BREAKING NEWS: Lady in the Lake killer’s conviction could be quashed

An eight year probe by 'cold case" investigators could see wife-killer Gordon Park’s conviction quashed after the case is set to be referred to the Court of Appeal.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission said today it has been a complicated case which has take a very long time.
For nearly a decade the independent watchdog has been looking at all the evidence and police files to see if the case should go before the Court of Appeal.
In a statement they said: “We have referred Gordon Park’s murder conviction to the Court of Appeal.

Gordon Park was convicted in January 2005 at Manchester Crown Court for the murder of his wife, Carol Park, 29 years after she went missing in the summer of 1976.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

“Mr Park appealed against his conviction but the appeal was dismissed in November 2008. Little over a year later, on 25 January 2010, he committed suicide in his cell at HMP Garth in Lancashire. In November 2010 members of Mr Park’s family applied on his behalf to the CCRC.

“Following an exhaustive investigation, the CCRC has decided to refer Mr Park’s murder conviction for a fresh hearing at the Court of Appeal.”

“The Commission said it was  referring the case because it considers there is a real possibility that the Court will quash the conviction in light of new evidence. In the Commission’s view that real possibility arises from the cumulative effect of a number of matters including:
  • the non-disclosure of expert opinion undermining the consistent implication by the prosecution that Gordon Park’s climbing axe, Exhibit 1 at trial, could be the murder weapon.
  • the non-disclosure of information undermining the reliability of a prosecution witness who gave evidence of a prison confession.
  • new scientific evidence showing that Gordon Park was not a contributor to DNA preserved within knots of the rope used to bind Carol Park’s body.
  • renewed relevance of expert evidence, presented for the appellant at the first appeal, that a rock found in the lake near Mrs Park’s remains could not specifically be linked to rocks at Bluestones (the Parks’ home).
The Commission spokesman added: “A  painstaking and detailed review has considered numerous issues and lines of enquiry and involved several visits to Cumbria, interviews with multiple witnesses old and new, the use of cutting edge DNA testing and the investigation of multiple potential alternative suspects.

“During the review we have used our section 17 powers dozens of times to obtain material from the Forensic Archive, seven individual police forces, the courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, prison authorities, the Probation Service, and a number of other government agencies and public bodies.”

Mr Park’s family were represented in their application to the CCRC by Mr Maslen Merchant of Hadgkiss, Hughes & Beale Solicitors.
The CCRC  probes miscarriages of justice in the UK but rarely considers cases when the person has died.

Pictured are the lead weights and ropes found with the body of Carol Park in the water.

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