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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    ‘Following that and the resulting conviction, it's hard to disagree with Caz that there was then no obligation on the State to dig out and show any photos they might hold. '

    OR,
    No obligation? You cannot be serious. From a taxpayer’s point of view the State has paid for three inquiries and a subsequent review so they have an obligation on that front alone. The photo could have saved everyone a whole lot of time and trouble.

    The State also had an obligation to Valerie Storie who was the victim of the crime. If she identified someone very similar in appearance to James Hanratty at the first ID parade then what you described as a ‘misidentification’ becomes very understandable and bolsters the guilty verdict.

    I have already referred to the State’s obligation to seeing that justice is, and has, been done.

    By the way, they don’t have to ‘dig out’ the photos. They had them to hand at the time and there is no ‘might’ about it. He had a passport photo and almost certainly an armed services photo. These photos, like the Matthews Report, have been suppressed for a reason.
    I'm not so sure 'obligation' is the right word, or one I would have used myself.

    If a photo of Clark, or preferably his appearance at the original trial, had been considered pivotal, either in supporting or undermining Valerie's identification of Hanratty, it would have been up to the prosecution or the defence to use that evidence to persuade the jury and win their case. They didn't do so. Hanratty was found guilty, lost his appeal and was hanged. At the 2002 appeal it was said that the DNA evidence served to make a strong case even stronger. For the State, that was all the icing on the cake it would ever need.

    It's still hard for me to imagine the State ever fannying around getting Clark's photo into the public domain, when neither the defence nor the prosecution back in the day thought his physical appearance could have swayed the jury.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 01-19-2022, 12:03 PM.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    Originally posted by moste View Post
    The only reason I can see an official secrets act being enacted in the case of the A6 murder case would be as a result of a conspiracy existing. Even if as a result of Roger Mathews reaching the grand title of Chief Superintendent it became necessary for him to sign the act ,(and I donât know what circumstance brings that about in the case of a police officer,) but surely, for the purpose of investigating a possible miscarriage of justice where a person was innocently hanged, invoking the O S A seems in my view to be ,a, excessive , and ,b, majorly inviting the suspicion that such a conspiracy exists.
    Employees and ex-employees of the security services, civil servants, cops, judges, members of the armed forces and government contractors are among those subject to the Official Secrets Acts.

    It is not necessary for a person to have signed the act in order to be bound by it and Government employees are usually informed they are subject to it in their contracts.

    Many are still asked to sign the act as a way of reinforcing its content.

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  • OneRound
    replied
    Hi all - I too would very much like to see a photo of Clark and said as much in my first post about him this week. However, my main point was that it was Sherrard who not only allowed this genie to stay in the bottle but also tightened the lid. I do think we need to be more critical of his failure here at trial than the State not issuing Clark's photo thereafter.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

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  • moste
    replied
    The only reason I can see an official secrets act being enacted in the case of the A6 murder case would be as a result of a conspiracy existing. Even if as a result of Roger Mathews reaching the grand title of Chief Superintendent it became necessary for him to sign the act ,(and I don’t know what circumstance brings that about in the case of a police officer,) but surely, for the purpose of investigating a possible miscarriage of justice where a person was innocently hanged, invoking the O S A seems in my view to be ,a, excessive , and ,b, majorly inviting the suspicion that such a conspiracy exists.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    ‘Following that and the resulting conviction, it's hard to disagree with Caz that there was then no obligation on the State to dig out and show any photos they might hold. '

    OR,
    No obligation? You cannot be serious. From a taxpayer’s point of view the State has paid for three inquiries and a subsequent review so they have an obligation on that front alone. The photo could have saved everyone a whole lot of time and trouble.

    The State also had an obligation to Valerie Storie who was the victim of the crime. If she identified someone very similar in appearance to James Hanratty at the first ID parade then what you described as a ‘misidentification’ becomes very understandable and bolsters the guilty verdict.

    I have already referred to the State’s obligation to seeing that justice is, and has, been done.

    By the way, they don’t have to ‘dig out’ the photos. They had them to hand at the time and there is no ‘might’ about it. He had a passport photo and almost certainly an armed services photo. These photos, like the Matthews Report, have been suppressed for a reason.
    The photo is of the utmost importance and relevance. However, were I given the choice of seeing the photo or the contents of the report, I would go for the latter every time. Indeed, it's possible that the photo is in the report.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    I would imagine that he will have had to sign the official secrets act and that may result in a reluctance for him to release the information or indeed his report, even allowing for him being seriously ill. Having said that, the man must have been, and possibly still is, furious that the results of 18 months hard labour by himself and his team were effectively dismissed. One would like to think, therefore, that he has handed the report to someone who did not sign the OSA and who has the balls to release it to the media. Whether anyone in the media has the balls to go public is another matter but in the current political climate one would certainly hope so.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    ‘Following that and the resulting conviction, it's hard to disagree with Caz that there was then no obligation on the State to dig out and show any photos they might hold. '

    OR,
    No obligation? You cannot be serious. From a taxpayer’s point of view the State has paid for three inquiries and a subsequent review so they have an obligation on that front alone. The photo could have saved everyone a whole lot of time and trouble.

    The State also had an obligation to Valerie Storie who was the victim of the crime. If she identified someone very similar in appearance to James Hanratty at the first ID parade then what you described as a ‘misidentification’ becomes very understandable and bolsters the guilty verdict.

    I have already referred to the State’s obligation to seeing that justice is, and has, been done.

    By the way, they don’t have to ‘dig out’ the photos. They had them to hand at the time and there is no ‘might’ about it. He had a passport photo and almost certainly an armed services photo. These photos, like the Matthews Report, have been suppressed for a reason.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    If Mathews Ups and Dies ( with all due respect) without releasing the information that the government clearly are not going to cooperate with, I for one will be ..well , frankly gutted.

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post

    I have it on good authority Ansonman that Roger Matthews was very ill in hospital several weeks ago, I know nothing more than that at present.
    Certainly sad to hear. ‘Should never have been charged’ I too have always thought that the powers that be would have literally shriveled inwardly when that was released into the public domain. An extremely damning turn of phrase for the original puppets.

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  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    My assumption is very reasonable from a political perspective.

    The A6 Case has been a thorn in the side of the legal establishment since 1962 and there have been at least three official enquiries- Nimmo, Hawser and Matthews- in addition to the CCRC judgment. That is a lot of time and money but it was spent to shore up the case against Hanratty specifically and more importantly to sustain public confidence in the judicial system.

    Had Michael Clark borne any resemblance to James Hanratty then the ID made by Valerie Storie- very much the corner stone of the prosecution case – would have been immeasurably strengthened. It was would have saved a lot of time and money and quelled disquiet.

    Now we can be sure that contemporary photographs of Michael Clark existed and probably still do exist. He served in the armed forces I think and also would have required a passport photo. There is no need to go trawling through his family photograph album: the State already holds copyright on two of his photos. Do you really believe it is credible that the State would not have made these photos available, through whatever channels, if the photos strengthened the case against Hanratty?
    Hi cobalt - I think we can agree there would be far less need for photographs had Clark appeared at the trial.

    As moste has regularly queried, why didn't Sherrard push for this to happen?

    My take is that it was down to Sherrard's inexperience and nothing more. However, if we accept your post and assumption doubting that Clark bore any resemblance to Hanratty, Sherrard's failure to successfully demand his appearance was certainly a lucky break for the Prosecution.

    Following that and the resulting conviction, it's hard to disagree with Caz that there was then no obligation on the State to dig out and show any photos they might hold. I do not say that easily as I consider that Valerie Storie's mis-identification of Clark was a significant weakness in her evidence and the case against Hanratty.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

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  • ansonman
    replied
    I am very sorry to hear that Sherlock.

    What I found particularly interesting in the comment I quoted was the part that went "he should never even have been charged". That to me seems an odd thing to say. One could imagine Matthews saying something like "he should never have been hanged" or "he was not guilty of the murder" but "he should never even have been charged" seems most intriguing. All the more so because Matthews must have carried out the most thorough of investigations during the 18 months it took him and his team of 20 to complete it. I think it's fair to assume that he and his team would have left no stone unturned and that he had access to every piece of evidence that featured in the case. Add the fact that it was commissioned by Scotland Yard, for submission to the Home Secretary and that at least one national newspaper was tipped off that the report concluded Hanratty's innocence and you have a fascinating mix.

    One can only imagine Matthew's frustration at his findings being rejected. I wonder if he shared his thoughts with many others outside the investigating team?

    Hanratty: the truth at last? | The Independent | The Independent

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  • Sherlock Houses
    replied
    Originally posted by ansonman View Post
    Some years ago I received the following private message from a contributor to this site:

    "Thanks David-will have a look certainly.Had very interesting chat with childhood friend who was in flying squad-now retired.He bellowed at me about Hanratty and the DNA proving his guilt.I mentioned the findings of Roger Matthews the senior detective at Scotland Yard who ,leading a team of 20 detectives said he not only believed Hanratty had nothing whatever to do with it ,through having poured through documents,seeing files never made public etc etc but that he should never even have been charged.So my friend rang him as he was a very dear colleague of his.Matthews who was educated at cambridge University, said he still maintained that Hanratty had nothing to do with the A6 murder.That three people were involved-and he named two of them to him ,but my friend has not told me who they were".

    Does anyone know if Matthews is still alive and, if so, is contactable?
    I have it on good authority Ansonman that Roger Matthews was very ill in hospital several weeks ago, I know nothing more than that at present.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    On three occasions over the years the State has indeed felt the need to strengthen its case, and that was long before the A6 Case was being discussed on here. Photographs of Clark would have existed at that time and when it comes down to a matter of Mr. Clark’s right to privacy or the credibility of the UK legal system then there would only have been one winner.

    So it’s not a matter of satisfying our idle curiosity, it’s a bit more serious than that. It’s about the credibility of UK justice and its capacity to address any possible short comings. A photograph of Michael Clark has the potential to clarify matters yet has been suppressed. The State possesses, or possessed, photographs of Michael Clark yet is very coy about these being seen, even after the man’s death.


    I agree the question should more pertinently be not ‘What’ he looks like but ‘Who’ he looks like. That may explain the reluctance of the State to release the photograph(s) into the pubic domain.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    The Matthews report on the A6 murder (1996) - cais Rhyddid Gwybodaeth i Home Office - WhatDoTheyKnow

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    My assumption is very reasonable from a political perspective.

    The A6 Case has been a thorn in the side of the legal establishment since 1962 and there have been at least three official enquiries- Nimmo, Hawser and Matthews- in addition to the CCRC judgment. That is a lot of time and money but it was spent to shore up the case against Hanratty specifically and more importantly to sustain public confidence in the judicial system.

    Had Michael Clark borne any resemblance to James Hanratty then the ID made by Valerie Storie- very much the corner stone of the prosecution case – would have been immeasurably strengthened. It was would have saved a lot of time and money and quelled disquiet.

    Now we can be sure that contemporary photographs of Michael Clark existed and probably still do exist. He served in the armed forces I think and also would have required a passport photo. There is no need to go trawling through his family photograph album: the State already holds copyright on two of his photos. Do you really believe it is credible that the State would not have made these photos available, through whatever channels, if the photos strengthened the case against Hanratty?
    I certainly think it's credible, cobalt. From the State's point of view, the case against Hanratty did not need strengthening. A few dissenting voices on the JtR message boards won't change the appeal judgement of 2002.

    While we would all like to know what Clark looked like - or rather, who Clark looked like - in the early 1960s, I'm not sure why the State would have seen the least reason to satisfy our curiosity with a photograph, even if the man was the absolute spit of Hanratty.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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