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					14               Thursday, March 1st, 2001               MATLOCK MERCURY
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  ‘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-
                                                                                                                                                      Animal adventures
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.

                                                                                                                                                   Nightclub giveaway
                                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                                   Matlock Luncheon
                                                                                                                                                     Club meeting
                                                                                                                                                   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.

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