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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Killer's case goes to appeal
Frontline graphic
Brown's case was featured by Frontline Scotland
A man who has been in jail 25 years for a murder he says he did not commit has had his case referred to the Court of Appeal.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has passed the case of Robert Brown to appeal judges.

Brown, from Drumchapel in Glasgow, was convicted of the murder of Annie Walsh at Manchester Crown Court in October 1977.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Annie Walsh
Annie Walsh: Battered to death

His application for leave to appeal against conviction was refused by the Court of Appeal in 1978.

Brown has always insisted that the police framed him for the death of the 51-year-old Manchester spinster.

However, new evidence has been brought to light which he claims proves his innocence.

BBC Scotland's Frontline programme featured Brown's case in April.

Brown told the programme that corrupt police officers bullied, beat and broke him, and he signed a false confession.

The new evidence being considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission includes scientific evidence linking another man to Miss Walsh's murder and expert analysis of Brown's alleged confession which concludes it was a false statement.

Miscarriages of justice

Paul Hill - one of the Guildford Four, who was falsely convicted of a pub bombing in the 1970s - shared a cell with Brown.

He said: "There is a common thread going through all these miscarriages of justice in the 1970s.

"They were young men and women who were uneducated, who didn't have any experience of the world beyond the environment in which they lived and they were subject to police officers who had 30 or 40 years experience breaking down Britain's hardest criminals.

"It was incredibly easy."

Brown could have been freed on parole 10 years ago if he had admitted the crime.

But he said his need to clear his name is stronger than his desire for freedom.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Alan Mackay reports
"He could have gained parole 10 years ago by admitting the killing."
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