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Tags Grace Millane , murder cases , New Zealand cases

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Old 24th November 2019, 10:07 AM   #321
Fixit
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Indeed.

And of course in a case such as this there can never be empirical "right" or "wrong" - given that this man confessed to nothing and there's no other direct* evidence of any kind. All that is ever possible is an objective, rational, intelligent analysis of the available evidence, leading to a set of inferences and ultimately to a deduction about either what must have happened, what might have happened, or what definitely could not have happened.

And in this case, I strongly submit that such an exercise leads to only one unequivocal deduction: that a) this man must have had the intent to at least seriously injure Millane on account of the very long period he must have continued choking her after she fell unconscious, b) this man caused the death of Millane from choking her, and c) this man's actions immediately after Millane's death and in the ensuing 36 hours are only compatible with guilt. And this combined deduction can only lead to a finding of murder.


* ETA: I'm making an assumption that people reading this post know what is meant by "direct evidence" in the context of a criminal trial.
"All that is ever possible is an objective, rational, intelligent analysis of the available evidence, leading to a set of inferences and ultimately to a deduction about either what must have happened, what might have happened, or what definitely could not have happened."

No use writing this stuff and so pretending that is what you've done when you haven't. We've now got 'instantly', a matter of 'seconds' and up to '90' seconds. 'Instantly' (as in a common source of death) comes from a world leading authority. Immediate unconsciousness was dealt with at trial - but there is no record of 'instant' death being raised, recovery from shallow breathing when pressure is again applied - or an explanation as to bruising on only 1 side. Nothing to do with photos or what he 'must have thought,' sorry.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:07 AM   #322
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Would carotid sinus pressure produce a different cause of death to strangulation that would be picked up in a post mortem?
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:08 AM   #323
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That's the first time I think the carotid sinus effect has been mentioned in this thread I think. It's something I looked into in relation to the Suzanne Pilley murder and I found a reference saying its existence is disputed and it's a very rare occurrence. I questioned that because I've seen it happen (indeed I caused it) twice. Once in a horse and once in a pony, both times when I was taking a blood sample from the jugular vein and must have set something off. This was in the context of having taken an enormous number of blood samples during my PhD work, but still, twice? (The animals staggered and might have fallen if they hadn't been standing in stocks at the time which supported them. The effect was short-lived and they recovered their balance and composure, because I had only been working on one side of the neck and only one carotid had spasmed. I can only imagine what would happen if both carotids spasmed simultaneously.)

Fixit's reference certainly contradicts the wiki page I looked at, saying that it's common, and apparently not disputed at all. I certainly confirm that it's instantaneous - I just put the needle in the animal's neck, as I had done many times before, and got a real fright when I had an apparently fainting equine on my hands.

In the context of the Pilley murder this is very useful information, in the light of the very limited timeframe in which the murder must have occurred. And since it was a straightforward violent attack it doesn't change the culpability in the slightest.

Does the possibility of a carotid sinus event leading to instant cerebral hypoxia, unconsciousness and fairly rapid death during sex play impact at all on the question of culpability though? If the man didn't know that could happen? I ask merely from academic interest. I'm still in the "string-him-up-and-throw-away-the-key" camp.

ETA:

Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Would carotid sinus pressure produce a different cause of death to strangulation that would be picked up in a post mortem?

I'm not certain but I don't think so, not specifically. I suspect you'd see a surprising absence of the extent of bruising that might otherwise have been expected.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:10 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The first example at first sight, seems to have little to do with Game Theory, which presumes more than one 'player'. The preconditions are that you each have to make a decision but you do not know what the other/s will decide and can only guess at. So, the theory goes, each 'player' as it were makes a decision that is optimal for himself.

So say, you have someone looking for BDSM thrills. Say, this is a woman, as they will be most vulnerable by having sex with a stranger (or could easily be male, if a gay relationship is sought after). She will be optimising her thrills by putting herself in great danger by ultimately (a) putting her trust in a complete stranger, (b) going to his room in a seedy hotel on the first date, (c) allow him to get her blind drunk and (d) allowing him to squeeze her neck to the point of unconsciousness, having drunkenly chatted together about her previous experiences and desires.

For the other player, in this case, the man, here he has hit lucky: he has found a woman who has put her complete trust in him, even to the extent she leaves her handbag behind when she goes to the loo for him to rummage through.

Her optimal outcome in going through with her decision that fatal night is experiencing the most intense sex (although how alcohol helps this, don't ask) and coming out alive at the end of it, and possibly in a continuing relationship with 'an oil company manager' [sic], and young and good-looking with it.

For him, his optimal outcome is that he has successfully fooled someone into believing him and trusting him! (Note: his second date that day gave him the bum's rush and said she never wanted to see him again, having seen right through him, as did his previous roommates who made him leave.) He gets her drunk, gets her into his room. The ultimate price for believing and trusting a con man? Well, he is not going to take his hands away from her throat - the sucker! - and if he can get away with murder then he is the ultimate con-merchant.

The other case is just simply a woman whose optimal outcome (strategy) was to get the **** away from this creep. His was to stop her. That he did but they both lost, as she didn't foresee he would force his way into her home nor that by stabbing her to death he had lost her anyway, not to mention his freedom. Had she known what his strategy was going to be she would have made herself safe by confiding her fears of his violence to her mother.
Do you have a cite for this? I'm not challenging you, I'm simply curious to read anything that second girl has said on the matter. How she must be feeling has crossed my mind a lot.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:17 AM   #325
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No-verdict-of-guilty-is-ever-correct crowd, I'm really starting to wonder about some of you guys. Do you ever pull back and look at what it is you're trying to defend? This isn't a "he was framed" case. He ******* killed this woman, boner ruling the day, by his own account. He took pictures of her body. He went on another date while still in possession of her body. What are you thinking?

Last edited by Butter!; 24th November 2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:25 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
No-verdict-of-guilty-is-ever-correct crowd, I'm really starting to wonder about some of you guys. Do you ever pull back and look at what it is you're trying to defend? This isn't a "he was framed" case. He ******* killed this woman, boner ruling the day, by his own account. He took pictures of her body. He went on another date while still in possession of her body. What are you thinking?
Who are the "No-verdict-of-guilty-is-ever-correct" crowd?

Or is it something you just made up?
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:33 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Who are the "No-verdict-of-guilty-is-ever-correct" crowd?

Or is it something you just made up?
It's something I made up, obviously, to express an opinion I hold?

I think there are a couple posters on this forum who frequently defend obviously-guilty people past a point that I'd consider reasonable. When a case hits me hard on a personal level, as this one has done, that tendency annoys me much more than times when i just see it as an interesting devil's advocate. So I lashed out.

If you haven't noticed that tendency on here sometimes, then I don't know what to tell you. Everything is subjective.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:39 AM   #328
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Yes, but who are they?
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:43 AM   #329
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It's probably against the MA to name names but I know who she's talking about.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:45 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Yes, but who are they?
Well, in this particular thread, I feel that Samson and Fixit are being unnecessarily skeptical of the verdict, and it's kind of blowing my mind (due to the details of the case itself). Sorry, guys. I'm not trying to call you out, but it is definitely how I feel.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:46 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's probably against the MA to name names but I know who she's talking about.
I'm really not trying to break the MA and I hope I didn't. I'm just trying to be transparent and stand behind my remark to a degree when asked. I admit it was made emotionally, but I should still be honest about it.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:52 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Yes, but who are they?
I named a couple earlier.

ETA the two mentioned by isissxn
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:24 AM   #333
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And then there are the people who can never actually contemplate the possibility that a court verdict might actually be a miscarriage of justice. Just saying. It cuts both ways.
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:30 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And then there are the people who can never actually contemplate the possibility that a court verdict might actually be a miscarriage of justice. Just saying. It cuts both ways.
Oh, absolutely.

I often (usually?) find myself on the fence with controversial court cases. That's why I usually just read. But this case - it looked pretty bad out of the gate, and then the more information that's come out, it just seems like it should be enough to satisfy anyone (from my perspective). Though I did admit that the case made me emotional, and that can certainly cloud judgment to a degree, but in this case, I think I have at least a decent basis for feeling the way I do.
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:40 AM   #335
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I'm absolutely with you on that one.
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Old 24th November 2019, 12:12 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
No-verdict-of-guilty-is-ever-correct crowd, I'm really starting to wonder about some of you guys. Do you ever pull back and look at what it is you're trying to defend? This isn't a "he was framed" case. He ******* killed this woman, boner ruling the day, by his own account. He took pictures of her body. He went on another date while still in possession of her body. What are you thinking?
I suggest manslaughter is a safe verdict here, and a sentence reflecting the lying to upgrade his attractiveness and his actions after can lead to a very long sentence. The cases in the UK similar did not lead to murder convictions, eg

LAURA HUTESON, 21
2018, Hull

Laura is killed by a man she'd just met that day. Jason Gaskell, 24, was charged with murder but admitted manslaughter. He had strangled a woman 11 days before he killed Laura, and was later given a 16 week sentence for that earlier attack. Gaskell held a knife to Laura's neck while having sex - he claimed with her consent - and used mild to moderate force to cut through her carotid artery. The court accepted that Gaskell, the only surviving witness, had not intended to use the knife to kill Laura and was engaged in what the judge called “bizarre and violent sadomasochistic sexual activity”

Manslaughter, 6 years


As far as no guilty verdict is ever correct, I hardly ever discuss those that are clear cut, but on this forum

West Memphis 3
Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery
David Tamihere
Mark Lundy
Oscar Pistorius
Luke Mitchell
Amanda Knox, Rafaele Sollecito
Jeremy Bamber
Anjelika Graswald
Darlie Routier
Gable Tostee
Lindy Chamberlain
Cardinal Pell
Ewan MacDonald

and so on with many others. Which of the above do you consider safe convictions? Many have been exonerated during discussion on this forum.
Further, I see there is no way for the accused in Grace Millane to prove he did not apply pressure until he believed she was dead, so this case becomes more about the safety of a murder conviction, and thus differs from most other cases.
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Old 24th November 2019, 12:25 PM   #337
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Given that frequent reasons for discussing a case here are that it has been raised as a potential miscarriage of justice (not just within this forum) for specific reasons and/or that there are unusual characteristics, the probability that a case involves a miscarriage of justice is likely to be much higher than the baseline rate of wrongful convictions.

Even if the rate of wrongful convictions is low (e.g. 3-5% is often estimated), given the number of cases going before courts, the absolute number of wrongful convictions is likely to far exceed the number ever receiving serious attention as potential miscarriages. It’s also reasonable to assume that apparent weaknesses in the evidence increase the chance of the case receiving such attention. I mention that because I’ve seen people make statements to the effect that we can dismiss concerns about a wrongful conviction on the grounds that the courts hardly ever get it wrong. Using baseline rates of wrongful convictions - even as a prior probability before looking at the claims - would only make sense if the case was selected for discussion at random.

This particular case wasn’t raised as a potential wrongful conviction in the first place but does have some unusual features (and apparently the first of its kind in NZ?). I don’t have any problems with the verdict, but can see why people might consider some issues require further discussion.

Last edited by Elaedith; 24th November 2019 at 12:30 PM. Reason: missing word
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Old 24th November 2019, 12:40 PM   #338
Samson
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Here is some analysis on RNZ

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/progr...-andrew-little

There is a further interview with some lawyers not yet up, I will post that link.

ETA here it is

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/progr...-through-court

Last edited by Samson; 24th November 2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:02 PM   #339
Matthew Best
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I suggest manslaughter is a safe verdict here, and a sentence reflecting the lying to upgrade his attractiveness and his actions after can lead to a very long sentence. The cases in the UK similar did not lead to murder convictions, eg

[i]LAURA HUTESON, 21
2018, Hull
That's one case - what about all the ones I listed after you said that the first time?
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:18 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I suggest manslaughter is a safe verdict here, and a sentence reflecting the lying to upgrade his attractiveness and his actions after can lead to a very long sentence. The cases in the UK similar did not lead to murder convictions
I'm just going to point out that we aren't in the UK, so what happens there is pretty much irrelevant.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:24 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I'm just going to point out that we aren't in the UK, so what happens there is pretty much irrelevant.
To which I would point out that the UK has dragged back from oblivion Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy.
I would also point out that our chief justice signed off on a litany of factual errors in the Lundy case, and ask you why, when I sat through that appeal and was convinced that she understood Mark Lundy was stone cold innocent. The reasons I see send cold shivers down my spine.
Are you saying nothing to see here, New Zealand is a valiant independent nation worthy of deep respect for the safety of its convictions?

Last edited by Samson; 24th November 2019 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:35 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
To which I would point out that the UK has dragged back from oblivion Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy.
I would also point out that our chief justice signed off on a litany of factual errors in the Lundy case, and ask you why, when I sat through that appeal and was convinced that she understood Mark Lundy was stone cold innocent. The reasons I see send cold shivers down my spine.
Are you saying nothing to see here, New Zealand is a valiant independent nation worthy of deep respect for the safety of its convictions?
And I'll point out that in the Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy cases, it wasn't the "UK" it was the Privy Council which oversaw the cases based on NZ Law.

Which was my actual point, which you managed to miss by a mile, we're not the UK, we have our own Justice system, laws, and interpretations of those laws. What the UK legal system does is irrelevant to us here.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:40 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Do you have a cite for this? I'm not challenging you, I'm simply curious to read anything that second girl has said on the matter. How she must be feeling has crossed my mind a lot.



The second Tinder date after Grace lay dead:

Quote:
The court heard that the accused’s date on Sunday felt he was “intense” and made her uncomfortable – so much so she lied about where she had parked her car, because she did not want to see him again.

The accused told her his only friends in Auckland were police officers, and that they had told him they were struggling because so many bodies were missing in the Waitakere Ranges, and police dogs were unable to sniff out bodies buried more than 4ft (1.2 metres) deep.

“He seemed quite concerned and self-assured about it ... I personally thought it was an unusual thing to say on a date,” the woman said.
Understatement of the year?


The roommate:

Quote:
Kempson's former flatmate, who now lives in the UK, added the women were so uncomfortable with his behaviour that one of the roommates once slept with a knife in her bed.

'My flatmate messaged me when she heard me arrive home and asked me to come into her room. I went in and saw her and she had a knife in her bed', she said.

'I asked what had happened. She told me that [the man] had been drinking and that she felt uncomfortable around him.'
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:41 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I suggest manslaughter is a safe verdict here, and a sentence reflecting the lying to upgrade his attractiveness and his actions after can lead to a very long sentence. The cases in the UK similar did not lead to murder convictions, eg

LAURA HUTESON, 21
2018, Hull

Laura is killed by a man she'd just met that day. Jason Gaskell, 24, was charged with murder but admitted manslaughter. He had strangled a woman 11 days before he killed Laura, and was later given a 16 week sentence for that earlier attack. Gaskell held a knife to Laura's neck while having sex - he claimed with her consent - and used mild to moderate force to cut through her carotid artery. The court accepted that Gaskell, the only surviving witness, had not intended to use the knife to kill Laura and was engaged in what the judge called “bizarre and violent sadomasochistic sexual activity”

Manslaughter, 6 years


As far as no guilty verdict is ever correct, I hardly ever discuss those that are clear cut, but on this forum

West Memphis 3
Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery
David Tamihere
Mark Lundy
Oscar Pistorius
Luke Mitchell
Amanda Knox, Rafaele Sollecito
Jeremy Bamber
Anjelika Graswald
Darlie Routier
Gable Tostee
Lindy Chamberlain
Cardinal Pell
Ewan MacDonald

and so on with many others. Which of the above do you consider safe convictions? Many have been exonerated during discussion on this forum.
Further, I see there is no way for the accused in Grace Millane to prove he did not apply pressure until he believed she was dead, so this case becomes more about the safety of a murder conviction, and thus differs from most other cases.
What is your point? What does that have to do with this case? That's my point.

Defending the guy in this case is practically impossible from my perspective. I can see no reason to do it other than a reflexive response to defend damn near anybody.

I refuse to participate in a derail by talking about other cases in this thread, but there is at least one on your list that I was thinking of specifically when i made my initial post (and it wasn't Knox, so put away your pitchforks, everyone). I haven't read every post you've ever made, nor most of them. But I've never personally seen you think anyone was guilty. Maybe you just don't talk about those cases, or maybe I miss them.


ETA - And yeah, I know you're saying he should go down for manslaughter, not that he's innocent. I still think that's a mind-boggling position at this juncture.

Last edited by Butter!; 24th November 2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:48 PM   #345
Samson
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
And I'll point out that in the Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy cases, it wasn't the "UK" it was the Privy Council which oversaw the cases based on NZ Law.

Which was my actual point, which you managed to miss by a mile, we're not the UK, we have our own Justice system, laws, and interpretations of those laws. What the UK legal system does is irrelevant to us here.
No, my point , and I was not looking for any acrimony here, is that New Zealand has demonstrated on multiple occasions an inability to administer justice without outside assistance. This is now a disaster for Mark Lundy among others. Calling the UK irrelevant unfortunately illustrates my point, and the dire consequences in a deeply inbred system.
Public opinion is so fierce in this current case that he will inevitably fail in appeal to reduce the conviction, I can see that, it is feeling like villagers with pitchforks to me, but since the international observers on this thread are happy with the murder verdict I do acknowledge I may have it wrong.
Strangely, I trust this forum far more than our motley crew of amateurs.

Last edited by Samson; 24th November 2019 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:49 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Given that frequent reasons for discussing a case here are that it has been raised as a potential miscarriage of justice (not just within this forum) for specific reasons and/or that there are unusual characteristics, the probability that a case involves a miscarriage of justice is likely to be much higher than the baseline rate of wrongful convictions.

Even if the rate of wrongful convictions is low (e.g. 3-5% is often estimated), given the number of cases going before courts, the absolute number of wrongful convictions is likely to far exceed the number ever receiving serious attention as potential miscarriages. It’s also reasonable to assume that apparent weaknesses in the evidence increase the chance of the case receiving such attention. I mention that because I’ve seen people make statements to the effect that we can dismiss concerns about a wrongful conviction on the grounds that the courts hardly ever get it wrong. Using baseline rates of wrongful convictions - even as a prior probability before looking at the claims - would only make sense if the case was selected for discussion at random.

This particular case wasn’t raised as a potential wrongful conviction in the first place but does have some unusual features (and apparently the first of its kind in NZ?). I don’t have any problems with the verdict, but can see why people might consider some issues require further discussion.
Yes, I think the first of it's kind in NZ. A problem in itself and how does the Court or Lawyers prepare. I hadn't heard of 'breath play' until after the verdict.
My interest was only passing because of the circumstances following the death. I got interested in a report that at autopsy damage was only found on 1 side of the neck. Later I would hear about the resumption of breathing being shallow after recovery from unconsciousness. I recalled a hold to the throat which could render a person unconscious immediately. Then because there was a fix on the time that pressure needed to be applied for death to follow, I thought that needed to be checked out.
I wrote last night that a forearm pressed over the neck may result in internal bruising but not to one side, although on further consideration that perhaps could happen if the person's head was to one side.
Another possibility mentioned to me is that the recipient of the pressure turns their head and asks for pressure on only one side from which speculatively, unconsciousness leading to instant death results, or death because recovery from shallow breathing isn't completed before pressure is applied.
That's a long way from 5 minutes or more strangling the Jury got to hear as far as can be followed from the news.
I'm not sure if Knight is still alive but I know Baden from America is - it may be that someone of their experience could review the pathology report and view any photos. Rolfe has seen animals almost drop from potential carotid sinus imbalance (or spasm?), I've seen it happen with humans.
This is at the middle of the case. I don't know if it was put to the Jury properly.
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Old 24th November 2019, 02:41 PM   #347
LondonJohn
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post


Yes.

And again, I'd note that a verdict has to be evaluated on the totality of the available evidence.

The evidence around this man's actions both a) immediately (or very closely) after Millane's death*, b) in the 24-36 hours or so after her death**, and c) when he was questioned by police in connection with Millane's disappearance***.... are, IMO, entirely incompatible with his (at least thrice-changed, when forced to do so by actual evidence) claims to have panicked and been worried that he'd be wrongly blamed for her death.

Furthermore (and again as I've written before), the part of his claimed narrative in which he says he "happened across" her dead body only long after she died.... simply doesn't ring true at all: by definition Millane was dead at the point when he finally removed his hand(s) from her neck; so we're supposed to believe (per his version) that he exhibited absolutely zero concern for a woman with whom he'd engaged in consensual erotic-asphyxiation sex, but who clearly must have been totally limp, unresponsive, lifeless, uncommunicative, and for that matter not breathing (because.... she was dead) at the point when this alleged sex game finished - and only became shocked and panicky when he came back to her body some time later. As they say in certain US states: "That duck don't hunt".


So one has to assess this case in the context of the entirety of the evidence. And while I absolutely stand by my opinion that the evidence in respect of her mechanism of death is only compatible with intent on his part to seriously injure or kill (on account of the fact that he must have been continuing to apply his choke hold for a considerable time period after she fell unconscious and limp etc)..... I consider it utterly inescapable that when one adds in his proven actions and behaviour in the minutes, hours and days after her death, there simply cannot be any other rational conclusion than that he murdered Millane.



* Very high probability that he researched the area where he planned to bury and dump her body, and after that took some photos of her dead body

** Methodically planned, in the cold light of day (literally), to go out and buy a suitcase within which to conceal and transport Millane's body; hired a car; went on another Tinder date the very next evening, while Millane's dead body was lying in his hotel room (my deliberate emphasis, on account of this being so very shocking and damning); crammed Millane's dead body into the suitcase; wheeled that suitcase containing her dead body through the hotel lobby and to his hire car; drove out to the area outside Auckland that he'd searched for info about online the previous night; picked up a shovel on the way; dug a hole and buried Millane's body within the suitcase in the hole; cleaned the hire car on his way back into Auckland and returned it; went out and bought another suitcase in a clear attempt to provide a deceptive alibi; then acted as though absolutely nothing untoward had happened

*** Initially claimed to police that Millane and he parted after dinner (i.e. that she never even went to his hotel room); then changed that story to them having sex in his room and then she left of her own accord (a forced change, after being shown CCTV footage of the two of them going up to his room together); then changed that story again to "she died accidentally during an extreme sex game and then I panicked" version (another forced change, after being shown that CCTV footage proved that she definitely did not leave the hotel of her own accord at any point).
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Old 24th November 2019, 02:51 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
And I'll point out that in the Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy cases, it wasn't the "UK" it was the Privy Council which oversaw the cases based on NZ Law.

Which was my actual point, which you managed to miss by a mile, we're not the UK, we have our own Justice system, laws, and interpretations of those laws. What the UK legal system does is irrelevant to us here.


But not only that: unless Samson (or anyone else) is claiming that there's a serious, systemic and institutionalised problem with the NZ criminal justice system (as there is, for example, in Italy.......), then judgements and appeal outcomes in respect of other NZ criminal cases is only of very minor relevance to the case that we're discussing in this thread.

As you say, any possible reviews, appeals and adjustments to this Millane case will be entirely within the remit of the NZ criminal justice system. And - it bears repeating once again - each case has to be assessed entirely on its own merit. There may or may not be have been a miscarriage of justice in other high-profile NZ cases. But that should mean little or nothing when assessing whether there may or may not have been a miscarriage of justice in this Millane case.

And personally (as readers of this thread might expect), I consider this conviction to be totally safe. I believe that the totality of the evidence shows beyond all reasonable doubt that this man caused Millane's death with the intent to seriously injure or kill her (the test for murder). I therefore would be exceptionally surprised - to say the very least - if this man were even granted leave to appeal in this case. And I'd be many miles beyond surprised if he were ever to succeed at any level in an appeal.
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Old 24th November 2019, 03:00 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
But not only that: unless Samson (or anyone else) is claiming that there's a serious, systemic and institutionalised problem with the NZ criminal justice system (as there is, for example, in Italy.......), then judgements and appeal outcomes in respect of other NZ criminal cases is only of very minor relevance to the case that we're discussing in this thread.

As you say, any possible reviews, appeals and adjustments to this Millane case will be entirely within the remit of the NZ criminal justice system. And - it bears repeating once again - each case has to be assessed entirely on its own merit. There may or may not be have been a miscarriage of justice in other high-profile NZ cases. But that should mean little or nothing when assessing whether there may or may not have been a miscarriage of justice in this Millane case.

And personally (as readers of this thread might expect), I consider this conviction to be totally safe. I believe that the totality of the evidence shows beyond all reasonable doubt that this man caused Millane's death with the intent to seriously injure or kill her (the test for murder). I therefore would be exceptionally surprised - to say the very least - if this man were even granted leave to appeal in this case. And I'd be many miles beyond surprised if he were ever to succeed at any level in an appeal.
The answer is clear, there is a systemic problem in New Zealand. I cited 3 cases where recourse to an outside agency, the privy council, was the sine qua non for these victims of MOJ. Phantom Wolf's suggestion that the cases were effectively held using New Zealand law in a "virtual" setting is missing the point by a mile, that these Law Lords had no allegiance to an inbred system. I see the New Zealand judiciary as similar to the Italian, indeed less able to repair a broken verdict.
I see no prospect for the accused here to mount an appeal successfully because of this village like setting. 5 million people are not capable, they have proved many times over.

All murder convicts have an automatic right to a hearing in the New Zealand criminal appeal courts, and you can bet this will happen. He has nothing to lose except the occasional lengthening of a sentence, as happened to Mark Lundy in 2002.
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Old 24th November 2019, 03:08 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Oh, absolutely.

I often (usually?) find myself on the fence with controversial court cases. That's why I usually just read. But this case - it looked pretty bad out of the gate, and then the more information that's come out, it just seems like it should be enough to satisfy anyone (from my perspective). Though I did admit that the case made me emotional, and that can certainly cloud judgment to a degree, but in this case, I think I have at least a decent basis for feeling the way I do.


Yes. I'd say that I had no problem stripping out any personal emotional reactions in this case, and I also had no problem evaluating this case without any preconceptions in respect of violence of men against women*. And, like you, I find that the totality of evidence against this man is ONLY compatible with a guilty verdict.

I would however add that this whole area of consensual risk-fraught sexual activity does need to be properly understood and taken into consideration by criminal justice systems. It may even require special legislation. And while this area is far from new, it's fair to say that most jurisdictions will not have developed a great deal of case law and precedent in respect of it.

But at the end of the day, this simply isn't a situation where there's an as-yet-unresolved grey area in respect of things like instructions to juries and evaluation of evidence etc. In cases such as this Millane case, a jury still has to decide - based on all the available evidence - whether this was either a) accidental death during the commission of a consensual sex game; b) manslaughter on the grounds of proven negligence; or c) murder on the grounds of proven intent to kill or seriously injure.

And given those options, a jury only has to decide which of those three tests is passed by a proper assessment of the totality of evidence. If the evidence indicates intent to kill or seriously injure BARD, then it passes the murder test. If the evidence doesn't pass that test, but instead passes the test for negligence BARD (but not intent to kill or seriously injure), then it passes the manslaughter test. And if it passes neither of those two tests, then the jury must acquit the accused of any crime in this area.


* Which, don't get me wrong, is a serious and insidious problem which courts are all too often either unable or unwilling to consider appropriately; but each case must be evaluated entirely on its own merits and its own evidence, regardless of this prevailing issue.
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Old 24th November 2019, 03:20 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
The answer is clear, there is a systemic problem in New Zealand. I cited 3 cases where recourse to an outside agency, the privy council, was the sine qua non for these victims of MOJ. Phantom Wolf's suggestion that the cases were effectively held using New Zealand law in a "virtual" setting is missing the point by a mile, that these Law Lords had no allegiance to an inbred system. I see the New Zealand judiciary as similar to the Italian, indeed less able to repair a broken verdict.
I see no prospect for the accused here to mount an appeal successfully because of this village like setting. 5 million people are not capable, they have proved many times over.

All murder convicts have an automatic right to a hearing in the New Zealand criminal appeal courts, and you can bet this will happen. He has nothing to lose except the occasional lengthening of a sentence, as happened to Mark Lundy in 2002.


Well, I think there's a level of this sort of systemic institutionalised problem in more-or-less every jurisdiction when it comes to appeals. And the reason is that appeal courts are disinclined to amend or anull lower-court guilty verdicts/sentences because it tends to diminish public (and executive/legislature) faith in the reliability, consistency and certainty of the criminal justice system.

So in order for a convicted person to succeed in an appeal in most jurisdictions, that person must (unfortunately) be able to offer such a compelling case to the appeal court that there's effectively no way in which the appeal court could deny the appeal. This means in practice that a convicted person is automatically at something of a disavdvantage when it comes to appeals.

And on top of that, most jurisdictions will almost inevitably get a handful of cases wrong per decade or so throughout the whole trial and appeals system. Criminal justice systems can never be perfect, but in most instances (provided that there's a well-functioning adversarial system in which the accused receives competent defence counsel) it's the "least bad" system there can be. That's cold comfort, of course, to those few individuals against whom a genuine miscarriage of justice does take place. But it doesn't necessarily mean that there's a systemic and institutionalised problem to the extent that any genuine miscarriage of justice has little or no chance of being corrected.
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Old 24th November 2019, 04:07 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
What the UK legal system does is irrelevant to us here.

"The UK" doesn't even have a legal system.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:14 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Fixit View Post
Yes, I think the first of it's kind in NZ. A problem in itself and how does the Court or Lawyers prepare. I hadn't heard of 'breath play' until after the verdict.
My interest was only passing because of the circumstances following the death. I got interested in a report that at autopsy damage was only found on 1 side of the neck. Later I would hear about the resumption of breathing being shallow after recovery from unconsciousness. I recalled a hold to the throat which could render a person unconscious immediately. Then because there was a fix on the time that pressure needed to be applied for death to follow, I thought that needed to be checked out.
I wrote last night that a forearm pressed over the neck may result in internal bruising but not to one side, although on further consideration that perhaps could happen if the person's head was to one side.
Another possibility mentioned to me is that the recipient of the pressure turns their head and asks for pressure on only one side from which speculatively, unconsciousness leading to instant death results, or death because recovery from shallow breathing isn't completed before pressure is applied.
That's a long way from 5 minutes or more strangling the Jury got to hear as far as can be followed from the news.
I'm not sure if Knight is still alive but I know Baden from America is - it may be that someone of their experience could review the pathology report and view any photos. Rolfe has seen animals almost drop from potential carotid sinus imbalance (or spasm?), I've seen it happen with humans.
This is at the middle of the case. I don't know if it was put to the Jury properly.

They were talking about a similar case this morning on the radio, but it was years ago (Before I was old enough to care about the news), and can't remember the names they said.

Will have a google and see if I can find it.
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Old 24th November 2019, 10:43 PM   #354
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No good sorry.

I kind of consider myself pretty awesome to the point of a super power googling (If I do modestly say myself ), but no luck.

Apparently it was in the 80s and involved some kinky sex thing.

They said it wasn't the same, but is a similar thing. And thing they said the person got off.
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:09 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
No good sorry.

I kind of consider myself pretty awesome to the point of a super power googling (If I do modestly say myself ), but no luck.

Apparently it was in the 80s and involved some kinky sex thing.

They said it wasn't the same, but is a similar thing. And thing they said the person got off.
Almost surely Peter Plumley Walker.
It was obviously an accidental asphyxiation, but Moore assiduously prosecuted for years as a young partner at Meredith Connell.
Let us hope he has studied some science since his Tom Foolery in that case.
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:32 PM   #356
cullennz
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Almost surely Peter Plumley Walker.
It was obviously an accidental asphyxiation, but Moore assiduously prosecuted for years as a young partner at Meredith Connell.
Let us hope he has studied some science since his Tom Foolery in that case.
Think that was the one actually.

The name was double dutch.

No wiki article, but found this

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12087599
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Old 25th November 2019, 04:31 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I suggest manslaughter is a safe verdict here, and a sentence reflecting the lying to upgrade his attractiveness and his actions after can lead to a very long sentence. The cases in the UK similar did not lead to murder convictions, eg

LAURA HUTESON, 21
2018, Hull

Laura is killed by a man she'd just met that day. Jason Gaskell, 24, was charged with murder but admitted manslaughter. He had strangled a woman 11 days before he killed Laura, and was later given a 16 week sentence for that earlier attack. Gaskell held a knife to Laura's neck while having sex - he claimed with her consent - and used mild to moderate force to cut through her carotid artery. The court accepted that Gaskell, the only surviving witness, had not intended to use the knife to kill Laura and was engaged in what the judge called “bizarre and violent sadomasochistic sexual activity”

Manslaughter, 6 years
MEGAN BILLS, 17
2017, Dudley

Megan Bills was 17 and met Ashley Foster, 24, hours before he killed her. After killing her, he hid her body in a cupboard and searched online for ‘snuff films’ and violent pornography. He claimed in court that she asked him to strangle her and that she died accidentally in a sex game gone wrong.

Murder, life, min term 26 years

HANNAH DORANS, 21
2017, Edinburgh

Hannah Dorans is strangled by her ex-boyfriend Frazer Neil (25) - with his defence being "Fifty Shades of Grey sex game wrong". The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Hannah had finished the four-year relationship just two weeks before but Neil could not accept she had another partner. He lured her to the flat in February 2017 and sexually assaulted her before strangling her with a cord.

Murder, life, min term 19 years

INDIA CHIPCHASE, 20
2016, Northampton

India, 20, wanted to be a paramedic. She had been drinking with friends and had become separated from them outside a nightclub. She was approached by Edward Tenniswood, 52, who she had not previously met, and who led her back to his home and killed her. In his trial for her rape and murder, he claimed she had died accidentally in 'his overeagnerness to please her'. Like most of the other women on this page, India's killer's story that she had died during a consensual kinky sex session were widely and robotically repeated in news reports. Her killer was convicted of both rape and murder of India, and sentenced to 12 years concurrently for her rape. Tenniswood had been arrested for another rape 11 days before killing India, but had no previous convictions.

Murder, life, 30 years

KATIE LOCKE, 23
2015, Herts

Katie Locke, 23, was a history teacher, from Essex. Katie was strangled on her first date with Carl Langdell, after meeting him on dating site Plenty of Fish. Carl Langdell sexually assaulted her dead body before dumping her in a bush, in the early hours of Christmas Eve. He had admitted the murder to his mother, saying he had strangled Katie in a sex game which went wrong.

Murder, life, min term 26 years

MICHELLE STONALL, 34
2011, Birmingham

Michelle was strangled with a dog lead and found in Sheldon country park. She was killed by a man she had been a six week relationship with, who claimed that she had asked him to strangle her with the dog lead in the woods and that her death had been an accident in a “sex game gone wrong”. David Connors, 38, changed his story multiple times.

Murder, life, min term 22 years

VICKY WYNNE-JONES, 25
2010, Liverpool

Vicky's husband of 6 months, Michael Roberts, insisted he accidentally killed Vicky during a kinky sex game gone wrong, when he applied too much pressure to her neck with a dressing gown cord. Roberts, then 27, had hidden her body after killing her, and the court heard he had had numerous affairs. Vicky had found out that he’d been cheating on her, and had given him a deadline which fell on the weekend he killed her.

Murder, life, min term 17 years

LISA RUTH CONSTERDINE, 48
2010, Oxfordshire

Lisa is killed by her partner. Sean Freaney, 51, first claimed that he'd strangled her when sleepwalking, then changed his story to a "sex game gone wrong" - he claimed in court that their sex life had been “very very rough”.

Murder, life, min term 14 years

CAROL JARVIS, 47
2009, West Lothian

Carol is killed by her husband Harry Jarvis, by "means unknown" . He is reported to have told police that she died in a "sex game gone wrong", and claimed in court that Carol had died after she had asked him to strangle her. He and Ruth Hester, with whom he was having a relationship, were charged with murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. Ruth was found guilty only of defeating the ends of justice.

Murder, life, min term 15 years

NICOLA WEST, 34
2007, Ipswich

Nicola was a distribution manager for a hospice. Two men claim Nicola had asked to be strangled to heighten her pleasure and that she died, in a car, in a sex game gone wrong. Nicola had just met John McCarry, 37, in a pub.

Murder, life for both

JIN HYO JUNG, 21
2001, London

Hyo Jung was from South Korea and was studying French language in Lyon, and whilst visiting London was killed by Kim Kyu Soo, 31, who ran a guesthouse.

Her body was found in a suitcase near York and she had been bound with tape.

Kim was convicted of her murder and the murder of Song In Hea. Kim was reported to have used the defence "that the women died after a bondage sex game went terribly wrong"

Murder, life sentence for each murder

You were saying?

These are all taken from the link you provided in support of your claim that similar cases in the UK did NOT result in murder convictions.
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Old 25th November 2019, 04:54 AM   #358
LondonJohn
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QED, Matthew. QED

As I said before, these sorts of cases and defences - while obviously not exactly commonplace - are by no means new either. And the law and judicial instructions as they stand are usually more than adequate for adjudicating these sorts of cases.

There's a very significant evidential difference between

a) Person A choking Person B in order to constrict blood supply to their brain, in order to achieve heightened sexual arousal in Person B, in a sex game to which Person B has consented

and

b) Person A choking Person B for long enough to constrict the supply of oxygenated blood to Person B's brain for a sufficient time period for Person B to die.



* in the course of which, Person A may inadvertently cause Person B to fall unconscious (at which point Person A would naturally relax or release his/her choke hold on Person B to enable Person B to regain consciousness)
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Old 25th November 2019, 04:56 AM   #359
LondonJohn
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Almost surely Peter Plumley Walker.
It was obviously an accidental asphyxiation, but Moore assiduously prosecuted for years as a young partner at Meredith Connell.
Let us hope he has studied some science since his Tom Foolery in that case.


What was this man's actual cause of death? I don't think I saw it in that news report.
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Old 25th November 2019, 12:10 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
MEGAN BILLS, 17
2017, Dudley

Megan Bills was 17 and met Ashley Foster, 24, hours before he killed her. After killing her, he hid her body in a cupboard and searched online for ‘snuff films’ and violent pornography. He claimed in court that she asked him to strangle her and that she died accidentally in a sex game gone wrong.

Murder, life, min term 26 years

HANNAH DORANS, 21
2017, Edinburgh

Hannah Dorans is strangled by her ex-boyfriend Frazer Neil (25) - with his defence being "Fifty Shades of Grey sex game wrong". The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Hannah had finished the four-year relationship just two weeks before but Neil could not accept she had another partner. He lured her to the flat in February 2017 and sexually assaulted her before strangling her with a cord.

Murder, life, min term 19 years

INDIA CHIPCHASE, 20
2016, Northampton

India, 20, wanted to be a paramedic. She had been drinking with friends and had become separated from them outside a nightclub. She was approached by Edward Tenniswood, 52, who she had not previously met, and who led her back to his home and killed her. In his trial for her rape and murder, he claimed she had died accidentally in 'his overeagnerness to please her'. Like most of the other women on this page, India's killer's story that she had died during a consensual kinky sex session were widely and robotically repeated in news reports. Her killer was convicted of both rape and murder of India, and sentenced to 12 years concurrently for her rape. Tenniswood had been arrested for another rape 11 days before killing India, but had no previous convictions.

Murder, life, 30 years

KATIE LOCKE, 23
2015, Herts

Katie Locke, 23, was a history teacher, from Essex. Katie was strangled on her first date with Carl Langdell, after meeting him on dating site Plenty of Fish. Carl Langdell sexually assaulted her dead body before dumping her in a bush, in the early hours of Christmas Eve. He had admitted the murder to his mother, saying he had strangled Katie in a sex game which went wrong.

Murder, life, min term 26 years

MICHELLE STONALL, 34
2011, Birmingham

Michelle was strangled with a dog lead and found in Sheldon country park. She was killed by a man she had been a six week relationship with, who claimed that she had asked him to strangle her with the dog lead in the woods and that her death had been an accident in a “sex game gone wrong”. David Connors, 38, changed his story multiple times.

Murder, life, min term 22 years

VICKY WYNNE-JONES, 25
2010, Liverpool

Vicky's husband of 6 months, Michael Roberts, insisted he accidentally killed Vicky during a kinky sex game gone wrong, when he applied too much pressure to her neck with a dressing gown cord. Roberts, then 27, had hidden her body after killing her, and the court heard he had had numerous affairs. Vicky had found out that he’d been cheating on her, and had given him a deadline which fell on the weekend he killed her.

Murder, life, min term 17 years

LISA RUTH CONSTERDINE, 48
2010, Oxfordshire

Lisa is killed by her partner. Sean Freaney, 51, first claimed that he'd strangled her when sleepwalking, then changed his story to a "sex game gone wrong" - he claimed in court that their sex life had been “very very rough”.

Murder, life, min term 14 years

CAROL JARVIS, 47
2009, West Lothian

Carol is killed by her husband Harry Jarvis, by "means unknown" . He is reported to have told police that she died in a "sex game gone wrong", and claimed in court that Carol had died after she had asked him to strangle her. He and Ruth Hester, with whom he was having a relationship, were charged with murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. Ruth was found guilty only of defeating the ends of justice.

Murder, life, min term 15 years

NICOLA WEST, 34
2007, Ipswich

Nicola was a distribution manager for a hospice. Two men claim Nicola had asked to be strangled to heighten her pleasure and that she died, in a car, in a sex game gone wrong. Nicola had just met John McCarry, 37, in a pub.

Murder, life for both

JIN HYO JUNG, 21
2001, London

Hyo Jung was from South Korea and was studying French language in Lyon, and whilst visiting London was killed by Kim Kyu Soo, 31, who ran a guesthouse.

Her body was found in a suitcase near York and she had been bound with tape.

Kim was convicted of her murder and the murder of Song In Hea. Kim was reported to have used the defence "that the women died after a bondage sex game went terribly wrong"

Murder, life sentence for each murder

You were saying?

These are all taken from the link you provided in support of your claim that similar cases in the UK did NOT result in murder convictions.
The list is hopeless if looking to compare to the present case. No ligature for one thing, no indication that the deceased were into 'breath games.' No establishment as to internal neck injuries, many arising from broken personal relationships. For the purpose of the present case no discussion about 'shallow breathing', no explanation as for bruising to be on only 1 side of the neck, no discussion of carotid sinus pressure causing instant death.

These are the problems of boards like this where evidence is chosen for example of a maximum strangulation time and repeated ad nauseum as though nobody understands it toward a conclusion that skips over other evidence that is not clear. A famous lifer in NZ would say that it was like 'trying to herd cats.'

I hope our Courts don't go down the same tracks but they may well. This is an easy case to push aside despite the continuity of the evidence not being clear. Of course the police were not to know (because they probably have no understand of the issues) but when the suspect as he then was, gave his story - they could have asked in detail about the pressure however by then they were primed only to accuse him of murder. They could have also asked about where the hands were applied because the suspect was 'coming clean.'

In the absence of that there are gaps. A link follows as to why choker holds were removed from police procedures - accidental death. I said at the time of conviction it was guess work and so it remains with a voice repeating over and over the maximum time of pressure - more guesswork taking in the unexplained circumstances.

He looks guilty and probably may be guilty, but why the gaps in the prosecution? Nothing about the bruising on only 1 side, nothing about carotid sinus pressure causing instant death, nothing about minimum times fortunately not everyone swallows the evidence that suits them and ignores that which does not.

I've searched for instances of fingernail DNA in strangulation victims and the literature is sparse despite the regular number of deaths in Britain. The paper below is from the 30s I think but does point out that choke holds were dropped by police because of the incidence of accidental deaths which followed.There is a surprising lack of fingernail data available from victims nails in strangulation being identified as to any DNA found. DNA is sometimes on the victim's neck from the perp, often there are hairs in the hands belonging to the victim.

The link below I think is from the 30s speaks of instant death from carotid sinus pressure to the point choker holds were banned from being used by enforcement agencies. Of course that data is later touched upon by Knight in his book but otherwise appears abandoned. Might write to the UKFSA for data but anyway have enough to send to counsel to point out that one possible defence was not raised.

http://www.markwynn.com/wp-content/u...angulation.pdf
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