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  • cobalt
    replied
    djw,

    You're not alone in your frustration. Here is a report on a FOI request concerning the Jean Townsend murder of 1954.


    ''In 2005, a former schoolfriend of Jean's (and a neighbour and family friend of the Townsends), Reg Hargrave, applied for access to the police case files – now held by the UK National Archives at the Public Record Office in Kew – under the Freedom of Information Act. The request was refused and – following an approach to the Information Commissioner – an appeal was heard (in part in closed session) by an Information Tribunal in November 2007. In its ruling the Tribunal dismissed the appeal and upheld an earlier decision to withhold the files from public inspection until 2031……. The Tribunal heard that whilst the police case files were substantial, a number of items were missing.

    The Townsend case still elicits a certain amount of interest in the Ruislip area, albeit on a limited scale. Unofficial enquiries and research are still undertaken by those who have developed an interest in it, including the appellant in the FOI case above……….. A chance meeting in 1983 with a retired detective who had worked on the case suggested that the police had a pretty good idea who was responsible, but were unable to gather sufficient evidence to make an arrest or bring charges.''

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  • Sherlock Houses
    replied
    Originally posted by djw View Post
    Is it worth sending a more open ended FOI for the Matthews report, as previously suggested? And if so, then to which department? The Home Office, the Ministry of Justice or the Metropolitan Police? Or is it worth digging deeper with the National Archives or the Information Commissioner?
    Alas it seems you are discovering what a joke the FOI act is proving to be. Also known as the "Fobbed Off Interminably" act. The Matthews Report must be a complete figment of our imagination, it never existed.

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    Is it worth sending a more open ended FOI for the Matthews report, as previously suggested? And if so, then to which department? The Home Office, the Ministry of Justice or the Metropolitan Police? Or is it worth digging deeper with the National Archives or the Information Commissioner?

    Leave a comment:


  • Spitfire
    replied
    Originally posted by ansonman View Post
    Howard may have no idea who may have the file but I bet he's got a bloody good recollection of what was in it and, more importantly, its conclusions.
    And for that matter, so does our Derrick.

    Originally posted by Derrick View Post

    As I said on another thread, libel has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    Everything Matthews found was presented at the appeal in 2002, and some.

    That doesn't mean that it was treated with any fairness...don't get me wrong on that eh?

    Remember Hawser?

    Del

    Leave a comment:


  • ansonman
    replied
    I admire your perseverance. If nothing else it proves that whoever does have the file, doesn't want to release it. Now why would that be, if Hanratty committed the crime?

    Howard may have no idea who may have the file but I bet he's got a bloody good recollection of what was in it and, more importantly, its conclusions.

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    The Metropolitan Police have looked into this and found that they do not hold the information either
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...coming-2066129

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    Lord Howard comments
    Thank you for your email of 9th May.

    I am afraid I have absolutely no idea what happened to the report to which you refer.

    I am surprised that the Home Office say they don't have it but I certainly don't and, regrettably, I have no idea who may have it.

    I am so sorry not to be more helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Michael Howard

    Leave a comment:


  • Semper_Eadem
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    Well you couldn't be more wrong, Steve. I wouldn't trust this government to boil a kettle, and any justice system will have its flaws.

    What you appear to suggest is that I don't believe there have ever been any miscarriages of justice, which is as absurd as suggesting that you think our prisons are full of innocent men and women.

    If the DNA profile from Valerie's clothing and the hankie had not proved a perfect match with DNA taken from Hanratty's exhumed remains, but had produced a less than conclusive result from either item, or findings which could reasonably have been explained by separate contamination incidents, I would now be as concerned as you are if the 2002 appeal had still been rejected.

    But sometimes, despite your deep and not entirely misplaced distrust of authority, it is what it looks like, and what many hoped for and expected it to be - an innocent man emerging from the DNA evidence - was never going to happen, because the original jury got it right, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. If Hanratty had told a straight, credible story about his movements and whereabouts, and not caught himself out by lying, it wouldn't have mattered that he had no documentary proof of his alibi, as long as it gave him the benefit of the doubt. Valerie put him in the car with her, while he put himself in two other places at once. Not a good look - especially if he, like yourself, had little trust in the police and the justice system to treat him fairly.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    I bet he, Hanratty didn't think he was going to get a fair deal from the Police. Look what had happened to Timothy Evans of Rillington Place just ten years earlier. I mean Evans treatment by police was general knowledge in Britian. Not that I think Hanratty was innocent, but I think most people of Hanratty's class/social stratus of that time probably knew or suspected they were going to get the short stick from Police if they were suspected of something.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by moste View Post
    Hey there Caz. Spitfire alludes to Ron Harrimans book which I have read and struggled through, to glean as much information as I could. The question on the DNA which I would really like to have settled is one that would lay to rest the old chestnut which your good self always seem to be so confident about with regards to the existence or lack of DNA in the seminal fluid retrieved from Valeries clothing.My problem is this. If, and it seems to me a highly likely possibility, that the DNA has been corrupted by contamination, who, (and I'm pretty certain this would include any poster on this forum) ,is in a position to say how valuable,or useless is that DNA sample ? In other words how can we be sure that the contaminated sample has not been subjected to such abuse over the years,and indeed during the time frame of the period of the trial that it has not been rendered useless.. In order to sweep this aside one would need to have an unshakable belief in the authorities, that they are not guilty of allowing an innocent man to die, because for them the alternative would be excruciatingly unthinkable.The DNA was the ace up the sleeve for the Home secretary,and all subsequent Home secretaries after the Mathews bomb shell.
    I'm sure your very trusting in all you hear from the government, and its wonderful justice system and always have been, especially during the incredible Met corruption of the early 60s. Forgive this old skeptic for not sharing your gullibility.
    Love, Steve.
    Well you couldn't be more wrong, Steve. I wouldn't trust this government to boil a kettle, and any justice system will have its flaws.

    What you appear to suggest is that I don't believe there have ever been any miscarriages of justice, which is as absurd as suggesting that you think our prisons are full of innocent men and women.

    If the DNA profile from Valerie's clothing and the hankie had not proved a perfect match with DNA taken from Hanratty's exhumed remains, but had produced a less than conclusive result from either item, or findings which could reasonably have been explained by separate contamination incidents, I would now be as concerned as you are if the 2002 appeal had still been rejected.

    But sometimes, despite your deep and not entirely misplaced distrust of authority, it is what it looks like, and what many hoped for and expected it to be - an innocent man emerging from the DNA evidence - was never going to happen, because the original jury got it right, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. If Hanratty had told a straight, credible story about his movements and whereabouts, and not caught himself out by lying, it wouldn't have mattered that he had no documentary proof of his alibi, as long as it gave him the benefit of the doubt. Valerie put him in the car with her, while he put himself in two other places at once. Not a good look - especially if he, like yourself, had little trust in the police and the justice system to treat him fairly.

    Love,

    Caz
    X


    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Hey there Caz. Spitfire alludes to Ron Harrimans book which I have read and struggled through, to glean as much information as I could. The question on the DNA which I would really like to have settled is one that would lay to rest the old chestnut which your good self always seem to be so confident about with regards to the existence or lack of DNA in the seminal fluid retrieved from Valeries clothing.My problem is this. If, and it seems to me a highly likely possibility, that the DNA has been corrupted by contamination, who, (and I'm pretty certain this would include any poster on this forum) ,is in a position to say how valuable,or useless is that DNA sample ? In other words how can we be sure that the contaminated sample has not been subjected to such abuse over the years,and indeed during the time frame of the period of the trial that it has not been rendered useless.. In order to sweep this aside one would need to have an unshakable belief in the authorities, that they are not guilty of allowing an innocent man to die, because for them the alternative would be excruciatingly unthinkable.The DNA was the ace up the sleeve for the Home secretary,and all subsequent Home secretaries after the Mathews bomb shell.
    I'm sure your very trusting in all you hear from the government, and its wonderful justice system and always have been, especially during the incredible Met corruption of the early 60s. Forgive this old skeptic for not sharing your gullibility.
    Love, Steve.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Well that was unsatisfactory, I thought the next question for Mathews was going to be"And did you at the conclusion decide that Hanratty certainly wasn't a person that should have been a suspect in the original police investigation."

    Leave a comment:


  • FISHY1118
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    Hi Derrick,

    But Hanratty only claimed to be in Liverpool, and later Rhyl, when his semen (unless evidence to the contrary surfaces) was being deposited on a woman's underwear considerably further south.

    There must have been a reason for Hanratty to suddenly decide he had gone on to Rhyl. Now if you accept that he genuinely had been asking for Liverpool's Tarleton St, while in Liverpool, and was also familiar with Rhyl's seafront and the roads leading directly off it, do you not find it a trifle odd that he said nothing, while fighting for his life during the trial, about asking for those rather specific directions before moving on to Rhyl, and then gave Rhyl, with its own very easy-to-find Tarleton St, as his shiny new improved alibi, when Liverpool's example could surely have saved his neck if only he had thought to mention his enquiry there?

    None of it smells right and the jury smelled rotten fish.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    I wanted to go back and see where all this started caz, wow 11 years ago and over 6000 post .

    Leave a comment:


  • Spitfire
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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    The above is an extract of Mr Matthews' evidence given in the Court of Appeal in 2002 which I have taken from Rob Harriman's book. Mr Matthews was called by Mr Mansfield to give evidence in support of the appeal.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Hi All,

    Please excuse my ignorance, but is it known whether Matthews commented publicly on the case again after the 2002 Appeal Judgement, which included the DNA evidence?

    I do acknowledge the problems with the original investigation and trial, and why there was a need for a second appeal, to test the various arguments for a serious miscarriage of justice. The Hanratty family must have been convinced at one time, along with so many others, that DNA would finally clear their Jim's name. Presumably Matthews, judging by his comments to the Daily Mail in May 1999, thought the same at that time?

    I'm just trying to get my own head round how some the most staunch Hanratty defenders got round the fact that when his body was exhumed in October 2000, his DNA proved a match to what was found on the surviving fragment of underwear and the hankie, and the staining on both items was said to be consistent with Hanratty having raped Valerie and hidden the murder weapon on the bus with his own used hankie. I do struggle with how those results could have been artificially engineered by a corrupt individual or series of individuals, between August 1961 and 2000, or how two accidental contamination incidents could have produced a result that appeared definitive and also confirmed Valerie's certainty that the wrong man was not hanged.

    By all means continue to argue that Hanratty ought to have been acquitted due to the incompetence of those involved in 1962, but that wouldn't make him innocent or Alphon guilty. Where is the third man?

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    https://fb.watch/cWrHq8wBY4/ Roy Ramm showing the kind of passion for the death of Yvonne Fletcher, that he most likely witnessed in his Chief Superintendent Mathews in 1996 after the Hanratty investigation.

    Leave a comment:

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