The last of BBC2’s Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us looks at how a miscarriage of justice led to a new method of police interrogation
It’s astounding to think that before the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act, suspects had to rely on the integrity of the police officer in charge of questioning them, as we find out in the last of BBC2’s brilliant documentary series Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us.
The series concludes with the focus on interrogation and the tragic case that led to the transformation of police powers (see TV Guide for full listings).
In 1972, three teenage boys, Colin Lattimore, Ronald Leighton and Ahmet Salih, were arrested for the murder of Maxwell Confait and confessed to the crime – despite one having an alibi and all three later protesting their innocence in court.
It took three-and-a-half years for the boys to be cleared on appeal and, sadly, the real killer of Maxwell has never been brought to justice.
Featured in this documentary are Jonathan Caplan QC (pictured top), who helped overturn the boys’ convictions, and Jenny Price, daughter of the later Christopher Price MP, who campaigned to clear the boys’ names.
However, their experience did lead to a change in the law, which included the right to a lawyer, a responsible adult when required and the tape recording of all police interviews.