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  • 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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    • 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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      • ‘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.

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        • 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.

          Comment


          • 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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            • 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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              • 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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                • 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 dont 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.

                  Comment


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


                    Comment


                    • '''At the 2002 appeal it was said that the DNA evidence served to make a strong case even stronger.''

                      This is standard wording by the UK legal system when they uphold a dodgy case. To quote Lord Lane in 1988 after turning down an appeal by the Birmingham Six: ‘ …the longer this hearing has gone on the more convinced this court has become that the verdict of the jury was correct. The intention is to discourage any further appeals in respect of that particular case which is then considered closed. Fortunately for justice, it doesn’t always turn out that way.

                      Lane was junior counsel for the prosecution at the A6 trial. He had a long track record of turning down appeals- Timothy Evans, The Guildford Four, Winston Silcott- only for the appeals to be later upheld. So there would be no prizes for guessing his take on the A6 Case. So whenever you hear that ‘strong case stronger’ mantra it’s a good idea to keep digging. It’s obvious any contemporary photograph of Michael Clark cannot help the prosecution case. Otherwise in the 40 years between the crime and the vaunted 2002 judgment that photo would have appeared when, to borrow Caz’s metaphor, the A6 cake was crumbling.

                      Suppression of evidence has been a feature of the A6 Case: the sightings of the car and mileage recordings which were not passed on to the defence; a photograph of a green hat in the boot of the car which is acknowledged but I don’t think has ever seen the light of day; Dixie Francis’ suicide note; the reasons for plain clothes officers to visit Swiss Cottage arcade prior to the discovery at the Vienna Hotel; the 90 year (?) embargo placed on Ewer’s settlement with a national newspaper; the Matthews Report. And of course Clark’s photograph.

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                      • Click image for larger version

Name:	image_22085.jpg
Views:	256
Size:	161.4 KB
ID:	779678 ​ From Private Eye March 1972.

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                        • Sixty years ago today the trial of James Hanratty for the capital murder of Michael Gregsten began.

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                          • Hello all, nice to see the debate is still going! I can't remember when I last logged in. So it's 60 years since James Hanratty was on trial and it only seems like months ago we were commenting on the 50th anniversary. How times races along. It's good to see there are still people speaking up for James. Sadly, I do not think we will ever see this case resolved. Of course, officially, James was guilty as charged, but it cannot be denied that there are questions to be asked about the nature of the investigation and the safeness of Hanratty's conviction. Stay safe all.

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                            • Would the Matthews report be subject to the Official Secrets Act? The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57998950) state the act 'cover[s] areas including security and intelligence, defence and international relations.' Hanrattys case was a civilian murder criminal case (whilst the death penalty remained).

                              The closest section would seem to be Section 4 of the 1989 Official Secrets act which relates to disclosure of information which would assist a criminal or the commission of a crime. However it had been over thirty years since active criminal investigations concluded (and Hanratty executed) and over twenty years since the last official enquiry.

                              On the potential embarrassment to British justice for any miscarriage of justice, Paul Foot talks it up in this 1997 LRB article (https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v19/n24/paul-foot/diary). However, unlike the Birmingham 6 who were released, in the A6 murder there was nobody to release from prison in the event the conviction was overturned.

                              On the potential embarrassment to the Home office over the Hanratty case specifically, there had been over ten changes of Home Secretary and twenty years since the Hawser report. Why did the Home Office agree to any revisit, why not just ignore the Woffinden-Bindman documentary/dossier submitted?

                              Would ten different home secretaries be aware of police malpractice in the Hanratty case but any risk themselves to cover for one particular instance of police malpractice or investigatory shortcomings all the while agreeing to commissioning three public enquiries at great cost to increase the risk of exposure of this?

                              I think it unlikely that a dodgy id parade and a couple of planted bits of evidence for fitting up in the singular Hanratty case, exposes systematic corruption beyond what was known of in the 1990s at a police level let alone a civil service, home office level. A year after the Matthews report, the Stephen Lawrence enquiry found the current police 'institutionally racist' but the Home Office then or now, cannot admit 'long-retired or deceased officers got it wrong in one case in 1962 but we abolished capital punishment shortly after'. Or a multi decade grudge against the Hanratty family campaign for what? Anti-Irish sentiment? See the Birmingham 6, that prejudice did not justify coverups.

                              In any case, the findings of the Matthews report seemed leaked to the press by 1997. The official secrets act prosecutions were against spies, or journalists reporting on spy related activity e.g David Shayler in 1997
                              Last edited by djw; 02-05-2022, 04:45 AM.

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                              • Home Secretaries come and go but they all place politics before justice. Frank Soskice was a very good example: as a Labour shadow minister he called for a new inquiry into the Timothy Evans case, but once he became Home Secretary he changed his mind!

                                The Birmingham Six appeal was eventually upheld in 1991 allegedly on the grounds of new evidence. There was plenty evidence to undermine the conviction before that date- and even more so in the case of the Guildford Four- but the political climate was not right to do so earlier. The persons responsible for the Birmingham bombings are now fairly well known- one has even admitted responsibility on youtube- but there is no political appetite to pursue them through the courts. Especially since the guilty men would have been known to the police back in 1974 and for the most part slipped through the net.

                                I think two people slipped through the net of the A6 Case in 1961, Alphon by the skin of his teeth. I agree the judicial system could admit these failings after a period of time but there is no political benefit in doing so. There was no potential Good Friday Agreement lying in the road ahead as quid pro quo for admitting failure in the A6 Case in 1997. To chuck in some more schoolboy Latin - cui bono?

                                The 2002 Appeal judgment was intended to draw a political line under the case and use high tech LCN DNA to dazzle we cynics into submission. It has succeeded in so far as the general public is concerned whose interest wanes with the passing years obviously. How many people under 60 are engaged enough to come on to this site and express a considered opinion?

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