Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Ilford pub murder ‘a possible miscarriage of justice’

Ilford pub murder ‘a possible miscarriage of justice’

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Robert Darby murder reopened

In the summer of 2005, Robert Darby tragically lost his life in a stabbing incident outside a pub in Ilford. Eight years later, Jason Moore, 53, was found guilty of the crime at The Old Bailey, following a positive identification by a witness at an identification parade.

The families of the victim and the man convicted, along with new evidence found in the last 18 years, are calling for the case to be re-examined. Moore has always maintained his innocence in the murder of 44-year-old Darby, and the new evidence may suggest that he is innocent and should be released from prison.

His family and the relatives of the person he is accused of harming have put in a new request to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in an attempt to overturn the conviction. If they are successful, the case will be heard again by judges at the Court of Appeal.

The prosecution’s main witness stunned everyone when he revealed that he was intoxicated when he chanced upon the murder scene, and then identified Moore in an identification line-up eight years later. This unexpected statement was made in a call with a reporter who was inquiring into the allegation that Moore had been wrongfully convicted.

It was revealed that Dr Kenneth Shorrock, the pathologist at the 2013 trial, has since been found to have committed a number of serious misconduct offences in other cases which resulted in people being wrongfully accused of crimes they did not commit. Consequently, he has been removed from his profession.

Although Dr Shorrock was replaced for the trial of Mr Moore, neither the jury nor the defence representatives of the accused were made aware that the pathologist was under investigation. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) opted to bring in another pathologist to present Dr Shorrock’s reports and informed the jury that the original pathologist was absent due to being ‘ill’.

Mr Moore’s family and the family of the deceased Mr Darby are now teaming up to push for the re-examination of the case, in light of the unsuccessful high court appeal in 2017, with the hope of exonerating Mr Moore.

At the end of last month, a group of people held a protest outside the high court displaying banners with the words “Free Jason Moore” and were accompanied by notable figures including Lord Nicholas Monson of Burton and ex-gang leader Bobby Cummines OBE.

Robert Darby ID comparison
Jason Moore ID comparison //OC

Kirstie Moore, the sister of Jason Moore, expressed her opinion that the case against him was an injustice, and revealed that they are planning to lodge an appeal once again. when speaking outside the High Court last month, she stated: “From the very start, this chief prosecution witness’ evidence never added up

“To hear that he was drunk makes a lot of sense. It’s also incredible that the fact he was drunk was withheld from us.”

Two former metropolitan police officers who are certain of Mr Moore’s innocence have joined forces to prove his innocence, asserting that the evidence does not support the allegations. Robert Darby, from the Isle of Dogs, was mortally wounded when a knife was thrust into his heart near noon on August 24, 2005, outside the Valentine pub in Ilford, east London.

Despite the lack of any forensic evidence connecting Mr Moore to the crime, he was still put on trial for murder in 2013. It was suggested that the motive for the crime was Mr Darby’s mistaken belief that Mr Moore, who resided in Canary Wharf, was romantically involved with his former girlfriend.

At the trial, it was revealed that the two individuals had only had a few encounters before, and had not seen each other for months prior to the murder. An alleged witness to the incident, a Somali man called Abdul Ahmed, who had been wandering around when he noticed three people arguing outside of the Valentine pub, was questioned by the police.

Mr Ahmed asserted that he saw a second knife being held by the taller man, who was 6ft 4ins tall, which suggested that Mr Moore was the perpetrator. Additionally, Mr Ahmed was presented with an identification parade with the other witness in the case and he chose a person from the line-up.

But the man he chose – who looked nothing like Mr Moore – was an innocent volunteer in the parade. However, when he was called in front of another ID parade in 2012 – seven years after the murder – Mr Ahmed identified Mr Moore as the murderer.

Mr Ahmed conceded that he had been intoxicated on the morning of the homicide when he was located by Newsquest’s Investigations Unit earlier this year.

When quizzed on the discrepancies in the case, Mr Ahmed exclaimed: “It was the blink of the eye – I was passing by… How could you remember things like that? And I was drunk!”.

He also stated to the police that he was under the influence of alcohol; however, this was not brought up in court nor was any proof of this provided to Mr Moore’s legal representatives.

Mr Moore’s sister, Kirsty, says it’s ‘outrageous’ this wasn’t disclosed. She said: “I think it has to be one of the biggest miscarriages of justice. It’s just crazy. To put [Mr Ahmed] back on an ID parade eight years after is absolutely outrageous.”

At Mr Moore’s trial, another pathologist merely read out the evidence provided by Dr Shorrock, who was said to be ‘ill’. It was not divulged to the jury that an investigation into Dr Shorrock’s wrongdoings had taken place, leading experts to suggest that the court had been deceived.

She added: “There have been cases where convictions have been quashed by the Court of Appeal. We don’t actually know what might happen if the case goes through the Court of Appeal and is successful, but we just want to get there.

“In 2017, the Court of Appeal said the conviction was safe because of the witness account of Mr Ahmed. His evidence is so inconsistent it didn’t make any sense to us or the police.

“The court held the conviction on the fact that Mr Ahmed saw the stabbing, who is now saying he’s drunk and saw everything in the blink of an eye, so they should speak to him again. It’s really frustrating.”

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