Appeal court quashes conviction after 24 years; Chief Constable apologises.
Anthony Steele spent 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, the murder of Carole Wilkinson in Bradford in 1977. The only evidence was a ‘confession’ written by the police and signed by Mr Steele.
Lord Justice Rix said: “We are allowing this appeal and quashing his conviction in the light of new evidence from both defence and Crown consultant psychologists, which we accept, indicating that Mr Steele is and was mentally handicapped and at the borderline of abnormal suggestibility and compliability; and, therefore, a significantly more vulnerable interviewee than could have been appreciated at the time of trial.”
From BBC Look North, 1 October 2003: Mr Steele returned to the estate where he grew up and distributed more than 500 copies of a letter to residents in Ravenscliffe, asking them to help police find the real killer. He said: “All I’d like to see is the actual person who has done it caught and put behind bars. That would give me some satisfaction, knowing that the police had actually got the right person.”
Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn said in the letter: “I offer you my personal apology on behalf of the force and welcome your offer to support us in any future inquiry into this matter.”
Full BBC story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/3156896.stm