Knight In Shining Armour?
by Elizabeth Menon

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FITTED IN: The Cardiff 3 and Lynette white Inquiry
By Satish Sekar

The Fitted in project 10.99
A Review by Dr Elizabeth Menon

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Satish Sekar and his first book 'Fitted in', an in depth study of the British Judicial system, showing the world how evidence can be misused at trials resulting in miscarriage of justice. Satish, a free lance journalist specialising in legal issues, is a malayalee who lives in London.

This book deals with the longest murder trial in British history and the injustice surrounding our legal system. Lynette White was brutally murdered on Valentine's day in 1988 in the Butetown district of Cardiff. Five black men were arrested and three were convicted after a long trial in 1990. The author, Satish Sekar explains how the evidences were misused at the trial resulting in the conviction of three innocent men. He insists that this should have never happened; the many contradictions in the evidence were enough for the police to have come to this conclusion.

It was Satish who campaigned for their release in 1992. It was his dedication and meticulous research into minute details of the case that made the South Wales Police re-open the case in 1995. He argues that the conviction of the 'Cardiff Three' amounts to miscarriage of justice and he explains how these three men were denied of the DNA technique that could have eliminated them from the inquiry. His in depth research into the extremely complicated DNA tracing methods is highly commendable.

Satish brings it to the attention of the public and police that the inquiry that followed the murder has resulted in an easily preventable travesty of justice. The bullying tactics leading to oppression that result in a confession far from the truth, is explained remarkably well by the author. The interviewer's perception, "this presumption of guilt means that a denial of guilt is taken as proof of guilt and an admission of guilt is taken at face value. That makes it inevitable that the guilty who protest their innocence and the truly innocent who deny and protest become indistinguishable in the eyes of the police", could not have been expressed any better!

This book shows the injustice surrounding our legal system; it is not a witch - hunt but an attempt to learn from the mistakes and prevent such occurrences in future. He concludes with the recommendation that The Lynette White case be reopened by an independent public inquiry to look into what went wrong in the original inquiry. I feel that this book must be read by anyone who is interested in the criminal justice system or even perhaps used as a reference book by students of law.

© E Menon

 

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