timberland chukka boots for men Bitts Park murderer
A former bartender serving a life sentence for murder has spoken publicly for the first time since he was jailed, saying: “I’ll never admit to a crime that I didn’t do.”
It is now 13 years since a Carlisle Crown Court jury convicted Tommy Grecian of murdering homeless Jimmy Atkinson.
Earlier, the jury heard that he had confessed to another man in the city’s John Street Hostel for homeless men that it was him who stabbed Mr Atkinson in the neck and chest.
Grecian maintained his not guilty plea, but after hearing the rest of the evidence the jury returned a guilty verdict.
With support from law academics involved in the Cardiff Law School Innocence Project, Grecian argues that his trial should have been restarted following Hanlon’s guilty plea.
He fears he was deemed guilty by association with his co defendant.
Indeed, Grecian believes that it is Hanlon more than anybody who holds the key to proving his innocence but the younger man has never spoken publicly about what happened on the day he killed Mr Atkinson.
Nor crucially has Hanlon’s account and his version of who may or may not have been involved in the killing ever been tested in a court because he never gave evidence during his and Grecian’s trial.
“I know where I was, and I know where I wasn’t on the day when Jimmy Atkinson was killed,” said Grecian. “And I wasn’t in Bitts Park and I didn’t play any part in that murder.
“From 4pm, until 8.30pm, I was in the St Nicholas Arms pub in Botchergate.
“I was in the first seating area outside the pub.
“The timeline suggested that the murder happened around 5pm.”
The trial heard that no exact time could be given for when Jimmy Atkinson who formerly lived in Workington died, but estimates varied from 5.05pm to around 5.30pm.
Grecian spoke for 20 minutes about his case, citing the names of several people who he believes could prove his innocence, including two people in the pub Gerald ‘Jegs’ Coupland and Linda Maxwell.
“Jegs was wearing a short sleeved green polo shirt, very dark, near navy blue canvass style trousers,” he said.
Grecian spoke also of what he says are inconsistencies in the prosecution case including the sighting with Hanlon of a man wearing a distinctive red bandana and a black leather coat. Grecian was put through an ID parade.
“Nobody picked me out,” said Grecian, who named another homeless Carlisle man who had a history of violence and who he believes killed himself five days after Jimmy Atkinson died.
The witness involved, a teenage girl, drew a picture of the man she saw that day but it was never put before the jury.
“It looked nothing like me,” said Grecian.
Grecian then spoke about Hanlon, and how he behaved after being led from the dock after he pleaded guilty.
“A Group 4 guy called Rob told me a colleague had heard Hanlon say: ‘I’m not answering any more questions; I’m not going to take any more. “‘But Tommy Grecian had nothing to do with it.’
“One of his colleagues called Leanne also heard it.
” When I put that to my barrister she said we couldn’t do anything with it.
“I was told all that on May 19, 2005, when my trial had another six days to run.”
Grecian also cited a comment allegedly made by Hanlon, saying he told a worker at the young offenders’ institution where he was being held: “The only thing they’ve got on me is a smackhead who wasn’t even there when it happened.”
Grecian said: “I was the only other person arrested.”
Tommy spoke also of the alleged murder weapon, which police say was found in a cistern at the St Nicholas Arms. It was lost in the catastrophic Carlisle flood of 2005.