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  #3741  
Old 11-21-2016, 01:07 PM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Originally Posted by OneRound View Post

2. The fact that Hanratty was the last to stay in the room in which the cartridge cases were found undoubtedly counts against him. However, that by itself does not prove it was him who left them there. Many doubts have rightly been expressed about the integrity of certain of the Vienna's staff. I further doubt such an establishment would have had watertight arrangements concerning the security of unused rooms.
And the defence would have been able to argue that on Nudds's second (retracted) statement that Hanratty may not have been the last person to stay in Room 24 before the cartridge cases were discovered, that honour belonged to Alphon. Another doubt which goes into the mix, and one which Sherrard would undoubtedly have put before the jury.
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  #3742  
Old 11-22-2016, 09:30 AM
ansonman ansonman is offline
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Originally Posted by OneRound View Post
Hi Julie - good post. Not because I agree with all the points (I don't!) but because of how you present them - fairly and with a clear acknowledgement of where those who believe in Hanratty's guilt are coming from. Thanks also to Spitfire for his earlier post very much putting the case for the prosecution.

A reply to your post now also enables me to try and set out my own views, as promised recently to Ansonman (apologies for the delay, Anson).

To confirm, my own conclusion is that Hanratty 'did it' but the evidence was not sufficiently strong and/or was not presented sufficiently fairly for Hanratty to be found guilty at court. If you don't like that and consider it contradictory, I'll blame - at least, in part - you and Spitfire or rather your posts . As Spitfire shows, there are several factors counting against Hanratty. One of those factors in particular plus the combined weight of all of them satisfies me as to Hanratty being responsible. However, as you suggest, none of those factors on its own is a slam dunk and some concern can be raised as to each.

Arising from this, my views now on your 5 points above:

1. You are correct about 'unwanted loot' but couldn't that be extended to 'unwanted items'? You also write, 'Nobody would be that stupid'. However, unless you consider that Hanratty was framed and I don't, somebody had to be 'that stupid'.

2. The fact that Hanratty was the last to stay in the room in which the cartridge cases were found undoubtedly counts against him. However, that by itself does not prove it was him who left them there. Many doubts have rightly been expressed about the integrity of certain of the Vienna's staff. I further doubt such an establishment would have had watertight arrangements concerning the security of unused rooms.

3. Recently much discussed as you say. I don't claim that Valerie Storie's earlier incorrect identification totally invalidated her subsequent identification of Hanratty. However, if I had been a juror it would have made me very
doubtful and unwilling to rely upon it. Without that reliance, the case against Hanratty becomes much weaker. I would add that I also consider Hanratty was badly let known by Kleinmann not objecting to voice identification on his parade. Imo and as Mansfield said at the 2002 Appeal, that was 'incurably unfair'. If voice identification was to play a part, all on the parade should have had Cockney type accents.

4. As you say and as the judge emphasised to the jury, lying about an alibi does not legally prove guilt. However, and this is the real clincher for me, I cannot accept that an innocent man would lie (Liverpool), persist with that lie (Liverpool) and then finally in its place substitute another lie (Rhyl).

5. Although queries have been raised about the DNA evidence since the 2002 Appeal, I feel it's over egging the pudding to say it was 'completely unreliable'. Rather than establishing Hanratty's innocence as his supporters hoped, it now needs to be categorically discredited. Personally, I always felt it was inappropriate that modern scientific methods were used to confirm guilt when the safeguards which are considered so essential to the use of that science could not be applied.

Arising from 5. above, I'll also mention that Hanratty's supporters were unfortunate as to when his final appeal (in 2002) was held. A few years later and the DNA evidence might have been better able to be probed and doubted. A few years earlier and no DNA evidence would have been available. Also, if a few years earlier, Acott would have still been alive and required to explain to the Court of Appeal certain non-disclosures rather than being given the benefit of the doubt.

For me, the non-disclosures were important and only increases my conclusion. Whilst point 4. above in particular leaves little doubt in my mind that Hanratty 'did it', I remain unconvinced that his guilt was reasonably and fairly proven at any time.

Best regards,

OneRound
Hi OneRound,

Your post was well worth the wait. I would not argue with any of your points although I do have much stronger feelings about point three, especially as Sherlock has drawn our attention to the fact that the innocent airman looked nothing like Hanratty.

I can understand that the real clincher for you is the alibi lie. However, I don't share your view that Rhyl alibi was a lie. I do believe that he used the Liverpool alibi because he thought he could bribe the burglar friends he did business with in Liverpool. As Norma Buddle says: "These friends on the burglar network were likely to at least be more reliable than a Rhyl landlady whose name he didn't know and whose address he could not remember......

"Because he was convinced his innocence would ultimately exonerate him, at first he decided to stick to the false story. However, seeing Swanwick perform in court Hanratty became very anxious about facing him in the witness box with a story he knew was untrue. So he realised if he was to cope in court and give evidence, he must tell the Rhyl story to the court".

I don't have the slightest problem with any of that. I cannot, for one moment, believe that he would replace one false alibi with a second false alibi. There would be no sense whatsoever in doing that. Some would argue that he was unwise to change the false alibi at all. However, from what I have read, Hanratty was insistant that he change his alibi and go into the witness box and tell the truth.

It is a moot point, in my view, as to whether Sherrard should have prevented him from doing so. I am inclined to the view that a far better approach would have been to not allow Hanratty to change his alibi or go into the witness box. Instead, Sherrard should have argued that his client had no case to answer as there was no direct evidence to link Hanratty to the crime and that Storie's ID was wholly unreliable for reasons mentioned previously.

Whether such an approach would have saved Hanratty is anyone's guess, though it wouldn't have made matters worse. Such an approach certainly worked for Jeremy Thorpe some years later. The difference in that case was, of course, that Thorpe was guilty and Carman was a much more effective brief.

Regards,

Ansonman
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  #3743  
Old 11-22-2016, 10:47 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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With acknowledgment to John Mortimer, I think Rumpole described very well the dilemma of whether the defendant should give evidence.

The risk of not taking the stand ...
Quote:
As every criminal lawyer knows it’s very difficult to get a client off unless he’s prepared to take the trouble of going into the witness box, to face up to the prosecution, and to demonstrate his innocence or at least his credentials as a fairly likeable character who might buy you a pint after work and whom you would not really want to see festering in the nick. After all fair’s fair, the jury have just seen the prosecution witnesses put through it, so why should the prisoner at the Bar sit in solemn silence in the dock?
(Rumpole and the man of God)
The risk of taking the stand ...
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The hardest part of any case comes when your client enters the witness box. Up until that moment you have been able to protect him by attacking those who give evidence against him, and by concealing from the jury the most irritating aspects of his personality.
Once he starts to give evidence, however, the client is on his own. He is like a child who has left his family on the beach and is swimming, in a solitary fashion, out to sea, where no cries of warning can be heard.
(Rumpole and the genuine article)
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  #3744  
Old 11-22-2016, 11:36 AM
ansonman ansonman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
With acknowledgment to John Mortimer, I think Rumpole described very well the dilemma of whether the defendant should give evidence.

The risk of not taking the stand ...


The risk of taking the stand ...
Quite so.

I suppose a lot has to do with whether the brief actually believes his client to be guilty or innocent. Theoretically, if the latter, then chances are the accused should do better in the box than out of it. Carman knew Thorpe was a chronic and habitual liar as well as many other unsavoury things and that if he gave evidence he'd likely be torn apart.

We know that Sherrard regarded Hanratty as innocent and so that's perhaps why he put him on the stand, notwithstanding the very unhelpful fact that he'd changed his alibi part way through.

Ansonman
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  #3745  
Old 11-23-2016, 06:24 AM
Derrick Derrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansonman View Post
...Whether such an approach would have saved Hanratty is anyone's guess...
Ansonman

An excellent post if I may say so.

Del
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  #3746  
Old 11-23-2016, 09:00 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Default Michael Arthur Falkner Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
....

The fact that she picked out the innocent R.A.F clerk Michael Clark demonstrates that she had very little inkling as to what the gunman looked like because Michael Clark was the almost complete opposite to James Hanratty in physical appearance....
Hi all,

Intrigued by Sherlock's post containing further details of the innocent airforce man picked out by Valerie Storie together with my being a sad git, I googled ''Michael Arthur Falkner Clark'' (the man's full name per Acott's notes).

Whilst that full name produced nil results, I was led to a ''Michael Arthur Falkner'' who died just over a week ago and lived in Middlesex where our airman was based. For such an unusual name, just another coincidence in a case sagging with them or could he have been our man?

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #3747  
Old 11-23-2016, 09:26 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Hi OR,

when Woffinden tried to find Michael Clark he discovered that he had left the country in 1965. However, Woffinden did manage to locate Clark's aunt, apparently his sole-surviving relative, who told him that Clark's hair was a 'general mousey colour', and not dark as Acott had recorded. Presumably she had lost contact with Clark by the time Woffinded found her.

Graham
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  #3748  
Old 11-23-2016, 10:14 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Thanks, Graham.

I had in the back of my mind that Michael Clark had left the country. Possible that he came back, I guess.

As for dropping the ''Clark'', that's probably a lot less likely although there can't be too many out there with ''Michael Arthur Falkner'' in their name or as their name.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #3749  
Old 11-23-2016, 10:14 AM
Sherlock Houses Sherlock Houses is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansonman View Post
"Because he was convinced his innocence would ultimately exonerate him, at first he decided to stick to the false story. However, seeing Swanwick perform in court Hanratty became very anxious about facing him in the witness box with a story he knew was untrue. So he realised if he was to cope in court and give evidence, he must tell the Rhyl story to the court".
You are absolutely spot on here Ansonman. My sentiments too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ansonman View Post

I don't have the slightest problem with any of that. I cannot, for one moment, believe that he would replace one false alibi with a second false alibi. There would be no sense whatsoever in doing that. Some would argue that he was unwise to change the false alibi at all. However, from what I have read, Hanratty was insistant that he change his alibi and go into the witness box and tell the truth.
This is what Hanratty actually had to say on February 7th about the Rhyl extension of his alibi......
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  #3750  
Old 11-23-2016, 10:27 AM
ansonman ansonman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
You are absolutely spot on here Ansonman. My sentiments too.



This is what Hanratty actually had to say on February 7th about the Rhyl extension of his alibi......
What he said on that day cannot possibly be challenged unless he wanted to be found guilty, which was obviously not the case. To change a false alibi part through a trial is risky enough. To change a false alibi for another false alibi is absolutely unbelievable.

The fact that the Rhyl alibi was supported by so many other witnesses adds to its credibility but even without the witnesses it's difficult to accept that he would have wanted to trade one false alibi for another false alibi. This for me makes the Rhyl alibi stand up. The supportive witnesses add to the credibility.

Ansonman
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