So, Stone ‘the killer’ goes back to jail

I was really surprised to hear in the news today that the appeal by Michael Stone against his conviction for double murder (and attempted murder) has been dismissed. For those who don’t know, he was convicted of a terrible attack on a mother and her two daughters in Kent in 1996, in which the mother and one daughter were bludgeoned to death with a hammer, and another daughter was left with severe head injuries. I find it unbelievable that the judges could have dismissed the appeal so rapidly; it was only yesterday and the day before that evidence was being heard, to the effect that the main plank of the prosecution’s case, an alleged confession in prison overheard by a serial criminal, drug addict and known liar, was (as you might expect) unreliable. The said liar, Damian Daley, testified that he heard a voice “through the pipework” confessing to the murders.

The appeal appears to have been rejected because Daley was claimed to have no reason to lie. But that’s not the point! He’s a person of known evil character and a proven liar. Of course, if such a person gives information leading the authorities to find the evidence linking the perpetrator to the crime, that’s different. As a witness, they are inherently unreliable. Yet again, someone has been sent to jail on the basis of jailhouse hearsay.

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