|In 1977 Reg Dudley and Bob Maynard were convicted - on the strength of an alleged confession - of two murders which allegedly taken place in 1974. Both men have consistently protested their innocence. Reg Dudley was released on parole in 1997 (Daily Telegraph); Bob Maynard was reelased on bail in November 2000 (Guardian), after their case had been referred back to the court of appeal by the CCRC (Guardian). Their appeal was heard in July 2002; the nub of the case is outlined in an interview with Reg Dudley and an article by Duncan Campbell ahead of the appeal. The appeal was allowed on 16 July 2002 and the convictions of both men were quashed (Guardian).|
case is dealt with at length in "The
Legal & General Gang" by Bob Woffinden in his 1987 book Miscarriages
of Justice (see Books
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17 July 2002
By Vikram Dodd
Thoughts and words came slowly to Bob Maynard yesterday, as the court of appeal quashed the murder convictions for which he and Reg Dudley were jailed. Just after 10.30am yesterday Mr Maynard was freed after 25 years. It left him in shock.
Mr Maynard and Mr Dudley were convicted in the "torso murder" case after Britain's longest criminal trial. Their freedom came barely two minutes into the fifth day of their appeal.
They were jailed in 1977 for murdering Billy Moseley, whose torso was found in the Thames, and Micky Cornwall, whose body was dumped in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire. They say the Metropolitan police framed them.
The appeal court judges cleared two other people yesterday. Mr Dudley's daughter, Kathleen, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Cornwall. Charlie Clarke, now dead, was jailed for four years for his role in the Cornwall murder and posthumously cleared.
Mr Maynard, 63, said: "It cost my marriage. I lost my son's growing up. There are no ups, it's all down.
"If they were to say you've got £2m compensation or your life back, I want my life back."
Mr Maynard and Mr Dudley were convicted on alleged admissions during interview and the testimony of a prisoner who lied in court saying they had confessed to him.
The court of appeal heard that the statement taken by police, which officers said was written down contemporaneously, could not have been so.
Police said the statement was taken down in longhand in 51 minutes, but a forensic document examiner testified that this was impossible.
The second plank of the prosecution case was the testimony of Tony Wild, who claimed Mr Maynard and Mr Dudley had bragged to them about the killings.
Wild said Mr Maynard had boasted of taking Moseley's head to a Brighton pub and showing it off like a trophy. After the convictions the head was found in a public toilet in Islington.
Wild's reward was a shorter prison sentence, but in 1995 he told the Guardian he had made up his testimony.
The home secretary refused to send the case back to the court of appeal, but it was reopened after an investigation by the criminal cases review commission unearthed the forensic document evidence.
The court of appeal will issue its reasons for overturning the convictions later. Scotland Yard said it was "disappointed" by the outcome.
Yesterday's abrupt ending caught many by surprise. Mr Dudley was asleep at home.
Mr Maynard phoned to break the news. "Why haven't you been here," he said. "I think you've got to get here now. We've won the case ... Put something decent on."
Mr Maynard was released on bail two years ago, and Mr Dudley was freed on licence in 1997.
Both served longer sentences than the judge recommended because they would not admit their guilt.
Mr Dudley, 77, said that art had helped get him through his ordeal. "If I paint for one hour, four hours, I'm not in prison. I'd be in Hyde Park painting swans."
He served time alongside the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four, victims of two other miscarriages of justice from the 1970s. "There are still plenty of innocent people inside," Mr Dudley said.
Both were petty crooks at the illegal end of the jewellery trade at the time of their arrests. "I'd have been a crook still, to speak the truth," said Mr Maynard.
He lives on £98 a week with his sister in north London. Both men will now expect huge financial compensation.
Mr Maynard said: "In prison all you live by is memories. Memories of family, that one day I might be released.
"It's ruined my life. If I've got tears to shed I'll go behind a door."
10 July 2002
In 1977, Reg Dudley and Bob Maynard were convicted of two murders on the strength of 'confessions' they denied making and a witness who later said his evidence was a 'bag of lies'. So why is their case only reaching the appeal court today?
By Duncan Campbell
More than 25 years ago a small-time criminal came into the cramped King's Cross offices of Time Out magazine, where I was then working, with what he claimed was a story about a potential miscarriage of justice. It involved, he said, the murders of two London criminals, Micky Cornwall and Billy Moseley, for which seven people were about to stand trial at the Old Bailey. Other criminals, said the man, were being asked to give bogus evidence against the accused. The trial would be worth watching.
And so it was. It became, at 135 days, the longest murder trial in British history, and at the end of it two men, Reg Dudley and Bob Maynard, were sentenced to life for the murders, furiously protesting their innocence from the dock. Today the pair, who between them served more than 40 years in jail, hope their innocence will finally be proved.
The thrust of the case was that Moseley had been having an affair with another criminal's wife and had also accused Dudley of being a police informer. For this, he had supposedly been murdered in September 1974. His body was chopped up and dumped in the Thames, the case becoming known as "the torso murder". According to the prosecution, when Moseley's friend Cornwall (a character known as "the laughing bank robber" because he was always smiling) was later released from prison, he went hunting for the killers. He was then murdered himself, shot in the head, and his body was dumped in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire in September 1975.
Dozens of people came under suspicion for the murders before the police charged the seven who appeared at the Old Bailey. The prosecution evidence came primarily from two sources: the alleged confessions made to the police by Dudley and Maynard, who worked at the illegal end of the jewellery business, and their admissions to a fellow inmate, a young bank robber called Tony Wild, while they were awaiting trial in Brixton prison.
According to the police, Dudley had, during a journey in a police car, said: "The cunt [Moseley] had it coming. He tried to fuck me so I fucked him good and proper." Later Dudley was said to have told the police questioning him about Cornwall: "You can take it from me it is not on my conscience... He deserved what he got and that's it." Maynard had supposedly told the police after his arrest: "It's about time you came for me."
The police investigation was led by Commander Bert Wickstead, "the Old Grey Fox", one of Scotland Yard's best-known and most-admired detectives. He liked to be known, too, as "Gangbuster" Wickstead. Unlike too many of his contemporaries, Wickstead did not take bribes, but he did like to see the conviction of people he reckoned might have committed a crime. And he was prepared to do what was necessary to ensure that.
The trial, in front of Mr Justice Swanwick, seemed to go on for ever, but was always fascinating. It was suggested that Maynard and Dudley ran a criminal empire and that they had a gang ominously called "Legal & General". (This turned out to be a nickname the two men had been given because they had once come into a pub looking like two characters from a Legal & General television commercial. There was no gang.)
The dramatic high point came when Wild went into the witness box. A handsome figure, he gave evidence that he had met Dudley and Maynard in prison, and that Dudley had boasted about killing Cornwall, saying: "He went up in the fucking air, didn't he, boys?" Wild claimed that Maynard had said: "I didn't know guys would squeal like a pig." Wild also said that Dudley had told him he had taken Moseley's head to a pub in Brighton and shown it to a publican friend there. He described Maynard and Dudley as "animals, who laughed at the killing of a man". He made a compelling witness.
The evidence was slim to say the least. Of the seven people charged with varying degrees of responsibility for the murder, three were acquitted, including the man whose wife had been having an affair with Moseley. When Maynard was sentenced he shouted from the dock to the judge: "I am still innocent, sir." Dudley harangued Wickstead: "Are you happy? You have fitted us all up, but don't worry - you'll be fitted up in the end by your own kind."
The case did not make many waves. Only the Sun thought the conviction, which came in June 1977, worthy of the front page. The rest of Fleet Street was preoccupied with the possibility of Prince Charles getting engaged to Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg. But there were so many inconsistencies in the case and it covered such a wide and complex world of London gangland at the time that it seemed worth a book, and one was duly commissioned by Granada. Peter Chippindale, then a Guardian reporter, and I wrote it together but it was deemed unpublishable because of its implication that the police, under the leadership of Wickstead, had fabricated evidence.
There was an unsuccessful appeal and a campaign to free the men led by their relatives and friends, including Moseley's widow, a friend of the Maynards. It was known as the "MDC - Not Guilty Right" campaign, the MDC standing for Maynard, Dudley and Charlie Clarke, who was jailed with them for four years for his alleged part in the crime. The case attracted fresh attention when Moseley's head, slowly defrosting, was left in a public lavatory in Islington, in July 1977, disproving the theory advanced at the trial that he had been shot in the head. Who had put it there? What did it mean? Then silence.
Three years later, in 1980, Wild was released from prison. His reward for giving evidence had been a short sentence. Along with BBC reporter Graeme McLagan, I went to see Wild in Hove on the pretence that we were doing a story about armed robbery. He checked that we were not "wired up" and we chatted at a pub. During the conversation, unprompted, he let slip that he had information that could lead to the freeing of men in jail. He was referring to Maynard and Dudley. He expanded, and we ran a story in Time Out. But when Wild was interviewed by the police he withdrew his remarks.
The years passed. The men took and passed truth-drug tests. Two documentaries, the first by Rex Bloomstein for Channel 4, the second a Rough Justice special on the BBC, uncovered further evidence pointing to their innocence. Dudley and Maynard were shuffled around the prison system. The technique of Esda (electrostatic document analysis) emerged. This has led to the reopening of many cases, most recently that of the Tottenham Three. At last, it seemed to Maynard and Dudley, there was a chance to prove that their supposedly compromising remarks to police were never made. They applied for access to the interview notes. The Metropolitan police replied that the papers had unfortunately been destroyed. This was baffling, as most police forces keep murder-case papers indefinitely, or until all the parties have died.
Then, out of the blue, in 1995, Wild got in touch. He had become a born-again Christian and was still troubled by the case. He had seen Maynard on one of the documentaries and "he struck me as a very sad figure and I wanted to help him". We met again on the south coast. This time he was much more explicit.
Wild had been facing charges on a series of armed robberies when he decided to give evidence against Maynard and Dudley. "I myself was facing a long time in prison - one of my co-defendants got 20 years," he told me. "I was regarded as of the same seriousness as him.
"I was very naive. I tried to put myself on the mercy of the court and the police and tried to buy goodwill, so to speak. I knew that if I gave evidence it would win me favours. It was indicated that I would receive a short sentence." He concluded: "I went to court with a bag of lies and offered them as evidence... I have a strong belief that my part tipped things." He struck me as genuinely troubled by what had happened. No money was ever asked for or paid.
His admission was run as a front-page story in the Guardian. Again he was interviewed by the police, but on the advice of a lawyer he said nothing to them - he did not want to go to jail for perjury. Dudley, through his lawyers, wrote to the home secretary asking for the case to be reviewed. Seven months later the home secretary wrote back, declining to do so. The case languished again. Then the criminal cases review commission looked again at some of the interviews between the accused and the police, and started timing them. Could they really have been conducted in the time claimed? A fresh avenue for appeal was opened up. Wild was approached again. This time he was offered immunity from prosecution if he agreed to tell the truth. Here is what he said: "I would like to make it clear that the whole of my evidence against Reg Dudley, Bob Maynard and other co-defendants was entirely false in so far as it relates to comments made by them that were incriminatory." He specified his reason for giving false evidence: that he would get a shorter sentence. He gave evidence that ways had been suggested for him to adjust the evidence to fit the facts. Today the case finally goes to the appeal court, where Wild is due to give evidence - an act of some courage, despite what he did so long ago.
The case against Maynard and Dudley as it stood would not come to court today. The police would have had to produce taped evidence of the admissions supposedly made by the two men, and Wild's evidence would probably have been ruled inadmissible. Few jurors in these more worldly times would believe that career criminals such as Dudley and Maynard would blurt out helpful confessions to police officers in a car, or would confide in a stranger in a prison cell. But they were convicted in a different climate. It was before the scandals of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and Judith Ward had emerged. Times have changed. The book manuscript, which is beside me as I write this, is full of interviews with people long dead and criminal jargon long since turned into caricature by repetition in countless gangster movies.
So if the wrong men were locked up, who did kill Moseley and Cornwall? The crimes were almost certainly unrelated. Moseley may well have been killed because of a personal argument, but Cornwall is generally thought to have been killed by another criminal in a robbery-related row.
We have become inured to the slow emergence of miscarriages of justice over the years. But it is more than 20 years since Wild first indicated that he had made up his evidence; more than seven years since he spelled it out again. Yet only now is the appeal being heard. During those long years inside, Maynard - never a big-time criminal - saw, from afar, his family grow up without him, despaired, and acquired a drug habit; he was released on bail in 2000. Dudley - always the senior partner - missed out on his grandchildren growing up but emerged from jail in remarkably good nick; he was released on parole in 1997. Charlie Clarke is long dead. Wickstead died recently.
And sometimes, from the top deck of a bus in north London, you can still see a faded slogan on the wall of a derelict property reading "MDC - Not Guilty Right".
7 July 2002
As part of The Observer's debate on the reform of the criminal justice system, Reg Dudley, who was convicted in 1977 of an horrific double murder, urges caution on the Government in its drive to secure more convictions
This week, more than 25 years after my friend Bob Maynard and I were sent to prison for two murders we didn't commit, evidence of severe irregularities in the original investigation will finally be heard by the Court of Appeal. New expert testimony suggest that the main planks of the case against us, our supposed 'confessions', were fabricated - as we have claimed all along. The Crown's star witness has also made a statement admitting perjury. In June 1992, The Observer published an investigation into our case. More than a decade later, it looks as if the courts are finally catching up.
I am now 77. My marriage broke up long ago. I missed my children flourishing into adulthood; the childhoods of my grandchildren. I had to live with the label of being one of the notorious 'torso murderers', who had shot, decapitated and dismembered one man, and then brutally disposed of a second. Although the trial judge recommended we serve 15 years, Bob and I were 'knocked back' time and again by the Parole Board and Home Secretary - because we would not admit our guilt. Before I finally came out in 1998, I had done the rounds of Britain's toughest jails: Dartmoor, Gartree, the Scrubs.
So forgive me if I sound cynical. When I hear politicians and police officers claiming that our criminal justice system needs reforming to make it easier to get convictions, that guilty men are going free and that victims are unprotected, I feel a need to interrupt. Hold on. Be careful. Bob and I are victims too.
I've never tried to conceal the fact that I had previous convictions. But I wasn't a murderer; I was a 'fence', a buyer and seller of stolen property. I also had a close relationship with a bent detective, Alec Eist. My friends knew that if they were in trouble, for a few grand channelled through me, Alec would do what he could to make evidence 'disappear'. He was eventually arrested in Sir Robert Mark's drive against corruption. Maybe this made me a target; or maybe it was that the officer who led the investigation, the late Metropolitan Police Cdr Albert Wickstead, had tried and failed several times to recruit me as a grass.
Yet by October 1974, when the grisly remains of a criminal acquaintance, Billy Moseley, began washing up on the shores of the Thames, I'd been retired from crime for years. I lived quietly, with a stake in a pub, and drew a disability pension. The following September, the decomposed body of Billy's friend, Micky Cornwall, was found in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire. Wickstead decided Micky had been trying to find Billy's killers, and had 'got too close'. In January 1976, Bob and I were arrested, questioned and charged.
The trial, held at the Old Bailey, lasted seven months - the longest murder case in English legal history. There were no eyewitnesses, forensics or plausible alleged motive. In the end, it boiled down to two things - the 'confessions', supposedly the contemporaneous notes of police interviews which we had not signed, and the evidence of an armed robber named Tony Wild, who claimed I admitted the murders when we were both on remand in Brixton. Wild received an unusually light sentence for 10 armed robberies. He was looking at 15-20 years. He was out within four.
Wild told the court that I'd described cutting off Billy's head and taking it down to Brighton, where I'd shown it to the man who ran my pub there - Oliver Kenny. Then, according to Wild, I'd thrown it into the sea. In his summing up, Mr Justice Swanwick told the jury that if they believed Wild was telling the truth, he was a 'very important witness'.
Six weeks after we were sentenced, Billy's head turned up - slowly defrosting in an Islington public toilet, wrapped in a copy of an evening paper published on the last day of the trial. It looked as if the real killer felt guilty, and was trying to help Bob and I appeal. But despite the stress Swanwick had placed on Wild's testimony, the Court of Appeal refused to quash the convictions. The presiding judge, Lord Justice Roskill, added some hostile comments on how we'd wasted the courts' time by challenging the alleged confessions. A few months later, Roskill refused to free the Guildford Four when they fought their first appeal on the basis that the IRA men captured in the Balcombe Street siege had by then admitted planting the Guildford bombs.
Talking to the journalists Duncan Campbell and Graeme MacLagan, Wild first retracted his perjured evidence many years ago. After The Observer 's investigation in 1992, the Home Office reviewed the case - and refused to refer it back to the Court of Appeal. The new Criminal Cases Review Commission finally took this step in 2000. In his statement to the Commission, Wild says: 'I would like to make it clear that the whole of my evidence against Reg Dudley and Bob Maynard was entirely false.'
For years, our big hope was to find a way of proving that our 'confessions' had been fabricated. In 1989, when the freshly developed 'Esda' (electrostatic document analysis) test began to put right numerous miscarriages of justice which rested on false confessions, that hope seemed to have materialised. It was Esda tests on the original police interview notes which led to the collapse of the Birmingham Six, Tottenham Three and West Midlands Serious Crime Squad cases.
The following year, our solicitor, James Saunders, wrote to the Met asking for the original notes of our interviews with Wickstead and his colleagues. The police told him they had been destroyed. The Observer discovered that almost all the other documents in the vast police case file, including photocopies of the notes, had been preserved. But a Met spokesman said there had been a 'mis understanding'. In September 1989 - after Esda had claimed its place in history with the breaking West Midlands Crime Squad scandal - a police sergeant at the Met property store in Hendon had shredded the originals. The spokesman said he had been 'under pressure from his superiors to clear space'.
We never gave up. I kept myself sane by painting, and finally, when I was well into my seventies, the Home Office decided that despite my refusal to 'address my offending behaviour', I no longer posed a danger to the public. I could safely be released. And now, thanks to the CCRC, we have a fresh appeal. Dr Robert Hardcastle, an expert document examiner with 22 years' experience, hopes to destroy the confessions' validity in the simplest fashion. He says it just isn't physically possible to have made the 'contemporaneous' notes in the time the police say my main interview took place. The police have always denied the confessions were made up and a mistake might have been made about the timing of the interview. When the appeal opens on Wednesday, Hardcastle will be our first witness.
I know what all those cops and politicians who want to 'reform' the criminal justice system are going to say: that all this happened long ago, that standards and practices are different now and that changes to the law make it harder to run an investigation in the way Bert Wickstead organised the torso murder enquiry. I'd like to quote another remark Swanwick made in his summing up.
The most crucial decision the jury had to make, he said, was whether they could trust the confessions. 'It is suggested that there has been willing and enthusiastic compliance by all ranks from commander and chief superintendent down to detective sergeant and below,' he said, 'in disgraceful conduct which, if detected, should, at least, involve dismissal, disgrace and prosecution. If you think it really may be so that the confessions were fabricated, then it must mean that all those police officers are either very wicked or very weak men, and it would undermine the whole prosecution case.' The alternative, which he seemed to prefer, was 'the ganging up of prisoners in a series of plots to escape conviction'.
When Lord Denning once dealt with the Birmingham Six, he said much the same thing. It isn't fashionable to believe in conspiracies; 'conspiracy theorist' is a term of abuse. But when the Appeal Court freed the Birmingham Six, it implicitly recognised that here, at least, a conspiracy to frame innocent men had taken place. It is being invited to reach a similar conclusion this week. The police maintain there was no conspiracy.
Conspiracies, especially among police officers, are hard to detect, and even harder to smash. It's true that legal changes - particularly the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, with its insistence that defence lawyers attend police interviews, and that such interviews be taped - have made it impossible to convict on the basis of an unsigned confession. On the other hand, it's precisely that Act which is now driving the police and their political allies towards 'reform'. Confessions have become much more rare. They used to be the mainstay of the system. It's time, as Tony Blair puts it, to 'rebalance' the criminal justice system away from suspects' rights.
Over 25 years, the belief that one day my name would be cleared has kept me going. I can never forget what happened. Society needs to retain its long-term memory, too.
Reg Dudley was talking to David Rose
11 November 2000
bail by appeal court
By Rebecca Allison and Nick Hopkins
A convicted double murderer at the centre of one of Britain's longest-running miscarriage of justice cases has been released from jail after the court of appeal granted him bail.
Robert Maynard, 61, was sentenced to life in jail 25 years ago for the murders of Billy Moseley and Micky Cornwall, crimes he has always denied.
The case became known as the "torso murders" when parts of Moseley's body were washed up on the banks of the river Thames.
Maynard and his alleged accomplice Reg Dudley were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in 1977 and had an appeal dismissed in 1979. Dudley was given parole in 1997. The pair have always protested their innocence.
Their cases were recommended for review by the criminal cases review commission, which spent three years examining the evidence.
The prosecution said Maynard and Dudley killed Mr Moseley either because he was having an affair with another criminal's wife or because he had accused Dudley of being an informer.
Mr Cornwall was murdered because he knew the killers' identities and vowed to avenge his friend, the jury heard.
From the outset campaigners were concerned about the safety of the convictions. There were no witnesses to the murders, nor forensic evidence.
The prosecution relied heavily on the the testimony of an armed robber, Tony Wild, who said he overheard Maynard and Dudley boast about the killings when they were at Brixton prison, south London.
But Wild, a born-again Christian, admitted that he had lied because he wanted a lighter sentence for a robbery charge.
Mr Dudley said: "He has been in for 25 years now and that is quite enough for an innocent man. This also gives a great boost to our appeal." The appeal is expected to be heard in the spring.
23 June 2000
goes to appeal court
Miscarriage of justice to be investigated over 1974 gangland killings
By Duncan Campbell and Julia Hartley-Brewer
One of Britain's longest running and most controversial alleged miscarriage of justice cases is to be referred to the court of appeal, it was revealed yesterday.
The cases of two men convicted for the "torso murders" in 1974 were recommended for review by the criminal cases review commission (CCRC), which has spent three years examining the convictions for the double murder in north London.
Reg Dudley, 75, and Robert Maynard, 61, who have always protested their innocence, were convicted in 1977 of the gangland executions of Billy Moseley and Micky Cornwall, and both were sentenced to life imprisonment. Dudley's daughter, Kathleen Bailey, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Cornwall, and was given a two year suspended sentence. Her conviction is also to be referred to the appeal court. The killings were dubbed the "torso murders" after parts of Moseley's body were found in the Thames. Cornwall's body was found in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire.
Since the quashing of the convictions in the Guildford Four, Birmingham Six and Bridgewater Three cases, the double murder has become one of Britain's longest running and most controversial cases.
At their trial, the judge, Mr Justice Swanwick, recommended that Dudley and Maynard should serve a minimum of 15 years, but Maynard is still in prison and Dudley served 21 years before being given parole in August 1997.
The key prosecution witness against Dudley and Maynard was Tony Wild, a small-time criminal who later confessed to the Guardian that he made up his evidence because he wanted a lighter sentence on a robbery charge. He was jailed for five years when his fellow robbers received 18-year sentences after he agreed to give evidence against Maynard and Dudley.
He claimed he had heard them confess to the crimes while he was in the same wing of Brixton prison in south London. Dudley and Maynard, who both had long criminal records, claimed at their 136 day trial that they would never have confessed to a stranger in prison.
But after he was released from prison, Wild, by then a born-again Christian, contacted the Guardian to say he had made up his evidence and that the men had never confessed to him at all.
Yesterday Ms Bailey said her father was "over the moon" at the commission's decision. While an appeal does not automatically lead to the quashing of a conviction, the vast majority of cases referred back by the commission have led to convictions being overturned.
The case against Maynard and Dudley, both from Islington, north London, was that they had killed Moseley either because he was having an affair with another criminal's wife or because he had accused Dudley of being an informer. It was suggested that Cornwall, a bank robber, was killed because he sought to avenge the death of his friend.
There were no witnesses to the crimes or any forensic evidence and the case rested chiefly on remarks which detectives claimed had been made to them, which Dudley and Maynard denied, and Wild's claims that Dudley said he had taken Moseley's head to Brighton to show it to a friend. Two fellow prisoners also gave evidence.
A campaign to clear the men was launched after their conviction but a 1979 appeal was unsuccessful despite new evidence. Wild's confession and two TV documentaries failed to bring further appeals. New evidence slowly emerged indicating the innocence of the men but Wild has so far declined to give evidence for an appeal unless he is given immunity from a perjury charge.
Andrea Storey, spokeswoman for Dudley's and Maynard's solicitors, said: "We trust that the matter can now proceed to a just conclusion for our clients."
6 August 1997
By David Millward
A convicted double-murderer leaves prison today after serving 22 years still determined to clear his name.
Reginald Dudley's refusal to admit killing William Moseley and Michael Cornwall in 1974 has resulted in him serving far longer than the 15-year tariff set by Mr Justice Swanwick at the Old Bailey in June 1977. His defiance led to his sentence being lengthened first by Leon Brittan, while he was Home Secretary in 1985. Then he was denied parole because of his refusal to "address his offending behaviour" by admitting responsibility for the murders. Dudley, 72, has refused to do so because he always maintained his innocence.
Dudley was convicted - along with Robert Maynard - of the killing of Mr Moseley and Mr Cornwall in what was described as a "gangland killing". The case later became known as the "torso murder" after Mr Moseley's body was cut up and found floating in the Thames. Mr Cornwall was shot in the back of the head and buried in Hertfordshire.
The case against Dudley and Maynard, who remains in prison and also maintains his innocence, hinged on confessions the men were said to have made to the police and Tony Wild, a fellow remand prisoner at Brixton.
Wild's evidence was ruled unreliable during the 136-day trial. He has since admitted lying in a newspaper interview. But the jury convicted the men on the evidence presented by police. Dudley maintains that his words were distorted by police and that he was denied legal advice during the three-day interview. His case is now being considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.