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Blog entry 25th May 2012

For the past six months my legal team, Rajan Mawji and Riffat Hussain at Harrison Bundey Solicitors in Leeds, have been pursuing Kent Police for permission to access the key forensic samples for new DNA testing. To date Kent Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been evasive to say the least. Riffat hasn't even been able to get an assurance that the original samples have been retained, let alone be told that we can access them for physical retesting. This is worrying considering the disbandment of the Forensic Science Service recently, resulting in stored samples and testing processes being out-sourced to private companies. Riffat was due a response by April 25th 2012, but I have not been told whether Kent Police have done so.

Rajan and Riffat have agreed that physical re-testing is vital due to information that has been discovered in forensic documentation that wasn't handed over by Kent Police and the CPS until two years after my trial and wrongful conviction. Handwritten notes made by the prosecutions forensic technician clearly indicate that LCN DNA testing was first performed on the key samples first; to 'grow' them enough to enable SGM+ testing to be performed. Even then, not one sample produced a full profile despite the prosecution indicating such at court by claiming a 1 in a billion match.

I have also asked Riffat and Rajan to pursue disclosure of withheld evidence relating to a footprint. Whilst held for questioning the police took copies of my bare footprint to test against a sample at the crime scene. The police custody log completed at the time of my questioning clearly states that this footprint would either 'prove or disprove' my involvement in the murder. No such evidence was offered at trial and despite repeated requests to Kent Police and the CPS they have declined to disclose any evidence relating to the unidentified footprint.

Meanwhile, prison life continues as normal. I spend as much time as possible in the gym. When I'm there I'm not in 'prison'. It's only there that I can truly shut this nightmare out for a brief period of respite. My partner Carol is still being refused clearance to visit me. This is something that we are both struggling to cope with and find very difficult. As of the 1st June I should have a new distraction. After winning a judicial review against HMP Wakefield last September the prison has finally facilitated my desired distance learning Open University degree course. Else wise, aside from my job as a wing cleaner my time is spent up to my eyeballs in paperwork to challenge my conviction or the abuses of basic rights and failures rife within the prison's regime and system.

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