Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No smoke without fire?

The Joanna Yeates, case was all the rage not so long ago as the 25 year old was found murdered and there was a lot of speculation as to who and what. One of the first arrests was of her landlord Christopher Jefferies, though eventually it was her neighbour Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak who was eventually charged with her murder. One of the things I discovered about Jefferies today though is that he was held on bail for 9 weeks and only released from police bail last Friday.

THE landlord of murdered landscape architect Joanna Yeates, 25, has finally been released from his police bail without charge, it emerged yesterday.
Retired public school master Christopher Jefferies, 66, believes police made a “ghastly mistake” in arresting him, say friends.
He has now put his £245,000 Bristol flat up for sale and told friends, who say he has been hounded out of his home, that he wants to “move on”.
Avon police confirmed that Mr Jefferies was released last Friday but declined to reveal why he was held on bail for so long.
So why hold the guy for so long when they had already arrested someone for the crime? There had already been a lot of unfair speculation about Jefferies anyway simply because he looked a bit odd and the fact that he was on bail for so long didn't help. Nor have the police exactly helped the guy by not commenting on why he was on bail so long so you'll still end up with a lot of speculation as to what it is that had them so interested for so long. Could it have been an error? Well yes, but usually the police will admit it and apologise (actually they'll put out a statement absolving them of guilt in a wishy washy manner that might look like an apology, but manifestly isn't) As it is they've left Jefferies in the position of guilt by association and possibly themselves in line for a massive damages claim that will eventually no doubt come out of the taxpayers pocket.
The fact that he was released after 9 weeks without charge stinks to high heaven though, it looks bad on him as people will still presume guilt (they'll have his DNA and a record too) it looks bad on them because after 9 weeks they simply let him go without explanation or apology and it looks like their actions have forced an innocent man into having to sell up and leave.

I await their explanation with interest, but I'm not going to hold my breath against the possibility of actually getting one.

7 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

Anonymous said...

Is this possible? Under English law you cannot be held for 9 weeks without charge!! Habeus Corpus and all that. What the F**k is going on?

Quiet_Man said...

I don't think he was held as such, he was on bail, not remand.

Anonymous said...

This has the abattoir odour of a police 'stitch up' gone wrong. Hell will freeze over before "the police will admit it and apologise".


The Boiling Frog said...

Well said QM, another example unfortunately of a slightly 'weird' chap being presumed guilty because it's convenient.

Sadly so few people realise what happened to Mr Jefferies could happen to any of us.

Swiss Tony said...

You get held on Bail to ensure that if necessary you will attend at a Police Station or Court if summoned.

Bail is usually granted against some form of security or with restrictions.

Perhaps, until the investigation had progressed, he was still a possibility?

Not wishing to defend anyone here, but maybe explain the process.


manfromthefutre said...

whats happening about the other guy? not heard anything more recently.