Cold case specialists

What a welcome story on the front page of Thursday's (August 18), paper 'We owe it to the victims and their families to bring killers to justice'.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:38 pm
South Yorkshire PCC Dr Alan Billings

Thanks to our PCC Alan Billings for approving a sum of £321 000 to fund a new team of officers for a year.

Alan Billings’ comments that the bereaved families are owed this initiative, how right he is!

The loss of a loved one who has been murdered and the killer not having been brought to justice is an unacceptable situation.

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I will now turn all this on its head by commenting how many families there are nationwide who have loved one’s wrongly convicted, a family member locked away for years for a crime they did not commit.

Don’t ever believe that the police get it right every time and don’t ever believe that the courts get it right every time.

The evidence is there, the number of cases of injustice is appalling, situations which the police and the justice system may apologise for, but what good is that for those poor folks making long journeys to visit loved ones locked away?

I have personal experience of a friend, a Sheffield lad, wrongly in my opinion convicted of murder.

I sat through his trial, I came away shell-shocked how his case was dealt with.

Evidence that wasn’t raised, assumptions galore without any real basis, time and physical factors not considered.

How does he appeal?

Well, with great difficulty. Appeal funding is more than difficult to find and being an appellant in prison can make life difficult.

The lad believes his stance could keep him inside for more than the 17 years he was given.

I as a friend with the knowledge I have, have been ridiculed for my belief in his innocence.

I feel a great deal of sadness for the family of the murder victim for which he was convicted.

They have been deceived, how sad that is, they need to know the truth.

Moving away from my personal story I can say that there is an elephant present in a lot of situations, the animal is big enough to be seen but is often ignored.

Spare a thought for those in the past who fell through the hole in the gallows.

Don’t ever believe everything you read in the papers.

No doubt the truth is prominent in most of what is published, but as one Star reporter is aware, they can only tell about what they see and hear, the essential underlying facts are ignored.

I wish those families involved a successful outcome from the work to be carried out by the ‘Cold Case Specialist Team ‘

I hope that team will admit to any past failures to investigate fully, if anything was missed, if there was failure by individuals, let’s be knowing about all the details.

Roger Stevenson

Old Park Avenue, Beauchief, S8