Lawyer gives jury a list detailing why they have to find Kearney not guilty

Roger Kearney

Roger Kearney

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Winchester Chief Reporter

A LAWYER has given a jury nine reasons why they should allow a Hampshire man accused of stabbing his lover to death to walk free.

Nigel Pascoe QC delivered a nine-point list to jurors during his closing speech as he urged them to find Roger Kearney not guilty of murdering Paula Poolton.

Mr Pascoe outlined a number of areas where he claimed there simply wasn’t the evidence to convict.

He told the Winchester Crown Court jury that they had to be sure of guilt.

“It is the heart of the system of English justice. He who asserts, must prove,” he added.

The prosecution alleges that Kearney, 57, a Royal Mail worker, attacked Ms Poolton in her car parked in Duncan Road, Park Gate, and bundled her into the boot on October 17, 2008. Ms Poolton, 40, of Course Park Crescent, Titchfield, was found 11 days later.

The trial has heard the couple had been having an affair and the prosecution alleges that Ms Poolton had threatened to reveal it, jeopardising Kearney’s comfortable lifestyle.

But Mr Pascoe said there was no forensic evidence linking Kearney to the crime: “Nothing on him, nothing at his place of work, nothing at home, nothing in his car, nothing in her car. Even in the Jill Dando case there was a single scrap believed to be gunpowder residue although it was discredited on appeal.”

Mr Pascoe added that not all suspects had been ruled out. A paranoid schizophrenic was seen at nearby Swanwick railway station on the day of Ms Poolton’s disappearance.

Kearney, of Painswick Close, Sarisbury Green, denies murder.

The judge, Mr Justice Silber, is due to start his summing up today.

THE NINE REASONS

  • The complete absence of forensic evidence.
  • Inconclusive video evidence of the movements of Kearney’s car.
  • No plausible motive.
  • Ms Poolton was not always truthful, undermining her claim to a friend that she was going to meet Kearney on the night of October 17.
  • The intimate nature of the relationship until just before her disappearance. “Why would Mr Kearney want to give up that relationship?” said Mr Pascoe.
  • If Ms Poolton’s car was moved any time between October 17 and 28 then Kearney could not be the killer as he was on holiday.
  • No injuries to Kearney.
  • No change in his behaviour after the murder.
  • Not all potential suspects have been eliminated.

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