Squadron leader vows to clear name

A FORMER RAF squadron leader convicted of murdering his wife has been released from prison and has vowed to fight to clear his name.

A FORMER RAF squadron leader convicted of murdering his wife has been released from prison and has vowed to fight to clear his name.

In an exclusive interview, Nicholas Tucker, who has been released on licence after serving 11 years of a life sentence said he hoped to win a fresh appeal against the conviction and rebuild his life.

Tucker has always maintained his innocence of the murder of his 52-year-old wife Carol who died after their car, driven by Tucker, careered into the River Lark in 1995.

He was found guilty of murder in 1997 and lost an appeal against the conviction the following year. His case was also referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which in 2002 said it would not be referring the case to the Court of Appeal.

The 58-year-old was released from prison in December and, now living with his fianc�e in Thetford, he said he would not rest until his name was cleared.

He said he hoped the CCRC would allow him to launch a fresh appeal after reviewing forensic evidence.

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Tucker said: “I have maintained my innocence all the way through. I went to prison for something I did not do - something that did not even happen.

“From a completely objective point of view, I think we have met enough requirements and standards to warrant a fresh appeal.

“There is enough new evidence to throw a completely different light on the case. If I have to, I will continue to fight my name until the day I die.”

Mr Tucker, who now lives with his fianc�e, Jenny Peacock, was sentenced to life imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court in 1997.

His attempts to secure an appeal have been unacceptable but he claims “new” forensic evidence casts doubt on the conviction and that nine pathologists have implied there was no evidence that Carol was murdered.

Tucker said he was regarded as a model prisoner who undertook a host of classes and also acted as a prison listener after receiving specialist training and supervision from the Samaritans.

But he admitted that 11 years in jail had placed a huge strain on his health and that he was now taking medication as he faces up to a lifetime on license for the crime.

He said: “I came out of prison physically and mentally exhausted.

“Fighting to clear my name for 11 years has left me completely and utterly exhausted.”

BACKGROUND

Carol Tucker died in July 1995 when her car, which was being driven by her husband, veered off the A1101 into the River Lark at Lackford, near Bury St Edmunds.

Tucker, who suffered a gash to the head and claimed he was unconscious as a result of the accident, said the vehicle had plunged into the water after he swerved to avoid a deer.

The prosecution at the former RAF Honington officer's trial claimed the accident had been elaborately staged with the father-of-two strangling or drowning his wife.

A short-lived affair with 21-year-old Serbian interpreter Dijana Dodukovic , whom he met while serving in Croatia, was cited as his motive.

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