The smears came inside and outside the courtroom. Patricia Knight said she held Magson’s mother and Justice For Women responsible for these lies. The former went on TV and claimed James had a history of abusing women. She also claimed/admitted she had been a bad mother, which may be true because Magson had been raised for a time by her grandmother when she was in prison, but her own young daughter was now living with her mother.
Joanne Smith even started a crowd funding page to which 156 well-meaning but gullible people contributed £6,515, thankfully a long way short of her requested £10,000.
She and they also organised a demonstration outside the High Court: “Please join us as we stand in solidarity with Emma-Jayne Magson and all survivors of male violence.”
Look at the photograph above. The third, holding a plackard, is Harriet Wistrich, but how many of the others know what Magson actually did? It’s probably fair to say that those who do, don’t care.
Evidence of Magson’s previous bad acts could have done little to endear her to the jury. For one thing, she had sent a lot of threats to Becki Waite. On one occasion, she had phoned the police on James then denied making the call. And, she was a man-beater! She had abused four previous boyfriends, assaulting one with a vacuum cleaner, which led to her being called Mike Dyson! She denied this and also denied stabbing another man with a fork, but she wasn’t able to deny her two convictions for assault on female victims. These were reported by Metro following the retrial. In 2012, she kicked and pulled the hair of one girl, which might be deemed a nasty but trivial assault, but later the same year she hit another girl with a glass, cutting her face. A man would surely have received some sort of prison sentence for the latter assault, but she received only a suspended sentence. Following her sentencing on March 29, Sky News reported she had also punched a girl outside a nightclub in November 2011.
The claims made about Magson’s purported inability to cope with her trial or other things don’t hold water. For one thing, she had worked as a carer; her previous manager was called as a witness, and refuted this claim. Her behaviour after the murder showed her to be not simply capable but manipulative. She lied to the victim’s brother, to neighbours, to the emergency services, and to the police. Leicestershire Police released the audio of her 999 call and later the bodycam footage from when the police turned up on her doorstep. The former is chilling.
Later, she told her mother she had stabbed James, but span a cock and bull story about how he had attacked her. Her stepfather handed her in, and when questioned by the police she replied “No comment” throughout. At the retrial she was asked to demonstrate how she had stabbed James in self-defence while his hands were on her throat. It would have been physically impossible for her to do what she claimed. The physical evidence indicated clearly that James had not been stabbed in the house. Furthermore, she washed the blood off him to hide the knife wound, and wouldn’t allow others to perform CPR. Lying and deceit on this scale is evidence not of some fanciful exculpatory mental disorder, but of consciousness of guilt.
On March 29, in Court 8 at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told her: “I regret I am unconvinced you have, as yet, any real remorse for having caused James Knight’s death” as he re-sentenced her to life in prison with the original tariff of seventeen years.
The biggest question here, one that goes largely unasked, is how can a woman who did what she did under those circumstances be considered a victim? The answer is the lawyer Harriet Wistrich and the journalist Julie Bindel. Magson is by no means the first woman to have stabbed a man through the heart they have championed. In February 1985, teenage prostitute Emma Humphreys murdered her lover Trevor Armitage as he lay in a drunken stupor. Her murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter in June 1995, and she walked free time served. She was dead from a (possibly accidental) drug overdose three years later. Incredibly, Bindel and Wistrich started an annual award in her honour.
In November 2014, Kyle Farrell was murdered by Farieissia Martin in strikingly similar fashion to Magson’s murder of James Knight. She too has won an appeal and a retrial thanks to Harriet Wistrich, but how?
Her technique is simple. Under English law, an accused is entitled to only one trial. After conviction, fresh evidence will not be permitted for an appeal. The reason for this is or should be obvious. Given enough time and resources, evidence can be manufactured to prove a guilty defendant innocent, or at least to cast a reasonable doubt on said conviction. For example, false witnesses can be procured by bribery or some other artifice. There is though an exception to the fresh evidence rule. According to the Criminal Appeal Act, 1995, fresh evidence will be admitted if there is “a reasonable explanation for the failure to adduce the evidence” at trail, and if the fresh evidence is considered by the Court Of Appeal to be “capable of belief”.
With the Emma Humphreys case and the aforementioned Sally Challen case, this so-called fresh evidence consisted of claims about the mental condition of the accused, and slanders on the victim. Although he had a violent past, Trevor Armitage wasn’t credibly accused of assaulting Humphreys at the time, on the contrary, she had trashed his home then found herself remanded in custody after breaking her bail conditions by assaulting a hotel manager and a police officer while soliciting. Indeed, when she appeared in court, she was discharged into his custody. It was only after she wrote to Wistrich and Bindel that allegations of violence were raised.
Similarly, at her trial, Sally Challen said nothing about the abuse she had allegedly suffered at the hands of her estranged husband, neither did her two sons. In her first appeal, which was against sentence only, the Court Of Appeal found she had been “eaten up with jealousy at her husband’s friendships with other women, and had decided that if she could not have him then no one would”.
She had monitored his Facebook page, hacked his e-mails, and asked a neighbour to spy on him, yet come her second appeal, he was portrayed as the coercive controller and she as the innocent victim.
In sentencing Emma-Jayne Magson, Judge Baker said he would liked to have increased her tariff, but was constrained by the law from doing so. He might have added this case should never have been heard a second time, and neither should those of any of the other killers championed by Harriet Wistrich and her so-called charity.
Back To Part 1.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.