Letter: How to investigate a miscarriage of justice

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your leading article 'An indefensible anachronism' (4 February), Kenneth Clarke's decision that no further action be taken in the Carl Bridgewater case is indeed an indefensible anachronism. As you point out, the Home Secretary was being selective in attempting to justify his decision, and he is under no obligation to make known (not even to our lawyers) any of the reasons as to how he arrived at his conclusion.

Further, the deliberate 'leak' of the Merseyside report last September placed Mr Clarke in an untenable position regarding a fair and unbiased appraisal of the mass of evidence we placed before him.

While people such as ourselves remain in prison as a result of the police investigating themselves, any attempt to clean up their image through such blatantly dishonest tactics will be fruitless. Until such time as an independent tribunal is set up to investigate cases such as ours, Mr Clarke will be seen to be as badly flawed as the secret inquiry he endorsed.

The Home Secretary may not believe in the system he is obliged to operate, but it is abundantly clear he does believe in the preservation of the status quo. He has taken steps to bring equilibrium and stability to a badly rocking judicial boat - a frantic baling out of a swamped vessel that had threatened to founder in the wake of recent acquittals.

Yours faithfully,


HM Prison Gartree

Market Harborough


7 February

This letter is also written on behalf of Michael Hickey, Vincent Hickey and Pat Molloy (deceased), who were convicted with the writer in 1979 of the murder of Carl Bridgewater.