“In the months leading up to the murder of Claire Streader there had been a number of attempted abductions and sexual assaults (including an attempted strangulation) on young women in the Canterbury area walking home alone at night.
Several statements had been made identifying the attacker. Merrick Rogers even spoke to the police who were at his place of work about details he felt may help with the investigation. An e-fit was released of the attacker, several witnesses even named the man. A man (not fitting the description of the e-fit) was arrested for the attacks. This man was later acquitted.
After the murder several suspects were questioned, however, once Merrick was interviewed, investigations of other suspects were not completed. The attacker and murderer still walk the streets while Merrick is serving life for a crime he did not commit.”
via MOJ UK: http://www.mojuk.org.uk/eddie/merrick.html
“…Merrick Rogers, a 25-year-old computer draughtsman, was convicted last June of the murder of his friend, Claire Streader. Because his DNA had been found on the body, he was charged with the murder. The defence explanation (that he had kissed his friend goodnight minutes earlier) was pooh-poohed; the even stronger point, that two types of unidentified DNA were also found on the body, was ignored. The court was also told by the prosecution that CCTV cameras provided no support for his alibi. The defence was given large stacks of video tapes only just before the trial started; three weeks later, near the end of the case, it discovered that, in fact, they provided very good support for Rogers. By then, it was too late to make this a central piece of the defence.”
from “The New Statesman Special Report – Why justice isn’t working”: http://www.newstatesman.com/node/193799
“Early police investigations may well have pointed away from him being responsible: an appeal led to two witnesses coming forward who believed they had seen the victim at around 10.30pm in distress near a man who was not Merrick Rogers whom they knew by sight. Another witness described seeing a couple entering St Stephen’s Park; both the prosecution and defence agreed this was Claire Streader with the murderer and yet the description of this man did not match Merrick Rogers. Another witness driving past the park was startled by a man who ran across in front of him. Again, the description of a man in faded blue jeans with grass stained knees did not match Merrick Rogers.”
from Inside Time, “The Case of Merrick Rogers”: http://www.insidetime.org/the-case-of-merrick-rogers/
Merrick has now been released.