...

Only seven days to go and we are so close. We would like to say a very grateful thank you to Ann, Phillipa and Julian for their very generous support and for giving us the extra boost that gets us so much closer to the £8,000 - only £1,175 to go.- if each one of our 135 backers donated £10 we would be well past the target. 

The Crowd Justice page has resulted in some very interesting emails which are being followed up now - they may make a big difference to the findings - we wait with baited breath. 

Look out for Colin's article in tomorrow's Wakefield Express and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Thank you so much to all our supporters.

Anne and Colin

Update 17

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 18, 2018

My timeline.

I'm working on the timeline of events from Elsie's murder until now. It's really hard trying to decide which items are really important for the Memorandum and which are important to Colin and me. It's quite shocking to see how things flowed - two arrests of Peter Pickering (September 2016 and 6th/7th March 2017 ) on 'suspicion', the involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service (from late November 2016) to the discovery of a 'cryptic' poem by Pickering which alludes to Elsie. We haven't seen this poem and it's unlikely that we ever will unless we get the the new inquest. How much more 'evidence' is there against Pickering that we may never see? We have a lot of questions - not necessarily for West Yorkshire Police and the Operation Plainlake team but for 'others' who are implicit in the delay to charge Pickering with Elsie's murder. Time is now running out for our appeal and we only have 12 days left in which to raise the last £1,925. I have my fingers crossed for a last minute flow of pledges and donations. If you can help, please do so here.

Update 16

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 13, 2018

Time is racing...

Today we are saying thank you to Enid and two anonymous donors who, along with so many others, have brought the current total so close to the £8,000 we need. 

£2,095 to reach our target and we are running out of time - only 17 days to go.

I'm working really hard on the Timeline that our solicitor will include in the file for the Attorney General. It's very complex and what seems to be very important to me may not be so relevant for the AG. I'll just have to let our solicitor, Gemma, and her paralegal decide. It's a very interesting exercise, going over all our records again and looking at them critically. We've had so much support from West Yorkshire Police, since our first disappointing contact with an officer there back in 2014. We have gone from frequent, if irregular, telephone conversations, to weekly Skype sessions - some lasting over an hour. We got angry, upset, distressed and disheartened and sometimes, elated. There were times when we felt let down and times when we thought there would be no point in going on but these times were momentary and, eventually they passed over, thanks, in no small part, to the perseverance of our Family Liaison Officer, Sean. 

It gets harder and harder to write these updates - we seem to keep asking everyone to give again and again but, without that help we won't get the Justice for Elsie that we have been striving for these last years. It seems so unfair that, after all the errors that were made we now have to find the money to put these things right but it is as it is and we carry on because we know that it's what we need to do. Thank you all again, to everyone who has pledged or supported us in anyway. 

Update 15

Anne and Colin Frost

Aug. 4, 2018

Knuckling down to the hard work

Twenty-six days to go and we only need £2,345 to hit our main campaign target of £8,000. It's been amazing - all our friends, families and supporters have been so generous but we need that last push to reach the final target for this first stage of the campaign to get 'Justice for Elsie'. 

We've now had information, from Gemma, our solicitor, laying out the detail of what has to be done. It's complicated and drawn out and I hope I can stay the course (tempus fugit...). We are very determined and intend to stay the course in spite of a projected time-scale of up to two years to complete the whole process. 

We've had a few set-backs. First, the death of the  main suspect for Elsie's murder, prior to him being charged by West Yorkshire Police. Next was the change of coroner in West Yorkshire - the retiring coroner had followed our case and knew the detail - and, finally, the change of Attorney General. All these things seemed to conspire against us but we soldier on. 

We fully understand that the original inquest did what it was meant to do - confirm the identity of the dead person, where, when and how the death occurred - BUT, and it's a big BUT, the original inquest named an innocent man and his innocence came to light during the re-opened investigation. It is SO important to quash that original inquest and instigate a new one so that we can find out how WYP got to the stage of being ready to charge. There are things we need to know and a new inquest will reveal them. Please help us to get there. It's the hardest thing, asking people who we know, to part with their hard-earned cash, but it's the only way forward. Thank you for staying with us. 

Update 14

Anne and Colin Frost

July 22, 2018

The fight goes on

We'd like to say a very grateful 'thank you' to Elizabeth, Mary and another anonymous donor, for your very kind pledges this week. We only get to see your first name unless you choose to remain anonymous. When we send an email out, it goes via the Crowd Justice server so we never know who you are and we can't thank you personally, only via a general email which goes to everyone who has made a pledge.

This week Colin recorded an interview with Eddie Mair of BBC Radio 4's PM programme. I first contacted PM in 2014 and as a result the programme ran a series of articles covering our story. They were also transmitted as pod casts under the iPM title  and you can hear yesterday's again here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/b0b9v78f 

The series of interviews generated a huge amount support from the listeners and we realised that there was an appetite for us to carry on to get 'Justice for Elsie'. The events in March were a huge set-back but, once again, the support we have had from so many people encouraged us to keep on with our efforts. So once again, thank you all so much. Anne and Colin

Update 13

Anne and Colin Frost

July 19, 2018

Planning begins in earnest...

Some 'thank-yous' are first on the list today: Lee and Joyce, thank you so much, you know how much this means to all of us.  But especially Jacqui who had been the victim of crime as a child and who did not get justice because the perpetrator died. It's impossible for us to know how you feel - we've not been the victims of your sort of crime - but we can still sympathise. Thank you for your donation Jacqui, the truth is our objective.

Today I (Anne) recorded an interview for Ridings FM. It's going out tomorrow from 7 am. Colin has also done another interview for Radio 4's PM with Eddie Mair - we think this will be transmitted during the Saturday afternoon programme from 5 pm. These interviews are really valuable to us as they demonstrate the public interest in Elsie's story. The more we can demonstrate that there is public interest the more likely we are to get, first of all, the fiat from the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox MP, and then the quashing of the 1965 inquest. Please keep 'pledging', 'sharing' and 'liking' - you are making so much difference to to our campaign for getting truth and 'Justice for Elsie'.

Update 12

Anne and Colin Frost

July 18, 2018

THANK YOU! We've got there.


Today we hit the first part of our target - £5,000 - and are now on the way to handing our memorandum to Geoffrey Cox MP, the Attorney General. We could never have done this without the help of you - our family, friends and everyone who has supported our campaign to get 'Justice for Elsie'. 

We need to persuade Mr Cox that it is in the public interest to quash the original inquest into Elsie's murder - which named an innocent man as the perpetrator - and give West Yorkshire Police the opportunity to show that they detected Elsie's murder against Peter Pickering. Pickering died in March, avoiding the charge that would have been made against him by the police, leaving us with a new inquest as the only option to get the latest findings made public. A new inquest would not name any suspect however, it would mean that an innocent man's name is no longer on that record. West Yorkshire Police would be able to tell us what happened to our sister on that awful day, along with all the evidence that they have gathered against Pickering. This is a story which needs to be told, and those erroneous findings corrected. The team at WYP put in so much time, effort and total commitment and we need to show the public how they discovered the evidence leading to Pickering. It has taken us 53 years to get to the stage we are at today and it may be that the end is in sight. 

It's all down to you.

Thank you again.

Anne and Colin

Update 11

Anne and Colin Frost

July 17, 2018

Beginning to make plans

We are so close to our first target now - only £355 to go. It is truly amazing and means that we can start thinking about the first major step in getting a new inquest for Elsie. That process will begin with handing the legal memorandum to the Attorney General, when we hope that he will issue a fiat. The fiat, or formal decree, will allow the Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC, to quash the original inquest and order a new one. West Yorkshire Police can then make public the information to show that that they detected Elsie's murder against Peter Pickering. Pickering had served over 40 years in secure accommodation for a whole list of nasty, sexually motivated crimes including the rape and murder of 14-year-old Shirley Ann Boldy in 1972. The police were awaiting charging advice for Elsie's murder, from the Crown Prosecution Service, when Pickering died. He was not charged with Elsie's murder but had been found guilty and was awaiting sentence for a kidnap and rape he committed early in 1972 - a lesser crime than murder - which was  only detected as a direct result of the enquiries into Elsie's murder. We were bitterly disappointed that a lesser crime should take priority over our sister's murder and now, asking for help from family, friends and supporters is our only option to get 'Justice for Elsie'. This is the only way.

Please help us to get to that first target, we are so close and every pound counts. Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far. Please share this with your contacts - it could mean that we get that last £355 and can then put the plan into action. Thank you again, Anne and Colin.

Update 10

Anne and Colin Frost

July 15, 2018

Almost there - 91% of the way!

Good Morning Everyone,

We are 91% of the way to our first target of £5,000! And that's in only 11 days! We can't say a big enough thank you to everyone who has pledged - large or small sums - because every pound counts. This money will get us to the stage where we can take our legal Memorandum to the Attorney General and then it's all down to him. Both Colin and I have been handed cash and cheques which we log on the Crowd Justice page as coming from the particular donor (unless they have asked to remain anonymous) so no-one gets overlooked, and it all adds to the total. 

We are so close now - only £485 to go to that first target. It's humbling to know that we have so many people behind us in our quest to get Justice for our sister Elsie. We won't ever get 'closure' - that's something denied to people who lose loved ones die in un-natural or violent circumstances - but we will find out exactly what happened to our sister that day, almost 53 years ago. We will then, at least, know that we have done as much as we possibly can to get justice.

Thank you all again,

With love and grateful thanks, Anne and Colin.

Update 9

Anne and Colin Frost

July 10, 2018

How your donations will be used.

What we are hoping to achieve:

We  will apply for permission from the Attorney General to make an application to the High Court to quash the original inquest into Elsie’s death that took place following her death in 1965.

 How do we achieve this

Our legal team will draft a memorandum which will be filed with the Attorney General along with evidence in support. We will be arguing that due to the discovery of new facts and evidence during the course of the recent police investigation conducted by West Yorkshire Police it is now necessary and desirable in the interests of justice that another inquest should be held. Once the memorandum has been filed we will need to await the Attorney General’s decision.

If granted permission we will then make an application to the High Court to quash the original inquisition and to order that a fresh Inquest be held into Elsie’s death.

It's a long drawn-out process, but that's the way it has to be done. We are in the capable hands of Gemma, our solicitor (from Minton Morrill Solicitors, in Leeds), who will guide us through the complex process. With the help of you, our donors, we are very hopeful that we will be successful through this first stage. Please share and donate - make every pound count. 

We would like to say a grateful thanks to everyone who has shared and donated so far. We are so lucky to have the support of so many generous people. Thank you all.

Update 8

Anne and Colin Frost

July 9, 2018

Getting closer to the first target!

Wow! It's not really like me to say 'wow' but there is nothing else that will do just now. So, 'WOW' again! We are almost at £3,500 pounds so a huge thank you to Mary and all the others who have donated since my last post. My heart lurches every time I refresh the page and see that the total is still steadily climbing towards our first goal of £5,000. 

I'm in contact with our solicitor and hope to have more information, about the process we are working towards, in the next day or so. It's a bit complex and I don't want to say things which may not be accurate, so I hope you'll be patient. In the meantime please continue to 'share' as much as you can - there have been almost 1,800 views of the page so far and I'm sure, that with your help, there will be more. 

Update 7

Anne and Colin Frost

July 8, 2018

Sunday 8th July, 2:30 'ish.

Awesome! We've now reached £3,105 - 62% of our first goal! There was a wonderful donation of £435 yesterday from the son of Mr Spencer's defence - thank you so much for supporting us. Also a donation of £100 from Ron, a huge thank you to Ron! But it's not just the bigger donations that count - every donation is so important to the success of this case, so thank you to everyone for parting with your hard-earned cash - I sat and waited for the appeal page to launch last Thursday because I wanted to be the first to donate - I didn't put my name to it but just wanted to kick-start things and boy, did that work! 

We are very conscious that, at the moment, we can't tell you anything about how things are going, but as soon as we are able we will let everyone know. In the meantime, in last week's Wakefield Express, Mary Creagh MP said, 'There is no time limit on justice. Elsie's family have been determined and resilient in their 53-year fight for the truth. I hope this is the start of a process which will, once and for all, reveal who was responsible for her death.' 

Mary is supporting our campaign and we are more than grateful for the time she gives up for us in the middle of an incredibly busy schedule. Please keep sharing these updates and also donating when you can. 

Update 6

Anne and Colin Frost

July 7, 2018

Well on the way!

It's approaching 10:30 pm on day 3 and already we are at 60% of our initial target. There have been 1,252 views of the page and you have achieved £3000 in donations to our case to Get Justice for Elsie (Frost) and that is truly wonderful. 

We've said it before but 'thank you' still seems very inadequate and we wish there was something else that we could say to convey our feelings. I'm struggling to find words that mean more than 'thank you' but until I do, THANK YOU! That's to everyone who has donated, shared and supported us: people from Wakefield, Mull, Hampshire, Greece, Australia, family, friends and those who just think that this is a very worthwhile cause.

It truly is. 

Fifty three years and it looks as though some resolution may be possible. We don't know yet but we will keep trying. It's not over until it's over. (sorry for the cliche, but this one feels right!). Please keep sharing, liking and donating. Thank you all again.

Update 5

Anne and Colin Frost

July 7, 2018

Past the half-way mark!

It's 4 pm on the third day of our appeal and we are more than half-way to our £5,000 target. In some ways it's hard to believe that we have got this far - until I think about the numbers of people who have been affected by Elsie's murder. If our appeal is successful, it will make a huge difference, not just for us and the Spencer family, but also for thousands of people in Wakefield and further afield. We shouldn't be complacent, though, there is still some way to go, so please keep sharing and donating. Thank you.

Update 4

Anne and Colin Frost

July 7, 2018

Nearly half-way there!

Astonishing! We are only £70 from being half-way to our target and it's only day 3. It's actually quite nerve-wracking because even though we have a total of 30 days to reach our first target pf £5,000, we're not sure whether we'll actually make it. My heart lurches every time I refresh the page and see how the total is climbing. Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared. Please keep up the good work.

Update 3

Anne and Colin Frost

July 6, 2018

Nearly half way there.

Getting towards the end of day two and we are so pleased that already we are almost half-way to our first target. We are so encouraged by all the support - after some deep disappointments we feel that we are moving forward again. Please stay with us and donate and share whenever you can. After Colin's interviews on Look North and Calendar we received some very generous donations, for which, very many thanks.  Mary Creagh MP is also working hard on our behalf which is tremendous. Thank you to everyone.

Update 2

Anne and Colin Frost

July 6, 2018

Day Two and 40% of the way to our first target!

It's only a bit more than 24 hours since our appeal was launched and already we are 40% of the way to our first target! That is amazing and humbling. We are so grateful to everyone who donates and shares,  with your help I'm sure we'll reach our target before the deadline.

Update 1

Anne and Colin Frost

July 5, 2018

BBC iPM Podcasts

In 2015 Eddie Mair, presenter of the Radio 4 PM programme, took up our story and with a huge amount of help from BBC Investigative journalist, Jon Manel, we were given the opportunity to tell our story in a series of podcasts. There are ten of them and you can find them here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vn2mt/episodes/downloads 

the BBC were enormously helpful in getting our case back into the public domain and we will always be grateful to Eddie and Jon and the team at PM for their help. As a direct result of this, West Yorkshire Police began a new investigation. 

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