Justice for Warren Slaney
21 Years Innocent - 21 Years Wrongly Convicted - 21 Years Of Struggle
Saturday 15th October 2011 will mark the 21st anniversary of Warren Slaney being held in custody for a crime he did not commit. To mark the occasion family, friends and supporters will gather in Leicester city centre and release 21 balloons, one for each year that he has been in prison. Amongst those present will be Warren’s son Jake who was a baby when his dad was taken into custody for the notorious Hot Dog murders of 1990. Jake is now a young man working as a fitness instructor having grown up only ever seeing his dad on prison visits.
The protestors will also hand in a letter to the leader of the City Council highlighting the cost to the Leicester tax payers of keeping the wrong man in prison whilst the actual murderer remains unpunished for these crimes. Estimates of the cost of Warren’s wrongful imprisonment well exceed £1 million.
Warren Slaney has consistently contested his conviction and denied any involvement in the murder of Gary Thompson and his business partner John Weston. This has resulted in his being held for years in solitary confinement where he is being held at present on Prison Rule 46, “5 man unlock”.
Warren Slaney’s case is currently being considered by the Criminal Cases review Commission (CCRC) who are looking at evidence, including from new witnesses.
On a recent prison visit Warren said ‘This is not my life. My life was put on hold when I was brought into custody. I want my life back.’ Warren’s mother Mavis Slaney says ‘New witnesses have come forward and if there is anybody out there who can help with our enquiries or knows anything about the murders of John Weston and Gary Thompson then please come forward and help us to end this travesty of justice.’
Warren Slaney was sentenced to a double life sentence in 1992 for the 1990 murders of Gary Thompson and John Weston.
An application was made to the “CCRC” in 1999. Warren Slaney’s case, whilst initially refused, is being re-examined by the CCRC following recently discovered new evidence.
The campaign has the support of Dr Michael Naughton of The Innocence Project based at Bristol University. In 2002 Dr. Michael Naughton conducted a report for the Miscarriage Of Justice Organisation (“MOJO”) and showed that miscarriages of justice were costing the public purse in excess of 200 m / year in the following four areas:
Costs of imprisonment/Legal aid/ Compensation/ CCRC
This does not account for other costs such as welfare payments for dependents and the loss of taxes that would have been paid in to the public purse.
Dr Michael Naughton said, ‘Every wrongful conviction has far reaching implications for us all. The total waste of public resources in today’s terms amounts to in excess of £1m and it is rising. It is certainly an aspect of miscarriages of justice that is largely overlooked.
‘The scale of the problem indicates that each case must be investigated thoroughly. A conservative estimate for Warren Slaney’s case stands at well in excess of £1m his trial, appeal, police investigation, etc. You may wonder what this means to you. People aren’t aware just how much public money is being absorbed by miscarriages of justice money that could be better used on services such as education, health and provisions for the elderly.’
Russ Spring firstname.lastname@example.org
West Midlands against Injustice, Innocence Manchester, The Innocence Project Bristol are supporting Warren Slaney
Messages of Solidarity/Support to:
The Hot Dog Hit - Published by Private Eye Friday 2nd September 2011
Warren Slaney has spent the past 21 years in jail protesting his innocence of the infamous 'Hot-dog murders' of 1990. Now the CCRC has agreed to re-examine the conviction of the alleged hitman.
The review has been prompted by evidence suggesting that a key witness who helped incriminate the then 24-year-old Slaney was subsequently relocated by the police and may have received a 'reward' for her testimony - something that was never disclosed at trial.
Slaney and another man, Terence Burke, were sentenced to life for the murders of fast-Food tycoon Gary Thompson and his business associate John Weston. Thompson had built a multi-million-pound business from his fleet of hot-dog and burger vans which raked in huge sums ar rokc festivals and sporting events. Know as the burger king, with a reputation for intimidating rivals, he had inevitably made some enemies.
In 1990, when he was found with three bullet wounds and with his data's takings of around £60,000 missing his death was put down to a robbery gone wrong. But since then there have been claims that it was an intentional 'hit' by an Iraqi night club owner, Ramzy Khachik, who is now in jail for drugs and firearms offences.
Posters went up in Leicester implicating Khachik in the murders. He was also accused of being behind threats, shootings and attachs on other catering vans that tried to move in on Thompson's old patch after his death. At the height of what became know as the 'hot-dog-wars', and in a scene straight out of a Mafia movie, a stavved pig was dumped outside a rival's house.
Several friends and family of Slaney, a boxer and nightclub bouncer, said he was at a party at the time of the killings. But he convicted after Burke and another man, who admitted conspiracy to rob, blamed Slaney for the shootings. Another witness put Slaney in the company of Burke trying on masks immediately before the murders, and said he had later boasted about them. It is this witness who is the subject of the new CCRC review.
Slaney's lawyer, Maslen Mechant, says there was no forensic evidence linking his client to the crime, and no test performed to match a partial fingerprint found on the murder weapon Slaney's slight frame did not match the figure described in original eyewitness accounts to the shootings.
Khachik belonged to a gun club, has firearms convictions and was questioned by police about the murders because his car had been spotted at the scene two hours befor the crime. Subsequent police taps on his phones, relating to other crimes, record him boasting about how important it is to case an area well in advance.
Slaney's case has now been taken up by the University of Bristol Innocence Project where law students investigate claims of injustice. Ass the CCRC looks at the possibility of rewards and incentives for witness in this murky gangland case, the only clear fact is that it is far from the simple bugled robbery depicted at Slaney's trial.
Source for this page:
Warren Slaney Campaign