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Suffolk New College lecturer to appear on BBC1 Murder, Mystery and My Family about 1900 Great Yarmouth beach murder

PUBLISHED: 14:28 28 February 2018

Suffolk New College lecturer Harry Smy, who is set to appear in BBC series Murder, Mystery and My Family, at work at the college. Picture: JOHN NICE

Suffolk New College lecturer Harry Smy, who is set to appear in BBC series Murder, Mystery and My Family, at work at the college. Picture: JOHN NICE

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A Suffolk college lecturer is set to appear on BBC1 next week, after lending his expertise on a fresh investigation into the death of a woman on Great Yarmouth beach.

The cutting from the Eastern Daily Press of the murder of Mary Jane Bennett.


 Picture: ARCHANT The cutting from the Eastern Daily Press of the murder of Mary Jane Bennett. Picture: ARCHANT

Harry John Smy, a lecturer at Suffolk New College in the health, care, science and sport department, will appear on Monday’s episode of Murder, Mystery and My Family, as part of a panel of experts investigating an old case.

Mr Smy – who has previously worked as a forensic science consultant and lecturer at various universities and colleges – was drafted in for the fresh look into the case of Mary Jane Bennett, who was murdered on the beach in Great Yarmouth in 1900.

Mr Smy said: “I have consulted on cases for publication previously but this was my first time for TV.

“I was given photographs and an actual chain that was worn by the victim before her death. We reviewed the items both in regards to the case at the time and what we would do if the case was happening now.

Mrs Mary Jane Bennett who was murdered on Yarmouth beach. Picture: ARCHANT Mrs Mary Jane Bennett who was murdered on Yarmouth beach. Picture: ARCHANT

“It was an amazing opportunity to offer my opinion and expertise on this case and potentially share this experience with my students in the future.”

Mr Smy was given access to original evidence which allowed him to review the case in a new light, giving a fresh insight into the trial and verdict.

The key items of evidence included a photograph of the victim taken days before her death and a piece of jewellery that was found in the possession of the suspect – her husband– sometime after her death.

The case involved intrigue surrounding mistaken identity, false names and a suspicious journey.

The series gathers experts, barristers and relatives of those involved in historic cases between the late 1800s and 1950, and employs modern forensic techniques to assess whether the right verdicts were made during the original trials.

Suffolk New College marketing manager, Craig Shimmon, added: “It’s great to see our lecturers using their expertise on national television in this way.

“It helps show that our students are being taught by some of the most informed tutors in their field that the UK has to offer.”

The episode will air on Monday on BBC 1 from 9.15-10am.

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