Stories categorized “Miscarriage of justice”:

Fatal Flaw

Published January 2006.

Fifteen years ago, Will Powell saw his ten-year-old son die. Within days, he began to suspect that doctors who had looked after the boy had been negligent. He filed a complaint. Within months, he began to suspect that somebody was tampering with the boy’s medical records. He filed more complaints. He spent 15 years fighting for the truth. Now finally he has it – and he was right.

The scoop monger

Published October 1995.

When politicians in different corners of the world wonder out loud whether Rupert Murdoch is becoming too powerful, they are thinking normally on a grand scale, about his potential to manipulate governments or to subvert national cultures. However, the same question can arise on a much more human scale, if any ordinary individuals find themselves challenging Rupert’s rule.

The newspapers which hounded the Taylor sisters

Published November 1994.

When Michelle and Lisa Taylor walked free from the High Court one Friday morning in June last year, they left behind them a life sentence which had been torn up by the judges, and a delicate problem which remained to be handled by the Attorney General.

Kidnap, murder and justice in the Algarve

Published August 1993.

Rachel Charles was nine years old when she went missing one warm November day in 1990 as she walked home after school, and when her body was found four days later, tucked under a pine tree a couple of miles along the coast, local people who had never even known her were terrified by the needless brutality of it all. It was a relief to almost everyone when the police arrested Michael Cook, then aged 38, and explained how he had abducted her and tried to have sex with her and then strangled her in his car when she started to fight him off. Cook was convicted of murder and sent to prison for 19 years.

Losing the war against drugs

Published July 1993.

Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill are, of course, our enemies. All drug dealers are our enemies. That’s the point of the war against drugs. So of course these two young women deserve all the abuse that has been heaped upon them – even if one of them does turn out to be innocent, even if the other one is guilty of nothing more than daftness, and even if they were both exploited first by the dealers who set them up and then by the avaricious officials who made money out of them on the other side of the world. That’s war. That’s collateral damage.

A murder and a miscarriage

Published June 1993.

One evening in the early summer of 1991, a police constable named Sean Oxley received an unusual phone call in his office in Bow Street police station. Oxley was then working with an undercover unit, mixing with homeless people to gather intelligence about street crime and he was well known among the social workers in the soup kitchens and hostels of central London. It was one of these social workers, an unpaid volunteer, who now called him.

Official misbehaviour in the case of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith

Published January 1992.

The story of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith is, in one sense, simply a story about injustice, in which two daft teenagers are robbed of their youth in a foreign jail, one for being reckless, the other for nothing – merely for being there. But beyond that, it is a story of intrigue and secret manoeuvure, in which almost every party behaves with breath-taking selfishness and in which the simple truth of the injustice is lost in a blizzard of lies.

The tangled case of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith

Published October 1991.

Stephen Ronald Jakobi, aged 56, Cambridge graduate, former trial lawyer, leading light of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, and expert in personal injury claims, knows a thing or two about the law.

Florence Siddons and the missing murderer

Published September 1991.

There is only a handful of ways in which an ordinary life can suddenly become flooded by limelight. One of them is murder. Another is scandal. Florence Siddons’ family has suffered both.

Laughing at racism

Published February 1991.

It was the day after the crime. Everyone in Conroe was talking about the report in the Courier: “Girl found slain at Conroe High. Police say teenager strangled.” Politicians and church ministers were pleading for calm. The captain of detectives was on television, disclosing that the girl had been raped by her killer. Her body had been taken to the morgue down in Houston.

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