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EDITIONS
Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 13:27 GMT
Bamber loses appeal against conviction
Jeremy Bamber arrives at court during the appeal process
Jeremy Bamber has always proclaimed his innocence
A man jailed for killing five members of his family in 1985 has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Jeremy Bamber, now 41, is serving a life sentence for the murders committed at White House Farm, Tolleshunt D'Arcy in Essex.

Lord Justice Kay, Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice Henriques ruled on Thursday at London's Court of Appeal that his convictions were safe.

Bamber, who was not in court to hear the ruling, issued a statement afterwards saying it was a "devastating blow".

The more we examined the detail of the case the more likely we thought it to be that the jury were right

Lord Justice Kay

Bamber, who has been told he will spend the whole of his life in jail, said: "Not only I, but also many others thought my original trial unfair."

He said the appeal - his second - had given him and his lawyers the opportunity to see "thousands of pages of material that had not been disclosed" at his trial.

Citing the example of famous victims of miscarriages of justice such as the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, he vowed to fight on.

"Let no one doubt that in years to come justice will be achieved and my conviction will be quashed."

'Gone berserk'

Giving his ruling, Lord Justice Kay said that advances in DNA technology meant the Criminal Cases Review Commission had been right to refer the Bamber case to the appeal court.

However, he said that blood evidence used in the original trial still stood, and there was no new evidence that would have influenced the jury at trial.

Lord Justice Kay added: "The more we examined the detail of the case the more likely we thought it to be that the jury were right."

Nevill Bamber
Nevill Bamber had struggled with his attacker

Bamber's father Nevill, 61, his 61-year-old mother June, six-year-old nephews Nicholas and Daniel, and his sister Sheila Caffell were shot in the early hours of 7 August, 1985.

Bamber maintained that Miss Caffell, who suffered from schizophrenia, had killed the family before committing suicide.

He said his father had called him before his death to say she had "gone berserk".

A .22 rifle which had fired 25 shots was found next to her body by police.

The prosecution at Bamber's trial said a silencer found elsewhere in the house had traces of Miss Caffell's blood on it and that this ruled her out as the killer.

Scene disturbed

However, Bamber's legal team claimed at the 12-day appeal hearing in November that the blood was not hers, proving, they claimed, that she was the murderer.

Bamber's counsel, Michael Turner QC, said other evidence was withheld during Bamber's murder trial.

He said police could have turned over furniture and a bowl of sugar when they burst into the kitchen after the murders were reported, and disturbed the crime scene.

Victor Temple QC, opposing the appeal, said it was "very clear" the disarray was due to the struggle between Nevill Bamber and his attacker, and not the fault of police.

Bamber's case had been referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which examines possible miscarriages of justice.

He had lost another appeal in 1989.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"Jeremy Bamber has always maintained that he was not responsible for the killings"

Click here to go to Essex
See also:

12 Dec 02 | England
12 Dec 02 | England
01 Nov 02 | England
31 Oct 02 | England
23 Oct 02 | England
22 Oct 02 | England
21 Oct 02 | England
13 Oct 02 | England
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