The police van swung into the yard behind the Court of Justice. James Purefoy sat in the back of the van handcuffed to a prison warder. He had just been transported from the Wormwood Scrubs prison where he was serving 15 years for murder.
James had always said he was nowhere near the Greyhound Public House where the murder had taken place in the pubs car park. He said he had been at his girlfriend Corinne’s house on the night of the murder. At the time the evidence was clear cut, that he had been the murderer as a broken pint beer glass found next to the victim had his finger prints on it together with the victim’s blood. It was strange though that the glass was not from the Public house. He had pleaded that he had been set up by someone unknown and that he was definitely not involved.
James’s lawyer had believed him and employed a private investigator to look further into the case. What the investigator found out surprised even him. James visit to the court today was to present the new evidence.
The warder led James into a waiting room and while he was being taken through he saw his girlfriend Corinne through a window which looked out onto a corridor. She was with another man who he didn’t recognise. After a short wait James was led into the courtroom. The judge addressed James’s lawyer and asked for the new evidence to be presented to the court. The court usher called for Corinne to be brought to the witness box. James lawyer asked her;
‘On the night of 15th November 2012 was James Purefoy with you at you house at 10:00 in the evening.’
Corinne hesitated before she answered. ‘No, I was with Phil Leonard, a friend of mine and James.’
James looked shocked and went red in the face. He became emotional and shouted out;
‘That’s a lie. I was with you up until 11:30 that night.’
‘Order in court.’ Said the Judge, ‘if you have any more outbursts like that you will be removed from the courtroom,’
James Lawyer then said to Corrine;
‘In your evidence at the previous court appearance you stated, under oath, that James Purefoy was with you that night. Have you now changed your evidence then?’
‘I didn’t say that. I said that I was with James’s friend Phil. You must have heard wrong.’
James Lawyer looked down at his notes and over at the private investigator who had gathered the new evidence, and said to Corinne;
‘You realise it is a serious matter to give false evidence, don’t you?
Corinne stayed silent. The Judge said;
‘Please answer the question.’
‘Yes.’ said Corinne
James started to twist his hands together, his emotions taking over. Why was Corinne telling lies about him not being at her house that night.
James Lawyer looked directly at Corinne for several seconds before he said;
‘We know that James Purefoy was at your house that night at 10:00 in the evening. He was seen walking down your street at 11:30pm away from your house.
‘That’s not possible.’ said Corrine.
The Lawyer looked down at his notes again and said;
‘A family in a house on the opposite side of the road had a video camera set up in their front window. They had been having problems with a gang of youths damaging their car and property and were gathering evidence for the police. The camera picked up James as he walked past. So tell us why did you lie about Phillip Leonard being at your house, who incidentally was seen that night getting on a bus close to the Greyhound Public House?’
James started shaking, his emotions overwhelming him. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Why hadn’t all this come out in his first trial, why had Corrine said he was at her house then, and now it was his friend Phillip Leonard? So many questions, so many answers needed.
The Judge said; ‘Case dismissed. Release James Purefoy and arrest Miss Corinne Fraser and Mr Phillip Leonard.’
Corinne Fraser was forced by Phillip Leonard to tell lies. He had threatened her that he would harm her 6 years old daughter and her if she didn’t say he was with her that night. Knowing his temper and mad ways she had changed her original evidence. Phillip Leonard had used a beer glass to do the murder with that was one that James had drunk out of at Phillip Leonard house on a previous occasion. This was confirmed when the police discovered another three glasses like this at Phillip’s house.
The new evidence was discovered by the private investigator and used to convict Phillip Leonard of the murder. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 25 years.
Corinne was convicted of fabricating false evidence such that an innocent person was convicted of a serious crime. She was given two years imprisonment but suspended on proviso that she kept within the bounds of good behavior. She had to report to the police every week.
The police were reprimanded for not investigating the original case in a just manner. The demotion of the detective inspector responsible was demoted.
James and Corinne got back together again and eventually married. Corinne’s 6 year old daughter was a bridesmaid and his Lawyer and private detective were invited to the wedding.
They all agreed that it had been the most emotional time imaginable.