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  • Ingrams, Radio 4 Today

    Richard Ingrams, the doddery former editor of the scandal sheet Private Eye, took his moment in the public spotlight as guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today to champion the cause of convicted murderer, James Hanratty.

    We, the listening public, had been warned by the BBC’s website that Dickie Ingrams would be looking at the case of James Hanratty, and I quote what was written there:

    “He [Ingrams] will be looking at the case of James Hanratty, who was hanged for the notorious A6 Murder, and plans to launch a fresh appeal against that conviction.....”

    It does not seem to have been appreciated by the BBC that the carrying into execution of the 1962 sentence curtailed James Hanratty’s ability to plan for anything but we will let that pass. To get us in the mood and to add topicality to the guest editor’s choice of story, the last item on every news bulletin was the ‘news’ that a second appeal against the 1962 conviction was being planned. We, the great British listening public, should have been warned that factual accuracy was not going to be the strong suit of either the BBC News or its guest editor for the day; for Jim appealed in 1962, a second appeal on his behalf was dismissed in 2002 and a further appeal would, by my calculations, be a third appeal. But let us let that pass.

    Eventually, at about 8.10 am, we reached the story itself. What a damp squib. We heard Jim’s brother trotting out the sincerely held belief that Jim was not the culprit. Bindman and Ingrams, the latter picking up the baton from his 'best friend', the late Paul Foot, mumbled the usual nonsense about contamination and DNA not being all it’s cracked up to be. We heard from Matt Foot, a solicitor and son of Paul, who rather guardedly informed us that DNA was not infallible, and that the science should be questioned. There being no show without Punch, we had to hear the views of Bobby Woffinden. To add balance we had a five second clip from the 1960s of Valerie Storie saying it was Hanratty what done it.

    I thought that there might be some meat in this otherwise stale and unpalatable sandwich when a delightful lady by the name of Linda Geddes was produced to add her considered views. It seems that Linda is a boffin of some description who writes for the New Scientist and accordingly well qualified to speak on DNA matters. Yet fairly early in her interview she cheerfully admitted that she had not seen the DNA file on the Hanratty/A6 exhibits and accordingly could not comment specifically on the validity or otherwise of those tests. However, she seemed to indicate that the tests (the results of which she had not seen) might (a high chance) have disclosed a match with a person other than Hanratty, but it was all speculation. Why had Bindman not given her the file? Why had Ingrams not drafted in someone who had seen the file and who had the appropriate qualifications to speak on the matter?

    To refresh our minds, the Court of Appeal in 2002 was prepared to accept that there was the possibility of contamination, but posed the question, if Hanratty’s DNA was present as a contaminant, then what had become of the rapist/murderer’s DNA? In August 1961 the rapist/murderer’s blood group was detected on the knickers from the seminal fluid deposited thereon. These tests were conducted well before any possibility of contamination from James Hanratty could arise.

    Bindman, Woffinden and now, it seems, Ingrams must come up with a plausible answer to the question posed by the Court of Appeal in 2002. On the evidence on the Today programme broadcast today they are a long way yet from formulating such a reply. At no stage did Sir Geoffrey intimate that further scientific evidence could be adduced which could explain the conundrum of the vanishing DNA of the real rapist/murderer. Mr Ingrams’ avowed intention was to vindicate the name of his ‘best friend’, Paul Foot, which he believes has been besmirched by Hanratty’s undoubted guilt. He, Ingrams, will have to do better than this showing.

  • #2
    Were we listening to the same programme Ron? At NO time did Linda Geddes 'admit' that she had not seen the file on the Hanratty DNA.

    Richard Ingrams 'doddery?'. Is that a scientific observation on your part? Does being 'doddery' unqualify one to comment on such issues?

    Private Eye a 'scandal sheet?' Are publications that uncover scandals not to be trusted then? If so - would that include the right wing Telegraph that uncovered the scandal of MPs expenses?

    Radio Four is a nationally respected broadcasting medium. Probably the best braodcasting medium in the world. Richard Ingrams and Paul Foot are and were highly respected and intelligent men. Many intelligent men and women have argued that the conviction of Hanratty was unsound. But the great unknown Ron thinks he knows better. He alone is qualified to decide who can comment and whose comment is worthy of consideration. Oh - I forgot - Ron and Vic. The A6 thread answer to Ant and Dec.

    Comment


    • #3
      read this:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/...2e80d03581%2C0

      I put the above on another A6 thread but it belongs better perhaps here.I was personally delighted when Richard Ingrams referred to Paul Foot"s book because Paul bothered to go into such meticulous detail about exploring the large number of anomolies in this case.He attended to what Nimmo had failed to follow through viz the Christopher Larman /Margaret Walker alibis for a start.Another of these anomolies was the case of Mrs Dinwoody"s alibi.Paul Foot sought out and found Mrs Dinwoody"s granddaughter and went through her account and that of her granddaughter"s friend [Linda Walton] who remembered the granddaughter[Barbara Ford] going behind the counter when children were served with sweets by her on 22nd.She remembered in detail what dressmaking material they had bought that day in the town centre before reaching the shop at about 4 pm and staying there "a good hour or so".
      But Rhyl is the place to do the research nowadays.At a small shop a few doors from Ingledene a highly respectable mother and son who run the printing business remember Mrs Jones.They remembered her beautifully clean boarding house and her good nature.They recalled how Mrs Jones,like her daughter remained convinced that it was James Hanratty who stayed with them for two nights 22/23rd August and paid 25 shillings for the two nights.
      And they reminded me about Trevor Dutton,another crucial witness who Mr Nimmo totally failed to interview .Dutton was a shy man who,like Margaret Walker never wanted to get involved in a murder case -both hated the publicity arising from the case.He nevertheless,like Mrs Walker, felt obliged to go to the police and report his sighting.So Mr Dutton went to Abergele police just a day before the trial ended and when his conscience wouldnt allow him to remain silent any longer .He reported that a young man [who he subsequently thought from the photos he saw later to have looked very like James Hanratty], had stepped out of a doorway between Barclays Bank and Burtons in Rhyl High Street and tried to sell him a gold watch on the morning of 23rd August.Mr Dutton remained convinced throughout his life that it was James Hanratty because of his artificially coloured hair.He was convinced there had been a grave miscarriage of justice .
      I myself have now met at least five people with direct knowledge of the Rhyl witnesses who remain convinced that Hanratty was in Rhyl on 22nd and 23rd August 1961.In fact I learnt from one person[neither of the above,but like them perfectly respectable and honest],believes the man who ran Dixie"s cafe near the fairground, who Terry Evans knew very well,without a shadow of doubt, that James Hanratty was in Rhyl on Wednesday 23rd August 1961.
      Norma
      Last edited by Natalie Severn; 12-30-2010, 10:55 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
        Were we listening to the same programme Ron? At NO time did Linda Geddes 'admit' that she had not seen the file on the Hanratty DNA.

        Richard Ingrams 'doddery?'. Is that a scientific observation on your part? Does being 'doddery' unqualify one to comment on such issues?

        Private Eye a 'scandal sheet?' Are publications that uncover scandals not to be trusted then? If so - would that include the right wing Telegraph that uncovered the scandal of MPs expenses?

        Radio Four is a nationally respected broadcasting medium. Probably the best braodcasting medium in the world. Richard Ingrams and Paul Foot are and were highly respected and intelligent men. Many intelligent men and women have argued that the conviction of Hanratty was unsound. But the great unknown Ron thinks he knows better. He alone is qualified to decide who can comment and whose comment is worthy of consideration. Oh - I forgot - Ron and Vic. The A6 thread answer to Ant and Dec.
        Here here! Far from being a "Scandal Sheet" the bi-weekly satirical newspaper from Lord Gnome has a distinguished history of investigative journalism and yes, it has courted (and indeed been in court due to) controversey now and again, but this was largely for scandals uncovered by, not started by, the paper. The "In the Back" section has a regular feature on several (often blatant) miscarriages of justice, and the Paul Foot Award remains a clear bench mark for investigation and journalism.

        More over, unlike other papers those of the Gnome are unafraid to admit when they got something completely and utterly wrong (their coverage of the MMR scare for example, has been suitably revised and reviewed in light of the "evidence" having been completely sunk. MD (aka Dr Mark Porter, their medical columnist) has done some excellent work exposing scare-mongering and schenanigans).

        Oh, and they keep printing that photo in the letters page. And it always makes me laugh. Sorry. Went on a tangent there...
        There Will Be Trouble! http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Little-Tro...s=T.+E.+Hodden

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TomTomKent View Post
          Oh, and they keep printing that photo in the letters page. And it always makes me laugh. Sorry. Went on a tangent there...
          Ah, yes

          Brillo Pad with vest and baseball cap and pretty young Asian lady. Funny indeed.
          allisvanityandvexationofspirit

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
            Were we listening to the same programme Ron? At NO time did Linda Geddes 'admit' that she had not seen the file on the Hanratty DNA.

            Richard Ingrams 'doddery?'. Is that a scientific observation on your part? Does being 'doddery' unqualify one to comment on such issues?

            Private Eye a 'scandal sheet?' Are publications that uncover scandals not to be trusted then? If so - would that include the right wing Telegraph that uncovered the scandal of MPs expenses?

            Radio Four is a nationally respected broadcasting medium. Probably the best braodcasting medium in the world. Richard Ingrams and Paul Foot are and were highly respected and intelligent men. Many intelligent men and women have argued that the conviction of Hanratty was unsound. But the great unknown Ron thinks he knows better. He alone is qualified to decide who can comment and whose comment is worthy of consideration. Oh - I forgot - Ron and Vic. The A6 thread answer to Ant and Dec.

            A kind friend has gently pointed out to me that Linda Geddes did indeed admit to not seeing the Hanratty file - and i have re-listened to the link and did hear her reference towards the end of the report so I apologise for getting that bit wrong but I stand by the rest of my post. The people putting the report together and those still campaigning for Hanratty are intelligent people - experts in their field and genuine in their beliefs and do not deserve to be rated 'doddery' and 'scandal' chasers by someone whose contribution to the debate amounts to pathetic name-calling.

            Comment


            • #7
              Does anyone know what happened to this appeal?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
                Does anyone know what happened to this appeal?
                Hi Spitfire - I claim no in depth knowledge of this proposed appeal but I think it was always more of an optimistic hope than a realistic plan.

                Ingrams was casting doubt on the certainty of the DNA evidence which established Hanratty's guilt beyond doubt for the Court of Appeal in 2002. I'll leave others to debate, if they wish, DNA matters and whether Ingrams had a point here.

                However, what Ingrams appeared to overlook was the belt and braces judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal. The Court were of the view that the DNA evidence ''made a strong case even stronger''. Thus, even if the DNA were to be disregarded altogether, a strong case against Hanratty still remained with, in the Court's view, insufficient trial flaws and subsequent disclosures to overturn the original verdict.

                Whatever current (and perhaps future) science might make of the 2002 DNA evidence and even if it were to rubbish it, Hanratty and his supporters are therefore still left with a finding of guilty from 1962. Very difficult now to see that being appealed against and especially in view of two other comments that the Court of Appeal made in their closing remarks:

                1. The Court stated that Hanratty and his supporters had ''been remarkably well served'' by their legal advisers. Perhaps that was simply a kind and appreciative remark. However, it probably also goes a long way to blocking any future appeal on the basis of any possible mistake or omission by Hanratty's lawyers if any such possible grounds could be alleged.

                2. The Court commented upon the expenditure involved in the 2002 appeal and emphasised that there needed to be ''exceptional circumstances'' to justify incurring such costs on historic cases. In view of these comments, the Criminal Cases Review Commission would surely be reluctant to revisit this case and request the Court of Appeal to consider it again.

                Much as some people may disagree with this judgment, I find it very hard to see how it can be appealed against, let alone changed.

                Best regards,

                OneRound

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi OneRound,

                  your post perfectly sums up the situation, as I understand it. I think the Law Lords were saying, Try for another appeal if you wish to, we can't stop you trying, but it's "buyer beware". And I'm sure that the Hanratty family's legal advisors (is it still Geoffrey Bindman & Co?) must have pointed out the extreme unlikelihood of another appeal being heard, let alone succeeding.

                  As I've said before on these Forums, I always liked Private Eye (the magazine as it is now is IMHO a shadow of what it used to be), and I always liked both Richard Ingrams and Paul Foot, even though the latter's rather daft populist politics grated on me a bit. However, I rather think that towards the end of his life Foot may well have had second thoughts about JH's presumed innocence, from his interviews with Janet Gregsten and Peter Alphon, and also, I think, from a gradual understanding that the Rhyl Alibi was and is insupportable. But having said this, Foot cannot be faulted for his hard work and years of keeping the case in the public eye.

                  Happy New Year to one and all, whichever side of the A6 Fence you're on!

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Graham.

                    I think the Court's comments about costs were not only a warning to Hanratty's family and supporters as to what they might well face but even more a clear marker to the Criminal Cases Review Commission to be very aware of the public purse.

                    Happy New Year to all from myself as well,

                    OneRound

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Arch-Hypocrite Limehouse Julie strikes again!

                      Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                      genuine in their beliefs and do not deserve to be rated 'doddery' and 'scandal' chasers by someone whose contribution to the debate amounts to pathetic name-calling.
                      Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                      the great unknown Ron thinks he knows better. He alone is qualified to decide who can comment and whose comment is worthy of consideration. Oh - I forgot - Ron and Vic. The A6 thread answer to Ant and Dec.
                      KR,
                      Vic
                      Truth is female, since truth is beauty rather than handsomeness; this [...] would certainly explain the saying that a lie could run around the world before Truth has got its, correction, her boots on, since she would have to chose which pair - the idea that any woman in a position to choose would have just one pair of boots being beyond rational belief.
                      Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Victor View Post
                        Arch-Hypocrite Limehouse Julie strikes again!



                        KR,
                        Vic
                        I apologise for my hypocrisy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Julie - as well as your apology, I'm sure Vic will appreciate its promptness. It did after all take him over four years to raise his concern.

                          Best regards,

                          OneRound

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                            Julie - as well as your apology, I'm sure Vic will appreciate its promptness. It did after all take him over four years to raise his concern.

                            Best regards,

                            OneRound
                            Thanks OneRound. My thoughts precisely!!

                            Comment

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