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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 13:58 GMT
Murder conviction quashed
Anthony Steel outside the Court of Appeal
Anthony Steel outside the Court of Appeal in London
A man who served nearly 20 years in jail for the murder of a bakery worker in Bradford has had his sentence quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Anthony Steel, 46, is already free - having been released on licence in 1998.

He was jailed at Leeds Crown Court in December 1979 over the October 1977 killing of 20-year-old Carol Wilkinson in Ravenscliffe, Bradford.

Miss Wilkinson suffered serious head injuries.

Life-support machine

Her death made history as she was the first murder victim to be certified dead after a life-support machine was switched off by doctors.

Lord Justice Rix, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Treacy, said that they were allowing the appeal in the light of new evidence from both defence and Crown consultant psychologists.

This indicated that Mr Steel, a gardener, "is and was mentally handicapped and at the borderline of abnormal suggestibility and compliability".

"He was therefore a significantly more vulnerable interviewee than could be appreciated at the time of the trial."

Real murderer

Mr Steel said after the judgment: "If everything the police knew had come out before my trial, I would never have been found guilty - because I am an innocent man and the court now agrees with that.

"I suffered 20 years in jail because the police destroyed my alibi for the morning of the murder - yet they knew all the time that the story their witness was telling was wrong."

Mr Steel said he knew who the real murderer was.

"They arrested him not long after I was convicted and he was convicted on 28 charges of rape, robbery and sexual assault.

"He was arrested on the same footpath in Bradford where the police said I murdered Carol Wilkinson.

"I know this man. I saw him almost every day while I was in Wakefield prison."


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