The Kitchen Mantle
20.11.11 Case News
Additional damage to the kitchen mantle has been found in the crime scene photographs which warrants further investigation.
Initially found were scratches under the mantle which the prosecution alleged were made by the sound moderator when attached to the gun during a “fight” in the kitchen on the night of the tragedy. The Defence maintains that the scratches were not present in photographs taken the following day, but only present in those taken the following month. To find out more about this issue please see the Guardian Video.
Further to the scratches found under the mantle, there has been a new find of marks present on the left of the mantle surround. During September a series of shots were taken depicting the left of the surround unscratched, but in one of the series there are visible scratches in the paint work.
This extraordinary discovery is significant for two reasons, firstly it is testimony to the fact that the mantle surround was being tampered with while the photographs were being taken, and secondly the photographs were not part of the 50 pictures which made up the court bundle and were not disclosed until 2002. Had those photographs been closely examined along with the other scratches made under the mantle, the Defence team would have been able to cross examine witnesses on this issue including, DI Cook and DS Bird who were present when the photographs were taken.
The withholding of evidence has been used to obstruct justice by disabling the Defence from carrying out forensic work and from being able to pursue lines of enquiry with witnesses called by the crown. So the question remains: - “How did the facia become scratched during the photographing process while two police officers were present and how did the sound moderator get red paint on it?"
Curiously, Mr French, Jeremy’s case worker at the CCRC stated in a letter dated 23rd May 2008 that he inspected these negatives and stated “I have not identified any specific negatives that would be of assistance to Mr Bamber.”
There are 66 strips of film each containing 10 negatives but some of the strips only contain two negatives as the other 8 have been cut away. Essex Police head of photography Mr Eastbrook has said that the missing 175 negatives of the crime scene photographs had been legitimately cut away from the negative strips, because those missing were just blanks, but many ‘blanks’ are included in the ones actually disclosed to the Defence. Essex Police photographers certainly wasted a lot of film.