Jenkins QC 'was misled' over girls' evidence

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The Independent Online

The barrister who defended Sion Jenkins in his trial for the murder of his foster daughter said he was misled into believing evidence from his other daughters would be "disastrous" for his client.

The barrister who defended Sion Jenkins in his trial for the murder of his foster daughter said he was misled into believing evidence from his other daughters would be "disastrous" for his client.

Anthony Scrivener QC told the Court of Appeal that police memoranda had led him to mistakenly believe testimony from Charlotte and Annie Jenkins would condemn their father.

The lawyer said he would have put the two girls, then 10 and 12, on the stand if he had known then their evidence may have helped clear Jenkins. The former deputy headteacher, 46, is appealing against a life sentence for battering his foster daughter, Billie-Jo, with an 18in tent spike as she painted a patio door at the family home in Hastings, East Sussex.

The Court of Appeal has been told the sisters, who discovered Billie-Jo's body after returning from a trip to a DIY store with their father, gave videotaped accounts of events that day which would have helped the defence case.

But Mr Scrivener said the defence team were also shown police memoranda of statements by the girls' mother, Lois, which stated the sisters had changed their evidence and were now hostile to their father. "I did not know what they were going to say. If they were going to say what was in the original tapes, it would have been helpful to the defence," he said. "If they were going to say what was in the memoranda, he might as well plead guilty."

The hearing continues.