Lawyers seek new appeal in Bamber case

LAWYERS acting on behalf of mass murderer Jeremy Bamber have applied for a new appeal hearing after fresh evidence came to light which they say throws the killer's guilt into doubt.

By Roddy Ashworth

LAWYERS acting on behalf of mass murderer Jeremy Bamber have applied for a new appeal hearing after fresh evidence came to light which they say throws the killer's guilt into doubt.

And yesterday Bamber's representative, Giovanni Di Stefano, said he would be making an application for bail to allow him out of prison while waiting for the case to be reheard.

The dramatic moves came after Bamber's prosecutor at his original trial said he did not believe he had seen police communication logs which show discrepancies in the reports of events immediately following the 1985 slayings.

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The logs - which only surfaced earlier this year - appear to suggest that one of Bamber's victims, Sheila Caffell, may not have been dead when originally located and could have managed to move before killing herself elsewhere.

Bamber was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 for the murder of his adoptive parents, Nevill and June, Ms Caffell - a schizophrenic model known as Bambi - and her two six-year-old sons, Nicholas and Daniel.

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Originally, police worked on the assumption that the killings - which took place at White House Farm in Tolleshunt D'Arcy - had been carried out by Sheila.

But later they accused Bamber of the murders, citing a sizeable inheritance as his motive.

At the trial, it was heard that Sheila's body was found upstairs in her mother's bedroom with June's body. The twins were shot dead in their beds and Nevill was found dead alone in the kitchen downstairs.

But two recently discovered and separate police communication logs from the first officers on the scene state that there was both a woman and a man's body in the kitchen.

Yesterday Mr Di Stefano said that he had sent the documents to the Chief Counsel for the prosecution at Bamber's original trial, Anthony Arlidge QC, and asked whether or not he had ever before seen the logs.

Mr Arlidge QC wrote him a note - under the heading "Jeremy Bamber" - saying: "I do not recollect seeing the document you sent me."

Mr Di Stefano said: "I am very pleased to confirm that in accordance with the conduct of counsel expected of the English bar, Mr Anthony Arlidge QC has confirmed that important new evidence that has now come to light with regard to radio logs page four and six, showing that there was a dead female body and a dead male body found in the kitchen of the house, had never been seen by Mr Arlidge QC and which is the clearest evidence yet that our client Jeremy Bamber is wrongly convicted of five murders.

"I have written and made submissions to the Lord Chief Justice using precedent in the case of Taylor and Lawrence, to reopen the case without the vehicle of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

"I anticipate the Lord Chief Justice will now accede to my application taking into account that Mr Arlidge has conceded that valuable information had not been bought to his attention.

"I also confirm that this information which was not made available to the first trial, the second trial or the appeal was sent to us on 4 March 2004 by the police.

"I can also confirm that the police were of the opinion that this 24 page radio log had been filed with the court.

"However, we have proved only one page had been filed - which is a fact confirmed by Chelmsford Crown Court.

"In all the circumstances, if there was a dead female body found at the entrance in the kitchen how on earth did she find her way upstairs to the bedroom?

"The conviction is unsafe and unsatisfactory and this is the clearest evidence that Mr Bamber is not guilty of these allegations and must be released forthwith."

Mr Di Stefano said: "I think what happened is that one officer entered the premises, saw the bodies, assumed they were both dead, and then withdrew to report it on the radio, and then another went to verify it before he himself withdrew to report it.

"Before anyone returned, Sheila managed to get upstairs and shot herself.

"These are the police's own logs that say there were two bodies - a man's and a woman's - in the kitchen.

"These are their logs, which they sent to me in March, which were not before the original trial and which the prosecutor says he didn't see."

Mr Arlidge QC declined to comment on the matter.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Lord Chief Justice's office confirmed a letter had been received from Mr Bamber's solicitors asking for the Court of Appeal to reopen the case.

Mr Di Stefano added: "Jeremy is of course ecstatic as this is the first time there have been concessions from the crown on anything.

"I will be making an application for bail this week. I have got the sureties together. I want Jeremy Bamber out until this is all sorted out."

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We are co-operating with the Criminal Cases Review Commission who are looking into this matter so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

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