A leading criminal barrister has cast serious doubt on a police investigation which led to a Huddersfield man being hanged for a double murder.
Jeremy Dein QC reviewed the case of poultry farmer and house burglar Alfred Moore who was sentenced to death for murdering two policemen, Det Insp Duncan Fraser and Pc Gordon Jagger, on land at his farm in Kirkheaton in 1951.
Mr Dein looked again at the case for the BBC1 programme Murder, Mystery and My Family.
The barrister said he believed that an ID parade at which a dying policeman identified Moore as the gunman was a “farce”. He called on an expert in anaesthetics who suggested Mr Jagger’s mental capacity would have been seriously affected by morphine and ether anaesthetic.
The case was explored by Mr Dein and fellow QC Sasha Wass with assistance from former Huddersfield detective Steve Lawson who has campaigned for many years for Alfred Moore’s name to be cleared.
They were joined by Moore’s daughter Bronwyne, who said: “Deep in my heart I truly believe he was not guilty.”
Bronwyne revealed that she believed her father was dominated by his wife who had encouraged him to burgle houses.
The programme examined evidence surrounding the police stakeout of Alfred Moore’s farmhouse which they had set up to catch him red-handed returning from house breaking.
Mr Dein said he had his doubts that the police cordon was in place when they said it was.
“I think this is a very shaky area,” he added.
“I haven’t seen any documentation that their (police) timings are accurate.”
Moore always protested his innocence and the murder weapon was never found, although a witness claimed to have seen a Luger-type gun in Moore’s toolbox.
The programme also interviewed Dr Donna Youngs, a criminal psychologist at Huddersfield University, who looked into Moore’s character traits.
Dr Youngs said Moore didn’t appear to have an “aggressive criminal mind” but was rather “obedient, accommodating and pleasant.”
The programme was told that a second statement from Pc Jagger, which was not presented in court, had mentioned that the shooter was wearing a white silk scarf.
According to Moore’s daughters, a man they knew as the ‘tin man’ used to visit the farm with black market goods in the 1940s.
Steve Lawson told the programme that he believes the ‘tin man’ could have been the late Clifford Mead.
Mead’s son John told Mr Lawson that on the night of the murder his father had come home in a “right state”.
After examining the case, Mr Dein presented his view that Pc Jagger’s ID evidence was unreliable.
“The identification is so flawed it ought not to have surfaced as evidence and without it no substantive case would have existed,” he said.
But Sasha Wass said there was no evidence to suggest that Pc Jagger had been confused during the ID parade.
Judge David Radford, who received the submissions from both QCs, said he saw no proper basis for suggesting the jury’s verdict should be looked at again.
Bronwyne was “extremely disappointed” by the judge’s opinion.
“It has not changed my opinion one iota that my father’s conviction was unsafe,” she said. “In my view the evidence was made to fit the crime.
“I would like somebody in authority to come forward and say ‘yes, you’re right’. It’s okay feeling he was innocent but he was judged guilty. Once my father was executed there was absolutely no hope because you couldn’t bring him back - not ever.”
Mr Dein wished Bronwyne well in her campaign to clear her father’s name.
“This is not the end of the road, this is just the end of this chapter,” he told her.
“We both admire your resilience and determination.
“I am sorry I haven’t been able to come up with enough to swing it round.
“I can only wish you the best of luck in fighting to declare your father’s innocence and one day I hope you will succeed.”
Meanwhile, Steve Lawson is currently preparing to submit a new application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in a bid to have the case referred to the Court of Appeal.