Man's 1976 murder conviction may be quashed

A man's conviction for murder almost 35 years ago could be overturned after it was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Officials at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) confirmed the case of Errol Heibner will be re-examined.



They said new information about a confession by Heibner and a key trial witness meant there was a "real possibility" that the verdict might not be upheld.



Heibner was convicted at the Old Bailey in November 1976 of the contract killing of Beatrice Gold.



Mrs Gold was shot dead the previous year in the basement office of the clothing business she ran with her husband in Clerkenwell, east London.



Heibner told The Guardian: "It has been a very long road. I have fought very hard for this but, from day one, I have always believed that it would be referred back eventually. I am obviously very happy that it has finally happened."



His solicitor, Rhona Friedman, who applied to the CCRC in 2002, said her client has always protested his innocence.



He has been supported by the Lord Ramsbotham, the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, and the Reverend Nicholas Stacey, former Chaplain at Maidstone Prison.



Ms Friedman said: "This is perhaps the last of the 1970s police corruption cases left unexamined by the courts and represents an extraordinarily murky episode in our criminal justice system.



"We hope that the Court of Appeal will shine a light on what has gone on and that finally this miscarriage of justice will be put right."



Heibner was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 25 years and was recently released from prison.



His first attempt to appeal against his conviction was refused in 1978. A review of the case was undertaken by Scotland Yard but no further action taken.



A second application for a review was made to the Home Office in 1992 and a second Metropolitan Police inquiry took place. Again, no further action was taken.



Heibner's case was reopened by the Commission in 2007, five years after his solicitor first approached the organisation.



A CCRC spokesman said officials considered the validity of Heibner's original confession and new evidence about a key witness.



He said: "Having considered a range of issues, including the admissibility and treatment of confession evidence at trial, and new evidence relating to a witness at trial, the Commission is referring the conviction to the Court of Appeal because it considers that there is real possibility that the court may not uphold the conviction."

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks
tv

Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries

Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
techPerils of 'text neck' revealed
News
i100
News
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt
peopleStonewall boss says many fear it could ruin their careers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection