14 CLUES THAT PROVE I DIDN'T MURDER MY WHOLE FAMILY; Massacre case 'badly flawed'.
FOURTEEN vital clues proved the innocence of convicted mass murderer Jeremy Bamber, the Appeal Court heard yesterday.
Bamber, 41, making his first public appearance since he received five life sentences for slaughtering his family, was taken to the High Court from prison to fight for his freedom.
His barrister identified 14 key points - detailed right - which he claimed made the conviction unsafe. Michael Turner, QC, said evidence had been withheld from the defence and vital exhibits had been destroyed by police six years ago.
Bamber, then 25, was found guilty by a 10-2 majority after an 18-day trial at Chelmsford crown court in October 1986.
The jury decided he murdered his adoptive parents Neville and June, both 61, and his half-sister, model Sheila "Bambi" Caffell, 27.
Sheila's six-year-old twins Nicholas and Daniel were also shot dead with the same hunting rifle at the family's 18th century farmhouse in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex,
The prosecution said Bamber stood to inherit nearly pounds 500,000 - but he has always protested his innocence.
The 1985 murder case gripped the nation.
Police called to remote White House Farm in the early hours of August 7 found a bloodbath.
They had been phoned by Bamber who told them his father had rung him at his nearby bungalow, saying: "Please come over, your sister has gone crazy and has got a gun."
By the time Bamber reached the farm six miles away, armed police had surrounded the building.
When they broke in they found Neville Bamber, a former RAF pilot, in the kitchen. He had been shot eight times in the head and neck from close range and his chest was bruised from struggling with his killer.
June's body was upstairs in their bedroom. She had been shot seven times in the head and body.
The twins were shot as they slept, Daniel five times in the back of the head and Nicholas three times in the face. Divorced Sheila Caffell, who was also adopted, was found on her back on her bed with two gunshot wounds to her chin and throat.
Her right hand was on the butt of a .22 rifle lying across her chest, pointing towards her head.
Police at first accepted Jeremy's claim that she had murdered the other four, then committed suicide. But three days after the murders, Bamber's cousin David Boutflour discovered a silencer with Sheila's blood on it in the gun cupboard at the farm.
It was clearly impossible for her to have shot herself dead and returned the silencer. Then police discovered that Bamber stood to inherit a fortune and had boasted to his girlfriend, Julie Mugford, that he was going to kill his family.
Bamber's barrister told the three appeal judges yesterday that certain material in the case had been "deliberately withheld so as to unfairly bolster the prosecution's case and secure a conviction".
Mr Turner said: "I seek to demonstrate on behalf of the appellant that there are a series of deceits that have gone on in his case in terms of non-disclosure.""He said certain officers involved in the case "taint the whole of it such that the appellant's conviction cannot be viewed as safe".
Bamber's first appeal attempt was rejected in 1989.
The case was referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
As well as the claims of non-disclosure, Lord Justice Kay, Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice Henriques will be asked to consider fresh scientific evidence"as a result of testing not available at the time of trial.
Bamber, serving his sentence at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire, has been transferred to high security Belmarsh Prison in South East London for the appeal.
He appeared in court wearing a white shirt and grey slacks and flanked by four prison guards. He spoke only once to confirm his name.
At one point he asked for paper and made careful notes. Bamber once protested his innocence on a radio phone-in, prompting the then Home Secretary Michael Howard to ban prisoners from calling the media.
In March last year, he launched a website which contained adverts for sexy underwear, hoping it would help highlight his case.
It was condemned as "appalling and outrageous" by victims of crime groups.
The appeal hearing is expected to last three weeks.
JEREMY BAMBER'S CLAIMSTHE Crown said Bamber's sister Sheila Caffell had no traces of lead on her hands, proving that she couldn't have handled any ammunition. But swabs from her hands were rejected by a forensic lab as being contaminated and police "smuggled" in a new set.SUGAR had been spilled in the kitchen where Neville Bamber fought his killer but no sugar was found on Sheila''s bare feet. In fact the sugar had been knocked over by Tactical Firearms Group officers when they burst into the kitchen.POLICE found all doors and windows locked, indicating the killer died inside the house and the Crown came up with a flawed theory that Bamber had got in through a bathroom window and escaped through a kitchen window.THERE was a crucial discrepancy about the time Bamber was supposed to have called his girlfriend in the early hours of that morning before calling the police.WITNESS Julie Mugford said Bamber told her he'd offered a man called Matthew McDonald pounds 2,000 to carry out the murders. But Mugford was a "jilted woman" and the fact she had been accused by her bank of cheque frauds was withheld by the prosecution.MUGFORD had categorically denied at the trial that she was planning to sell her story but her solicitor had already begun negotiations and she was paid pounds 25,000 by the News of the World.A LETTER was sent to the police by Sheila''s ex-husband, Colin, suggesting what might have triggered his schizophrenic wife to commit the murders. But it was "hushed up" by detectives.
POLICE also allegedly refused to allow Colin Caffell to change his statement, which would have crucially affected the trial.CRUCIAL photographs which would have thrown light on Sheila''s state of mind at the time of the murders were withheld from the defence.EVIDENCE could have been manufactured by a key witness, who is related to Bamber, because he stood to receive some of the inheritance.THE Crown relied on the fact there was no blood on the phone in the kitchen, indicating that Neville Bamber could never have made the call alleged by his adoptive son. But blood WAS found on the counter near the telephone.THERE was clear evidence which "demonstrated the willingness of police to keep evidence back" from the defence.THE "key" at the trial was the assertion that Sheila''s blood was on the silencer. But there was a possibility that the blood was a mixture of June and Neville''s.IT was claimed Sheila''s DNA had been found on the silencer. But the police have since destroyed all blood-based exhibits in the case. In doing so, they have destroyed the only firm source of June and Neville Bamber''s DNA.
Six-year-old twins Nicholas and Daniel; JAILED MAN; AT COURT: Handcuffed Bamber arrives yesterday; KILLED; Adoptive parents Neville and June; KILLED; Bamber's step-sister, known as Bambi; KILLED; CHARGED: Bamber taken to court after his arrest in 1985
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 18, 2002|
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