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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Detective 'perverted justice'
Anthony Poole and Gary Mills
Mr Poole and Mr Mills [right] are demanding an inquiry into police
The case of Gary Mills and Tony Poole has what one judge described as "a considerable forensic history".

Lord Justice Auld recounted how Detective Inspector Trevor Gladding sued Channel 4 in 1998 for libellous allegations made in a TV programme about his conduct in the investigation and at the trial.

He added: "The jury upheld Channel 4's defence of justification."

Mr Gladding was the second most senior officer involved in the investigation.

The programme had alleged that Mr Gladding, now retired, warned Ian Juke, a witness to the fight, not to attend a committal hearing in the murder case.

The more detailed examination of that conduct in the libel trial added something new which might have led the jury to acquit
Lord Justice Auld

Lord Justice Auld said that in 2001 Lord Woolf expressed the view that the "verdict of the jury in the libel action is damning condemnation of his conduct."

He added that "any jury would be and, in our view, would rightly be, deeply influenced by this finding if they could have known of it".

In May 2002, the case was referred back to the Court of Appeal for consideration.

One of the grounds of appeal was that the close examination in the libel trial of Mr Gladding's conduct in relation to Mr Juke "revealed a level of impropriety that tainted the whole police investigation".

'Unreliable evidence?'

Lord Justice Auld said that the QCs representing both Mr Mills and Mr Poole acknowledged that Mr Gladding's "misconduct" had all been before the previous Court of Appeal hearing.

But he maintained that "the more detailed examination of that conduct in the libel trial, coupled with the libel jury's conclusion that he had perverted the course of justice and perjured himself at the criminal trial, added something new which, if the criminal jury had been aware of it, might have led them to acquit".

The Crown had rejected the notion that Mr Gladding had somehow infected the whole police investigation.

Lawyers for Mills and Poole had also relied on the "unreliability" of the evidence of chief prosecution witness Kimberley Stadden and witness Paul White.

The injuries sustained by Mr Wiltshire... have not been disputed and no new evidence has been offered to suggest any other person was responsible for inflicting those wounds
Gloucestershire Police

In conclusion, the judge said that many of the complaints made of police treatment of Mr Stadden, Mr White and Mr Juke "about their vulnerability and/or unreliability are not new arguments, nor do they arise from any new evidence".

He added: "They were fully considered and rejected by the first Court of Appeal after hearing the evidence of, amongst others, DI Gladding and Mr Juke."

The judge ruled: "As to the significance of DI Gladding's misconduct towards Mr Juke as a pointer to infection, or undermining the integrity, of the police investigation as a whole, nothing new by way of argument or evidence has emerged since the first Court of Appeal's decision that could render the decision unsafe.

Different procedures

"Nor are there any exceptional circumstances pointing to unsafety that would justify us re-visiting the first court's decision on that account."

Gloucestershire Constabulary said in a statement: "We respect the decision of the court. Together with the Crown Prosecution Service and legal advisers we will be examining the judgment in detail before deciding upon any further action.

"The decision of the court focuses primarily on the legal process and it must be remembered that the investigation undertaken 14 years ago was run under very different legal procedures to those in existence today.

Inquiry demanded

"The injuries sustained by Mr Wiltshire, which led to his death, have not been disputed and no new evidence has been offered to suggest any other person was responsible for inflicting those wounds.

"We are pleased the court today found that there was no evidence of systemic corruption or dishonesty during the police investigation of this case.

"We have no plans to open a new investigation into Mr Wiltshire's death."

The Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of Mr Mills and Mr Poole on Tuesday.

They are demanding an inquiry into Gloucestershire Police.

Murder convictions overturned
17 Jun 03  |  Gloucestershire
Murder pair bailed before appeal
13 Jun 03  |  Gloucestershire
Judgement reserved on murder pair
10 Apr 03  |  Gloucestershire
Murder inquiry 'rotten to core'
08 Apr 03  |  Gloucestershire

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