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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Police to re-examine 1989 murder
Julie Hogg
Julie Hogg's body was hidden behind a bath panel.
Police are to re-examine the case of a 22-year-old Teesside woman who was murdered in 1989 in the light of new laws which come into effect on Monday.

Under measures in the Criminal Justice Act, the double jeopardy law will be amended so suspects who were acquitted at trial can be brought to court again.

The body of Julie Hogg from Billingham, was found hidden behind her bath by her mother Ann Ming in 1989.

Boyfriend Billy Dunlop was acquitted of murder but later admitted the crime.

Mrs Ming has long campaigned for a change in the law to allow those acquitted to be brought back to trial if there is sufficient fresh evidence.

Dunlop made his confession to a prison officer while serving a seven-year sentence for assaulting a former girlfriend and her lover.

He could not be tried again for the murder because of the double jeopardy rule, which dates back to the middle ages.

This could mean justice for victims, many of whom will tell you that they, not the perpetrators, do the life sentences in this country
Julie Hogg's mother Ann Ming

Instead he was sentenced to six years for perjury.

On Friday, Cleveland Police said in a statement that they will be "re-examining the case in line with the new legislation".

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service added: "The Law will change from 4 April to allow, in special circumstances, the retrial of defendants who have previously been acquitted of an offence after trial.

"Any case which fits within those circumstances, requires the consent of the chief crown prosecutor, the director of public prosecutions and the Court of Appeal before any retrial can take place.

Jeopardising confidence

"Any such cases will be reviewed extremely carefully so that a proper decision can be made as to whether the new law applies to that case.

"It is too early at this stage to comment on any individual case".

Mrs Ming said: "The new act states that if there is compelling evidence which wasn't available at the first trial then it can be looked at by the department of public prosecutions, and if that evidence exists that person can be re-tried.

"This could mean justice for victims, many of whom will tell you that they, not the perpetrators, do the life sentences in this country."

Earlier this week Cleveland's chief prosecutor, Martin Goldman, said there was a danger of the new law jeopardising confidence in the justice system.

He said: "I don't envisage a lot of retrials. It's very rare that we would do that because we want the certainty that when someone is tried for a criminal offence and found not guilty then that is the finality of it.

"Otherwise we never know where we are, and the public can never know if someone is guilty or not. Also, the defendants themselves can't get on with their lives."

Fears over justice reforms
21 Jun 01 |  UK News
End to 'double jeopardy' planned
20 Jun 01 |  Politics

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