THE nephew of a man hanged for a double police murder has met the investigator trying to clear his uncle’s name.
David Schofield, who lives in New Zealand, flew halfway round the world to visit former detective Steven Lawson in Huddersfield.
The Kirkheaton man is trying to clear the name of Alfred Moore, who was hanged in 1952.
Police suspected Moore was a prolific burglar of mills. On the night of July 14, 1951, 10 officers surrounded his farmhouse at Cockley Hill, hoping to catch him returning home with his haul.
Two of the officers were shot while trying to arrest a man as he approached the house.
Det Insp Duncan Fraser, 45, died at the scene and Pc Gordon Jagger, 42, was rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Moore was arrested at his farmhouse a few 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.
But Mr Lawson, who worked as a West Riding Constabulary detective from 1968 to 1974, believes the case against Moore was flawed.
His interest in the case was raised when he read a piece about Mr Schofield in the Examiner in 2006.
Mr Lawson said: “I got in touch with him after that first appeal in the Examiner because I knew a little bit about the case and he asked me to look into it in more detail.”
Mr Schofield, 62, emigrated to New Zealand in 1968. He is in Huddersfield for a few weeks for a family reunion.
Mr Lawson met him at the Jolly Sailor pub in Moldgreen on Tuesday before taking him to the scene of the murders at Cockley Hill.
He said: “I think he became emotional when we went up to his uncle’s house. He’d never been there before.
“He told me he had known very little about what happened, he had only found out he had an uncle Alfred when he was 30 years old.”
Mr Lawson, 63, has spent the last four years compiling evidence to show Moore’s conviction is unsafe. He has found there is no forensic evidence linking Moore to the murder.
Mr Lawson also believes the identity parade by Pc Jagger’s deathbed was not performed properly and that crucial evidence was kept from Moore’s defence team during the trial.
Mr Lawson submitted his evidence to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which launched an investigation into Moore’s conviction in January. If the commission agrees with Mr Lawson, the case will be sent to the Court of Appeal where the conviction could be quashed.
He said: “I expect a result from the CCRC later this year. We might have a hearing next year – the 60th anniversary of the shootings.”