Conviction upheld in 'murder tape' case

A WOMAN who confessed to the murder of her grandmother in a conversation secretly tape-recorded by one of her sisters lost her appeal against conviction yesterday.

Julie Kenyon, who was jailed for life in 2003 at the age of 46, had urged judges at the Court of Appeal in London to rule her conviction unsafe.

But Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones dismissed her appeal.

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Her case had been referred to the court by the independent watchdog the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

At a hearing in February, the judges were told her appeal was founded on fresh expert psychological and psychiatric evidence relating to three confessions she made over the death of 89-year-old widow Irene Waters at the home they shared in Halifax in 1996.

It was claimed that the evidence established that at the time she made those confessions she was suffering from a personality disorder and that the confessions should now be regarded as unreliable.

Kenyon, of Dodge Holme Court, Mixenden, Halifax, was convicted by a majority verdict at Newcastle Crown Court of murder.

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In a tape recording made by her sister Carol in a pub, Kenyon confessed to smothering her grandmother with a pillow because her grandmother had asked her to help her to die.

Lord Justice Hughes, giving the ruling, said: "We are quite satisfied that the new expert evidence, whilst it adds detail and some fresh assessment to the expert evidence available at trial, would in the end not assist the defendant in contesting this charge and that it would not have been in her best interests to adduce it, nor would it be now.

"In those circumstances it is not either necessary or expedient in the interests of justice to admit the evidence."

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