Man loses appeal over hammer killing of woman
Three judges ruled that the original jury's decision to find Brian Parsons guilty of murder was correct. They added that the evidence given by one witness called to try to clear Parsons' name bore "all the hallmarks of a fictional account conceived by those with the talent to embellish a threadbare storyline".
Parsons's wife, Annette, who was in court to hear the judgment, said: "They are protecting the system. They don't want to know about corruption and conspiracy. We all knew that he should have walked."
Parsons, 39, was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court in 1988 of murdering Ivy Batten, 84, during a burglary at her home in Colyton, Devon, in 1987. Mrs Batten, who lived on her own, was found dead on the floor of her living room by a relative, killed by seven hammer blows to the head.
Parsons, who had no previous conviction, was arrested and convicted on the basis of forensic scientific evidence. Days after the murder, the hammer and a pair of gloves were discovered near Mrs Batten's bungalow. The Exeter jury was told that fibres from the gloves were found in Parsons' car and in his coat pocket. Fibres from a jumper found in his car were also detected on the gloves.
During an appeal last October, and one in 1990, Parsons's defence team argued that officers from the Devon and Cornwall police had planted the fibres and that the prosecution had withheld 160 pieces of evidence from the defence.
The case was the subject of a programme broadcast by West Country Television, in which it was suggested that the hammer and gloves had been "mishandled" by the local police constable and that the officer's wife was part of a police conspiracy to implicate Parsons in the murder.
Lord Justice Beldam said the programme "devised a theory to support the allegations of misconduct". Concluding on behalf of himself, Mr Justice Garland and Mr Justice Popplewell, he dismissed the suggestion that evidence had been planted and said: "We are left in no doubt about the safety of the appellant's conviction."
Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£1000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Doing more admin than selling? ...
£30000 per annum + £60,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Basingstoke, Brighton,...
£33000 - £36000 per annum + Car+Laptop+Phone: Langley James : Field Support En...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innovativ...