West lawyer plans appeal

The solicitor of convicted murderer Rosemary West says he is appealing against the conviction and has “sympathetic” support outside his defence team.

Leo Goatley, the Gloucester sole practitioner who has represented West since 1992, is looking at an appeal on grounds relating to disclosure, the judge's summing up and “selective” evidence.

He says the defence wants to know if there was any information relating to other missing women now indentified by the chief constable as having connections with Frederick West. He says if there is, it should have been disclosed.

He says the jury was misdirected by the judge, Mr. Justic Mantell, and claims that, during the case, it was unfair to link the three “domestic” killings – of family members – to the “bondage killings of the other women.

Goatley, who had dealt with the West interviews largely single-handed, said he still had to “formalise” the appeal grounds but had received the backing of an eminent writer and an investigative journalist.

He is concerned about payments made to witnesses by newspapers. Immediately after the hearing, the Lord Chamcellor, the Minister responsible for the law of contempt, announced he would be investigating the matter.

Lord Mackay is said to be concerned about reports of payments made by the media. The Lord Chancellor's Department said he would “discuss with the Home Secretary and the Attorney General in the light of these reports what further sterps are needed”.

Goatley says the issue of payment should end with legislation.

On his own involvement in one of the most notorious cases in recent history, Goatley said: “It was a great challenge and there is an ongoing brief.

This has had a big impact on my practice. I have got to start building up my paractice again.”

Jurors in the West trial have been offered advice on how to deal witht the distress caused by the hearing. When they were discharged, jury members were advised by Alan Davidson, chief clerk at Winchester Combined Court Centre, on how to seek professional counselling. Two welfare officers from the LCD were on hand to talk to individual jurors.