Monday, January 13, 2014

Arthur Allan Thomas: New Zealand; This case, which involves the planting by police of a .22 rifle cartridge case in the garden of the house where the murders were committed, is being used by proponents of an independent criminal case review board for New Zealand. The Charles Smith Blog will be following future developments - including the outcome of a police review of the initial investigation. The Wikipedia entry should serve as a useful backgrounder for future posts. Harold Levy. Publisher;

WIKIPEDIA ENTRY: Arthur Allan Thomas;

GIST:  A Royal Commission of Inquiry was established, headed by retired New South Wales Justice Robert Taylor. This declared Thomas to have been wrongfully charged and convicted, and found that among other improprieties, police had planted a .22 rifle cartridge case in the garden of the house where the murders were committed. The case was found four months and ten days after the area had already been subjected to one of the most intensive police searches ever undertaken. The cartridge case was said to have come from a rifle belonging to Thomas. However, the police tested only 64 rifles in an area where this weapon was common and found that two – including the one belonging to Thomas – could have fired the cartridge case found in the garden. This was the link to the deaths of the Crewes although it was later admitted that the case was "clean" and uncorroded when found. As such, the condition of the case was inconsistent with having lain in the garden, exposed to weather and dirt for more than four months.........The commission report said: "Mr Hutton and Mr [Len] Johnston planted the shell case ... and they did so to manufacture evidence that Mr Thomas' rifle had been used for the killings."[3] The Solicitor-General recommended against prosecuting the officers due to insufficient evidence.[4] Both officers have since died.........The two detectives who planted the shell which helped convict Thomas are now dead. Johnston died in 1978. Bruce Hutton, 83, died in Middlemore Hospital in April 2013.[6] At Hutton's funeral, Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush praised Mr Hutton and said he was known for having "integrity beyond reproach".[7] An editorial in the NZ Herald said: "that was clearly absurd. It was also an unthinking or calculated insult to Mr Thomas, who spent nine years in prison before being pardoned".[8] Thomas, now 75 years old, responded by saying the police were engaged in "a blatant cover up".[9] Police are still conducting a review of the original investigation."

The  entire Wikipedia entry can be found at:

 See "Cold case review coming to a close": (3News; December 16, 2013); "There's concern police may never find justice over the cold-case murders of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe.  Arthur Allan Thomas was convicted in two trials, but pardoned 9 years later after it was discovered former Inspector Bruce Hutton planted evidence against him.  Police launched a review of the case in 2010 at the request of the Crewe's daughter, Rochelle Crewe, but details released under the Official Information Act show police have no record of the amount of time spent on the new investigation. Arthur Allan Thomas' brother Des believes officers don't want to admit they've wasted time.
"[It's] probably an embarrassment. When you look at the cost of this case over all the years, it's become a disgrace because in the finish – Rochelle hasn't known and doesn't know who murdered her folks.".........Police say the review is coming to a close, but couldn't give an indication on when it would be released. Four police officers have been undertaking the review, but none have been assigned to the case full-time.


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

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