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david

Justice has no sell-by date in Scotland

World's End murder trial: Mammoth hunt to find serial killer proves justice has no sell-by date in Scotland

BLUNDER let killer Sinclair off the hook at first trial - but there was to be no escape this time.




IN HIS closing speech to the jury, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland spoke of Helen and Christine’s families’ long wait for justice.

In eight short words he summed up everthing this mammoth case was about. He said: “Thankfully, justice has no sell-by date in Scotland.”

And how right he was – especially after Sinclair cheated justice for the World’s End murders at his first trial in 2007.

Back then the prosecutor failed to put vital forensic evidence before the jury.

Crucially, the jury never heard traces of Sinclair’s DNA had been found on tights used to tie up the World’s End victims.

Tormented by his blunder, advocate depute Alan Mackay didn’t turn up at court to hear Judge Lord Clarke rule there was not enough evidence to convict the killer.

The judge had to tell him: “Angus Sinclair, in light of the findings I have just made, you are discharged from the dock.”

Relatives of both girls watched in horror from the public benches at the High Court in Edinburgh as their hopes for justice were dashed.

Sinclair, then 62, showed no emotion as he was cleared and was returned to Peterhead Prison.

Publicly, police would only say that they were “disappointed” at the collapse of the trial. But senior officers were furious.

Sinclair was charged with the murders in 2005 after forensic scientists used the latest DNA techniques to re-examine evidence from the case.

The evidence that Sinclair’s DNA was found on the tights used to bind the girls was expected to play a crucial part in his trial.

By itself it would not have conclusively proved Sinclair’s guilt.

But it would have been another piece in the jigsaw to present a clearer picture to the jury.

DNA expert Jonathan Whitaker was due to tell the jury about the tights.

But Sinclair’s QC, Edgar Prais objected to Whitaker’s evidence because he had never seen the tights and could not say they had come from the case.

Sources say police quickly rounded up four witnesses who could have confirmed where the tights came from. But, remarkably, none of the witnesses were called.

And when Whitaker gave his evidence, there was no mention of DNA on tights.

The jury only heard that Sinclair’s semen had been found on Helen’s coat, and that traces of DNA matching some of his DNA types were discovered on swabs taken from Christine’s body.

The evidence suggested that Sinclair had sex with the girls, but did not prove that he was there when either girl was tied up.

Sinclair claimed as part of his defence that if he did have sex with either of the girls, it was with their consent.

He also claimed that his late brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton committed the murders while acting alone. The court heard Hamilton’s semen was present on the bodies of both girls.

But without the evidence from the tights, the prosecution had nothing to link Sinclair to the tying up of the girls.

Whatever the reason behind advocate depute Mackay’s decision not to lead it, the defence couldn’t believe their luck.

Prais asked the judge to throw out the case for lack of evidence.

But as he did so, he conceded: “If there had been evidence of Sinclair having tied up the girls,for example DNA evidence on ligatures, I don’t think I would be standing here.”

After a weekend of anguish, Mackay, 45, left his home on the day the case collapsed and headed for Edinburgh.

But he never appeared in court on Monday September 10, 2007 and a
substitute took his place.

Mackay boarded a train for Preston, where he spent the night with friends before returning home the next day.

At this second trial, though, the prosecution case ran like clockwork. Piece by piece, inch by inch, Mulholland presented the evidence which finally nailed the monster.

Mercifully for the girls’ families, there was to be no second let-off.
david

Good to see justice for the families at last.

Will we ever find out who really killed Francis Barker in 1977?

The police believe it was Sinclair but another heinous offender was given a life sentence for the murder.

Thomas Young's SCCRC referral was rejected recently by the Appeal Court. Coincidently, around the same time Sinclair was on trial for the Worlds End murders.

The police intimated to Thomas Young in the presence of his solicitor that they believe he didn't commit the murder.

Very strange considering the presence of strong circumstantial evidence found by the police.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-29569529

Quote:
In the judgement, the judges pointed to the fact that bleached hairs similar to those of the deceased Frances Barker were recovered from the cab of the lorry that was driven by Young.

Lord Eassie also wrote: "The appellant accepted in an interview with the police that he might well have committed this murder during one of what he described as his 'blackouts'.

"Particular personal items belonging to Frances Barker were recovered from the appellant's daughter, having been given to her by the appellant.

"Other such items were found by the police underneath the floorboards of a room in the dwelling in which the appellant was residing at the time of his arrest."




If police believe Young didn't commit this murder then how could Young's daughter come into possession of Francis Barker's personal possessions if he had nothing to do with the murder?
Big Wullie

Was the evidence found or planted David ?

Not beyond the police to plant stuff.

It is disturbing that they thought he was Innocent if they had all that evidence you pointed out.
david

It a very strange one to say the least Wullie.



On another note-

There is no sell - by date in the Scottish Justice System when it relates to the Crown pursuing historical cases according to the Lord Advocate.

Pretty hypocritical considering people convicted of offences they didn't commit are obstructed from justice because of Finality & Certainty.
Big Wullie

Re-Trial Surjit Singh Chhokar

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30244065

Ronnie Coulter faces retrial over Surjit Singh Chhokar murder

Three high court judges have granted prosecutors permission to retry one man accused of murdering the Lanarkshire waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar.

They said 46-year-old Ronnie Coulter could be re-prosecuted under double jeopardy legislation.

They ruled that two other men, Andrew Coulter, 33, and David Montgomery, 37, cannot face trial for a second time.

All three men were previously cleared of murdering Mr Chhokar, 32, in Overtown, North Lanarkshire, in 1998.

The ruling followed a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this month before judges Lord Carloway, Lady Dorrian and Lord Malcolm.
Big Wullie

Weird that only one faces re-trial.
Big Wullie

Re: Justice has no sell-by date in Scotland

david wrote:
World's End murder trial: Mammoth hunt to find serial killer proves justice has no sell-by date in Scotland

BLUNDER let killer Sinclair off the hook at first trial - but there was to be no escape this time.




IN HIS closing speech to the jury, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland spoke of Helen and Christine’s families’ long wait for justice.

In eight short words he summed up everthing this mammoth case was about. He said: “Thankfully, justice has no sell-by date in Scotland.”

And how right he was – especially after Sinclair cheated justice for the World’s End murders at his first trial in 2007.

Back then the prosecutor failed to put vital forensic evidence before the jury.

Crucially, the jury never heard traces of Sinclair’s DNA had been found on tights used to tie up the World’s End victims.

Tormented by his blunder, advocate depute Alan Mackay didn’t turn up at court to hear Judge Lord Clarke rule there was not enough evidence to convict the killer.

The judge had to tell him: “Angus Sinclair, in light of the findings I have just made, you are discharged from the dock.”

Relatives of both girls watched in horror from the public benches at the High Court in Edinburgh as their hopes for justice were dashed.

Sinclair, then 62, showed no emotion as he was cleared and was returned to Peterhead Prison.

Publicly, police would only say that they were “disappointed” at the collapse of the trial. But senior officers were furious.

Sinclair was charged with the murders in 2005 after forensic scientists used the latest DNA techniques to re-examine evidence from the case.

The evidence that Sinclair’s DNA was found on the tights used to bind the girls was expected to play a crucial part in his trial.

By itself it would not have conclusively proved Sinclair’s guilt.

But it would have been another piece in the jigsaw to present a clearer picture to the jury.

DNA expert Jonathan Whitaker was due to tell the jury about the tights.

But Sinclair’s QC, Edgar Prais objected to Whitaker’s evidence because he had never seen the tights and could not say they had come from the case.

Sources say police quickly rounded up four witnesses who could have confirmed where the tights came from. But, remarkably, none of the witnesses were called.

And when Whitaker gave his evidence, there was no mention of DNA on tights.

The jury only heard that Sinclair’s semen had been found on Helen’s coat, and that traces of DNA matching some of his DNA types were discovered on swabs taken from Christine’s body.

The evidence suggested that Sinclair had sex with the girls, but did not prove that he was there when either girl was tied up.

Sinclair claimed as part of his defence that if he did have sex with either of the girls, it was with their consent.

He also claimed that his late brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton committed the murders while acting alone. The court heard Hamilton’s semen was present on the bodies of both girls.

But without the evidence from the tights, the prosecution had nothing to link Sinclair to the tying up of the girls.

Whatever the reason behind advocate depute Mackay’s decision not to lead it, the defence couldn’t believe their luck.

Prais asked the judge to throw out the case for lack of evidence.

But as he did so, he conceded: “If there had been evidence of Sinclair having tied up the girls,for example DNA evidence on ligatures, I don’t think I would be standing here.”

After a weekend of anguish, Mackay, 45, left his home on the day the case collapsed and headed for Edinburgh.

But he never appeared in court on Monday September 10, 2007 and a
substitute took his place.

Mackay boarded a train for Preston, where he spent the night with friends before returning home the next day.

At this second trial, though, the prosecution case ran like clockwork. Piece by piece, inch by inch, Mulholland presented the evidence which finally nailed the monster.

Mercifully for the girls’ families, there was to be no second let-off.


I do not understand how a re-trial was ordered just because they failed to use evidence at the first trial.

For a retrial new evidence must surface that was not available at the previous trial.

It is not right that crown get as many chances as they want until they get a conviction.

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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.