27 years in prison – Innocent!
All credits: Inside Doubt
Originally published – 10th June 2009
Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
Eddie was released in December 2010 >
In June 1992 Eddie’s wife, Paula Gilfoyle, who was eight and a half months pregnant, committed suicide by hanging herself in the garage of their home in Upton, Wirral. Despite the fact that a suicide letter was found, written by Paula herself, her family and friends were not satisfied that Paula would have committed suicide and gossip turned to rumour and rumour turned to suspicion.
Four months later the Merseyside Police charged Eddie Gilfoyle with her murder and he was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in July 1993. His family and supporters have gathered compelling evidence – never seen by the trial jury – that Paula was not killed but committed suicide.
Eddie and his supporters believe that the Merseyside Police suppressed vital alibi evidence and they question the mysterious appearance of a so called ‘practice rope’ in the drawer of the garage which was not found during a previous search by a specialist police search team. The prosecution told the jury at the trial that this second rope was the one that Eddie had been using to practice making nooses to later use to kill his wife.
The Lancashire Police were called in after the trial. They re-investigated the case and also questioned the mysterious appearance of the ‘practice rope.’ After a lengthy re-investigation, the Lancashire Police could not find any evidence of a crime and were driven to conclude that Paula Gilfoyle committed suicide. Their findings revealed that the Merseyside Police had suppressed the evidence of a witness who saw Paula alive and well several hours after the Crown had alleged that Eddie had killed her.
They concluded that when Paula died Eddie was well accounted for at work. The Lancashire Police Inquiry was highly critical of the inquiry conducted by their Merseyside colleagues. The Police Complaints Authority told the Home Office that ‘the Conviction was Unsafe and Unsatisfactory.’
But, an appeal in 1995 was rejected when the Judges refused to hear any evidence in respect of the Lancashire Police Inquiry and refused to consider any criticism of Eddie’s previous defence team who had conduct of the trial.
After the appeal, the television company ‘Trial and Error’ – who broadcast a documentary about the case – described the Merseyside Police Investigation as a ‘Keystone Comedy of Errors.’ World famous pathologist, Professor Bernard Knight, (responsible for literally piecing together the evidence in the Fred and Rosemary West Case in the Cromwell Street murders), concluded that medically there was nothing in the evidence to prevent this from being a suicide by hanging.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission then spent two years re-investigating the case and referred the case to the Royal Courts of Justice for a fresh appeal. This second appeal took place in December 2000, but was once again rejected. For a second time, the Appeal Court Judges ran roughshod over the evidence and their Judgement has been described as dishonest.
Eddie’s solicitor at both appeals, Campbell Malone, (who was responsible for overturning a number of wrongful convictions – including that of the tragic Stefan Kiszco), publicly stated ‘I feel embarrassed that the system has worked so badly in this case – I think it has worked even worse in this case than the Stefan Kiszco case – At every stage it has been defective.’
To date, this case has had five separate independent investigations. All of which have all concluded that Paula Gilfoyle committed suicide by hanging herself in the garage of their home and that the conviction of Eddie Gilfoyle is unsafe and unsatisfactory. Yet, Eddie Gilfoyle remains in prison. His new solicitors are working hard to overturn his conviction.
Eddie Gilfoyle campaigners launch ‘catalogue of errors’ booklet
6 December 2012
Police held diary that could have been used in Eddie Gilfoyle trial
6 January 2012
‘Media gag’ for freed wife killer
23 December 2010
Convicted wife killer freed from prison
23 December 2010