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  • Alfie

    The question is not whether or not Hawser was a '...left-wing and anti-establishment lawyer' or whether Taverne was suitably qualified to judge that. The question is how much credibility can be given to a report which was conducted in secrecy and to which standard procedural norms did not appear to apply. Dick T may well have seen some persuasive evidence but we only have his word for it. Had the proceedings been more open, we wouldn't have to take anyone's word for anything. As it is we judge on the evidence available to us, and for a great many that involves a good deal more than 'a scintilla of doubt' about this fascinating crime.

    But I see Cobalt got there first on that one!

    Atb

    Yossel

    Comment


    • Cobalt

      Yes, I can see that the involvement of John and Yoko may not have been such a good idea for those wishing to exonerate JH.

      Whatever way you look at it, the A6 murder was indeed a most extraordinary crime, unique even. If, say, you accept the prosecution view you have to contemplate some outrageously crazed conduct from someone with no previous form for that sort of thing. On the other hand, if you go down the Alphon route you have an ill-conceived conspiracy by people with no prior leanings in that direction attempting to implement it with the assistance of a weird and unstable gunman and some cretinous pond life. Either way it was hardly likely to provide a model for copycats!

      Regards

      Yossel

      Comment


      • Sorry, Cobalt, but just seen your 'class' response above. Nothing to add on that point. As for Hawser, his claim that the case against Hanratty was ever 'overwhelming' is risible, as five and a half thousand posts on this Site would indicate!

        Y.

        Comment


        • You are either guilty or you are not. That is the law. The punishment is then set accordingly for the crime committed, with any mitigating circumstances taken into account by the judge. Murder of course was always a capital offence, although not always rendered.

          Yet Dick Taverne, a man elected to represent the people, seemed unaware of this. He seemed, by his fairly recent statement, to think that degrees of certainty were involved in the punishment. This idiocy is regularly held today by those advocating capital punishment should be restored, but ‘only for those cases where guilt is 100%.’ There is, naturally enough, no relation between the awfulness of a crime and its certainty; therefore a bread and butter murderer could be hanged while the person convicted of the most vile, sadistic crime would escape the rope on the basis he was not 1000% guilty. (Whatever that means.) Yet Taverne was considered to be the voice of intellectual social democracy in his day.

          Comment


          • Cobalt

            There were some indications that the Judge leant towards a not guilty verdict and yet he went immediately for the black cap. I assume his hands were tied by the sentencing rules at the time. The Appeal seems to have been dismissed pretty quickly and the execution soon followed. I have no idea how normal that was. Might be difficult to judge, because hangings were becoming increasingly rare.

            My recollection of Taverne was that he was a media darling for a bit, and then disappeared from sight. I am not sure he was ever taken that seriously.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Yossel View Post
              Cobalt
              There were some indications that the Judge leant towards a not guilty verdict and yet he went immediately for the black cap. I assume his hands were tied by the sentencing rules at the time. .
              I think you are spot on Yossel. The reaction of Judge William Gorman to the jury's verdict of 'guilty' appears to have been one of shock as he hesitated for a long time before having to proclaim the sentence of death on Hanratty.
              By all accounts his summing up was very fair and even favourable to Hanratty. My own feeling is that he must have looked at the 11 man jury, sighed and thought "what a clueless, inattentive bunch you are, you must have been half asleep while important evidence was being given".
              Little wonder that after dismissing the jury he stated something to the effect that he would recommend that none of them be called up again for jury service for 10 years or longer.


              *************************************
              "A body of men, HOLDING THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE TO NOBODY, ought not to be trusted by anybody." --Thomas Paine ["Rights of Man"]

              "Justice is an ideal which transcends the expedience of the State, or the sensitivities of Government officials, or private individuals. IT HAS TO BE PURSUED WHATEVER THE COST IN PEACE OF MIND TO THOSE CONCERNED." --'Justice of the Peace' [July 12th 1975]

              Comment


              • Thanks Sherlock.

                To be fair a lot of juries who have sat on a long or difficult case are told something similar.

                Judge William Gorman seems to attract praise from all quarters. The consensus appears to be that his summing up was a model of balance, but if anything leaning to an acquittal. This, and the length of the jury's deliberation, makes nonsense of the comments from Taverne and Hawser.

                Incidentally, in trying to check out something on Hawser I came across a report that suggested he was very close friends with Jeremy Thorpe. That would hardly be surprising in view of the former Liberal Leader's legal background. I would imagine the connection did Hawser's career no harm, until the Norman Scott case of course.

                Atb

                Y

                Comment


                • From the William Herbert Wallace case 1931: In an unprecedented move, in May 1931 the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the verdict on the grounds that it was "not supported by the weight of the evidence", and Wallace walked free.[7] The decision meant that the jury was wrong — appeals are usually brought on the basis of bad decisions by the presiding judge at the original trial, or by the emergence of new evidence.

                  I wonder what this panel of judges would have made of the Hanratty case? At least they would not have to concern themselves with setting a precedence. !

                  Comment


                  • https://images.app.goo.gl/j2vG8HWFY1FNbQps9 .Spotted this while browsing .I have only been of the opinion that the particular weapon used could not be fired by accident, because of my searching the web , and in particular YouTube. Since I believe much of the supposed conversation in the car to have been somewhat contrived,I felt it necessary to question the dialogue 'youve shot him you bastard, why did you do that ' and the instant reply ,'it was an accident, he moved too fast, he frightened me' or words to that effect. My point is, although she may not be expected to to argue the point at the time, I don't recall , either in court or after in interviews , or in the magazine supplements, Valerie ever saying ' clearly he fired with purpose and effect, and intended to kill Mike without a doubt'. Has anyone read anything to that effect?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by moste View Post
                      https://images.app.goo.gl/j2vG8HWFY1FNbQps9 .Spotted this while browsing .I have only been of the opinion that the particular weapon used could not be fired by accident, because of my searching the web , and in particular YouTube. Since I believe much of the supposed conversation in the car to have been somewhat contrived,I felt it necessary to question the dialogue 'youve shot him you bastard, why did you do that ' and the instant reply ,'it was an accident, he moved too fast, he frightened me' or words to that effect. My point is, although she may not be expected to to argue the point at the time, I don't recall , either in court or after in interviews , or in the magazine supplements, Valerie ever saying ' clearly he fired with purpose and effect, and intended to kill Mike without a doubt'. Has anyone read anything to that effect?
                      VS's words always struck me as strangely familiar, almost as if she knew the gunman. We're pretty sure she didn't, but maybe after five hours in a car together they did have an understanding of sorts, and that is perhaps indicated in her choice of words. If it was Alphon and his subsequent confessions are anything to go on, some of that five hours will have been taken up with discussion of the love affair. The evidence is thin, I know, but it does kind of make sense. It certainly fills in one part of the puzzle - what on earth they found to talk about between 9.30pm and 3am the next morning.

                      Comment


                      • The five hours are not easily explained. To me, they have always suggested an ultimatum.

                        I am not sure that Valerie Storie gave a full and honest account of what was said in the car.

                        Comment


                        • That copy and paste didn't work. Anyhow it was an article by Arnold Latcham,from a newspaper covering the trial where Lewis Nickols explains the operation of a . 38 Enfield revolver and shows the effort required to squeeze off two rounds . Apparently so much pull is required ( 13 to 14 pounds )that there is no need for a safety catch. Now what is meant here I'm not too sure, did Mr. Nickolls mean that the weapon did not have a safety catch? In which case we are to question the part of the journey where Valerie asks, 'what is that noise'? and the assailant answers ' it's the safety catch' .In any event the expert in small arms, leaves us in no doubt , it is in fact impossible to shoot someone with that gun by accident, let alone twice!
                          I really do Believe that Gregstens death was a pre planned assassination style killing,
                          Last edited by moste; 05-02-2019, 03:48 AM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                            The five hours are not easily explained. To me, they have always suggested an ultimatum.

                            I am not sure that Valerie Storie gave a full and honest account of what was said in the car.
                            No, and the whole 'tie these people up so that I can have a kip', scenario is curious to say the least. I have poured over the explanation of the car jacker, insisting on Mike turning off to the left on two occasions, for the purpose of having a sleep, and Valerie seemingly sympathetic to his cause, warning that each turn off was a poor choice since there were houses near to , and they may be seen! Are we to understandand that this was an attempt at humoring the assailant, and appearing to be trying to be of help ?
                            I have scrutinized Google Earth, and tried to find any hint of a lane left turn off of any kind , for a couple of miles before 'Deadmans hill' including evidence of what may have been some kind of turn off 50 odd years ago, and failed miserably, I don't believe there is anything that would fit the description explained by Storie, since the Doomsday book of 1086.

                            Comment


                            • [QUOTE=moste;n708187]

                              No, and the whole 'tie these people up so that I can have a kip', scenario is ridiculous to say the least. I have poured over the explanation of the car jacker, insisting on Mike turning off to the left on two occasions, for the purpose of having a sleep, and Valerie seemingly sympathetic to his cause, warning that each turn off was a poor choice since there were houses near by, and they may be seen! Are we to understandand that this was an attempt at humoring the assailant, and appearing to be trying to help ?
                              I have scrutinized Google Earth, and tried to find any hint of a lane left turn off of any kind , for a couple of miles before 'Deadmans hill' including evidence of what may have been some kind of turn off 50 odd years ago, and failed miserably, I don't believe there is anything that would fit the description explained by Storie, since the Doomsday book of 1086. On the other hand, my theory on all of this is, that the occupants of the Morris were looking for the layby on the left side of the A 6 and after a couple of errors, found the turn off they were looking for. ( Storie had to mention a turn off previously taken ,in case they were witnessed making the turns ,as with the motor cyclist in huntercombe road )

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by moste View Post
                                That copy and paste didn't work. Anyhow it was an article by Arnold Latcham,from a newspaper covering the trial where Lewis Nickols explains the operation of a . 38 Enfield revolver and shows the effort required to squeeze off two rounds . Apparently so much pull is required ( 13 to 14 pounds )that there is no need for a safety catch. Now what is meant here I'm not too sure, did Mr. Nickolls mean that the weapon did not have a safety catch? In which case we are to question the part of the journey where Valerie asks, 'what is that noise'? and the assailant answers ' it's the safety catch' .In any event the expert in small arms, leaves us in no doubt , it is in fact impossible to shoot someone with that gun by accident, let alone twice!
                                I really do Believe that Gregstens death was a pre planned assassination style killing,
                                Here is that Daily Express article Moste, re. Lewis Nickoll's trial evidence from January 30th 1962 which may help to clarify matters ......

                                Click image for larger version

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                                *************************************
                                "A body of men, HOLDING THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE TO NOBODY, ought not to be trusted by anybody." --Thomas Paine ["Rights of Man"]

                                "Justice is an ideal which transcends the expedience of the State, or the sensitivities of Government officials, or private individuals. IT HAS TO BE PURSUED WHATEVER THE COST IN PEACE OF MIND TO THOSE CONCERNED." --'Justice of the Peace' [July 12th 1975]

                                Comment

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