Monday, March 24, 2014

Bulletin: Kevin Nunn: British court hears appeal based on new forensic tests not available when he was convicted of murdering his former partner; The Guardian.

STORY: "Kevin  Nunn's supreme court challenge 'test case for miscarriages of justice," by Duncan Campbell, published by the Guardian, on March 10, 2014. (Thanks to the Wrongful Convictions Blog for drawing our attention to this story. HL);

SUB-HEADING:  "Appeal hinges on new forensic tests not available when Kevin Nunn was convicted of murdering his former partner."

PHOTO CAPTION:  "Kevin Nunn, who is serving 22 years for a murder he insists he did not commit."

GIST: "Kevin Nunn, of Woolpit, Suffolk, is serving a minimum of 22 years for the murder of his former partner, Dawn Walker. Walker's body was found near the River Lark, near her home in Fornham All Saints, in February 2005. At his trial in Ipswich the following year, the prosecution alleged that Nunn killed Walker after a row, later burning her body and abandoning it near the river. He claimed that she was the victim of another man with whom she had had a relationship. In March 2012, the high court upheld a refusal by Suffolk police to allow access to case material so it could be tested, at his family's expense, using new techniques not available at the time of his trial. Of concern was a sperm sample which was found on Walker and which Nunn claimed could not have been linked to him as he had undergone a vasectomy. The court initially ruled that the state's general duty "to provide disclosure … ceases on conviction". This is now being challenged. Supporters of Nunn, who continue to protest his innocence, argue that post-conviction disclosure has played a part in overturning many notorious miscarriages of justice cases, including those of the Birmingham Six and Bridgewater Four. They claim that, if the appeal fails, police and prosecution agencies will have authority to withhold exhibits and material that could prove vital. "Eighteen innocent persons were exonerated after Rough Justice (the former BBC programme which examined such cases) investigations," said ex BBC Rough Justice producer, Louise Shorter, who is now with the organisation Inside Justice. "In most of these cases, we had access to material held by the police and prosecution. If the judgment stands, more innocent people will stay in prison with no hope of ever finding evidence to overturn their convictions.""

The entire story can be found at:

See Ipswich Star story  reporting that judgment has been reserved:

"Solicitor James Saunders said: “The infamous cases of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell were all solved when cold case reviews found evidence missed in the original investigation. “In Mr Nunn’s case, we know the killer must have touched certain items on which he could have left his DNA. Sperm was found on Ms Walker’s body which could not have come from Mr Nunn, who had a vasectomy, but which the technology at the time could not profile. There have been major advances in DNA profiling since 2006 which hold out the real prospect of a breakthrough coming out of a cold case review. “If Mr Nunn does not have the right to have the case reviewed, we face the worrying possibility of an innocent man rotting in jail when the evidence that might exonerate him is locked in a store at the police station. Equally worrying is that if Mr Nunn is innocent, the real killer is still out there, free to attack someone else.”"


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