Miscarriages of justice are far more common than is generally believed, even with due process and strict rules about the admissibility of evidence. They also affect some of the most unlikely people.
Michael Stone is Britain’s longest serving miscarriage of justice prisoner. (He is not to be confused with the convicted multiple murderer Michael Stone from Northern Ireland).
Twenty-four years ago this month, Dr Lin Russell and her youngest daughter Megan were murdered on a quiet country lane at Chillenden, Kent. One of the family dogs was also killed, the sole survivor of the attack was Dr Russell’s eldest daughter Josie, who although making a miraculous recovery was unable to give the police any details of their attacker(s).
The crime that became known as the Chillenden Murders was one of those outrages that periodically shake Britain. The following year, Stone was charged, the following year he was convicted, and although that conviction was quashed, he was convicted again after a retrial in 2001.
Michael Stone was a small time career criminal and drug addict. Although he had serious violence on his record, paradoxically this indicates he was an unlikely candidate to attack a young mother and her daughters. He had previously attacked a child sex abuser, and in a separate attack, another man who made a pregnant woman miscarry.
The ludicrousness of the so-called case against Stone is that it is based entirely on confessions he was alleged to have made to other prisoners while on remand. His second conviction was based entirely on a confession he was alleged to have shouted through a prison wall to another inmate. And as of 2008, there has been a far more plausible suspect for the Chillenden Murders. On February 28 of that year, Levi Bellfield was convicted of inter alia the murders of Amélie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell. Both victims had been struck over the head with a hammer in broadly similar circumstances to the Russell murders, although the latter had involved a prolonged attack.
You can find some background to the Michael Stone case here and here. Regardless of Levi Bellfield, there has been a great sense of unease in certain legal quarters about the conviction of Michael Stone.
Next to murders, sex crimes against the very young generate much public anger, but the case of Novlett Williams, discussed here in April, borders on the absurd. A senior police officer with a hefty 36 years service under her belt, she was dismissed without notice following her conviction for possessing a 54 second video of a child being sexually abused. She had received it through a mobile phone app, and because she failed to report it at once, she ended up in the dock at the Central Criminal Court along with her sister and her sister’s lover.
Because Novlett Williams is black, the usual suspects, including the moronic National Black Police Association have taken up the chant of “racism”, “institutional racism”, yadda, yadda, yadda. This at a time when black thugs and their white “allies” are rioting in our streets and defacing public monuments with total impunity.
Former Superintendent Williams is probably simply the victim of the usual CPS idiocy, although in view of the lengths the police usually go to protect their own, one has to wonder if someone had it in for her for some other reason. On June 29, I was informed by the Court Of Appeal that her appeal had been rejected by the examining judge. She can continue her appeal by renewing the application to the full court; she has not done so yet, probably due to the current lockdown. Hopefully she will, and will be successful.
One final point here, there is of course no suggestion that Novlett Williams or anyone in her circle was in any way responsible for this obscene video, they were criminalised merely for watching it. Yet with a few clicks of the mouse anyone can find photographs of aborted babies or even films of dead ones from the Middle East on YouTube. Viewing these obscenities is quite rightly legal; the fact that they are ongoing shouldn’t be.
Now from looking at real videos of abused children to imaginary crimes. In August 2017, Nicholas Grady was given a ten year sentence at Leicester Crown Court for a series of indecent assault and rapes he was said to have committed when he was himself between 14 and 18 years old. At the time of his trial he was 56, so do the math. For legal reasons I can’t go into detail here, but last year I had a long telephone conversation with his 86 year old mother who couldn’t understand how her son had been convicted against the weight of the evidence, although his terrible legal representation may have had something to do with it.
Just as astonishing if not more so is the case of Marie Black, a young mother who is said to have run a child sexual abuse ring hiring out her own offspring. This sort of thing is extremely rare, but it can happen. What is unique about her case is that this paedophile ring is alleged to have consisted of four men and six women, pictured above. Yes, women do on occasion sexually abuse the young, but has there ever been a case in history in which so many women were involved? You can find out a bit about her case here. Two of her co-defendants are currently being aided by someone who has local knowledge. Marie Black had poor legal advice, and when filing her appeal she chose to ignore sound legal advice.
Finally, Jeremy Bamber is back in the news. If you haven’t heard of him, this cynical mass murderer has been behind bars for a decade longer than Michael Stone, and would have the world believe he rather than Stone is Britain’s longest serving miscarriage of justice prisoner. The headline in the Mirror last month read White House Farm killer Jeremy Bamber has ‘bombshell evidence’ for new freedom bid, typically sensational, and just as typically vacuous. Anyone who has any doubt whatsoever about Bamber’s guilt should read the exhaustive 522 paragraph judgment in his failed 2002 appeal.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.