Convicted murderer's fresh appeal hope

AN RAF officer convicted of murdering his wife could have his case referred back to the appeal courts within months after officials examining fresh evidence agreed to prioritise his application.

AN RAF officer convicted of murdering his wife could have his case referred back to the appeal courts within months after officials examining fresh evidence agreed to prioritise his application.

Nick Tucker, who was jailed for life in 1997, has presented a dossier of new details to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in the hope the body will grant him a second hearing.

And a spokesman for the CCRC yesterday confirmed the former RAF Honington squadron leader's case had been prioritised, adding: “The review will be allocated to a case worker and it will get underway.”

The news has been welcomed by the 54-year-old's fiancée Jenny Peacock, who has campaigned for Tucker's release from her Thetford home ever since he was convicted of murdering Carol, his wife of 21 years.


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She said last night: “This is good news. Lets hope it doesn't take them as long to get it right this time.

“This has taken its toll on Nick's parents over the years, as they live in North Wales and only get to see him about twice a year.

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“His dad will be 90 this year, and his mum has been in and out of hospital, which I am sure is down to stress.

“I want Nick to be proved innocent, which he is, and come out and start his life again with his name cleared.

“He has been a miscarriage of justice victim for seven years and he is one of the statistics which are growing and growing in this country.”

Carol died in July 1995 after her Ford Fiesta, driven by Tucker, crashed into the River Lark at Lackford as the couple returned home from a meal at the Red Lion pub in nearby Icklingham.

The prosecution at the airman's trial at Norwich Crown Court alleged he had staged the accident, throttling his 52-year-old wife to the point of unconsciousness before deliberately driving into the waterway and drowning her.

But the father-of-two has always protested his innocence, saying he was knocked out by the force of the impact after swerving into the river to avoid two deer in the roadway.

Fresh evidence gathered by Channel 4's Trial and Error programme, along with submissions from expert pathologists and neurologists, have now been presented to the CCRC for consideration.

The body will decide if the case should be returned to the appeal courts.

To date, the CCRC has referred 216 cases back into the judicial system, with 151 of those resulting in a quashed conviction.

Speaking exclusively to the EADT last month from HMP Ashwell in Oakham, Tucker, who lost a first appeal hearing in 1998, said he was “very confident” his case would soon be among those statistics.

“Our position has not weakened,” he said. “I am very confident that this time we will get there.

“I am in here (prison) for something not only I did not do but something (a murder) which did not take place.

“The critical issue at the (first) appeal was whether Carol had been killed by me or whether it was a tragic accident.

“These (new) reports cover the evidence of the trial, extracting key elements which were either misrepresented or represented in an absence of the material that has since come to light.”

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