Could I ask you a few questions John - if you have the time. I seem to be having a few questions thrown at me and I'm in the deep end before I even have chance to read up on a case - which usually would take 3-4 weeks before you can feel comfortable enough to comment.
This DNA evidence - is there much to it?
The brothers alibi. To me there is a big change of story there.
And a general feeling on the case - your thoughts.
This is just a short synopsis from memory.
I believe if there ever was a murder case where the police were grossly incompetent that it is this case. The SOCO female officer sent to the scene was so fat that she couldn't get over the wall and so retreated leaving sampling to much later. The Victim's body was not covered in order to protect potential forensic clues from being lost to the elements. The police allowed a local who later became a suspect to traipse all around the murder scene with his dogs on the basis that they could track the perpetrator. They allowed the bin men to empty all the bins without checking the contents. The pathologist who attended the scene did so when it was far too late to properly determine the time of death.
As far as DNA is concerned and this is most surprising, none belonging to Jodi was found on Luke and none belonging to Luke was found on Jodi even though they had been together at school earlier that day. There was a partial profile obtained which could have been from Luke but in any event could have been there completely innocently. DNA was found at the scene from swabs taken from the t-shirt which Jodi had worn. This DNA was recovered from a sperm stain on the t-shirt. This was explained away as the DNA belonged to Jodi's sisters boyfriend and it was the sisters t-shirt which Jodi had borrowed earlier. Several other profiles both full and partial were obtained from the victim and her clothing but never matched to anyone.
The so-called alibi is very weak and to be honest, disturbing. Luke's elder brother Shane stated in evidence that he was the first one home that afternoon and that he went to his bedroom where he surfed porn sites on his computer. He told the court that he would never do that if there was anyone else at home. He said that he kept the bedroom door open so that he could hear his mother or brother come home. He stated that he never saw or heard anyone in the house that day until his mother came in at 5.15pm. Internet records established that his computer was used between 4.50 and 5.15pm. When asked again in court about his brothers presence in the house he stated that he could have been there but he didn't see him. It should also be noted that when Shane went to the police station to make a statement initially that he failed to mention his brother being in the house. After speaking with his mother he went back later and changed his statement saying that he had forgotten that his brother had made dinner for the family that afternoon but he still hadn't seen him. When asked about this omission at trial he said that he had a bad memory caused by drug abuse!
For Luke's part, he did not give evidence, his mother now says that he was badly represented by Donald Findlay QC. In his police statement he says that he arrived home after his brother who was upstairs. He says that he had earlier telephoned his mothers caravan business and spoke with his gran who advised him to take a chicken pie out of the freezer for dinner. He stated that he made dinner but burned the pie. He stated that his mother returned from work at 5.15pm and helped him finish off making dinner. He also stated that Shane came down and got his dinner, moaned a bit about the burnt pie and returned back upstairs.
For the mothers part, Corinne Mitchell gave a statement and also testified at the trial. She told of returning home at 5.15pm to find Luke brandishing some broccoli. She also says that Shane came down for his dinner before returning back up to his bedroom. She stated that Luke left the family home after 5.30pm although I have seen posts by Corinne which puts this as late as 5.40pm...remember the sighting by Messrs Fleming and Walsh half a mile away at 5.42pm!
It should also be noted that both Shane and Corinne were charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice but these charges were later withdrawn. During the trial Corinne was also warned by the prosecutor of the consequences of committing perjury as she testified about Luke's presence in the family home that afternoon.
The alibi is certainly a problem for the defence and one which will be difficult to overcome. I have often wondered why, if Luke was in the family home that afternoon, was necessary for Shane to make such a song and dance about it? If he was there, why not just say so? >@@(*&)