Tuesday, 7 November 2006

One for the 'hang 'em & flog 'em' brigade

Ronald Castree appeared in court in Oldham today, charged with the murder of Lesley Molseed in 1975. The 11 year old was sexually assaulted and stabbed a dozen times.

An instance of brilliant and relentless police work and the application of state of the art forensic science ?

Well maybe, but unfortunately they already had the wrong bloke in prison for sixteen years for the crime before his conviction was overturned.

Stefan Kiszko, a tax clerk who lived with his mother and suffered from a developmental condition probably conformed to the stereotypical police view of a 'nonce' and was accordingly fitted up. It wasn't until 1992 that evidence confirmed that he was innocent.

But this was a bit late for Stefan who died within a year of his release and for his mother who having campaigned on his behalf, also died months later.

I can't imagine a worse nightmare than being imprisoned as an innocent man for such a crime. Except perhaps being executed as one, as happens on a regular basis in the US.

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