Technophil | 18.07.2010 11:09
When the hospital called police to investigate the circumstances of Gary’s injuries, they found Mr McNeill dead in the squat above and the room covered in blood – most of it that of McNeill, who had been hit with a hammer 27 times, but some of it was Gary’s. Inside the flat a bloodstained hammer was found, but with no prints or any other links to Gary. Gary’s blood was also found on a car “crook lock.” Bloodstained clothing near the body included jeans which had traces of both men’s blood and a T-shirt with Gary’s blood only. Despite the fact that McNeill’s blood had been spattered all over the room, not one speck of his blood was found on Gary’s clothing.
As for the hammer blow to Gary’s own head, the prosecution claimed he must have struck himself as he launched his frenzied attack on McNeill. For that to be correct, however, Gary’s injury, which caused him serious frontal lobe damage, would have been caused by the claw end of the hammer – but his injury was the same as McNeill’s, consistent with the round end of the hammer.
Prosecutors had relied on the fact that Critchley had told police he did not remember going home with McNeill, but then in a letter to friends written during his three months in hospital, he said he had taken him home and got drunk, and remembered opening the door and being struck. They said that Gary’s claims of amnesia were bogus.
The only forensic evidence linking Gary to the attack was an undone training shoe – two to three sizes too small for him – which Gary was found to be wearing on his left foot, after having fallen from the fourth storey window. On his other foot was one of his own laced-up boots which witnesses said he had been wearing that day. Footprints “exactly similar” to the print on the sole of the trainer were found in the flat, which the prosecutor argued showed Critchley was in the room after McNeill was attacked and probably killed.
But if Gary was wearing one boot and one trainer as alleged, why was there no blood on the sole of the boot and no boot print in the flat? What happened to his other boot? It was not found in the flat. The prosecution’s argument was that punks wore odd clothes like that – even if it was far too small for his foot…
Gary Critchley remains in prison…