Story of an innocent convict



Written by
Tim Atkinson♠ Paul Anthony Davis is serving a 35 year sentence for a murder he did not commit. Having served 8 years of the 35 year sentence, fresh evidence has come to light that will prove Mr Davis’ innocence in a court of law. The numerous pieces of evidence were, in most part, hidden from Mr Ddavis under a pile of paperwork belonging to West Yorkshire Police, of which a sharp eyed private investigator unearthed and brought to light.

On August 2007, a gang, armed with a replica pistol broke into the house of Mr Edward (Teddy) Simpson at the address, 310 Sticker Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire. The gang were intent on robbing Mr Simpson of thousands of pounds of drug money. Unfortunately the robbery went terribly wrong when, Mr Simpson was beaten and tortured at his home to try force Mr Simpson into divulging information as to the whereabouts of the hidden money. Mr Simpsons battered and almost lifeless body was then dumped in woodland just a few miles away from his home at 310 Sticker Lane, where he was left to die. The next day, Mr Simpsons dead body was found by a member of the public who was walking in the area.

In the aftermath of this murder, reports were of ‘one of the most notorious and violent murders Bradford has witnessed.’ A gang of eight men were rounded up and arrested within days of this horrific event, of which only one man was convicted of and sentenced to murder even though he was some five miles away from the murder scene. That one man was Anthony Davis.

The fact that Mr Davis was, in fact, five miles away from the scene of the crime and therefore could not have been present at 310 Sticker Lane, the home of Mr Simpson, when the gang entered his home, intent on robbery, was not disputed by either the police nor the courts. And yet a charge of murder was given to Mr Davis.

Under joint enterprise laws, Mr Davis was convicted of the murder of Edward Simpson, the organising of the robbery and the ‘foresight’ that someone would be killed. Alas. The only evidence the courts had on Mr Davis were the utterings of a supergrass named Sonny Stewart who, indeed, was prominently involved in the robbery. The only way for Mr Davis to have his 35 year sentence quashed via an appeal is, to prove that Sonny Stewart lied in court under pressure from the police. Therefore, Sonny Stewart would be rewarded with the lighter sentence of manslaughter, receiving an 8 year term.

Anthony Davis’ case was highlighted in a documentary on BBC’s Panorama when questions were asked of the credibility of a supergrass testimony in a court of law. A top QC Michael Mansfield spoke of supergrasses being ‘inherently dishonest’ in that , whilst knowing having full knowledge of the crime, they will ‘dress it up in a way that they will put people at the scene who were not there.’

At the court hearing, Sonny Stewart said that he was with Anthony Davis on the night of the murder. And yet, Mr Davis was actually five miles away from the murder scene, when, in reality, Sonny Stewart was actually at the scene of the robbery and murder of Mr Simpson. The fresh evidence that was presented to Mr Davis by a private detective, who spotted the ‘before unseen’ evidence that was kept away from the trial is piling up in favour of Mr Davis to gain an appeal and a verdict that makes the case against him ‘unsafe.’ The evidence found by the private detective has been shown to have been ‘ignored’ by the police, ‘hidden’ from Mr Davis and his legal team and therefore was ‘not available’ to the jury who eventually convicted him of the murder he did not and could not have committed. This evidence was also missing from an appeal which was subsequently rejected.

Just a few days after the murder of Mr Simpson, on 3rd August, Anthony Davis was arrested and interviewed by the police in connection with the murder. Sonny Stewart was arrested on the 7th August and interviewed in connection with the murder. Both Sonny Stewart and Anthony Davis were released without charge, along with others of the alleged gang not long after. Mr Davis and Mr Stewart at this point, were being represented by the same company of solicitors. On 13th November, Mr Davis and Mr Stewart, along with others were re-arrested and charged with the murder of Mr Simpson and remanded in custody at HMP Armley and HMP Doncaster. Whilst remanded in custody, the houses of the suspects were searched for any evidence pertaining to the crime scene and murder thereof. Evidence collated, both circumstantial and factual coming from C.C.T.V, Cell Site, D.N.A. and defendants admissions were present against all defendants other than Mr Davis and one other defendant. The crowns case against Mr Davis was, by their own admission, in the main, ‘circumstantial’ other than the evidence that was given by Sonny Stewart.

On attending the hearing at Leeds crown court, when all defendants were present in the holding cells below the court, strangely, Mr Sonny Stewart was removed from the holding cell by West Yorkshire Police and undertook three days of scoping interviews to which ended with Mr Stewart entering in to a S.O.C.P.A. (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act) agreement. In return for a guilty plea to manslaughter being accepted by the prosecution and Mr Stewart giving evidence for the crown at the trial. Mr Stewart then changed his solicitors he shared with Mr Davis and appointed new solicitors.

The fresh evidence available to Mr Davis that will surely warrant an appeal ‘post haste’ are: 1st… The ‘cell site’ analysis shows that Sonny Stewart’s mobile telephone was recorded at the scene of the crime on the night of the murder and at the time the robbery commenced and during. The very same ‘cell site’ analysis shows that Mr Davis’ mobile telephone was some five miles away from the crime scene… It was asserted that, Mr Davis was using Sonny Stewart’s mobile telephone at the time of the robbery. Which is completely absurd…. At the first trial, an expert witness in the field of ‘cell site’ evidence had said in court that ‘he didn’t think they were both together (Davis and Stewart)’. He was subsequently replaced for the second trial, oddly enough.

2nd… A footprint was found in the congealed blood at the crime scene of 310 Sticker Lane. The footprint was a very possible match to a distinctive training shoe called ‘Nike Air Rift’. A pair of the same make of training shoe, ‘Nike Air Rift’ were found in the hallway at the home of Sonny Stewart when the police searched his house. The same PC who photographed the murder scene and the footprint also singled out the Nike Air Trainers at Sonny Stewarts house. The PC collected the shoes and promptly took them to Dudley Hill police station before her superiors had approached or even entered the crime scene or Sonny Stewart’s home to do the main search, as CCTV confirms. The police logs at the station confirm that. The PC took the shoes to the station, where they were logged and put in a store cupboard for over a month whilst other items found at Sonny Stewart’s home by the police conducting the main search, logged the items and sent them to a forensic laboratory. After the time spent in the cupboard, the trainers were packed in to an envelope and sealed, then sent to, not a forensic laboratory but, to the West Yorkshire footwear bureau at Wetherby, where they could not be analysed but, merely, viewed through the small clear window on the sealed envelope. The Nike Air Rift trainers belonging to Sonny Stewart would lay in the envelope for over two months without being tested for any forensic evidence what-so-ever. In the 1st and 2nd trial, these ‘Nike Air Rift’ training shoes that should surely have been an important piece of evidence in this murder case, were never made available to Mr Davis’ QC to put forward to the jury who convicted Mr Davis of a murder he could not have committed. Sonny Stewart received his trainers back at a date before an appeal, therefore, all evidence that may have been integral to an appeal, has been lost, forever…. Evidence acquired for a murder trial should not be handed back until, either the appeal process is completed or the defendant has admitted guilt.

3rd…At the trial. Two black men and one white man were convicted of being at the 310 Sticker Lane crime scene. Although. Witness statements clearly state that there were, in fact, three black men and one white man at the crime scene. Mr Davis alleges that, the third black man was that of Sonny Stewart. This reason is set forward because, a key witness called at Mr Simpsons home of 310 Sticker Lane at the time the robbery was taking place. This man was a friend of Mr Simpsons and had unfortunately happened upon the robbery by sheer misfortune. He was, however. dragged into the house, the replica gun was thrust into his mouth and he was beaten. This key witness said that there were ‘three’ (not two) black men and a white man at the scene. The main mans description was that very similar to Sonny Stewart. The witness describes the main man as 6’4” tall and wearing a camouflage jacket. After searching Sonny Stewart’s home, the police found not one but two camouflage jackets hung up in the hallway. These jackets were removed from Mr Stewart’s home by the police. In a strange twist in this case. The CCRC (Criminal Cases Review Commission) took a review of this case. The CCRC upheld the conviction Mr Davis was given. But, when Mr Davis appealed against the decision the CCRC made, the person in charge of Mr Davis’ files was replaced by a new CCRC person and/or team. The ‘new’ CCRC team visited Mr Davis at Lowdham Grange prison, Nottinghamshire, and spoke with him at length for some hours. Mr Davis is still awaiting any correspondence from them.

4th… The fact that the investigator discovered a plethora of vital evidential and unused material that Mr Davis had never been aware of, or seen, pertaining to the crime scene and the collated evidence taken from the crime scene. The photographic exhibits of a footprint embedded in the blood of Mr Simpson at 310 Sticker Lane. These pieces of evidence have been added to a CD/DVD. There are also photographs of the Nike Air Rift trainers belonging to Sonny Stewart that had been seized from the hallway of his home by the initial PC. The sharp eyed investigator undertook a process of overlaying the footprint embedded in Mr Simpsons blood at the crime scene with the Nike Air Rift trainers from Sonny Stewart’s home which proved to be a clear match in size, make and pattern. When in a meeting with a fellow defendant of Mr Davis, the investigator was informed that, Sonny Stewart was both the organising and controlling member of the robbery team who was present throughout the robbery, assault and removal of the victim, Mr Simpson from 310 Sticker Lane. The evidence in the trial and the fresh evidence can be seen quite easily. This evidence could put Sonny Stewart at the murder scene and fully exonerate Anthony Davis from any criminal act in this case.
As follows :-
Cell site evidence is consistent with Sonny Stewart being at 310 Sticker lane at the relevant times (prosecution expert outlined). The key witness that happened upon the robbery and a friend of Mr Simpson describes one of the attackers as wearing a camouflage jacket. Two camouflage jackets were seized from Sonny Stewart’s home. Cell site evidence is wholly consistent with Anthony Davis not being at 310 sticker Lane at 8pm (the time of the robbery/murder, but Sonny Stewart is.) (crowns cell site expert evidence).

S.O.C.O (scenes of crime officer) photographed and took E.S.L.A lifts of footprints in Mr Simpsons blood at the crime scene that are consistent with those made by Nike Air Rift trainers. Such trainers were seized three days after the murder from the home and address of Sonny Stewart, which had clearly appeared to have been washed.

Sonny Stewart himself, in the scoping interview with the West yorkshire police when the S.O.C.P.A agreement was arranged, outlined his belief that ‘the threat of ”three” black men going in with a replica gun was enough to persuade Mr Simpson. (recorded on CD/DVD). The pre-interview disclosure given to Mr Davis on his arrest was to ask him ‘was he one of the ”three” black men going in to and assaulting/murdering Mr Simpson.

One of the robbers was described by the key witness as having a tattoo on his neck. Sonny Stewart has a tattoo of a spiders webb on his neck.Sonny Stewarts accounts were continually amended during two scoping interviews and described by all counsel and at times even by the police as being contrived.

Sonny Stewart was forced to admit (in court) authorship of a prison letter written to one of his co defendants stating that the events of the night of the murder should be ‘changed to suit his evidence to implicate Mr Davis and distance himself from the crime scene’.At no point in the interviews with Sonny Stewart was he asked if he was one of the attackers. Despite clear and overwhelming evidence.

At no point in the interviews was Sonny Stewart asked what footwear he was wearing on the night of the crime.At no point was sonny Stewart asked if he owned a pair of Nike Air Rift trainers, even though a pair were seized from his home.

At no point was the cell site evidence pointing at him being at 310 Sticker lane put to him. Sonny Stewart is never asked about the camouflage jacket.In ten interview tapes undertaken prior to the guilty plea and scoping interviews and none contain questions put to the defendant, Sonny Stewart regarding the above.

An F.S.S scientist said in court ‘This pattern (sole) is used on Nike shoes’.When Sonny Stewart took the S.O.C.P.A. agreement, the judge said ”You have literally got away with murder”.

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About shanthanubh

A calcutta(India)based Independent newsresearcher and Investigative reporter.He has been working as a journalist for more than 15 years.He had worked as a news researcher for various news based programs in Calcutta.Shanthanu considers Deborah Potter and Theressha Collington Moore as his mentor because in his early days of journalism carrier, he was inspired and motivited by their works and learnt a lot from them about media ethics and news research.Though,a news researcher don't get enough credit for his job,he sticks to it.He believes that as journalists we should follow the jounalism mantra that if your mother says she loves you, check it out.we work as a store clerk.we believe that facts are more important than adjectives.Earlier,he also worked as a private investigator to brush up his skill as an Investigative Reporter.

Posted on June 22, 2015, in Digital News Research and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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