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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Social Chat > Other Mysteries > A6 Murders

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  #3321  
Old 09-10-2016, 07:58 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Without seeing and hearing all the evidence one cannot say how one would have voted if one had been on the jury.

It seems that the trial judge summed up indicating that an acquittal would be a reasonable and sensible verdict. The eleven man jury disagreed and convicted.

The trial did not feature Mr Larman and Mesdames Vincent and Walker's evidence. Would they have made a difference? Sherrard chose not to call them for the 1962 appeal, so presumably he thought not.

...
Just returning to the evidence of Larman, Vincent and Walker that was not known to the defence at trial but was known to them for the 1962 appeal although not used.

I feel the Court of Appeal in 2002 should have been more sympathetic to the practical difficulties and possible unfairness this caused the defence forty years earlier.

If Sherrard had sought to put forward Rhyl and introduce the statements of these individuals at the original appeal, he would have begun on the back foot due to the poor showing at trial of Mrs Jones. His starting point would have been a bad one due to the Rhyl alibi largely being discounted due to Mrs Jones herself being discredited.

However, it would have been a more neutral starting point for Sherrard if he could have called Larman, Vincent and Walker at trial prior to Mrs Jones' evidence. Given Sherrard was prepared to call Mrs Jones, I presume he would have done the same for these three other individuals. They would not imo have been able to properly rescue Mrs Jones' lamentable showing in the witness box but they may have appeared more credible witnesses and lessened the landlady's destructive impact which in turn may have just tipped the jury's delicate weighing up of all matters. However, it was too late for that by the time of the appeal a few weeks later.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #3322  
Old 09-10-2016, 08:42 AM
Derrick Derrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneRound View Post
...I feel the Court of Appeal in 2002 should have been more sympathetic to the practical difficulties and possible unfairness this caused the defence forty years earlier...
In my opinion the Court of Appeal had already made up their minds more than a year earlier when the Lord Chief Justice was quoted in the press as saying here on 23rd March 2001;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...A-testing.html

that;

Quote:
As a result of that process and the recent advances in the use of DNA techniques, it is possible to contend that the most recent analysis shows that it is 2.5 million times more likely that the appellant [Hanratty] was the source of one of the three DNA profiles detected on the knickers of Valerie Storie than anyone else."Clearly, that analysis already gives strong support for the proposition that the appellant was the source of the DNA on the knickers.
So any thought of dealing with the appellants grounds with any kind of equanimity was lost then I believe.

HTH
Delboy
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  #3323  
Old 09-10-2016, 08:56 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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Just returning to the evidence of Larman, Vincent and Walker that was not known to the defence at trial
Larmen did not go to the police until when the summing up was already in process.

Gillbanks and his assistant visited Margaret Walker on 10-Feb-61. Her story was that she referred the young man to Mrs Vincent. So they could both have been rushed to the trial.

Gillbanks reported back: “When seen by us she was not definite in anything but gave the impression she wanted to be in on it." Mrs Walker said later: “When I asked the man if I would have to go to Bedford he said he didn’t think it would be necessary.”

Gillbanks returned to her on 19-Feb-61 for a full statement.
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  #3324  
Old 09-10-2016, 09:47 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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I meant 62, not 61.
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  #3325  
Old 09-10-2016, 03:38 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Joe Gillibanks was a very experienced police detective from the Merseyside area, latterly working as a private detective. To show one photograph as ID evidence was not a mistake he was likely to have made. He was no novice.

If you are committed enough to delve through my earlier posts, you can judge my misgivings about this man, who was never less than loyal to the Head Honcho of Merseyside Police, the notorious Bert Balmer.

Balmer loathed two things in life: 1. criminals. 2. The organised working class. I am not convinced he made much of a distinction between the two. He can be found on youtube expressing the first of these opinions, I think the link is 'Liverpool Singing City.'
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  #3326  
Old 09-11-2016, 12:39 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Joe Gillibanks was a very experienced police detective from the Merseyside area, latterly working as a private detective. To show one photograph as ID evidence was not a mistake he was likely to have made. He was no novice.
Yet it was a basic mistake that he did make, and Woffinden doesn't argue. Same as the mistake made by the Liverpool detective who showed just the one photo (of Hanratty) to Mrs Dinwoodie. The mind boggles.

Quote:
If you are committed enough to delve through my earlier posts, you can judge my misgivings about this man, who was never less than loyal to the Head Honcho of Merseyside Police, the notorious Bert Balmer.
You are saying that it was unlikely that Gillbanks would have shown Mrs Jones just the one photo, that of Hanratty, and then you go on to remind us of your 'misgivings' about this man? Then you say that he was 'never less than loyal' to the 'notorious' Bert Balmer, who had a big downer on the working class, organised or not? So please, do enlighten me: do you think that Joe Gillbanks, the loyal acolyte of an extremely reactionary Assistant Chief Of Police, was the right choice as PI to try and gain the acquittal of a member of the working-class that you, by definition, claim that they both despised?

I understand that some years after the trial, Woffinden or Foot (can't recall which) tracked down Joe Gillbanks who by then was running a mini-cab business, or so I recall. Gillbanks totally refused to discuss the A6 Case and his part in it. Now, I wonder why?

Graham
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  #3327  
Old 09-11-2016, 02:06 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Joe Gillibanks made a mistake. It could have been an innocent mistake, made under pressure to track down a last minute alibi provided by Hanratty. Hanratty’s change of alibi created a whole host of problems, and perhaps Gillibanks made an error of judgment due to this.

Alternatively, Joe Gillibanks could have been under pressure from his former boss, Bert Balmer, who was still effectively the main man in Merseyside Police in 1961, to sabotage Hanratty’s Rhyl alibi and get the A6 problem off Balmer’s manor. Balmer had enough trouble with the Merseyside criminal fraternity without doling out favours to dodgy London geezers who appeared on his patch.

I think it is reasonable to call Balmer ‘notorious,’ since his handling of the Cameo Murders (1949, I think) has been legally acknowledged as leading to a miscarriage of justice. The less well known case of Devlin and Burns has not yet been afforded this status. In both cases the issue of alibi evidence was put forward and discounted at trial, similar to the A6 case.

So no, I do not think that Joe Gillibanks was a good choice as Private Investigator to establish Hanratty’s alibi. He may not have shared Balmer’s contempt for the lower orders, but he was a policeman who learned his trade under the culture of that time so was likely influenced by it. You have asked the question of why Gillibanks did not wish to discuss the matter of the A6 murder with Paul Foot, and I have suggested two reasons. First, he made a mistake which undermined Hanratty’s alibi, and possibly resulted in an innocent man going to the gallows. Or second, he was under orders from Balmer to undermine the alibi, which led to the same result. I accept there may be other reasons as well.
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  #3328  
Old 09-12-2016, 06:05 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Hi All,

I'd like to turn some of the recent arguments on their head and offer the stark observation that justice is rarely served where the prosecution and/or defence cases are flawed, less than thorough, incompetent, whatever. But while this can (and too often does) result in an innocent person being wrongly convicted, it can equally result in a dangerous criminal being acquitted, particularly where the case for the prosecution is so obviously weak that no jury could fail to have reasonable doubt.

Putting aside for a moment my strong feelings against capital punishment in any circumstances, I am quite satisfied that 1960s society could thank Hanratty himself, followed by the jury, for taking a psychopathic killer and rapist out of action, despite the weaknesses in the actual case, about which the jury were warned. The jury knew he would hang or go free on their decision, yet they could not conjure up between them the sliver of reasonable doubt that would have let him rejoin society, where I have very little doubt he would have re-offended, if only to the 'safer' extent of breaking into more innocent people's homes and making off with their honestly gained personal possessions - at gunpoint if necessary.

We go over and over the old imperfections and uncertainties of the original case and trial, which many of us feel ought to have led to an acquittal of the man in the dock (whether he did it or not), but it is rarely acknowledged that those shortcomings don't, by themselves, indicate innocence over guilt; they only really muddy the waters and mask the truth, making a jury's job that much harder to do the right thing by society.

On a theoretical level, would anyone here relish the thought of the true A6 killer being charged, only to be acquitted due to the shortcomings of others, the police, the witnesses, the prosecution?

Love,

Caz
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  #3329  
Old 09-12-2016, 06:13 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Hi Del,

You may have missed my post below - unless you have no comment to make, which is fine by me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post
Hi Del,

Forgive me if you have explained all this before, but back in 1961 they established from semen staining on the knickers that the rapist's blood group was O. Gregsten's blood group was presumably also established at the time, from his corpse, to be AB.

From section 113 of the Appeal Judgement we learn this:

'The knickers arrived at the Metropolitan Police Laboratory (MPL) on 23 August 1961 where they were examined by Dr Nickolls, the director and his assistant, Henry Howard. They were found to be stained with seminal fluid in the area of the crotch and at the back for five inches upwards from the crotch. Vaginal fluid from Valerie Storie was also present. There were smaller quantities of seminal fluid of blood group AB assumed to have come at some earlier stage from Michael Gregsten.'

I seem to recall you disputed this blood typing of the smaller quantities, but I am at a loss to see how they concluded that semen from two individuals was present and established the gunman's to be group O unless they also established that the other male was not O, but AB, in common with Gregsten.

The point has long been made that no matter how you look at the forensic evidence and seek to undermine or refute one or more aspects of it, there is nothing even remotely inconsistent with what one would expect to find if the victims had indeed had sex 'at some earlier stage' before Valerie was raped by Hanratty. Whoever did it was flesh and blood (group O), so you can complain about the lack of forensics in that car until hell freezes over but it doesn't get Hanratty, with his semen on the knickers and his nasal mucous on the hanky, off the hook.
Love,

Caz
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  #3330  
Old 09-12-2016, 07:01 AM
Derrick Derrick is offline
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...You may have missed my post below - unless you have no comment to make, which is fine by me...
No Caz I did see your post.

I have already posted on this forum on a couple of occasions that I have seen both Lewis Nickoll's forensic bench notes and have read the entirety of his testimony at trial.

He makes absolutely no mention of finding anything other than O secretor semen (attributed to the rapist) and O non secretor vaginal fluid (attributed to Storie - obviously).

Nowhere in the transcript of the DNA evidence at the appeal in 2002, is any mention made of the finding of AB group semen.

The judges in the ruling have made a gross error in saying that AB semen was found.
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