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EDITIONS
Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 20:35 GMT
Family condemn 'evil' Bamber
Jeremy Bamber
Bamber's last appeal was rejected in 1989
Relatives of Jeremy Bamber's victims have welcomed the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss his latest attempt to get his murder conviction quashed.

They condemned Bamber, jailed for life in 1986 for the murder of five members of his family in Essex, as "evil".

On Thursday three judges rejected Bamber's claim that his schizophrenic sister had carried out the killings.

The 41-year-old was not in court but said in a statement from prison that he was "devastated" but would fight on to clear his name.

We are particularly saddened that Sheila's memory is constantly tarnished by Bamber

Peter Eaton
Bamber's cousin
"Let no one doubt that in years to come justice will be achieved and my conviction will be quashed," he said.

After the ruling Peter Eaton, a cousin by marriage of Bamber, said the family welcomed the judgment.

He said: "We never doubted for a second that this was the only possible decision they could reach and that justice was indeed done in 1986.

"The past few weeks have been particularly harrowing for us.

"Although the appeal has only been in the public eye for three weeks we have had to bear this nightmare periodically for the past 17 years.

'Evil beyond belief'

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

He shot dead his parents Nevill and June, both 61, six-year-old twin nephews Nicholas and Daniel, and sister Sheila Caffell.

Bamber blamed Miss Caffell, who suffered from schizophrenia, and said she killed the family before committing suicide.

Bamber's lawyers claimed new DNA evidence proved that blood on a silencer found in a cupboard did not belong to Sheila, which meant she could have killed her parents and then removed it before shooting herself.

Mr Eaton added: "We are particularly saddened that Sheila's memory is constantly tarnished by Bamber.

Jeremy Bamber in 2002
Bamber will probably die in jail
"She was always a kind and loving mother to the twins.

"The judge at the original trial described Bamber as `evil almost beyond belief' and no one can doubt that assessment having listened to the details of this appeal."

The judges at London's Court of Appeal ruled the convictions were safe, although advances in DNA technology meant the Criminal Cases Review Commission had been right to refer the Bamber case to the appeal court.

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

A statement issued on behalf of John Broughton, the Assistant Chief Constable of Essex, said: "We have never been in any doubt that the original verdict was the right and only verdict.

"Even with the modern technology now available, today's decision has demonstrated that the original evidence continues to stand the test of time."

 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
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