Last March I posted "THE UNFORTUNATELY NOT SO STRANGE CASE OF STACEY HYDE." You should probably check it out before, during, or after you read the piece below.
I am following up on that case with a bit of better news for Scission's Cops and Jails Friday.
As I wrote back in March:
Stacey Hyde was seventeen when she killed a man. No one disputes that. However, Stacey Hyde does not belong in jail...which is right where she is....
At the time of the killing, Stacey was seventeen years old. She had a history of mental health problems and abuse. The man she killed, Vince Francis, was twice her age. As Free Stacey Hyde writes:
During her trial, where Stacey plead not guilty on the grounds of self defense, the prosecution admitted to 27 separate incidents of domestic violence between Banwell and Francis, and also said there was evidence of previous violence committed by Banwell against other women.
Julia Hilliard of Justice for Women said “When you know about the circumstances of her case it is astonishing that Stacey was convicted of murder. She was a 17 year old girl with no previous history of violence – the man who died was a 34 year old man, with a long history of being violent towards women, and who was no doubt physically stronger than Stacey. She had injuries on her body, and there was also a recording of a 999 call made that showed that he was attacking her. It seems bizarre, when you hear these facts, that she was convicted of intending to kill.”
In the early hours of 4th September 2009, Stacey Hyde remembers waking up to hear her friend Holly screaming for help. In the events that followed, which Stacey does not clearly remember, Stacey stabbed and killed Holly’s partner Vince. A 999 call made at the time of the incident records Holly screaming, “…my boyfriend is beating my friend… I need the police ASAP”. She is then heard saying “they are fighting”, and then she is heard screaming that “Stacey has a knife and has stabbed him”.
When the police arrived Stacey was very distressed, sobbing and saying “he tried to kill me…I had to help Holly…he was going to kill her…I thought he would kill me…”. She was found to have injuries, some of which were consistent with a forceful struggle with Vince.
Stacey said of her crime that “It was like I was trapped in my worst nightmare”.
Stacey was tried sentenced to life under an old law that does not allow for the loss of control caused by a fear of serious violence. That law has since been changed.
Women and activists throughout the British Isles have been fighting for her ever since.
In April this year, John Butler, 62, went to the flat of his former partner, Pauline Butler, 61, and stabbed her. In his trial, Butler told the court that he couldn’t remember how the knife had ended up in his hand and that he had fallen after she had pushed him, causing him to accidentally injure her. The court heard that Pauline Butler had previously threatened him with a knife. Of course, being dead, she wasn’t able to challenge his version of events. Pauline had been found with a number of knife wounds to her neck, chest and back. As judge, Mr Justice Edis pointed out, had Butler not wanted Pauline to die, he would have called an ambulance, rather than remove and wash the knife, take her dog to his home, drink a beer and smoke a cigar. Butler was found guilty of manslaughter, not murder, due to loss of control, and sentenced to jail for seven years in jail.
Sybil Sibthorpe was 80 years-old in May, 2012, when she was found in her garden with “significant” head injuries after being beaten by her former tenant Lee Grainger, 41. Grainger pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to 12 and-a-half years. According to the judge, Grainger was “a significant danger to the public”.
Adrian Muir, 51, killed Pamela Jackson, 55, by beating or kicking her head with such force that she suffered fractures to her skull and bleeding to her brain. He then drove over 120 miles before digging a grave in moorland and burying her with a bunch of flowers in a Tesco carrier bag. Muir initially denied murder and claimed he had been framed. He posted fake entries from her Facebook page suggesting she was still alive. It took police more than two months before they found Pamela’s body in May 2013. Muir’s fingerprint was found on the carrier bag inside her grave, and a CCTV camera caught him cleaning the back of his car in a supermarket car park. He later claimed that she had attacked him, “like a bloody devil”. Muir was jailed for 18 years, not for murder, but manslaughter.
Felipe Lopes, 26, had a six-year police history of violent assaults on women before being jailed for 12 weeks in 2012 after tracking down and assaulting an ex-girlfriend whom he had previously stabbed. Within two weeks of his release, in January 2013, he had beaten 23-year-old Anastasia Voykina to death with a hockey stick. Before he killed her, neighbours had called the police to her flat on two occasions, because, they said, his attacks on her were so severe, the building was vibrating. Judge Richard Marks said to Lopes: “There is no doubt in my mind you intended to kill her. You are and will remain for an indefinite time a significantly dangerous man, particularly to women.” Lopes pleaded guilty to manslaughter, not murder, on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental health problems. He was jailed for a minimum term of seven years and three months.
Yesterday, following full appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, Stacey’s appeal has been granted, her murder conviction has been quashed, and a retrial has been ordered.
Free Stacey Hyde!
The first article below is from the Guardian. The second is from the Telegraph.
Behind Stacey Hyde’s conviction for murder is a failed mental health system
Stacey Hyde is a convicted murderer. In 2009 she stabbed Vincent Francis to death with a kitchen knife. Stacey had woken up after a night out drinking with her friend Holly. The man Stacey killed was Holly’s partner. Stacey was 17 years old when she killed Francis and, during her short life, had suffered systematic physical and sexual abuse and severe neglect.