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EDITIONS
Monday, 28 December, 1998, 17:59 GMT
Ruth Ellis lawyers reopen case
Holloway jail
A huge crowd converged on Holloway prison for the execution
Lawyers for Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the UK, are set to make an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Ellis was hanged in 1955 for shooting dead her lover, racing driver David Blakely outside a north London pub.

Last year the commission referred the case of Derek Bentley, the last man to hang in Britain, back to the Court of Appeal, where his conviction was later quashed.

Ellis and Blakely
Ruth Ellis and her lover David Blakely
Muriel Jakubait, 77, is hoping for a similar result in the case of her late sister.

She is campaigning to have the murder conviction reduced to manslaughter.

'Facts kept from the jury'

Mrs Jakubait, from Woking, Surrey, says the jury was not told Mr Blakely treated her sister violently and punched her in the stomach, causing a miscarriage.

Her lawyers are also seeking to highlight the role played in the case by another of Ellis's boyfriends, Desmond Cousens.

He is said to have given her the gun and taught her to shoot before driving her to the murder scene.

At her trial Ellis refused to implicate Mr Cousens, who has since died.

Application expected next month

Mrs Jakubait is being represented by solicitors Bernard and Lynne de Maid, who earlier this year achieved a posthumous pardon for Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seaman hanged in Cardiff in 1952 for murdering shopkeeper Lily Volpert.

Mrs de Maid said: "We now hope to be in a position to lodge the Ruth Ellis case with the Criminal Cases Review Commission towards the end of January."

The commission will then decide whether to refer it back to the Court of Appeal. But that may take many months because the commission is giving priority to cases involving serving prisoners.

Miranda Richardson played Ellis in the 1985 film Dance With A Stranger, with Rupert Everett playing the part of her lover.

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