Lee Firkins is innocent
Another Miscarriage of Justice!
Home      The Cell Confession

 
How the "Confession" was obtained
 
11 March 2004 
Still no evidence, so a profiler advises D&C police to separate the Firkins brothers in the hope that Robert will talk 
13 March 2004
Police arrest Mr Z in Newcastle and transfer him to South Wales
16 March 2004 
Mr Z appears at Bridgewater Magistrates Court on driving charges and receives a sentence of 5 months custody.   He is sent to Exeter Prison and the next day is shifted to B Wing. 
30 March 2004 
Lee and Robert Firkins appear at Exeter Magistrates Court but only Lee is charged with firearms.  This means Robert can be downgraded to Category B and will not return to HMP Long Lartin.  Exeter.  Jane Hickman reminds Robert of the risk of false cell confessions and tells him not to talk to anyone about the case.  He agrees.  He is then lodged at on A wing at HMP Exeter
1 April 2004 
Mr Z is also moved onto A Wing at HMP Exeter. 
13th May 2004 
Mr Z is taken out by police to go to court.  This is unusual - prisoners are usually moved by Group 4 or Securicori.   The time spent with police is unrecorded and not accounted for.  He returns late in the afternoon to A wing at HMP Exeter.
17th May 2004 
Robert and Lee Firkins arrested for murder and taken to Torquay police station 
18th May 2004 
Robert and Lee are interviewed.  Both deny murder. 
18th May 2004
Police arrange for Mr Z to be produced from HMP Exeter to Heavitree Police Station on 28th May.  Robert and Lee are returned to their prisons.
20th May 2004 
Mr Z taken out of HMP Exeter by police for an hour, his whereabouts and activity unrecorded.  He is then returned to A wing at HMP Exeter
26th May 2004 Crimewatch broadcast with details of the murders including extensive footage of Fairfield Cottage and the break in
27th May 2004 
Governor of HMP Exeter authorises Mr Z's day trip for the next day to Heavitree Police Station 
28th May 2004 
According to one police officer on the way to the police station Mr Z claims that Robert has been confessing to him over the previous 6 weeks.  Other police officers claim Mr Z first told them about the confession at the police station.
 
Cell Informants
 
Prisoners who are prepared to give evidence against a fellow prisoner to secure for themselves a wide range of benefits including reduced sentences, cash payments, new homes and identities, and a future "get out of jail free" card.
Con Men But how can a jury tell if a cell informant is truthful?  Many of them are charming psychopaths and conmen. 
In the United States they call them "jailhouse snitches".  A massive DNA re-testing program has undermined many of the confessions they claim to have heard.  http://floridainnocence.org/content/?tag=jailhouse-snitches
What did Mr Z gain?
Money.  He was able to claim a 10,000 reward that Crimewatch had promised
Bail.  Despite a mounting array of charges, Mr Z was allowed to go free for months, committing more and more crimes
 
A deal on sentence.  Mr Z got half the going rate when he next came to be sentenced
 
 
 
 Born again Christian - Muslim - whatever next?
 
Mr Z claimed he came forward because he claimed he had "gone the Christian way" and that his new found conscience was sickened by the crimes.  Prison records show that only two years before he had become a Muslim.  There have been cases in the past of completely cynical prisoners pretending to be Muslim for a change of diet. Was this a clue to Mr Z's values? 
 
 
Mr Z is a serial liar who
manipulates people for his
own ends
 
 
Was Mr Z telling the
truth in this case or not?
 
 Can a jury safely rely on 
such a man telling the truth?