It is quite extraordinary that the chief crown prosecutor in the Stacey Hyde case complains (Letters, 16 June) that your article is not balanced as you fail to represent the full facts of the case, citing a key piece of evidence as “fact”, whereas it was strongly disputed at trial. The defence did not accept that Stacey “left the original scene only to return armed with a kitchen knife” and it is likely that the jury also rejected this prosecution evidence when returning their not guilty verdict.
The claim also shows a worrying unfamiliarity with the evidence, as the “original scene” was in fact the kitchen and hallway in which the 32-year-old deceased had strangled the 17-year-old Ms Hyde in an attempt to kill her and had repeatedly swung her around by her hair. Ms Hyde was heard screaming in pain (on the 999 call) for nearly two minutes while this was going on. He then immediately left the flat to repeatedly punch his girlfriend just outside the front door. It was at this point that Ms Hyde picked up and used a knife in order to save her friend from the treatment she had been receiving seconds earlier.
This blinkered approach to the evidence characterises the CPS’s unbalanced approach throughout the proceedings and their determination to secure a reconviction for murder. What he also fails to mention is that the CPS instructed an adolescent psychiatrist at the appeal that they abandoned when he agreed with the defence about the state of Stacey’s mental health. Instead of then conceding that there were good medical reasons to offer Stacey a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and provocation they continued to seek to have her convicted of murder. This was cruel and evidentially unjustified, as the jury clearly found.
Stephen Kamlish QC
Stacey Hyde defence team