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murder trial hit with key evidence blunder

TWO forensic experts believe a murder trial was hit by a key evidence blunder — raising fears an innocent man was convicted.

They think the wrong blade was named as the weapon that killed Paul Gerard McGilvray, 20, during a mass brawl.

Their findings come a decade after Sean Toal, 30, was caged for a minimum of 15 years for the murder.

During his trial, the High Court in Glasgow was told a knife with no fingerprints or DNA on it had been plunged into the victim’s chest. It was identified as “Label 3”. Jurors also heard another knife “Label 4” had Mr McGilvray’s blood on the handle and a fingerprint of Toal’s co-accused Grant Young, 30.

Young walked free after a witness testified this blade was too wide to have inflicted the fatal wound.

Now two independent experts say the court may have got it wrong.

The Scottish Sun on Sunday has acquired copies of separate reports written by Professors Allan Jamieson and Derrick Pounder.

Prof Jamieson, head of The Forensic Institute in Glasgow, said: “Label 4 is probably the murder weapon

“One explanation of the evidence is that Mr Young used this knife to assault Mr McGilvray.”

And former Dundee Uni lecturer Prof Pounder said: “In my view Label 4 was erroneously excluded as a weapon which could have caused the fatal stab wound.” Toal’s mum Carol, 57, of Cumbernauld, said: “Had this information been available at the trial I believe the jury would have reached a different verdict.”

Mr McGilvray, known as PG, was killed in 2004 at a house near Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. Toal admitted having a knife and hitting the victim on the head in self-defence but denied stabbing him in the chest.

His lost a 2012 appeal and earlier this year the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission rejected his bid to return to court. He may now go the European Court of Human Rights.

Last night the victim’s mum Roslyn McGilvray said: “Every instinct in my body tells me he is guilty.”

Another example of SCCRC desktop reviews.

I wonder why the SCCRC did not discover this previously when they carried out a so called investigation into the case.

So he admits to having a knife with blood on it but it just wasn't his knife that killed the 20 year old Paul?

This is a pretty crazy case right. Maybe he didn't stab the guy in the chest but he is certainly guilty of something.

[91] It was said that new investigations by Professor Pounder indicated that the knife label 4 could have been the murder weapon. The approach of the Crown pathologists had been flawed. If they had adopted a sound approach, Dr Turner could not have given evidence that label 4 should be ruled out. Dr Turner, having been informed of Professor Pounder's observations, had recanted. If label 4 was a potential murder weapon, that tended to incriminate Young and thereby to exonerate the appellant.

[92] There was a reasonable explanation for the absence of evidence. It was to be found in (i) the Crown pathologists' lack of diligence; or (ii) the Crown's failure to make further enquiries of them; or (iii) a lack of diligence by those acting at the trial for the appellant. Notwithstanding the last point, counsel for the appellant said that he did not seek to add an Anderson ground to the grounds of appeal.

IF the other knife tended to incriminate the other accused and thus weaken the Crown case, did the expert and Crown fail in their duties?? Forum Index -> Test Forum 1
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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.