Allen - British Justice is Concerned with Results not Justice
the 8th of May 1986,1 was convicted at the Reading Crown Court of the
murder of my friend, Anita Kirkwood.
I was sentenced to life imprisonment with a tariff of 14 years.I have
now served 30 years and there is no doubt that my protestations of innocence
has led to my having served beyond the tariff period and that I remain
in B category conditions with no foreseeable prospects of release.
My appeal was heard by the full court of appeal in November 1987 and was
quickly dismissed and from thereon it has been one long struggle in trying
to clear my name.
In 1998, the CCRC refused to refer my case back to the Court of Appeal
in spite of compelling reasons that there were many serious questions
which remained unanswered and continue to be so.
Following this decision I made an application to the European Court of
Human Rights. But found that the rules of that court stipulated that I
must submit an application to them within 6 months of the last judicial
decision. It was therefore to late for me to submit my appeal to the ECHR
as my dismissal of my appeal at the Court of Appeal
was some 11 years before.
Up until the CCRC came into being in early 1997, the only way back to
the Court of Appeal was on a referral by the Home Secretary.
The ECHR was one avenue to challenge the fairness of my trial, but it
was limited, for they have no powers to quash a conviction. Their powers
are limited to issuing a declaration of incompatibility with the European
Convention on Human Rights against the UK Government, Which can add strength
to one's argument in challenging a
The road to successfully overcoming a miscarriage of justice is met along
the way by all the obstacles which the state are experts at creating.
The first obstacle is that the wrongly
convicted prisoner is not a legal expert. He or she is therefore likely
to be ignorant of the legal procedures, processes and the red tape involved
in successfully challenging one's conviction.
The second obstacle is in finding a
solicitor who is interested enough to take on one's case, which gives
rise to the biggest obstacle of all, legal aid.
Very few of us are in the OJ Simpson
league with the funds necessary to undertake complex and often very lengthy
legal work and investigations.
What is available is state funded legal aid and as is the case so very
often, unless one's case is high profile and has a potential for some
financial benefit to the players, legal aid buys no more than legal aid
In September 2002,1 found a way to get my case introduced back before
the ECHR. My application has been accepted for consideration although
I am a long way off any decision as to its admissibility.
Meanwhile, I now have a solicitor and limited legal aid although it will
take further applications to extend it to cover any ECHR work.
I remember very little about my arrest, which took place in hospital.
I remember even less about the police interviews, which gave rise to many
contradictions at trial.
At the time of my interviews with the police, I was suffering from carbon
monoxide poisoning. This was due to me trying to take my own life, because
I had just caught my common law wife in bed with another man.
No police surgeon was called to see if I was fit, enough to be answering
questions. I had no help at all for the two days that I was in police
custody, I was completely in their power, and they could do whatever they
liked to me. I was totally defenceless against them.
My friend, Anita Kirkwood was stabbed, beaten, bitten and raped, over
a period of some 40 minutes, whilst the police were actually inside her
block of flats.
Though I was the only person charged, there was ample evidence before
my arrest that two persons were involved. Both attackers left their DNA
samples on her body.
It took me many weeks of
studying the police statements and forensic evidence to possibly identify one of the assailants. It took me a further
6 years to possibly identify the second person involved. This is because
my own defence team withheld evidence from me, until I forced them to
hand it over to me via the legal ombudsman.
No one, to date, has seen fit to put those forensic samples to a DNA test.
No one, it seems is interested in justice, just a conviction, be it a
right or wrong one
Anita was my friend, I need to catch her killers and I will never give
up on the truth.
If you wish to know more details about my case, just drop me a line, at
HMP Kingston, and
I'll send you the police statements and the forensic evidence. I am sure
that after reading them you will draw the same conclusions.
HMP The Mount