Sunday, 23 December 2018

Response to retirement speech of Richard Foster former chairman of CCRC

The Chairman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), Mr Richard Foster, retired from his role in October 2018 and gave a  farewell speech to University College London about his time at the CCRC.
Mr Foster opened his speech by highlighting the case of Mahmoud Mattanwho was wrongly hanged on the 8th September 1952 for the murder of Lily Volpert. He stated Mr Mattan’s conviction was amongst one of the very first referrals made by the CCRC and explained the police had not disclosed vital evidence in this case. He then went on to say the Commission should be applauded for referring Mr Mattan’s case to the Court of Appeal as this resulted in the case being quashed in the late 1990’s all thanks to the CCRC’s referral.
Prior to the setting up of the CCRC, cases that might be miscarriages of justice were investigated by the Home Office C3 department.  After the Court of Appeal had overturned the convictions of the Birmingham 6 and Guilford 4 it was decided that the Home Office C3 department should no longer be responsible for carrying out investigations into potential miscarriages of justice.  My own case was with the Home Office C3 department at the time when the decision was taken to set up the CCRC and as a result the Home Office wrote to me stating my case would be transferred to the newly formed CCRC, and it duly was.
Media articles, news items and comment pieces were given by the CCRC, the Home Office and numerous miscarriages of justice organisations about the scale of work to be carried out by this new Commission. It was estimated that there were between 40 and 60 cases of currently convicted individuals that were possible miscarriage of justice cases that were in need of a review. So, at its founding, it seemed there were going to be plenty of resources available for each case to be properly looked at. From 1998 onwards hope was strongly felt by those individuals who were having their cases investigated by the CCRC, many, including mine, were referred to the Court of Appeal, and some had a successful appeal as a result of the referral. But somehow it all went terribly wrong for the CCRC and for the innocent in jail almost from the start. The CCRC began to promote itself, stating that if you had lost your first appeal and you still believed that your case was a miscarriage of justice, then you should make an application to them because they would look again and thoroughly investigate all that the convicted told them about their case. In over 20 years since the formation of this organisation, 23,000 applications have been investigated by the CCRC, of which 97% have been rejected, as if each has been properly investigated, they cannot possibly have been. In my own case for instance, I have repeatedly stated to the Commission that non-disclosure of evidence proving my innocence was a key feature on my submissions to them. Over a ten-year period, between 2002 and 2012, I submitted clear proof of this, yet the CCRC never investigated a single non-disclosure issue in my case other than on the non-disclosure of case photographs, an issue which was only partly resolved as many photographs are still not available to my legal team. I have written about this issue in detail previously and you can read about it here.
Mr Foster stated in his farewell speech that he has been honoured and privileged to serve as the Chair of the Commission and says that it is wonderful that the CCRC referred Mr Mattan’s case to the Court of Appeal, but that was 36 years too late for Mr Mattan, and it will be too late for other miscarriage of justice cases such as that of my friend the late Susan May,and as I grow older, soon too late for me.
Non-disclosure of evidence by the police and CPS is a highlighted issue as a cause of miscarriages of justice, and this failing was raised by the new DPP, Max Hill, when he took office in October 2018. However, even when the CCRC know that this happened in my particular case, and while Mr Foster was the Chairman of the Commission, he and they were happy to turn a blind eye to my submissions, burying their actions behind the fact that they’ve had to look at 22,999 other cases over the last 20 years, so if they made the odd mistake that would be understandable!
Had the CCRC continued investigating 30-40 cases a year as was expected when it was founded, then the CCRC would have been easily scrutinised over the way they have operated over the last 20 years. Instead, Mr Foster is honoured to have headed up an institution that has failed me, Susan May, and no doubt, hundreds of other miscarriages of justice. An institution that hides behind the numbers and lack of funding to conceal their absolute failure to carry out their remit properly that has been declared as “not fit for purpose” by miscarriage of justice victims, the legal profession and the media alike.
Jeremy

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Remembering Jeremy's Family on the 33rd Anniversary of the Tragedies


7th August 1985

Remembering Nevill, June, Sheila, Nicholas and Daniel

Such a peaceful place of many deep sorrows,
Where the living walk among solemn rows,
Looking for the grave where Graves of those once loved in times gone by,
Quietly lying in rows beneath the Earth's sky;
memories lie,
As they recall the day of the final goodbye.

The dead bring memories of joy and sorrows
For loved ones walking among the silent rows;
Some stand by graves in hushed reflection,
Others speak aloud of heartbreak and affection;
Some visit for just a moment and others for a while,
Then walk away with a tear or memory's fond smile.

Many graves have mementos or lovely flowers,
Some with new sod needing nature's showers,
While others have clearly fallen out of memory,
With only stones showing a brief life's summary,
Until they fade and crumble over the long years,
When no one is left to care or shed grief's tears.

Each grave has a life story once known,
Stories created as life's seeds were sown.
Some stories live on in family histories,
While others wane into unknown mysteries;
All eventually forgotten as time passes by,
When all those memories grow old and die.

Such a peaceful place of many deep sorrows,
Where the living walk among solemn rows,
Looking for the grave where memories lie,
Sadly mourning until their own final goodbye,
When they too will quietly lie beneath the sky,
As their loved ones mourn for times gone by.


Times Gone By © Belinda Stotler


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The withholding of Crime Scene Photographs by Essex Police




Hello everyone,

As you are all aware, the non-disclosure by Essex police of my complete case files and forensic material has hampered our ability to prove all of the manipulations and the facts which led to my wrongful imprisonment. However, the diligent analysis of the material I have had disclosed, has brought us to the point where I know that the justice system will have to concede that my conviction cannot be sustained. This will happen within months as we have several legal approaches that are currently active as well as the imminent submissions to the CCRC within the next few weeks. I am extremely confident and excited that the truth will out and I will soon be home.

In the meantime, following disclosure by Chelmsford Crown Court of a crime scene image that I had no idea existed at trial, I decided to re-conduct a full investigation and analysis surrounding the disclosure of the case photographs. I very soon came to realise that there are even more undisclosed case negatives than I first thought there were.

In fact it can now be shown that there are 272 case images that my defence team or I have never been allowed to see. What do these images show? It is probable that they showed all of the guns in the house including those belonging to Anthony Pargeter, the telephone I supposedly hid in magazines actually being on a shelf in the office and they will no doubt reveal further proof that Sheila was moved by the police and that her hands and feet were not spotlessly clean as they informed the jury they were.

I have also discovered that Essex Police not only deceived me and my defence team on this issue but also deceived the CCRC .

On 09.10.2002, Mr John MacLeod examined 58 rolls of photographic film. He viewed 429 negative images and reached the conclusion that a total of 249 frames of film had been cut from the 58 rolls of film disclosed to him.

On 01.10.08, Mr Peter Suthurst examined 58 rolls of photographic film. He viewed 416 negative images and he reached the conclusion that 262 frames had been cut from the 58 rolls of film that had been disclosed to him.

In 2011, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) disclosed photographic negatives to photography experts who examined 58 rolls of photographic film. They viewed 406 negative images and reached the conclusion that 272 frames had been cut from the 58 rolls of film disclosed to them.

If Essex Police had disclosed all of the case negatives in existence, why do the numbers of missing images differ? They should be the same. However the CCRC failed to investigate this issue at the time as they were satisfied with Essex Police explanation in 2011 that: i

“It was practice that this portion of clear un-exposed film which had no evidential value was cut off and disposed of at the time, whilst the remainder was sleeved in clear acetate for protection.”
However, we recently discovered a document produced by the 2001/2002 Stokenchurch investigation which stated that: ii

“From Mr Gross 31.10.2001: All the negatives in the enquiry have been well preserved and are retained in original uncut strip form.”

Mr Gross is specific, and very clear that on 31.10.2001 the case photographic negatives were retained “in original uncut strip form.

Therefore, who gave permission for these negative strips that were whole and uncut in 2001, to then be cut up and edited before disclosure to the defence in October 2002, October 2008 and 2011? Why would these images have been removed from the strips if Essex Police had nothing to hide?

It seems clear that Essex Police must have copies of the original uncut strips of negative film and must have copied and edited the new versions prior to the three disclosures otherwise the number of disclosed images would have been identical in each instance.

This is just one of the multitudes of issues that will be referred back to the CCRC in the coming weeks.

So to conclude, whilst we are still to this day uncovering even more evidence concerning the corrupt acts of police officers and individuals involved with my case, the facts remain that my case will be referred to the Court of Appeal shortly, of that I have every confidence.

Jeremy

Watch this video by Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell where he talks about the non-disclosure of case photographs of the crime scene at White House Farm by Essex police and its continued effect on Jeremy's case:



i CCRC Provisional statement of Reasons 2011. PDF, Para 315 to 318. 
ii Stokenchurch Action number 85 dated 06.11.2001 reportedii:

Friday, 23 March 2018

Easter Message from Jeremy: New Beginnings


We always loved this time of year at the farm mum and me, as it was a time of new beginnings. The new growth of plants in the garden, peony, crocus and snowdrop and many more wild varieties out in the hedgerows alongside our fields of crops. 

On our frequent walks together, either mum and I or dad and I, we would have fun picking out all of the new things that had grown, plants that had flowered and birds that were nesting like Jenny Wren’s and Hedge Sparrows. There was also the joy of seeing the baby rabbits hopping about tinged with the knowledge that they would be feasting on our crops if we didn’t keep an eye on them. 

So, Easter has always been about new beginnings, and I feel that this is true for me this year. Chelmsford Crown Court has just made new disclosures and the CPS are due to fulfil their disclosure obligations before the end of March, and a CCRC decision on my case will be requested very soon. 

New beginnings because new truths have finally come to light after years of being buried beneath layer upon layer of nonsense and misinformation. New chicks emerging from their eggs, all just waiting for the right Easter time to emerge. 

I would like to say a big thank you to all those new people who have pushed our team along that little bit further. The big question is, are we there yet? I think we very nearly are. 


Happy Easter 
Jeremy

Friday, 12 January 2018

Jeremy's 33rd Birthday in Prison as an innocent man




Another birthday has almost arrived, my 33rd in prison, all because Essex Police, the Forensic Science Service (as once was) and many others chose the non-disclosure of thousands of pieces of case evidence in order to mount a prosecution for murder against me. But, it’s my birthday so I’m not going to talk any more about that here today. You will know that I absolutely love bite sized nuggets of wisdom. 

During the last year friends have sent to me a large number of these wise words and so I thought I would share a few with you.

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Chinese proverb

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

A great one from Mark Twain:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.”

And appropriately with the non-disclosure of the case evidence issues with some quotes from Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes:
“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has all the data.”

Which connects well to:
“When you have eliminated all of the possibilities, the remaining, however improbable must be the truth.”

Which then connects well to:
“It must be confessed that circumstantial evidence can never be absolutely convincing, and that it is only the critical student of such cases who realises how often a damning chain of evidence may, by some slight change, be made to bear an entirely different interpretation.”

This year I am hoping for the best birthday present ever, confirmation from my legal team that we now have more than enough evidence for a successful appeal court hearing. Thank you for being patient over the last year, we have all worked really, really hard as a team to uncover brand new evidence. The final pieces of the jigsaw fell into place just a week before Christmas, which brought a smile to my face.

Now I can relax a little and my New Year’s resolution is to respond to all of the letters that I am sent as quickly as possible within days not weeks or months.

Thank you again

Jeremy.

Jeremy Bamber

Jeremy Bamber
Innocent Jeremy Bamber