Murder re-trial set to begin today

A FORMER Big Issue-seller whose murder conviction was thrown out was due to start his retrial today.Paul Dwyer's life sentence for murdering drug-dealer Peter Brown in 2001 was quashed by the Court of Appeal last year.

A FORMER Big Issue-seller whose murder conviction was thrown out was due to start his retrial today.

Paul Dwyer's life sentence for murdering drug-dealer Peter Brown in 2001 was quashed by the Court of Appeal last year.

The verdict, following the stabbing of Mr Brown in a flat in Parkwood, Henley Road, was thrown out after pathologist Dr Michael Heath, who gave key prosecution evidence in Dwyer's 2002 trial, was found to have given flawed evidence in two other murder trials.

Dr Heath has since resigned from the Home Office's register of pathologists after an Advisory Board for Forensic Pathology ruled his conduct brought into question his fitness to practice.

In August 2006 the board found he had bungled post-mortem examinations on two women, leading to their partners being tried for murder.

In both cases it was ruled his performance fell short of the professional standards required.

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Dwyer, who is also known as Alex O'Leary, conducted his appeal under the latter name and had his conviction quashed on November 29 last year.

He said throughout his trial at Norwich Crown Court that he had acted in self-defence and his appeal revolved around this claim.

Now aged 37, Dwyer was originally sentenced to the mandatory life term with a recommendation he serve at least 14 years in jail.

He has always denied murdering 19-year-old Mr Brown, who was from Hackney and the son of a deacon.

Dwyer, of no fixed address, had already appeared at Ipswich Crown Court this year where he pleaded not guilty to murder.

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