Barlow still guilty

July 9th, 2009 at 12:00 am by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Convicted double murderer has lost his final bid to have his convictions overturned, as the in London ruled against his appeal today. The five law lords that heard Barlow’s appeal tonight announced that while he had an arguable case, on the evidence he was properly convicted by the jury.

“The Board accordingly concludes…that, while the introduction of the misleading evidence…was indeed a miscarriage, no substantial miscarriage of justice actually occured,” the judgement said.

In other words, there was lots of other evidence.

Tags: ,

16 Responses to “Barlow still guilty”

  1. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    Barlow’s psychopathic tendencies make people wince at the possibility of him entering polite society, guilty or not guilty.

    He didn’t have the self-awareness to keep his mouth shut at his parole hearing, when he was asked if he intended to own firearms should he be released.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    I had just started my first in Wellington and was standing outside the building when Barlow killed his business associates. Didn’t hear a thing.

    Unbelievable this is still dragging on.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    ephemera, I too am disturbed by Barlow’s apparent obsession with firearms.

    But he was convicted by a third jury after two earlier juries couldn’t reach a verdict, and now the Privy Council has found that “the introduction of the misleading evidence…was indeed a miscarriage…”

    But apparently not sufficient of a miscarriage to require a new trial. Even though two previous juries, on largely the same evidence, coudn’t reach a decision beyond reasonable doubt as to Barlow’s guilt. Of course the Privy Council could not take that into account.

    The narrow ambit of the right of appeal in criminal cases appears again to be found wanting in the Barlow case. It highlights yet again the need for a Criminal Appeals Review Office with much greater powers to investigate the soundness of criminal convictions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Brian Marshall (205 comments) says:

    Toad, The privy council have applied a new test come about from NZ court cases, that they have to judge the soundness or correctness of the conviction based upon the evidence.
    They have come to the conclusion that the evidence clearly pointed to him being guilty.

    This is a change from previous judgements, and someone with more legal background might be able to explain it better. I was on a jury at the same time as the third trial. After my case finished for the day, I popped next door to hear the judge summing up. From what I read in the papers, I couldn’t see how it was hung twice before.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Well they’re still dead so hes still guilty.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    This is an interesting case for me as I worked in the building right next door when the murder was committed. It was a horrible feeling — two men brutally murdered at work.

    The evidence against John Barlow seems overwhelming. If I recall correctly the gun that killed those two men was a particular type of gun, not very common, and John Barlow happened to own that type of gun. He was there at around that time. He disposed of a gun. Either he is the unluckiest man in the whole world — happening to be there at the very time two business associates were randomly murdered — and with an uncommon type of gun and he just happened to own one just like it. And unfortunately again a random coincidence, he unluckily felt the need to dispose of that gun in a rubbish tip just when the police were searching for the murder weapon. How unlucky can you be?

    Or alternatively he is a cold-blooded murderer who is following the new playbook for accused murderers — pioneered by Arthur Allen Thomas, and used to great success recently by David Bain — deny all guilt and do this all the time, every year, until you start believing it yourself.

    The report on TV one news last night from Aaron Soma was disgraceful. Drumming up sympathy for this fellow and making him out to be a victim. Blatantly biased reporting masquerading as journalism on our state funded premier channel!?

    What I wonder is that 14 years seems a bit light for a double murder with absolutely no signs of remorse or even accepting that he has done it. Given it was an appeal, could the privy Council have recommended he receive a longer sentence? I think life imprisonment, at least 20 to 25 years, is called for in this situation. Otherwise a double murderer psychopath is going to be out on the streets, probably with firearms, in the next 12 months or so. That doesn’t seem like justice to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Angus (536 comments) says:

    Bryan Bruce’s book titled “Hard Cases” provides a good account of this case.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Interesting decision, especially in their application of Matenga.

    I must say that I find myself amazed to be in agreement with Toad: we do need a Criminal Cases Review Commission. It will be even more important if the Law Commission keeps on suggesting increases in Police powers and reductions in process safeguards as they have been recently.

    Scott, do you think A A Thomas is actually a guilty man who benefited from a sustained media campaign to win a pardon after two juries found him guilty? Or am I misreading your comment and it is more generic than that?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    I think you will find that Barlow was on his paper round at the time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Brian Marshall (205 comments) says:

    Scott, by memory of the case, after a long search in the happy valley tip, a pistol was recovered. The caliber was different, but the barrel didn’t match the original to the gun. That new barrel was unsafe to use and it would not work in the pistol. The original may have been a .32 and that was the caliber that was used in the murders.
    The reason why the tip was searched, was because a tip reciept was found in the car searched owned by John Barlow. His appointment with the elder Thomas was removed from the diary and everything about it pointed to him.
    There was a huge amount of circumstancial evidence and all of it pointed to him being the killer.
    I think he was unlucky, but just that he doesn’t have a former All Black campagining for him unlucky.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    I think the Privy Council only allowed the Bain appeal as a poke in the eye to the Clark woman for sacking them, they never thought a bunch of colonials would find him Not Guilty, now they have decided they better get back to reality. Nonetheless Barlow has a book about to be published so the end is not nigh.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Replying to FE Smith — I really didn’t follow the Arthur Allen Thomas case. But what I do remember is attending a lecture at university many years ago where a lawyer put forward the proposition that no new evidence was found to prove Arthur Allen Thomas’s innocence. It was more that he loudly proclaimed his innocence every year until his release. People thought he must be innocent.

    But I do make a more generic point. I do think that murderers might be tempted to simply proclaim their innocence year after year, to any who will listen, knowing that there is a good chance that someone will take up their cause. I think that’s what happened with David Bain.

    I think that’s what John Barlow is trying to do. But hey — John Barlow visited the two victims at around that time, he had a gun, he disposed of a gun at a rubbish tip — if Aaron Soma on TV one news wants to portray him as an innocent victim, well it’s a free country. Just don’t expect us to take TV one news seriously.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > But he was convicted by a third jury after two earlier juries couldn’t reach a verdict

    Yes, but what does that mean? It could mean that in each of those trials, 11 jurors thought he was guilty but one held out and said not guilty. I believe Scott Watson is innocent and I have serious doubts about Peter Ellis case, but John Barlow was never in the same category. He changed his story numerous times and even had the temerity to say that he’d lent his gun to Thomas Senior, implying that Thomas Senior murdered his own son and then killed himself. He is very lucky that he may be released next year. 15 years in prison for this crime is not adequate.

    Scott, police planted evidence in the AA Thomas case. They behaved disgracefully. An accused does not, and should never have to, prove his innocence. It’s a bit like proving God doesn’t exist.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > I do think that murderers might be tempted to simply proclaim their innocence year after year, to any who will listen, knowing that there is a good chance that someone will take up their cause.

    Well, yes and no. Some murders certainly do that. But the vast majority of murderers accept their fate and are prepared to serve their time without any fuss. Of course, there is the odd one who might be innocent – wouldn’t you proclaim your innocence if you were innocent?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Gooner (919 comments) says:

    Scott, I think you’ll find if you dig deep enough that even the cops now accept that cartridge case was planted, as do I. AAT deserved to be pardoned on that alone.

    I have no doubt Scott Watson is guilty but I am not convinced the evidence supports it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Blair10000 (1 comment) says:

    Ross you believe that Scott Watson is innocent??? – Did you follow the case closely and on what basis do you believe this

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote