Sion Jenkins granted bail

The former teacher Sion Jenkins is to be freed on bail pending his retrial for the alleged murder of his foster daughter, Billie-Jo.

He was given conditional bail during a short hearing at the Old Bailey today, which he did not attend.

His father, David Jenkins, attended court and is providing a £250,000 surety for his son. Jenkins' brother is providing a further £50,000 surety.

The conditions stipulate that Jenkins will live with his father in Aberystwyth, Wales, and will report to the police daily.

Another condition is that he must undertake not to talk to his children about the forthcoming retrial - including in letters or emails that he might send to them.

He will not take part in any press conferences on order of the judge - Mrs Justice Rafferty.

The website, Justice for Sion Jenkins, will be taken off the internet.

Jenkins will also give up his passport

The 46-year-old was jailed for life six years ago for murder - but his conviction was quashed last month.

The ex-deputy head is due to be retried at the Old Bailey later this year following an appeal court ruling that new forensic evidence made his original conviction unsafe.

Jenkins is currently in Belmarsh Prison, south London. He was expected to be released from there some time today.

Today's bail application by Jenkins' barrister, Clare Montgomery QC, was held in chambers without the press or public being allowed in.

Jenkins was convicted at Lewes Crown Court in July 1998 of battering his 13-year-old foster daughter to death with an 18-inch metal tent spike as she was painting a patio door at their home in Hastings, East Sussex, on February 15, 1997.

Jenkins father, David, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Sion has been allowed bail. It is another step after seven years towards getting justice."

Mr David Jenkins spoke as he left the Old Bailey about being reunited with his son.

"We hope he will be out today but the last time he was given bail it took 24 hours."

He revealed that he did not know exactly where his son was.

"We have lost contact with him over the last few days. I am waiting to know where he is going to be released from."

Mr David Jenkins said he thought the fact his son had been allowed bail "reinforces our confidence that eventually he will be found not guilty.

"It will be great to have him home. He has been six-and-a-half years in a Category A prison. The fact he is on bail will give him more opportunity to consult his legal team and discuss the retrial.

"After all these years you need space and perhaps silence in order to prepare for the retrial."

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