File hidden from defence in murder case, court told

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The Independent Online
THE CROWN withheld details of a file containing evidence that could have helped the defence case in a murder trial, it was claimed at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Malcolm Kennedy, facing trial for the third time over the murder of a man who was kicked to death while both were held in a London police station on Christmas Eve 1990, told the court that evidence had been 'hidden' from his defence counsel.

Mr Kennedy, 47, was convicted of the murder of Patrick Quinn, 56, in 1991. In 1993 the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. The jury at the retrial last September was discharged when new material came to light. The new trial began last month.

Appearing as first witness in the defence case, Mr Kennedy was cross-examined by Timothy Langdale QC.

Unprompted by Mr Langdale, Mr Kennedy said that during the first trial the Crown had knowledge of 'a file' that may have been valuable to Mr Kennedy's defence, led by Michael Mansfield QC. That file, Mr Kennedy said, was not given to the defence or its existence acknowledged in open court.

Crucial to the case that succeeded at the Court of Appeal were details unearthed by a Police Complaints Authority investigation, which related to 116 papers not presented in the first trial.

The trial continues today.