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In any trial the Judge’s summing up is extremely important because it is intended to briefly bring together all the relevant evidence from both sides of the argument in an organised manner to assist the jury to see the whole picture of what they have had presented to them in many parts from many people over the period of the trial. It is vital that the Judge gives accurate guidance on the Law and a balanced and unbiased resumé thereby leaving the Jury with a balanced picture of the evidence, so that they can fairly assess it and come to a conclusion on the guilt or innocence of the accused.
All text within quotation marks are direct quotes from the Judge in his summing up of the case, proving that the Judge did not abide by the rules of evidence. The complete summing up would take some 55 pages so, for the purpose of space saving, the parts of the summing up which were balanced and unbiased have not been included.
1) In his introduction the Judge made numerous negative references to the way of life of the accused men including their relationships, the nature of their work and the Company for which they worked. “It may be that their way of life is one which is repellent to some or all of you, but, you are not trying Luvaglio and Stafford for living what some of you may consider a very immoral life. They are not being tried because they are unfaithful to their wives or mistresses.”
Neither of the accused were married and there were numerous references made about the "mistresses" of both men although Pat Burgess was actually the fiancée of Michael Luvaglio and there was no suggestion of any other relationship or infidelity on his part. "The Company, for which they worked, was engaged in activities which, as I have said, you may think were not very desirable." (The gaming industry was a completely legal industry since the gaming law had come into force in 1960).
2) The prosecution case was totally dependent on the murder of Angus Sibbett taking place at 11:50pm in South Hetton as this was the only time at which the accused could have committed the murder and still be indisputably seen by the various witnesses in Peterlee and Newcastle, so evidence supporting the prosecution's timing was of the essence. Mr Knight, Mr Sanderson. Mr Golden, Mrs Burnip, Mr Feather, Mrs Hill and Mr Anderson all gave evidence as to the timing of the events they witnessed and all of these showed that the prosecution case was not feasible. Mr Johnson was the only one who gave timing that favoured the prosecution. What did the Judge have to say about them?
Mr Knight: “You may think he is a witness who may be 5 minutes wrong one way or the other or even 10 minutes wrong”
Mr Sanderson: “People walk at different speeds. The precise time is of absolutely no importance to him while he is doing it.”
Mr Golden: “He is estimating the time from his normal habits.”
Mrs Burnip: “Mrs Burnip’s recollection, you may think, is based on her normal habits and you may think she may be quite a long time out in her recollection………maybe that she is up to half an hour out”.
Mr Feather: “Again, a witness applying his mind to time from his regular habits. Is he honest?”
Mrs Hill: “A stewardess, you may think, is an occupation of its own which makes it impossible to work absolutely to the clock because it must depend as to what time people really clear out and how much work there is to clear up. Is it that Mrs Hill is mistaken about the night or the time? Did she see it (the E-Type in Chelsea Grove) that night and, if she did, do you think it might have been considerably later?”
Mr Anderson: “Is he mistaken about the time? Could it be that he spent rather more than 10 minutes after the television stopped before he went to put his car away? Could it be another red car which he saw which he mistook? Could it be that he is not telling you the truth?”
Mr Johnson: “He was waiting for a bus. Now you may think he has a different class of recollection from Mr Knight.”
3) Luvaglio and Stafford say that they parked the E-Type Jaguar outside the Bird Cage Club and they were in the club from 12:30am until approx. 2:15am during which time the E-Type Jaguar was damaged. Mr Dean, the doorman saw them arrive at the club and later saw the damage to the E-Type and tyre tracks in the snow leading to the back of the E Type and then away from it. Alan and McGarry – the Cabaret act that evening– bumped into Stafford at the Cabaret Room door as they came off stage at about 12:25 – 12:30am. Mrs Brady says the E-Type, which she recognised, was outside the club at 12:35am when she arrived but not there when she left at about 1:15am.
The police did a test run from South Hetton to Newcastle and arrived at 12:31am.
Mr Dean: “Is it that Mr Dean is not very good at time? The only thing that you may think he is certain about is that, if that occurred, that it was before he went off work before the club closed at 2:00am – Stafford puts it nearer 2:00am.”
Alan & McGarry: “What sort of time witnesses are they? Did the Cabaret really start at midnight?”
Mrs Brady: “..had been at a public house since 9.00pm and had had quite a lot to drink, then went to another club, then to the Bird Cage where she saw the E-Type which she knew as she worked at a garage where she cleaned it – the garage which was owned by Luvaglio’s brother who employed her. The first part about seeing it there at 12:35am – it may be that that is quite right. What about the second part that it was not there at 1.15am? Is she telling the truth? Did she not notice and thinks it is an honest recollection, or, is it a lie?”
Police Test Run: “Does it (time of arrival) matter? Maybe it does not take 4 minutes to shoot a man. Maybe it does not take 3 minutes to clean up a car. The police obeyed rules of the road and speed limits without going over 70 miles per hour on the open road. Maybe one could knock something off the time. Maybe there is time to go to Chelsea Grove first and still be at the Bird Cage round about 12:30am.”
4) For Luvaglio and Stafford to have committed the murder, Sibbett’s time of death had to be 11:50pm. Dr Hunter examined the body at 6:00am. Mr Ennis – Pathologist – carried out post mortem at 1:30pm.
Dr Hunter: “states that rigor mortis was established at 6:05am”
Mr Ennis: “From body temperature taken at 1:30pm estimated the time of death as 12:00 – 4:00am but he did not know, when he said that, that rigor mortis was established at 6:00am and said he would change his estimate to 11:00pm to 3:00am – I think it was 11:00 to 3:00 and have noted it as that although Counsel say 11:00pm to 2:00am.” [After adjournment Counsel corrected the Judge as it was 11:00 to 2:00am.]
5) Luvaglio, Stafford, Selena Jones, Pat Burgess, Lilian Bunker and Stafford’s Solicitor who was present during his police interview all say they left Peterlee about 11:30pm or after and returned about 3:00am. The police and Mr Wells say they left at 11:00pm.
The Judge's reply to Selena Jones and Pat Burgess's statements was: “Certainly, two of these women are closely connected with the two accused men, each being the mistress of one of them (in fact Selena Jones was Stafford's girlfriend and Pat Burgess was Michael Luvaglio's fiancée; neither of the accused were married) and both put the time later than either of the men. Is their recollection an accurate one? Is their recollection an honest one, or, is there some very good reason for trying to account for where Luvaglio and Stafford really were at about quarter to twelve, ten to twelve, 12:00 o’clock?”
The Judge made no comment on Lilian Bunker’s evidence.
Interviewing police: “Both men told police that their recollection was that they left Peterlee at 11:00pm". Mr Wells said "I set the alarm and looked at it, shouted to my wife at 11:35pm and between the two I went out to fill the hods and saw Stafford in his drive, saw the E Type being driven put to the dead end and brought back and then heard the E Type being driven off”.
Stafford and Luvaglio: “Each has said ‘Well, the police have got 11:00pm wrong. We said 11:30pm’. It is pointed out that the interviews were fairly long ones and that not everything that was said was recorded. You have heard the criticism ‘police officers were not really prepared to concede anything other than what was is Mr Mitchell’s notes’, and you have heard the last witness, Stafford’s solicitor, Mr Andrews who, you will remember, did not make a note of his own at all, say that his recollection was …. Stafford said 11:30pm.”
6) Condition and demeanour of Luvaglio, Sibbett, Stafford on the day leading to the murder and the following day. All the witnesses who saw the victim and the accused during the day leading to the murder, those at the Bird Cage Club and those in Stafford’s house stated that they all related to one another in a very normal pleasant demeanour throughout the period in their workplaces, the club and at Westmorland Rise. All witnesses who saw the accused after hearing of the death of Sibbett said, Luvaglio, who was a long time friend of Sibbett’s became very distressed and shocked. All said there was a big change in him.
“You heard from Ginley that Luvaglio and Sibbett were on terms of friendship and Luvaglio has told you that Angus Sibbett was his friend. As human beings you will, of course, know that friends are of two types. True friends and false.
Today is the exact anniversary of that famous cry which has rung down the ages when Julius Caesar lay dying, ‘And you Brutus’ , whose dagger was in his heart. His friend. 75 years later one greater than Caesar was betrayed by Judas with a kiss.” You have seen and heard Michael Luvaglio give his evidence …… Is he a good actor? Was he a true friend or not?”
7) No motive was even suggested for these particular men to kill Angus Sibbett.
“It is not necessary in Law for the prosecution to prove a motive………you may think that in the story to which you have listened over the last week, that there are, or were, things going on among people who were not anxious to have there motives paraded in public.”
“Speculation that he was the victim of gang warfare? Well, maybe he was, but who were the gang? Were these two men members of it?”
8)There was blood on the transmission tunnel of the Mark X car which was not that of the victim or the accused. There was blood in the telephone box near to where the Mark X was found that did match the victim.
“The blood in Sibbett’s car on the transmission housing. How did it get there? Was it part of that night’s work? Was there another person in the murdering gang? Has it got some wholly different explanation? The only thing you can be certain of is that it does not implicate Stafford or Luvaglio.”
The blood in the telephone box - “Mr Leak says it did not come from him as he says he got no blood on his hands but you will consider as to whether there is reason to say that, of course, it must have something to do with this case. It may do. It may not.”
9) Mr Sanderson, Mr Golden and Mrs Burnip were rather close to the alleged scene of the shooting but the jury had been reminded by Defence QC that there is no evidence suggesting that any of them heard any shots at the alleged time of the shooting – 11:50pm.
Mr Sanderson at Grassmere Terrace: “Well, it is quite a long way away. It is six-tenths of a mile. The wind was blowing from left to right.”
Mr Golden: “It is said that Mr Golden, bicycling along must have been much nearer to the scene, indeed, Mr Dean (QC) says that, by calculation of the cars overtaking him being four minutes after the shooting, he must have been at the scene. It may be that the shooting did not take place four minutes before the cars overtook him. Maybe it took place in less than four minutes, perhaps three, perhaps two. Perhaps less than two. You will see that the shorter the time, the further away Mr Golden is on his bicycle.” (The alleged murder scene is in front of Burnip's Farm and in Mr. Golden's original statement which was witheld from the Defence, Trial and Jury he stated that as he was passing Burnip's Farm, a large Jaguar Saloon car followed by an E-Type overtook him. The police revisited Mr Golden after discovering debris in the road by Burnip's Farm and Mr. Golden's statement changed moving his position half a mile further down the road to be - 'as I was passing Hutchinson's Farm').
Mrs Burnip: “Why did Mrs Burnip not hear more than two cracks? Well, what did she hear? Did she hear the explosion of a gun? Did she hear bullets striking the frame of the Mark X and the bullet which struck the back of the seat, and not the ones that went into the man?. The evidence is that she did not hear more than two and on that the submission is, there were only two shots fired at that stage and not the one which killed Sibbett. He was killed somewhere else, and what, members of the jury, the cartridges picked up and carefully brought and scattered in the street, and all the glass debris picked up from somewhere else and carefully brought and scattered in those two places?”
After the Judge's summing up, but before the Jury was asked to retire to deliberate the case Mr. Justice O'Connor said the following:
"Would you please retire and in due course let me know what you find. You may have any of the exhibits you wish. If, in the course of your deliberations you want any of the exhibits in the case, they are all here and you can send out for them by the Jury Bailiff.
The Jury retired at 2:17pm on the day of the summing up and during the deliberation requested to see the original statements of Patricia Burgess and Selena Jones. The deliberations were interrupted by Justice O'Conner and the jury were returned to the court at 3:25pm - just 1h8m after they retired. This was what the Judge said to the Jury regarding their request: "Members of the Jury, I have interrupted your deliberations and asked you to come back into the Court for a short while because I understand you made a request to be provided with the original statements of 2 of the witnesses. Those statements are not exhibits in the case and I am afraid that I have to rule that you CANNOT see them. It is only the exhibits in the case which you should look at."
The Jury retired at 3:27pm and returned to the courtroom at 5:10pm - (2h51m of further deliberation) to deliver their verdict.
The verdict came back "Guilty" for both Luvaglio and Stafford.
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