Daughter of Leslie Ross says he was ‘capable of murder’

Leslie Ross.
Leslie Ross.

The daughter of Co Down man Leslie Ross – who was once accused of murdering three of his former girlfriends – has said she believes he was capable of carrying out the killings.

Julie Ross, who said she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father as a young girl, waived her right to anonymity to tell her story.

It comes just a day after her cousin, Debbie Ross, spoke out publicly about the abuse Leslie Ross inflicted on her as a child.

Leslie Ross, 70, had been facing 44 charges of sex abuse at a trial in Newry before he passed away due to cancer earlier this month.

He had previously been cleared of murdering former lovers Elizabeth McKee, Margaret Weise and Michelle Bickerstaff.

Julie Ross told BBC News NI she fled Northern Ireland at the age of 14 after her father attempted to attack her with a knife.

Julie said she believed that if he had not passed away, her father would have been found guilty of the allegations against him.

She added: “I truly believe that if it was not for his illness then the PPS would have successfully prosecuted him for these offences against me and the other victims involved in the trial.”

Julie said she attended court a number of times when her father was present and refused to be intimidated by him.

“I feel that by facing him a number of times in the courtroom, he died knowing that I was no longer affected by or frightened of him,” she said.

She added that she took some comfort from the fact that her father’s death meant he “cannot harm anyone ever again”.

Julie told the BBC she felt lucky to be alive, claiming Leslie Ross had attacked her with a large knife at the age of 14.

She left the Province soon after the incident in 1990, and has said that due to her father’s violent nature, she believes he was “capable of being responsible for the deaths of his previous partners”.

Julie added: “I know, first hand, what levels of violence and depravity he would use towards others.”

Thanking the PSNI for bringing Leslie Ross to court, Julie said she now wants to move on with her life.

She added: “I have only made this statement to show support for my cousin and other victims in hope they gain the closure they wholeheartedly deserve.”