Murder squad cops have agreed to examine evidence provided by an ex-detective who is convinced they locked up the wrong man for a brutal killing.
Market trader Molly Wright, 73, was bludgeoned to death at her home in Redhill Gardens, Castleford, six years ago today. (Sept 27)
Her son-in-law David Hill was jailed for life in 2008.
But Mrs Wright’s family has always believed he was innocent and appointed Andy Brown, a former head of CID for West Yorkshire, to prove it was a miscarriage of justice.
West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team have now said they will look again at a statement given to Mr Brown by a witness who thinks they may have seen the real killer.
Mr Brown said police never pursued the evidence during the original investigation.
He said: “I think they had probably already made up their minds. The family have always felt that – and that David Hill was made the scapegoat.
“Police have a duty under the law to investigate everything, whether it helps the prosecution’s case or not.
“I’m delighted that they are going to look at this again.”
During his trial at Leeds Crown Court, the jury heard Hill, now 52, used a heavy object to hit Mrs Wright over the head.
The court heard he had been hiding debts of £20,000 from Mrs Wright, his business partner at Castleford indoor market. Hill was found guilty and jailed for a minimum term of 14 years. A subsequent appeal was rejected.
Mr Brown was contacted by a woman after he took up the case in May who said she had seen a man acting suspiciously near the scene of the murder at the time of Mrs Wright’s death.
He said it tallied with another witness statement about a suspicious man.
“It has cast a shadow over the original investigation,” Mr Brown added.
A police spokesman said: “We have received some information from Mr Brown which is being looked at, but we would like to remind people this case went to trial at Leeds Crown Court four years ago and resulted in a guilty verdict.
“It has subsequently been through the Court of Appeal and been considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission where the decision was upheld.”