Murder appeal bid ends in failure for Julie Kenyon
May 12 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A CAMPAIGN by a Huddersfield woman to clear her sister of murder has ended in failure.
Julie Kenyon, who confessed to the murder of her grandmother in a conversation secretly tape-recorded by another sister, lost her appeal against conviction.
Kenyon, who was jailed for life in 2003 at the age of 46, had urged three judges at the Court of Appeal in London to rule her conviction “unsafe”.
But Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones dismissed her appeal. She was not present in court.
Her case had been referred to the court by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
Mrs Susan Green, of Outlane, had battled for years to try to clear her sister’s name and finally convinced the Criminal Case Review Commission there was a case to answer.
At the hearing of the challenge in February, Kenyon’s QC, Paul Dunkels, told the judges that her appeal was 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 in 1996.
Mr Dunkels said the evidence established that when she made those confessions she was suffering from a “personality disorder” and the confessions should now be regarded as “unreliable”.
Kenyon, of Dodge Holme Court, Mixenden, was convicted by a majority verdict at Newcastle Crown Court of murder.
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 to die.
Kenyon’s defence at trial was that she made false confessions because she had felt under pressure from family members to confess and told them what they wanted hear. An inquest held soon after Mrs Waters’ death concluded that she died of natural causes.