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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Murder 'highly unlikely' inquest told
Alexander Woodcraft and Andrew Walker
Half-brothers Alexander Woodcraft and Andrew Walker
A ballistics expert has told an inquest it was conceivable but highly unlikely that a man who had sought to expose alleged police corruption had been murdered.

The body of Jeremy Earls, 34, was found in the back of his car parked in woods at Kelby, Lincolnshire on 8 August, 2001.

He had a single gunshot wound to the top of his head and an Israeli-made Uzi 9mm gun was laying nearby.

Three days earlier police had found the bodies of Andrew Walker, 26, and his half-brother Alex Woodcraft, 17, who had been shot dead at a flat in Lincoln.

Jeremy Earls
Jeremy Earls left four letters behind

On Thursday the inquest heard a tape in which Mr Earls had claimed there had been a conspiracy involving certain Lincolnshire police officers and said people were trying to kill him.

Ballistics expert Malcolm Fletcher said the crime scene and the post mortem results all pointed to Mr Earls' injury being self-inflicted.

But Tim Walker, a solicitor representing Mr Earls' mother Louise Dytam, asked if there were any alternative possibilities.

Blood patterns

Mr Fletcher said: "There would have to be a slight possibility of an alternative - that a second person fired the shot, leaning in through the driver's door and firing between the front and passenger seat and then placing the gun on the body."

But he said blood patterns on the gun made this highly unlikely.

Mr Walker asked: "Could a third party have put the gun in a suicide position and fired it if the deceased was sedated?"

"Yes, that could have happened," said Mr Fletcher.

Letters found

Mr Fletcher said there was no evidence of a third person being involved.

Earlier the coroner Roger Atkinson read out four letters which were found in Mr Earls' car.

They were addressed to his 16-year-old son Jamie, his mother, his ex-wife Sharon Earls and his former girlfriend Samantha Frankman.

He wrote to his son: "To Jamie, my son, by the time you read this I will probably be dead. You will hear all kinds of (false) stories about me."

He urged his son to move away from Lincoln, work hard at his studies and keep away from drugs which he described as a "road to nowhere".

In his letter to his mother, Mr Earls, who suffered from Crohn's disease - a chronic bowel disorder, told her:" I have been wanting to die for two years."

He told her not to be scared of death.

The inquest continues.


click here to go to Lincolnshire
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29 Aug 02 | England
28 Aug 02 | England
10 Aug 01 | UK
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