14 Thursday, March 1st, 2001 MATLOCK MERCURY
News Tel: (01629) 582432 — Fax: (01629) 584270 — E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Misinformation’ leak claim
causes rift between rivals
TWO of the major authorities against his conviction.” that his son was a “very vulnerable youth at
concerned with a potential Downing gained a second bail hearing last the time of his initial detention.”
month and was released pending the appeal It is believed the CCRC also came under
review of Bakewell man Stephen which is hopefully scheduled for mid April. further attack later in the week from gov-
Downing’s murder appeal case His case received worldwide attention fol- ernment sources. And on Tuesday, they
have clashed this week over lowing Mercury editor Don Hale’s six-year issued a further written statement.
claims of a leaked report to a investigation into claims of Downing’s inno- It said: “We will be making it clear to
Sunday newspaper. cence. enquirers that the Commission does NOT
Both Derbyshire Constabulary and the Without actually blaming Derbyshire have the power to order an investigation
Criminal Cases Review Commission have Constabulary for the alleged leak and sug- NOT to be re-opened. That is a matter for
emphatically denied leaking extracts from gesting claims of ‘misinformation,’ the the relevant police force or the Home
an alleged confidential report to the news- CCRC spokesman explained that copies of Secretary.
paper — and even accepted that it could be the statement of reasons had only been sent “I cannot emphasise too strongly that the
considered prejudicial to make any such to Downing’s solicitor, Downing himself — Commission has not provided a copy of the
claims at this rather delicate legal stage. and Derbyshire Police. statement of reasons to any journalist or
The report claimed the Criminal Cases media organisation.”
Where did leak come from? Both Derbyshire Police and the CCRC face
Review Commission (CCRC), had ruled that
Downing’s case will NOT be re-investigated The initial two recipients still have the a potential public inquiry over their han-
following his appeal next month. report under lock and key and the CCRC dling of this lengthy investigation.
The report also suggested that Downing confirmed they had checked and were cer- Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale and
had confessed on other occasions during his tain the leak had NOT come from them. West Derbyshire MP, Patrick McLoughlin,
early detention for the murder of Mrs A Derbyshire Police spokesman also told have called for a full public inquiry once the
Wendy Sewell in September 1973. the Mercury on Wednesday that it had defi- appeal is concluded.
In addition, it was allegedly claimed the nitely not come from them and in their opin- Both parties have been concerned about
CCRC recommendation had been delayed ion was a CCRC leak. other alleged examples of misinformation in
due to the examination of fresh evidence by
Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale.
On Monday, a spokesman for the CCRC
The mystery therefore continues — but
what seemed more worrying for Downing’s
legal team was the implication that his case
the national press over recent weeks and
believe the matter can only be fully resolved
when the due process of law is fully com-
moved swiftly to denounce the Sunday
newspaper claims stating: “We have not
made any such recommendation. It is not
may not be re-opened following an appeal.
They were also adamant that any authori-
ty could not and would not rule out the pos-
Mr Hale says he has only provided what-
ever information the CCRC have requested.
at the Whistle Stop
our role to make any such recommendation sibility of a re-examination of the case until He was however, still concerned at the
and is not part of our remit. after any appeal. alleged delays during their investigations, KIDS enjoyed animal adventures and learned
“It is up to the Home Office and/or And indeed, Derbyshire Police have been and had hoped the decision could have been tracking skills in their half-term holiday, at
Derbyshire Police to determine whether the quoted at length on this subject during made much earlier. Matlock Bath’s Whistle Stop activity centre.
case should be re-opened. recent weeks when Bob Wood, deputy chief He cited certain alleged examples of con- Centre assistant, Carol Hockey said: “We did an
“We are purely concerned over the safety of constable confirmed on February 7, that: cern revealed during his own inquiries but activity on learning about what tracks animals make.
the conviction and were not satisfied the “The chief constable will consider the result felt it was not appropriate to comment fur-
of the appeal before making a decision about ther until the case was determined. “Then after we did a tracking walk where a trail was
conviction was safe and have therefore laid. 38 children came to the activity day last Friday -
referred the case back to the Court of Appeal any further police investigation.” He agreed that a public inquiry was prob-
and granted Downing leave to appeal Stephen Downing’s father Ray described ably the most effective method of dealing it was good fun and they went away feeling they could
the Sunday report as “rubbish,” and said with any such outstanding claims. track anything.”
l ON THE TRAIL: Josie and Chrissy Tideman from
Brassington spending the day at the Whistle Stop
activity centre. SP26411.
MATLOCK nightclub, Club 77, is relaunching its
Friday nights and is offering Mercury readers a great
package worth nearly £100 to kick-off the perfect
One reader and a friend can win an overnight stay, an evening
meal and breakfast at the Olde English Hotel - above the club - on
Friday, March 9.
The winner will also get free entry and drinks in Club 77.
Tomorrow will mark the start of a new Friday night called “Smile”
which will feature guest DJ Gavin James famed for playing Leeds’
Majestyk and Sheffield’s new superclub Kingdom.
Gavin James also compared the “Greece Uncovered” night which
toured British nightclubs and Student Unions.
Smile will feature two DJs and dancers, plus amazing giveaways
including mobile phones, holiday vouchers and designer gear.
Next week on Friday, March 9 in Club 77, on Dale Road, there
will be a Snow Party - where the first drink will be free.
Promoter for Club 77 Richard Stuart said: “It is an exciting new
night - it is what the people of Matlock have been crying out for.
“We intend to bring the best live entertainment to the town.
“I have been to a couple of Snow Parties and they are fantastic
To win the prizes simply answer the following question:
Which city is the Majestyk nightclub in?
l All answers should be marked Nightclub Competition and
sent to the Mercury, at 4 The Firs, Matlock, DE4 3AS.
WELL known local historian, conservationist and
chairman of the Derby Civic Society, Maxwell Craven
spoke to members of the Matlock Luncheon Club
Always a popular and informative speaker, Mr Craven reminded
members that the occasion was the third time in fifteen years he
had spoken at the club.
On this occasion his talk was entitled “Saving Derby”.
He explained that architecturally Derby had been behind the
times, which proved an advantage when other big cities and towns
were building tower blocks, the disadvantages were evident at the
time when Derby had only built one.
Mr Craven spoke of the restoration of the grade two listed railway
cottages and the saving of the Shire Hall built in 1639.
Disillusions concerning conservation and preservation with local
councillors were informative and lively but not always faithful, for
instance the demolishing of the Derby Railway Station built in 1836
which at one time had the largest platform in England.
Although retired from his post in the service, Maxwell Craven is
still active in pursuing his interest in the preservation of historic
Mrs Margaret Fletcher gave the vote of thanks.