Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A6 Rebooted

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Just to clarify my reason for focusing on the non disclosure of the relationship between Gregtsen and Valerie Storie. It has nothing to do with victim blaming, although I will come to that point last. A jury has the right to draw inferences from a witness’ character and delivery of testimony. In the case of Sion Jenkins, the headmaster who stood trial twice I think for the murder of his adopted daughter with no clear verdict being reached, the jury were informed that Jenkins had lied on teacher applications. Now this had sod all to do with the crime obviously, but it allows the jury to consider that a man who can lie brazenly about qualifications he does not possess might lie about other matters. It also reveals a character confident he can hoodwink professional people partly through a personable manner which I believe came across at trial.
    You seem to have trouble distinguishing between a witness, who had been raped and shot, and someone on trial for murder. The nature of the lies Jenkins told about himself and his qualifications, informed the jury that this was someone who was prepared to lie to give himself an unfair advantage in life, or to elevate other people's opinions of him. If Jenkins's adopted daughter had survived to give evidence, I doubt it would have helped him one iota if his defence had found examples of this young girl's bad behaviour at home or school, to try and discredit her as a witness.

    In the A6 Case Valerie Storie was involved in a long running affair with a married man, something which many jurors would probably think was morally wrong. The main moral obligations rested with Gregsten of course since he had a wife and two children to consider. But that does not give Valerie Storie a free pass, unless we want to see her as some swooning Victorian female at the mercy of her passions. She was out of her teens and very capable of making her own judgments and allowed the affair to continue. The fact she was later raped and very nearly executed does not alter the fact of her putting her own interests above those of another woman and family. This affair was hardly a secret and it is possible to see a certain brazenness in the way it was conducted, at least that seemed to have been the response of persons informing a landlord and the couple’s employer. Yet none of this was brought to the attention of the jury either as a way of assessing Valerie Storie’s honesty (she clearly was less comfortable with the matter being aired in public after the crime) or other possible motives for what took place.
    I really don't know what to say, cobalt, other than to repeat that Sherrard was way ahead of his time, if he realised that making the victims' behaviour public, in a bid to discredit her account of what was done to them both, and her identification of Hanratty as the stranger who did it, would very likely have been seen by the jury as beyond desperate. If Sherrard could only defend Hanratty by attacking the victim's character, what would the jury have made of that?

    I’ll finish with some cod psychology to explain why I think the affair was relevant. I cannot believe Valerie Storie had met her attacker before but that is not the same as believing her account of the five hour car trip, one where there were stops for refreshments and no one seemed to even need to go for s pee. She concealed her relationship from the jury and could equally well have concealed the reason for that strange journey from them as well. If -and I accept it can only be ‘if’ -the purpose of the journey was to broker some kind of end to their affair which they refused to accept then she would be inhuman if she did not attach some kind of responsibility to the terrible events upon herself. The version of the random stranger would not remove that feeling but at least allow herself to live the rest of her life with less public criticism. The ‘stranger killer’ version also helps remove fingers being pointed at Michael Gregsten as well, something that Valerie Storie may well have thought was the decent thing to do in respect of Mrs. Gregsten and her two sons.
    You are entitled to your opinion, cobalt, but it doesn't wash with me. Firstly, why should Valerie have taken any responsibility for what put an end to Gregsten's life and ruined hers? She didn't ask for a man with a gun to take them on this magical mystery tour to the stuff of nightmares. Secondly, if its purpose was to 'broker some kind of end to their affair', which neither of them was prepared to consider ["Mind you own effing business! Who are you anyway, to come poking your nose into our affairs? The Sodding Pope?"], how was Valerie meant to guess, in a million years, that the affair might be ended for them, in the totally OTT, not so time-honoured fashion, of rape and murder? This wasn't Profumo and Keeler, or some bad movie plot!

    Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, and what leads two people to start an affair. Only Valerie knew her reasons, and it's not for others to judge or justify. But I can't see any woman in Valerie's position in the early 60s thinking 'the decent thing to do' for Gregsten's widow, children or anyone else, was to lie in court about the purpose of this road trip and allow an innocent stranger to hang for it. It's not like she continued to do 'the decent thing' and never admitted to the affair afterwards, and why on earth would 'the decent thing' have included protecting the real killer, as well as whoever sent him, if Valerie was aware this was someone close to Gregsten, who knew about the affair and wanted it to stop so badly that they didn't care how it was achieved? That makes no sense. She'd have been far more likely to speak up and try to get justice for her lover's murder - regardless of any further damage to her reputation. He was dead, and her life was all but over anyway.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by moste View Post
    QUOTE: but Hanratty didn't help himself by cancelling one alibi out with the other, and the jury ended up believing Valerie got it right,

    Well now, we all know that this simply is not true. In the words of the otherwise inept defence .”The substance of the Liverpool alibi was maintained”.
    The defence had no choice but to word it that way. But what was meant by 'substance'? Surely what matters most, moste, is where Hanratty claimed to be when the rape and double shooting took place.

    To be in Liverpool overnight, or not to be in Liverpool overnight, but in Rhyl instead? That is the question.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Hi Caz,
    I have never thought that Valerie Storie knowingly identified the wrong man. I am not aware of anything in her life before and after the terrible rime which suggested she had the vindictive nature to do such a thing. For that reason I don’t believe she could have known the person who committed the crime prior to that evening.
    Right you are cobalt, so once again, how would it have been to Hanratty's advantage, to have the sordid details of the victims' adulterous love affair come out in open court? I thought the idea was to plant the seed in the jury's minds that Valerie was dishonest and immoral, and therefore her account, including her identification of the man in the dock, might not be the truth, the whole truth... and so on. If all she could reasonably have been suspected of was making an honest mistake when she identified Hanratty, then her sex life was irrelevant to the case against him.

    Your point that the kidnapper lost patience because he was NOT receiving the power he imagined he would does make more sense to me than what I have generally read- to the effect that he was enjoying directing a pointless car rally for five hours. I did warn you that I would engage in cod philosophy of my own but it was based on Valerie Storie’s account of how they reacted to the kidnapper.
    I'd really appreciate it if you would not put words into my mouth. Where did I suggest the 'kidnapper lost patience', or that this was because he was not receiving the 'power' he imagined he would? Based on Valerie's account, which I'm pleased to see you treating as truthful, the kidnapper seemed not to know what he wanted, but I doubt it was to commit cold-blooded murder. I think he was struggling just to control this situation of his own making, and it proved too much for him when Gregsten made a sudden movement and he panicked, shooting him dead before he had time to "fink" about what he was doing. From that point on, he was a killer, who would have to grow the balls he needed to do it again, to silence the only witness.

    The original point I queried remains unanswered. If Sherrard knew of the affair before trial did he consult with Hanratty about if or how that should be handled at trial? I have explained how this may have influenced (or not as you suspect) the jury and turned the verdict Hanratty’s way. Valerie Storie was the victim of violence indeed but was allowed to present a tidied up version of her activities. The whole truth was not told. James Hanratty was not afforded this luxury, since being a self-confessed thief was central to his defence, and if this was a tactic by Sherrard then I think he put his client at a disadvantage.
    The 'tidied up version of her activities'? You mean the full, uncensored version would have provided the real reason she was in that parked car with a married man when a man with a gun took them on a mystery tour, that appears to have been a mystery to all three of them? Surely what matters is what happened from the moment the three of them were together, and whether or not you are prepared to accept Valerie's version of that. There was never any suggestion that she or her lover had ever seen this third party before, or that he may have been there, not by chance, but because he knew of their affair and was tasked with ending it in whatever way he could. If she had any idea at all that this could be the case, and any reason to suspect someone of arranging it, would she not have wanted that person to pay for the devastation they had caused?

    Assuming Sherrard knew the ins and outs of the victims' affair, the only 'tactic' I can see was not further increasing the jury's sympathy for Valerie by washing her dirty knickers in public, to suggest that her lack of morals may have led someone other than Hanratty to commit rape and murder [???]. Hanratty wasn't going to magically walk away from this, even if Valerie could have been exposed as a career marriage breaker. Even if someone could have been hired to try and break up the wicked pair - someone not known to either of them - Hanratty was still the hopeless liar in the dock, identified by Valerie as the man who broke a butterfly on a wheel.

    One more thing, to go back to the crime itself, another mystery is how anyone tasked with ending an adulterous affair would have set about tracking the couple down to where they were parked. They would have been doing their best to conduct the affair away from any prying eyes, so they must have been rather careless if they allowed their intended movements that evening to be known about by whoever had it in for them. Assuming the kidnapper wasn't known to them, was he given photos and a roadmap, to guide him to where he could expect to find them, so he could then follow their car to the cornfield, where they believed they would be alone, in a place that nobody knew about?

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 03-23-2021, 02:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    Just to clarify my reason for focusing on the non disclosure of the relationship between Gregtsen and Valerie Storie. It has nothing to do with victim blaming, although I will come to that point last. A jury has the right to draw inferences from a witness’ character and delivery of testimony. In the case of Sion Jenkins, the headmaster who stood trial twice I think for the murder of his adopted daughter with no clear verdict being reached, the jury were informed that Jenkins had lied on teacher applications. Now this had sod all to do with the crime obviously, but it allows the jury to consider that a man who can lie brazenly about qualifications he does not possess might lie about other matters. It also reveals a character confident he can hoodwink professional people partly through a personable manner which I believe came across at trial.

    In the A6 Case Valerie Storie was involved in a long running affair with a married man, something which many jurors would probably think was morally wrong. The main moral obligations rested with Gregsten of course since he had a wife and two children to consider. But that does not give Valerie Storie a free pass, unless we want to see her as some swooning Victorian female at the mercy of her passions. She was out of her teens and very capable of making her own judgments and allowed the affair to continue. The fact she was later raped and very nearly executed does not alter the fact of her putting her own interests above those of another woman and family. This affair was hardly a secret and it is possible to see a certain brazenness in the way it was conducted, at least that seemed to have been the response of persons informing a landlord and the couple’s employer. Yet none of this was brought to the attention of the jury either as a way of assessing Valerie Storie’s honesty (she clearly was less comfortable with the matter being aired in public after the crime) or other possible motives for what took place.

    I’ll finish with some cod psychology to explain why I think the affair was relevant. I cannot believe Valerie Storie had met her attacker before but that is not the same as believing her account of the five hour car trip, one where there were stops for refreshments and no one seemed to even need to go for s pee. She concealed her relationship from the jury and could equally well have concealed the reason for that strange journey from them as well. If -and I accept it can only be ‘if’ -the purpose of the journey was to broker some kind of end to their affair which they refused to accept then she would be inhuman if she did not attach some kind of responsibility to the terrible events upon herself. The version of the random stranger would not remove that feeling but at least allow herself to live the rest of her life with less public criticism. The ‘stranger killer’ version also helps remove fingers being pointed at Michael Gregsten as well, something that Valerie Storie may well have thought was the decent thing to do in respect of Mrs. Gregsten and her two sons.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    QUOTE: but Hanratty didn't help himself by cancelling one alibi out with the other, and the jury ended up believing Valerie got it right,

    Well now, we all know that this simply is not true. In the words of the otherwise inept defence .”The substance of the Liverpool alibi was maintained”.

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    Hi Caz,
    I have never thought that Valerie Storie knowingly identified the wrong man. I am not aware of anything in her life before and after the terrible rime which suggested she had the vindictive nature to do such a thing. For that reason I don’t believe she could have known the person who committed the crime prior to that evening.

    Your point that the kidnapper lost patience because he was NOT receiving the power he imagined he would does make more sense to me than what I have generally read- to the effect that he was enjoying directing a pointless car rally for five hours. I did warn you that I would engage in cod philosophy of my own but it was based on Valerie Storie’s account of how they reacted to the kidnapper.

    My point about Alphon was purely in respect of a criminal escalating the nature of his crime: Alphon was prone to issuing threats and on at least one account used violence towards a woman so fitted the bill better. The logic for Alphon carrying out the crime is, I am fully aware, no stronger than it being committed by Hanratty.

    The original point I queried remains unanswered. If Sherrard knew of the affair before trial did he consult with Hanratty about if or how that should be handled at trial? I have explained how this may have influenced (or not as you suspect) the jury and turned the verdict Hanratty’s way. Valerie Storie was the victim of violence indeed but was allowed to present a tidied up version of her activities. The whole truth was not told. James Hanratty was not afforded this luxury, since being a self-confessed thief was central to his defence, and if this was a tactic by Sherrard then I think he put his client at a disadvantage.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    I agree that a harsh questioning of Valerie Storie would likely have been counter productive given her ordeal; in fact she had to be helped into court and placed in a wheelchair from memory. I also agree the jury had the right to assess her evidence accordingly in regard to her relationship, but they were not ostensibly given the opportunity. Spelling things out is exactly what barristers are paid to do.
    Thanks, cobalt. That was my point really. If it had been spelled out in open court that the victims had been having an adulterous affair [whether it had only just begun or had been going on for years] I just wonder how that would have affected the jury's opinion on whether or not Valerie had correctly identified Hanratty as the man who had spent all that time in the car, 'babbling out' his self-pitying autobiography. This was the same man who couldn't or wouldn't give a straight story about his own whereabouts at the time. What was he up to, they could be forgiven for thinking, that could have been any worse than murder, rape and attempted murder?

    Even if the jury had considered the possibility that the motive was to put an end to the couple's relationship, implying the gunman's knowledge of this and connection to his victims, they would have been left to consider how the answer to the victims' immoral behaviour could, in any sane universe, have been to rape the woman and shoot them both. The words 'sledgehammer', 'crack' and 'nut' spring to mind.

    Caz’s last paragraph is, alas, an example of the cod psychology we can be tempted into when trying to make our case for or against. The wild allegations of crimes Hanratty may have committed is really an acknowledgment that there is in fact no known crime Hanratty committed (unlike say, Alphon) which is remotely like the A6 case. Ghost crimes in other words, which exist only in the imagination.
    On that matter I will veer into some cod psychology of my own. Hanratty was a burglar but the suggestion was made in court that he had ambitions to be a robber, a ‘stick up’ man in Americanese. He’d made noises about acquiring a gun and given his acquaintance with Dixie France this might not have been much of a problem. So far, so good.
    But he seems to have hedged his bets when visiting the Taplow area for, despite carrying a weapon and spare ammunition, he reverted to type and decided on a spot of old fashioned burglary. Not so handy for shinning up drainpipes or slipping through windows but nonetheless he was able to arrive, walk down country roads in his sharp suit, and presumably ‘case’ a joint or two without ever being seen. At some point he gives up on burglary and must be itching to try his hand as an armed robber. Maybe he was on his way to a late night shop, a small garage or a pub at cashing up time when he spots a car in a cornfield. Easy money and a car home as well, so a great opportunity to begin his apprenticeship. Thus far the narrative has a few holes obviously but it can just about be sustained.
    What happens thereafter suspends disbelief a little too far. Instead of taking valuables and kicking the couple out of the car in a lonely field, he decides to sit (according to Ms Storie’s evidence for around two hours) babbling out some kind of self-pitying autobiography. The victims’ response seems to be less one of terror and more one of pity and utter boredom. At times they can barely conceal their contempt. Far from dominating them or feeling some kind of power kick he is being treated as the inadequate that he is. Surely time to cut his losses and finish the robbery? Far from it. He decides on a bizarre car rally of his own, stopping for cigarettes and petrol, before the horrific climax to a robbery which was never really a robbery in the first place. From burglar to stick-up man might be just be seen as a logical progression but our man goes way beyond his parameters in a matter of hours: kidnap, murder, rape, attempted murder. And yet at the start of the evening his ambitions could hardly have stretched beyond holding up a small shopkeeper.
    So no 'cod psychology' here then, cobalt?

    I wasn't making any 'wild allegations' of other crimes Hanratty may have committed. I was talking generally, about anyone who committed this crime. I even suggested that the rape was more about the power this 'inadequate' character had to summon after shooting Gregsten dead, possibly unintentionally. If the victims didn't see the warnings signs, perhaps that's because you have described their experience accurately, and there weren't any - up to that point.

    Whatever 'previous' Alphon and Hanratty had between them, this crime was different. What makes Alphon psychologically more likely to have held up this couple with a loaded gun and made them drive all that way, not apparently knowing what he was planning to do, or where it was all going to end? If it had been a case of scaring them into ending their affair, and sexually assaulting Valerie as a bonus, using the gun only as a threat, why not do both while the car was parked and get it over with, with a minimum of communication? From your own description, this sounds like the gunman didn't have any definite outcome in mind, but only a vague outline of what he was doing, and where he was going with this loaded gun as his sole point of reference. This smacks more of an experiment gone wrong than someone's cunning plan to teach the victims a lesson in morality.

    Where were you, cobalt, when there was all that kerfuffle about alleged rape victims having their sex lives raked over in open court, to try and make them out to be liars, who were accusing innocent men? Innocent men have been accused in this way, but it's rare, and usually involves someone known to the victim. There was no reason for Valerie to identify Hanratty, a total stranger to her, if she knew it wasn't him. Someone raped and shot her, and could still have been out there, free to do it to someone else, if she lied about any aspect of her testimony. Of course there was always the potential to be mistaken, but Hanratty didn't help himself by cancelling one alibi out with the other, and the jury ended up believing Valerie got it right, and knowing Hanratty was a liar. The DNA findings - regardless of personal opinions about how they were reached - support Valerie's account of what happened, and further undermine Hanratty's claims to have been in Liverpool or Rhyl - whichever is the less implausible.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    It does seem strange that for all we have pored over the A6 case for much of our lives we don’t seem to know the answer to the two questions I asked earlier: was Sherrard actually aware of the long term affair between Gregsten and Valerie Storie; and if he was, did he consult Hanratty about how (or how not) this would feature at trial.

    Caz seems remarkably prescient about how a jury would have reacted to this information, not only in 1960 but also 1860. In fact she even seems to know that they were all aware of the relationship in any case and did not need it to be spelled out. I agree that a harsh questioning of Valerie Storie would likely have been counter productive given her ordeal; in fact she had to be helped into court and placed in a wheelchair from memory. I also agree the jury had the right to assess her evidence accordingly in regard to her relationship, but they were not ostensibly given the opportunity. Spelling things out is exactly what barristers are paid to do.

    Caz’s last paragraph is, alas, an example of the cod psychology we can be tempted into when trying to make our case for or against. The wild allegations of crimes Hanratty may have committed is really an acknowledgment that there is in fact no known crime Hanratty committed (unlike say, Alphon) which is remotely like the A6 case. Ghost crimes in other words, which exist only in the imagination.
    On that matter I will veer into some cod psychology of my own. Hanratty was a burglar but the suggestion was made in court that he had ambitions to be a robber, a ‘stick up’ man in Americanese. He’d made noises about acquiring a gun and given his acquaintance with Dixie France this might not have been much of a problem. So far, so good.
    But he seems to have hedged his bets when visiting the Taplow area for, despite carrying a weapon and spare ammunition, he reverted to type and decided on a spot of old fashioned burglary. Not so handy for shinning up drainpipes or slipping through windows but nonetheless he was able to arrive, walk down country roads in his sharp suit, and presumably ‘case’ a joint or two without ever being seen. At some point he gives up on burglary and must be itching to try his hand as an armed robber. Maybe he was on his way to a late night shop, a small garage or a pub at cashing up time when he spots a car in a cornfield. Easy money and a car home as well, so a great opportunity to begin his apprenticeship. Thus far the narrative has a few holes obviously but it can just about be sustained.
    What happens thereafter suspends disbelief a little too far. Instead of taking valuables and kicking the couple out of the car in a lonely field, he decides to sit (according to Ms Storie’s evidence for around two hours) babbling out some kind of self-pitying autobiography. The victims’ response seems to be less one of terror and more one of pity and utter boredom. At times they can barely conceal their contempt. Far from dominating them or feeling some kind of power kick he is being treated as the inadequate that he is. Surely time to cut his losses and finish the robbery? Far from it. He decides on a bizarre car rally of his own, stopping for cigarettes and petrol, before the horrific climax to a robbery which was never really a robbery in the first place. From burglar to stick-up man might be just be seen as a logical progression but our man goes way beyond his parameters in a matter of hours: kidnap, murder, rape, attempted murder. And yet at the start of the evening his ambitions could hardly have stretched beyond holding up a small shopkeeper.
    Mmh, Those final words perhaps smack of the couple knowing the person in the car with them? There are a number of incidents during the evening/night , that could possibly point to this.

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    It does seem strange that for all we have pored over the A6 case for much of our lives we don’t seem to know the answer to the two questions I asked earlier: was Sherrard actually aware of the long term affair between Gregsten and Valerie Storie; and if he was, did he consult Hanratty about how (or how not) this would feature at trial.

    Caz seems remarkably prescient about how a jury would have reacted to this information, not only in 1960 but also 1860. In fact she even seems to know that they were all aware of the relationship in any case and did not need it to be spelled out. I agree that a harsh questioning of Valerie Storie would likely have been counter productive given her ordeal; in fact she had to be helped into court and placed in a wheelchair from memory. I also agree the jury had the right to assess her evidence accordingly in regard to her relationship, but they were not ostensibly given the opportunity. Spelling things out is exactly what barristers are paid to do.

    Caz’s last paragraph is, alas, an example of the cod psychology we can be tempted into when trying to make our case for or against. The wild allegations of crimes Hanratty may have committed is really an acknowledgment that there is in fact no known crime Hanratty committed (unlike say, Alphon) which is remotely like the A6 case. Ghost crimes in other words, which exist only in the imagination.
    On that matter I will veer into some cod psychology of my own. Hanratty was a burglar but the suggestion was made in court that he had ambitions to be a robber, a ‘stick up’ man in Americanese. He’d made noises about acquiring a gun and given his acquaintance with Dixie France this might not have been much of a problem. So far, so good.
    But he seems to have hedged his bets when visiting the Taplow area for, despite carrying a weapon and spare ammunition, he reverted to type and decided on a spot of old fashioned burglary. Not so handy for shinning up drainpipes or slipping through windows but nonetheless he was able to arrive, walk down country roads in his sharp suit, and presumably ‘case’ a joint or two without ever being seen. At some point he gives up on burglary and must be itching to try his hand as an armed robber. Maybe he was on his way to a late night shop, a small garage or a pub at cashing up time when he spots a car in a cornfield. Easy money and a car home as well, so a great opportunity to begin his apprenticeship. Thus far the narrative has a few holes obviously but it can just about be sustained.
    What happens thereafter suspends disbelief a little too far. Instead of taking valuables and kicking the couple out of the car in a lonely field, he decides to sit (according to Ms Storie’s evidence for around two hours) babbling out some kind of self-pitying autobiography. The victims’ response seems to be less one of terror and more one of pity and utter boredom. At times they can barely conceal their contempt. Far from dominating them or feeling some kind of power kick he is being treated as the inadequate that he is. Surely time to cut his losses and finish the robbery? Far from it. He decides on a bizarre car rally of his own, stopping for cigarettes and petrol, before the horrific climax to a robbery which was never really a robbery in the first place. From burglar to stick-up man might be just be seen as a logical progression but our man goes way beyond his parameters in a matter of hours: kidnap, murder, rape, attempted murder. And yet at the start of the evening his ambitions could hardly have stretched beyond holding up a small shopkeeper.

    Leave a comment:


  • NickB
    replied
    This matter of Sherrard being too soft on Storie arose as part of the argument for the case being thrown out at committal. But at committal Sherrard asked for Storie's evidence to be given in private, and this request was granted.

    At the trial Storie said early on that she and Gregsten were very fond of each other. It is difficult to tell at this distance how much this, and other answers, led to a realisation by most people they were having an affair. It has been claimed that Storie first revealed the affair in her Today article, but this cannot be true because in it she talks about having received loads of mail about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Well, I still await my answers although Caz has thrown in a number of different questions of her own. I think she is confusing the roles of the defence barrister and the judge. It is for the judge to rule on matters that are not relevant to the case; it is for the barrister to develop any line of questioning, no matter how indelicate, to the advantage of his client. As Moste indicated earlier, Sherrard failed to do so.
    But that was my point, cobalt. How would it have been to the advantage of Sherrard's client to hit the jury over the head with the victim's "immoral character", for being a single woman, who was in a parked car in a cornfield with a married man? Everyone would have grasped the 'indelicate' nature of this circumstance without the need to spell it out. It had nothing to do with Valerie's integrity as a witness, but if the jury had felt it did, they were adults and free to judge her evidence accordingly, alongside Hanratty's claim to have been in two places at once. Had Sherrard ripped into Valerie, as a wicked husband stealer, it would likely have backfired. This was the 1960s, not the 1860s, and the sympathy vote would have been that much stronger for this woman who had lost her man, been raped and shot, and paralysed for life. How would that have helped to throw doubt on the case against Hanratty?

    The 'puzzling five hour kidnap journey to nowhere' happened, cobalt. Someone was responsible. Someone without the wit or the experience to make sure the only witness to this 'puzzling' crime couldn't later identify him. That tells us a little about the kind of man who did this.

    Another point to make is that this crime seems to have been a first as well as a last for whoever committed it, assuming nothing of a similar nature went undetected. So the idea that Hanratty's character, or previous criminal record, simply didn't fit, is inherently flawed, because it wouldn't have fit anyone else's either. Whoever did this was not someone who had lived a squeaky clean life up until that point, with not so much as a speeding ticket to his name. Nor was he someone who had regularly held up courting couples at gunpoint, or gone on to rape the woman. He had to start somewhere, and it wasn't up the A6. There would have been previous, lesser offences, which may or may not have resulted in a charge or conviction. Some may have gone unreported; others never connected to him. The police could have looked at known sex offenders, for example, but that would have been needle in a haystack territory. Many sex offences are not reported. Offenders who are caught often turn out to have had wives and girlfriends who never suspected a thing. And in this case I doubt rape was the original intention anyway, given that most sex offenders pick on lone victims, for obvious reasons. This was more about a bad character experimenting with the power given to him by a loaded gun.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    Well, I still await my answers although Caz has thrown in a number of different questions of her own. I think she is confusing the roles of the defence barrister and the judge. It is for the judge to rule on matters that are not relevant to the case; it is for the barrister to develop any line of questioning, no matter how indelicate, to the advantage of his client. As Moste indicated earlier, Sherrard failed to do so.

    The jury were entitled to the whole truth so they could draw their own conclusions. They may well have taken Caz’s approach and decided that the Gregsten/Storie relationship was nothing to do with the price of fish. They might equally have drawn a different conclusion: that a woman conducting an affair with a married man, a father of two young children, was not a person to be trusted entirely in her evidence. All the more so since she had concealed the real reason for her being in the cornfield in the first place. What trust could they then place in her identification- which was surely crucial to the verdict- or the puzzling five hour kidnap journey to nowhere? It was for the jury to decide, presented with the whole truth; not an edited version nor a nod and wink version.

    This assumes, as Caz did, that Sherrard actually knew about the long term affair between Gregsten and Valerie Storie. Or perhaps the police kept that from him, as they did with other potential evidence, since they did not consider it relevant.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    A lot of points to counter in your post Caz. Hanratty was a bog standard villain of a sort the cops could have picked up twenty in the day, andprobably as many today. The idea he committed a crime sui generis is betond credulity.
    Now I'm going to ask an even more alarming question, cobalt: Would you also think the idea beyond credulity that a bog standard flasher, for instance, of the sort the cops have complaints about on a regular basis, might turn to kidnap and murder if the opportunity presented itself? I personally think that would be a potentially very dangerous opinion for the cops to hold. Sorry if that sounds insensitive, but I feel quite passionately about this.

    If Hanratty fluffed his lines, as he surely did, then Valerie Storie trumped him when she picked out the wrong man in the ID parade. He paid a big price for dong that and she paid none. Fluffing her lines cost her nothing.
    Again, Valerie was not the one on trial, yet you are implying that Hanratty was somehow her victim, when he was his own worst enemy. She picked out the wrong man from the first ID parade, but she could hardly have picked out the right one if he wasn't there. She had nothing to do with the fact that Hanratty came to police attention and appeared in a second ID parade.

    Which is why I go back to the issue at debate, the decision not to question her character at trial. I have assumed that Sherrard knew of the Gregsten/Storie relationship before trial and have asked whether he had Hanratty’s approval not to bring it up at trial. I have had no answer so far from either NickB, or Spitfire, who are generally acknowledged as experts on fact on this site. They are certainly my points of reference on matters of fact.
    I still fail to see how it would have helped Hanratty if the victim's character was questioned on the basis of her relationship with a married man. What would that have had to do with the price of fish? "Ah, then Hanratty didn't do it, because he had no knowledge of this"? Come on cobalt, this may have been only the start of the swinging sixties, but the jury members were not so naive that it didn't dawn on them that the couple were up to naughties in the car in the cornfield. The gunman didn't need to know them from Adam to suspect as much, and the jury would have seen that without Sherrard drawing a flaming diagram.

    I am now asking a more alarming question: was it possible that Sherrard attempted to defend Hanratty without knowing about relationship between Gregsten and Valerie Storie? Was he, in the words of Nye Bevin, going naked into the debating chamber?
    I really don't think it would have mattered either way, cobalt. It was Hanratty who chose to lie about his whereabouts when a married man and a single woman, alone together in a parked car, were forced to take that fateful drive.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    A lot of points to counter in your post Caz. Hanratty was a bog standard villain of a sort the cops could have picked up twenty in the day, andprobably as many today. The idea he committed a crime sui generis is betond credulity.

    If Hanratty fluffed his lines, as he surely did, then Valerie Storie trumped him when she picked out the wrong man in the ID parade. He paid a big price for dong that and she paid none. Fluffing her lines cost her nothing.

    Which is why I go back to the issue at debate, the decision not to question her character at trial. I have assumed that Sherrard knew of the Gregsten/Storie relationship before trial and have asked whether he had Hanratty’s approval not to bring it up at trial. I have had no answer so far from either NickB, or Spitfire, who are generally acknowledged as experts on fact on this site. They are certainly my points of reference on matters of fact.

    I am now asking a more alarming question: was it possible that Sherrard attempted to defend Hanratty without knowing about relationship between Gregsten and Valerie Storie? Was he, in the words of Nye Bevin, going naked into the debating chamber?

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Sticking to the topic of how a defence barrister should conduct a case, we are often informed here that Sherrard quite understandably insisted Hanratty sign a disclaimer in respect of his change of alibi. This speaks well to Sherrard’s judgment and respect for his client as well. Fine.

    However, I assume Sherrard was fully aware of the true relationship between Gregsten and Valerie Storie before trial. Did he share this knowledge with his client Hanratty? And did Hanratty agree that any line of questioning in regard to this should not be used?
    I'm not sure what difference it would have made to the jury, even if they were told that Gregsten and Valerie had been at it like rabbits every opportunity they had. If anyone had seriously believed this had provided the motive for someone who knew and objected to their loose morals to arrange for their punishment, that should all have been investigated before Hanratty was tried. But it wasn't, so Sherrard was left with the job of trying to limit the damage Hanratty inflicted on himself by lying and changing his alibi. If he had nothing to do with this crime, and could not be connected in any way to either victim, he could have been 100% truthful about where he was at the time, and stuck with it. That was his best shot and he fluffed it. I don't know if Sherrard told him he was better off with one unprovable alibi than two, but in his shoes I'd have driven that truth home with a sledgehammer.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 03-17-2021, 12:38 PM.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X