Thursday, 5 December 2013
Off-Topic: Brian Farmer Murder Trial, Day 15
Miss Montgomery continued her closing statement in defence of Lisa Clarke. She called the jury to feel sympathy for a woman trying to do the best she can in her life as an alcoholic.
The prosecution's case that Lisa was the instigator of the assault on Brian rests solely on statements made by the other defendants. Since they are all lying to protect themselves their statements should be dismissed as evidence.
Mr. Lynch's closing speech in defence of Peter Knowles can be summed up in three words: "He wasn't there". There is no CCTV evidence of him visiting Bateman House on any day in May 2012. It would be theoretically possible for him to sneak past the cameras by entering through the car park, but this would mean walking the long way around the Swan Centre, a large diversion from the bus stop. All the other defendants walked in and out of the main entrance, probably not even aware that they were being filmed. Vaughan Davies denies having met Peter Knowles before the trial began. Lisa Clarke never mentioned Peter in her first police statements, and she referred to him for the first time in a statement made in September 2013, 16 months after her arrest, when she knew that he had already been charged. Mr. Lynch considers Lisa to be a manipulative liar who makes up her statements as she goes along, inventing any story she needs to make herself seem innocent.
The whole case against Peter relies on statements that he made to members of staff at Sifa Fireside. He told them that he had been present during the assault on Brian Farmer, but had only hit him twice. Mr. Lynch argued that Peter was referring to an earlier incident, maybe in April 2012, maybe many months earlier. He also made a long description of the mistakes made by Carole Fox, the operations manager of Sifa Fireside. When first informed about the assault on Brian Farmer she failed to fill out an incident report, and when it became clear it was an important matter she tried to cover her errors by adding hand-written notes to the reports of other workers. She claimed that she was adding information from personal conversations with Peter, but she was actually just writing things she had read in newspaper reports. Mr. Lynch called on the jury to ignore all of Mrs. Fox's testimony as the ramblings of an incompetent manager.
Mr, Denellen's began his closing speech by praising Vaughan Davies. If Vaughan had not approached his social worker on May 14th 2012 to tell her about the assault the trial might never have taken place. Lisa Clarke and Jason Andrews might never have been arrested. We have to be thankful for his assistance. On the other hand, this has made him a grass in the eyes of Lisa and Jason, which is why they have said he took part in the attack. In actual fact he did nothing apart from slapping Brian's face twice.
In the speeches by Mr. Evans and Mr. Benson it seemed like every word to come out of Vaughan's mouth was a lie, and his whole testimony should be dismissed. Mr. Denellen tried to put this into context. He went through Vaughan's testimony and showed points that have been proved to be true, such as the date of his arrival in Birmingham and the taxi journey with John Campion and Lisa Clarke. The jury shouldn't reject his complete testimony, they should decide carefully what they consider to be true. Mr. Denellen contradicted the claim made by the prosecution and the three other defence lawyers that the fatal attack took place late on May 5th 2012; he followed Vaughan's account that there were only minor assaults between May 5th and May 7th, and the major assault must have taken place after Vaughan left.