The case of Stefan Kiszko casts a dark shadow over British justice. Totally unconnected to the murder of which he was convicted—that of a young girl Lesley Molseed—he spent 16 years in prison tormented as a sex-offender and suffering from what one expert described as ‘delusions of innocence’. As author Michael O’Connell explains, it was in fact the system by which he was ensnared which was suffering from ‘delusions of guilt’. Kiszko could not have been Lesley’s attacker as subsequently established by DNA and the medical fact that he could not produce sperm. But a false confession written for him by a corrupt police officer set in train proceedings from which he was never to recover, dying only a short time after his eventual release. In this book, Michael O’Connell investigates every small detail of the case with especial reference to the foibles of the lawyers, investigators and scientists involved, all of whom either missed or ignored the signs that should have pointed to an early discharge from a misguided prosecution. The book includes the participation of a prosecutor who went on to become Lord Chief Justice and a leading defence barrister who became Home Secretary before his elevation to the House of Lords. Everyone seems to have become caught up in the momentum originally fuelled by policing methods that are hopefully now long gone. The most detailed treatment available. Contains Kiszko’s original confession and retraction. Explains the points at which the case went wrong. Looks at the motivations of those involved.
From the Foreword
‘A powerful and comprehensive analysis…the benchmark for what can go wrong in the criminal process and how lives can be ruined and in some cases cut short’— Campbell Malone.
Michael O’Connell is a retired barrister and criminal lawyer. His previous books include A Guide to the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (with Professor Terence Walters) (Financial Training, 1985), and he was joint editor, with Phil Huxley, of the first nine editions of Blackstone’s Statutes on Evidence (OUP). His book, In Search of the Truth (2017), about British injustice and collusion in Northern Ireland during The Troubles is published by Collins Press, Cork.
Author of the Foreword
Campbell Malone is one of the best-known lawyers (a retired solicitor) specialising in overturning miscarriages of justice.