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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 13:40 GMT
Appeal court to hear Hanratty case
A6, Bedfordshire
The victims were shot in a lay-by on the A6
The case of James Hanratty who was hanged 39 years ago for murder, is to be heard by the Court of Appeal on 10 April.

Hanratty was sent to the gallows on 4 April, 1962 and was one of the last people to die before the abolition of capital punishment.

James Hanratty
James Hanratty claimed he was in Rhyl

The 25-year-old was convicted of murdering scientist Michael Gregsten on the A6 in Bedfordshire by shooting him twice in the head.

But Hanratty always claimed he was 250 miles away in Rhyl.

It was alleged that Hanratty came across 36-year-old Mr Gregsten and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Valerie Storie, inside a parked Morris Minor in August 1961.

They were confronted by a man with a gun who ordered them to drive to Deadman's Hill.

With the car parked in a lay-by, Michael Gregsten was shot dead.

North Wales

Valerie Storie was raped, shot five times and left for dead.

She survived but was paralysed from the waist down.

Hanratty was arrested, tried and convicted for murder.

The jury did not believe his story that he was in north Wales at the time of the attack.

Forensic Experts

In 1999, the Criminal Cases Review Commission referred the case to the Court of Appeal and DNA samples were taken from members of Hanratty's family.

They were checked against samples found on Miss Storie's underwear and a handkerchief wrapped around the murder weapon.

The results showed there was a 2.5m to one chance that the samples came from someone other than Hanratty.

In March 2001, DNA sample extracted from Hanratty's exhumed body was matched by forensic experts to two samples from the crime scene.

Hanratty, protested his innocence until his death and his family has been attempting to clear his name ever since.

The hearing is expected to last for 10 days.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

03 Apr 01 | Wales
23 Mar 01 | Wales
23 Mar 01 | UK
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