MP backs convicted killer's appeal bid

A SUFFOLK MP is backing the family of a convicted murderer's bid to clear his name, claiming there is enough “doubt” surrounding the case for an appeal.

Russell Claydon

A SUFFOLK MP is backing the family of a convicted murderer's bid to clear his name, claiming there is enough “doubt” surrounding the case for an appeal.

Kevin Nunn is currently serving a 22 year jail sentence for the murder of Dawn Walker, whose semi-naked body was found burned beside the River Lark, near Bury St Edmunds, in 2005.

Since that time, Nunn's family has sought to clear his name. Late last year, Nunn's sister Brigitte Butcher asked Suffolk police for material relating to the conviction which was not shown to the court during his trial in 2006.

Almost a year later, the force is yet to comply with her request - despite being instructed to do so by the Information Commissioner's Office.

Speaking to the EADT, the Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley said he was keen to help the family get the documents they needed because he felt there were “unanswered questions” surrounding the case.

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But Dawn Walker's family hit back saying they are “disgusted” at the MP's backing for the appeal.

Mr Ruffley, a lawyer by training, said: “I am doing what I can to get the disclosures to help the family's lawyers.

“There are enough tricky legal issues with the evidence that it gives me reason to think the family are right to continue with their claim of a miscarriage of justice.

“I think there is enough doubt there that the Nunn family has a very good case for getting these questions aired.”

He said one example was a piece of DNA evidence which was found next to Miss Walker when her body was found. He said the authorities had refused to release it for testing because it was so tiny testing would destroy it.

But, he said, if the DNA was tested and turned out not to belong to Nunn, that would raise serious doubts about his conviction.

“There are questions that need answering,” Mr Ruffley said. “I will be looking at this again later this month.”

Nunn's sister Brigitte Butcher said: “If Suffolk police are happy with my brother's conviction, what have they got to hide and why won't they comply with not only the ICO but input and questions asked persistently by Kevin's Member of Parliament, David Ruffley - all of which have been ignored by Suffolk Police?

“Like everything else, we wait to see how it all transpires. But one thing is certain and that is we will get to the truth and will prove my brother's innocence.

“I just cannot understand how Suffolk police do not have to comply with laid down guidelines and time limits. We as Jo Public would now be in front of a court of law and either fined or imprisoned for non-compliance.”

A police spokesman said: “We acknowledge that this request has taken longer than the statutory period and this is due to the nature and complexity of the requested information.

“We are continuing to work on this request as a priority and we are liaising with the Information Commissioner's Office with a view to resolving this issue as soon as possible.”

Sheena van Oevelen, Dawn Walker's sister, said: “As a family we are disgusted that an MP who is supposed to believe in our justice system could defend this monster.

“To turn to favour a criminal makes Mr Ruffley laughable, in my view.''

“This appeal has been put forward before and denied. This was the action made by various other judges.

“Is Mr Ruffley questioning their ability or the ability of more than one judge? Or is this just another waste of taxpayers' money in the favour of vicious, mindless killers?

“These killers not only take the lives of their victims but that of all the families concerned.

“Justice Cox, in her closing statement, said that she truly believed that the decision made by the jury was the correct one and as a family myself, my mother and Kirsty, stand by this.”

She said on the evidence she heard at the original trial, which included an eye witness claiming to have seen Nunn at Miss Walker's carrying what appeared to be a carpet, she was convinced of his guilt.