Fresh evidence in Bridgewater case: Ambulanceman 'bought shotgun before killing'
Jim Nichol, solicitor for the men, said yesterday he had established that Herbert Spencer, an ambulanceman who knew both the 13-year-old newspaper delivery boy and the farm where the murder took place, had bought a shotgun several weeks before the murder, contrary to what he told police at the time.
Mr Nichol said police had the information during the 1979 trial of the four men later convicted of the murder - cousins Michael and Vincent Hickey, James Robinson and Patrick Molloy, who died in prison - but was not made known to their lawyers. When Spencer, a part-time antiques dealer, was interviewed by detectives investigating the Bridgewater murder, he said he had owned a single- barrelled shotgun a year previously, a fact confirmed by police. But another antiques dealer also told police - and has now repeated the account to Mr Nichol in a sworn statement - that he sold a double-barrelled shotgun to Spencer 10 weeks before the murder.
The boy died from a shotgun blast after disturbing burglars at the antiques-laden farm. The murder weapon was never found and no forensic evidence ever connected the four convicted men with the site.
The Spencer connection has dogged the Bridgewater case. Although he was a suspect because of his knowledge of antiques and he knew the paperboy, police interest waned after the arrest of the other four men; Spencer was subsequently convicted of the shotgun murder of a friend. Allegations that he admitted the Bridgewater murder to a fellow prisoner were unsuccessfully investigated by police during the mid-1980s.
Mr Nichol said the new evidence 'suggests that either Spencer did not give police the full story at the time or that police did not question him about it. Equally, the fact the police knew about the second gun was not in statements given to the defence then.'
The new material will form part of the dossier being presented to the Home Office this morning in an attempt to have the case referred back to the Court of Appeal. The last application was rejected by Kenneth Clarke, the then Home Secretary, in February.
Since then, an expert on police interviewing techniques who was consulted by the Home Office before the rejection, has disclosed that he agreed with the opinions of four independent experts who viewed the central confession in the case as unreliable. Last week, the foreman of the original Stafford Crown Court jury said he believed the men had been victims of a miscarriage of justice. The Home Office has said that both of these opinions were taken into account when the last application was rejected.
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...