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Circuitous Route

(The circuitous route the Jury were literally misled up)

On 11 January 2005 the jury were taken to Coniston to study the locations mentioned in the case.

The map below shows the route which should have been taken (blue route). 
This has 3 waypoints: that is 2 right turns and 1 left turn to reach the east road up the lake.

It also shows the extent to which the Cumbria Constabulary literally misled the jury (red route). 
This has 9 waypoints: that is 4 right turns, 2 left turns, 1 missed turn, and 2 crossings of the main route.

Infact the best route for a minibus is straight-forward: it is the most obvious route visible on a map: straight up the main road.

We believe this was a deliberate attempt by the Cumbria Constabulary to literally mislead the jury into thinking only a local person would be able to navigate the route to the east side of the lake.

Why ? 
Because at least one other major suspect did not live locally.

Please see the statement below the map.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.

Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Below is the body of the statement of Janet Hallatt, now a Legal Executive for the Crown Prosecution Service (who lived in the area of Greenodd at the time and who is very familiar with that territory).

- On Tuesday 11 January 2005 I collected Mr Gordon Park from his home address and took him to Greenodd to meet up with the Jury and other court officials for the sight visits.

- From Greenodd we travelled in convoy and initially visited Bluestones, Mr Park’s former home, where the Jury looked around the property.

- We then travelled along the A590 to Greenodd and tuned left onto the A5092.

- At Penny Bridge cross roads the convoy turned right and passed Penny Bridge Hall on the left hand side. We travelled along that road until we reached the cross roads with Tottlebank church on the right hand side. At the cross roads we turned left towards Spark Bridge. This route was followed until we reached the end of the road where we turned right again onto the A5092.

- We continued along the A5092 missing the turning sign posted towards Coniston A5084 and continued on past Lowick Primary School. There is a small single track laneon the right hand side which we turned right down. This road passes between farm buildings. It is a very narrow country lane and is not well used. At the end of that road we turned right and travelled along another country lane, passing Lowick Church on the left hand side. At the end of that road, with the Red Lion Public House on the left, we continued straight across over the A5084 passing over a little bridge before turning left to travel up the east side of the lake. The route then followed this lane up to the car parks which we stopped at.

- The route which was taken was not the route that I would take if I was wishing to travel up the east side of the lake.

- The route I would take from Greenodd would be to travel along the A5092 and then turning right following the sign post to Coniston along the A5084. At the cross roads at Lowick Bridge with the Red Lion Public House on the left hand side I would then turn right over the little bridge then turn left to travel along the road up the east side of the lake.

- I attach exhibit marked “EJH1” a map detailing the route taken by the jury marked in red and the route I would take marked in black. This is the most direct route and is more suitable for most types of vehicles.

Now compare to the transcript of Mr Edis for the defence cross-examining DCI Churchman on his route

Q: And will you be aware you took a particular route?

A: Well, we did take a particular route, yes.

Q: Yes, we took a route that involved going a long way round winding country roads, would you agree with that?

A: I think we went on a lot of country roads, yes.

Q: Yes. There is infact a much simpler way to get from Greenodd to Machell Coppice, is there not?

A: Yes, I think the route we, the return route...

Q: Yes?

A: ...was probably the most direct route.

Q: Exactly, so it is not actually necessary in order to get from Greenodd to Machell Coppice to drive round the winding roads from Spark Bridge, Lowick Green and all that. You can go effectively straight up the main road?

A: In a small vehicle you can, yes. I mean those diversions were made purely for the purpose of the minibus.

Mr Edis: Right, thank you very much.