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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you...

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you...

The first person to face a second murder trial following the removal of the double jeopardy rule was today convicted of battering a woman to death in 1995.

Mark Weston, 35, from the Oxfordshire village of Ascott-under-Wychwood, was acquitted of the murder of 30-year-old Vikki Thompson, a married mother of two children, in 1996, but a new trial was held after forensic scientists discovered specks of her blood on Weston's boots when the case was reopened.

The law was changed in 2005 to allow for retrials for serious offences in the light of new evidence.

Regardless of whether I think Mark Weston did or did not murder Vikki Thompson, I would question the legitimacy of this second trial on the ground that old evidence which existed at the original trial but was overlooked hardly constitutes new evidence.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said: "There has to be new evidence which was not available at the time of the original trial".

"After reopening the case and re-examining Weston's boots, which had been retained following the original trial, forensic scientists discovered two specks of Thompson's blood, which had been deposited on the footwear when wet but had been previously overlooked".

Why was Mark Weston's property retained by the police and not returned to him following him being found not guilty? My property was returned to me and I was guilty!

It might be argued that there was new forensic techniques, but this is not the same as new evidence. In my view, the police conducted an unlawful search of private property without the owner's consent.

Perhaps, Mark Weston's lawyers should consider an appeal?


Anonymous said...

Difficult one. It was old evidence but modern science has allowed that evidence to be re-determined.

As you say though, NOT new evidence.

Barnacle Bill said...

And they're closing down the Forensic Science Service, which was state owned, so now it's all going to go out to the private sector.
Where shareholder's interests will probably come before that of seeing justice served.

Anonymous said...

Allowing modern day science to disprove old evidence is one thing but what happens when new new modern day science disproves the new modern day science?

On Balance I would rather have one trial deciding on the evidence of the day.