New move on Bamber killings

EXCLUSIVEBy Roddy AshworthOFFICIALS investigating the conviction of mass-murderer Jeremy Bamber are to interview the first police officer on the scene of the killings.

EXCLUSIVE

By Roddy Ashworth

OFFICIALS investigating the conviction of mass-murderer Jeremy Bamber are to interview the first police officer on the scene of the killings.

The move comes as part of an inquiry by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which was called in to investigate after claims that fresh evidence surrounding the killings had come to light.

Giovanni Di Stefano, Bamber's legal representative, referred the contents of two police communication logs to the commission claiming they threw serious doubt on Bamber's guilt.

Bamber was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 for the murder of his adoptive parents, Nevill and June, Sheila 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 in 1985, had been carried out by Miss Caffell.

But later they accused Bamber of the murders, citing a sizeable inheritance as his motive, and he was convicted following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Chris Bews, a former sergeant with Essex Police, said yesterday he had been contacted by the Criminal Cases Review Commission asking for an interview.

He added other officers involved in the inquiry had also been spoken to by the commission.

“It is the first time anybody has ever contacted me officially about the case since an internal police inquiry after Bamber's conviction,” said Mr Bews.

He spent several hours with Bamber outside the farmhouse in the early hours of August 7, 1985, while armed police prepared to storm it.

But Mr Bews said he did not accept any of Bamber's new claims, which include an assertion that officers had had a “conversation” with someone in the house.

“I have been asked to go to London to talk to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which I'm happy to do. Other officers who were there have also been asked,” he added.

“I assume they want to go through what happened and see if any of Bamber's new claims hold water.

“But I don't think they do, I think they're rubbish. I don't believe a word that Bamber is saying.”

Mr Di Stefano said five or six former police officers had been interviewed in connection with the commission's review.

He added an allegation that more than 500,000 documents had not been disclosed to the defence team at the time of the trial had also been referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

“The commission are coming to see me to review some of the material I have in my archive. There are about 500 files. We will be spending some time together in the next 10 days,” said Mr Di Stefano.

A spokesman for the Criminal Cases Review Commission said he could not give a detailed comment about the Bamber review.

The commission has the power to refer the case to the Court of Appeal if it considers a conviction may be unsafe.

The spokesman added: “The applicant has raised issues relating to disclosure, which are considered along with any other areas as part of the review process.

“Although the commission does carry out interviews where necessary, we are unable to comment in detail about specific cases.”

Essex Police declined to comment.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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