A HUDDERSFIELD expert has played a key role in helping to free a man jailed for murder.
Prof David Canter, a criminal psychologist and lecturer at Huddersfield University, had helped build a case against Eddie Gilfoyle, accused of killing his wife 18 years ago.
But last night it emerged that he had subsequently helped Mr Gilfoyle win his freedom on appeal.
And it also emerged that the police had sat on evidence for at least 17 years that could have potentially helped free him.
Mr Gilfoyle was jailed in 1993 for killing his wife Paula, who was found hanged when she was eight months pregnant, in the garage of their Merseyside home.
Mr Gilfoyle, 50, served 18 years in jail and was released in December 2010 on parole, having lost two appeals in 1995 and 2000.
It has emerged that police were in possession of two of Mrs Gilfoyle’s personal diaries – which provide insight into her personality – for at least 17 years.
However, it is not known whether the diaries, locked away in a metal box in the family home in Upton, Wirral, were found during the original investigation or in 1994 when Lancashire Police reviewed the murder investigation.
Mr Gilfoyle’s trial was told that his wife would not have committed suicide and she was happy and bubbly – despite a suicide note written in her hand.
The diaries, going from her teens to 20s, reveal a darker side to Mrs Gilfoyle.
They alleged that she took an overdose; stood by an early boyfriend who cheated on her with a girl he then killed; that she kept press cuttings of the trial and bought him a wedding ring while he was serving life; and that she kept a note from another boyfriend saying he intended to kill himself.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Gilfoyle said: “I am completely devastated that the police had these diaries and failed to hand them over to my defence.
“They should have been disclosed prior to my two appeals but they were kept hidden.”
He added: “I want my conviction overturned and the truth out. There are no excuses now, no excuses whatsoever.
“It is the least the system can do having destroyed me for 20 years.”
Mr Gilfoyle’s solicitor Matt Foot said: “I was stunned when Merseyside Police suddenly provided to me these diaries from a locked black metal box in August 2010 at Bebbington police station.