SINS OF THE
The strange story of Graham Fitchie!
Have you ever done something and got more than you bargained for? It could
be an evening's seemingly harmless fun with a giggly group of friends and an
ouija board, harmless right up to the moment it starts to make the letters
that say "YOU WILL ALL DIE!" It might be skydiving, and forgetting to bring
a parachute, it may even be an attempted Indiana Jones styled tomb robbery
where the inhabitant is still semi-sentient, and very pissed off! Well I
did something like that just by going on the internet recently!
Now someone else apart from me must have tried this, I hope they have, or
that makes me a morbidly weird person. You've been bored, at a loose end,
and you decide to play a little game with an internet search engine. This
is, quite simply, inputting random names of old school and college friends
and associates, to see if they have got any significant presence on the
world wide web thingy. Yes I know there is the Friends Reunited site, but
this random thing seems like a lot more fun.
Well it would if there was any end result from it. There are a huge stack of
entries for each name that I try, but it is a case of "Mr Needle, meet Mr
Haystack" as any decent lead that may be out there, gets swamped. This is
mainly by americanisms, I might add. Putting a UK-only filter on these kills
some searches off entirely. There are one or two promising but ultimately
false leads, and I am well down into the list of "associates" before I
finally hit paydirt.
Search For |graham fitchie |
Oh, and look what we have here!! Check out this screengrab!
Now this doesn't look too good!
It doesn't look too nice, does it? The first three entries refer to some
very bad behaviour on the part of an individual called Graham Fitchie,
including an entry entirely in Swedish! At this point in time, I can
accurately claim this as a genuine "HOLY SHIT!" moment. At the same time,
I'm half-expecting to see something like this, and you lot are now
impatiently waiting for me to stop beating around this very well abused bush
and get on with the explanation.
The Graham Fitchie that I knew, was part of the circle of people I hung
around with during my second year of higher education. We had common
interests, kicking off a science fiction society, and a nascent computer
club, where epic sessions of trying to beat classic Speccy games such as
Starion, Alien 8 and Elite took place. I got them into Elite, one person
looking at my untidy and hurried hyperspace escape from a tense situation
in the BBC version of the game saying "Wow, that's really like Han Solo!"
(Not quite correct, apart from owing Jabba the Hutt lots of money!) ;)
Graham was doing a teaching degree, he was one of these people who was
tolerated more than liked. A lot of this was down to Graham himself. A
general description of "Smug beardie git" could serve very well to describe
him. He was one of those people who was self-righteous and hyper-pendantic.
A more sensitive person would have toned down that sort of behaviour, and
made a better effort to fit in, but 'Wolfie' was always right in his mind,
so didn't care (Sorry, but it was only a matter of time before we started to
use his nickname in this article!)
Wolfie shared a student house with a couple of other guys who I did get on
with, Roger and Les. They tolerated him, presumably on the grounds that he
paid his share of the rent and housekeeping, kept himself tidy, and stayed
out of the way mostly. But at the same time, they were often keen to share
anecdotes of when he made a complete prat of himself.
One such occasion was the fancy dress party where he was heard to say "It
doesn't matter if I mix my drinks when they're the same specific gravity!"
And then seen to vomit very shortly afterwards! But then there was the
conversation where Wolfie, sorry, Graham was transformed from a harmless
irritant into something rather more sinister.
It was a discussion we had all been having. I don't remember what it was
about, but Graham had readily taken up an opposing, usually reactionary
viewpoint, and when he got up and walked out, we were glad to see the back
of him. I said something to the effect of asking whether he was always this
backward looking, and Les grimly replied "Some of his views on a certain
subject are *very* advanced!"
They told me of an incident when they were in the halls of residence on the
college campus, the previous year. Graham had a big iron chest which he
always kept locked when there were visitors to his room. There was a certain
amount of speculation as to what was kept in there, and it was only a matter
of time before they got to find out. He was temporarily distracted out of
his room, and a couple of people got to take a quick peek inside the
What they found wasn't gold or jewels, or the dismembered corpse of his
grandmother, but something just as revealingly scary....
A large collection of paedophile literature.
Doesn't look nice, whatever colouring you use for the text!
They didn't confront him there and then, but they did quietly tip off the
college authorities. Wolfie wasn't arrested, or removed from his teaching
course, but I heard later that the authorities quietly,perhaps in a cowardly
or underhand way, started to give him 'fail' marks, so he would flunk the
course in a more 'natural' way without him suspecting the real reason why.
If this course of action looks odd to you now, remember this happened back
in the mid-eighties, when the paedophile debate wasn't as open and as highly
emotionally charged as it is right now. Graham's sexual orientation wasn't
common or public knowledge, and I think only a few people at that time ever
knew what he was really like. Directions changed again in the final year, I
was doing different things, didn't see so much of Roger and Les, and hardly
anything of Wolfie. In any case, he was someone else's problem by now..
Still, nobody wanted to see him in a teaching position, although it was
rumoured afterwards that he was teaching at a boys private school! Talk
about putting a shark in charge as a swimming pool lifeguard!
Anyway, to bring this story right back to the present, I checked out some of
the links above. The most illuminating one is reproduced below.
This is Google's cache of www.geocities.com/rainforest/andes/8222/local.htm.
Google's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the
JACK PEASE WEB
News clippings featuring Merstham
26th July 1997
UK: PORNOGRAPHER IS TRAPPED BY PAEDOPHILE.
A paedophile serving a six-year jail sentence led police to a pornographer
who appeared to be the respectable employee of a school publishing company,
a court was told yesterday. The prisoner had been found with a video showing
an indecent assault on a boy of 11. From his cell, he gave detectives the
name of Graham Fitchieas the man who had filmed and taken part in the
When police called at Fitchie's home in a suburban road they discovered the
biggest collection of Internet pornography found in Britain, Guildford Crown
Court was told. Fitchie,37, had 10,751 pictures, 81 films and more than 500
pages of stories about child-sex stored on computer hard disks and CD
drives. He had built up a network of other paedophiles he was distributing
the pornography to, said Richard Whittam, prosecuting.
Fitchie,of Merstham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to sending obscene photographs
and films via the Internet and to indecently assaulting the 11-year-old boy
in the original film. He was jailed for three years after Judge John Bull
told him there was "growing international revulsion" at the use of the
Internet by paedophiles. The judge added: "I am driven to believe that you
represent a serious and significant danger to young children in the future."
The court was told that for more than a year Fitchiehad been distributing
the pornography, most of it involving young boys. He said Fitchie'smaterial
could be accessed by paedophiles around the world who knew a secret
Grant Armstrong, defending, said Fitchiewas "extremely well thought of by
his employers" who would readily hire him again. "He owns his own property
and is regarded as an ordinary member of the community," he said. After the
case, Det Con Alex Lynn, of Surrey police, said detectives were using
Fitchie'scomputer records to try to trace other paedophiles around the
world. (c) Telegraph Group Limited, London,
1997. UNITED KINGDOM DAILY TELEGRAPH 26/07/97 Page 12.
Now if we look at that text more closely, you could hope that this report is
discussing an entirely different Graham Fitchie from the one that I
described earlier in this article. The chance is there, but I would say that
it is cosmically small there is another person named Graham Fitchie involved
in paedophile activity in the United Kingdom.
The general profile, of age and behaviour fits my memory of him quite well,
I think he was a few years older than the rest of us. Aged thirty-seven in
1997, this puts him about four years older, but well within the scope of a
person seeking to get a higher education degree. A lot of people train or
retrain as teachers at a relatively late stage of their career. A person who
is well thought of by his community and employers wouldn't surprise me
either. For all his faults, Graham was intelligent, able to present himself
well, and I daresay, diligent in his work. He was a keen computer user back
then too, owning a Commodore 64, quite a fully specc'd set up with proper
Commodore badged peripherals, floppy drives and a printer.
It might be interesting to see a picture of him now, or possibly, as he was
back then around the time of the trial, because then I would know for sure
whether it was actually him or not. As it is,the chances are better than 95%
that this is the Graham Fitchie I knew all those years ago.
What is really disturbing, is the fact that he seems to have crossed from a
passive version of paedophilia, collecting material, to active participation
in his "hobby." Indeed, the trial judge would be correct in describing
Graham as a "Serious and significant danger to young children in the
future." I'm amazed that he only got a three year sentence, which means that
he is out right now, unless he's been caught again, and probably arrogant
enough to decide that he is "right", even when the rest of society says that
he is wrong! So it looks like this gentleman will have to be very carefully
If anyone feels like asking the reasonable question of "Why didn't we kick
his head in when we had the chance?!" I can only say sorry, I don't know why
we didn't. I suppose we trusted someone in authority was keeping an eye on
him, but they weren't. I certainly don't want that name to come up again
with fresh new entries on an internet search in the future.
CiH - For Alive! Mag, April '02