Throughout his life, he remained scarcely literate, but with an aptitude for woodwork and artwork.
He left school in December 1956 at age 15, initially working as an unskilled labourer at Moorcourt Farm.
On each occasion it became apparent Fred had beaten his wife, Mc Lachlan would extensively beat Fred.
On another occasion, Mc Lachlan witnessed Charmaine—little older than a toddler—ask Fred for an ice cream from his van; in response, Fred struck the child across the head, resulting in his receiving another beating from Mc Lachlan.
By now, Costello was pregnant by a Pakistani bus driver, and she may have relocated from Glasgow to England due to the stigma of her baby's mixed ancestry.
She married Fred in Ledbury on 17 November, the sole guest being Fred's younger brother John.
to explain the child's mixed ancestry, Rena and Fred claimed that she had suffered a miscarriage and that Charmaine was adopted.
The necessity of working to earn a living, or even just to survive, instilled a strong work ethic in Fred, Classmates recall Fred as scruffy, dim, lethargic, and regularly in trouble." his mother banished him from the household, and he moved into the Much Marcle house of his aunt Violet.However, by mid-1962 he had reconciled with his parents, although his relationship with most of his family remained fraught.Fred's 13-year-old sister, Kitty, told her mother that Fred had been having sex with her since the previous December, and had impregnated her.
Arrested the same month, Fred freely admitted to police he had been molesting young girls since his early teens and asked, "Doesn't everybody do it?Together, Mc Lachlan, Rena, and Mc Neill devised a plan whereby he and Isa's boyfriend, John Trotter, as not only did he arrive at the pre-scheduled arrival time, but Mc Fall was "oddly calm" as she informed Mc Neill she intended to remain with Fred to work as the children's nanny.