Detective's death halts Kiszko case prosecutions

HEATHER MILLS

Home Affairs Correspondent

No one will face charges over the wrongful conviction of Stefan Kiszko, who served 16 years for a child murder he did not commit, because of the death of the detective who headed the inquiry.

A magistrate has thrown out charges of perverting the course of justice against another officer and a forensic scientist after deciding that they could not get a fair trial without the evidence of Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Dibb.

Jane Hayward, stipendiary magistrate at Rochdale, said that retired Superintendent Richard Holland, 62, and former forensic scientist, Ronald Outteridge, 68, may be in the dock "for acts or omissions which in reality are those of Mr Dibb". Alternatively, she said, he may have made statements to them "which would excuse any criminal liability on their part".

Yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to challenge her decision, prompting calls for a public inquiry, because the ending of the criminal case means that what caused one of the country's gravest miscarriages of justice will remain shrouded in secrecy. The Court of Appeal which freed Mr Kiszko in 1992 heard that forensic tests taken at the time of his conviction - but not revealed to the court or the defence - proved then that he could not have been the killer. Now it may never be known exactly how that information lay buried for 16 years.

Campbell Malone, Mr Kiszko's lawyer, said: "Stefan and his mother went through an awful ordeal and no one knows why. There now needs to be a public inquiry where witnesses are compelled to give evidence so that we can get at the truth, so that public confidence can be restored and so that important lessons can be learnt."

Mr Kiszko was jailed in 1976 for killing 11-year-old Lesley Molseed, who was found stabbed to death on moorland near Rochdale. Mr Kiszko, who had a mental age of 12, was said to have confessed to the crime. But tests on semen stains on her clothing revealed that he could not have been the killer.

A rare condition had left him unable to produce sperm - Lesley's murderer had left sperm traces on her clothing. But this was not revealed at his trial and only came to light in 1991 when West Yorkshire police were reviewing the conviction. Mr Kiszko died in 1993 a year after his release, while his mother, who had campaigned for his freedom, died six months later.

After further investigations, Mr Holland, second in command of the initial investigation, and Mr Outteridge, principal scientific officer, were charged. The magistrate said that the prosecution alleged they decided to deliberately exclude from the evidence any reference to the two conflicting test results. In her ruling, she said Mr Holland maintained that if the laboratory had told him the samples did not match, Mr Kiszko would not have been charged. Mr Outteridge said he had no doubt he had told the investigating officers that Kiszko's sample contained no sperm heads and the differences between the findings was discussed.

The ruling was made last month, but was made public by the Attorney General, Sir Nicholas Lyell, in a letter to Chris Mullin, the Labour MP, after the CPS decided not to challenge her decision by judicial review.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her