Back Ground: The Glasgow Two
In October 1984 Thomas Campbell and Joe Steele were wrongfully convicted of the Doyle family murders upon the evidence of a serial perverter of justice who has now admitted by recorded interviews, sworn statements, on television and under caution to the Police, to having perverted justice once again in his evidence at the trial of the Glasgow Two in exchange for bail and immunity from prosecution on his own unrelated offences of armed robbery, attempt to pervert the course of justice an attempted murder, respectively.
In August 1996, the then Scots Secretary, Michael Forsyth MP, referred the case to the Court of Appeal. This reference was based upon the witness Love's confessions to Perjury at the trial and which evidence to an eavesdropped conversation in a public house was crucial to their wrongful convictions. Lord Kincraig, Trial Judge, noted:
"Now there is no evidence to say that these accused were near or at the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed and so the evidence is that of inference from the evidence before you ... which is that of the witness Love's evidence regarding the conversation in a public house... There is insufficiency of evidence in law to entitle you to convict without this evidence... The Crown Case stands or falls upon his evidence. It is therefore crucial that you believe him..."
It should be noted that the witness Love's evidence to eavesdropped conversation in a pub was not corroborated by any evidence nor supported by any witness in that respect. Furthermore, it was in fact refuted by three accused and two prosecution witnesses. Now countless more witnesses, TV viewers, sworn and recorded confessions etc speak clearly to having overheard HIM confessing that he lied. His first confessions were from 1986...
"There never was any conversation about that fire in that pub nor anywhere else mate. That was just something that was put into my head by the Police for me to say that as part of the deal... It was al/just one big fit up of a case... It was me who fired that gun at the van, I was the one, not Gray. I took a double-barrel sawn off shotgun and fired it at the ice-cream van."
Love's sister, Mrs Agnes Love or Carlton, is further independent evidence in cross check to her brother's confessions to Perjury. Not only did she witness his attack on the ice-cream van, but she had also provided the Police with a full detailed statement of his part in that incident at the time of the attack in 1984, but which crucial evidence remained secret and undisclosed to the Defence until 1996 when the case was referred to the Court by the Scots Secretary. As a result of this failure to disclose such exculpatory evidence Thomas Gray and others were wrongfully convicted upon the basis of Love's evidence at the trial in 1984, blaming them for his crimes. Mrs Carlton states...
"It was my brother Billy, I seen him from my window. He had come to my house with a double barrel sawn off shotgun about 'that' size and said that he was going to shoot up Jimmy Mitchell's van to give him a fright. I seen him do it from my window, but it was the wrong van...
The Scots Secretary's reference to the Court regarded (1) Love's confessions to Perjury and in particular, the significance of his admissions to discharging the firearm at the ice-cream van. That taken together with (2) his sister's witness and statement to the Police to that effect, were sufficient to raise concerns on issues of which it would be more appropriate for the Appeal Court to reach a final decision.
However, at the Appeal Court in February 1998, the Lord Chief Justice Clerk, Lord Cullen, appears to have somehow managed to overlook Love's confession in that respect and at Page 52 of his opinion states... (SLT 940H) "Love does not admit or suggest hat he was the person who fired the gun at the van, nor did he admit that he lied about his part in the shooting"
Lord Cullen returns to repeat this crucial error of the facts at page (S LT 941 K)... "Since he does not say that he lied as to the extent of his own involvement in the shooting, in these circumstances / am not satisfied that the evidence that Mrs Carlton would give could support Love's explanation that he was induced and put under pressure to present false evidence against the appellants. "
Thus on the basis of this error of the facts, Mrs Carlton could not 'confirm' something of which it appeared (to Lord Cullen) that her brother had not admitted. Therefore her evidence was not allowed to be heard and the independent support of her brother's confessions to the shooting incident and therefore to Perjury at the Trial. Further, as the law requires some such independent support, there now was no point in the Court hearing the confessions of the witness Love without her evidence to support it. Thus the appeal to have the evidence of perjury heard by the Court was refused by Lord Cullen based upon an error of the facts of the case.
Yet the very next Judge to give an opinion was Lord McCluskey. In his most excellent opinion in support of the Appeal, he confirms that Love had indeed confessed to discharging the gun at the van as his sister had witnessed and contrary to his evidence against Gray and others at the trial. Lord McCluskey paraphrases Love's in-depth confessions in that respect... (SLT 948K) "Because it would enable me to avoid being charged myself with Attempted Murder, of which / knew / was guilty because I was the one who fired the shotgun, / was willing to go ahead with the plan to present false evidence..."
On the basis that his sister's statement to the Police supports this, he supported the appeal to have the evidence of the Perjury by the witness Love and supporting evidence of his sister, heard by the Court for full examination under oath... "For should it be confirmed in evidence then that would entail that a serious miscarriage of justice has occurred..."
The third judge, Lord Sutherland, opined that...
(SLT955A) "The fact that Love said he committed Perjury is not enough, it is not in itself an explanation, it is merely an assertion. What is required is an explanation of 'why' the alleged true evidence was not given at the trial and that therefore calls for an explanation of 'why' he gave false evidence...
On this basis, Mrs Carlton could not support any evidence given by her brother as to 'why' he gave false evidence and the appeal to have the evidence heard by the Court was refused by Lord Sutherland.
It now appears that the administration of justice is stood upon its head to the point where a man pleading guilty, providing confession and independent support in corroboration to his crime (of Perjury) is dismissed by the Court for the fact that he cannot provide a good enough excuse in explanation as to 'why' he committed that crime and his victims punished in his place as a consequence. How can it be that his victims of admitted and accepted perjured evidence must now rely upon the quality of the defence of their perjurer? and upon his excuses as to why he perjured himself against them?
Since the Appeal court ruled two to one not to allow the evidence of Perjury at the original trial to be heard. Then "In these circumstances" Lord Cullen's patent error of the crucial facts became one of the essential points upon petition to the new Scots Secretary, Donald Dewar, to have the matter referred back to the Appeal Court to be properly and fully dealt with by the Court in accordance with the facts and the law. Yet although the Scots Secretary confirmed that Love's confessions to Perjury and, in particular, his confession that he was in fact the one who had fired the gun at the van, contrary to his evidence at the time of the trial, WAS in fact before him, as with the previous Scots Secretary and WAS before the Court from an early stage in the proceedings as was quoted by Lord McCluskey in the same Appeal Hearing.
Nevertheless, the Secretary stated that Lord Cullen was not in error of the facts because due to some clerical oversight or other, the witnesses' confessions in that respect were not seen as included within the list of documents before Lord Cullen at the time his opinion was formed. The Scots Secretary went on to impose his own opinion in presupposition of that of the Court, averring that... "Even if it had been, it is irrelevant and would have had no bearing upon his Lordship's rejection of Mrs Catiton's evidence as independent support of her brother's confessions to Perjury in that respect."
The Secretary was referred to Lord Cullen's opinion "in these circumstances" and after further deliberations, the Secretary of State could... "make no final decision" and referred the case to the newly formed Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in April 1999 after 14 months of enquiry and 16 years of wrongful imprisonment.
Yet where there is proof and supporting evidence that the Glasgow Two are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned upon the evidence of a serial perverter of justice, then to continue to hold these men in prison whilst refusing to allow the fearful facts to be examined under the scrutiny of an Open Court in a public trial, is a scandal of epic proportions and a gross travesty of justice entailing a crime against society for the fact that the cover up is called 'Justice' in our name.
Justice cannot be done for the Doyle family, nor in the public interests while the innocent are imprisoned in pain. One injustice does not correct the imbalance of another, and after 17 years of cruel travesty, the struggle for justice does not wane.
Where the Court and the course of justice stumbles upon such errors and, as a result, fails to address those very issues upon which the case was originally referred in the first instance. Is it therefore reasonable, just or fair to hold these men in prison rather than publicly admit the gross travesty of justice perpetrated against them in our name? For, through no fault of their own, but by the perjured evidence of a serial perveter of justice and misdirection and error in the administration of the law, these men have suffered 17 years of a living nightmare, innocently imprisoned in our names and in the name of justice.
It has been three years 'since' the crucial error of the essential facts in the opinion of the Court of Appeal. Three years of further wrongful imprisonment for the Glasgow Two whilst the Scottish Office and Scottish Criminal Cases Review Committee's 'intense and urgent' priority enquiry can come to no decision upon what to do in this case. In the meantime, justice delayed is justice denied, but justice prevented is justice perverted and, when this is exacerbated by the legal administration's refusal to co-operate, it becomes more than a miscarriage of justice. It is an outrage and an outright affront upon the public. As Thomas Campbell says...
"Where God hath given, man taketh away In boundless arrogant vanity Lord's temporal dare proclaim God's given law as their domain."
By any reasonable account it is neither reasonable, just nor fair to hold these men in prison without a full and fair hearing of all the facts of the case for another single day. The SCCRC have a duty and responsibility, not only for these men and their families, but also the victims and their families and in the public interest, to ensure that justice is restored by the reference of this case back to the Court of Appeal for a full and proper hearing of all the facts and evidence of the case. In the name of justice, equality and fairness for all and, though the heavens fall, let justice roll on like a river, righteousness in an ever flowing stream...
Free The Glasgow Two
Tommy Campbell HMP Shotts,Shots, Lanarkshire, ML7 4LF
Joe Steele HMP Shotts,Shots, Lanarkshire, ML7 4LF