Flawed from start to finish? The case of Billy Kenealy (1998)

Human DNA Human DNA


Billy Kenealy was convicted in 1998 of 5 counts of rape and 1 count of indecent assault and sentenced to 5 life imprisonments and 5 years for indecent assault. However, the campaign for ‘Justice for Billy Kenealy’, family, friends, believers and supporters strongly believe that one of the most sad and serious cases of miscarriages of justice has taken place. To this day, Billy, serving his wrongfully imposed prison sentence, protests his innocence and the supporters of Billy, believe he is an innocent man who has suffered at the hands of a poor defence and the serious, seemingly undetected flaws with police procedures and the criminal justice system. Whereas Billy has had previous minor convictions, they were nothing to the extent of these rape and indecent assault misconvictions which we strongly believe he is innocent of. Billy is a loving son, father, cousin, nephew, uncle, brother and friend.

We would like to point out that we do not for one moment suggest that these heinous crimes did not take place, they obviously did and we have full complete sympathy and understanding for the victims involved and their families. However, we do believe, that as a result, the wrong person has been convicted for these crimes, which not only means such a huge miscarriage of justice on Billy’s and the victims’ behalves, but also leaves the strong daunting prospect that the true perpetrator of these crimes is still free in the open, civilised world and that until Billy Kenealy’s conviction and sentence is over-turned, then true justice will have never been achieved.

The Conviction and Sentence

Two of the crimes are linked by 6 point DNA. The other crimes are thought to be linked by the Modus Operandi and description of the suspect. This means that it is the two DNA linked crimes which led to the conviction of Billy Kenealy and that the others are only supposedly linked by general similarities in the attacks and in the attacker’s description. It is the DNA linked offences which led to the sentence in 1998 of 5 life imprisonments and 5 years for indecent assault.

However, what this campaign and site shall attempt to lay out before you is to point out what we consider to be flaws within the evidence and what we feel is possible but unproven conspired corruption, dishonesty and incompetence on behalf of the police investigation team and so the judicial system. We feel that it is this corroborating information that rightfully supports the protest of Billy Kenealy’s innocence.

The Flaws and Inconsistencies

On this page are what we believe to be some of the flaws and inconsistencies taken from the complete Case File, Case Summary evidence and further additional information and interpretation associated to the case that we feel is necessary to speak about to have a full understanding of the complete reasoning behind the conspiracy and miscarriage of justice theory. Some of them may make more sense than others, but they are all significant in aiming at the same implication of Billy Kenealy’s poor case defence and a significant possible level of conspiracy and/or error. Names, places and exact dates have been emitted for legal reasons.

  • The first main flaw that exists within the evidence is that on the day and night of one of the attacks which is said to be linked by DNA, Billy had been drinking alcohol and smoking in large quantities and had eventually become “legless” and “worse for wear” as part of his family’s Christmas celebrations. Witness statements confirm that Billy “smokes about 20 a day” and that he “could not stand on his own two feet” and that you would have”certainly recognised the fact that he was drunk and smelt alcohol on him”. However, the two victims of the first DNA linked attack both corroboratingly stated that they “couldn’t smell anything on him, alcohol or tobacco or anything like that” and that they “know what it smells like, cigarettes and that, but he didn’t smell of cigarettes or beer, nothing like that, he wasn’t drunk”. This alone suggests some discrepancy in Billy’s physical state on the night of these attacks. We believe from this that there is reasonable room to state, that the seemingly sober, alert attacker who struck was certainly not the drunken, heavy smoker Billy Kenealy who had just spent a lively, loving Christmas occasion with his family.
  • It is said to be believed by the prosecution that a condom was used in all of the attacks, bar the first. In the aforementioned attack above, both victims said they were certain that a condom wasn’t used by the attacker, one saying, “I’m quite sure the man didn’t wear one,” and the other saying, “He wasn’t, I know he wasn’t.” However, even so, DNA evidence that proved fatal in this case was taken from a condom at the scene of the crime, yet, it is evident in the Case Summary file that this was the house of a prostitute (although she was not present at the time of the rapes; it was her mother and sister who were attacked). What we suggest from this, is that in the house of a prostitute, the condom could have been from anyone, including sexual acts between the prostitute and clientele. There is also reasonable room to state that the attacker was aware the mother’s eldest daughter was a prostitute and that he had therefore possibly come in contact with her before, it is said that he said, “She’s a prostitute isn’t she?”.  However, not only does Billy Kenealy deny these rapes and have a supported alibi for the times of occurrence but he also makes it clear that he has no past experiences with the prostitute, does not know her, who she is or where she lives and there is no such evidence to directly suggest that this is a lie.
  • As well as being an active prostitute, the eldest daughter from the above case was also having a relationship of “purely a sexual nature” with a male Police Constable (PC) who she had had full sexual intercourse with (using a condom) earlier that same day of the night of the attack on her mother and sister. This woman was later found dead – did she know something or become aware of something that was vital to who the suspect was, vital in proving that it certainly wasn’t the accused, Billy Kenealy?
  • One of the victim’s description of the clothes of her attacker was that he was wearing a “blue USA jumper” and had a “jacket, black with yellow inside”. Billy says he has never owned either of these items of clothing and so certainly wasn’t wearing them on the night that this attack took place. On that night it is reported more than once from statements that Billy was wearing a “green jumper and a blue Nicholson jacket. The jacket had on the back Nicholson in large capital orange letters. The lining (inside) of that jacket was blue.”
  • Billy Kenealy’s alibi that on the night of one of the attacks that occurred just after midnight at Christmas, was that he was celebrating the occasion with family members, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes (“Benson & Hedges”), including “wine, pints, vodka, brandies and bacardis”. It has also been supported that he was there until well after midnight and verified that a cab had been booked from the address he was at at around 11:30 PM with at least an hour to an hour and a half wait. His statement also says that he spent the rest of the night upon arriving home asleep, in bed with his partner, again, this is corroborated by her. Something which is highly strange in all of this is that when the cab log booking records went to be obtained on behalf of Billy’s alibi and defence, they had already been obtained by police. On later presentation of the log booking notes, it had appeared that the original cab destination had been scored-out and replaced with something else. Whilst police inferred that this was nothing to worry about as it still put Billy Kenealy away from the scene of the crime in question, it was later discovered that the amended destination was in close proximity to a site where someone was seen running away by an eyewitness shortly after the crime had taken place. It is still protested by Billy that this is was neither where the cab went or was requested to go. Did someone who had access to the log booking notes make the amendment for some reason? Also, during the lead-up to Billy’s conviction, the cab driver of his cab that night had disappeared and the cab office has no clear recollection of who he is, where he is or what has happened to him.
  • In reference to one of the other attacks, Billy Kenealy also provided an alibi that he had spent the night of this assault with his partner. This was verified by her. He said he remembered the night in question in particular because it was the night before his partner was due to attend a funeral the next day and also the night in which they were planning the venue for her up-coming birthday night (which was just under 2 weeks away).
  • Something which could have proved vital in the case was the fact that it is alleged one of the victims stated that her attacker had a well-spoken middle-class London accent. Billy does not have a middle-class accent to say the least and would find it extremely difficult in successfully faking one. However, the judge disallowed such a comment and said that the comment should be restricted to just “a London accent”. But, of course, Billy Kenealy does have a London accent, he is from and resides in that area, but in no way is it posh or middle-class. And, it is understandable, surely, that London accents vary considerably.
  • Billy Kenealy’s defence had 19 witnesses which were either character reference witnesses and/or in support of the alibis provided. However, these witnesses were disallowed by the judge to give evidence in court in support of Billy’s defence case.
  • From the scene of one of the crimes, it is said that a Higher Identification Officer retrieved one black handled kitchen knife and multiple finger marks. Also, a victim from one of the attacks is adamant that her attacker did not wear gloves, yet to date, there are no such reports from the fingerprints in the files.
  • The first time Billy Kenealy says he became aware of the allegation of rape was on 19th March 1998, yet the alleged supporting prosecuting evidence was destroyed in July 1997, 10 months before the prosecution of the same case number. Surely, it is such vital evidence and almost paramount that it should have been kept. Also, it is the destruction of such evidence which now makes it more difficult for Billy to appeal, who is anxious for a more advanced comprehensive  re-test using the new 10 or 12 point DNA matching system. Also, whilst there is no substantiated proof and this is not a case in a court of law, but a reflection of events, keeping the evidence would have been much better for the police because it would have meant in the case of an appeal or re-trial, it surely would have dismissed any successful appeal? However, if there was something even slightly wrong with the evidence, i.e. some possible error or conspired, false validity, then it is very convenient that such samples were quickly irradiated.
  • During an arrest on Billy Kenealy, it is reported in part of Billy’s statement that one of the arresting officers inferred an allegation that Billy was interfering with his daughter after picking up a picture of his daughter and saying,“What about her?”. Now, in an emotional state, he apologised to his sister upon her entering the bedroom, apologised for the police being in the house and for all what was happening at the time. However, the police absurdly inferred that this apology was a verbal confession by Billy, even though he quite pointedly insists that it wasn’t.
  • A second forensic scientist’s opinion stated that the DNA profile matches were “fair or conservative,” this implies by no necessary means that they are completely and flawlessly accurate. This same additional scientist also discredits the fact that the forensic scientist who gave the evidence “goes on to express an opinion on her statistical evaluations” which slightly overshadows the facts, and that “a further precautionary step” could have been taken by the profiles being “compared with profiles of scientists involved in handling the sample”. Interestingly, although the 6 point DNA match is said to be found between that of the mouth swap (saliva) provided by Billy Kenealy and the DNA taken from one of the victims in the single dual rape attack, strangely, there was no evident match from the DNA taken from the condom and the other victim involved – this leaves room for some unclearness and doubt. Not only this, but in the Case Summary, there is documentation of a previous DNA match in a different, separate case based on using the 6 point DNA system, but then a DNA mismatch when the suspect was re-tested using the 10 point DNA system; the mismatch revealed the arrest of an innocent man (2001) – a more detailed summary of this excerpt can read on the ‘The DNA Issue’ page of the site.

What is DNA?

Well, in short and in trying to be to-the-point and as simple as possible, DNA is an abbreviation for ‘Deoxyribonucleic Acid’. Found in the bodily fluids, DNA molecules carry the genetic information necessary for the organization and functioning of most living cells and control the inheritance of characteristics.

DNA’s Relevance

This is perhaps the most complex and heavy-weighted part of the conviction, which states that there was a DNA match which links two of the crimes. And also, it is a major part of Billy’s appeal. However, the main issues here are that the police DNA evidence was destroyed even before the case was brought to a final court prosecution 10 months later. Also, it has been revealed from evidence in the Case Summary that there are valid reasons for sometimes questioning DNA evidence, especially when a suspect has supported alibis and there is minimal other evidence to place them at the scene of a crime when a 6 loci DNA screening has been used. Also, there are a significant number of issues regarding the original samples having been destroyed not only before the end of the prosecution case, but because of the evidence not being now available for re-testing with new 10 or 12 point DNA systems, which Billy is anxious for.

Evidence with regard to some of the problems with DNA profile matching tests and a summary of a case where DNA mismatching has occurred where a match DNA was found using a 6 point system but not a more new and advanced 10 point system, are as follows. With regards to general DNA profiling:

  • “It is important to remember that DNA testing systems are not infallible.”
  • “It is therefore essential that original DNA is adequately stored and that sufficient source DNA is properly preserved.”

With regards to the aforementioned DNA Mismatch Case (2001):

  • In 2000, police arrested and detained a man on suspicion of burglary. The man was DNA tested for comparison with DNA evidence retrieved from the scene of the crime. He was originally tested by 6 point DNA and then later tested on a separate occasion by 10 point DNA.
  • “The DNA matched at six points of identification, or loci, along the DNA molecule.”
  • “But after the suspect provided an alibi, police asked for a retest. This time a technique which examines 10 loci was used.It is clear that many people do not understand statistics, and prosecutors should also understand that DNA matches based on 6 DNA loci are not conclusive.”
  • It was this 10 point DNA test that later showed a DNA mismatch, with this test and the alibis proving that police had detained the wrong person.

Source for this article: Miscarriages of JusticeUK (MOJUK):


About INNOCENT (138 Articles)
Challenging miscarriages of justice since 1993.

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