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  • Originally posted by Derrick View Post
    The appeal of 2002 got it completely wrong and it is time to put it right.
    You cannot be serious.

    Comment


    • We have been over this before. The people Sherrard says were cheated were only cheated IF the other material that was not disclosed to [ the defence] would have made the difference. Sherrard goes on to say that there was a strong argument at least for saying that the trial was fatally flawed. In fact the strong argument was made and was rejected.

      Ron---the point Michael Sherrard QC makes here could not have been made in the 1961 trial since Sherrard makes it absolutely clear that important evidence had been concealed from the defence-viz:

      MICHAEL SHERRARD QC (James Hanratty's trial barrister): I really couldn't bring myself to take in that those who had concealed the evidence in a capital case could have been as wicked as that.

      Comment


      • RonIpstone
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Derrick
        The appeal of 2002 got it completely wrong and it is time to put it right.

        Ron:
        You cannot be serious.
        Yes we can!

        More from Michael Sherrard QC [Hanratty"s trial barrister ] had this to say on 16 May 2002----after the appeal had been rejected!

        MICHAEL SHERRARD: No hair, no blood, no fibres, nothing at all was found that linked Hanratty to that motor-car.

        and

        MICHAEL SHERRARD When you're eyeball to eyeball with a senior police officer who swears in a good loud voice that your client said this, that and the other and you were going to challenge him, there's something between you and the officer which gives you the feeling he's not coming clean.

        Comment


        • Michael Sherrard-re aftermath of 2002 forensic results

          The Bootleg Theatre Company was run by two actors who wrote and presented a play based on a conversation between Hanratty and Alphon,the other suspect and when the 2002 forensic results came through ,one of the actors rang him:

          "So you think he did it?" he asked.

          Michael Sherrard QC gave him the only answer he could: "I think the court is going to think so ."

          And then Sherrard asks [himself] a few questions:
          "Had the jury speculated on why Gregston and Storie had gone to that particular country field in the first place,if not set up to it, perhaps by his family,wanting to frighten her off ?.Had they wondered why so many shady characters turned up as witnesses,having suddenly become "good citizens"ready to deal with the police in a way that had hitherto had not been their custom ? And what would they have made of the police fiddling with witness statements, had modern forensic hand- writing tests been available to them ? Hanratty would have been proved to have been telling the truth about much of what had been altered...."
          and

          "The "buts" are and were many in this extraordinary matter "

          "In the end the court of appeal [of 2002] did not think it was necessary to decide about how the evidence was presented and whether, as modern tests indicate and as was part of Hanratty"s case it had been tampered with

          .....
          "The evidence that confirmed Hanratty"s guilt, so far as the appeal process is concerned,is the DNA. But who would have thought that,for 31 years, the police would have kept on ice,Valerie Sotrie"s knickers and the handkerchief that wrapped the gun? or exhumed him for DNA matches?

          And his views on the Bedford Jury are as follows:

          On hearing the trial would not after all, be heard at the Old Bailey as hoped Sherrard says:
          " I was left with suspicions that there had been manoeuvring behind the scenes for the trial to take place in the court where the prosecution was most likely to succeed........

          [The Bedford Jury] were all male,middle class, white, property- owning gentry
          [who] "from the outset , appeared to be all too likely to live up to the Bedford reputation of being of the
          notoriously hard- nosed ,hang-"em, flog-"em school of justice


          No equivocation there then! His man was doomed!
          Last edited by Natalie Severn; 08-13-2010, 08:11 PM.

          Comment


          • The above can all be found in Wigs and Wherefores, A Biography of Michael Sherrard,Wildy Simmonds and Hill Publishers ,2009. Its unusual in that his words are usually reported in the first person-- and verbatim.Its Splendid .
            Norma

            Comment


            • Yet Sherrard also said - on film - that he was relieved that the wrong man wasn't hanged.

              Graham
              We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

              Comment


              • Graham,
                Read the chapter on Hanratty and you will see that he clearly doesnt accept that the DNA is proof of Hanratty"s guilt.
                Both after the Judgement in 2002 ,on film and in print in his 2009 autobiography, it is absolutely clear that he believed the case was a "set up" favouring scoundrels giving evidence ---read previous page here for the verbatim quote---and later that he knew that trial evidence - evidence that included the clothing had been "tampered with ." his words -he actually "appears "to see the DNA evidence as more of the same but read the book---
                This filmed utterance you talk of him making --and which I have been unable to find, is inconsequential when compared with his whole tone and what he insinuates---all of it is extremely " accusatory" of the faked evidence and underhand "goings on" ---the "buts ' .He doesnt accuse "Graham S" or the "judge" -but what went on with the police .
                Last edited by Natalie Severn; 08-13-2010, 11:09 PM.

                Comment


                • That's it - I give up.

                  Graham
                  We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                    Yet Sherrard also said - on film - that he was relieved that the wrong man wasn't hanged.

                    Graham

                    Can you point me to the quote and source? Can you actually "hear "him say it in the film, Graham---in what context is it said? ?It must have been tongue in cheek is all I can think ! Sherrard says that he and his wife were too choked on 5th April about the hanging to even want to celebrate their wedding anniversary ---and that Hanratty"s warders had grown very fond of him too and were in tears.That the High Sherrif was "unconvinced" and upset too as was the Prison governor.
                    At no point in the entire 2009 autobiography is there even a hint that Sherrard accepted Hanratty"s guilt! Not once in the entire book does he say that or anything like it---what he does have to say --- in 2002,after the DNA results were announced ---and in answer to the question,"Do you think he did it?"---is ----"I think the court is going to think so" which is a different matter entirely if you think about it.
                    Last edited by Natalie Severn; 08-13-2010, 11:10 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
                      Can you point me to the quote and source?
                      Norma,

                      Quote is here.

                      I see nothing contradictory about his view that the DNA proved Hanratty's guilt but that the evidence produced at the original trial was insufficient.

                      Autobiographies are opportunities to justify your thoughts, actions and decisions. You can leave it to other people to criticise them.

                      Nick

                      Comment


                      • Thank you Nick.
                        Can we get this clear: Michael Sherrard QC ,Hanratty"s trial barrister , did not say that the DNA proved Hanratty"s guilt-.


                        I am sorry to still be so be sceptical about the link you posted ,but what I would really still like to see is this statement in the context of his entire speech to members of the "Law Society".Sherrard may for example have had the DNA"s "apparent" "exoneration " of Alphon in mind---for example he may have been saying. "Well at least they didnt hang the previous suspect they had charged with the murder ,Alphon- there has at least been been no DNA link to pin the crime on him."
                        I think too,that Michael Sherrard QC, must surely have been in a singularly delicate position giving a speech at a Law Association meeting when his three esteemed colleagues ie the three judges who had rejected the 2002 appeal ,had come out believing the LCN DNA test results on the 40 year old fragment and hanky "solved the case" and they therefore didnt need to look at the various "irregularities" in the 1961 trial.
                        But read the chapter in Sherrard"s autobiography,"Wigs and Wherefores" to get a true picture of what he thought about the entire matter.While he may be forgiven for couching his language very slightly "ambiguously " when talking of the DNA ---he non the less points out that the DNA emanated from part of a whole stack of "evidence" that had been tampered with-and which ,Sherrard states categorically, has been shown to have been the case by modern testing techniques .Reading between the lines, Sherrard remains unconvinced by the 2002 " evidence".
                        Last edited by Natalie Severn; 08-14-2010, 01:16 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Not sure what the relevance of Sherrard believing or not believing in the guilt of Hanratty is. Presumably he swallowed the Liverpool alibi in its entirety and on that basis advised Hanratty to give evidence. So he has past form in believing in Hanratty's falsehoods. Moreover he is not qualified to give expert evidence on DNA.

                          Comment


                          • [QUOTE=RonIpstone;143795] Presumably he swallowed the Liverpool alibi in its entirety and on that basis advised Hanratty to give evidence. So he has past form in believing in Hanratty's falsehoods.]

                            Ron,
                            The Judge, Mr Justice Gormon,actually bent over backwards to reduce the consequences of Hanratty"s change of alibi:

                            "He does not have to prove his alibi.The failure or otherwise of the alibi does not make him guilty.You do not have to rely on it ,"-he had tried to direct the jury---but they were having none of it.The Bedford jury lived fully up to its reputation as being comprised of property owning gentry with a predilection for hanging and flogging.

                            It had been a great disappointment to Sherrard that, having persuaded the justices at committal that a trial at Bedford would be likely to deprive Hanratty of the fair trial that in the end,in fact, Sherrard suspected "there had been manoeuvrings behind the scenes for it not to take place at the Old Bailey after allbut for the trial to take place in a court where the prosecution was most likely to succeed ."

                            After the death sentence had been passed on Hanratty, Michael Sherrard was invited to attend a play where the script explored the anomolies in the evidence through an imaginary conversation between Hanratty and Alphon.
                            "It brought back to him how difficult it had been trying to curb the confidence of Hanratty and his family given the lengths the police were prepared to go to secure a conviction.It was only recently confirmed that the presentation of the police evidence was deeply flawed.........There were flaws all over the place ,not only from the police."

                            Comment


                            • Why did Hanratty do it?

                              What motive did Hanratty have for committing the crime?

                              It will be 50 years next year that this infamous murder was committed by James Hanratty. The works of literature on whether or not Hanratty was guilty are extensive, but little seems to have been written as to why he should have wanted to do what he seems to have done, to wit murder Michael Gregsten and rape and to attempt to murder Valerie Storie.

                              Leonard Miller in the Shadows of Deadman's Hill took the view that the area where the abduction took place was the sort of area that one would expect to be frequented by a burglar-large houses with relatively wealthy residents etc. The implication being that Hanratty was on one of his burgling expeditions. This is all right as far as it goes, but Hanratty had not burgled any houses that night, so if burglary was on his agenda, why did he abort his mission and abduct the occupants of a Moggie Minor?

                              If murder and rape had been his intention then there was no reason why he should not have done the deeds earlier in the proceedings. There was little compelling reason to leave the cornfield, let alone drive across London to Bedfordshire. It is true that Hanratty had robbed Gregsten and Storie shortly after the abduction, but the potential pickings offered by the occupants of a humble Moggie Minor could not have provided the reason for the abduction.

                              If Hanratty had acquired a gun to do stick-ups on the basis that burgling houses was all played out, then it is strange that he should carry on burgling empty houses armed with a revolver.

                              What Gregsten and Storrie did have in their humble little car was transport-a means to get out of the sticks and back to civilisation in London. Could that have been the reason for the hold up at gun point? It is a distinct possibility, although events subsequent to the hold up show that if originally a return to London was intended, that destination was eventually abandoned for the delights of Bedfordshire. Yet the change of destination could be explained by the tortured reasoning of Jim Hanratty, not the brightest of individuals, who must have realised that a order to Gregsten to drive him to one of his hunting grounds in the Smoke might lead to his arrest. The actual ultimate destination, Deadman's Hill in Beds. may have been en route to Hanratty's intended destination, which really could have been anywhere further north, which obviously would include Rhyl or Liverpool.

                              But that still leaves us with why Jim was wandering round Dorney Reach that late August evening? Had Jim in fact gone to Maidenhead earlier in the day, perhaps to do a stick up, perhaps for a trial run, although if the latter why take a loaded gun? From Maidenhead had Jim taken a pleasant evening stroll to the riverside village of Bray?

                              Now this is where my theory may be shot down, but I believe that the M4 roadbridge had been opened in the Spring of 1961. When I was there in 1993 there was also a footbridge alongside the motorway. Was this footbridge there when the motorway opened, or at least in the August after it opened?

                              If so, Jim, is drawn to have a look at the wonder of the age, the motorway, and so walks from Bray crosses the Thames alongside the M4, on the north bank of the Thames he decides not to retrace his steps, which would mean a hell of a walk back to Maidenhead, but decides to see if he can find Taplow Station. But Jim being Jim, he gets lost. Not only is he lost, he is lost carrying a loaded revolver. He now becomes apprehensive. Carrying a revolver in an area which has recently experienced house break-ins has its risks. Jim does not want to encounter the Old Bill; he happens upon the Moggie Minor and has a bright idea; he could get some much needed practice experiencing the power of ordering folk about with his newly acquired gun and also get a lift back home.

                              It was only when Jim sat in the back seat of the Moggie did he realise the new problems which he had created for himself. He needed time to 'fink' but no solution ever occurred to him.

                              Comment


                              • RonIpstone What motive did Hanratty have for committing the crime?
                                What motive indeed?

                                Swanwick having "speculated" another kind of "motive" gets this response from Hanratty in the witness box:

                                Hanratty;Sir, are you trying to suggest to the court that I went out on August 22nd to do a stick up with a gun?

                                Swanwick: Indeed I am

                                Hanratty:Well,it is quite obvious if I did that I would not be looking for a car in a cornfield,as you put it to the court.I will be looking for some cash,a bank,a shop,something to that effect.I would not be looking for a car in a cornfield for some cash for a stick up [Vol.X1V,p.37]

                                What Gregsten and Storrie did have in their humble little car was transport-a means to get out of the sticks and back to civilisation in London. Could that have been the reason for the hold up at gun point?
                                Why on earth would anybody in their right mind do a "Stick up" with a gun ---when all anybody in 1961 had to do to get a lift was get onto a main road and stick their thumb out?

                                Yet the change of destination could be explained by the tortured reasoning of Jim Hanratty, not the brightest of individuals, who must have realised that a order to Gregsten to drive him to one of his hunting grounds in the Smoke might lead to his arrest
                                I believe it to be a misconception that Hanratty was of dull intelligence.Dyslexia could easily be the explanation for his illiteracy and ,as can be seen from the extract from the exchange above with Swanwick,the prosecution barrister,when Hanratty was in the box fighting for his life,his wits are every bit as sharp as Swanwick"s.

                                Sherrard described Hanratty thus:Hanratty himself was a likeable articulate character ....quite up to the mark on repartee whilst maintaining a reasonable demeanour before the court [Wigs and Wherefores 2009].

                                Specualtion is all very well Ron, but lets stick to the facts about what can actually be established.I might just as easily [and perhaps more credibly ] speculate that Alphon was a "hit man" hired by Gregston"s family to scare him off his relationship with Valerie Storie.That that was why 5,000 was paid into his bank in three separate installments that Autumn -together with the 2,700 received from Newspaper"s for "The Story of his Arrest for the A6 Murder".That the arrangement to shock and put the frighteners on the affair suddenly went dramatically wrong when Gregsten hit him with his duffle bag frightening Alphon into shooting him by accident!
                                Last edited by Natalie Severn; 08-15-2010, 10:47 AM.

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