Evidence not disclosed & destroyed, in defiance of three court orders
Essex police: Contempt of court & perverting justice?
Unfair trial? Miscarriage of justice? Police cover up? Time for retrial?
London, UK – 5 April 2017
Peter Tatchell has today written to the Chief Constable of Essex, Stephen Kavanagh, urging him to comply fully with three court orders to make available to Jeremy Bamber’s legal team hundreds of pieces of evidence that Essex police have failed to disclose for 32 years. Shockingly, some evidence has been destroyed, despite court orders to hand it over to the defence.
Bamber was convicted and jailed for killing five members of his family at White House Farm in Essex in 1985. He is serving a whole life tariff, which means he can never be released from prison.
In today’s letter, Mr Tatchell points out that the withholding of significant evidence means that Jeremy Bamber may not have had a fair trial and that:
“The partial, limited compliance with three successive court orders puts Essex police at risk of prosecution for contempt of court and perverting the course of justice.”
Here is a copy of the letter, which details the non-disclosed evidence and the court orders that have not been fully complied with:
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh
5 April 2017
Dear Stephen Kavanagh,
Jeremy Bamber – Withheld and non-disclosed evidence
I am writing to you concerning the allegation that Essex police have withheld and destroyed evidence, and defied three court orders, with regard to the White House Farm murders in 1985.
Jeremy Bamber’s legal defence team have requested hundreds of audio recordings, photographs, forensic and lab reports, public interest immunity files, medical records, diaries and police hand-written statements, notebooks and logs.
These are listed in full below, together with the three court orders that Essex police have failed to fully comply with.
This withholding and non-disclosure of evidence has continued for 32 years.
The partial, limited compliance with three successive court orders puts Essex police at risk of prosecution for contempt of court and perverting the course of justice.
I cannot say whether Jeremy Bamber is guilty or innocent. But I know that denying him access to relevant evidence at his trial and appeals is a grave injustice. He has a legal right to this evidence. Without it, he may not have had a fair trial and his conviction may be unsafe.
You have the power to remedy past police failings. I urge you to act.
I respectfully request you to confirm to me that you will provide Jeremy Bamber’s solicitor with all the material evidence requested in this letter:
Mark Newby, Jordans solicitors, 4 Priory Place, Doncaster DN1 1BP – 01302 365 374
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Jeremy Bamber case – itemisation of withheld evidence
Key material that Essex police are requested to disclose to Jeremy Bamber’s legal team
This request for evidence is relevant to Jeremy Bamber’s consideration of a new appeal against his conviction. Holmes references for most of the requested materials are available. Please see the ‘Disclosure Booklet’ for more information
These are the documents, recordings and photos requested:
Original manuscript/handwritten logs by Malcolm Bonnett (civilian telephone operator at police HQ) and PC West showing that Nevill Bamber (father of Jeremy Bamber) called the police saying: ‘daughter gone berserk’ and ‘has got hold of one of my guns’. There are two separate logs: one pertaining to Jeremy Bamber and one pertaining to Nevill Bamber.
Malcolm Bonnett’s original handwritten statements dated 13.09.85, 08.11.85 and 16.12.85 referring to: ‘Mr Bamber and ‘Mr Bamber Junior’.
Original situation report made by PS Bews following the sighting of someone alive in White House Farm that he saw through a bedroom window prompting him to request firearms assistance.
Original statements made on 07.08.85 by PS Bews and PC Myall who saw movement in a bedroom window of White House Farm.
DI Kenneally’s 06.09.85 report following his investigation stating Sheila Caffell (sister of Jeremy Bamber) was responsible for shooting her family and then herself.
Plus DI Kenneally’s statement made post trial for the Dickinson enquiry (1986).
Audio recordings of:
- PC West’s calls to HQ operator Malcolm Bonnett
- All radio traffic referred to by Malcolm Bonnett
- The raid team’s open microphones
PC Milbank’s pocket book recording all his monitoring of the telephone line at White House Farm from 06:09 on 07.08.85.
All original handwritten statements and pocket book entries from the first case investigation of murder/suicide SC/688/85 including:
- PC 7975 David Bishop statements dated 14.09.85
- DI Cook statements dated 07.08.85.
- DS 219 Davidson statements dated 09.08.85
- DCI Jones statements dated 07.08.85
- PS Mildenhall statements dated 18.09.85
- Inspector Montgomery statements dated 20.08.85
- Chief Inspector Wright statements dated 09.09.85
- PS 36 Bews statements dated 18.09.85
- PC 1902 Cracknell statements dated 17.09.85
- PC 721 East statements
- DC George Henderson statements
- PC 1046 Maunder statements
- PC 1445 Reed statements
- PC 366 Shoulders statements
Original reports by forensic scientists referring to the blood in the sound moderator as identical to that of Sheila Caffell and of beneficiary Robert Boutflour (uncle of Jeremy Bamber).
Public Interest Immunity file on Julie Mugford (Jeremy Bamber’s girlfriend at the time of the killings) referring to a ‘deal’ with the Crown Prosecution Service in exchange for immunity from prosecution for five criminal offences, three of which were unknown to the jury. Plus disclosure of the Essex police file on the £25,000 News of the World deal, agreed to in November/December 1985 (pre-trial) by Julie Mugford via her solicitors.
All photographs taken of all the rooms in White House Farm including those containing firearms and all telephones in situ.
Sheila Caffell’s medical/psychiatric records referring to her conversations with her psychiatrist where she informs him she was afraid she would kill her children.
Plus Sheila’s diaries during periods where she had psychotic episodes (1983 and 1985).
All forensic scientist’s pre-trial handwritten statements, lab reports and post-trial DCI Dickinson enquiry interviews pertaining to the sound moderator(s).
Essex police failure to comply with court orders
Essex Police have not fully complied with three court orders to disclose material relevant to Jeremy Bamber’s case. These orders were as follows:
1. Judicial Review issued by the Central Criminal Court in 1994. An order to disclose material came after Jeremy Bamber sought disclosure of DNA evidence from Essex Police and they refused. Despite the judgement instructing the Home Secretary to disclose material to Jeremy Bamber all DNA material was destroyed apart from the sound moderator. A Special Branch officer instructed the incineration of evidence in 1996. In a statement to the Metropolitan Police in 2002 he claimed he was ‘unaware’ of the ruling to disclose.
2. Court of Appeal Criminal Division, Royal Courts of Justice, 30 July 2001. Issued before Jeremy Bamber’s 2002 Appeal, this general order was to disclose all material including pre-trial evidence, all details of the destruction of DNA material by Special Branch, laboratory submissions, all relevant material to the findings of the Police Complaints Authority enquiry, detail of material the Crown intends to withhold, all material from the Essex and City of London Police enquiries and all material previously made available to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. There was only partial disclosure of this material.
3. Court of Appeal Criminal Division, Royal Courts of Justice, 2 July 2002. This order was a specific request for material including audio tapes, diaries, witness statements, basis of information contained with a police report, documents held at the mortuary and Chelmsford and Essex Hospital, statement regarding regulations governing destruction of exhibits and statement of the officer authorising destruction in 1996, all statements and results in respect of DNA testing of the sound moderator, disclosure of police interviews with the Stokenchurch enquiry, guidelines regarding completion of exhibit books and forms, disclosure of fresh evidence and unused material. The order was only partially complied with.