Thursday, November 15, 2007 

Me and My Man Breasts over the correction of injustice.

The quashing of Barry George's conviction for the murder of Jill Dando will rightly be making headlines tonight and tomorrow, but another Barri also had his conviction for murder thrown out today and a retrial ordered.

Barri White was convicted of murder in 2002 for the death of Rachel Manning and jailed for life. Keith Hyatt was convicted of perverting the course of justice, helping White to transport Manning's body to a golf club where her body was subsequently found, and jailed for 5 years. Like with Barry George, the conviction of White hinged on questionable forensic evidence;
seven particulates found to be a match with that of the seat of Hyatt's van were found on Manning's skirt. The BBC's Rough Justice, which investigated the case, commissioned Dr Peter Bull to re-examine the evidence. He found that not only was there nothing whatsoever to link Hyatt's van to Manning's skirt, but also that the complete absence of mud particles meant there was nothing to link either White or Hyatt to where Manning's body was found. The "expert" who had done the initial examination admitted in the documentary that he had not done the work necessary to reach the conclusions that he did.

The Rough Justice documentary didn't just rely on Bull's testimony; the reporter, Mark Daly, who had previously went undercover in the Greater Manchester police and exposed the racist attitudes of some recruits in the Secret Policeman documentary, initially set out to prove his producer wrong over her belief that White and Hyatt were innocent. Daly attempted to recreate what the prosecution case put that White and Hyatt had done after Manning made her last phone-call to Hyatt's home for White to come and pick her up, a call made at a phone-box on a housing estate near to the club to where White and Manning had separated for the last time. He found that it would have been impossible for the pair to do what the prosecution case stated they had; there simply wasn't enough time. The full Rough Justice documentary can be watched on the website set-up to campaign for the release of White.

Despite Rough Justice's numerous successes in proving the innocence of those convicted in at least 15 different cases,
the BBC has now axed the programme as a direct result of the cuts outlined by the director general, Mark Thompson, affecting the current affairs output. Management points to how Panorama has also investigated miscarriages of justice, including those of Angela and Ian Gay, Angela Cannings and most recently Barry George. All though have involved high profile cases, completely unlike those involving men like Barri White and Keith Hyatt, which made little to no national impact, cases which Rough Justice focused upon. The BBC will however continue the funding of BBC3, costing roughly £92 million a year, which has brought such delights to our screens as Little Britain, Tittybangbang, Little Miss Jocelyn, Fuck Off ... I'm Fat, Me and My Man Breasts, Teens Addicted to Porn and Fat Men Can't Hunt.

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