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Blog entry 13th January 2013

The festive season at Wakefield was almost non-existent. Even the 'Christmas dinner' was significantly reduced. However, I had two highlights.

Most importantly my partner Carol was finally cleared to visit me. We had our first full visit on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. It was the best Christmas present that I could have had. An hour and twenty minutes goes far too quickly though! Fortunately I have around a 10 year back-log of visiting orders so Carol can come as often as she wishes. Being able to receive regular visits from her will improve my life and state of mind considerably.

Secondly, on New Years day I won the prison's 'Ultra-Fit' Challenge, setting a time almost 1½ minutes faster than my closest rival for the nine combined disciplines. However, it has reminded me of just how much I miss my competitive sport-life that I had before prison.

Still no news on the appeal legal front. I am still waiting for the Johnson Partnership Solicitors to visit me to discuss my case further. Meanwhile I have also written to Ian McDonald QC, of Garden Court North Chambers on the recommendation of my appeal campaign manager Steve and Bob Woffinden. I just hope that whoever does take my case on does the job properly this time. The police have admitted that the DNA samples were destroyed by the testing procedure in 1999. This can only mean that the highly fallible LCN DNA testing procedure was used and not SGM+ testing as was falsely claimed by the prosecution in court. Subsequently, the forensic evidence claimed in court by the prosecution has no value or evidential foundation. Further to this, we have hand written notes of Chapman (the prosecutions forensic 'expert') stating that LCN testing was to be used. These incidentally were withheld by the prosecution until after my trial. With this kind of evidence I fail to understand why law firms aren't falling over each other to present my appeal.

As a final note, I am heartened at the news that Omar Benguit's appeal has been forwarded by the CCRC to the Court of Appeal. I have known Omar for about eight years now and have always been convinced of his innocence. His is another case where a lazy and inept police force wanted a conviction at any costs to clear their books and save face.

Hopefully I will have better legal news in time for my next blog.

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