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Jeremy Bamber - Is this the worst MoJ in British criminal history?

(266 Posts)
HoGo1 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:41:27

I watched a prog on C5 a few weeks ago re the above. I've also spent a fair bit of time researching the case (there's a mountain of docs on the 'Jeremy Bamber Forum') I have a feeling we will be hearing much more about this in the not too distant future wink Does anyone else think he might be innocent?

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 20:11:05

How would you define 'worst' in terms of MoJ? I base it on length of sentence served to date.

I base it on things like, for instance, people who were hanged.

You are happy to let a man's liberty rest on ten jurors and a handful of appeal court judges.

Well, yes. It's called the British justice system, and it's the way the courts operate all day every day. Do you assume that everyone in prison must be wrongly convicted because they have been convicted by "only" 12 jurors, or indeed "only" one judge?

And it's not good enough to dismiss those people as if they were tossing a coin. They are the ones who have seen all the evidence (not just what Bamber's supporters choose to put up on his website) and actually saw and heard the witnesses give evidence, and who have heard the arguments of counsel instructed on his behalf who I am quite sure put his case - including the issues you refer to - as forcefully as possible. No-one is saying that the system is infallible, but they have a better chance of knowing the truth than someone reading documents on a selective website.

HoGo1 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:27

I base it on things like, for instance, people who were hanged.

Agreed that's why I have been using the word 'modern' ie worst MoJ in modern British criminal history.

Well, yes. It's called the British justice system, and it's the way the courts operate all day every day. Do you assume that everyone in prison must be wrongly convicted because they have been convicted by "only" 12 jurors, or indeed "only" one judge?

No, but I would like to see if a correlation exists between majority verdicts and MoJ's. Also I think Bamber's case is unique in many ways. All concerned eg police, pathologist, ballistics were satisfied that they were dealing with 4 murders/1 suicide for the first month. As such the SoC was not treated as it would have been with an ongoing investigation. Evidence that might well have proved Bamber's innocence was lost or destroyed. Bamber's extended adoptive family were able to exert undue pressure on the police to change the investigation to five murders with Bamber being the perpetrator. The suggested motive for the crime was supposedly Bamber fast forwarding his inheritance - the estate being valued at circa 436k in 1985. After his conviction the extended family then went on to successfully claim the estate. Much information was held from the defence and remains under pii. Why?

It is also clear that the judge showed bias, and in fact misled the jury, in his summing up. The first appeal was based on the judges summing up. Some appeal process where one judge judges another judge. Lol. Sounds a bit of a closed shop to me/old boys network. I do not like the lack of transparency/accountability here at all. I'm sure when Bamber's conviction is quashed it will change the face of British justice forever.

And it's not good enough to dismiss those people as if they were tossing a coin. They are the ones who have seen all the evidence (not just what Bamber's supporters choose to put up on his website) and actually saw and heard the witnesses give evidence, and who have heard the arguments of counsel instructed on his behalf who I am quite sure put his case - including the issues you refer to - as forcefully as possible. No-one is saying that the system is infallible, but they have a better chance of knowing the truth than someone reading documents on a selective website.

Did the jurors see ALL the evidence? I am led to believe much was held back, lost or destroyed.

FYI I posted on 'The Jeremy Bamber Forum' for some 20 months under the username 'Naughty Nun' but on 31st October 2013 I was banned for life for winding up posters/supporters. I currently post on the 'UK Justice Forum' which is very anti Bamber. There put that in your pipe and smoke it Nennypops. grin

JakeBullet Wed 19-Feb-14 22:03:01

Ah....I have recently found the UK Justice Forum too. Joined the JB Forum some time ago but never got round to posting there. ....just reading.

Fascinating to read the different opinions.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 22:15:28

Even excluding sentences in pre-abolition of capital punishment days, I would still put the Kiszko and Clarke cases higher in any league table of worst miscarriages of justice.

If you haven't investigated where there is any correlation between majority verdicts and miscarriages of justice, don't suggest that there is one.

Agreed, the initial investigation was incompetent because of the immediate assumption that Sheila Caffell was guilty. But that incompetence worked as much in Bamber's favour as against him, because it is highly likely to have led to the destruction of more incriminating evidence against him.

The first appeal was based on the judges summing up. Some appeal process where one judge judges another judge. Lol. Sounds a bit of a closed shop to me/old boys network

That would be the first failed appeal. Your comments about closed shops and old boys networks might stand up were it not for the fact that that "closed shop" regularly does allow appeals, including ones based on bias by the original judge.

Did the jurors see ALL the evidence?

They saw much more than you have. They also had the inestimable advantage of seeing and hearing the witnesses and argument. They clearly found Julie Mugford, for instance, more credible than Jeremy Bamber.

There put that in your pipe and smoke it Nennypops

The 50s called. They want their cliché back.

JakeBullet Thu 20-Feb-14 10:52:47

I think miscarriages of justice are difficult. I was involved with a fairly high profile case several years ago where a woman was found guilty of killing two of her babies. She was sentenced to life imprisonment and then released due to the faulty expert evidence of Roy Meadows.

I think most of the women released on this basis WERE indeed innocent...Sally Clarke for instance.....I remain however, convinced of this particular woman's guilt.....from my involvement in the care of both children. As were many others involved in their care......the fallout from her release amongst those of us who had cared for these babies was enormous.

Life moves on though....am not sure where she is now but I hope to God she has not had any further children.

Interestingly the appeal court judges made the comment that there was compelling evidence in her case that the decision to convict had been the correct one, I am at loss to understand why there was not a retrial....in her case....not in anyone elses.

So I don't believe all miscarriages of justice .....are such.

Then you have the case of Stefan Kizko......where DNA evidence finally exoneratee him.

JakeBullet Thu 20-Feb-14 11:06:47

Just re-read the appeal for this woman. the appeal judges did not prder a re-trial but with many misgivings. They stressed that this woman's case was different from those of Sally Clarke and Angela Cannings. That there was compelling evidence against her but that when it came down to experts fighting over statistical evidence it weakened the Crown s case. Therefore yhey said "with regret" they did not order a retrial and apparently this has not been asked for.

I still believe she got away with murder. ...unless you count the few years she served.

HoGo1 Thu 20-Feb-14 14:48:42

Even excluding sentences in pre-abolition of capital punishment days, I would still put the Kiszko and Clarke cases higher in any league table of worst miscarriages of justice.

Based on what? Surely the severity of a MoJ is best measured by the defendant's loss of liberty in terms of days? I appreciate that Sally Clarke and Stefan Kiszko suffered mentally and physically and also appear to have met early demises as a result of their MoJ's.

If you haven't investigated where there is any correlation between majority verdicts and miscarriages of justice, don't suggest that there is one

I did not suggest there was one. I said I wondered if one existed. As with most things judicial there appears to be a distinct lack of transparency and accountability. Sally Clark 10 - 2, Stefan Kiszko 10 - 2, Stephen Downing unanimous. I will need to look at many more to establish whether or not a correlation exists.

Agreed, the initial investigation was incompetent because of the immediate assumption that Sheila Caffell was guilty. But that incompetence worked as much in Bamber's favour as against him, because it is highly likely to have led to the destruction of more incriminating evidence against him.

Then that is a failing on the part of the police and other professionals involved eg pathologist, ballistics. Justice should not be served based on the ability of those investigating to act competently.

That would be the first failed appeal. Your comments about closed shops and old boys networks might stand up were it not for the fact that that "closed shop" regularly does allow appeals, including ones based on bias by the original judge

I think some might wonder, I certainly do, whether judges judging the decisions of other judges are able to act impartially from a number of perspectives. wink.

They saw much more than you have. They also had the inestimable advantage of seeing and hearing the witnesses and argument. They clearly found Julie Mugford, for instance, more credible than Jeremy Bamber.

As no transcript of the trial exists it is difficult to determine exactly what the jury heard/saw. I understand much was held back from the defence to bolster the prosecution's case? Why is so much held under pii? And why when the police were told not to do so did they destroy exhibits? According to Geoffrey Rivlin QC he had great difficulty cross examining Julie Mugford as she continually broke down in tears.

nennypops Thu 20-Feb-14 16:43:55

HoGo, that last post is full of speculation which doesn't take this discussion any further and doesn't support your case in any way.

HoGo1 Sun 02-Aug-15 11:55:13

A new book about The Murders At White House Farm by author Carol Ann Lee has just been released:

www.amazon.co.uk/The-Murders-White-House-Farm-ebook/dp/B00UXKJ0SA

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Ann_Lee

I have read the book and it's a compelling read, albeit the subject is very tragic with three generations of a family losing their lives.

It is a complete contrast to the usual tabloid trash written about the tragedy. (The recent 2 part serialisation in the Mail on Sunday bears no resemblance to the book as a whole). The book covers all angles in meticulous detail with a notes and references section detailing the author's sources which include first-time interviews with family friends, police officers, expert witnesses and many others. The book is set out in four main chapters: 1) family background with biographies including the birth families of Jeremy Bamber and Sheila Caffell, 2) events in the months leading up to the tragedy, 3) police investigation and 4) trial and Jeremy Bamber's relentless protestations of innocence, police investigations into wrongdoing and appeal hearings.

The author presents all the information in an easy to understand manner and allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusion as to whether Jeremy Bamber is " warped and evil beyond belief", as described by his trial judge, or the victim of one of the country's worst ever miscarriages of justice.

My only criticism of the book is that the author appears to have overlooked that the blood samples taken from the victims at post mortem were in fact handed to Essex Police and not sent direct to the FSS laboratory at Huntingdon. Meaning that the central exhibit to the prosecutions case, a silencer, could have been deliberately contaminated by Essex Police. This was investigated by City of London Police in 1991 and they found no wrongdoing!

Marigold76 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:19:39

I realise this is an old post and ive skimmed through the conversation tbh but wanted to add my two penneth grin i live 5 mins down the road from White House Farm and i know the extended family (not well but socially) ive never met a local person who believes JB is innocent. Ive read quite extensively on this and ive been a member of the JB forum for a few years. Im by no means an expert and have veered between poss guilty-poss innocent but i firmly believe now he is guilty. Imo he put himself firmly in the frame by being too clever for his own good. There is no evidence tying him to the murders i agree. However, HE told the police it was his sister. When the evidence showed that it was virtually impossible for her to have committed the murders and taken her own life (and i do belive on the Facts alone, not experts opinions- it is highly unlikely she did it) there could only ever be one other person responsible. It would be more plausible to think they were victims of a burglary or disgruntled employee etc but JB vetoed those options with his phone call statement.
Part of the reason i think people struggle to accept his guilt is that no-one (aside from the twins) in this sorry story was particularly palatable. For example: local opinions are that the family were quite remote and June was an aggressive religious follower compounded by her own MH issues, Jeremy was a narcissistic and unpleasant person and the extended family (who are not the warmest of people) have done very well financially out of this tragedy. I do not believe they deliberately tampered with evidence but they certainly benefited and continue to do so. It is not a tidy case by any means but i feel JB is manipulating the poor investigation to make it fit his story which is frankly, full of holes.

LumpySpacedPrincess Mon 03-Aug-15 16:10:23

Is there any possibility that someone else did it? Maybe someone hired by Jeremy?

RedDaisyRed Thu 06-Aug-15 12:47:45

I remember it at the time but he did seem guilty. Either way I would let him out now as so much time as past and no one is at risk if he comes out.

ElementaryMyDearWatson Thu 06-Aug-15 22:45:27

Can we be sure that no-one is at risk, Red? Would the person who murdered his parents, sisters and two children necessarily happily turn the other cheek to those who testified against him?

ElementaryMyDearWatson Thu 06-Aug-15 22:45:58

Sorry, typo - only one sister.

Placemarking because I've read quite a bit about this case over the years and still can't make my mind up!
You mention a Jeremy Bamber forum in the OP, could you link to that please?

HelenaDove Sun 09-Aug-15 19:47:21

Im in Essex too and i remember watching it on the news when it happened. I was 12 at the time and i live about 40 mins drive away from there. Cant believe its been thirty years. I believe hes guilty I remember watching a programme about this on Channel 4 back at the end of April 2003 ( remember watching it because it was the day i came out of hospital after a gall bladder op) i think this programme had some theories about the silencer if i remember correctly.

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