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Wednesday 26 November 2003

Huntley is having a laugh! [lurks]

In case you've not been following the trial of Ian Huntley for the murder of the two 10 year old girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, I thought I'd summarise the situation. Well, I'm not going to be objective about this. First, I want to tell you so far what Huntley's defence will admit.
  • The girls went to Huntley's house at 6:30pm on the day they died.
  • Jessica's mobile was switched off at 6:46pm.
  • Holly and Jessica died in Huntley's home.
  • The only other person in the house was Huntley.
  • Huntley dumped the bodies of the girls where they were found.
  • Huntley cut the clothes from the girls and took them back home to set fire to them.

If you will indulge me, please read the above carefully again.
This man, incredibly, maintains his innocence. How does he do so? By taking the stand today and telling his version of events. I wondered what this man could possibly have to say for himself.
Apparently Holly had a nose bleed. She went to Huntley's bathroom and fell into the bath, which was full of water, and drowned. Jessica discovered this and started screaming. Huntley came in, tried to stop her from screaming by covering her mouth. When removing hands, she fell to the ground. Dead.
That's his story. Why on earth are we wasting tax payer's money on this?


  1. Even if he is guilty, he deserves a trial! At their trial in the 70's everyone presumed the Guildford 4 were guilty - they admitted it and were in the area sure! People assumed the Maguire 7 were guilty as they had 'faint traces of tnt on their fingers' - Police and courts have made mistakes in the past, so people deserve the benifit of the doubt!

  2. Well, surprising as this is to see you try turn this into the Guildford 4 again - there's a few key differences here. His *own defence team* are not contesting the list of facts above. The man has legal advice appointed to him, the legal advice should be looking for a rapid resolution and the best result for their client.
    Now they cannot believe he will get off. They've as much as given up by not contesting each of the pretty serious, I think you'll agree, admissions above. They must also have sanctioned this lunatic story of his.
    Did they advice him to plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the court? Or are they interested in dragging it out to rack up their hourly rates? You tell me.
    I think it's pretty laughable to compare this case with famously prejudiced cases in the past, such as you mention. I don't think anyone knew anything about whether he did or didn't do it prior to going to trial so I just don't see the comparison.
    He was given the benefit of a doubt. He's going to cost the tax payer hundreds of thousands of pounds and that's before he gets bed and breakfast for life. But hey, this is obviously be being right wing again ;-/

  3. He's got to have a trial, of course he has. The problem is the vast amounts of money that'll be thrown at a high profile trial like this. Even the jury selection cost a fortune because it was near impossible to find someone with no preconceptions about this particularly vile case.

  4. 'Or are they interested in dragging it out to rack up their hourly rates?'
    Nail. Head. Whack.

  5. Actually, while the cynical possibility that they are in it for the money is one that must be considered there is another one - the idea of reasonable doubt. It seems to me that the defense lawyer(s) are trying to place the details of the events that led to the two girls death in some doubt and therefore force the jury not to convict him of murder. By admitting much of what the prosecution are alleging, they take some of the wind out of the sails of the prosecution case and attempt to build up some small shred of credibility for their version of events. The object being not to convince the jury that he didn't do it, but to make them even slightly unsure that he did, in which case they can't pass a guilty verdict.Now, this to me seems an even more cynical attempt to manipulate the judicial process than merely stringing the case along to make money, in the sense that it stands a small possibility of allowing free someone who, presuming he is guilty, is undoubtedly a continuing danger to the wider public.It also occurs to me that given the actions he has admitted to, he must already have effectively pleaded guilty to something. If it isn't a crime to fail to report someone dieing in your house but instead dragging their bodies out to a wood then burying them in a shallow grave, it bloody well should be.
    Personally, I think he is guilty - his version of events is so unlikely I think they got JK Rowling to script them. On a very rare occasion one person might die by accident in your house. Two? On the same day? That's getting beyond any likely probablility. Probability suggests that if two people die in your house some form of overt action caused them to die.
    However, the balance of probability isn't what someone is convicted on and this is apparently what the defense case is based upon.
    If in fact that is the case, I find it immensely distasteful.

  6. I wonder if the Tories banging on again about bringing back the Death Penalty is going to gather pace in the runup to the final verdict.
    An ideal platform to pin it on.
    I can see it now:
    Let's not make the same mistake as Hindley and Brady. Hang 'em High!

  7. Then what about bently the last man to be hanged in England. Everyone knew he was guilty, but that was thrown out a year or two ago. All Im saying is that he deserves a trial, as everyone does. No matter how much it may look like he's guilty, shit even if he is guilty. Everyone deserves a trial, otherwise we may as well just make the editor of the mirror or the sun judge and jury and leave it at that and forget about a legal system!

  8. yeah, they've got to have a legal trial, but they are hugely costly exercises. There must be a cheaper/better way.
    I've been on jury service and you the majority of people on jurys are idiots.
    An aside, mobile phone operators log the location of your phone, even when you aren't using it. Wonder how long they have to keep the logs?
    It was going to be major evidence in the Soham trial, actually admitting they were in his house makes it a bit redundant!

  9. I'm not sure about the death penalty, doesn't seem to be enough people baying for it really. It might be different if there was sexual evidence with the Soham stuff - that seems to get a more heinous rap than just murdering people.

  10. Don't you find this odd? People are happy that children are murdered, but if he's diddled them, he gets lynched?
    If he wasn't pupping them, what were they doing there then?

  11. Well I hardly think anyone is happy about it but yes, it is kind of strange that sexual abuse raises the hackles as much if not more so, than murder. It's a coctail of emotions isn't it. Knowing they just died, you hope it was fast. Being abused... well, that gives you horrors to latch on to and visualise.
    I can't really see two girls going into his house to play doctors and nurses though. If one, maybe. He may well have tried it on though, and ended up murdering them when he realised it wouldn't go his way and they'd almost certainly blab. That's a pretty common scenario for murder, isn't it.

  12. Bit of a misconception of the role of the defense here. The defense arerequired by law to put whatever 'facts' the client asserts are true.They can't say 'come of it' or otherwise - they just have to put them tothe best of their ability. The admissions are procedural - as certainfacts are raised by the prosecution they are admitted to avoid wastingthe courts time by the prosecution judge and jury thinking they are incontention.
    As for the defense - if it is true I give him a snowball's chance in asupernova of it being accepted by the jury. He's going for 1 accidentaldeath and 1 panic smothered manslaughter. It's all very well but theforensic team will decimate it and why didn't he tell the police this?As for the girls they were looking for Maxine Carr. Who knows whathappened. They're dead. Spectating the process of which piece of scumdid or didn't do it just drags you down.

  13. Can't argue with that. Of course, I've just realised with horror that I know a heck of a lot more about how the American legal process works than the British one... (being a fan of a few yank legal dramas)

  14. The interesting thing about the cost of this whole affair to the taxpayer is that there's a perfectly servicable courtroom at the prison where Huntley is being held, which was designed precisely for this purpose - high security cases. Instead, it's been decided to spend tens of thousands of taxpayers' money on a massive security operation to bring him to the Old Bailey every morning.
    It's obvious that the bloke did it. I strongly get the impression that he's not so much out of his tree, as not even in the vicinity of his tree, and that in fact his tree may have been chopped down and used for firewood. This whole affair just reeks of an expensive show trial to appease middle England's baying for blood last summer, with the cost of it coming out of our pockets.