Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 18:37 UK

Walking stick death pair appeal

Kathleen Johnson and Paul Slack
Kathleen Johnson and Paul Slack have been given the right to appeal

A man and woman jailed for killing a 64-year-old Norfolk man by choking him with his own walking stick in May 2007 have won the right to appeal.

Kathleen Ann Johnson and Paul Slack were respectively convicted of the manslaughter and murder of Alan Bowles at Norwich Crown Court in August, 2008.

Johnson was jailed for three years and Slack received a life-term for the death of Mr Bowles in Great Yarmouth.

The Appeal Court has ruled that both have "arguable" grounds of appeal.

Denied involvement

The prosecution claimed Mr Bowles was killed when Slack rammed his walking stick down his throat following an argument.

Johnson denied involvement in the attack, but was convicted on the basis the killing of Mr Bowles had been a "joint enterprise".

Lord Justice Rix, who gave both Johnson and Slack permission to appeal their convictions, said it was "common ground" that Slack had "wielded" the walking stick at one point.

But he added that Slack claimed he had only picked up the stick to intimidate Mr Bowles and never attacked him with it.

The judge, sitting at London's Appeal Court with Mr Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Burnett, ruled that both Johnson and Slack have "arguable" grounds of appeal which deserve a full hearing.

Johnson's legal team argue the prosecution case against her was "weak" and that the jury should never have been allowed to hear evidence of her previous convictions.

No date was fixed for the full hearing of the appeals.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific