Two faced charges of perverting course of justice

13 November 2007
Yorkshire Post

The retired forensic scientist and senior police officer faced being prosecuted for perverting the course of justice over Stefan Kiszko's conviction. Appeal court judges were told that the evidence that Stefan Kiszko could not have been responsible for the semen stains found on Lesley Molseed's body was available at the time of the trial - but was never disclosed to the defence.

Once Mr Kiszko had been cleared in 1992, an investigation into the handling of the case was undertaken by Lancashire Police. Both Ronald Outteridge - the senior forensic scientist working in Harrogate at the time - and Superintendent Dick Holland, were charged with perverting the course of justice in 1994.

Tests had been taken from Lesley's clothing in the days after her body was found, which confirmed the presence of the semen. It is clear from original reports that the semen contained sperm heads.

Slides were made but Outteridge told Ronald Castree's trial in Bradford that the slides disappeared at some point.

Outteridge was charged with perverting the course of justice in May 1994 but the case collapsed in 1995 after the CPS agreed with a Rochdale magistrate that the prosecution of Outteridge and Holland amounted to an "abuse of process" following submissions by the two men's defence team.

It was argued the men could not get a fair trial partly because of the length of time since the alleged offences.

The application was opposed by the prosecution, but stipendiary magistrate Jane Hayward decided the matter should not proceed. Reporting of the hearing was banned.

It meant that although the charges were not technically dropped, the men were unlikely to face trial.

Mr Outteridge never made any comment on the allegations and was not questioned about them during Castree's trial.

Supt Holland went on to join the team working on the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry and ended his career in charge of security for a hospitals group. He died in February this year, but strenuously denied the accusations against him at the time. "Neither myself or Ron Outteridge had anything to hide," he told the Yorkshire Post. "No evidence was surpressed."

Massive effort to find killer

The First Police Investigation:

258 officers working on the investigation.

11,712 people interviewed

More than 6,000 statements taken - most in first four months.

Over 10,000 vehicles checked in first three months.

Almost 3,000 drivers stopped on the Turf Hill estate and moorland road where the body was found.

929 house-to-house inquiries.

198 workers from a nearby factory interviewed

After the investigation was relaunched in 1999:

1,799 new inquiries carried out.

1,100 suspects eliminated from the inquiry using DNA technology.

130,000 documents examined by investigation team.

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