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  • Just thinking about the photofits and the ID parades. We know that Acott was certain that in Alphon, he had his man. Is it conceivable that Storie, prior to the ID parade in which Alphon took part, did not ask Acott why he was so certain that he had his man? Is it not highly likely that Acott said to Storie words to the effect that "the man who did this to you and murdered Michael is in the ID parade which you are about to see?" Is it conceivable that Acott advised Storie that all she had to do was have another look at her photofits and pick out the man who most resembled same. We don't know what the RAF guy she did pick out looked like. One would imagine that he didn't look more like the photofit than Alphon but who knows? What we do know is that she chose the wrong man and the case against Alphon collapsed.

    So we now move to the ID parade in which Hanratty took part. Let's assume that Acott has said to Valerie that he got it wrong. Alphon was not the man that did for her. He had an alibi and we all make mistakes. However, this time we definately do have our man. Once again she asks Acott how he can be so sure and once again he tells her why. Only this time, he goes a bit further. He knows only too well that he cannot suffer another ID balls up. Joe Public is getting highly impatient for a conviction and neither Acott nor Valerie can risk getting things wrong for a second time. Would it be surprising if Acott didn't say as much to Storie? So he tells her that one of the men behind the screen is absolutely the murderer and all she has to do is identify him. Would he go so far as to tell her that Hanratty was number 6 in the line? Probably not but let's not forget just how much was resting on the outcome of her identification. Did any of the other men have a cockney accent? My guess is that Acott went as far as he could to spell out to storey who was the guilty man, short of actually pointing to him. We know that Hanratty was the only one in the line wearing flannel trousers and suede shoes.

    If Acott was able to convince Storie that this time the guilty man was without a doubt in the line up, she might have been able to convince herself that whoever sounded most like the murderer was the murderer. After all, she barely saw his face at all on the murder night.

    Comment


    • Acott did make a special visit to Valerie after putting out an appeal for Alphon and I think it is reasonable to presume that he said to her what you suggest. However I would think 'once bitten twice shy' would apply to the Hanratty parade and she would be less inclined to accept the same assurance from him again.

      Originally posted by moste View Post
      I guess in this regard we (including Sherrard) would seriously need to see Michael the RAF man photo.
      Colour photos of him must exist and this is one piece of 'new' evidence in this case which I still expect to come to light. Surely any professional investigator would be able to obtain a photo from a relation or the RAF.

      Comment


      • Just to make reference to the courtroom action ,re, questioning of Acott by Sherrard. when asked what Michael Clark looked like.

        Acott: I can give a full description of the man picked out on that parade.

        Sherrard: Would you tell me whether he was ,as Dr. Rennie has told us, a fair- haired man?

        Acott : No, he was not.I have his full description.I have had this man physically examined… I can tell you this from my own knowledge:

        5 feet nine inches tall, dark short cropped hair,about 27 years of age, and heavily built

        Sherrard: Is the man available by any chance?

        Acott: He was some time ago, but I cannot say off-hand.

        Above, as per Bob Woffinden ‘The final verdict’ page 247.

        This line of questioning by Sherrard petered out frustratingly inadequate. In fact if Sherrard wasn’t going to take any issue with Acotts final words on the matter , it’s amazing that Hanratty’s solicitor didn’t jump into the fray. In fact ,if Hanratty himself had been a little more intelligent , he would have insisted on continuing the line of enquiry to have Michael Clark produced in court ,as an exhibit.
        This farce has been discussed on these boards before I know, but then reading further on the next page of the book
        ‘Thirty years later ,Clark proved infuriatingly impossible to trace.He left the country in 1965 and emigrated.However,I did locate his closest Surviving relative,an aunt living on the Welsh borders. She recollected his hair as being of a general mousey colour, which appears to corroborate Dr.Rennies description and not Acotts.’




        Comment


        • I know some posters have been involved in volunteer ID. Line ups . Could anyone explained Acott having Michael Clark medically examined?
          Also, even Judge Gorman must have seen the importance of Sherrards question . Why did he not instruct Acott to have Clark tracked down.
          Last edited by moste; 11-29-2021, 11:18 PM. Reason: Adding sentence

          Comment


          • I was a volunteer in an ID parade when I was sixteen, a minor housebreaking charge. To my alarm it turned out, by ludicrous coincidence, that the offence had taken place in my street. I was nervous in case the neighbours vaguely recognised me and put me in the frame! A local ne’er do well, known to us and with a nasty reputation, was the collared candidate but pretty cocky since I think he was probably innocent this time. There were 6 of us standing in front of numbered police lockers and we had left the middle spot vacant which didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Twice the police asked if he wanted to change position and twice he refused. No witnesses picked anyone out. I have to say it seemed a pretty fair process, especially as we got around 6/- for our troubles.

            But they did take our names, ages and addresses. I suppose now they could take a photo of the line up to show it was a balanced band of teenagers. I rather suspect the term ‘medically examined’ is pompous nonsense. Give the seriousness of the crime I assume Acott wrote down a brief description of the volunteers’ appearance in the event of the ID parade being questioned.


            What I don’t quite understand is any advantage in Acott’s description of Clark. He seems to be describing someone rather like Alphon rather than Hanratty.

            Comment


            • Interesting story. My only experience in court was as a witness to a burglary, but yeah ,that’s cool.

              Acott for me is something of a mystery man . He clearly uses a method of evasion,which naturally tends to thwart Sherrards attempts to make progress for his client ( something I think that would not work had a more senior Barrister been locking horns ) and yet ,rather than say ‘I’m sorry I don’t have information on Mr. Clark.’He goes ahead and gives the reasonably accurate description of someone that could hardly have been Hanratty! And the jury made nothing of this.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by moste View Post
                I did locate his closest surviving relative, an aunt living on the Welsh borders. She recollected his hair as being of a general mousey colour, which appears to corroborate Dr. Rennies description and not Acotts.
                A more pertinent difference between the two descriptions of Clark was that Rennie said he had 'blueish eyes'. So the first question I would have expected Woffinden to ask was about the eye colour.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by moste View Post
                  .

                  Sherrard: Would you tell me whether he was ,as Dr. Rennie has told us, a fair- haired man?

                  Acott : No, he was not.I have his full description.I have had this man physically examined I can tell you this from my own knowledge:

                  5 feet nine inches tall, dark short cropped hair,about 27 years of age, and heavily built
                  But Acott didn't give the court Michael Clark's full description. Not only did he avoid mentioning Clark's pale complexion, long round face and square chin he also was careful to omit his most important and significant feature, Michael Clark's 'dark eyes' which he had perceptively underlined in his notebook.

                  For the record Michael Clark sadly passed away in a Southgate care home on April 27th 2018. Apparently he had told the carers that he had no family but had not spoken with them at all about his life.

                  *************************************
                  "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


                  • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post

                    But Acott didn't give the court Michael Clark's full description. Not only did he avoid mentioning Clark's pale complexion, long round face and square chin he also was careful to omit his most important and significant feature, Michael Clark's 'dark eyes' which he had perceptively underlined in his notebook.

                    For the record Michael Clark sadly passed away in a Southgate care home on April 27th 2018. Apparently he had told the carers that he had no family but had not spoken with them at all about his life.
                    Hi Sherlock and all - apologies if I've been asleep behind the wheel on the A6 but I didn't know that. Where does this info come from please?

                    Thanks,
                    OneRound

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post

                      But Acott didn't give the court Michael Clark's full description. Not only did he avoid mentioning Clark's pale complexion, long round face and square chin he also was careful to omit his most important and significant feature, Michael Clark's 'dark eyes' which he had perceptively underlined in his notebook.

                      For the record Michael Clark sadly passed away in a Southgate care home on April 27th 2018. Apparently he had told the carers that he had no family but had not spoken with them at all about his life.
                      Hi Sherlock, I too would like to know the origins of the full identification of Mr. Clark. That, plus the handling of the line of questioning presented by Sherrard ‘Is Mr. Clark available now? , and after Acotts answer, Well ,he was a while ago but not sure about right now.
                      or words to that effect. Then the attitude taken of the defence ,’oh well anyway, moving on . Smacks of someone going through the motions.Any clear thinking ,reasonable person has to see there is something seriously wrong here .

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by ansonman View Post
                        If Acott was able to convince Storie that this time the guilty man was without a doubt in the line up, she might have been able to convince herself that whoever sounded most like the murderer was the murderer. After all, she barely saw his face at all on the murder night.
                        This was one of my original points, which got ignored in the rush by moste to ridicule my observation about the photofit, which clearly Valerie didn't relate to Alphon's physical appearance at the first ID parade - unsurprisingly if she was making bricks without straw, trying to reproduce a face she had barely seen.

                        As such, I see very little to be gained from comparing facial descriptions of Alphon, Clark and Hanratty with each other, or with the photofit. In the end, it was Hanratty's voice at the second ID parade, which Valerie was so sure she recognised from the night she was confined in that car with the chatty man who raped and shot her.

                        If she simply got it wrong, it was incredibly bad luck for Hanratty that the hanky found with the murder weapon was eventually proved to have been used by him. Valerie could never have predicted that such strong evidence for his involvement would one day support her identification.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X

                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • ‘As such, I see very little to be gained from comparing facial descriptions of Alphon, Clark and Hanratty with each other, or with the photofit.’

                          In which case there was no reason to have an ID line up at all. It was a total waste of time. All that was needed was for Valerie Storie to listen to taped extracts of persons reading out some prepared statement and she could have made her ID on that basis. No need to look into Hanratty’s eyes and see his guilt, as she claimed.

                          The magic appearance of the handkerchief- which handkerchief - was indeed none of Valerie Storie’s making. As I often point out, anything that emerges from the basement of the police basement always seems to confirm guilt rather than innocence. The other stuff seems to have disappeared. A level playing field would help.

                          Comment


                          • Imagine sending someone to the gallows on the basis that they sounded just like the man You heard in the car.

                            On the hanky , since Hanratty paid to have Mrs France do his wash, and also Hanratty had explained to Mr.France the hiding place for stashing unwanted Items, what a surprise ,the gun and hanky are found together under the bus seat.special sleuthing required here me thinks.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by moste View Post
                              Imagine sending someone to the gallows on the basis that they sounded just like the man You heard in the car.

                              On the hanky , since Hanratty paid to have Mrs France do his wash, and also Hanratty had explained to Mr.France the hiding place for stashing unwanted Items, what a surprise ,the gun and hanky are found together under the bus seat.special sleuthing required here me thinks.
                              Prior to the dismissal of Hanratty's appeal Mr. France had twice attempted suicide. The appeal was dismissed on the Tuesday, it was reported on the Wednesday and France finally managed a successful suicide attempt on the Thursday. "Yet another perplexing feature to an already tortuous case" says Woffinden. Hardly perplexing if France was complicit in the stitch up of Hanratty. More special sleuthing required here.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by moste View Post

                                Hi Sherlock, I too would like to know the origins of the full identification of Mr. Clark. That, plus the handling of the line of questioning presented by Sherrard ‘Is Mr. Clark available now? , and after Acotts answer, Well ,he was a while ago but not sure about right now.
                                or words to that effect. Then the attitude taken of the defence ,’oh well anyway, moving on . Smacks of someone going through the motions.Any clear thinking ,reasonable person has to see there is something seriously wrong here .
                                So , just checking back in our posting history, I found the crux of the matter that you were alluding to Sherlock, regarding Acott and his notebook info .Page 200, back in 2015. Indicates Sherrards reluctance to Pursue further details on Stories wrong I D. Though Acott offered to read aloud what he had in his notes ,the judge intervened and had Acott read out only that which he had noted at the time from his own description of Clark. So some of Acotts notes thus were as others had stated of Clark’s appearance , why Sherrard did not use all of these notes fully to the advantage of his client is a complete mystery to me. And then as recently criticized, made no effort to have Clark tracked down, when as it seems obvious now , and should at the time , Clark clearly looked absolutely nothing like Hanratty at all.

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