Murder conviction quashed

Terry Kirby
Friday 28 January 1994 01:02 GMT

A MAN who spent 10 years in prison for the murder of an elderly woman walked free yesterday after the Court of Appeal ruled that his confession to a detective in the now disbanded West Midlands Police Serious Crime Squad was unreliable, writes Terry Kirby.

Tarlochan Singh Gill, 28, of Handsworth, Birmingham, was 18 in 1984 when he was convicted with three other youths of the murder of Wati Suri, a woman in her sixties who was beaten and strangled during a burglary.

In 1985, the convictions of the other three were quashed because of lack of evidence; Mr Gill's was upheld because his confession referred specifically to committing the murder.

During yesterday's hearing, David Martin-Sperry, for Mr Gill, said the confession was unreliable because it was given to a Detective Sergeant James whose evidence had been undermined in three other cases. He said there was no other evidence linking Mr Gill with the murder.

He said doubts over the confession shed new light on Mr Gill's claims that he had been beaten and threatened by the interviewing officers.

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