Killer fails in bid to challenge DNA
A CONVICTED killer from Swindon has had a major setback in his bid to challenge the DNA evidence which convicted him.
Glyn Razzell had hoped a test case at the Supreme Court would pave the way for him to challenge his life sentence for murdering his wife.
Solicitors acting for another convicted murderer, from Woolpit, Suffolk, had appealed for access to DNA samples in order to carry out testing with methods not available at the time of his trial.
But the court unanimously dismissed the challenge.
In a written judgment, the justices stated that the time limit for disclosing evidence was based on solid principles in law.
They wrote: “There is no basis for finding a temporally limitless duty of disclosure post-conviction identical to that subsisting during trial.”
The judgment also found that ‘safety nets’ already existed for challenging potentially unsafe convictions.
They wrote: “There is an important public interest in exposing any flaw in the conviction, but there is also a powerful public interest in finality of proceedings and in ensuring that the police’s finite resources are applied to current investigations, unless there is a good reason for review.”
The challenge was followed closely by Razzell, who is serving a life sentence for murdering his wife Linda, who vanished in 2002.
Her body has never been found, despite Wiltshire Police carrying out a search of more than 200 sites.
Razzell claims he is innocent and the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy.
He is seeking access to case files which were held by the Forensic Science Service but which have since passed to Wiltshire Police.
The former banker believes the documents may prove he did not murder Linda, who disappeared after setting off for work at Swindon College in 2002.
The test case has implications for Razzell and other convicted criminals across the country.
Kevin Nunn, who is serving a minimum of 22 years for the murder of his former partner, Dawn Walker, had challenged Suffolk Police’s similar refusal to release DNA evidence.
His supporters say technology has advanced since he was sentenced and post-conviction disclosure has overturned miscarriages of justice in several high-profile cases.
But opponents argued a ruling in favour of Nunn would allow convicted criminals to clog up courts with endless appeals and lead to a lack of finality in the justice system.
Razzell, 53, has written to the Adver from prison to protest his innocence.
Among the evidence he wants to re-examine are traces of Linda’s blood found in a friend’s Renault Laguna, which detectives believe was used to move her body.
Razzell, found guilty of his wife’s murder at Bristol Crown Court in November 2003, also protested his innocence last year on a website set up by his supporters.
He wrote: “This year marks the 10th anniversary of my conviction for a murder I did not commit.
“Despite several requests, the police continue to refuse (my legal team) access to the Forensic Science Service documents which might contain the evidence to clear me.
“We await the outcome of a test case in the Supreme Court.”
Police maintain that blood not picked up in several tests on the car – part of Razzell’s conspiracy claim – was eventually found after a chemical called luminol was used to detect it.
They also point out that he has launched two unsuccessful appeals and have appealed to him to reveal the whereabouts of his wife’s body to give closure to their four children.