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The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.06.16 9:42

@tinkier wrote:It never ceases to amaze me, how money can change peoples perceptions/opinions on anything....say the 'right things' in the correct circles your popularity rises, say the wrong thing and you're 'Billy no mates'. Money/greed, sure is the root of all evil!
Yes.

Two prime examples being:

1. Support for man-made climate change and the world-wide attack on the alleged 'evil' of carbon dioxide, and

2. Support for the long-discredited theory of evolution.

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by aquila on 14.06.16 13:34

@Tony Bennett wrote:It is said of some: "You can't keep a good man down".

But it is also said, for example of Mark Williams-Thomas: "He always seems to turn up, like a bad penny".

And now 'aquila' has brought us this information, from the Oscar Pistorious thread:

-------- 

Back onto the Pistorius case, there is a forthcoming documentary where Oscar Pistorius speaks to Mark Williams-Thomas

http://www.channel24.co.za/TV/News/oscar-pistorius-sits-down-for-first-tv-interview-since-reevas-death-20160609cheduled for 24th June.

This is British media gaining a scoop. What it has to do with British media beats me, however Mark Williams-Thomas is the go-to man for securing an interview with Oscar Pistorius. This is the same Mark Williams-Thomas who has been discussed on this forum many times with regards to his less than transparent occupation/short time served within the UK police.

Mark Williams-Thomas' forthcoming documentary due to be scheduled on ITV on 24th June is also a part of the sentencing trial. It's been taken to task by Gerrie Nel when questioning an expert psychologist giving evidence on behalf of Oscar Pistorius.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jun/13/oscar-pistorius-sentencing-murder-reeva-steenkamp

-------- 

For those members and guests not aware of why we take a keen interest in all the doings of Mark Williams-Thomas on this forum, it's largely because of his asinine remarks on the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

In 2005, there was a notorious murder in Portugal. Leonor Cipriano, together with her brother Joao Cipriano, killed her 8-year-old daughter Joana, then cut up and disposed of her body, and pretended she's been abducted. The lead detective in the case was Goncalo Amaral, and, after receiving a full, voluntary and detailed confession from Joao Cipriano, and having gained more-than-adequate fornesic proof of the brutal murder of this poor girl, had the evil pair convicted. YThey were each handed down 16-yerar jail sentences.

Mark Williams-Thomas, a self-styled expert 'criminologist' and 'child sexual abuse expert', thinks the Ciprianos are innocent!

Moreover, the seemingly deluded man has said on the record that the abduction (as he says) of Joana Cipriano bears many similarities to the abduction (as he believes) of Madeleine McCann.

Over and above that, he appears to be a 'media darling', beloved by SKY News and other TV media as the 'go to' commentator and documentary-maker on the above subjects. He routinely made comments on the Madeleine McCann case and other high profile child sexual abuse and other criminal cases.

He was then chosen to be the one man who presented the first TV documentary which exposed Jimmy Savile as a serial paedophile. His undeserved reputation has soared even further since then; he is hailed as a dedicated campaigner against the evils of child sexual abuse.

As 'aquila' has pointed out, he has poked his nose in a big way into the murder of Reeve Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius. Below I reproduce his 2014 article: "Mark Williams-Thomas: Why I believe Oscar Pistorius is no murderer and Reeva's death was a tragic accident".

In the current court case, it appears that Oscar Pistorius was able and willing, a few weeks ago, to take part in filming wit5h Mark Williams-Thomas for a documentary to be shown on ITV 24 June. However, a few weeks later, Pistorius was deemed by doctors to be 'seriously mentally ill and depressed' and 'unable to testify'. Quelle surprise!

This prompted this exchange in court, prosecutor Nel quizzing Pistorius's expert witness, Scholtz:

Nel: Did Mr Pistorius indicate to you that he intentionally shot at the door knowing there was a person in the bathroom?

Scholtz: Yes …

Nel: That’s the first version of him intentionally shooting at the person that we’ve had in this court.

Nel told Scholtz that June Steenkamp had forgiven Pistorius for her daughter’s murder “for her sake, not for his sake”, after the doctor suggested this was a mitigating factor in sentencing.

The prosecutor argued that information in the psychological report about Pistorius being assaulted in prison and witnessing a hanging were untrue, and said he had acted aggressively towards a prison staff member.

And Nel wondered why, if Pistorius was too unwell to speak at this hearing, he had been able to give an interview to ITV, to be broadcast next week.
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here is Mark Williams-Thomas defending the indefensible actions of Oscar Pistorious:

------ 

Mark Williams-Thomas: Why I believe Oscar Pistorius is no murderer and Reeva's death was a tragic accident


21:00, 10 Sep 2014


Opinion

by Mark Williams-Thomas

Watch: Award winning investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas is in South Africa to report on the Oscar Pistorius trial exclusively for This Morning. He is the only journalist in the world to get access to Oscar himself and he has spent the last few days in his company

Get daily news by email[Verdict due on Friday: Oscar Pistorius]

I believe the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp was a tragic accident.

I am in no doubt that Oscar loved Reeva and had no intention to kill her. On that fateful morning he reacted instinctively.

Shooting when he heard noises and fearing he was being burgled.

I am the only independent observer who has heard Oscar’s personal account away from the courts.

And while some believe Oscar is guilty, I believe he genuinely thought an intruder was in his house.

His love for Reeva is clear and is evident in everything I have seen and heard from both him and those close to him.

He is a broken man but asks for no pity and his pain is clear to see. He doesn’t sleep and struggles to concentrate on the simplest of tasks.

Lost by so many is the fact he had only just started his relationship with her. They were three months in and very much in the courtship stage, spending as much time as possible together at every opportunity. This raises the very obvious question which I believe the prosecution have failed to answer. Why would he murder her?

Over the past year I have got to know Oscar and his family quite well. I have travelled to South Africa a number of times and am, to date, the only journalist in the world to have spoken to Oscar directly about what happened in the early hours of the 14th February 2013 and everything that has happened since.

I have carefully considered all the evidence put before the court as well as other information made available to me. This has allowed me to assess each piece of evidence as to its value and strength.

During my career I have spent a lot of time speaking to and interviewing alleged and convicted offenders.

My experience, as a qualified risk assessor, has over the years meant I have interviewed and completed a considerable number of assessments of dangerous offenders. I am not afraid to ask the difficult questions and challenge individuals about the accounts they give.

As a result of my contact with Oscar and those closest to him, and my evaluation of the evidence, I truly don’t believe Oscar is guilty of murder nor of the lesser charge of culpable homicide. The second charge is certainly a strange fall back option for the court. In effect it offers the prosecution a second chance if they fail to secure a conviction for murder.

One of the most important aspects central to the background is had Oscar not had a loaded gun under his bed, I strongly believe and indeed all the evidence points to the fact, that Reeva would still be alive.

It is vital to remember that Oscar is an elite athlete who has an additional vulnerability due to the fact he was born with malformed legs and uses prosthetic limbs. These are both significant to understanding why he responded and behaved like he did. Elite athletes make split-second decisions, often reacting instinctively to situations on adrenalin. For many elite athletes this is what stands them apart from you and I. 

One thing I have learnt over the years from interviewing people accused of a variety of serious crimes is people react differently to different situations. The concept that a ‘normal’ reaction exists under immediate stress and danger is to fail to understand the uniqueness we have as human beings.

We are different. We look different, think differently, talk differently and respond differently to same or similar situations. This is what sets the human race apart - we are all different.

This provides a perfect explanation as why Oscar did what he did on that morning. Not turning on the light or checking to see if Reeva was in bed.

Some criticism has been applied to Oscar’s behaviour and responses during his evidence. 

What I have encountered is a man destroyed by what happened that night. He is unwell and still trying desperately to remember the events on that night. The brain naturally attempts to fill in the gaps. During those seven days Oscar was asked to recall information and detail that occurred in split seconds and that at the time was just not relevant to him. But when he can’t recall it, it is treated as suspicious or evasive by the prosecution.

What of Oscar as a person? He is caring and sensitive but also very focused, determined and driven. This is why he got to the top of his sport. He is a true dedicated elite sportsman. An Olympian. But he also has a much more vulnerable side. A double amputee from childhood he has had to adapt yet his vulnerability without his prosthetic limbs is very evident.

During my time with Oscar and those close to him, I have been left in no doubt Oscar is devastated and not through self pity. He is distraught due to the fact he killed someone whom he truly loved.

Overwhelmingly his communications and actions towards Reeva during their relationship show this very clearly. They were a newly courting couple, three months into their relationship and they had so much to look forward to. Indeed they were looking to build a future together.

The fact Oscar had a gun under his bed raises for me the very real fear many South Africans live with day in and day out, and the serious issue of gun laws. The fear of crime is usually always greater than the reality - and this is the case in so many countries. However the crime rate in South Africa really does make that ‘fear’ a ‘reality’.

During my visits to South Africa, I have heard so many stories of violent crime and house break-ins. Crime and in particular burglary drives fear - not the other way round. Gated communities exist and are not for show. The houses have huge fences and gates along with 24 hour armed security.

Oscar himself has been subject of burglaries and threats in the past which is not surprising given his huge celebrity status in South Africa.

Oscar’s very real fear was evident in a tweet he posted in November 2012. This tweet totally contradicts the prosecution’s belief that Reeva’s death was murder but totally supports Oscar account.

“Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking it’s an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!”

Oscar had drawn his gun and it turned out to be his washing machine making the noise. However, had someone been downstairs it could have been a very different outcome.

Indeed the accidental shooting of a loved one in very similar circumstances to Oscar occurred in 2004 when former Springbok rugby player Rudi Sisagie shot and killed his daughter Marie. It occurred when Visagie was woken at 5am on a Sunday morning by the sound of his daughter’s car being driven off their drive.

Visagie thinking his car was being stolen grabbed his loaded 7.65mm pistol and fired through the bedroom window at the driver, killing them. It was his daughter, who he mistook for a thief. Rudi Visagie was arrested and charged with murder. Three months later the state dropped charges on humanitarian grounds. His daughter’s death had been punishment enough.

And what of the police’s account when you compare it with Oscar’s? Two accounts but only one which has been consistent. Oscar’s account has remained almost entirely the same with the exception of small additional information which he has provided when individual elements have been explored in detail. Yet the police have, from the very beginning, made assumptions and changed their accounts. Their version of events has repeatedly been shown to be inconsistent and inaccurate.

One element which the police have looked to rely on in order to build their case of murder against Oscar is based on neighbours who claim to have heard a woman screaming. Given the location, issues of how sound travels and the fact that people claim to have been woken from their sleep, these accounts alone need to be treated with the greatest of care.

Crucially the prosecution never set to undertake sound tests in line with its version of events - testing the exact gun, bat or repeating the screaming from Oscar’s house to the relevant witness’s house under the same or very similar conditions.

When I was in the police, we would regularly gets reports of the sound of a woman screaming which would nearly always turn out to be a fox.

Another major concern is the actions of the police and the investigating officer Detective Botha who had a history of dealing with Oscar. It seems to me he had clearly made his mind up quickly and made some very damaging assumptions. Remember this is the man, a serving police detective at the time, who was later removed from the case and who was charged with attempted murder in an unconnected case. He retired from the police ahead of the trial.

It is important to remember during the initial search of his home. Oscar had watches and other items stolen and subsequently the crime scene preservation and examination has certainly been identified as being very poor.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel gestures during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.  

For the last five months Oscar and Reeva’s lives have played out as if it were a drama in front of a worldwide TV audience. Oscar is on trial charged with premeditated murder, two separate unrelated indictments with regards to discharge of a firearm in a public place and one count of illegal possessing of ammunition.

And finally in a matter of days Oscar will learn his fate. His future and freedom sits with a former social worker turned crime reporter and now presiding Judge in what is arguable the most high profile court case in decades. No jury system exists in South Africa so the final decision rests with Judge Thokozile Masipa along with her two assessors to decide if Oscar is guilty of the crimes he has been charged with.

In respect of the charge of murder, I believe the police carried out a very poor investigation with contamination of the crime scene and the loss of evidence. They fall a long way short from proving murder to any degree pre-meditated or otherwise.

Oscar admits to killing Reeva but it is up to the Judge to decide if she believes Oscar and his account that he believed an intruder was in the house, or if, as the prosecution claim, Oscar planned to kill his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

If Judge Masipa decides Oscar planned the murder of Reeva then he will be guilty of premeditated murder with a minimum sentence being 25 years in jail. The alternative verdict could be one of murder but not pre-mediated in which case Oscar will get a minimum of 15 years.

If not guilty of pre-meditated murder or murder then the Judge will have to decide on the second option of ‘culpable homicide’ ‘Culpable homicide is the closest charge to one of manslaughter which we have in the UK. The question which must be asked is: ‘Were Oscar’s actions reasonable?’ If the Judge believes he believed an intruder was in the house and he acted reasonably then he is not guilty. However if she decides his actions were not reasonable, based on the reckless firing of the gun then he is guilty of culpable homicide.

Again for exactly the same reasons as being found not guilty of murder, I believe Oscar should not be found guilty of culpable homicide because he genuinely believed an intruder was in his house and he was in danger. 

In respect of the two charges of discharge of a firearm in a public place, it is now accepted that in regarding to one of these charges, the discharge in the restaurant, Oscar should be found guilty.

However, the evidence for the other charge of discharge of a firearm is highly questionable and contradictory and I believe on this charge he should be acquitted.

In regards to the possession on ammunition, this should never have been charged. The police found the ammunition during the house search following the murder, in a safe on the ground floor.

The ammunition was with some of Oscar’s medals and rather than seize it, the police gave the ammunition and medals to a family member to take home. Days later the police contacted the family member and asked them to bring back the ammunition. The police then charged Oscar with unlawful possession. I believe this is an abuse of process and dereliction of police duty.

Throughout all of my time with Oscar and his family, and my considering of the case, I have kept the tragic events of the early morning of the 14th February 2013 at the forefront of my mind. On that morning Reeva’s life was cut short in its prime as a result of what I believe were the reactions of a very frightened man reacting instinctively.

Yes he had discharged a firearm in a public place and for that he should serve a community sentence but I don’t believe he is guilty of murder and or culpable homicide.

However, for Oscar no punishment will live up to the torment he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
I'm adding the link for MWT's latest scoop, the text of which Tony has posted above.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mark-williams-thomas-believe-oscar-pistorius-4197593

.....................

Here you have it folks, Mark Williams-Thomas, all-round crime expert, has declared Oscar Pistorius innocent.

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The Mark William's Thomas comments

Post by willowthewisp on 14.06.16 17:33

Perhaps MWT would have liked to swapped places with Reeva Steenkamp, being behind the Bathroom Toilet Door eh MWT on that fateful evening as part of a re-enactment of the crime scene,with special calibre bullets to ascertain more damage to the target?
MWT shouldn't be given the time of day on television, if he is stating an accident over Reeva Steenkamp's Death, as I may be wrong but, didn't he spend a lot of time on the unsolved Jill Dando Murder, which one Hamish Campbell was the lead Detective, who tried to frame Barry George as the killer?
If Jill Dando was about to blow the lid on the BBC over it's cover up of paedophiles working for the organisation, why hasn't he found Jill's killer with his apparent expert knowledge on these possible related abuses of children, were he investigated a cigar smoking champion of good causes?
It is a good job we have people who are able to remind people of their involvements to past Crimes, that are still unsolved that they had some capacity of input on investigations,eg Madeleine McCann, disappearance,MWT?

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New Documentary by MWT

Post by aquila on 21.07.16 18:25

I've just watched a catch up episode (the first part of a four part series) on ITV player of 'The Investigator' by Mark Williams Thomas, which looks at the disappearance of Carole Packman in 1985.

http://www.itv.com/hub/the-investigator-a-british-crime-story/2a4104a0001

After watching it, I went onto youtube to see if the second episode was available and got this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0RFwXwAZOg

Yes, Simon Cowell has joined forces with Mark Williams Thomas to launch a crime series.

I kid you not.

It is described as a stylized drama documentary. I can't believe how accurate those words are. It's so faux and padded out.

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 21.07.16 19:05

Mark Williams-Thomas is some crime investigator if he can't even get the Madeleine case right.

He's rubbish.

And he's blocked me on twitter!

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by aquila on 21.07.16 19:07

@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Mark Williams-Thomas is some crime investigator if he can't even get the Madeleine case right.

He's rubbish.

And he's blocked me on twitter!
Simon Cowell likes him.

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Tony Bennett on 21.07.16 19:22

@aquila wrote:
@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Mark Williams-Thomas is some crime investigator if he can't even get the Madeleine case right.

He's rubbish.

And he's blocked me on twitter!
Simon Cowell likes him.
Mark Williams-Thomas >> Simon Cowell paid bail money for >> Jonathan King >> King and Cowell hired Max Clifford >>

See the interesting connections here:  http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2014/04/30/max-clifford-has-finally-got-some-his-own-medicine

Just sayin'

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by aquila on 21.07.16 22:11

I've just finished watching episode 2.

Here is a tweet from MWT.

Mark Williams-Thomas@mwilliamsthomas 3m3 minutes ago
Tonight was episode 2 so you have 2 more to go 28th & 2nd Aug. A full confession & I uncover some very significant evidence #TheInvestigator

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Tony Bennett on 25.07.16 19:46

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@aquila wrote:
@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Mark Williams-Thomas is some crime investigator if he can't even get the Madeleine case right.

He's rubbish.

And he's blocked me on twitter!
Simon Cowell likes him.
Mark Williams-Thomas >> Simon Cowell paid bail money for >> Jonathan King >> King and Cowell hired Max Clifford >>

See the interesting connections here:  http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2014/04/30/max-clifford-has-finally-got-some-his-own-medicine

Just sayin'
I'm not sure if this little snippet from the paper edition of today's Daily Mail belongs here or in the Sir Philip Green thread, so I'll put it in both.

It's a two-page article about the top celebs who like to be photographed at the posh restaurant, Scotts of Mayfair.

One pic is of Sir Philip Green enjoying a meal there with Simon Cowell.

Alison Boshoff of the Mail writes:

The controversial former BHS boss Sir Philip Green and talent show terror Simon Cowell have been close for a good decade, and not long after this picture was taken in 2008, they announced plans in GQ magazine to create a business together. The venture never took off, but the two men still holiday together annually".

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'The Investigator'

Post by Doug D on 08.09.16 17:15

Obviously not impressed with MWT then:
 
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
 
THE JUSTICE GAP
 
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE. AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
 
Bob Woffinden 4 hours ago Featured, Miscarriages of justice, MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE, NEWS
 
Two trials, three jailhouse snitches, a four-part documentary series – and still no evidence
 
In July and August, ITV gave the former Thames Valley Police officer, Mark Williams-Thomas, an astonishing transmission time of four hours to conduct an inquiry into the case of Russell Causley, whose wife Carole disappeared in 1985. Well, it was the summer holidays, the media’s silly season.
Causley was convicted of his wife’s murder in 1996 and again in 2004. Despite the apparent double resolution of the case, there was simply no evidence about what had actually happened. So: enter MWT, self-styled ‘Investigator’.
‘In all my years as an investigator, I’ve never had a case like this’, MWT informs viewers. ‘After thirty years, I need to find out what really did happen to Carole Packham.
‘I’m starting my investigation with an open mind.’
 
In a documentary series characterised throughout by half-truths, evasions and disingenuousness, this would turn out to be the biggest lie of all.
 
Russell Causley, an independent businessman, who frequently lived beyond his means, tried to fake his own death in 1993. Anthony Hackett-Jones, Causley’s solicitor, hired a 40-foot yacht and, together with Causley’s partner, Patricia, and another woman, sailed to St Peter Port, Guernsey. They then ostensibly set out to return late in the evening, before putting out a distress call that there was a man overboard.
 
No one was taken in for very long: on the one hand, the sea rescue services could find no sign of a body; on the other, an examination of passenger manifests revealed that someone using the surname Russell had bought a one-way ticket on a late ferry back to the mainland.
 
A life insurance claim for £800,000 was submitted within days, but the insurance investigator (one can’t help thinking of Edward G Robinson in Double Indemnity) was already on the case. The guilty parties were traced to Brighton and then put on trial. Causley was given a two-year prison term; Patricia’s sentence was suspended. As a legal professional, Hackett-Jones, who had pleaded not guilty, would have received a longer sentence in any event; he was jailed for three years. (No action was taken against the other woman.)
 
This ill-starred episode turned out to be doubly disastrous for Causley.
 
In the 1980s, as Russell Packham, he lived with his wife Carole and daughter Samantha in Bournemouth. In 1984, Patricia – or Trisha – Causley sold her flat, giving the proceeds to Russell and Carole and moved in with them, partly to help to look after Samantha.
 
She and Russell were already having an affair, and Carole was probably having extra-marital affairs as well. A guest at one of the Packhams’ dinner-parties, which could potentially end in wife-swapping, commented, ‘I wouldn’t have said Carole was an unwilling partner.’
 
She walked out, or disappeared, on 14 June 1985, leaving behind her wedding ring and a note saying simply: ‘I’ve had enough, I’m leaving, I’m not coming back.’
Two months later the family reported her as missing. Dorset police launched a brief inquiry and put out press releases. A woman then walked into a local police station, identifying herself as Carole and saying that she was safe and well. The file was closed.
 
Now, in the wake of the insurance fraud convictions, the police took a renewed interest into what had happened to Carole a decade earlier. The upshot was that Russell Causley (as he now was, having taken Trisha’s surname in 1989) was convicted of murder.
 
For any investigator going back over all this ground, there was an obvious first question: if Causley had indeed killed his wife, it would mean that his first crime had been the perfect murder; and his second had been an insurance fraud of such laughable incompetence that it could have been picked apart by schoolchildren.
 
A no point, however, did MWT consider this fundamental disconnect.
 
The next matter that MWT did not pursue was the handwriting on the note. Was it Carole’s? It is a key evidential point and yet MWT maintained complete silence about it. At the time, it seems, no one raised any concerns. As such, it is one of the many potential defence points that MWT seeks to brush under the carpet.
MWT researched what had happened to the family in the years following Carole’s disappearance. He discovered that Causley and Trisha worked in the aerospace industry in Montreal – as, indeed, Causley had previously done with Carole. So they were known in the ex-pat community there. It must been someone from that community who, after a few weeks, alerted the immigration authorities to the fact that Trisha was using Carole’s work permit. As a result, they had to leave the country and return to the UK.
 
At this juncture, MWT asks the viewers rhetorically: ‘Was he doing this to lay a paper trail of Carole still being alive?’
 
Fairly obviously, the answer to this daft question is, No. If Causley had wanted to do that, he could have found some other less dangerous way. Here, the ruse was almost bound to fail (as indeed it did) because their colleagues were fully aware that Trisha and Carole were two different people. In reality, one imagines that it was simply more convenient for Trisha to use an existing work permit rather than to go through the hassle of applying for a fresh one (and also run the risk of being refused).
 
MWT further established that Trisha had impersonated Carole on a visit to a solicitor’s office in order to get her name removed from the title deeds of the Bournemouth house. It was straightforward to unpick this deception; a handwriting expert could tell almost instantly that the signatures did not match.
 
This was a significant piece of work by MWT, but he failed to make its import clear to viewers. MWT had spoken to local officers about Carole’s disappearance. They all asserted that they’d made the usual thorough inquiries to establish her whereabouts. It was after drawing blanks at every turn that they began to conclude firstly that she was dead and secondly that Causley had murdered her.
We all know the golden rule of investigations (follow the money) and so the fact that the police inquiries into Carole’s disappearance had failed to uncover the title deeds scam merely showed how inept those inquiries must have been.
 
There are, in fact, three “disappeared wives” cases. They are all drawn from a relatively small geographical area of the south-west. This may indicate merely that the Crown Prosecution Service in these parts is more cavalier in its prosecutions. The other cases are those of John Allen, who sadly died in prison last year, not having had the chance to fulfil his last wish of establishing his innocence, and Glyn Razzell.
 
I narrated the Razzell case in some detail in The Nicholas Cases and there I make exactly the same point as applies in the Causley case: that although the police claimed to have made strenuous attempts to locate the missing person, in reality those were the most half-hearted inquiries.
 
Accordingly, the foundation of the prosecution case in each instance – that because of the exhaustive nature of the police inquires, we can say with certainty that the woman must be dead – is simply bogus.
 
This leads on to a point of huge significance – which is, of course, that when police did try to locate Carole, they succeeded: she went into a police station.
This is a highly inconvenient piece of information for MWT, so how does he deal with it?
 
‘All it took’, he tells viewers, ‘is for one person to walk into a police station and say she is Carole. No checks made and no questions asked.’
 
We have already learned both that the officer who dealt with this woman has since died and also that all the relevant files have since been destroyed.
So when MWT blithely says, No checks made and no questions asked – how can he know that? Logically, he can’t.
 
After all, the officer may indeed have asked a couple of questions to check the woman’s identity, and may also checked with the photograph on the missing person’s file.
 
Trisha, a natural redhead, did indeed go into a solicitor’s office in what she described as a cheap, blonde wig and pretend to be Carole.
 
MWT’s inference is obviously that Trisha, or someone, must have impersonated Carole on this occasion also. Yet while Trisha may have felt confident in impersonating Carole in a provincial solicitor’s office, here the circumstances were entirely different.
An impersonator walking into a police station would have had no idea of how thorough the checks were going to be. Officers might well have spent time comparing the file photograph with the actual person. The wearing of a wig may well have been quickly uncovered, and the impersonator unmasked.
 
Then the consequences could have been disastrous. The impersonator would suffer immediate detention followed by a possible prison sentence. Much more seriously, however, if this was indeed a ploy to pretend that a deceased Carole was actually still alive, then police would be driven to the conclusion that she had been murdered and an investigation would ensue. Such subterfuge could have been so seriously counter-productive that I do not believe anyone would contemplate it.
 
The key point is not whether or not checks in the police station were made; it is the foreknowledge of a potential impersonator of the likelihood that checks would be made.
 
Obviously, police witnesses at the subsequent trials would wish to downplay the significance of this evidence, highly favourable to the defence as it is. As with all evidence, it is important to examine the contemporary evidence – as it was viewed at the actual time, and not as it was reinterpreted in later years in the light of what was then thought to be known.
 
This relatively minor episode becomes more bewildering still, because MWT suddenly says, ‘I’ve established that the woman who spoke to police took a child of a similar age to Sam with her’. He repeats this assertion, saying, ‘I also know that when that person walked in there was a child with them’.
 
So where has this come from?
 
It is, at the least, journalistically dishonest. It is unprofessional to put on screen what is asserted to be key evidence while withholding its provenance from the audience. Indeed, it is because we have no idea where it comes from that many would conclude that MWT has just made it up. As before, the same background circumstances apply: the officer has died, the files have been destroyed.
 
So an analysis of this relatively small area of the case highlights MWT’s style and approach. It is actually a massively important defence point. MWT cannot undermine it so he resorts to unsourced claims (‘I’ve established…’, ‘I also know…’) hoping that viewers won’t notice such journalistic deceptions.
In terms of the case itself, the only point that matters is that that person could have Carole, and that at the time the police were satisfied, by whatever means, that it was Carole. That alone should have been sufficient to secure Causley an acquittal.
 
By this stage, viewers would surely have been wondering what on earth was the actual evidence on which Causley was convicted. Although The Investigator – A British Crime Story is a bloated and relentlessly repetitive series, MWT finds almost no time to dwell on the evidence that sent Causley to prison to life.
 
In fact, this is merely another of the elements of dishonesty that characterise the series. Had MWT fully analysed the Crown’s courtroom evidence, then viewers would have realised that the case against Causley at trial was essentially non-existent.
 
Basically, the trial evidence consisted of the evidence of Samantha, who had been turned wholly against her father by then but who, realistically, could give no evidence of murder; and the evidence of three jailhouse snitches.
 
Samantha told MWT that, after running away from home in the wake of her mother’s disappearance, she ‘made a statement against my father’. However, he then arrived and coerced her into retracting the statement and making a fresh one. As is usual, MWT provides no supporting evidence at all for this; perhaps there is none. Again, one yearns for information about the actual contemporary evidence, not the evidence as it may have been reshaped in subsequent years.
 
Jailhouse snitch testimony, when a prisoner claims that another has “confessed” to him, is certainly admissible evidence, but that does not mean that it is acceptable evidence. On the contrary, it is morally repugnant. All prisoners are vulnerable, and a number may perceive advantages and benefits from giving evidence that assists the authorities.
Nevertheless, the jailhouse snitch can help to pull the wool over the eyes of less sophisticated juries. The prosecution may use the evidence of a jailhouse snitch to try to top up a weak court case; sometimes, as in the case of Gordon Park, also described in The Nicholas Cases, there are two jailhouse snitches; to the initiated, that’s a clear sign that the case really is bogus.
 
Before Causley, I’d never heard of three being used in a case before. From this perspective alone, one can tell that this prosecution case was rotten to the core.
 
Almost inevitably, the evidence of each was at odds with that of the others (one stated that Causley had hacked his wife to death, another that he’d put her in an acid bath, and another that two others had taken away the corpse).
 
Jailhouse snitch represents a high water mark of prosecution disingenuousness. Prosecutors will know that it has in all probability been obtained by inducements of various kinds (it has never occurred to me that they actually believe it themselves), but will use it when it suits. However, should evidence of a similar nature be available for the defence, then the Crown immediately protest: he’s a convicted man, no one can believe him.
 
Causley was convicted at Winchester in 1996. His conviction was then quashed at the Court of Appeal in 2003, and a retrial was ordered. In The Nicholas Cases I argue that, in fairness, retrials should take place at the Old Bailey in London. Causley was retried at Exeter. It is 67 miles from Winchester to London and almost twice that distance to Exeter; but the authorities would have wanted an enfeebled case such as this to be heard in prosecution-friendly courts like Winchester and Exeter. Had had he been retried in London, I have no doubt that he would have been acquitted.
 
On neither occasion did he give evidence himself despite, as I understand it, wanting to. I can, however, appreciate that defence lawyers recognised that Causley, with an abrasive personality and a sharp manner, was not ideal witness-box material. Nor would they have wanted him to be cross-examined about his domestic arrangements in front of the socially conservative juries of the south-west. Again, had the retrial been held in London, I suspect he would have given evidence himself.
 
Having neglected to consider the trial evidence, MWT instead directs his attentions towards finding a body, or at least some remains. At one point, he has a remarkable conversation with another former police officer:
 
‘We looked at various places, storm drains’, says the former Dorset police officer. ‘He could have dismembered her and scattered her remains. It’s either that or he’s disposed of her by burning.’
 
‘Disposal of body by cutting her up, potentially burning the body’, adds MWT, ‘I think both of those have got to be really strong possibilities.’
 
Subsequently, MWT tells his viewers, ‘I have no doubt, absolutely no doubt, that she died here, she was murdered in this house’.
 
This is semi-hysterical nonsense for sure, but MWT presses ahead with his investigation. Having brought in equipment to determine the hot spots where burning has occurred in the past, he brings in an osteo-archaeologist and her team to dig up the garden of the Bournemouth house (I do hope that the current occupants were suitably recompensed by ITV) in the hope of finding some of Carole’s remains.
 
Naturally, this seemed an exercise in futility to vie with Peter Cook’s efforts to teach ravens to fly underwater, and the osteo-archaeologist duly confirmed that their intensive investigations of the garden soil had yielded only animal bone. No human bone at all.
 
‘This doesn’t mean he didn’t murder her,’ MWT quickly tells the viewers.
 
The criminal justice system is predicated on the assessment of evidence. That’s the warp and weft; there is nothing without evidence. Here, in effect, MWT is glibly saying that the absence of evidence is immaterial – we know he’s guilty anyway.
 
This is a second major prosecution deceit: the idea that if an area of investigation doesn’t provide evidence for the Crown, then it somehow falls into a category of non-evidence. In fact, this is all defence evidence, and it is very powerful defence evidence.
 
Disposing of a body is not easy. Clearly, Causley did not have an acid bath on site. Dismembering or burning the body are, indeed, logical possibilities – but each may well leave behind tell-tale evidence. In this case, there emphatically is none.
 
The house was not searched by forensic officers until almost a decade later, but it should be remembered that in the Lynette White murder case in Cardiff, forensics officers were able to find incriminating DNA evidence in the room where she was murdered more than a decade later.
 
Alternatively, had the body been burned, then it is certainly possible that some material would have been left behind – and yet, having conducted the most exhaustive search possible, MWT found nothing at all.
 
So he cannot glibly say that Causley might still have murdered her. The only point is that Causley’s case was always very strong, and, albeit inadvertently, MWT has actually made it stronger.
 
Another point needs to be made here. The Dorset police officer points out to MWT, ‘[Causley] had to do something with the body quickly because he still had Sam in the house’.
 
Once again, key information is being withheld from the viewers. This remark should actually have been: ‘he had to do something with the body quickly because he still had Sam and Trisha in the house’.
 
When this information is accurately given, it puts everything into a very different context. It is possible (even if highly unlikely) that Causley might have been able to conceal her mother’s remains from his teenage daughter. It is absurd to imagine that he could also conceal them from Trisha.
 
Given their mindset, MWT and the other former police officers assume that, because Trisha had colluded on the fraud, then she would also collude on the murder. Of course, this does not follow at all; they are wholly different categories of criminality. The idea that Trisha would have simply acquiesced in Carole’s murder seems ludicrous. If it had happened, then she would surely have been sickened by it and would not have stood by him (as she did) for the next 20 years.
 
The upshot of this (although it is another inescapable feature of the case that MWT ignores) is that Causley would have had scant opportunity to dispose of a body.
 
So, there is the inevitable question: what has happened to Carole Packham? Well, in the first place, it shouldn’t matter a great deal. There’s no evidence that she’s dead, and there’s an end to it.
 
The evidence of Brian and Shirley Tizzard, the next-door neighbours, is compelling. They are, after all, independent witnesses who knew her well and whom she visited the day before she disappeared.
 
‘She told me she was thinking of leaving’, commented Brian Tizzard. ‘She seemed quite calm, quite determined on the path she wanted to take, she wanted to move on with her life.
 
‘She was a very competent lady and, had she put her mind to it, she probably could have disappeared.’
 
I was intrigued by the comments of Shirley Tizzard. Asked by MWT what she thought had happened, she responded, ‘Do you want me to be honest? I still have a question-mark in my mind. Did she get away?’
 
That initial response – do you want me to be honest? – suggests a natural reluctance to challenge the official verdict, and yet she and her husband have the integrity to overcome their inhibitions and give their clear impressions. I’m sure they’re right. Meanwhile, this is more inconvenient evidence for MWT so he simply skates over it.
 
Had this documentary series been an honest one, then it would have included some general information about missing people in the UK. Approximately 250,000 people go missing each year. Many of those are never found. Creating a new identity may not be difficult. For ‘a very competent lady’, a combination of some fresh paperwork and a trip to the hairdresser’s could suffice.
 
Should the question be asked, but why hasn’t she come forward? The answer, of course, is that she has. Knowing that the police have disregarded her evidence and pursued a different course entirely might have left her feeling apprehensive about coming forward again. Now, she might fear a perverting the course of justice charge (even though I don’t see how she could be guilty of that). She might have moved abroad and be oblivious of these events; she might in the meantime have died of natural causes.
 
The point is that all of these are realistic possibilities. If someone disappears, then murder is the least likely explanation of their disappearance not, as some police officers appear to assume, the most likely.
 
MWT spent almost two parts of this series trying to establish the truth of a confession written by Causley – while concealing from the viewers the key point that Causley had disavowed the confession.
 
The confession itself did not surprise me. There are three considerations here. The first is that, after 20 years in prison, a prisoner’s mental faculties may understandably deteriorate. The second is the constant pressure they are under to confess to their ‘crime’. They suffer psychological torment, being told again and again that, if they do not confess, they will never be released. It is not surprising that some crack. The third point is that Causley’s mental equilibrium would undoubtedly have been shattered when, in August 2014, Trisha broke off her relationship with him. This finally pushed him over the edge.
 
‘I would give anything’, he wrote, ‘even now to hear Trish’s voice again, just one more time.’
 
By the end of the series, MWT has highlighted merely the opposite of what he intended to establish – not that he has the intellectual courage to concede this.
 
His year-long investigation has exposed the absence of any evidence that Causley murdered his wife and, by extension, the intrinsic weaknesses of the UK criminal justice system. Causley has now served 20 years in prison for a murder for which there is simply no bona fide evidence whatever.
 
This series could well be used by university media departments as a study in how television documentaries seek to mislead and conceal. Had it been attempted in the days when scrupulous standards still applied at ITV, it would have been deemed untransmittable and junked.
 
Bob Woffinden is a former ITV documentaries producer. The Nicholas Cases, which contains chapters on the Glyn Razzell and Gordon Park cases, is available on Amazon and from bookshops
 
http://thejusticegap.com/2016/09/two-trials-three-jailhouse-snitches-four-part-documentary-no-evidence/

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Tony Bennett on 08.09.16 18:18

@Doug D wrote:Obviously not impressed with MWT then:
 
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
 
THE JUSTICE GAP
 
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE. AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
 
Bob Woffinden 4 hours ago Featured, Miscarriages of justice, MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE, NEWS
 
Two trials, three jailhouse snitches, a four-part documentary series – and still no evidence
I don't know exactly why, but Mark Williams-Thomas is a media darling.

Why, of all the people walking this earth, was he given the job of presenting the TV programme publicly 'outing' Jimmy Savile?

Why, following that, did Williams-Thomas' Twitter feed give us one revelation after another from inside the heart of all the police child sexual abuse enquiries? He obviously had a contact at the heart of the police operations. Why? Who is giving him these opportunities?

Yet despite all this, there is the feeling of something 'not being quite right' in whatever Williams-Thomas does, says or touches. He has a achieved a big reputation over the past decade, yet is that reputation justified? I think not.   

Besides everything else, Mark Williams-Thomas still believes that Joana Cipriano may still be alive and was not murdered by her mother Leonor Cipriano and her uncle Joao Cipriano, despite overwhelming evidence that they murdered her in a most gruesome way.

He also believes that Madeleine McCann's disappearance is 'remarkably similar' to that of Joana Cipriano and that Madeleine may still be alive.  

Thanks for posting, DougD   

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Amy Dean on 08.09.16 22:10

His so-called investigation into the Carole Packman case was one of the most boring, waffling programmes I have ever seen!

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by Roxyroo on 09.09.16 17:50

I just watched "The girls that were found alive" on YouTube, and there was MWT giving his opinion, but it was probably less than ten minutes in total.
The mind boggles at how much his fee would've been for his ten minute analysis...(well my mind anyway!)
nah



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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by MayMuse on 09.09.16 18:31

@Amy Dean wrote:His so-called investigation into the Carole Packman case was one of the most boring, waffling programmes I have ever seen!
Not a fan of MWT but I did find the CP docu fascinating, especially as to how he got all the information and was allowed to. I felt sad for her daughter and Grandson, it's obvious the "mistress" played a part and was amazed she wasn't "charged" there and then!

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by MayMuse on 10.09.16 0:20


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Mark Williams Thomas-McCann's PR Reps=Clarence?

Post by willowthewisp on 10.09.16 14:40

Hi Maymuse,thanks for the MWT caginess connection and the McCann's?
Who sent MWT to Prai Da Luis to investigate Madeleine's disappearance,was it the UK Police,Leicestershire Police Force and who was paying for his services?

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by MayMuse on 10.09.16 14:56

@willowthewisp wrote:
Hi Maymuse,thanks for the MWT caginess connection and the McCann's?
Who sent MWT to Prai Da Luis to investigate Madeleine's disappearance,was it the UK Police,Leicestershire Police Force and who was paying for his services?
Hi willowthewisp,
I am not sure exactly; wiki has the following information with no mention of the Madeleine case at all? It is as if it has been omitted? 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Williams-Thomas

Video here with GMTV. 
https://youtu.be/UYko9Ysj-HY

Further info here: 
http://joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/mark-william-thomas-on-mccanns.html

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by MayMuse on 10.09.16 15:07

Mr. Mark Williams-Thomas initially confirmed that his company had a contract to provide services to the McCann. Asked to confirm some details of that business relationship, he changed his initial answer and denied any relationship, admitting only that he has “been in contact with the press officers for the family.”


http://onlyinamericablogging.blogspot.com/2012/08/mark-williams-thomas-mark-williams.html


He has been an avid supporter of the McCanns I believe, and suggested that Madeleine was abducted after she left the apartment. He later questioned the appropriateness of the "make up photo" 

http://gerrymccan-abuseofpower-humanrights.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/mark-williams-thomas-i-question.html

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Ref;The Mark William Thomas,McCann relationship?

Post by willowthewisp on 10.09.16 15:41

Hi Maymuse,
So the Mysterious connection of MWT being involved in the First Week of Madeleine's disappearance,May 2007,MWT close association,PR to Kate and Gerry McCann,Sky News Corporation,owned by one Rupert Murdoch,who reported the disappearance on their channel,Rebekah Brooks,David Cameron and Theresa May,Operation Grange,oh and Mathew Freud,Rupert's ex Son in law,whose Father was Clement Freud?
Mr Thomas was less than emollient to Mr Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese PJ and their investigation,in fact stating that Madeleine had wandered out of the Apartment,where she was then"Abducted" as he could not find evidence of an intruder?

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Re: The Mark Williams-Thomas thread

Post by MayMuse on 10.09.16 15:48

@willowthewisp wrote:Hi Maymuse,
So the Mysterious connection of MWT being involved in the First Week of Madeleine's disappearance,May 2007,MWT close association,PR to Kate and Gerry McCann,Sky News Corporation,owned by one Rupert Murdoch,who reported the disappearance on their channel,Rebekah Brooks,David Cameron and Theresa May,Operation Grange,oh and Mathew Freud,Rupert's ex Son in law,whose Father was Clement Freud?
Mr Thomas was less than emollient to Mr Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese PJ and their investigation,in fact stating that Madeleine had wandered out of the Apartment,where she was then"Abducted" as he could not find evidence of an intruder?
Yes & since he could not find evidence of an intruder, and KM stated that Madeleine would not wander off or get out of the apartment by herself? 
Stands to reason doesn't it? 
No intruder, no wandering off, no abduction. 
Bye bye Mark ?

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Mark Williams Thomas-McCann's PR Reps=Clarence?

Post by willowthewisp on 10.09.16 16:00

@MayMuse wrote:
@willowthewisp wrote:Hi Maymuse,
So the Mysterious connection of MWT being involved in the First Week of Madeleine's disappearance,May 2007,MWT close association,PR to Kate and Gerry McCann,Sky News Corporation,owned by one Rupert Murdoch,who reported the disappearance on their channel,Rebekah Brooks,David Cameron and Theresa May,Operation Grange,oh and Mathew Freud,Rupert's ex Son in law,whose Father was Clement Freud?
Mr Thomas was less than emollient to Mr Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese PJ and their investigation,in fact stating that Madeleine had wandered out of the Apartment,where she was then"Abducted" as he could not find evidence of an intruder?
Yes & since he could not find evidence of an intruder, and KM stated that Madeleine would not wander off or get out of the apartment by herself? 
Stands to reason doesn't it? 
No intruder, no wandering off, no abduction. 
Bye bye Mark ?
Maymuse,you forgot to add,thanks for your assistance Mark,we'er innocent of being involved with Madeleine's disappearance?

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