FRI AM: Julie Kenyon murder appeal decision delayed
Feb 19 2010 By Cathy Gordon
A WOMAN who confessed to the murder of her grandmother in a conversation secretly tape-recorded by her sister will have to wait to find out if she has successfully appealed against her conviction.
Julie Kenyon, of Dodge Holme Court, Mixenden, Halifax, who was jailed for life in 2003 at the age of 46, claims her murder conviction is "unsafe".
At the close of legal argument today, three judges in the Court of Appeal in London reserved their decision.
Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones did not give a date for their ruling.
Kenyon’s QC Paul Dunkels has told the judges that her appeal is founded on fresh expert psychological and psychiatric evidence relating to three confessions she made over the death of 89-year-old widow Irene Waters at the home they shared in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1996.
Mr Dunkels submitted that the evidence established that at the time she made those confessions she was suffering from a "personality disorder" and that the confessions should now be regarded as "unreliable".
Kenyon was convicted by a majority verdict at Newcastle Crown Court.
In a tape recording made by her sister Carol in a pub, Kenyon confessed to smothering her grandmother with a pillow because her grandmother had asked her to help her die.
The conviction challenge follows a referral of her case to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
Kenyon’s defence at trial was that she had made false confessions because she had felt under pressure from family members to confess and told them what they wanted hear.