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Index
11-03-05, 16:10
Read this and weep:

A MAN who confessed to killing two women walked free from court yesterday when a judge ruled the evidence too damning.

Father-of-two Lyle Simpson admitted being a killer, DNA evidence proved he was at the scene of one murder and he tried to commit suicide a day later.

Yet after three days of legal argument in the Supreme Court, Judge Anthony Whealy ruled some evidence was just too damning and ran the risk of "unfair prejudice" to the accused.

A married Simpson was accused of murdering mistress Rhonda Buckley, 51, in September 2001 in Georgetown, Newcastle.

But the family of the victim were devastated by the decision which enabled Simpson, 45, to go free after 16 months in jail awaiting trial.

Ms Buckley's daughter Suzy Westgarth said: "I am bloody angry, so angry."

Outside court yesterday, Simpson said: "I'm relieved to go home. I've got two disabled kids and I just want to live my life and be left alone by the police.

"I've had a rough time. My wife's been through hell. If you haven't been in jail you don't know what it's like to be locked up in cells, no TVs and radios.

"I've never been in trouble before ... I can never replace that 16 months."

The decision comes a day after Senior Deputy Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen criticised defence lawyers for using "ambush, trickery" to get criminals off.

Evidence tendered in court showed Simpson phoned his wife Kamara several times on September 25 and told her he had "killed two sheilas".

In another call, he allegedly said: "I have killed a prostitute, there's two less sheilas in the world."

Ms Buckley, a grandmother and mother-of-three, was discovered strangled in her bed by her daughter Suzy and son-in-law Steve Westgarth. Simpson's DNA - in the form of semen - was found on the body.

The day after the death, Simpson was found unconscious in his car south of Newcastle after trying to gas himself with exhaust fumes. The court ruled the suicide attempt as inadmissable.

Simpson was arrested two years after Ms Buckley's death.

But in court, his defence team led by legal aid solicitor Joanne Harris successfully argued the evidence would unduly prejudice the jury.

A court source said: "The evidence would be too prejudicial for the jury to hear, they would naturally assume from some of the evidence, that he was guilty.

"They also successfully argued that the jury could believe he was guilty if he attempted suicide when there could be other reasons for it."

Under Section 137 of the Evidence Act 1995 "the court must refuse to admit evidence adduced by the prosecutor if its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the defendant."

What that means, is if the a single piece of evidence is so overpowering it would sway a jury from giving a fair trial, it cannot be used.

But Mrs Westgarth, 28, "I definitely think the Government needs to make changes ... and soon."

(from The Daily Telegraph)

Mycernius
14-03-05, 14:37
Read this and weep:
Father-of-two Lyle Simpson admitted being a killer, DNA evidence proved he was at the scene of one murder and he tried to commit suicide a day later.

Yet after three days of legal argument in the Supreme Court, Judge Anthony Whealy ruled some evidence was just too damning and ran the risk of "unfair prejudice" to the accused........

.........But in court, his defence team led by legal aid solicitor Joanne Harris successfully argued the evidence would unduly prejudice the jury.

A court source said: "The evidence would be too prejudicial for the jury to hear, they would naturally assume from some of the evidence, that he was guilty.

(from The Daily Telegraph)
I always thought that the whole point of trail was to try to persade the jury into a guilty or innocent verdict ie: to prejudice the jury into a chioce. To say that the evidence is so damning that he would be instantly guilty is so stupid, isn't that the point. He admitted to it, his DNA was there, and he has gotten away with murder. I bet there are criminals out there who wished they had his lawyers. I am so gobsmacked at this

Index
14-03-05, 14:44
It's unbelievable isn't it? It would seem that if you ever commit murder, make sure you leave lot's of evidence on the scene, write your name on their forehead with your own blood, and tell all your friends about it. You should be alright then...

enix_fan
14-03-05, 23:12
you know that's kinda like gambling. it's illegal and yet there's CASINO!!!

Mike Cash
15-03-05, 11:32
It's unbelievable isn't it? It would seem that if you ever commit murder, make sure you leave lot's of evidence on the scene, write your name on their forehead with your own blood, and tell all your friends about it. You should be alright then...

Make sure what country you do it in, too. Let's remember that laws change at the borders.