Updated: Thursday, 9th July 2020 @ 8:21am

'This has been eating away at me for 40 years': Abused victim of Rochdale MP Cyril Smith battles to make voice heard

'This has been eating away at me for 40 years': Abused victim of Rochdale MP Cyril Smith battles to make voice heard

Exclusive by Dean Wilkins

After more than four decades of painful waiting to get justice for allegations of child sex abuse against former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith, action is in the horizon for his victims.

The Lib Dem MP, who died two years ago, is now under investigation for a series of sexual attacks on boys at a care home in Rochdale and Prime Minister David Cameron weighed into the police inquiries yesterday.

He urged victims who claim to have been molested by Smith to come forward and contact police, as forces from Greater Manchester and Lancashire unite in investigating the historic scandal.

And for one victim who was left for 40 years without justice, the wait is becoming too much to take.

Barry Fitton was in care at Cambridge House during the 1960s and was abused by Smith – after finding the bravery to come forward and inform police, he made an official statement in the 1990s but the case was dropped.

The statement was thought to have been lost but officers have now located it and can progress with investigations – but Amsterdam resident Mr Fitton, who has since battled cancer and lost vision due to operations, could be forced to return to the UK due give further evidence.

“I’m not going to believe alive much longer and all I want is something to finally happen,” he told MM.

“This has been eating away at me for 40 years now and it can’t go, I’ve been trying and trying to make my voice heard but no one’s been listening, not even the police until now.”

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk spoke in Parliament last week about the historic allegations that Smith’s career was blighted with and called for action to be taken.

But the Prime Minister only called for investigations to be looked at from 1974 onwards – Mr Fitton questioned his demands and claimed that abuse was happening more than a decade before.

“Why is David Cameron ignoring the events that happened between 1962 and 1969?” he added.

“I’ve already given my evidence about the case and now I’m going to have to return to the UK – my health is not good enough, it can’t go on much longer.”

Greater Manchester Police announced yesterday that they will be taking on the investigation alongside Lancashire Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said that the force would be opening investigations into abuse claims that occurred from 1974 onwards, but would continue to examine old records.

"There has been a lot of speculation in the media about whether GMP investigated allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith in the 1980s and 1990s,” he said.

"We are examining our records to see what involvement GMP may have had.”

Assistant Chief Constable Heywood urged patience as the historic cases prove difficult to trace back through old archives.

"We need to be clear that some of these allegations are up to 30-years-old and predate our computerised records, so it will take some time to establish what, if any, the force's involvement was,” he added.

"What I can say with clarity is that any fresh complaints that are made will be thoroughly investigated and we will continue to work with our colleagues at Lancashire Police to provide support to any victims who come forward."

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