Judges to watch Jeremy Kyle show to decide whether innocent man was jailed for murder
New evidence 'potentially impacts on the reliability of a prosecution witness'
Friday 21 December 2012
An episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show will be played to Court of Appeal judges to help determine whether an innocent man was jailed for murder.
A guest on the ITV show, named only as Bev, said she saw the killer plunge a knife into female student Jong Ok Shin - contrary to evidence she gave under oath before Omar Benguit was convicted.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an independent public body that reviews possible miscarriages of justice, studied the footage and referred Benguit's conviction for appeal.
The Commission said: "The referral is based on new evidence which potentially impacts on the reliability of a prosecution witness who gave evidence at trial."
Despite previously testifying that she only heard a struggle and saw Benguit's clothes covered in blood, the guest told Jeremy Kyle in 2008 that she "saw Omar plunge a knife into her".
She told the daytime TV programme she was a heroin addict at the time of the 2002 killing in Bournemouth. She gave a lift to three men, including Benguit, another drug user.
"They told me to pull over," she told the show. "They were talking about taking her back to this crack house. I pulled over."
She added: "Then I got out of the car myself to see what was going on and as I looked round, all I saw was the shadows of them, not clearly, but I could see her and I saw Omar plunge a knife into her. She dropped down. I think he did it more than once."
Benguit was convicted at Winchester Crown Court in 2005 after two hung juries and three murder trials. He appealed against his conviction but it was dismissed in July 2005.
He later applied to the CCRC for a review of his conviction in May 2010.
The CCRC has also studied the possibility that the murder was committed by Daniel Festivo, known as the hair-fetishist killer. Last year, Restivo was jailed for killing a woman in Bournemouth around the same time.
A new appeal must be heard once a case is referred by the CCRC and it is up to the Court of Appeal to schedule the necessary proceedings.
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