Cannock Chase child killer Raymond Morris granted legal review

A child killer from Walsall jailed for the murder of a schoolgirl in 1969 was today granted the right to a legal review of his case.

Raymond Morris being taken into Cannock Court in 1968.
Raymond Morris being taken into Cannock Court in 1968.

A child killer from Walsall jailed for the murder of a schoolgirl in 1969 was today granted the right to a legal review of his case.

Raymond Morris, now aged 81, has been in jail for 42 years after being found guilty of killing seven-year-old Christine Darby.

Her body was found on Cannock Chase near the bodies of two other young girls, Margaret Reynolds and Diane Tift.

Raymond Morris
Raymond Morris

All three had been abducted from the streets of the West Midlands before being raped, murdered and dumped at the beauty spot.

The investigation that followed was one of the biggest in British criminal history.

But Morris, who was never charged with Diane or Margaret's murders, is now claiming he was convicted on dubious circumstantial and unreliable identification evidence.

He plans to appeal against his conviction.

A statement from Morris's defence team said this afternoon: "The application for a judicial review is the first stage in his attempts to have the matter referred back to the Court of Appeal after 42 years in prison.

"If Morris's conviction was overturned it would be the longest running miscarriage of justice in British history.

"It might also potentially mean that a child murderer had remained at large for more than 40 years during Morris's incarceration."

The primary ground of appeal relates to evidence that police interview notes were tampered with, during which it was alleged that Morris, formerly of Green Lane in Walsall, refused to stand on an identification parade — something he has always denied.

He was subsequently picked out in a 'confrontation' procedure, and later in the dock. The application for a review is the first stage in his attempts to have the matter referred back to the Court of Appeal.

The case will be heard at the Leeds Administrative Court next month.