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LIES OF DEPRAVED TOFF; DARLING I 'm not a paedophile. The claims against me are absolute rubbish. There's no evidence of any sexual assault.


A CHILD sex beast freed from a Thai jail is lying about his seedy past as he tries to claim his upper-crust parents' fortune.

James Fraser Darling, 51, claims he was freed from a 33-year sentence for preying on young boys after an appeal cleared him of all charges.

But in fact he was deported to Britain after a Thai court upheld some of the charges and reduced his sentence.

He has now set up home in the Highlands and is taking legal action to claim money from the estates of his late father, Sir Frank, and stepmother Christine.

He claims to have already spent more than pounds 50,000 of the money left by Lady Darling, who died in 1996, while he was under arrest.

Fraser Darling, who taught English at a university on the holiday island of Phuket, insisted yesterday he had been made a scapegoat by child protection charities who wanted to "single out westerners".

And he said the court had cleared him of all charges of abducting and abusing nine boys, aged between eight and 15, from a community known as "sea gypsies".

But British Embassy officials confirmed yesterday that convictions on two charges of indecency with a boy and taking him from his parents were upheld.

Fraser Darling said last night: "I am not a paedophile. These claims are rubbish.

"I feel just because you enjoy the company of children and you are male, it does not mean you are a paedophile."

But his trial was told he fantasised about being an orgy-crazed Roman emperor as he took the boys on trips to small islands.

And care workers in Phuket were appalled to hear he had been claiming to have been cleared. One revealed the evidence included indecent photos of boys which Fraser Darling had taken himself.

The paedophile was arrested in 1995 and sentenced to 48 years in May, 1998. The sentence was later reduced to 33 years after he admitted some of the offences.

He was freed on June 28 this year after his latest appeal and deported on July 10.

He is now staying in an pounds 18-a-night guest house in Forres, Moray, near his parents' former farmhouse home, Lochyhills.

The well-spoken London University graduate sipped a pint of cider in a local pub as he claimed: "The basic simplistic assumption is that a man is not allowed to have any affection for children and that is one of the problems of our society.

"I have always been kind to animals and children. I have an instinctive sympathy for them."

He added: "I have come to the Highlands because this is the closest I have to home because my family lived here for many years.

"My stepmother died while I was in prison and essentially she saved my life because she left me enough money to fight my case in court. It cost me pounds 50,000 to clear my name and that wiped out more than half of my inheritance."

A Forres legal firm are the executors of Lady Darling's will and Fraser Darling says he is making arrangements to secure the rest of his inheritance.

He claimed: "There is just money left for living expenses, it's not real money. There is no house or estate or anything like that. It is just some money in the bank.

"The house my stepmother lived in was not left to me and it was sold after she died.

"How am I going to live? Personally, I was completely ruined by this trial and five years in prison."

Fraser Darling admitted befriending the sea gypsy children, who always ran about naked, buying them presents and taking them on picnics to uninhabited islands.

He said the boys called him Uncle James and he claimed his arrest had been orchestrated by his replacement at the university, Colin Cotterill, who had set up a local child protection agency.

Fraser Darling said: "All they do is single out a few westerners to get headline news which encourages people to give more money to their organisations. I was deliberately chosen as the scapegoat.

"I was associating with these children who were completely abandoned and neglected. Because I was associating with them, the modern mindset assumes that you must be carrying out immoral practices with them."

He claimed: "I had no criminal motive and certainly the children were not subjected to sexual molestation by me."

But Sudarat Sereewat, secretary general of the charity Fight Against Child Exploitation, one of two protection agencies who brought the charges, said last night: "To suggest people were chasing him to get international aid money is quite ridiculous. The evidence was quite clear, even down to the indecent photographs of the boys which he had taken himself.

"Mr Cotterill reported the matter because he like many right minded-people saw what was going on."

Fraser Darling's father, Sir Frank, died in 1979 at the age of 73 after his retirement as chief officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh-born Christina was his third wife and met him when she was taking care of his children after his second wife's death.

Since Fraser Darling's arrest he has been too ashamed to contact his brother Richard, 52, a senior Foreign Office intelligence officer, and his sister Francesca, 46, who lives in the USA.

He says he has spent his time in Scotland trying to register for work after a lifetime working abroad in Thailand, Iran, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.

He admits he could become a target here over his Thai shame.

But he said: "I don't fear that because if I became a target I would just leave."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 16, 2001
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