THE daughters of a Huddersfield man hanged for a double police murder are demanding justice – 60 years to the day after the shooting at their Kirkheaton farmhouse.
Alfred Moore’s three surviving daughters – Patricia, 69, Tina, 62, and 61-year-old Bronwynne – are desperate for an answer from justice investigators.
They have been working with former detective Steve Lawson, who has submitted a file on the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission – the first step to an appeal.
Both Lawson and the Moore family want a decision on whether or not the case can go to appeal.
Moore was hanged for the murders of Det Insp Duncan Fraser, 45, and Pc Gordon Jagger, 42, who were fatally wounded at Cockley Hill farm in the early hours of July 15, 1951.
The two officers were part of a 10-man cordon around the farmhouse home of Moore, a known burglar.
Mr Lawson said: “They want to resolve this one way or the other – either the CCRC says the case is not going to appeal, or let’s get the conviction overturned.
“Patricia has told me she would like a piece of paper in her hand saying her dad didn’t do it.”
Mr Lawson, who was a detective in the West Riding Constabulary from 1968 to 1974, is trying to build public support to clear Moore’s name.
Police suspected the poultry farmer was also a prolific burglar of mills.
On the night of July 14 to 15, 1951 they surrounded his farmhouse hoping to catch him returning home with his haul.
The two officers were shot when they challenged a man as he approached the house around 2am. Det Insp Fraser died at the scene and Pc Jagger was rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Moore was arrested at his farmhouse three hours after the shooting – but the gun was never found.
One theory is that the killer fled, leaving Moore to take the blame.
As he lay dying in his hospital bed, Pc Jagger picked out Moore from a nine-man identity parade.
This evidence was crucial in securing the conviction of Moore, who was hanged at Armley Prison in Leeds in 1952.
Mr Lawson, 63, has been campaigning for four years for Moore’s conviction to be overturned.
He said yesterday: “I think it’s about time that people were aware that, at the very least, Alfred Moore, could not have had a fair trial. The trial was loaded against him from day one.”
Last year the Kirkheaton man persuaded the CCRC to investigate Moore’s conviction – the first step to clearing his name.
But yesterday Mr Lawson called on the commission to decide whether to send the case to the Court of Appeal.
“I dropped off the documentation with them two years ago,” he said.
“I don’t know what the CCRC is taking its time for.
“Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has also written to them about this. When you ask them when they will decide, their answer is basically ‘how long is a piece of string’.”
Mr Lawson is taking his campaign to the public.
He said: “I did my first talk at Kirkheaton Cricket Club last month.
“Twenty people came and we talked about the case for about an hour and a half. At the end not one of them put their hand up to say he was guilty.
“I’ve got another talk planned at The Cask in Kirkheaton.”
Mr Lawson is also looking for a publisher for the 230-page manuscript about the case.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read why a retired judge believes Moore should not have been found guilty on the next page
A RETIRED judge believes it’s “inconceivable” that Alfred Moore would be found guilty of murder by today’s standards.
Scissett man Patrick Robertshaw, 66, has written a book about the trial and execution of Alfred Moore.
Mr Robertshaw told the Examiner there were huge holes in the prosecution’s case – including the fact the Moore didn’t have access to a solicitor before he took part in the identity parade at Pc Jagger’s death-bed.
The former barrister and circuit judge said: “It’s inconceivable, since the Human Rights Act and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984, that a prisoner would not have legal representation.”
Mr Robertshaw added: “It was a thoroughly unsafe conviction based on a fleeting glimpse identification.
“There was no appreciation of the dangers of that evidence. Today the judge would have to give a lot of warnings to the jury about the dangers.
“Witnesses who have been convinced that they have made a correct identification have on occasions got it wrong. There was no appreciation of that in 1951.”
Mr Robertshaw added that Pc Jagger’s first statement after the shooting undermined the prosecution case.
He said: “Pc Jagger’s dying declaration was never revealed to the defence at the time. It refers to a man with a silk scarf.
“It seems most unlikely that a poultry farmer would be wearing a silk scarf and no silk scarf was found in the farmhouse.”
Mr Robertshaw has written a 250-page manuscript about the Moore case.
Two years ago he and Steven Lawson interviewed Moore’s eldest daughter Patricia, who was 10 at the time of the shootings.
He said: “She recalled being very strongly questioned by police for quite a number of hours on the Sunday morning after the murders.
“She gave the impression of being someone who was traumatised by being called to give evidence against her father in a capital case. I think that was a particularly wicked thing to do.
“That was the only aspect of the trial which caused people in Huddersfield to have any sympathy with Alfred Moore. It didn’t go down well – particularly because it was unnecessary.
“Patricia was also able to tell me about her last visit to her father in the condemned cell. She sat on his knee and he gave her some sweets which the prison warders had given him.
“He told her to be a good girl for her mother.”
Mr Robertshaw also spoke to his friend, Huddersfield judge Arthur Hutchinson, who died last month.
He said: “I read a book by Steve Wade ago eight or nine years ago which stimulated my interest in the case.
“I was friendly with Arthur Hutchinson, who died recently, whose father was one of Moore’s solicitors.
“Arthur was present at the trial, I think he was a sixth former at the time. He was in court when the death sentence was passed.
“Arthur had the job of breaking the news to Alice Moore that her husband was sentenced to death. I got a lot of information from him. His father was unhappy with the conviction for the rest of his life.”
Mr Robertshaw is not optimistic that the Criminal Cases Review Commission will clear Moore’s name.
“I would like to see the CCRC refer the case back to the Court of Appeal as an unsafe conviction because of the understandable feelings of injustice from the family,” he said.
“But I’m not convinced the CCRC will reopen the case because it was so long ago.
Mr Robertshaw is looking for a publisher for his manuscript, which has the working title I Could Hang Him Myself – the words of one of Moore’s own solicitors.
To contact Mr Robertshaw email PSR6477@aol.com.
Go to the next page for a list of what campaigners believe are 'holes' in the original prosecution case.
STEVEN LAWSON and Patrick Robertshaw have identified several holes in the case against Alfred Moore. These include:
The police claimed they had a cordon round the farmhouse by 11.45pm on the night of the shootings while Moore said he returned home unchallenged by 12.15am at the latest. In 2008 Rex Hallas contacted the Examiner to say he had walked across the farm at 12.15am that night and had seen no officers and not been challenged by anyone – suggesting there was no police cordon at that time
It rained for 90 minutes between midnight and the time of the shooting at 2am. Moore’s coat was dry when he was arrested at 5.15am – suggesting he had been in the farmhouse when the shooting happened
No gun was ever found at the farmhouse or the farm, despite a huge search involving police and soldiers
Pc Jagger’s first statement after the shooting included the fact that his attacker had a silk scarf. No such garment was found in Moore’s house. Pc Jagger’s statement was not shared with the defence or the jury
Moore was not allowed to speak to a solicitor before taking part in an identity parade at Pc Jagger’s death-bed
In 1991 Herbert Woodhouse, one of the other men in the line-up, said Pc Jagger was unsure if Moore was the man who had shot him
There was no forensic evidence linking Moore to the murders. The killer shot Pc Jagger and Det Insp Fraser at close quarters – but no blood was found on Moore’s clothes
In 2009 Patricia Moore told the Examiner she had been "shaken like a rag doll" by police and forced to sign a false witness statement against her father.