Killer Bamber believes he could soon be free

AN Essex man who was jailed for life 23 years ago for the murder of five members of his family has told the EADT that he believes new evidence could free him within weeks.

Annie Davidson

AN Essex man who was jailed for life 23 years ago for the murder of five members of his family has told the EADT that he believes new evidence could free him within weeks.

Jeremy Bamber was found guilty of five murders in October 1986 and told he would never be considered for parole for the killings, which his trial judge described as “evil almost beyond belief.”

Now aged 49, Bamber has always protested his innocence and has lost two appeals against his convictions, the most recent in 2002.

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He was found guilty in October 1986 of shooting dead his adoptive parents, June and Nevill Bamber, his sister Sheila Caffell, and her six-year-old twins, Daniel and Nicholas.

The prosecution case was that he carried out the murders at his parents' home, White House Farm in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, near Maldon, so he could inherit his parents' wealth.

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Now a report by an expert in scenes of crime photography has been sent to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) with Bamber claiming his name will finally be cleared.

Last night Jeremy Bamber told the EADT he was “on top of the world” and was expecting to be released from prison within weeks.

He said: “It is all looking very promising - it is out of the bag now.”

At Bamber's trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, jurors were shown pictures of the underside of a shelf above an Aga cooker which had scratch marks allegedly caused as Bamber and his father struggled with the murder weapon.

The marks were said to have been caused by a silencer fitted to the 22 Anschutz semi-automatic rifle - which was later found in a gun cupboard by some of Bamber's extended family. It proved vital in convicting him.

Now photographic expert Peter Sutherst has examined photographs taken in the kitchen of the farmhouse by police scenes of crime officers.

His report finds that the scratch marks were not present in the pictures taken immediately after the tragedy and concludes they must have been caused some time afterwards.

Mr Sutherst's report has been sent to the CCRC which was already re-examining the Bamber case and has the power to refer it to the Court of Appeal for a full hearing.

Bamber said last night: “When it is photographic evidence there is no chance of another explanation.

“Over the years when different things have come up, there is always a different explanation given - like we misunderstood or were given the wrong information.

“But this is one of the world's leading experts in crime scene photography. It is credible and it is powerful.”

Bamber said he hoped to see the case move forward within weeks and his solicitor would be applying for him to be released on bail.

A spokesman from the Criminal Cases Review Commission said: “Mr Bamber has an application with us at the moment and his case has been with us for some time.

“As part of that review we have received submissions from Mr Bamber recently and we will need to consider those very carefully.”

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said yesterday: “This matter is currently being investigated by the CCRC and it would be inappropriate for Essex Police to comment at this stage.”

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