Home Office 'lied over transcript'

THE HOME Office was yesterday asked by a High Court judge to explain why it could not produce a transcript containing evidence which a man serving a life sentence for murder says would prove his innocence .

Paul Cleeland, 49, who is in the 20th year of his sentence, said the Home Office had told a 'blatant lie' about the transcript.

His allegations came in an application for leave to challenge the Home Secretary's refusal to refer his case to the Court of Appeal.

Cleeland, who was convicted in 1973 of murdering a business associate, Terry Clarke, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, says the transcript includes vital evidence from a defence witness.

Frank Lyne, then president of the Association of Public Analysts, told the jury that traces of lead found on Cleeland's clothing could not have come from a gun, according to Cleeland. However, this was not mentioned in the summing-up by the trial judge, Mr Justice Lane - now Lord Lane, the retired Lord Chief Justice.

In January, the Home Office had given assurances that it would use its 'best endeavours' to find a copy of Mr Lyne's evidence. However, earlier this month, Cleeland was told that no copies existed.

'That is a blatant lie by the Home Office,' Cleeland told Mr Justice Rose yesterday.

He said the transcript was attached to a secret report on his case produced by a senior police officer and held at the Home Office. At another High Court hearing before Mr Justice Popplewell last year, officials had accepted that the report was still in their possession, Cleeland said.

He had not drawn this to the court's attention before as he was afraid the Home Office would tamper with the documents.

Cleeland also criticised the Home Office for conducting internal inquiries into what he says was misleading evidence presented at his trial. An independent body should investigate, he said.

Mr Justice Rose refused leave for judicial review, saying there were no grounds to challenge the Home Secretary's ruling, but added: 'If it is the case that a transcript of the evidence of Mr Lyne is in existence, and more specifically was in existence last year when the application was made to Mr Justice Popplewell, clearly it is a matter of considerable importance that the Home Office says no such transcript exists. I shall direct that the terms of this judgment be brought to the attention of the Home Office in order for them to make such inquiry and give such explanation as they see fit in relation to this transcript.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat