Tenacious fiancee triumphs as her lover is cleared of farmhouse shotgun killing

Cheryl Tooze refused from the first to accept that her lover, Jonathan Jones, had killed her parents. Yesterday, her tenacity was rewarded as she walked arm in arm with him after the Court of Appeal set him free.

An only child, all she had in the world after the deaths of her mother and father was the man she had loved for 12 years. With his arrest and conviction last year, her world collapsed.

Harry and Megan Tooze were each shot once in the back of the head at close range with a shotgun at their farm at Llanharry, Mid-Glamorgan, in July 1993. Mr Tooze, 64, was shot inside a cowshed. His 67-year-old wife was shot at the farmhouse as she tried to run for her life.

Mr Jones, 37, of Orpington, Kent, was convicted of the double murder after a 55-day trial at Newport Crown Court last April on a majority verdict of 10-2 after the prosecution claimed that he had paid a surprise visit to the farm and had tea with the couple before shooting them for the sake of a pounds 150,000 inheritance.

Yesterday he was freed amid dramatic scenes at the Court of Appeal after the three judges said they were all "of the clear view" that the convictions were unsafe.

Just days after the trial in Newport, doubt hovered over the conviction. The presiding judge, Mr Justice Rougier, released his confidential remarks about the trial which revealed that he thought the prosecution case had "fallen decidedly flat". Had he been a member of the jury, he said, he "should be conscious of significant doubt". He was disturbed by "the contrast between the total ruthlessness and pitiless determination of whoever killed Harry and Megan and man who sat in the dock and for four and a half days in the witness box".

John Rees QC, representing Mr Jones, returned to this theme in the Court of Appeal: "The shotgun was fired from approximately three feet away. They were, in short, executed," Mr Rees said. "Both were killed in identical fashion in the most callous way possible."

The killer was an experienced and accurate shot. Mr Jones had no experience with any firearms. There was a lack of forensic science evidence to link Mr Jones to the killing. The murder at close range would have left the killer covered in blood and brain tissue. Police examined Mr Jones's clothes and car and even took washbasins apart to try to find evidence linking him to the killings. He has to wear glasses at all times: police examined the minutest crevices of his glasses but there were no traces of blood or tissue.

The prosecution, Mr Rees argued yesterday, was based on "suspicion, speculation and conjecture . . . Cheryl believes he could not have killed Harry and Megan and has supported him throughout".

Despite having led a sheltered life, Miss Tooze braved considerable personal criticism to stand by Mr Jones, appearing on the BBC television series Modern Times to back the man convicted of murdering her parents. She offered a pounds 25,000 reward out of her inheritance to catch the real killer.

She supported Mr Jones through his trial, his conviction only intensifying her efforts to prove he was innocent. Living with his parents, Graham and Pauline Jones, at Caerphilly, she attended countless meetings with lawyers and made the 300-mile round trip to Gartree jail, Leicestershire, to see him every week.

Because of her campaign, Cheryl is now estranged from several of her relatives. Yesterday she was vindicated.

She summed up the decision succinctly: "It is a victory for love and truth."

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain